Lions generally do not like water and avoid swimming unless it is necessary. Lions only enter water when they are hunting prey or when they must cross the water to get from one point to another.
There are many river-dwelling predators in the wild, such as crocodiles. Lions avoid the water in order to stay away from these dangerous animals. Lions do have the ability to swim, and they will do so if there is flooding or if they need to move to a new living area. Lions live in the same areas for many years, and their territory size depends on food availability, hiding places for cubs and water sources.