African lions live in plains or savanna habitat with a large prey base (mostly ungulates) and sufficient cover available. In these optimal habitats, lions are the second most abundant large predator, after spotted hyenas Crocuta crocuta. Lions can also live, with wider ranges, in most habitats except in tropical rainforests and in deserts. Lions can live in forested, shrubby, mountainous, and semi-desert habitats. They are capable of living at high altitudes. There is a lion population in the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia at 4,240 m.
Asiatic lions live in scrubland and teak forest in the small Gir Forest preserve of India. ("Asiatic Lion Information Center", 2001; Alden et al., 1998; Cat Specialist Group, 1996; Estes, 1993)