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One of the most elusive of all the animals in the Kruger National Park, the leopard sighting is one to be treasured as not many guests have the opportunity to spot one. When on a Kruger Park safari, you could be one of the lucky park guests to experience a sighting, and this is what you need to know:

Facts about leopard

  • Leopards growl when angry, purr when happy and call each other by making a hoarse raspy cough.
  • These animals are excellent climbers, so good that they easily drag their kill up with them into the branches of trees. During the day they will also climb up a tree and sleep on a branch.
  • Leopard reach an amazing speed of 60km per hour. On top of that they are able to propel themselves 6 meters forward, through the air!
  • Male and female leopard only cross paths to mate. These are incredibly solitary animals and spend the best part of their live alone.  They mark their territory with urine, faeces and scratch marks on trees. 
  • The markings on a leopard are called “rosettes”, because they resemble the shape of a rose. They are typically light coloured with dark spots.
  • Leopards are not only found in Africa, but are also found in Central Asia, China and India.
  • Leopards have a varied diet. They eat antelope, rodents, monkey and even bugs or fish.  As long as it is fleshy, leopards will eat it.
  • Most of the leopard’s day is spent snoozing, either up a tree or in caves, or rock formations. Night time is when they venture out to hunt.
  • Leopard will kill smaller prey with a slap of its huge paw, but it really shows its hunting skill when hunting larger prey. Cautiously, with bent legs and head held low it approaches its potential meal.  When the leopard is within striking distance, it dashes forward with incredible speed and delivers the fatal bite to the throat.
  • There is no special time of the year when leopards give birth, they do this throughout the year. Mothers will usually have two or three cubs.  The cubs will stay with their mother until about the age of two.  By that time the mother has taught them to hunt and fend for themselves.
  • Before feeding on its prey, a leopard generally licks the fur off, usually starting at the thighs or chest.
  • Leopards are incredible adaptable animals and are as at home in the bush as they are in the semi desert.
  • A leopard’s claws are retractable.
  • To aid the leopards balance while making sharp turns at high speed, they have exceptionally long tails. About the same length as its body.
  • In the wild a leopard can live up to 15 years, longer if it is in a zoo.
  • Unlike most cats, leopards don’t mind getting their feet wet and hunt fish in the water.
  • Leopard are an endangered species and it does not help their plight when in some parts of the world they are hunted for their body parts, bones and whiskers, as it is believed by some to cure certain human illnesses.
  • Although leopards can easily overpower and kill a human, we are not their choice of prey. If a leopard does however attack a human, it is usually a sick, old or weak cat.

By embarking on a Kruger Park safari, you could spot a leopard. Book your safari with Wanyama and experience the best of the Kruger National Park.


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