Tree Climbing Lion in Ishasha – What makes lions climb trees? or Can a lion climb trees? Tree climbing lion safari in Uganda.
Ishasha sector is located in the Southern part of Queen Elizabeth national park in Western Uganda bordering DRC Congo and is legendarily known for tree-climbing lions. It is blessed with a beautiful landscape dominated by savannah wood tree species, cactus trees, acacia and fig trees. Ishasha sector offers Tree climbing lions in Uganda and it’s the only place in East Africa where you can find tree-climbing lions. However, climbing lions can be found in Tanzania in Lake Manyara but are difficult to track and few in numbers compared to the lions of Ishasha.
The presence of Kobs and Topis makes it the main reason for tree-climbing lions in Ishasha. These lions climb on big fig trees of the park as they monitor the Topis and Kobs feeding nearby. The presence of Antelopes also attracts other big cats like leopards to the area because they are always the first ones to be targeted. Based on various research carried out around Queen Elizabeth national park, especially in the Ishasha sector, multiple reasons have been found especially why these lions climb on the fig trees. The main reason is that they tend to run away from hot grounds during the dry season and the candelabra tree acts as a spotting or spying site for these lions. The best season to visit Ishasha for climbing lions is during the dry season as the roads are not muddy and hence less interfered with.
Tree climbing lions in Ishasha, Queen Elizabeth National Park
During this year’s season, game drives are not interfered with and the best season is between the months of June to September because the grass is dry and short, making it easy to spot the lions. The sector is however open to visitors all year round. Tourists to the Ishasha sector are advised to carry a good camera for taking the best photos, an open-roof car for the best views and safety reasons, pen and notebook for taking down important notes, Binoculars may not be recommended for your tree-climbing lion in Ishasha because you will be able to get close as much as possible.
A morning game drive will give you spectacular views of the park as well as spotting these cats lying on the fig trees. This morning game is more rewarding in a way that you get to spot other animals like the African elephants as well as a herd of elephants.
Tourists who plan their safari to see a tree-climbing lion in the Ishasha sector have various accommodation facilities which they can choose from which include the following;
Mweya safari lodge
Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge
Ishasha Wilderness camp
Queen Elizabeth Bush lodge
Kasenyi Safari camp among others.
How to get to the park
Ishasha can be accessed by driving from Kampala to Kasese then connecting to Queen Elizabeth national park which takes you approximately nine hours and then driving from Mweya to the Ishasha sector on a 2hours drive.
Tourists driving from Mbarara can reach Ishasha via Mbarara Kasese road on a 6hours drive and tourists on gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park can connect to Ishasha on a 2hours drive.
Chartered or scheduled flights can be arranged from Entebbe International Airport and Kajjansi Airfield as well. Here you will be airlifted to the airstrip either in Kihihi or Mweya where you will be picked up by your driver-guide to Ishasha on a 2-hour drive.