Everyone who wants to go on a safari in Africa will want to see a leopard. In fact, safari guides are constantly pestered by this question! Leopards are famous for their stealth and camouflage and so, spotting a leopard is obviously exciting. Your safari tour will be etched in your memory forever when you spot leopards moving with muscular feline grace without any restriction in their natural environment. Many national parks and reserves in Africa boast of being natural habitats for leopards.
To actually see a leopard, it makes sense to visit a national park with the densest population of leopards. The Sabi Sands is a collection of private reserves on the western boundary of Kruger National Park. Among the various reserves, Londolozi is famous for decades for its leopard population. The reserve has various animals such as impalas, bushbuck, warthog piglets and monkeys which are ideal preys for leopards. The vegetation also makes it a favorite habitat for leopards. Moreover, the guides at Londolozi can take you off the road and take you on spotlight night tours to maximize your chances of seeing a leopard.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Leopard Cub in Kruger National Parkby mister-e
A large population of the Botswana wildlife can be found in concentrated numbers in the Okavango Delta. At the eastern part of Moremi, the shallow lagoons and grassy floodplains invites birds, monkeys, antelopes and rodents from their hidden spots. The tall forest tress and thick bushes provide the perfect hunting ground for the leopards. To spot a leopard, you should stay in a reserve that allows game drives instead of fun filled boat activities. You can even stay in one of the lodges near the reserve that take you through late night drives and off road routes.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Leopard in Okavango by cloudzilla
Seasoned adventure tourists won’t miss out visiting Madikwe Game Reserve near the Botswana border. This reserve is gaining popularity as it is much easier to spot Wild Dog and all of the Big Five. Tourists are happy to spot leopards in this reserve as they relax on their private deck to watch leopards coming to drink water.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Leopard in Botswana by s9-4pr
The South Luangwa National Park in Zambia is popular as the best national park with the greatest number of leopards. The rich plains along the Luangwa River are a welcoming ground for various animals. The predators such as lions and leopards are found in higher concentrations due to the favorable habitat. However, it is not the best accessible park for safari rides. If you are willing to take some risk and forgo the pleasures of organized safari rides, you can see diversified wildlife in the late dry season. The specialty of this park is the walking safari and don’t forget to take the night drives.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Leopard by ShaunMetcalfe
While Kenya safari reserves are popular for sightseeing wildebeest migration, the Samburu and Masai Mara reserves are well known for spotting tigers. You have to take the off beaten path, but you will surely be rewarded. Aside from leopards, you will also be able to watch other big cats like cheetah, lion and even hyenas in this Kenyan reserve.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Leopard in Masai Mara by flametree