She's The Boss - Mating Lions

Feb 3
Updated on
Jul 12

January 2022

If you have ever pondered upon the intricate details of lion mating rituals, then you have come to the right place. We are about to embark on an enlightening journey filled with fascinating facts and insights into the world of lion reproducing process.

You might be also wondering how do lions breed? They reproduce through a process called mating. Mating involves courtship behavior, copulation, and the subsequent birth of cubs. It's important to note that lions are social animals that live in groups known as pride. The pride structure, which often includes multiple related lionesses, a dominant male, and male cubs, contributes to the cooperative raising of the young. Breeding in lions is a natural and instinctive behaviour that ensures the continuation of their species. The survival of cubs depends on factors such as the availability of food, protection from predators, and the stability of the pride.

How do lions attract mates?

Do you know what is female lion called? Female lions are called lionesses. Lions are known for their majestic roar, but did you know that their mating behaviour is just as fascinating? When famale lions are in heat, they emit a distinct scent that attracts male lions generally. As a mating pair, lions will mate for several days, during which time the male will frequently mark the female with his scent. Once mating is complete, the female lion will give birth to a litter of newborn cubs several months later. The father lion also has a significant role to play in the upbringing of the cubs. While famale lions do most of the hunting, the father lion is responsible for protecting the pride and teaching the lion cubs valuable life skills, such as hunting and self-defense. Watching playful cubs interact with their father is a heart-warming sight, and it's an exciting experience to observe how these young cubs learn and grow under the watchful eye of their dad.

Whilst on a wildlife safari game drive in Luangwa National Park Zambia where most of lions live, we observed a rate sighting of lions mating process. We managed to capture this extraordinary occurrence on video so that we could share this once in a lifetime experience with you!

Did you know?

Female lions will start mating when they are 2 years old. Male wild lions will start mating when they are 3-4 years old, although it is unlikely that they will pass the prime of 6-7 years before dying.

How do lions show submission?

Male african lions will guard their several females against other male lions who try to get their female away from him or into submission while mating occurs. The larger, more powerful and dominant males are the one that will be chosen by the females since they are the one that will provide for them and their future cubs.

It is very unlikely that a male lion who is not in his prime years will get to mate with any female lions. The number of adult females that one male lion mate depends on the size of the territory that they control. A lion will have a territory that measures anywhere from 50 square kilometres to 200 square kilometres, equivalent to 15-50 miles in length.

When it comes time for mating, the male lion will often roar very loudly to let other males know his intentions. Check out the lion mating facts below...

How many times do lions mate?

Lions, the majestic kings of the jungle, are fascinating creatures to learn about.  Questions that often come to mind are how long do lions mate for and do male lions have multiple mates? When its mating time, a lion pair mates every 20–30 minutes, with up to 50 copulations per 24 hours. You would ask why do why do lions mate so many times ? The reason for this is the low fertility rate of lion breeding. Lion parents can mate up to 3000 times to have a cub. Besides that a female will not be in heat for longer than a week, which is why the male must mate with her right away. When she does go into heat, however, males from all around will know and compete for the chance to reproduce with her.

What lions do when they mate?

Mating between lions is an intense affair. A male lion behavior may stroke the female with his tongue on the shoulder, neck or back to initiate. When lions mate, the male mounts the female from behind. Female lions might be aggressive because of the hormones released while mating. After mating a female lion often rolls on her back, a behavior scientist don't have a good explanation for.

How long is a Lion pregnancy?

The gestation period can last anywhere from 110 to 180 days. When she is pregnant, female lions hunt and bring food back for the male as well. This is because, during this time, he must protect both her and their cubs from other lions who would like nothing better than to make an easy meal out of them.

Once they give birth, the female will often go off on her own to protect her cubs from being killed by other animals, including the male lion she mated with. They have no time to mate again until their young cubs are over 2 years old, at which time they will be driven off by the male as he wants to mate with other females and produce more offspring.

