LION TRACKING-Experiential way of watching lions
Lions are always on top of the list for must-see animals on safaris to Africa. They (lions) have a reclusive nature that at times makes it difficult and frustrating to see and experience for visitors. You can imagine not seeing your major drawcard on a game drive. Most who visit want to see the lions in the wild. There are chances of seeing and not seeing because it is natural and we don’t make plans with the animals. But at Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda, there is a much more way of experiencing watching the lions that are even more experiential- Lion tracks.
How it is done
The activity is conducted under the Uganda Carnivore Program and tourists join researchers of the project in the field. The activity is conducted with a limited number of participants and requires booking in advance.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has over 250 large cats (Lions and Leopards) under the carnivore unit in the Northern part (Kasenyi and Mweya peninsular) and the Southern part in the Ishasha sector (famous for tree-climbing lions). The activity has 3 sessions in the morning, afternoon, and late evening each taking 3-4 hours. It is a different story from the normal game drives.
Lions are dressed with radio collars that are connected with GPS. The collars are used to monitor the movement of the lions, map their territories, and learn about their behaviors. It is also part of conservation for lions to know in case they are in danger, sick/injured, or overlapping from the park to communities. In the process of tracking all these, tourists follow the pride or one lion for hours.
As you do the tracking, the researchers will share knowledge and information about the habitat, threats, behaviors, and biology of the lions. Lion tracking also allows you to go off track which is not the case with the common game drives and reach in areas deep in the park. Sometimes when you are lucky and the researchers are going to collect samples, of Urine, DNA, and blood, among others you get a chance to help after they have tranquilized the lion.
Signing up for the activity
Lion tracking is only done in Queen Elizabeth National Park. To engage in this up-close encounter with the lions, one needs to book through Uganda Wildlife Authority or your tour operator so that they can get your place in advance. The activity costs 100 USD for Foreign nonresidents (FNR) and Foreign Residents, and 100,000Ugx for Ugandans.
While lion tracking experience is expensive is more expensive than normal game drives, it is worth it because it guarantees to see the cats, takes you off the beaten tracks, and of course, doesn’t stop you from watching other animals.
So, you can increase your chances of seeing the lions in action and close to them in a more experiential way. You can book your safari inclusive of the lion tracking experience with us today. Contact us here.