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The One-Eyed Lion of Hwange National Park

Travel Insights

The One-Eyed Lion of Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park is home to a male lion whose name has captured the hearts and imaginations of all who have encountered him. Scar, named after the iconic Lion King character, is a remarkable resident of the park who has overcome adversity to become a symbol of strength and survival. Scar’s story is one of determination, dominance, and a touch of mystery that has left both tourists and rangers in awe of his presence.

The Origins of Scar

Scar, the male lion with a distinctively injured eye, was first seen by our guides in Hwange National Park around 2019. His name is a nod to the famous Disney villain, Scar, who sports a similar facial feature. Scar’s eye injury has raised questions among park rangers and enthusiasts alike, but it seems to have been a fierce battle with another male lion, causing a cataract to develop naturally. There is a growing belief that Scar may be blind in that eye due to the severity of the injury.

Scar’s Age and Arrival

Scar’s age was confirmed in 2023 to be around 10 years old. He first arrived in the Robins area of Hwange National Park, marked by a significant shift in the park’s dynamics, as he entered a territory that was once ruled by a dominant male lion named Vuzi. Scar’s ascent to power was swift and marked by territorial disputes that eventually led to Vuzi’s exile from the pride.

Vuzi’s Mysterious Disappearance

Around a year after Scar’s arrival and Vuzi’s ousting, a grim discovery was made. Vuzi was found dead, as his tracking collar had shown no movement for a while. The circumstances surrounding Vuzi’s demise remain unclear, leaving room for speculation. Some believe that Scar’s rise to dominance may have played a role in Vuzi’s ultimate fate, though no evidence exists to confirm this theory.

Scar’s Territory and Pride

Scar has established his territory primarily in the northern parts of Hwange National Park, with occasional sightings in central Hwange. Based on the areas he frequents, it appears unlikely that he has any connection to the legendary lion Cecil, who operated in the southern parts of the park. These two distinct territories make it improbable for Scar to have inherited or expanded upon Cecil’s territory.

Currently, Scar is a member of a pride of 14 lions, signifying his continued dominance and ability to maintain a stable social group. The pride includes lionesses and their cubs, further solidifying Scar’s role as a leader and protector.

Scar Lion Tribe - Hwange (1)
Scar Lion Tribe – Hwange (1)

Scar, the one-eyed lion of Hwange National Park, has captivated the hearts and minds of those who have been privileged to encounter him. His journey from an unknown newcomer to the dominant male of a thriving lion pride is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of wildlife in the African wilderness.

The average lifespan of a male lion in the wild is typically around 8 to 12 years, however, let’s hope that Scar continues to thrive in Hwange National Park and enjoys several more years of life in the wild.

JENMAN African Safaris provides a selection of Victoria Falls travel packages and Hwange National Park safaris, whether you prefer a private itinerary or wish to join a group tour. These are among Zimbabwe’s most sought-after travel destinations, along with Mana Pools, Matusadona, Matopos, and more. Contact one of our travel consultants to help you plan your next safari adventure.

Send Us Your Photos of Scar

Have you seen Scar on your Hwange safari, and captured this beautiful one-eyed lion in Hwange National Park? Please send your photos or videos to so that we can share them on our social media.

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