Leopards thrive in ecosystems with ambush landscapes, safety from lions, and good water sources. They are very elusive, often shy, and prefer nocturnal activity, all of which make them a challenge to observe on safari. Luckily, in some safari areas, individual leopards become habituated and are comfortable around safari vehicles. This provides the opportunity to witness a variety of behaviors such as courtship, mothers with cubs, and even hunting. Though quite rare, it is possible to see these magnificent cats in their recessive melanistic (black) coloring, also called black panthers.
The opportunity to drive off-road, night drive, and see leopards outside of dense vegetation also results in higher encounter rates. It is best to communicate with your travel planner during the safari planning process if leopard sightings are a priority for you.

Leopard Itineraries

Big Five of Southern Africa

From $7,995 per person Southern Africa is an incredibly diverse region with varying weather, landscapes, cultures, and wildlife. This itinerary covers three major highlights of Southern Africa: The Greater Kruger National Park, Victoria Falls and the Okavango Delta.

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Essential Diversity: River and Desert

From $14,750 per person This safari is designed for the safari connoisseur seeking rarity, exclusivity and luxury along with the full diversity of wildlife. The itinerary includes private guiding and vehicle at both safari camps, offering the ultimate in flexibility and maximizing the opportunities to see wildlife you want to see, while maintaining supreme comfort and luxury.

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Botswana Elephant Safari

From $8,125 per person This elephant-focused safari takes you to some of the best locations in all of Africa for seeing and interacting with elephants.

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Zambia Walking and Waterways Safari

From $8,395 per person Zambian safaris are distinguished by the vintage expedition-style adventure delivered under the care of exceptional guides in remote wilderness areas teeming with wildlife.

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Tanzania Frontier

From $11,395 per person This safari is the ultimate trip for those who truly want to get away from it all, exploring some of Tanzania's less-visited gems.

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Kenya Luxury For Less

From $9,995 per person This safari includes some of our favorite unique Kenyan accommodations and a huge variety of activities, all for an incredible discount- over 40% off of the high season rate.

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Kenya Family “Lion King” Safari

From $9,950 per person Kenya is the original safari country and still delivers the classic game viewing experience. This family safari is inspired by Disney's 2019 remake of its classic animated film, "The Lion King."

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Wild Kenya: Big Cats and Biodiversity in the Mara

From $3,995 per person Kenya is the original safari country and still delivers the classic game viewing experience. Featuring the Masai Mara Reserve, which is quite likely the most productive wildlife viewing area in all of Africa, this is a superb location for serious game viewing and photography.

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Ultimate Predators of Botswana

From $7,650 per person This safari includes our favorite private concession areas which have proven to provide exceptional opportunities to view Botswana's iconic predator species including lion, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog.

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Leopard Videos

Best Places to See Leopard on Safari

Leopard with cub in the Okavango Delta
Leopard with Cub in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.
Sabi Sand
The best leopard viewing is within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, adjacent to the Kruger National Park in South Africa. It boasts the highest density of leopards yet recorded in Africa based on a recent study by Panthera in partnership with Singita. In addition to the high density, the leopards are highly habituated, which provides opportunities for close-up viewing. It is common to see a leopard daily in this reserve, and depending on where you stay, you may see a number of different individuals in one day.
There are local areas within the Serengeti and Masai Mara that are known for frequent leopard sightings during daytime visits. Selecting a camp well located within these areas optimizes for the chance of leopard sightings while avoiding vehicle crowding.
Luangwa & the Lower Zambezi
Zambia’s South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks are other leopard hot spots. They are especially prevalent on night drives, but also frequently seen during the day. On Darcie’s visit to the Lower Zambezi in 2019, she had 16 leopard sightings in three days!
Northern Botswana
Botswana’s Okavango Delta is a prime ecosystem for leopard with a high density in the Khwai Community Concession adjacent to Moremi Game Reserve. For less vehicles per sighting, the private concession areas of the Okavango Delta offer good chances to encounter leopard along with the flexibility of night drives to explore during the more active hours. Because these elusive creatures are skilled at evading even skilled masters of the bush, having a team consisting of a guide paired with a tracker who can “read the road” increases your chances of encountering these animals. From the Okavango Delta, visitors can accompany masters at work as Bushmen trackers follow the leopard spoor. The tracking effort is exciting and rewarding in it’s own right and often results in finding one of these gorgeous cats. The Savute Channel just north of the Okavango Delta was made famous by the BBC documentary, Africa’s Fishing Leopards. While this area is still strong for leopards, the channel is in a cycle of drying out and game reserve regulations prevent night drives or off-road driving.

Something Extra

Namibia’s Africat Foundation based in the Okonjima Nature Reserve is a premier location to witness carnivores and other endangered species such as aardvark, brown hyena, cheetah, and leopard. The rescued animals live in large enclosures, many unable to return to the wild, and offer the chance to provide education and research opportunities that contribute to greater conservation efforts.


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