Lion is a famous wildcat in Africa and around the world. Lions have been associated with courage, strength, confidence, and power.

Lions are distributed in different parts of Africa. But very common in Southern and East Africa.

What are the best countries to see lions?

The best countries to see lions in Africa are Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The distribution of lions in these countries varies in number, size, and type of lions.

Here is the list of the best places and countries to see lions in Africa.


Tanzania is ranked top for the largest lion population in Africa. The high concentration of lions inhabiting the Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit. These parks are :

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti is the dream destination for many visitors around the world.

If you plan to see lions in Africa then, Serengeti National Park is home to thousands of lions. Serengeti hosts more than 3000 lions.

Serengeti is the ideal big cat destination to think about. There is plenty of food and a shared ecosystem with Maasai Mara.

This is the main reason for the high number of these predators.

The famous wildebeest migration in Serengeti. Is known as the annual feast for predators like lions along the Mara River.

Serengeti catches the attention of many scientists, there are ongoing lion projects in Serengeti.

For over 46 years Serengeti  Lion Project studied and monitored the population of lions.

In Serengeti, Ngorongoro and other parks are found in Northern Tanzania.

When is the best time to see lions in Serengeti?

The best time to see a lion in Serengeti is from July to October during the wildebeest migration.

Along the Mara River, the wild drama is on for you to enjoy the hungry lions on the hunt.

If you miss July to October, then January to March is the best time to see lions in Serengeti.

These months are the wildebeest calving season. Lions and other wild predators get easy targets ( vulnerable calves ).

How many days do you need for a lion safari in Serengeti?

We recommend a 3-6 day safari in Serengeti. For you to see lions on the hunt is lucky, there is no guarantee because lions don’t hunt every day.

But having enough time for game drives within Serengeti increases your chance of seeing the lion.

And if you need your trip to coincide with wildebeest migration. You should focus on July to September and from January to March.

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro crater is the world’s largest caldera. The occurrence of this park resulted from a massive volcanic eruption.

Which created a natural bowl where high concentrations of wildlife roam. Ngorongoro is bordered by Serengeti.

As a result, many trips are combined safari with Serengeti.

Ngorongoro crater provides plenty of food for the pride of lions.

Lions found in the Ngorongoro crater are larger than other lions in Tanzania.

The chances of seeing a lion are high given the density of these big cats in the crater.

The lion population of Ngorongoro crater is isolated in the Crater.

Lack of interaction with other groups of lions gives rise to inbreeding.

When is the best time to see lions in Ngorongoro Crater?

Ngorongoro Crater is the best destination throughout the year.

The good news about lions found in Ngorongoro is that they don’t migrate.

The plenty of food within the crater floor is the main reason for the availability of lions all the time.

The best game drives the season from June to October and December through February.

What is the best combined lion safari with Ngorongoro Crater?

The ideal plan for the combined lion trip with the Ngorongoro crater. Tarangire , Serengeti and Lake Manyara .

All these parks aligned together. You can visit  Tarangire and Ngorongoro on your trip. Or Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.

Lake Manyara Park National Park

The lions in this park developed feline behavior by climbing trees. This behavior is usually displayed by leopards.

There are many reasons for these lions to climb on trees. One of these reasons is the nature of this park, Lake Manyara is nested with the Rift Valley.

The rift valley supplies water and supports the thick forest to grow. Wild cats like lions do not prefer water for larger extents as it affects their paws.

But also they climb trees to be able to see prey. Lake Manyara does not provide clear visibility for lions. Like in Serengeti or Tarangire National Parks.

Lake Manyara is close to Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, and Serengeti National Park.

Having a combined lion trip with other parks offers excellent lion sightings.

When is the best time to see tree-climbing lions in Lake Manyara?

The dry season is the best time to visit Manyara National Park.

The dry season in Tanzania starts from June to October and December to February.

Ruaha and Selous Game Reserve

These are the best destinations in the southern part of Tanzania.

Ruaha is the second largest national park in Tanzania after Nyerere National Park.

Ruaha is the ideal destination in Tanzania for lion sightings.

