The tree climbing lions of Xigera


Mike describes the joy of spotting lions sleeping peacefully in the treetops.


08th November 2019

Xigera Safari Lodge

Lions are not brilliant climbers and over the years I have seen them try and fail many times. The big pride at Xigera goes completely against the norm and all of them climb, so much so that we have taken to looking carefully in the trees for a tell-tale sign like a tail hanging down. This is usually a dead giveaway for a leopard.

I set out with Lesh this morning, early as I do every day when I am at Xigera, and we chose to start on a productive loop on Nare Road (meaning Buffalo). We had seen a big herd of buffalo there yesterday and as a rule, where the buffalo are, so are the lions. We saw the big herd as we started a way off to the left of us and they were feeding and relaxed. We decided to push on and that is when we saw the first of the pride - a lioness walking across the open floodplain.

lion tree 


We had wonderful sightings of the pride in the open and climbing, and as we drove around the edge of the floodplain, Lesh spotted a lioness sleeping peacefully in a Marula tree. What a sight she was - so relaxed and comfortable, and enjoying the cool morning breeze from her viewpoint.

We watched for quite a while as she changed position a few times and then eventually made her way down to join the rest of the pride sleeping in the shade.

This is such unusual behaviour and a real treat to watch.

Lion pack


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