Why Do Some Lions Climb Trees?

The vast majority of lions stay put on the ground, leaving tree climbing to other big cats like the leopard. However, there are two places in Africa where you have the opportunity to see lions scattered along tree branches – the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda and Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania. Both countries offer unforgettable safari experiences.

On a recent scouting trip to Uganda, a pride of nine tree climbing lions was spotted on a game drive at Queen Elizabeth National Park. The pride consisted of one alpha male, three adult females, and five young individuals.

tree climbing lions
Tree climbing lions at Queen Elizabeth National Park (Ishasha section), Uganda. Adult male and female.

tree climbing lions

tree climbing lion

Some think that climbing into trees reduces the number of bites the lions get from tsetse flies. Others think it’s a way to escape the heat on the ground. We’ll never know for sure, but these lions look quite comfortable in their arboreal resting spot.

tree climbing lions
How many lions can you spot in this tree?

Are you thinking of an African safari? Contact one of our safari specialists for the ins and outs of safari planning. We know when to go and where to have incredible wildlife sightings like these.