We were Lucky to see this relaxed young male leopard (Sampson), that gave us the ultimate leopard sighting as he hoisted this Kudu calf into a Marula tree! Rugged ranger, Andrew, was quick to get this perfect shot!
Despite being the smallest of the big cats, the illusive leopard is on everyone’s wildlife wish list. These animals are spectacular with their unique rosette coat. They are generally solitary cats, unless they have young. The success of leopards as a species is due to their incredible adaptability in various habitats.
When at Madikwe Game Reserve, keep your eyes peeled for leopard, especially in the early morning and during the evening.
African leopards exhibit great variation in coat color, depending on location and habitat. Coat color varies from pale yellow to deep gold or tawny, and sometimes black, and is patterned with black rosette while the head, lower limbs and belly are spotted with solid black. Male leopards are larger, averaging 60 kg (130 lb) with 91 kg (201 lb) being the maximum weight attained by a male. Females weigh about 35 to 40 kg (77 to 88 lb) in average.
Leopards inhabiting the mountains of the Cape Provinces appear physically different from leopards further north. Their average weight may be only half that of the more northerly leopard.
African leopards inhabited a wide range of habitats within Africa from mountainous forests to grasslands and savannahs, excluding only extremely sandy desert.
Madikwe Game Reserve Facts
Park Area: +-75 000 hectares
Currency: South African Rand
Seasons: Good game –viewing is available all year as the park is a single unit conservation area (there is no migration). The rainy season is between October and April in the wet summer months. Winter months can provide pleasant game- viewing as animals concentrate around waterholes and vegetation thins out.
Popular attractions: Big 5, African Wild Dogs, family destination, romantic escapes, luxury lodges, honeymoon safaris. Leopards in Madikwe Game Reserve.
Nearby airports: Gaborone airport (28kms)/ O.R. Tambo International (369kms)/ Madikwe has an 1200 metre airstrip for use by private aircraft.
Nearest cities: Johannesburg, Pretoria, Rustenburg, Zeerust
By: Manon van der Veen | Pictures: Morukuru Family