TREE CLIMBING LIONS OF ISHASHA
Ishasha sector is the home of the famous tree climbing lions found in Queen Elizabeth National park most popular tourist destination in Uganda.
The park was found in 1952 as Kazinga National Park and renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Elizabeth National park is found in the western part of Uganda in Kasese district and Ishasha sector is located in the south western part of the park. In Uganda, lions enjoy a reputation as “kings of the beasts” and popular symbols of loyalty, strength and bravely.
In Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Ishasha lions are known for their unique behavior of climbing trees and have been branded the “Ishasha tree climbing lions.”
How they live
The dominant male(s) throw out the males from the group at the age of 3-4 years to go live on their own and will try to take over a pride when they get to 7-10 years old. Males hold a pride for 2-3 years only before being expelled by another male or collection of males. Females occasionally move to an adjacent pride when sub adult and they stay in the same area as their mothers and rear a litter of cubs every 2 years.
The tree climbing lions are an exceptional attraction and make the highlights for the safari and makes tourists willing to stay longer in order to see them.
What draws these Lions in to climb the Trees: people who know assert it is good to always keep away from any Tse-tse flies bites for whatever reason it is?
Basing on a number of research the main reasons as to why the lions within Ishasha sector in queen Elizabeth national park climb trees are now clear which include the lions climb trees running away from the hot ground during the dry season. The lions also climb trees because they want to relax from the days hunt. The candelabra trees act as spying site for the lions. The lions hang up in the big trees and look so down at the glorious food (kobs) feeding in the field, whilst the lions plan to make the kobs meal sooner.
Best season to view these tree climbing lions
The dry season is the most favorable time to go for game drives and you will view these famous tree climbing lions and no hope of rain to interrupt you. However in the dry seasons the grass is short and you can easily see the lions in the fields and trees and in addition to this the weather is awesome since roads are not slippery like in the rain season. Please note the sector is always open throughout the year.
Lions are important to Uganda’s economy and ecology in a way of maintaining ecosystem health and balance by predating on herbivores often targeting sick individuals and thereby keeping disease down and disposing of carcasses.
Research shows that these lions migrate from the central sector in QENP to Ishasha through maramagambo forest and this movement is important for viable population of the tree climbing lions in Ishasha.
Truth to be told tree climbing lions are scarce in Africa but once in Uganda you are assured to come across some in Queen Elizabeth National park where you can brunch off and take a ride to the Ishasha plains to catch a glimpse of the gorgeous lions( Kings of the jungle)
The lions spend the entire day climbing trees and some resting under the cool environment waiting for the night to hunt for food.
Tourists are advised not to step out the cars since it is very dangerous. So you move in your cars in the plains so as to give you a chance to enjoy driving as you take great photos apart from tree climbing lions, you will view other kinds of wildlife.
In addition to the fascinating population of the Tree Climbing Lions within the Ishasha Sector you will also come across huge buffalo herds, numerous antelopes that keep crossing your path, there are also a number of elephants that have actually settled within this sector and also watch out for the numerous hippos and actually the only thing not plentiful here are tourists. This region offers a feeling that you are on that safari just by yourself enjoying the Pearl of Africa Safari wilderness.
However this is not always guaranteed as it majorly depends on the day you visit this area. As you unhurriedly drive on along the tracks studded within acacia trees in these opened savanna plains swarmed with wildlife, you will actually start to discover and understand the reason why many people always choose never to have enough of Africa when it comes to choosing a holiday destination.