“Kings of the Jungle” they are! For years, questions are asked if lions can actually climb trees; and if yes, how do such species look like while in the trees? Luckily, be among the few visitors to reach the territory of these rare tree-climbing lions; however the possibility of encountering one or more on treetops is a matter of luck and best timing.
The world all over, tree-climbing lions are truly rare. The other place with the tree-climbing lions being Lake Manyara national park in the Republic of Tanzania.
Home to the tree-climbing lions, Queen Elizabeth national park was renamed after the name of Queen Elizabeth II; in recognition of her visit and contribution to the park and Uganda as a whole. The park is situated on the western arm of Great Rift Valley in southwestern part of Uganda, a tiny landlocked country east of the continent of Africa which is truly gifted by nature.
With a wider range of biodiversity, very cool climate, welcoming natives, security, modern and traditional infrastructure; its needless to wonder why Winston Churchill in his book entitled “African Journey” described Uganda As the Pearl of Africa or even why after making the first visit, thousands of visitors give positive feedback and as well make return visits.
Good enough, think of the rare tree Climbing lions. One would ask what happens if a tree was the only savior upon a lion attack, yet it is also their refuge and viewing pinnacle. As much as you want to imagine so do we!
Queen Elizabeth national park is the second-largest park and the most visited in the country. In it are a variety of crater lakes, trees and mammals in each corner. But not only that; the Ishasha sector, home to tree climbing lions is even more interesting. Located in the equatorial belt; south of the park – Ishasha sector is a real highlight in Queen Elizabeth N/park. The region is very gifted and a scenic link to amazing destinations like Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Virunga national park in DR. Congo and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. A traveler can do a 3-4 hours’ game drive in Ishasha region in search of these residents and several other members like birds, mammals and unique tree species to mention but a few.
When asked, the local park rangers suggest even though it is by nature that these lions are born to climb trees, other reasons are probably; to have an aerial view of its territory and spot the next victim to feed on, escaping the heat and also hide from insect bites.
Can any tree become habitat for the tree-climbing lions; probably yes! However, they love trees with wide branches (the Candelabrum trees), notably the acacia and sycamore trees. This is because it provides sufficient space for resting and on a lucky day one can find a lion sleeping or standing on the branch. Rainy season is when they are often lie on tree branches most times.
Note; except when the sun is up, the tree-climbing lions don’t climb trees at dawn.
Apart from the tree-climbing lions, other attractions in Queen Elizabeth National Park, range from the big mammals including elephants, Cape Buffaloes, Hyenas, several Antelope species, leopards and warthogs among others. Primates include the chimpanzees, while birds such as Turacos, kingfishers and Cranes can be spotted and unique tree species, Mweya Peninsular and the fascinating landscape to mention but a few.
Best time to see tree climbing lions in Ishasha sector.
Lions are present in the park all year round; though the best time to encounter them is during the month of June to September and December to early March. Activities in Queen Elizabeth National include; game drives, boat cruises, bird watching, primate trekking and cultural adventure and so much more.
An encounter with tree-climbing lions is a rare opportunity and very rewarding. The adventure lasts for approximately 2 hours, but the memories stay forever.
Various accommodation properties are available around Ishasha sector, so no need to wander with no clear address. Lions belong to the African Big 5 family together with the Elephants, buffaloes, leopards and Rhinos.