It is possible to spot more than 100 lions moving together.

Selous is one of the largest (55,000km²) game reserves in Africa. Selous is the best for walking safari and game drives.

While in Selous you could experience lion tracking on foot.  You could see a big difference between the lions of the northern circuit of Tanzania.

A variety of maneless lions is available here. There is no scientific proof of why they exist in this location. Is a unique experience while in Selous game reserve.


Maasai Mara Game Reserve

The other best place to experience King of the Beast, then Kenya is the best country to visit for a lion safari.

Maasai Mara, is one of the highest lion concentration destinations in Africa.

With the shared ecosystem with Serengeti in Tanzania. Maasi Mara is the best wildlife safari destination on Earth.

The comparative analysis between Serengeti and Maasai Mara. Is an unending debate about which is better than the other.

Both of these parks host the annual migration of wildebeest in Africa.

Maasai Mara, is a scenic game park in Kenya. The terrain and savannah are very open.

Which makes it easier for lion sightings in this beautiful African park.

When is the best time to see lions in Maasai Mara?

The best time to see lions in Masai Mara is during the wildebeest migration.

Plenty of food (prey) attracts larger groups of lions for easy hunting and killing along the Mara River.

Wildebeest Migration is from June to October.  To maximize your experience you can plan for a combined safari with Serengeti.

When is the best time to visit Masai Mara?

The Masai Mara has plenty of games all year round but the best time to visit Masai Mara is during the dry season.

The wildebeest migration usually reaches the Masai Mara in August. And remains until October when they move back to the Serengeti in Tanzania.

  • High season – July to November and January
  • Low season – March to May – rainy season


Kafue & Southern Luangwa

Zambia is home to many lions in Africa. The southern and central part of Zambia is home to these pride of lions. In South Luangwa and Kafue Flats National Parks.

South Luangwa National Park offers some of the best lion sightings.

Hosting pride of up to 30 lions on its wild plains. South Luangwa is home to large pride in the remote wilderness.

Lions can be sighted in any part of South Luangwa Park.  But in the southern region, large lion prides have small territories. This provides superb sightings.

What is so unique about South Luangwa National Park?

South Luangwa is a pioneer in walking safaris. Offering bush walks and night game drives that produce the best lion sighting experience.

This is an ideal plan compared with other parks in Africa like  Masai Mara and Serengeti.

How about game viewing in South Luangwa?

South Luangwa Valley is quite unexplored and less touristy. Game viewing in this less crowded reserve.

Increases the chances of having the lions to yourself during encounters.

Kafue Flats National Park.

To the central part of Zambia, there is The Kafue Flats region home to sizable lion pride. Known for their tree-climbing behaviors.

Lions in the Busanga Plains area of the Kafue Flats National Park are noted for hunting Cape buffalo, which is unusual behavior for lions.

This large national park covers about 22,500km² of undeveloped and remote territory.

This means fewer game-viewing vehicles crowding around the best wildlife sightings.

Is there any lion safari combined trip in Zambia?

While in Zambia, you could spend some days at Victoria Falls and combine with other parks. Like Kafu and South Luangwa for game drives.


Namibia – Etosha National Park

Namibia offers an incredible chance to see lions in Africa. During the dry winter season which is from June to October.

Lions gather near the water sources, scarce water sources that attract prey.

The vegetation becomes sparse to provide clear visibility of the park.

Etosha National Park hosts around 250 to 350 adult lions.

Which can be seen hunting at one of many watering holes in this arid national park.

The dew-covered grass forced the lion to move to the roadsides during the morning.

Prefer to soak in the warmth of the roads. This gives you the best chance to come close to them.

This tendency is commonly observed during the winter months.

What is so unique about Etosha for lion sightings?

The floodlit waterholes are located at the camps. This enables safari-goers to experience the pride of lions. Drinking water and hunting after dark.

The well-known television The CBS documented lion pride for five in Etosha.

Giving the benchmark of the best watering holes for seeing lions in Etosha National Park.

