One of Africa’s most iconic species, the lion is a fearsome predator and a true symbol of strength, majesty and beauty. Here are five fun facts that may help you learn a little more about these beautiful cats before that heart-stopping moment when you see them for the first time in their natural habitat.
LIONESSES DO THE HUNTING
Female lions are the primary hunters of the pride, responsible for forming hunting parties to round up the prey in the area, while the males are the protectors, responsible for defending the pride’s territory. Interestingly, male lions eat first after the females have made a kill, with the females and cubs only tucking in after the males have had their share.
THEY DO MORE THAN JUST ROAR
Ever heard a lion woof? Well, they can. In fact, lions have an incredibly complex system of communication, more so than any other cat. They roar, moan, growl, meow, purr, grunt, snarl, puff and hum. However, the most famous of these calls is their roar, which is the loudest of any big cat species and can be heard from up to 8 kilometres away.
LIONS DON’T ENJOY BEING ALONE
Everyone knows cats as independent creatures but it turns out lions aren’t big fans of being on their own. As the only social cats, lions live in prides which can consist of between three and 40 lions. The size of the pride is determined by the area in which they reside and the availability of prey, and generally each pride will only include one or two adult males.
THEY ARE CHAMELEONS (SORT OF)
A lion’s coat colour varies depending on the region in which they live – ranging from a beige-yellow to a orange-brown or dark brown colour. In some places you may even come across white lions, these lions are not albinos or part of a different species, but simply display a genetic condition that causes their coat to turn a pale blonde or white colour.
THEY LOVE TO EAT
Lions feast on all kinds of prey, including impala, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and more. They typically consume around 15% of their body weight in one go, essentially eating until they pass out. Following a large meal, they can spend up to 20 hours of the day sleeping.
Join us for the safari of a lifetime and have the chance to watch these awe-inspiring cats out in the wild. Take a look at our four bush escapes and get in touch – The Outpost Lodge, Pel's Post, Tshwene Lodge and Ekuthuleni Lodge.