Sleepy Lion escapes up a tree to escape the midday heat in Tanzania

Just lion around! Pride of sleepy big cats escape up a tree to escape the midday heat in Tanzania

  • Upon first glance this appears to be an ordinary landscape but upon close inspection, lions can be found
  • In Tanzania a wildlife photographer was astonished to see a pride driven by the midday sun to sleep 20 feet up
  • Hannah Strand, 33, is the photographer behind these amazing images of incredibly impressive cats up trees 

Stunning pictures show a pride of lions sleeping up a tree as they attempt to escape the midday heat in Tanzania.

In a rare sight, lions have been seen 20 feet up in the Southern Serengeti enjoying the spectacular views and lounging about. 

One picture which looks upon first glance to be a gorgeous shot of the African landscape with an acacia tree in the centre is actually the pride.

These pictures captured by a wildlife photographer also show the lions jumping up onto branches and lying in the shade. 

East Africa’s Uganda and Tanzania are the few places in the world where you can happen up on ‘tree climbing lions’ as these big cats are known to avoid heights unlike Tigers. 

Researchers believe it’s to escape the heat of the sun and bugs, and spot their next prey. It can be tricky for lions to get up to the trees as they weigh 250 to 400 pounds, posing quite a challenge. 

In astonishing pictures a pride of Lions can be seen jumping up into a tree as the try to escape the midday heat in Tanzania. Pictured: The whole pride of lions have made their way up the tree as another attempts to join them

There are only a few places in the world where lions climb up heights including Tanzania’s national parks and some other parts of East Africa. Pictured: This lioness made herself at home falling asleep in the tree’s upper branches

There are many reasons for this including lions wanting to rest when the sun was high, escaping bugs or looking for the best meals that could be passing by their perch. Pictured: A playful lion exploring the tree

Upon first glance this appears to be an ordinary landscape but upon close inspection, lions can be found decorating the branches of the tree

Hannah Strand, 33, a photographic safari guide who has lived in Africa her whole life was leading a safari in the Southern Serengeti when she snapped the pictures. 

Hannah said: ‘As this was our first sighting of the pride in the tree, I wasn’t sure how they would respond to the vehicle, so we started further away and gave them time to get used to us.

‘We moved a little closer as time went on. Lions are incredibly impressive cats. Not only are they big and muscular, the way they interact, and their social bonds are so fascinating to witness.’

Hannah Strand, 33, a photographic safari guide who has lived in Africa her whole life was leading a safari in the Southern Serengeti when she snapped the pictures. Pictured: A lion surveys the African terrain

Hannah said: ‘As this was our first sighting of the pride in the tree, I wasn’t sure how they would respond to the vehicle, so we started further away and gave them time to get used to us.’ Pictured: A lion looks up to see the rest of their pride high up in the tree

Tree climbing lions’ are not a common sight as opposed to other big cats like leopards and tigers who love to be seen climbing. Pictured: An action shot of a lioness beginning her ascent.

According to Discover Africa , Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park in Southern Tanzania and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Ishasha, Western Uganda are the only places to find these types of lions. Pictured: A female lion surveys the beautiful landscape in the Southern Serengeti

Hannah explained how she came this awesome sight by saying: ‘Part of our daily activities include a morning game drive, where we explore our surroundings and discover whatever nature has to offer.

‘You can never be sure of what you may find which is part of the thrill of being a guide. ‘It was late morning, and we were heading back to camp when we spotted two lion cubs under a small shrub.

‘We thought they may belong to a bigger pride that we had become familiar with in the area, as we watched they turned and walked away from the open plains and towards the eco-turn, the acacia woodland.’

Tree-climbing lions are very rare, with just a handful known to exist in the wild. Pictured: A lion clings to the tree as it attempts to climb up

There are yellow images seen on the branches but they are not fruit but a family of lions sleeping 20 feet up a tree. Pictured: The lions were relaxing high up in an acacia tree

Some speculate that the lions developed this behaviour to protect themselves from the biting tsetse flies at the ground below, while others say they climb the trees to escape the heat Pictured: A lion relaxing up a tree is not a sight you see everyday

Lions can weigh between 250 to 400 pounds so it’s no easy feat to lug their bodies up such great heights. Pictured: A lion surveys the African terrain


Lions live and hunt together in a pride. This one tries to climb a tree. An action shot of a lioness beginning her ascent is then seen 

UGANDA’S RARE TREE-CLIMBING LIONS 

Tree-climbing lions are very rare, with just a handful known to exist in the wild.

According to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, where these rare prides can be found, there are no more than two populations known in the whole world.

One lives in the Ishasha sector, in the south part of the Park within Uganda, while the other population is found in Lake Manyara National Park, in the Southern part of Tanzania.

Some speculate that the lions developed this behaviour to protect themselves from the biting tsetse flies at the ground below, while others say they climb the trees to escape the heat.

Tree climbing lions’ are not a common sight as opposed to other big cats like leopards and tigers who love to be seen climbing. 

According to Discover Africa, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park in Southern Tanzania and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Ishasha, Western Uganda are the only places to find these types of lions. 

‘Both of this countries are in East Africa, although there have been a few sightings on a South Africa safari of the lions in Kruger National Park exhibiting a similar affinity towards tree,’ they said. 

‘Lions are believed to climb trees as a behavioral adaptation to protecting themselves from the constant irritation of insect bites while lazing on the ground under trees.

‘Some animal behaviorists claim that these lions have perfected the art of climbing trees as a way of escaping the sweltering heat on ground level. This way, they can enjoy a cool breeze and blissful nap without worrying about the happenings on the ground. 

‘Moreover, this position is an excellent vantage point from which to observe the movement of prey as they cross the plains in search of grazing opportunities and water.

‘While lions are not physically adapted to climbing trees, these distinct groups have been able to master this skill over time and teach their young to do the same; a great example of learned behaviour as opposed to natural instinct. 

‘Lions can weigh between 250 to 400 pounds so it’s no easy feat to lug their bodies up such great heights.’

It is very typical for lions to climb in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda or Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania, the New York Times reported but not in other places. Pictured: An inquisitive female lion

Moreangels Mbizah, a conservation biologist working with lions in Zimbabwe’s Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area said: ‘The only reason they would want to climb is if there is something on the ground that they’re avoidin’

Joshua Mabonga, carnivore research coordinator with the Uganda program at the Wildlife Conservation Society, says some climb trees to escape the heat and survey their prey. Pictured: A lion looks up to see the rest of their pride high up in the tree

Craig Packer, who oversaw the Serengeti Lion Project, said: ‘Lions climb trees to escape pests, whether they’re as big as an elephant or as small as a stable fly’. Pictured: A female lion surveys the beautiful landscape in the Southern Serengeti

It is very typical for lions to climb in particular places the New York Times reported but do not do elsewhere in Africa. 

Moreangels Mbizah, a conservation biologist working with lions in Zimbabwe’s Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area said: ‘The only reason they would want to climb is if there is something on the ground that they’re avoiding,’ 

Joshua Mabonga, carnivore research coordinator with the Uganda program at the Wildlife Conservation Society, says some climb trees to escape the heat and survey their prey. 

‘Lions climb trees to escape pests, whether they’re as big as an elephant or as small as a stable fly.’ 

Craig Packer, who oversaw the Serengeti Lion Project, said: ‘Lions climb trees to escape pests, whether they’re as big as an elephant or as small as a stable fly.’ 

Source: Read Full Article