The tree climbing lions are a few rare wild creatures worth exploring while on safari in Uganda. They are a few unique cat species and thrive in only a few countries in Africa including Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa. In Uganda, the tree climbing lions are only spotted in Ishasha sector-the southern area of Queen Elizabeth National Park about 5-6 hours’ drive from Kampala capital city. Ishasha plains are strategic offering visitors on gorilla safari to Bwindi National Park or Mgahinga National Park southwestern Uganda opportunity to also catch a glimpse at these beautiful kings of the jungles as they relax on the tree branches.
Ishasha area of Queen Elizabeth National Park is comprised of 3 prides of lions with total of about 50 lions. The tree climbing lions of Ishasha area are a unique type of lions that climb trees to safeguard themselves from biting tsetse flies. There is also belief that the tree climbing lions climb tree as a way to escape from heat on the ground. The tree climbing lions prefer fig and acacia trees. Ishasha area comprises of sycamore fig tree and the rare bit of it is that the males also have black manes.
Unlike other areas, the tree climbing lions can easily be spotted in Ishasha sector while on a game drive. After food in the afternoon, they can be sighted relaxed on the tree branches. Ishasha area inhabits not only the tree climbing lions but also varied antelopes, African elephants and many others. A glimpse at the tree climbing lions at Ishasha area rewards travel endeavors with lots of lasting memories. They are among a few threatened creatures in the wild due to habitat loss, natural death and killings from dominant males to cabs.
Best time to see tree climbing lions at Ishasha
Tree climbing lions can be spotted at any time of the year at Ishasha. But the dry months are the best for you to catch a glimpse at the tree climbing lions in Ishasha area of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The dry months of the year start in June, July, August, September and December, January then February. During these months, the ground is less slippery compared to wet months-March, April, May and October, November.
Where to stay in Ishasha sector
There are many accommodation options available for your overnight stay at Ishasha area. They include Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Mweya Safari Lodge, Park View Lodge, Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge, Ihamba Lodge a mention but a few.
How to get to Ishasha sector
Ishasha sector is found in the southern side of Queen Elizabeth National Park about 5 to 6 hour’ drive away from Kampala capital city. A 4 wheel drive safari vehicle is ideal for you to navigate smoothly through the remote routes to western Uganda to Ishasha area of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Your journey can start from Entebbe or Kampala through Masaka-Mbarara-Bushenyi route about 420 kilometers or from Entebbe/Kampala through Mubende-Fort Portal then to Kasese about 410 kilometers. Or take a flight from Entebbe International Airport/Kajjansi Airfield then land in at Kasese, Mweya or Ishasha airstrip.
In conclusion, the tree climbing lions are a few most fascinating cat species that you need to catch a glimpse at while on safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park.