Preferred food of lions in the Kruger National Park

As with everything and everyone certain food is preferred over others. Lions are no exception which a recent study in the Kruger Park reveled.


As expected Impala is the main food source at 28%. Impala are also a known ‘buffer’ species in many reserves – buffer as they are not culled (removed from a reserve either by hunting or capture) and with their large numbers it is hoped that predators will hunt them rather than the less common or endanger species.

Second place on the preferred food list is shared equally by zebra and buffalo at 18%. Neither of these are easy pickings but supposedly the challenge is worth the effort because of the preys ample meat supply and the lion’s habit of living and hunting in prides.

Third on the list is Wildebeest at 16%. Wildebeest, especially when they have calves, are also formidable opponents and a mother will not hesitate to retaliate but with the lions perfected hunting strategies, are seldom a match.

Warthog at 9% making up 90% of the preferred diet for lions.

Other species falling prey to lions include giraffe and kudu (7%) with porcupine, steenbok, duiker and other small species making up 4%.

Summary of preferred species:
Impala 28%
Zebra 18%
Buffalo 18%
Wildebeest 16%
Warthog 9%

Nigel Anderson
Guide for African Insight

Reference: Wildcard Magazine 21 – 2012

About Andrew Anderson

Managing Director: African Insight - Travel Experiences That Make A Difference African Insight - Explorations Tourism Concessionaire - Somkhanda Game Reserve
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