Are you heading to Pilanesberg Game Reserve or Kruger National Park for the long weekend? The following article will give you the best chance of spotting lions in the parks this Easter!
Lions are a big favorite among wildlife enthusiasts and are known as the majesties of the jungle. With good reason! Over the past 3 months, many of our Latest Sightings tingers were lucky enough to have spotted these beautiful animals! We have taken 1214 lion sightings tinged from January to March 2022 in Pilanesberg and Kruger and plotted them on a heatmap for you to see. This will give you the best chance of seeing a lion or pride for yourself.
To stay updated and update fellow wildlife-enthusiasts, join the fun on WhatsApp by using the link(s):
From January to March 2022 there were 1061 lion sightings tinged by our community and 3953 individual lions spotted in Kruger National Park. Plus 153 lion sightings tinged and 470 individual lions spotted in Pilanesberg Game Reserve!
Lion sightings Shingwedzi to Mopani
The far north of the park has always had less predator activity. However, that does not mean if you are staying in the far north of the park you won’t see any lions. Take a drive along the S50 from Tsendze Rustic Camp past Nshawu marsh heading up to Shingwedzi as well as the S143.
Lion sightings Letaba to Olifants
As you head more south towards Letaba and Olifants there is a greater chance of seeing lions. A drive along the H9 from Letaba to Phalaborwa seems to be a hotspot for lions. If you enter the park at Phalaborwa gate the S131 has some great lion activity as well! As you head further south past Balulue Rest Camp along the H1-4 keep your eyes open for these incredible cats.
Remember to stay updated by downloading the Latest Sightings App
We take the thousands of wildlife sightings shared by our community in Kruger and Pilanesberg and pin them onto an interactive map. The maps will help you plan the best routes in the parks based on hard data! Our eGuide could help you spot lions and many other animals in the parks.
Lion sightings Satara to Tshokwane
Heading closer towards Satara you will start to see a higher density of lions. The H1-4 and H1-3 as well as the H7 and S100 around Satara are a hotspot for lion activity. Lions are active in the early morning and late afternoon when it is cooler but these cats are full of surprises and can be seen laying in the road at any time of the day! If you would like to do a longer game drive head out from Satara to Sweni bird hide along the H6, take a turn onto the S41, and back to Satara along the S100. If you are entering the park at Orpen gate along the H7 you may start off your game drive with a greeting from one of the Big Five 5.
As you head towards Skukuza along the H1-3 and H1-2 past Tshokwane you may be lucky enough to spot a lion. The S32 on the way to Orpen Dam is also a great route to take in that area – at the dam keep your eyes open for other game that come to drink!
This adorable bundle of cuteness was seen by Jean from Discover Kruger Safaris on the H6, near Satara in the Kruger National Park.
Lion sightings in the South of Kruger
The south of the park has the highest density of cats due to the abundance of prey. There are a few routes that are extreme lion hotspots. If you are heading from Skukuza to Lower Sabie take the H4-1 along the Sabie River. It is a scenic drive with lots of other cat activity. Continuing on past Lower Sabie to Crocodile Bridge the H4-2 as well as the alternative S28 dirt road are great routes to take. If you are near Crocodile Bridge drive along the S130, S25, and H5. It is an extremely popular entry point into the park.
Entering the park at Malelane gate the H3 heading all the way up to Skukuza is a very popular road. The S110 on route to Berg-en-Dal as well as the S118 driving toward Gardenia Hide are extreme hotspots if you want to spot these beautiful cats. Lastly, if you are driving on the H3 from Malelane, take a left turn onto the H1-1, followed by a right turn onto the S65 (waterhole road) ending up on the S1 that will take you to Skukuza, and hopefully, you get lucky!
Lion sightings in Pilanesberg
The heatmap of the Pilanesberg indicates that lions are seen along most of the main roads in the park. However, most of the activity is in the center of the reserve. Start your drive from Manyane along Tshwene drive to Mankwe Dam (a beautiful place to stretch your legs). Take the dirt roads around Mankwe Dam which include Hippo Loop, Motlobo Drive, and Mankwe Way. The intersection of Kubu Drive, Kgabo Drive, and Tshwene Drive often have playful lions walking across the road! For a drive along the dirt roads head along Tlou Drive from Kgabo Drive towards Ruighoek Dam. Take a slight detour onto Moloto Drive towards Batlhako Dam!
Jann-Rick from Tshukudu Safaris captured this incredible lion on Tshukudu drive in the Pilanesberg.
It truly is impossible to think of these animals as one of the world’s most vicious predators when one observes them like this. They truly never get old to see on safari. Good luck and we hope you have the most incredible lion sightings while visiting the park!
Check out our Facebook pages to see even more incredible sightings!