The one-eyed lion of Hwange National Park • Scar

by MMC
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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 character from The Lion King, 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 tourists and rangers alike in awe of his presence.

The origins of the scar

Scarthe male lion with a distinctly injured eye, was first seen by our guides at Hwange National Park circa 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, but it appears to have been a fierce battle with another male lion, causing a cataract to naturally develop. There is a growing belief that Scar may be blind in that eye due to the severity of the injury.

Age and arrival of Scar

Scar’s age was confirmed in 2023 to be around 10 years old. He first arrived in the Robins region of Hwange National Park, marked by a significant change in the dynamics of the park, as he entered territory that was once ruled by a dominant male lion named Vuzi. Scar’s rise to power was rapid and marked by territorial conflicts that ultimately led to Vuzi’s exile from the Pride.

The mysterious disappearance of Vuzi

About a year after Scar’s arrival and Vuzi’s ouster, a dark discovery was made. Vuzi was found dead, his tracking collar having shown no movement in a while. The circumstances surrounding Vuzi’s disappearance remain unclear, leaving room for speculation. Some believe that Scar’s rise to power may have played a role in Vuzi’s ultimate fate, although no evidence exists to support this theory.

Scar’s Territory and Pride

Scar has established its territory mainly in the northern parts of Hwange National Park, with occasional sightings in central Hwange. Given the areas it frequents, it seems unlikely that it has any connection to the legendary lion Cecil, who operated in the southern parts of the park. These two distinct territories make it unlikely that Scar inherited or expanded Cecil’s territory.

Currently, Scar is part 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, reinforcing Scar’s role as 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 had the privilege of meeting him. His journey from unknown newcomer to dominant male of a thriving pride of lions 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 usually around 8 to 12 years. Let’s hope, however, that Scar continues to thrive in Hwange National Park and enjoys many more years of life in the wild.

JENMAN African Safaris offers a selection of Victoria Falls Tour Packages And Hwange National Park Safaris, whether you prefer a private itinerary or want to join a group tour. These are among the most sought after travel destinations in Zimbabwe, along with Mana Pools, Matusadona, Matopos and many more. Contact one of our travel advisors to help you plan your next safari adventure.

Send us your photos of Scar

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

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