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Leopard
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Leopard

Leopards in Africa

The leopard is not uncommon. The most numerous of Africa’s big cats, it occurs in all major conservation areas and across most habitats. Nonetheless, its grace and elusiveness make it a unique safari drawcard.


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Quick facts about Leopard

Scientific name: Panthera pardus Habitat: Savanna, woodland, forest, mountains
IUCN status: Vulnerable Adult weight: 30–90kg

The leopard is a powerful and versatile predator that varies greatly in size and habitat. It uses stealth and camouflage to ambush prey at close quarters, typically taking small to medium-sized antelopes, though everything from birds to young giraffes may make the menu. Most active at night, leopards are agile climbers and unique among big cats in using trees as ‘larders’ for prey.

Key identification features include a long tail, usually curled at the white tip, and beautiful rosette patterning (unlike a cheetah’s solid spots). Males are around one-third larger than females, with a larger head and more jowly throat. Adults are largely solitary, though cubs may remain with their mothers for 18 months.


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Range countries worldwide

5,200m

Highest recorded altitude

108cm

Max. tail length

12–17 years

Average lifespan

Africa's top camps for seeing leopards

Based on 842 reports by our travellers since Mar 2018, the camps below have the best chances of sighting leopards. Simply follow the key below.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for leopard

% of travellers who saw leopard

Top 10 camps for leopard

% of travellers who saw leopard

Where to see leopards in Africa

Leopards are widespread but good at hiding. By day, you may spy one in a tree. At dawn and dusk, they become more active on the ground. Night drives can be productive.


Top tips for viewing leopards

Leopards occur everywhere from mountains to rainforests but are best seen in savannah and woodland habitats. Highly territorial, they often show up repeatedly in the same area.

Classic leopard country includes river loops with large trees and rocky kopjes surrounded by open bush. Even if invisible, a leopard’s presence is often betrayed by the alarm calls of prey, such as baboons, impala or even guinea-fowl. Be patient and you might get lucky.

Certain locations, such as Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, are famed for leopard sightings. But all major conservation areas, from the Kalahari to the Maasai Mara, offer a chance, especially where guides know the habitats and whereabouts of individual cats. Night drives increase the chances further. Listen out after dark for the distinctive deep territorial call, which resembles the rasp of a saw.

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Holiday ideas to see leopards

Based on our travellers experiences, these are the holidays which will give you the best chances of good leopard sightings


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Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari

19 days • 10 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Journey from South Africa’s cosmopolitan Cape Town to central Namibia’s Okonjima Nature Reserve during this self-driven safari. The route passes through a stunning variety of landscapes, offering access to this beautiful continent’s rich diversity.

US$3,400 - US$3,490 per person

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Pygmy Mouse Self-drive Safari

18 days • 10 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

A truly epic southern African self-drive safari adventure from Namibia’s mountains and deserts, along the lush Caprivi Strip to Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe staying at luxury lodges throughout.

US$4,900 - US$6,780 per person

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Brown Hyena Self-drive

14 days • 8 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

The perfect trip for those who want to mix the adventure and freedom of a self-drive with some of our favourite luxury camps in Namibia and a great mix of activities.

US$5,460 - US$6,160 per person

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Dune Lark Fly & Drive Safari

14 days • 8 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

A combination fly-in self-drive exploration of Namibia, with quick, easy and scenic flights in and out of Sossusvlei before a classic road trip adventure of the country’s rugged north.

US$4,970 - US$5,320 per person

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Wild Dog Safari

13 days • 5 locations
KASANE AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

An in-depth discovery of northern Botswana’s wilderness, from Chobe and the private Kwando Reserve to the Moremi and iconic Okavango Delta with a great variety of activities and wildlife.

US$9,180 - US$15,600 per person

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Marabou Stork Fly-in Safari

13 days • 5 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Four luxurious camps enable exploration of Tanzania’s north and southern regions. With a range of land and water-based activities available throughout, decidedly comfortable accommodation and applicable long-stay discounts, this adventurous safari is excellent value.

US$13,390 - US$18,440 per person

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Leopard Safari

13 days • 4 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO CAPE TOWN AIRPORT

Victoria Falls, Botswana and Cape Town – a classic southern African itinerary combining luxury, wilderness, safari and culture. We can't think of a better way to spend two weeks.

US$8,100 - US$11,060 per person

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Namaqua Chameleon Self-drive

12 days • 7 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

A classic 12-night self-drive adventure around the highlights of eastern and northern Namibia taking in Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Damaraland, Etosha and a final stop at Okonjima. Comfortable lodges and great value.

US$2,810 - US$3,140 per person

View all holidays to Africa

Our top destinations for leopards

Click below for detailed information about leopards in these countries, including our latest sightings data from the camps and lodges there.


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