May 29, 2014

Sixteen Tree Climbing Lions on…

In 2002, while I was on safari with clients in Queen Elizabeth National Park, we took a game drive one morning at 8:00 am. We first drove to the Northern part of the park, which is better known for its sightings of buffalos, elephants and antelopes. After a short picnic we proceeded to the Southern side of the park to see the famous tree-climbing lions in Ishasha.

Tree climbing lion.

Tree climbing lion.

The Ishasha sector is famous for the tree-climbing lions, which are known for roaming around in the night and climbing trees. They are often seen hanging on branches of fig trees while antelope species graze around the plains. The males of this area even sport black manes unlike some other lions in other areas. Upon hearing all this, the clients were extremely excited, as they had never seen lions that could climb trees.Tree Climbing Lions.

We drove past almost every fig tree in the park (lions are usually found in the low hanging branches of the fig trees, which provide a lot of shade in the midday sun) without seeing a thing. Just as we were about to give up hope, we saw sixteen lions, all in one fig tree! It was incredible. I told them that I had never seen so many lions in one tree before. They normally stay in groups of two or three, so sixteen in one tree was exceptional. The clients were thrilled. Their cameras could not stop clicking away.

Clients taking photos.

Clients taking photos.

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