Lions are one of the main attractions of the game reserves in Kenya and are found in all the main ones. Lion spend most of the day lying under bushes or in other attractive places and when you see a pride stretched out in the sun like this, they seem incredibly docile.
It is possible to drive up very close to them in a vehicle – they either don’t sense humans or realise that humans in vehicles are not a threat. Whatever the case, don’t be tempted to get out of a vehicle at any time in the vicinity of a lion. Loud noises and sudden movement also disturb them. They’re at their most active for around four hours in the late afternoon, then spend the rest of the time laying around.
Lion generally hunt in groups, with the males driving the prey towards the concealed females who do most of the actual killing. Although they cooperate well together, lions are not the most efficient hunters – as many as four out of five attacks will be unsuccessful. Their reputation as human-eaters is largely undeserved as in most circumstances they will flee on seeing a human. However, once they have the taste or human flesh, and realise how easy it is to make a meal of one, lions can become habitual killers of people. This mostly occurs among the old lions which no longer have the agility to bring down more fleet-footed animals.
Lion are territorial beasts and a pride of one to three males and accompanying females (up to 15) and young will defend an area of anything from 20 to 400 sq km, depending on the type of country and the amount of game food available.
Lion cubs are born in litters averaging two or three. They become sexually mature by one and a half years and males are driven from the family group shortly after this. lions reach full maturity at around six years of age. Unguarded cubs are preyed on by hyena, leopard, python and hunting dogs.