What if you want to see leopards in the wild?
Where do you go, and where are the best places to find them?
Leopards are supposedly the most common of the big cats, predominantly nocturnal hunters allowing them to get very close to their prey before they pounce. Leopards are the most elusive cats and can be very hard to spot in the wild. Being the smallest of the big cats, their low centre of gravity allows them to climb well. Along with powerful jaws they have the agility and strength to haul their prey into a nearby tree out of reach from hyenas, lions and other carnivores.
There is however a few top spots where you are almost guaranteed to find them.
- Sabi Sand Game Reserve in Kruger, South Africa – Mala Mala is one of the best camps with the Sabi Sand area. The lodges are all built on the western side of the Sand River. In the week starting the 2nd March, there were 9 leopard sightings within the Mala Mala private game reserve.
- Masai Mara, Kenya – Governors’ Camp is in the heart of the Masai Mara (probably one of the most famous wildlife regions in the world). Between July and October the Masai Mara is teeming with wildebeest, zebra and all of the big cats, including leopards.
- South Luangwa, Zambia (everywhere, but perhaps especially around Kaingo Camp) – The Kaingo Camp overlooks the Luangwa River deep in the South Luangwa National Park. With such diverse areas of forest and grass plains, Kainago Camp claims that 95% of visitors will see the elusive leopard. Tracy (one of the Africa travel co-coordinators), recently stayed at Kaingo and enjoyed numerous sighting of leopards.
- Mathews Range, Laikipia, Kenya – Sarara Camp seems to have firmly established itself as one of the ‘hot spots’ for quality leopard viewing. Leopard sightings are currently running at around 80% for guests staying two to three nights. Two leopard ‘brothers’ have been seen regularly around the Singing Wells all season and with several other individual leopards regularly around Millenium Hill and near to the camp.
- Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta, Botswana – Khwai River Lodge overlooks the flood plains of the Moremi Game Reserve. The Moremi Game Reserve is the only region of Botswana where the big five can be found and so is another great place to see leopards.
This is just the Tribes teams “Top Five Places to Spot Leopards in Africa”. Feel free to comment and add your own top recommendations for the best places to go leopard spotting.