Tanzania hosts a larger number of lions than any other country in Africa. The vast land is set for conservation by the government of Tanzania. One-third (⅓) of Tanzania’s land is dedicated to conservation.

Best known as the king of the jungle. King of the beast. Lions are the top wild cats on the travel bucket list for many clients visiting Tanzania.  Panthera Leo is the scientific name for lions. Well, spread all over the world. But lions are still on the top list of the world’s favorite cats to be seen on Earth.

Tanzania host around 10000- 15000 lions across Tanzania parks and game reserves. Each park and circuit offers a different number of lions and lionesses. The question is: Where are the best places to see lions in Tanzania?

This is the list of 5 best places and parks  to see lions in Tanzania

Serengeti National Park

serengeti lion

Serengeti National Park – Home to the deadliest African lion

Well known for wildebeest migration in Africa. Serengeti is home to the highest concentration of wild cats on Earth. Including lions.  The lion population is found in a shared ecosystem with Maasai Mara. ( Serengeti- Mara ecosystem ).  Serengeti is home to almost 3000 lions.

The plenty of food and space on the rolling plains of Serengeti. Give lions the best chance to prosper in this park. Along the migration, when millions of herbivores cover this land. Provide the best opportunities for hunting and expanding their pride.

Given that, the migration spans two countries of Kenya & Tanzania. The great migration does not involve wildebeest alone. But also tens of thousands of zebras and gazelles. Join the movement from Serengeti to Maasai Mara in Kenya.  Because of that, this gives the best chance for visitors to experience thousands of lions. In open landscapes. ( the endless plain) .

The fantastic view of Serengeti is incomparable with any other park in Africa. The Serengeti Lion Project is a notable study going on for over 40 years now. They track the population and habits of lions available In Serengeti. And nearby parks like Tarangire and Ngorongoro crater.

Nowhere else in Africa supports quite such concentrated plenty of hoofed meat. amid such an open landscape. and so the Serengeti is a glorious place for lions and an ideal site for lion researchers”– David Quammen, National Geographic Magazine

When is the best time to see lions in Serengeti?

The best time to see lions in Serengeti is from July to October. You should visit during the time to see the lions in Serengeti. If you want to coincide with wildebeest migration. If you want to witness the Mara river crossing you should focus from July to September.

In case you miss the river crossing session. You should consider visiting Serengeti from January to March. This season is known as the Serengeti calving season.  This is when Serengeti is full of all-natural dramas. The hunting and killing on the southern Serengeti are at their peak.  It could not be good for the heart and stomach but is the law of the jungle. Lions do what they are supposed to do ( Hunting and Killing ).

If you don’t like the crowded season, then you should focus on the low season which is November and March. During this time you could have a more relaxed adventure. And witness the green terrain washed by rain. It is also the best time for a photography safari and low-budget trips in Tanzania.

Serengeti National parks for lion safari can be combined with Tarangire or Ngorongoro crater. For the fix of other pride of lions available across the northern circuits of Tanzania.

Ngorongoro Crater

ngorongoro lions

Ngorongoro Crater- Largest lions of Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater is a wonderful extended caldera.  Formed as the result of a massive volcanic eruption. Is a bowl-like structure that attracted thousands of wild animals within its rim.  Ngorongoro remains a permanent lion sanctuary to think about while in Tanzania.

Lions found in the Ngorongoro crater are larger than other lions found in Tanzania. The plenty of food and easy target prey within the crater. Gives these lions the best opportunity to grow in numbers and extend their pride. The only challenge for these lions is in-breeding.  Which is pausing the immunity challenge for diseases.  Apart from that, Ngorongoro is still the best wildlife destination in Tanzania.

Ngorongoro Crater shares an ecosystem with Serengeti. You can combine your lion safari with Serengeti.  For a quick fix of other available lions pride yourself on this wildlife circuit in Tanzania.

When is the best time to see a lion in the Ngorongoro crater?

Lions can be seen throughout the year in the Ngorongoro crater.  Though the dry season which starts from June to October is the best time for game drives. Visiting during this time will give you the best opportunity to experience lion hunting on-site. But also if you will be visiting Serengeti for wildebeest migration. It will be the best-combined trip in Tanzania.

Selous Game Reserve

selous lions

Selous Game Reserve- The best place to see maneless lions

Selous is the largest game reserve in Africa with an area of 55,000km². Selous is home to different species of lions including maneless lions. Is very common to see lions ( males) with manes but here the story is different.  It’s still a mystery why these lions have evolved this way.

