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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 1446 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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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$9,980 - US$18,060 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$14,460 - US$22,100 per person

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Black-faced Impala Guided Safari

13 days • 6 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

A unique mix of luxury and adventure in our original, and perhaps most varied, destination on a privately guided Namibian overland safari. Perfect for families, friends or couples travelling together.

US$7,390 - US$9,300 per person

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Porcupine Safari

11 days • 4 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Visit dramatically contrasting landscapes boasting a variety of species during this exploration of Botswana’s top-safari destinations. A combination of national parks and private reserves allows for a range of activities.

US$7,750 - US$14,040 per person

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Puku Safari

11 days • 3 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LIVINGSTONE AIRPORT

Discover South Luangwa’s prolific wildlife before exploring the wildly remote pans of Liuwa Plain National Park and relaxing in one of the Livingstone area’s most romantic and exclusive hideaways. A safari of luxury, style and impressive diversity.

US$12,230 - US$17,560 per person

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Duiker Safari

10 days • 3 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Three luxurious bushcamps in stunning riverside locations, split between the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks, offer a wide variety of expert-guided safari activities in stunning game-rich environments.

US$7,460 - US$9,540 per person

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Crawshay's Zebra Safari

10 days • 4 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

This superb safari combines two of Zambia’s best national parks, the South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi. The camps are small and high quality with excellent safari guides.

US$9,110 - US$13,350 per person

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Oribi Safari

10 days • 4 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

This is a great safari for those looking to immerse themselves in true wilderness, with few additional frills yet considerable authentic comfort. The standard of guiding is consistently impressive and the walking safaris throughout are a real highlight.

US$11,580 - US$12,510 per person

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Elephant Safari

10 days • 3 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

This example of a mid-range Kenya safari and beach trip explores the wildlife of Tsavo West's volcanic plains and woodlands, Tsavo East's immense plains and the white-sand beaches and lush environment of Diani Beach.

US$4,540 - US$5,470 per person

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Steenbok Safari

9 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

A classic Botswana safari exploring the Moremi, Chobe National Park and Okavango Delta. Excellent wildlife viewing and a variety of activities from three of our favourite traditional tented camps.

US$6,130 - US$10,400 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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