These holes are Nebrownii, Okaukuejo, Homob, Salvadora, Goas, Rietfontein, Chudop, Kalkheuwel, Klein Okevi,Dolomite and Rateldraf.

Why should you visit Etosha for a lion safari?

There are many reasons to visit Etosha in Namibia. The experience of sighting lions conflicts with hyenas and other competitors.

Is so unique experience here in Etosha. The lion population in western Etosha is one of the most ferocious pride in Africa.

The other destinations where you can see lions in Zambia are  Skeleton Coast National  Park and Kuene. Home for adapted desert lions.


South Africa- Kruger and Sabi Sands

Kruger National Park in South Africa is home to the African Big Five.  It hosts a healthy population of lions.

The Kruger National Park is not only South Africa’s premier safari destination.

But also home to the majority of South Africa’s wild lions.

This reserve is roughly (under 20,000 km²) the size of Wales. So if it is the lions you are after, you need to pay special attention to geography and climate.

Which are the best places to see lions in Kruger?

The lion density varies from North to South. In the northern reaches of the park, the lion density is about 6 lions per 10 km² and this is because of the scarcity of prey.

South and central are the areas with higher rainfall and thus more vegetation.

Supports a greater number of herbivores and the lion population. Is almost twice that of the north.

That means you are twice as likely to meet these majestic beasts.

South and Central is still pretty broad. The best place to see lions in the wilds of Kruger Park is Sabi Sands

In the private Sabi Sand Game Reserve, night drives are available.

Bets for catching the lions hunting, providing exciting sightings.

The bonus of game viewing in Sabi Sand is that the guides are generally incredible.

Knowledgeable and the reserve is known for its close-up wildlife encounters

When is the best time to visit South African parks?

The best time to visit these South African game parks is when vegetation is not as thick.

Kruger National Park is accessible and suitable for self-drive safaris. if you prefer to search out lions on your own.


Okavango Delta

The northern part of Botswana is the best place to see lions in Africa.

The peculiar hunting display of lions in this region catches the attention of scientists.

Like Maasai Mara and Serengeti. The lion pride of this area is well known for hunting African Cape Buffalo.

Sometimes lions hunt hippos in the Seloda Spillway area. Is very rare and exciting to hunt near the Selinda camp.

Duba Island is the hotspot for watching lions in the Okavango Delta.

Duba Island is where prey and predators are cut off from the rest of the delta.

Deep waterways result in interesting hunting behavior and massive, well-fed lions.

The lions in the Duba plain. The lions of the northern part of Okavango are bigger than any lions found throughout Africa. This species is powerful and large.

What are the unique characteristics of the lions in Botswana?

The lions of these areas can swim in deep water and hunt buffalo day by day. This adaptation is fascinating to safari-goers.

The opportunity to witness the epic hunt is easy at any time.

What are the other places to see lions in Botswana?

Moremi Game Reserve on Chief’s Island in the Okavango Delta. It also comes out tops and is referred to as the Predator Capital of Africa. Which includes a healthy population of lions.

Chobe National Park- Elephant’s Hunters

The well-known Savuti Marsh area in Chobe National Park is home to lions. Which became famous for hunting the elephants.

Elephants are rare mammals to be hunted by lions all over Africa.

This pride of lions has caught the attention of the world. By hunting elephants when food becomes so scarce.

When food became so scarce in the past (1985 -2005). The group of about 25 to 3 lions worked together to take down big elephants.

But as for now, the Savuti River is flowing again, giving the lion plenty of food to prey on rather than elephants.


To conclude about the best places to see lions in Africa. Consider visiting Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa.

When it comes to searching out Africa’s Big Five, with a particular emphasis on seeing

The lion of Africa, your success rate is largely determined not only by where you go on

safari, but with whom?

These are the key points to consider

  • Choosing the right African safari operators
  • The plan is in advance for your African trip
  • Expert guides know where to take you within the game reserves and national parks
  • The highly qualified and experienced guides are also better at seeing the lions
  • Timing. Know the best time to visit these destinations.

In case you need any help with planning for your epic  East Africa safari. Contact us Today

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