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Updated by Vishal Subramanyan on Mar 19, 2016
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Best Places to see Big Cats in Africa

Big cats like lion, leopard, and cheetah have always enchanted humans. Here are the best places to spot big cats in Africa.

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Duba Plains Camp

Duba Plains Camp

Though lions are not common everywhere in the Botswana, they are more than common in the Duba Plains Camp. It is a camp on an island in the heart of the delta, and there are tons of lion prides in the area. The lions have been accustomed to hunting buffalo here, and even better, they hunt it during the day. People have seen several buffalo hunts on a single game drive. There are several large prides with cubs in the area along with coalitions of magnificent males. There us virtually no competition for the lions, so the population keeps on growing. The animals are very habituated to the vehicles, meaning you can watch the prides, cubs, and hunts from a distance of a few meters.

You will spend pretty much all your time in this camp watching lions, and you are pretty much confirmed to spot lions on every game drive. This camp is considered by most to be the best camp in Botswana to spot lions. It is also considered by many to be the best place in the world to spot lions on safari.Unfortunately, due to the large number of lions, other predator sightings are slim.

5

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.

3

Ndutu, Serengeti, Tanzania

Ndutu, Serengeti, Tanzania

Ndutu area located in southern Tanzania is a wildlife mecca in the months of Dec-April. Almost all the wildebeest are there and they are calving. Other predators are also coming to give birth, which attracts predators. Leopards, lions, and even the occasional wild dog come for the feast. But the predator that is in true abundance in the Ndutu area during this time is the cheetah.

Every year from Dec-April the Ndutu area of Serengeti becomes a cheetah mecca. They come to feed on the wildebeest and their calves, and they come in high number. There are an abundance of females, cubs, and coalitions of males that come to this bounty. People have reported cheetah sightings and hunts on every game drive in Ndutu. They have reported 20 individuals in 7 days and 23 in less than 6 days.Cheetahs have been known to jump on the roof of cars and sometimes stick their head in the vehicle. Ndutu is considered by many to hold the crown of best cheetah viewing on the planet. It should be noted that only Dec-April you will have such great activity. You may spot them in the dry season, but the sightings will not be as common.

Other than cheetahs, Ndutu contains a good number of lions. Though the lion density may not be as high as most other areas in the Serengeti, lions can still be viewed daily, often times hunting and killing wildebeest. Leopard are also very common in Ndutu, and there have been several sightings of leopard and their young. When the wildebeest and zebra come to calve in Ndutu, it is a truly amazing spectacle, with a sea of wildebeest bodies.

1

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

2

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.