Lion safaris in Africa are among our most frequently requested itineraries. It makes sense, as seeing these majestic creatures up-close will take anyone's breath away! Their sheer power and regal beauty rightly give them the title of "King and Queen of the African Bush".
These mighty cats are one of the most recognised members of the Big 5 and African wildlife. A big carnivorous feline mammal, lions boast a tawny-coloured coat, tufted tail, and, in the male, a heavy mane around the neck and shoulders. A pride of lions consists of related females and cubs residing in a home range or territory. Males are typically nomads that have gained custody of a pride through competition with other males. We share some of our favourite destinations for lion safaris in Africa where you can see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
The Greater Kruger Area is a top pick for lion-spotting in South Africa. Lion prides are particularly easy to see in Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Timbavati Game Reserve, located just north of Sabi Sand. Other winning picks in Kruger National Park include Lion Sands and Singita's Ebony and Sweni lodges – both found in the very heart of "big cat country".
Seeing white lions is something special but also very rare as there are not many left in the wild. However, at Timbavati Game Reserve, this bloodline continues, and you have the chance to see them up close! Another place in South Africa where you could get the opportunity to see white lions is Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, located only a couple of hours from Cape Town.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana is a magnificent destination for lion safaris in Africa. Still, there's one place in particular that's sure to astonish even the most seasoned safari-goer, a place where lions take on buffalo – a feat almost unheard of. The remote northern reaches of the Okavango Delta are home to Duba Plains, an intimate camp set in among game-rich grasslands and seasonal floodplains. Only accessible by light aircraft, this camp is renowned for its resident lion prides and never-ending battles with the thousands of buffalo roaming the area. You can often see these large Botswana lions hunting in broad daylight or swimming through the permanent channels that flow through the landscape.
The Serengeti is a no-brainer choice when it comes to seeing lions in Tanzania. Thanks to its rolling plains abundant in prey, lion sightings here are regular occurrences. While most visitors flock to the Serengeti, you'd regret leaving Ruaha National Park out of your lion safari itinerary. Ruaha is not only the largest national park in the country, it's one of its best-kept secrets too. Wildlife sightings are largely undisturbed thanks to low visitor numbers, leaving you free to marvel at Ruaha's impressive predator population – most notably the lion.
The perennial motion of The Great Wildebeest Migration in Kenya acts as a bottomless buffet for the Maasai Mara National Reserve's lion population. With its grasslands brimming with an impressive ungulate population, it will come as no surprise that a plethora of predators, particularly lions and cheetahs, follow in their enticing wake. The lion population in the Maasai Mara is impressive, and sightings are common and exhilarating.
The density of wildlife in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia lends itself to sublime game-viewing opportunities. More importantly, its savannah grassland, Luangwa River and open plains make it an ideal environment for lions. Sightings of Africa's most renowned big cat are recurring thanks to its thriving population and abundance of prey.
When looking for the best places to visit for lion safaris in Africa, we've got you sorted. We've scoured the continent for the best lion sightings and will take care of every detail of your trip. And as the World's Best Safari Company, you can rest assured that you're in good hands! Contact our African Travel Experts today, and let's start planning!