"The 1997 tour was the best tour I went on - even though it had the worst possible ending for me," said Howley, who also went on the 2001 Lions to Australia and played in two Tests.
"Understanding the Lions philosophy is important - we will train hard, play hard and then enjoy ourselves off the field . South Africa is a fantastic country to tour and it is important we integrate ourselves with the public.
"I have been very lucky in my career to be coached by many, many great coaches and it was fantastic being coached by Ian McGeechan on that 1997 tour.
"It was the first Lions tour of the professional era and is the most successful to date. The challenge for us all is to recreate the special feeling of that tour and be successful."