Lion Explanations

The lion is an animal you must not miss seeing on your trip to Africa . The lion is the epitome of Africa and a member of “The Big Five” , and is the largest predator found on the savannah. The lion is a majestic and impressive animal, where you can not help but be fascinated by this beautiful animal with its large mane.

Facts about the lion

Location: Sub-Saharan Africa
Life expectancy: 10 to 14 years in the wild
Weight: Females: 120-180 kg, Males: 150-250 kg
Size: Females: 107 cm tall, Males: 123 cm tall.
Food: The lion is a predator, eating exclusively meat
Quantity: 15,000-20,000 wild lions
Funfact: The mane of the lion can grow up to 1.2 meters high.


The lion is the largest predator in Africa, and worldwide, the lion is the second largest living cat species after the tiger. The male lion is best known visually on its large beautiful mane. Which also distinguishes it from other animals in the cat family. The lion’s head shape and mane itself is one of the most recognizable animal symbols in human culture. The lion’s head has been used extensively in sculptures, paintings, national flags, modern films and literature. The reason for this is that the lion shows power, and is without a doubt a beautiful animal. The lion’s skull is completely identical to the tiger’s. The lion’s color on the coat varies from yellow-brown to yellowish, but can also be reddish or dark brown.


On lion safaris , you can experience a predator that makes a living by hunting other animals and eating them. One would think that it is the male who hunts the food because he is the largest, but in fact it is most often the females. Although the females are a lot smaller than the males, one should not underestimate their strength. A lion can kill a 900 kilo buffalo without difficulty, however, they usually hunt prey of around 50 to 300 kilos. It is most often animals such as zebra, wildebeest, antelope, gazelle and sometimes also a giraffe or elephant cub. The lion hunts by sneaking into the animal and then goes on the attack. Because the lion does not have much endurance, it does not hunt over long distances.


The lioness is sexually mature from the age of two and goes pregnant for about 105 to 112 days. Every other year, the lioness gives birth to young. Just before birth, the lioness chooses a suitable place to give birth, which is both safe and close to the water. It is important that the lioness and her young are protected from any enemies. In addition, it is important for the lioness to be close to water as she can become very thirsty after giving birth. When the pups are born, they are completely blind and have a spotted coat. They are completely dependent on their mother’s milk for the first two months. At the age of 15 months, they can kill small animals, until then they accompany the mother to the dead prey.


The lion is a very social animal, which is a completely unique quality of the lion compared to the other cats in the cat family. Therefore, they are most often in flocks. The flocks are usually about 5 to 6 lionesses and their young of both sexes, as well as 1 to 2 male lions that mate with the lionesses. Herds of lions can reach as many as 30 lions. Once you are in a herd, the lions take great care of each other and even defend the lions that are in the herd. Not all lions are equally social, but most are. The non-social lions most often roam the savannah alone and hunt alone. These lions are usually male lions that have been thrown out of the herd. It is also easier for male lions to be accepted in a new herd than it is for a lioness.


The lion is a large mammal that is a member of the cat family. The lion is one of the four large cats in the genus Panthera. The lion is thus related to animals such as the tiger, the jaguar and the leopard. The lion lives mainly only on the savannah of Africa. Despite its nickname as “the king of the jungle”, the lion would always prefer the African savannah. Therefore, the lion has also been nicknamed “the king of beasts” instead of “jungle”. The lion is a very endangered animal and the largest populations can experience in Tanzania and South Africa.

Travelers’ questions about the lion

Why is the lion the king of beasts?

The lion is the top in the food chain. The lion thus has no natural enemies other than man. For man, the lion has symbolized power, courage and greatness for several 1000 years. It looks absolutely majestic as it strolls around the savannah. In Christianity, the lion acquires two symbolic values. One is like the “hero among the beasts”, from which it has been nicknamed the king of beasts . On the other hand, the lion is seen as devilish and wild. There is therefore prestige in hunting the lion, and devouring parts of the beast. Thus was the view that one saves the lion and gives it human abilities by eating it (the Gospel of Thomas):

“Blessed is the lion that eats man, so that the lion becomes a man! – But unfortunate is the man whom the lion eats, so that man becomes a lion! ”

Is the lion the most dangerous animal in Africa?

No – surprisingly, the lion is not.

The lion is in fifth place when it comes to the most dangerous animals in Africa. The most dangerous animal in Africa is actually the small, almost invisible mosquito, namely the Malaria mosquito. The malaria mosquito kills millions of people a year because the person who carries the disease malaria easily spreads the disease to people by his bite. Malaria is an extremely life-threatening poison. After the malaria mosquito, the hippopotamus is the most dangerous animal in Africa. The hippopotamus is incredibly sensitive to its young, and therefore becomes extremely aggressive if it feels threatened. After the hippopotamus comes buffaloes, then elephants and then finally in fifth place come lions.

Does the male lion kill his young?

Yes – it is true that the male lion sometimes kills its young.

Male lions do not even care a bit about their young, including their upbringing and learning to hunt. In addition, the lion can become so irritated and angry that he kills his own cubs or the cubs of others for that matter. However, it is a rare occurrence , but it can happen. In the lion’s family, it is the lioness who takes care of the protection and upbringing of her cubs.

Is it both he and female lions that have a mane?

No – only the male lion has a mane.

The mane is incredibly important for the male lion, as it makes him seem more intimidating to any enemies . The mane of the lion varies greatly in color throughout the life of the lion. The color depends on the lion’s age, genetics and hormones. The color can vary from blonde, to red and finally black. In this way you can determine the age of the lion based on its mane – the darker the mane, the older the lion. The female lion is deeply fascinated by the male’s mane, and tends to prefer male lions with a dense and dark mane. Moreover, only the male lion of all predators has a mane, which makes it something very special.

Facts about the lion