The lion (Panthera leo) is indisputably the king of the jungle. They are apex predators and their image is often used as a reflection of power, dominance and nobility. There is nothing more impressive than a prime adult male with a fully-grown mane appearing out of the bush, and no one ever forgets the feeling of awe, and perhaps fear, when hearing a lion roar in the veld at night. South Africa offers some of the best opportunities to view lions in their natural habitat.

Lions are territorial and it is the only cat species that lives in social groups (prides) of as many as 30 animals or more. Territorial males usually form coalitions of two or more and defend a number of prides. Conventionally lionesses are the hunters, the males being passive onlookers. 


HESC maintains a strict policy of no contact or interaction with animals kept on the property. Our policy is aligned with international trends based on animal ethics and welfare and is aimed at ensuring the safety and health of both animals and visitors. Our policy further endorses the right of animals to live a life without fear, which is often the consequence of close contact with humans with whom they are not acquainted. We avoid human-imprinting, whereby the animals will identify more with humans than with their own species and cause them to become problem animals once released.