Selous game reserve hosts thousands of lions in Tanzania and Africa in general. The estimated number is 1600 to 6900 lions. Apart from the large pride of lions it also hosts the highest population of other wild cats.  Including endangered species of African wild dogs. Selous is also the best destination for walking safaris.

While other parks focus on game drives, Selous offers the best opportunity to track lions on foot. This experience is well known as walking safaris guided by armed rangers.

When is the best time to visit Selous for a lion safari and tracking?

Like other parks, Selous is worth visiting during the dry season. The dry season starts from June to October and January to March. When the grass and bush become scattered is the best time to see lions on hunt and killings of their prey for food.

How to combine the Selous lion safari with other parks?

Selous best combines with Mikumi and Ruaha National parks.  These parks are in the southern part of Tanzania. Selous is also accessible from Zanzibar. Or from other parks in Tanzania by using chartered flights.

Selous is the giant of the south for either the big five or thousands of birds. Don’t forget that while on your lion safari in these parks you can enjoy the camping experience. And night game drives to experience the live hunting by lions during the night.

Ruaha National Park

ruaha lions

Ruaha National Parks- Largest lions pride in Tanzania

You might have heard of the “lion glade” there is no other place on Earth than Ruaha National Park on the southern highland of Tanzania.  Ruaha is a lion’s pride heaven in Africa. Ruaha is the second largest national park in Tanzania after Nyerere National park. Ruaha accounts for 40% of the lion population in Tanzania and 10% of the African lion population.

Ruaha is magnificent for the lion population. Is the only park in Tanzania where you could see a group of lions with more than 200  lions in one pride. Ruaha is a less popular park in Tanzania and is one of the few parks where man has not yet made his mark.

The Ruaha river (Ruvaha )  provides the best kill zone for lions to hunt big species.  Lions of this park hunt African cape Buffalo same as lions in Duba Island in Botswana

When is the best time to visit Ruaha for a lion safari?

You can visit Ruaha National park for a lion safari during the dry season. The heavy rain during March, April, and May is not suitable for the game drive.  Especially if you’re looking for lions.  Lions do not prefer wet environments. With the exception of lions in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. So in the case of Ruaha, you better focus on visiting from July to October and January to February.

How to visit and where to stay in Ruaha National parks?

You can drive from Dar-es-salaam or take a flight from Arusha or Dar-es-salaam.  The cost for the flight is a bit high compared with other parks because of the few flight routines to this park. You should plan to stay for 2-3 days to enjoy this giant park in southern Tanzania.

There are a few luxury and mid-range camps and lodges inside and outside of this park. You could plan in advance with your safari operator to secure your booking.

Lake Manyara National Park
manyara lions

Lake Manyara National Parks – Meet the Tree-Climbing Lions

Lake Manyara is one of the smallest parks in Tanzania.  Lake Manyara is nested within the great rift valley of East Africa.  This park is well known for tree-climbing lions in Tanzania.

Is a magical experience for many visitors to these parks to see lions hanging on trees. There are many reasons for these lions to adapt to this behavior. This behavior is commonly displayed by leopards.  The nature of this park being wet all the time could be the main reason for this lion to learn to climb trees. Many wild cats do not prefer water.

If you need to see tree-climbing lions in Tanzania you should visit  Lake Manyara, National Park. This park is near Ngorongoro crater and Tarangire National park. It is an ideal plan to combine your lion trip in Tanzania with other parks for a quick fix of the lion safari in Tanzania.

When is the best time to visit Lake Manyara for Lion Safari?

The good news is Lake Manyara can be visited any time throughout the year. Though focusing on the dry season could be the best idea.  This park offers sunrise and night game drives.  If you combine both activities. You could be in a better position to spot lions either hunting at night or in the daytime.


Tanzania is beyond imagination for the lion population and wildlife safari. The highest level of conservation gives Tanzania the green light.  Is the best safari destination to think about while planning to visit Africa.

Lion’s population is increasing year after year. Despite the global threat to the lion population. Poaching activities for trophies and medicinal reasons are pausing the threat to lions. The joint effort is the only solution to let the lions remain in the wild to survive and thrive. Not only in Tanzania but across the world.  Welcome to  “SIMBA SAFARI DESTINATION IN AFRICA”

In case you need any help with planning for your epic  East Africa safari. Our team will be happy to assist in designing the bespoke safari experience for you. Feel free to contact us now. 

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