The Tree Climbing lion is a muscular, deep-chested cat with a short, rounded head, a reduced neck and round ears. Its fur varies in color from light buff to silvery grey, yellowish red and dark brown. The colors of the under parts are generally lighter. A new-born lion has dark spots, which fade as the cub reaches adulthood, although faint spots often may still be seen on the legs and under parts. Lions live in groups called prides. The pride consists of a few adult males, females and cubs. Groups of female lions typically hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates.
It is usually more diurnal than other big cats, but when persecuted it adapts to being active at night and at twilight. African lions live in scattered populations across Sub-Saharan Africa. The lion prefers grassy plains and savannas, scrub bordering rivers and open woodlands with bushes. It is absent from rain forest and rarely enters closed forest.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the only park in Uganda where tree climbing lions can be found. There are instances where people have said they have seen lions climbing trees in Kenya and south Africa, the story seems not to be evident as in Queen Elizabeth Park because the lions they see are often young lions playing about tree branches. However, lions can be found in other national parks like Murchison falls, Kidepo and others but these don’t climb trees like the ones found in Queen Elizabeth national park and Lake Manyara in the neighboring country, Tanzania.
The park is rich in fauna ranging from the candlestick thorns, humid rain forests to the Savannah vegetation which favors most wildlife like the Ugandan kobs, antelopes, warthogs and many more animals seen roaming on the ishasha sector, kasenyi plains, kazinga channel, lakes and around every area of the park including the chimpanzees at kyambura Gorge and other primates. Tree climbing lions are spotted lazily hanging out in the tree branches and some also fall asleep from up there. The reasons why lions in these Savannah plains of Ishasha climb up in the tree branches.
-lions climb trees to protect themselves from ground flies like tsetse flies and also to escape from the heat on the ground. The tree climbing lions don’t climb the trees at dawn except when the sun rises the common trees they climb are; the sycamore fig trees and the acacia trees. Nature is funny and you should not feel upset if you fail to see the tree climbing lions in Ishasha, these lions can be hard to spot on some days. Some clients even depart without seeing them. Your tour guide can only do his best to locate them for you and if he fails, do not overreact towards him. Book a trip now to this great park and expect to see these amazing wild animals.