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Updated by Vishal Subramanyan on Feb 27, 2016
Headline for Best Places to See Leopards in Africa
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Best Places to See Leopards in Africa

You've been on a safari many time before, but one cat has always eluded you - the elusive Leopard! You promised yourself that the next time you're there, you are going to score one. This list will help you - here are some safari destinations in Africa where this cat may not elude you.


Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

If there is one place you have to go to see leopards, Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa is the place. Sabi Sands is a reserve bordering Kruger National Park. It contains a large amount of private luxury lodges. The reason Sabi Sands is so good for leopoard sightings is the habituation of leopards. They are extremely used to vehicles, so you will have up close sightings of leopards hunting and mating. It also one of the very few places where you can see leopard cubs in the wild. In some of the lodges, leopard sightings are almost guaranteed on every game drive.

Other than leopards, Sabi Sands is a big 5 reserve, meaning if you stay at least 2 days, you are virtually confirmed to spot all the big 5. There have been reports of up to 13 different leopards in 4 days in Sabi Sands, and up to 8 individuals on one three hour game drive. The best lodges to see leopards and other wildlife are Mala Mala and Londolozi, though all lodges can give you very good leopard sightings. Pricing averages around $700-$1000 a night for the high end and best lodges. Rates are around $350-700$ a night for the less luxurious lodges.

#SouthAfrica #SabiSands


Tubu Tree Camp

Tubu Tree Camp

Tubu Tree Camp us part of Wilderness Safaris, a string of remote camps located in the pristine Okavango Delta in Botswana. The camp is a luxurious and very intimate one. \

Tubu Tree lies on Hunda Island, an area long known for leopard sightings. The guiding is very good and the guides can easily spot leopard spoor and tracks.The cats are very prevalent here due to a lack of lions and not much competition with other predators except hyenas. Mothers with cubs are also a big hit here. It is not uncommon to see leopards one every game drive.

Other than leopards, hyenas are common here along with general game. Lions in Tubu Tree are more hit and miss. There have been reports of up to eight leopard sightings in three days. The only downside is the expensive rates, going over 1,500$ a night in the high season.

#TubuTree #botswana

Image by Brian Fitzharris


South Luangwa National Park, ZAmbia

South Luangwa National Park, ZAmbia

South Luangwa National Park is Zambia's flagship park and one of the best places to see the elusive leopard in the wild. Leopards, are most frequently stooped here on the park's famous night drives. The night drives in South Luangwa often let you see tons of these nocturnal predators.

You can have very relaxed leopard sightings around the Mfuwe gate, where the animals are very habituated to people. Nsefu Sector lso has really great leopard sightings, as most of the cub sightings occur here. Chindeni Camp in the southern part of the park has really succesful leopard sightings on night drives, the record being seven spotted on one night drive there. South Luangwa has a shocking density of one leopard every square mile, double the density than the world-famous Kruger National Park.

Other than leopards, South Luangwa has a shocking density of lions, particularly around the Lion Camp/Kaingo Camp area. That is where the famous Hollywood Pride was filmed. The park also has a high population of the endangered African wild dog. Sightings are common from Late Sep to early May when they stop denning and start travelling around the park. South Luangwa is a fairly expensive park, with lodges inside the gate's price typically being $600-$1000. Lodges outside the gate are cheaper, around $350-$550 a night.

#SouthLuangwa #Zambia


Khwai Concession, Botswana

Khwai Concession, Botswana

The Khwai Concession is a concession bordering the world famous Moremi Game Reserve. The area has long been known for a large amount of leopard sightings, and they are often spotted on every game drive.

One huge thing in this area is the abundance of small leopard cubs. Nothing is cuter than the, and Khwai is perhaps the best place to spot these tiny cubs. The main reason of the abundance of leopards and heir cubs in this area is the lack of lions, which sometimes kill leopard cubs.

Other wildlife highlights in this area are a huge number of wild dogs and their pups. Wild dogs are spotted almost every day here. The reason for the abundance of the dogs and their pups is also because of the small population of lions, which often kill dogs and their pups. Elephants are also abundant in Khwai and cheetahs are fairly common sightings. Trips to Khwai are typically combined with the amazing Moremi Game Reserve and the famous Savuti region of Chobe National Park.

#Khwai #Botswana

Photo taken by Mike Cilliers.


Mashatu Reserve, Botswana

Mashatu Reserve, Botswana

The Mashatu Reserve is a reserve located in the Tuli Block of southeast Botswana. The area is known for a large population of leopards that are frequently spotted. Like Sabi Sands, the main reason why leopard sightings are so good in Mashatu is the fact that the animals are extremely habituated to the vehicles. In Mashatu, you can get as close as five feet and the leopards are absolutely unfazed by your presence, leading to excellent and up-close photography opportunities.

Other than leopards, Mashatu has a ton of elephants. There are elephants pretty much everywhere, drinking water and grazing. You can also see several elephant calves playing. The abundance of elephants is the reason Mashatu is called, Land Of The Giants. Mashatu also has several cheetah and lion in the area, wild dogs also come in to the area occasionally. There have been reports of ten different leopard sightings(6 different individuals) in five nights.

#Botswana #Mashatu

Photo taken by Ryan Kilpatrick