Lion tracking experience in Uganda is an activity done in Queen Elizabeth national park where Visitors join carnivore researchers to search and get close to lions. This experiential game drive is conducted by Carnivore researchers who use unique tracking device and locators to find lions in their hiding places, enabling easy and close viewing. On this Experiential game drive Safari, you will be driven off the usual game drive trucks to approach different prides of lion “the kings of the jungle” in their natural habitat and learning about their behaviors, their feeding habits, threats, habitats and more about their lives.
The activity is done in the Kasenyi plains as experiential game drive safari in the northern part of Queen Elizabeth national park. This part of the park has the greatest concentration of animals and grass here appear short to allow animals feed and enjoy the habitat. Lion tracking is led and run purely by experienced researchers under the Uganda Carnivore program that mainly focuses on research and conservation of carnivores especially lions and leopards.
Unlike the usual game drives in the park to see animals like the Elephants, buffaloes, warthogs, tree climbing lions, Uganda kobs, lion tracking experience allows you get off the usual tracks to get close to different prides of lions in this part of the park. A limited number of people is allowed to participate in the lion tracking activity per day so there is need for advance booking.
The activity is done two times a day, Early in the morning and in the afternoon, each taking 2-4 hours. Each tracking session begins with briefing by the chief researcher/ tracker about what to do and expect during the activity.
Currently some of the lions especially the lioness per family have been fitted with a radio collar for easy tracking so visitors are guaranteed to see the lions with this new innovation. Lions move in group called a pride and each pride is comprised of 3-25 members led by a male lion that protects the pride from intruders and helps in demarcating its territory.
Male lions mark territories by urinating on trees and drying it up, rubbing their heads in bushes leaving a few hairs and digging up soil using their hind legs of about 20cm deep. Visitors are advised to note the number of lions first seen to avoid confusion when other lions join the pride during the tracking activity. Lions also use different vocalizations depending on their distress, be keen to take note of them. The experienced researchers will give you the necessary information about lions.
Lion tracking experience costs USD 50 per person for foreigners and 100,000 Uganda shillings for East Africans. This can be booked through a tour agency as an activity on the itinerary to Queen Elizabeth national park and can be paid like any other park fees to reservations office at Uganda wildlife Authority (UWA) in Kampala or in Queen Elizabeth park at Visitor information center (VIC) in Mweya Peninsular in case you book on arrival to the park. Additional 10 USD per person is to be paid to the Uganda Carnivore Program for the communities around the park. This price exclude park entrance fees.
Visitors can engage in other activities at the park after this experiential game drive safari for example normal game drives to see different animals, chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura gorge, boat cruise on Kazinga channel, visiting the crater lakes, community visits to the different communities that live within or outside the park like Lake Katwe, Leopard village and more.
During lion tracking experiential game drive, other animals can be seen since Kasenyi plains has the largest concentration of animals in Queen Elizabeth national park. The animals that you may see during the lion tracking experience are elephants, leopards, hyenas, warthogs, buffaloes, waterbucks, bushbucks and more.