It's the question safari guides across Africa dread the most: 'Will we see a leopard? These alluring creatures are notoriously difficult to spot when you are on safari as they are both solitary and shy, however, it's not impossible. To help you in your search for leopard, we've put together a list of some of the best places to see them up close and personal in the wild.
1. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
South Luangwa National Park is not as widely-known as the likes of the Kruger and the Serengeti, but we think it offers some of the best game viewing on the continent. The park is particularly well known for its leopard sightings, which has earned it the nickname the "Valley of the Leopard". We can almost guarantee you'll see one whilst on safari here!
2. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
The Serengeti is home to the Great Migration of wildebeest, making it a popular safari destination with many people. However, a trip to this corner of Tanzania is also perfect to try and track down the mysterious and elusive leopard. Although leopards are solitary and secretive in their movements, making them tough to spot, the Seronera Valley is abundant with this predatory animal and if you look hard enough in the branches of yellow bark Acacia trees or Kigelia trees, you should be able to see and photograph these beautiful beasts.
3. Sabi Sands, South Africa
There is a very healthy population of leopard in the Greater Kruger area, and the good news is, many of these solitary and shy animals have become comfortable around safari vehicles. Particularly in Sabi Sand Reserve, Mala Mala, Timbavati and Londolozi, you have a very high chance of seeing leopard both during the day and night!
4. Masai Mara, Kenya
Even if you miss the great migration in the Masai Mara, your chances of seeing leopards in the Mara is very high, especially around the Mara and Talek rivers (where the bush is dense). We recommend staying in a private conservancy that allows for night drives as this definitely will increase your chances of seeing these nocturnal animals. A close second to the Mara for leopard sightings in Kenya is Amboseli National Park, which offers the scenic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro and excellent wildlife viewing.
5. Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
The Moremi Game Reserve is quite rightly regarded as one of the prime game viewing areas of the world. Comprising one third of the entire Okavango Delta and home to the legendary Chiefs Island, the reserve is an area of permanent water, nutritious floodplains and sheltering woodlands, it rumbles with year-round wildlife, ensuring the resident leopards are well fed. Look for them in the branches of the huge trees that line the river, or prowling for prey in the margins of the forest.
If you are interested in visiting any on the places mentioned in our blog then get in touch with us on 020 7843 3500 and we can start planning your dream safari adventure today.
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