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The Best Places to Spot Leopard in South Africa

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Megan Warrington

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Megan Warrington

Author: Megan Warrington - 2 June 2017

Last Update: 30 January 2024

Leopards are considered to be very secretive and elusive. This is ironical as of all the big cats, they are considered to be the most geographically widespread. Their elusiveness is contributed to by the fact that they are very shy animals. They are solitary living in well- defined territories. They mark their territories with urine and leave claw marks on trees to keep other leopards at bay.

Mainly, they are nocturnal and spend the day hidden on trees or in caves. If you a lucky enough, you may spot a leopard draped on tree trunks. You may also see them feasting on a kill. They are great climbers and carry their prey high up the trees. They do this to avoid being disturbed by other predators while feeding. They exhibit great beauty and elegance and are a must see while on safari in Southern Africa. Make sure to compare the costs of the safaris as well before you go leopard spotting!

Sabi Sands Game Reserve

 

The reserve is located adjacent to Kruger National Park and the two share an unfenced border. Leopards are the main attraction at the reserve. Wildlife enthusiasts, researchers, and photographers get a chance to view the big cats at a close range.

The Sabi leopards are somehow accustomed to vehicles and are thus not so elusive. They are not likely to hide at the sound of an approaching vehicle. They can be easily viewed, photographed or filmed.

Phinda Private Game Reserve

The Phinda Private Game Reserve is located in KwaZulu -Natal close to the Indian Ocean. The privately owned reserve is popular for its abundant wildlife and amazing vegetation. The grazers are numerous and there is enough prey for the big cats. Leopard sightings at the reserve are common.

Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

The park is considered a great habitat for leopards. It forms the South African portion of the renowned Kgalagadi Park. Many leopard sightings have been recorded here.

Shamwari Private Game Reserve

It is located 75 kilometers from Port Elizabeth. The Reserve has been recognized as the World’s leading safari and game reserve on many occasions. It has worn the Best Conservation Company awards numerous times.

It is home to the big five, leopards included. It also offers refuge to leopards and lions rescued from harsh places. The Born Free Foundation has two centers at Shamwari where rescued cats are kept.

Upon visiting the renowned parks and reserves in Southern Africa, you will have high chances of spotting a leopard.

Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve

It is the largest game reserve in Southern Cape. The park is home to four of the big five including the leopard. Many visitors tend to head north when seeking the elusive cat. However, you can easily trace a leopard in Southern Cape which is much close to the ocean and highly accessible.


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