Adventure Nature

5 African Countries With Most Lions

african countries with most lions
Written by Teresa Mwangi

African countries with most lions account for the continent’s total population estimated to be 28,447. Lions are the centrepiece of any given African safari as a top-ranking member of the Big Five.

Leopards, buffalos, rhinos and elephants are in this category too and any wildlife safari in Africa has at least, a few of the Big Five, if not all. These kings of the jungle can be a rare sight depending on the park you visit in Africa. Thus, See Africa Today tells you where to visit for your next trip.

What Country Has the Most Lions in Africa?

Tanzania has the largest population of lions in Africa numbering 17,000. The vast woodland and savannah provide varied and dramatic landscapes which form excellent lion habitats. There are a lot of other wild animals that thrive in the open grasslands making it easy for the lions to feed on a diverse group of prey.

African Countries With Most Lions

Below are 5 African countries with most lions in both density and population

Tanzania (17,000 )

As earlier mentioned, Africa’s largest population of lions is in Tanzania. There is a 90% probability that you will spot a lion across every major park you visit. However, the most popular park in Tanzania is the Serengeti which has more lion density than any other park in the country.

african countries with most lions

A pride of lions at the Serengeti. Photo/YouTube

Serengeti National Park has many prides of lions that you effortlessly spot on the low grass plains. Eastern Serengeti to be specific, has more lions within the Serengeti. Each pride has about 40 lions, both male and female.

Besides the Serengeti, Ruaha National Park is exceptionally dotted by over 1,000 lions roaming the park’s rugged plains. This translates to approximately 10% of Africa’s total lion population.  The Mwagusi River area is a favourite spot for these animals due to the availability of water within the park.

Lastly, the Tanzanian government is big on wildlife conservation which supports the growth of these big cats. Communal efforts play an important role in keeping these animals alive and safe.

South Africa (3,284)

South Africa is one of the five major African countries with most lions. Most prides live in the vicinity of Kruger National Park which is among the biggest national parks in Africa. Kruger measures 19,623 square kilometres and stretches to the Zimbabwean and Mozambique borders in the northeast. Varied habitats including savannahs, dense scrub, open grasslands and woodlands support wildlife habitation.

Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park. Photo/Discover Africa Safaris

Botswana (3,063)

The enactment of anti-poaching laws and protected areas explains why Botswana has a huge population of lions. These laws greatly support conservation across major reserves and parks. Botswana was a dancing ground for hunters and poachers years ago but anti-poaching legislation has helped. Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta and the Selinda Game Reserve have huge lion populations.

Moreover, this Southern African country is a buffalo kingdom which provides a ready meal for the kings of the jungle.  An abundance of prey is a major contributor to the existence of lions here besides other wildlife conservation policies.

Kenya (2,500)

Maasai Mara national reserve

Maasai Mara national . Photo/Discover Africa Safaris

The famous Maasai Mara National Reserve backs Kenya’s glory as one of the major African countries with most lions. In addition, the Nairobi National Park, Tsavo National Park, Meru National Park and a host of other conservancies support Kenya’s lion population. Just like Botswana, the Kenyan government has greatly supported wildlife conservation.  Communities around parks help in monitoring and sensitizing the public on the dangers of poaching/hunting wild animals.

Zambia (2,500)

The rugged and expansive terrains of Zambian parks support a pride of 2500 lions. Zambia’s sprawling savannah are great hunting ground for lions. Here is the good news. Zebras, antelopes and buffalos are in plenty and they complete the food chain, When in Zambia, head out to Luangwa Valley and South Luangwa. They are a haven for lions.

What is the Best Place to See Lions in Africa?

Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Tanzania are great destinations to sight lions. Here are the major parks in Africa where you are sure to spot a lion.

  1. Maasai Mara National Reserve
  2. Queen Elizabeth National Park
  3. Ruaha National Park
  4. Ngorongoro Crater National Park
  5. Serengeti National Park
  6. Okavango Delta
  7. Chobe National Park
  8. Kruger National Park
  9. Tsavo National Park
  10. Nairobi National Park
  11. Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  12. Moremi Game Reserve
  13. Addo Elephant National Park
  14. Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park
  15. Amboseli National Park
  16. Samburu National Reserve
  17. Meru National Park
  18. South Luangwa National Park
  19. Liuwa Plain National Park
  20. Lower Zambezi National Park
  21. Nsumbu National Park


Widely stretching savannahs, woodlands and an array of wildlife supports the existence of lions in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia. Conservation efforts also go a long way in increasing these numbers.

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About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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