Live out your Lion King story with your kids at these super cool African lion safaris
“In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.” If you get the reference, you had probably enjoyed Lion King as a kid! In good fashion, the movie, arguably one of the best Disney creations of all time, is returning to the silver screen this month. So if you’ve got the itch to take your travel adventures into the wild with your children, then why not do it, Simba style? Now, it’s up to you to choose where your real-life Lion King story will pan out. But if you are looking for a unique experience that differs from the typical wildlife-themed travel itinerary, then our team at Fayyaz Travels have some cool suggestions for you to choose from. Drag your kids along and live out your Lion King story at these six unbelievably beautiful lands of African lion safaris.
1. Northern Namibia
The arid conditions of Namibia allow its lion population to thrive across the entire country. The southern part of Namibia, which is best known for the Kalahari Desert, is where you can live out your Lion King experience. There are a number of lion safaris within the region to choose from depending on the type of experience you are looking for. The Etosha National Park, for one, hosts the most easily accessible population. There is a good chance you could spot the Etosha lions up close if you are parked near a waterhole. But if utmost comfort and security are what you would want for you and your kids, then it’s best to check out the lions in the remote region of Kaokoland and Damaraland. Despite an abundance of sand dunes and little vegetation, the lions there surprisingly have a low prey density and fewer conflicts with farmers. The best time to view the Namibian lions is from June to October during the dry winter season. During this period, the lions are more occupied by looking for water sources and soaking their bodies there, rather than hunting for food.
2. Northern Botswana
Northern Botswana has a different ecosystem from that of Northern Namibia, as lush wetlands are a more prominent feature here. The lions here have adapted to its diverse environment and living conditions, which is why they tend to prey on different species of animals per area. An interesting fact: the local lions compete with crocodiles for food during harsh Botswanan winters. Meanwhile, the Okavango Delta lions thrive during the annual flood season, that is, within the timeframe of June to August. Proving their unique intelligence, they would swim between islands and negotiate channels and floodplains in search of their prey. You can spot the Okavango Delta lions at the Moremi Game Reserve, where the largest lion population in the world is professionally hosted.
3. Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe
And now we cross another border, as we travel from Botswana to Zimbabwe. This country is where you can witness scenes typical of National Geographic and Animal Planet documentaries with your own eyes. One special place to visit is Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North, where a large population of lions and its prey species thrive. The site also happens to be Zimbabwe’s largest national park. Hwange National Park has been a favourite go-to for tourists who wish to witness the process that takes place when local lions make their moves on buffalos. A sweet suggestion from us: you can cap off your lion safari experience with a visit to the beautiful Victoria Falls, which is just a short drive away.
4. South Africa
Thinking to go all out? Why not travel all the way down to the lush and mighty South Africa! The country is not only best known for hosting the World Cup in 2010, but also for attracting many visitors from around the world to its beautiful wildlife safaris. One of the best sites has got to be the Greater Kruger National Park. At 360 kilometres long and 65 kilometres wide, the national park is the size of Wales! Here, you can find plenty of South African wild lions roaming around and lazing about when not hunting for food. Prefer something less extreme? Then consider the Timbavati Game Reserve, where a naturally-occurred population of white lions awaits you. These big cats tend to dwell more on the park’s populated areas compared to its remote northern planes.
5. Luangwa Valley in Zambia
Another popular destination is Zambia, where its reserves and national parks host a significant proportion of African lions. Now, a majority of these animals can be found in the Luangwa Valley. Considered the birthplace of African walking safaris, the entire valley has several parks catering to various experiences of the Zambian wildlife. A visit here can be an incredibly thrilling experience for the safari enthusiasts in you and your little ones. The daring task of spotting wild lions whilst on foot is one of the quintessential safari experiences of being in the valley. Want to ensure that your trip is foolproof? Enlist the help of an experienced guide to accompany you throughout your entire tour.
6. The Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem in Tanzania
The Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem spans from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Hence its hyphenated name! The entire reserve stretches over 24,000km² and houses some of the world’s highest densities of lions per area. The Mara-Serengeti National Park is also home to the oldest lion research project in Africa: The Serengeti Lion Project. Based on the Ngorongoro Crater and other parts of the park, the long-term assignment has been ongoing for nearly 50 years. On the other side of the border that makes up the ecosystem, Kenya has the savannah plains of Maasai Mara Reserve wide open. Witnessing the majestic beauty of Mara lions from within special tourist vehicles makes the whole viewing experience memorable. The lions have a celebrity-type appeal to them, too, due to their global exposure in the BBC TV series, Big Cat Diaries.
Want professional help with planning the best Lion King experience for you and your kids? Send our team at Fayyaz Travels your request today to receive your very own customised African safariexperience that is like no other!