Leopard in a tree, Africa
Africa

Top 6 best places to see leopards in Africa

12/04/2021

Leopard in a tree, Africa

© Jeff&Wendy

Given that leopards are found in a wider variety of habitats than any other big cat, you’d think finding leopards should be easy. It’s not. They are often the most elusive of the big cats. So, where do you go if you want to see leopards in the wild in Africa?

Here are our top six best places to see leopards in Africa, places where you are almost guaranteed to find them.

  • Sabi Sand Game Reserve in Kruger, South AfricaMalaMala is one of the best camps with the Sabi Sand area and known to be one of the best places to see and photograph leopards. You can even see them at night since, being a private reserve, night drives are permitted here. MalaMala is not a cheap option, but it offers incredible wildlife and big cat experiences.

    Leopard at MalaMala Camp in MalaMala Game Reserve, Sabi Sand, Kruger, South Africa
    Leopard at MalaMala Camp in MalaMala Game Reserve, Sabi Sand, Kruger, South Africa
    © MalaMala Camp
  • Masai Mara, KenyaGovernors’ Camp is in the heart of the Masai Mara (probably one of the most famous wildlife regions in the world thanks to the Big Cat Diary). You can see leopards here all year round and your chances are high. Between July and October, the annual migration is in the Masai Mara and it is teeming with wildebeest and zebra, so all the big cats, including leopards, love this time of year.
    Also, if you visit the Olare Motorogi Conservancy (adjacent to the Masai Mara – with no fences between them), you are in a private reserve that has been deemed to be the best places to see big cats. Consider staying at Porini Lion Camp or Kicheche Bush Camp here.

    Fig the leopard in Olare Motorogi Reserve, Masai Mara, Kenya
    Fig the leopard in Olare Motorogi Reserve, Masai Mara, Kenya
    © AGMarks
  • South Luangwa, Zambia – Kaingo Camp overlooks the Luangwa River deep in the South Luangwa National Park. With such diverse areas of forest and grass plains, Kaingo Camp claims that 95% of visitors will see the elusive leopard. Tracy (one of Tribes’ Africa travel specialists) enjoyed numerous sighting of leopards on her trip and this is not uncommon.

    Leopard in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
    Leopard in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
    © TEdwards
  • Namunyak Conservancy near the Mathews Range, KenyaSarara 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. In addition to this, it’s just one of the most special camps in Kenya in our view. Most people have never heard of Namunyak Conservancy and, in many ways, we’d like to keep it that way but all visits help conservation here so it’s an important place that needs support.

    Leopard at Sarara Camp in Namunyak Conservancy near the Mathews Range, northern Kenya
    Leopard at Sarara Camp in Namunyak Conservancy near the Mathews Range, northern Kenya
    © Sarara Camp
  • Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta, BotswanaCamp Xakanaxa is one of the great camps you can find in Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana‘s Okavango Delta. Moremi is another great place to see leopards, and indeed some of the camps in the wider area of the Okavango are always a good bet.

    Young leopard, Botswana, Africa
    Young leopard, Botswana, Africa
    © TEdwards
  • Okonjima Nature Reserve, Namibia – This is the home of the AfriCat Foundation and the main focus of activities here is finding leopards. Many leopards here are radio-collared for their protection within the 200km2 reserve. We’d recommend at least a two-night stay in one of this central highlands nature reserve’s camps such as Okonjima Bush Camp.

    Leopard at Okonjima, Namibia
    Leopard at Okonjima, Namibia
    © PBay,Shutterstock

Obviously, these suggestions are just a few of the places where you could find leopards in the wild, but there are plenty more.
Take a look at our Big Cat Safaris Guide to Leopards to read more about finding this amazing cat in Africa and India (note: to access this guide you will need to add your email address).

Amanda-Botswana-May-2012
Amanda Marks - Author

Amanda Marks is a founder and director of Tribes Travel. She believes travel opens hearts and minds.

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