A walk with Rwanda’s Royalty : The African Lion is the largest of all big cats and one of the most iconic animals in the world. They can be found in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of the Middle East. There are currently three subspecies of African lions, as well as a number of other rare breeds of lion that exist today. All lions are known as the king of the jungle, but these magnificent animals are in danger of becoming extinct. Lions are threatened by loss of habitat, illegal hunting, and conflicts with humans over farmland.
In Rwanda, these magnificent creatures are protected by law. The Rwandan government passed a law in 1967 to protect the lion and other wild animals in the country. The law was enacted to prevent the extinction of these iconic animals and reduce conflicts between humans and lions. The law requires all individuals or companies that own land within the protected animal areas to obtain special permits from the government in order to engage in any agricultural or natural resource development projects on the land.
Enjoy a walk with Lions on your Rwanda safari vacation! You can see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat at the Akagera National Park in Rwanda’s Eastern Province. You can also take a game drive along the Congo Nile Trail in the Volcanoes National Park in the northwest part of Rwanda to see the African Leopard and Black Rhinoceros as well.
FACTS ABOUT LIONS IN RWANDA
-The male African lion has a distinctive black mane that can reach up to 4 feet in length. The male lion weighs between 450-650 pounds. The female lion weighs between 175-350 pounds.
-The African lion is the largest species in the family Felidae. They are social animals that prefer to live in groups known as prides. Prides usually consist of 5-15 lions but may have as many as 40 lions if there are enough resources available.
-Lions are carnivores and eat a variety of meat, including zebras, wildebeests, antelope, baboons, goats, deer, birds, fish, eggs, and even carrion. They have keen eyesight and can spot a herd from a mile away. They also have excellent hearing and can detect prey from miles away by the sound of their footsteps.
-Male lions leave the pride around the age of 5 to 7 years old to establish their own territories. They do this by fighting other males in a contest called “the circle of life.” Males fight with other males until one victor is left and they establish a territory of their own, A walk with Rwanda’s Royalty
-Female lions stay in the pride and help raise the lion cubs until they are old enough to fend for themselves. After they are born, the male lion will hunt for food while the female stays with the cubs and protects them. Female lions can live for up to 20 years while male lions live for a shorter period of time (10-12 years).
Unfortunately, these graceful felines face grave danger as their populations decline because they are still hunted for their fur and body parts that are used in traditional medicine. They are also threatened by habitat loss and poaching for meat and body parts. They are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).