August 29, 2023 | Bujo Safaris
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the largest and oldest parks in Uganda and was established in 1952. This magnificent park is located in Kasese District, Western Uganda and it’s the only park offering lion tracking experience and activities in the country. So the lion tracking experience takes you to the most visited national park in Uganda that’s worthy of more visits due to its uniqueness. A number of visitors and guests can actually witness that for a true real African tour, Queen Elizabeth is the right spot to be in Africa so you can anticipate an extraordinary experience.
Queens has a variety of mammal species from leopards, elephants, rhinos to buffaloes and unique climbing tree lions. Lions are one of the major attractions in the park and they are well conserved. Surprisingly, unlike the other parks of the country, lions are easily spotted in the Queens, especially during game drives. In fact, this is one of the right spots for lions in Africa and the best place to encounter these endangered species with about 250 large cats situated in the northern and southern sectors of the park.
In the southern sector of the park, Ishasha is a well-conserved sector home to the largest population of tree-climbing lions in the entire world, different from the normal lions found in other parks. This feature alone makes the park a unique tourist destination and one of the top in Africa and the entire globe.
Lion tracking activity is only done and open in Queen Elizabeth NP along the Kasenyi Plains located in the northern sector of the park and offers a one-to-one encounter with these lions and visitors in their natural habitats. From the Uganda carnivore program, are the experienced rangers and researchers that will actually guide you through and lead you during the lion tracking activity that entirely involves following a group of lions and learning about their feeding habits, social dynamics, their behaviors and their natural habitats. Such an eye-catching tremendous activity that always forces several visitors to add and push for a few days on their Uganda safari.
The whole lion tracking activity is normally divided into three different sessions in a day, each session lasting for about two to three hours. The three lion tracking sessions include the morning session, the Afternoon session and lastly is the evening session that sometimes stretches to night hours especially during peak seasons. Visitors are therefore advised to report at the park office in time as early as 7:00 am for a quick briefing on how, where and what to do before they can commence the lion tracking activity and there is always a limit on the number of people to engage in this activity.
The whole tracking experience is such a tremendous and interesting one for there has been a modern advancement in the lion tracking sector that involves using battery-powered collars put on the lions or the dominant of the group where these collars can be tracked through radio signals read by the GPS to know their location. Sometimes lions can move up to 40 km in search of food especially in times of scarcity in the game so tracking might be complicated without these tracking machines.
As the lion tracking activity is going on, a lot of information is being shared by the researchers and game rangers especially on how the males dominate territories and their role to protect lions and cubs in various interesting ways to limit the intruders such as urinating on some trees to mark territories. The female lion gives birth to about 3 cubs on average and their lifespan goes up to 12 years.
The best time to go for lion tracking in Queen Elizabeth NP is during the dry season of June, July, August throughout December, January and February. Lion tracking tour costs $100 USD for international visitors and $80 for foreign residents and Ugandan shillings 100,000 for East African nationals.