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Updated by Vishal Subramanyan on Sep 24, 2017
Headline for Best Places to See Big Cats in The World
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Best Places to See Big Cats in The World

Through human history, no animals have been more enchanting to the human eye than big cats. Here are some of the best places to spot big cats which include, tigers, leopards, mountain lions, lions, cheetah, jaguars, and even snow leopards.


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


Lions, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Lions, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Lions are one of the most enchanting and beautiful big cats on the planet. There graceful stride and large size make them one of the most sought-out animals on the planet. If you are going to one place to see these animals, it should be the Ruaha National Park in Tanzania.

The Ruaha National Park lies in the remote southern part of Tanzania. It has a great amount of lion sightings. It contains 10% of the worlds remaining lion population, making sightings very easy. There are lion prides here of up to 30+ lions, some of the largest prides on the planet. Many people in Ruaha spot lions on every game drive, and one person saw 52 different lions on one game drive.

Other highlights of Ruaha include its remoteness and diversity of predators. Ruaha lies in the remote Southern Circuit of Tanzania, meaning there are not very many visitors there. This means you often get many predator sightings all to yourself or with very little vehicles around you.

Ruaha also contains a rich diversity of predators other than lions. One of the main highlights of the area is the chance to see wild dogs. Ruaha contains one of the most viable dog populations in the world. Sightings are most common from late Sep to early May, when dogs are done denning. Ruaha has one of the highest if not highest leopard population in east Africa. People have reported 6 sightings in 3 days and 11 in 6. Sightings are very relaked and close-up. Ruaha also has a good population of cheetah. People have reported daily sightings including up-close views of hunts.


Cheetah, Ndutu, Tanzania

Cheetah, Ndutu, Tanzania

Ndutu is an area that lies in the short grass-plains of southern Serengeti. Every year from Dec-March, this area becomes Serengeti's wildlife hotpots, especially for the cheetah.

In December, the wildebeest herds arrive in Ndutu to calve. By February they are giving birth to lots of calves, which attracts ton of predators, including the cheetah.

Due to the abundance of prey, people have reported multiple sightings of cheetahs on every game drive in Ndutu at this time. There are several cubs and big males, and you can often see several wildebeest hunts and sometimes gazelle hunts.

Other wildlife highlights include a large population of lions and leopards. Along with that you also get to see wildebeest give birth to their calves, an amazing spectacle for a tourist and photographer.


Tigers, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

Tigers, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. It is known for a large density of tigers, which means you are almost guaranteed a tiger sightings if you stay two days. Tiger populations do fluctuate everywhere in India (including Bandhavgarh) but Bandhavgarh has remained the most consistent in tiger population and sightings.

Gypsies offer morning and evening game drives in Bandhavgarh. They are very frequently spotted, and some have seen tigers one every game drive. One report said that they had 53 tiger sightings in 3 weeks, meaning more than 1 was spotted one veery game drive. The best times to be there are April, May, and Early June when it is summer and there is less water. During this time there is less bush to obscure your view and the tigers and other animals will be coming to the last remaining water source.

Bandhavgarh has a wonderful diversity of wildlife other than tigers. It contains lots of other big predators including leopards, Indian wild dogs(dholes), and sloth bears, all of which are spotted frequently. It also has a large variety of birds and wildlife like Indian bison.


Mountain Lions, Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile

Mountain Lions, Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile

Torres Del Paine National Park is a vast national park in the Patagonia region of southern Chile. Torres Del Paine is known for its large snow-capped peaks and beautiful lakes, but along with that, it is the one place in the world where you can reliably sight mountain lions.

Torres Del Paine has a large population of mountain lions. As there are no other big predators here, mountain lions are the king of the domain. Torres Del Paine also has a large population of guanacos, Because of those factors, the population of mountain lions can grow with very little to no obstacles at all. People have reported up to 8 mountain lion sightings in five days. These sightings included lots of mountain lions hunting and them feeding on dead guanacos.

Torres Del Paine has lots of wildlife like foxes and guanacos. They also have some Andean Condors, one of South America's largest and most beautiful birds. But the main other highlight here is the beautiful mountains of the mountain ranges in Patagonia. There are large snow capped peaks and beautiful lakes, making for beautiful landscape photography.


Jaguars, Panatanal Brazil

Jaguars, Panatanal Brazil

The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland located in Brazil. It is a wildlife mecca, with large amounts of birds, capybara, caimans, tapirs etc. But the most noticeable and famous animal in the Pantanal wetlands has to be the jaguar.

The Panatanal is regarded as the only place in the world where you have a very reliable chance to spot the jaguar in it's natural environment. The Panatanal has a very large population of them, and they are often spotted on boat tours through the area. In the Porto Jofre area of the Panatanal, the area where jaguars are the most common, people spot them almost every day, and one person saw four jaguars in a single day.

Other wildlife highlights include giant otters, capybara, and the hyacinth macaw. Capybara are the worlds largest rodents, and giant otters are very good photography subjects. They are rather rare everywhere except Panatanal. The hyacinth macaw is an iconic bird in the Panatanal. They have very beautiful colors and are on everyone's list to see.


Snow leopards, Hemis National Park, India

Snow leopards, Hemis National Park, India

Yes the snow leopard. You thought it was impossible to spot, didn't you? Well think again. The Hemis National Park in Ladakh, India may give you chance to spot the snow leopard. Treks are possible through this park located in the Himalayas, and with luck on your side, you may spot the ghost cat.

Hemis National Park is located in the Himalayas and offers you a chance to spot snow leopard in the wild. There is a very large population of snow leopards here, along with a large population of common snow leopard prey. There are 9 in 200 square miles, which is very large for snow leopards. The best time to be in Hemis to spot snow leopards is in Feb and March. There has been a report of 8 different individual in 24 hours, a total of 4 sightings. Lots of the sightings last for hours at a time, and a few people were even fortunate enough to spot hunts.

Other than snow leopards, Hemis has lots of wolves and fox.