Pride of Lions Climb Trees to Escape Recent Floods

A pride of lions climb a tree to escape the wet ground caused by recent floods and spend their mornings perched like leopards.

The Kruger National Park is one of the most well-known and largest game reserves in South Africa. It is home to a variety of wildlife. Amongst the various lions that call Kruger their home, there is one pride that stands out—the Vurhami Lion Pride.

Safari guides, Kerry Balaam – Kruger PRIDE Safaris, Jean Graham – Discover Kruger Safaris, and Mark Fox – Foxy On Safari had an incredible moment with this pride. The footage and sightings were shared via the Latest Sightings App.

Lions climb a tree

The pride resides in the southern region of Kruger National Park. Adjacent to a section of the Crocodile River, and visitors can frequently observe them on the notorious S28 dirt road. What makes this pride unique is their strange tendency to climb trees and spend the hottest parts of the day in them. This behavior is generally not observed in lions, as they are known to be ground-dwelling animals.

Lion lazing in a tree like a leopard

Leopards climb trees exclusively among cats, and wildlife enthusiasts have taken note of the Vurhami Lion Pride’s behavior for this reason. It is believed that this characteristic may have been passed down through generations, and the pride has made it their own unique trait.

“Shortly after entering the entrance gate at Crocodile Bridge rest camp, we headed down the tar road. Scanning the open plains for cheetahs and other game. When we arrived at the S28 junction, we turned left. A pride of lions greeted us!”


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“At first, the sight of a big cat in a tree gave us the impression that it was a leopard. After closer inspection, we realized it was a pride of lions in a tree! Finally, our day had come, and the Vurhami tree-climbing lions were in front of us.”

While it is not entirely clear why the Vurhami Lion Pride has developed this behavior, experts suggest that it may be due to the hot and humid climate of the area. Spending time in the trees may provide some relief from the heat and allow the lions to cool off. Another theory may be due to lions’ dislike for water. Seeking refuge in a tree away from the wet ground caused by the recent floods.

Lions enjoying the comfort of a tree

Written by Mohammed Kathrada

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