Can Lions Swim?

Lions can swim. Due to the nature of savannahs, lions need to be able to swim across small rivers or lakes. They can swim, but they don’t have to when it’s not needed. While they may be able to swim, they won’t jump into the water and start swimming just for fun.

Why Do Lions Swim?

Lions are known to swim when they come across their prey already on the other side of the savannah or in the process of crossing it. Preys have to escape from their predators, so they try to get as far away as possible–sometimes resulting in swimming. This would prompt the lion to either risk themselves swimming on the other side or retreat back to where they came from. Many times, lions choose to swim across the water.

Is It Risky for Lions to Swim?

Since they can’t swim well, lions take a lot of risks when swimming, especially in Africa’s rivers where there are many other predators below the surface that can take an interest in a lion. Animals like crocodiles and hippos are known for their attacks on lions.

It is also risky for a lion to cross a river when the current may be strong. Lions are not great swimmers, and they can easily get swept away by the river’s current if they aren’t careful.

Do Lions Hate the Water?

Some lions hate it, some don’t. A lion’s experience with water may depend on whether or not they hate the water. They may have had a terrible experience with water, or they are afraid because they haven’t encountered it yet.


Lions can swim, but that doesn’t mean that they have to. Lions consider swimming as a way to catch up with their prey, and it can be a risky move due to other animals in the water that could pose a threat. However, if they do swim across a body of water, they take extra precautions to keep themselves safe and avoid being attacked by other predators while in the water.