So, while the males may get all the mating benefits, this is not true. All the Females can and do enjoy many of them as well.

Why do Lions bite when mating?

One of the more interesting behaviours of lions is their tendency to bite when mating. While this may seem counterintuitive to some, it is actually a natural behaviour that helps ensure successful mating and reproduction. When a male lion bites a female lion during mating, it triggers ovulation, increasing the chances of conception. Additionally, the biting behaviour helps the male to maintain control and prevent injury during copulation. While it may seem aggressive, biting is just one of the many fascinating ways that lions navigate the complex world of mating and lions reproduction.

Do lions have mates for life?

In the world of lion mating, close up encounters reveal fascinating dynamics. While lions do not have mates for life, they form temporary bonds during the lion mating season. During this season, male and female lions venture out to hunt, providing sustenance not only for themselves but also for the growing young males and female cubs. These hunting lessons play a vital role in preparing the young male lions and females for their future roles within the pride and contribute to the survival of the entire lion community.

Are lionesses stronger than lions? Do Male Lions Hunt or Lionesses Hunt?

In the intricate social structure of lion pride, lionesses are often acknowledged for their agility and hunting prowess, taking charge of the majority of hunting responsibilities. They collaborate seamlessly, showcasing notable traits such as speed, agility, and effective teamwork during coordinated hunting endeavors.

Conversely, male lions, or lions, exhibit a different set of characteristics. They are typically larger and possess greater physical strength than lionesses. While they may not be as actively engaged in hunting activities, their primary roles revolve around defending the pride's territory and safeguarding the cubs. Their robustness is particularly vital for fending off potential threats and intruders, contributing to the overall protection and stability of the pride.

In essence, the dynamics within a lion pride involve a balance of strengths between lionesses and lions. While lionesses are renowned for their hunting skills, male lions bring a different dimension to the pride with their size and strength. Together, these complementary strengths ensure the survival and prosperity of the entire pride, highlighting the intricate interplay of roles within this fascinating social structure.

Would you like to experience a safari in Zambia and view lions in their natural habitat?

Zambia is the perfect destination for some of the world's leading lion researchers who are keen on learning more about the complex dynamics of the lion pride hierarchy and the lion and lioness relationship facts. The country boasts of an impressive population of wild lions, providing an ideal opportunity for researchers to observe these majestic mammals in their natural habitat. A fascinating aspect of lion research center in Zambia is finding out whether lions are indeed patriarchal, a topic that has been the subject of considerable debate in recent years. Visiting Zambia promises to be a rich and rewarding experience for lion researchers looking to deepen their understanding of the Lion King of the Jungle.

At Ntanda Ventures, we offer unforgettable safari experiences that provide a glimpse into the complex social dynamics of the African savannah, including the awe-inspiring sight of lion mating. Subscribe our Youtube channel for more videos of lion mating scenes. Zambia safaris are extremely popular, contact Ntanda Ventures an award-winning safari company to book your safari holiday today! or  #safari #wildlifesafari #africansafari #lioness #lions #wildlifephotography #zambiasafari #dolionshavemultiplemates #lionandlionessmating #lionsmatting #malelionseat #animalkingdom #lionmatingseason

Lion Conservation

Lion conservation in Zambia has become an increasingly important issue in recent years. With the rapid decrease in lion populations due to habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict, it is crucial that measures are put in place to protect this magnificent species. The Zambian government, along with various conservation organizations, has taken steps to address this issue by implementing strict anti-poaching laws, providing education to local communities on the importance of conservation, and developing sustainable tourism practices that benefit both lions and local communities. Despite these efforts, there is still much work to be done in order to ensure the long-term survival of the lion population in Zambia. It is important that we continue to support these conservation efforts through education and awareness, as well as through responsible eco-tourism practices. The future of lions in Zambia depends on our collective commitment to their conservation.


Zambian born and the founder of Ntanda, Kerry’s love of Zambia was nurtured from a young age where she spent many years as a child in the Luangwa Valley.

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