Leopard Safari


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Where to see leopard on safari


Widely considered to be the most elusive of big cats (despite being the smallest of the big cat species), leopards draw animal-lovers and photographers to Africa in droves. Leopards are part of the illustrious Big 5 group, known for their unusual ability to climb trees and swim. Safari-goers flock to numerous reserves on the continent in the hopes of catching sight of a dappled, golden coat, but as always with Africa, it’s about where rather than who. 
 

The best places to see leopards in... 

Okonjima Nature Reserve is a family-run 22,000ha private reserve that devotes the majority of its land to the AfriCat Foundation project. This project is dedicated to the rehabilitation of captive carnivores - particularly cheetah and leopard. The foundation allows and encourages cats to perfect their hunting skills with the hope of returning them to the wild. 
 
If it's leopards you're after, then heading to the Greater Kruger Area is the best option. While still wild, the leopards of Londolozi Private Game Reserve have become habituated to the antics of humans, translating to guaranteed sightings and photo opportunities. Located on the unfenced western fringes of the Kruger National Park, the scent of the wild bushveld and unrestrained beauty of the land is tangible as visitors make their way around Timbavati Game Reserve. Game drives will have guests hoping with baited breath that they will be lucky enough to spot the Big 5 and any of Timbavati’s rare white lions.
 
 
The Okavango Delta is a superb environment for leopard thanks to the abundance of game, water sources, and all-round ideal habitat. However, they are more easily spotted on the outskirts of the Delta in the likes of Moremi Game Reserve where extensive woodland is found and where they can hide unobserved from between the branches of numerous sausage trees.
 
While its claim to fame is undoubtedly The Great Wildebeest Migration, Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve is also revered for its big cat population. Meanwhile, in the central highlands of the country, Samburu National Reserve boasts all three resident big cat: cheetah, lion, and, of course, leopard. Another option is Lake Nakuru National Park on whose watery fringes leopard like to lurk. 
 
Across the border from Kenya’s Maasai Mara, the predator population of the park naturally spills over into the Serengeti National Park. The park boasts superb game-viewing all year round, a huge predator population, and varied birdlife.
 
If you follow the Zambezi downstream from Victoria Falls, you’ll reach one of Africa’s most pristine conservation areas: the Lower Zambezi National Park. It may not be Zambia’s biggest or most bio-diverse national park – but its untamed, unspoilt nature really makes it a worthwhile destination. Alongside elephant and buffalo, the likes of lion, leopard, and antelope prowl the park’s plains while the mighty fish eagle soar high above. 
 
Mana Pools National Park is one of the most remote reserves in Africa. If you are looking to get a real experience of untouched Africa, then this is the place for you. The park is a World Heritage Site, and home to a great diversity of wildlife. Elephants, buffalo, rhino and an array of plains game line the banks, meandering through the bush and past your camp at will.

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