Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha, Uganda

Tree climbing lions in Uganda

Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha, Queen Elizabeth National Park

Somewhat off the beaten track in the far southern sector of the park, Ishasha is famous for its population of tree climbing lions. It’s one of the few places in Africa where lions are known to hang out in trees, though you could find them in Kidepo National Park too, and are often found lazing on the sprawling limbs of fig trees during the heat of the day. Generally the best time to spot them is outside the usual safari drive times (11am to 5pm, basically when they’re not hunting). If it’s wet, the lions generally won’t climb.

It is somewhat uncommon for lions to actually climb trees. There are no more than 2 populations in whole world of such lions that do actually climb trees as one of their day after day behavior. One of the tree climbing lions population is found within the Ishasha sector which is found in the south part of the well known Queen Elizabeth National Park within Uganda.

The other population is found in Lake Manyara National Park in the Southern part of Tanzania.

It is supposed that this type of lions climb trees as a way of protecting themselves against the numerous biting tsetse flies on the ground level, whereas other people claim the they actually climb into the branches to escape from the heat on the ground and enjoy the cool breeze; nonetheless the reason why they climb up into the tree branches remains unknown.

Visitors on Uganda safaris generally end up visiting the Ishasha region primarily to see the population of the resident tree climbing lions although they are also rewarded with views of other wildlife species.

The Ishasha Sector is actually today very famously because of its mystifying population of the tree climbing lions that are a very exceptional attraction and as well one of the major highlights for which most guests visit this park.

Ishasha’s Tree climbing lions are normally seen lazily lying up within the branches of the huge fig trees staring down at the numerous  Uganda Kobs that are graze in the open Ishasha plains –  and these are actually the main prey to these lions.


In case you ever find yourself being chased by a lion, choosing to climb up into the trees as a way to escape from it will actually not help much especially within Queen Elizabeth National Park since these Lions/tree climbing lions in Uganda have the ability to climb up into the trees. Actually they are commonly seen sleeping on branches in the afternoon as they digest their food after lunch.

Getting there

Saso ‘Gorilla Trips’ organises lion safaris to Ishasha where you find tree climbing lions. Check out the 16 Days Incredible Uganda Wildlife Scenes Safari or the 9 Day Uganda Wildlife Holiday Adventure safari

Those having private vehicles as well as equipment will certainly enjoy the seclusion of Ishasha the home of the tree climbing lions. Chances are that you will be just by yourself leaving alone the park’s staff.

The route from Katunguru may be unreliable. However the direct road to the border post of the Ishasha is normally full of mud through the rain season. It is better described as a seasonal route and requires a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle.

The road is repeatedly being maintained however it takes just some little rain to actually destroy its surface such that a truck getting stuck delay your tracks or even necessitate a detour via Kihihi, Isaka and Rukingiri.

This actually is a more dependable route. If coming from Mweya you are recommended to request for a radio message from the park’s office found in Mweya to the Ishasa Katookye gate asking for information if trucks are moving from the course of Katunguru.

This will help you know if the road is accessible.

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  1. […] will have an early breakfast and head to Ishasha, which is the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park for a game […]

  2. […] game drive to catch the nocturnals and hunters. Drive to the southern sector of the park called Ishasha, popular for the Tree-climbing Lions and lots of big game including large herds of Elephants and […]

  3. […] will go for a morning game drive in northern part of the park on the kasenyi Track in search of lions, elephants, solitary […]

  4. […] Tour & Wildlife Safari route will take you to Queen Elizabeth National Park to find the tree lions and Kazinga Channel wildlife action then finally meet the gentle mountain gorillas in Bwindi […]

  5. […] will have an early breakfast and go for a morning game drive in Ishasha sector in search for the tree climbing […]

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