Leopard | Botswana Wildlife Guide

Leopard amongst the Greenery. Okavango. Michael Poliza

Leopard [Panthera pardus]

Best places to see Leopards in Botswana

Seen through out various habitats in Botswana but best chances of spotting a leopard is in the world famous Moremi Game Reserve.

Observations

Many will be surprised to learn that Leopards are the most common cat in Africa. Despite this they are of the most elusive and a leopard sighting is always a highlight of a Botswana safari.

The classic Leopard image, and one of Africa's abiding sights, is that of an animal draped on a branch in a tall tree. Although Leopards do spend time in trees this image can be a little misleading as in many places where Leopards occur, such as the Central Kalahari, the trees are not suitable for climbing and the animals spend all the time of the ground.

Even in heavily wooded areas Leopards will spend the majority of their time on the ground. It is certainly true that they will pull their kills into trees whenever they can to keep them out of reach of other predators such as hyena and lions.

Leopard The Predator

Leopards rely on patience stealth and power to hunt. Personal observations have recorded a leopard crouching for close on an hour waiting for a group of Impala to get close enough to attack. Although they are great hunters the diet of a leopard often consists of smaller creatures such as birds and insects.

Leopards are the epitome of feline power so it is a little strange observing them feeding on insects and small reptiles and rodents. Leopards will also feed on rotting carrion when necessity dictates.

Colour Coordination

Leopard colouring shows some variation from area to area. in the drier areas of the Central Kalahari the coats are somewhat lighter than those of the leopards of the Okavango Delta. This probably stems from exposure to the sun and an evolutionary trait to adapt to the environment.

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