Lions of Uganda
Kidepo Safari

In Uganda, lions enjoy a character as ‘king of the beasts’ and are trendy signs of royal kingdom of Buganda because of their vigor and courageousness also often referred to as the kings of the jungle. They are a member of the big five. Uganda has a lot of contributions to the tourist industry as one of the destinations that have lions in their national parks which is one of the attractions that people come to experience.

FACTS ABOUT LIONS

A group of lions is called a pride. A pride of lions is usually made up of related females and their cubs, plus a male or small group of males who defend their pride. The lionesses rear their cubs together and cubs can suckle from any female with milk.

Typically, male lions weigh 190kg and females weigh 126kg and this weight is used to hunt large prey and defend their pride. Male lions grow remarkable manes the older they get. These manes grow up to 16cm long and are a sign of supremacy.

Lions do most of their hunting at night as their eyes have adapted to the dark and this gives them a huge advantage over their prey. When hunting, lionesses are the ones that hunt and have specific roles. Some play the role of ‘center’ and others the role of ‘wing’ – the wings chase the prey towards the centers.

Lions feed up to 40kg of meat in a single meal, around a quarter of their body weight. Their tongues have sharp-pointed rasps, called papillae, which are used to chafe meat off the bones.

Lions are the only known cat species where individuals roar together – with even young cubs joining in with their mews. The calling sequence usually lasts about 40 seconds.

Lion’s numbers are reducing due to anticipatory killing to protect people and livestock, decreasing natural prey and the limited habitat due to expanding human settlements and therefore less available grazing land.

Climate change is another increasing threat, extreme weather may cause more droughts or delay the rains, affecting lions’ prey. When their natural prey is scarce, lions can cause grave losses to livestock, which can destroy the income of local people.

In Uganda lions are mainly found in the three largest savannah parks: Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP), Kidepo Valley National Park (KVNP) and Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). In QENP, the lions are known for their unique behavior of climbing trees and have been branded the “Ishasha tree-climbing lions” by tourists visiting Uganda. Come visit Uganda with us and enjoy your stay in Uganda.