Lions aren’t supposed to climb trees, but in the Ishasha region of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, there are lions that do just that. I was there in December 2018, and seeing them would have been one of the rather many highlights of that Uganda trip (see links at the end of this post for more about Uganda).
But despite great efforts from our guides, these lions were nowhere to be found. Most likely they had gone on an excursion to the Congo, just a few kilometres away. Oh well, they are wild animals after all, and there is never any guarantee for wildlife sightings, as we all know. I was disappointed though, I admit.
In September 2019 I was in Kenya, in the Masai Mara. On the last morning of this safari we headed out to find the big lion tribe we had already seen the previous days. One of the most prominent figures was a female with a broken tail, very easy to recognise.
And there she was again, accompanied by two cubs.
She was going in the direction of a tree, followed by the cubs. Was she going to climb …? Yes!! This broken-tail female was a tree-climbing lion queen!
She seemed to have some problems finding a comfy resting position up there.
But did she really want to have a little rest? Or was she rather on the lookout for some interesting prey? In any case, the claw marks on the tree indicated that it wasn’t the first time a lion had ventured up its stem.
All the while the two cubs were waiting. And waiting. They made some very feeble at attempts at climbing – had mummy forgotten them? No, of course not, every once in a while she glanced downwards to make sure that the small ones were still around.
And too quickly for me to react with my camera, the lion queen decided to leave her vantage point.
The tree-climbing magic was over, but this morning sighting was my best birthday present ever 🙂