Leopards on Safari
Even though reasonably common and widespread, the leopard is quite a rarely seen species – so seeing leopard on safari is a great privilege and very memorable. Often, if the leopard is relaxed, one can spend quality time at a sighting, observing their characteristics.
They are successful hunters, mainly due to their incredible camouflage, and their ability and strength to move carcasses high into trees. They also have a broad diet (anything from insects and mice, to large antelope), and adapt well to a variety of habitats.
Generally solitary (or in mating pairs), leopards are elusive predators, and are largely nocturnal. A leopard will have one to two cubs in a litter.
Leopard cubs are born blind and are completely dependant on their mothers. Their eyes begin to open after about ten days and for the first few months their eyes are bright blue. Even though able to fend for themselves at about a year old, Leopard cubs will stay with their mothers for about 2 years, mastering the ability to hunt and to then survive on their own
They are very agile, and can run at speeds of up to 58 kms per hour. They can leap over 6 metres and can jump up to 3 metres!
Leopards have a large distribution area, and you can see them in popular safari destinations such as South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania.
We once hosted a lady who had been to Africa SIX times and had not been fortunate enough to see leopard, and thankfully on her 7th trip, she got to experience her lifelong dream of seeing not only one, but two separate leopards. Needless to say that she was in her element!
They are very special cats indeed.
Enjoy this short video of one of our leopard sightings at Seba camp, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.