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We see these guys very often on all our Botswana luxury safaris and tracking them is very much part of the fun!

Behaviour: Move around during the day in game reserves, their nocturnal habits form near human habitation. Escape from the heat in tree’s and rocks. It is impossible to keep leopards from moving freely through game fences. Leopards are known to be good swimmers and will take to water if the situation calls for it

Males are completely solitary unless they’re matting – females are the same unless they have cubs or matting. Male territories overlap the females and both males and females mark by urine, faeces, clawing and calling

Diet: Leopards generally charge from within 10m – they have an omnivorous diet and can survive anywhere, they also eat more predators than any other carnivore, especially jackal’s and dogs. They disembowel and cover the stomach contents with soil and vegetation and pluck fur and feathers from their prey before eating on the softer parts and can carry prey as much as 50kg’s up trees. They eat about 2kg’s of meat per sitting. Eat carrion and drink readily

Breeding: Male detects if the female is in oestrus by sniffing her urine – they stay together for about a week and mate very often

Gestation is about 3 months. Cubs are born altricial and only open their eyes after about 6 weeks. Their mother moves them every 2 days. The cubs eat solids after about 6 weeks and can hunt after about 7 months. Families generally stay together for about 2 years and even after that meetings are friendly

Mass: male=60kg          female=30kg

Info: Leopards are part of the family – Felidae. They have a digigrade foot structure, retractile claws (cheetah is the only true cat that can’t retract its claws) & round heads. Cats have superior binocular, colour vision which adapt to the darkness quickly, they also have sharp papillae on their tongue & carnassial teeth. Their life expectancy in the wild is around 21 years

Warnings: Leopards are potentially dangerous when on foot as they charge from within 10m. If you see a leopard run into the bushes in front of you and crouch down, get out of there

  • Crouching & flattening of ears
  • Head held up & ears pointing forward
  • Teeth-baring & snarling
  • A fixed stare
  • Head lowering & standing broadside
  • Taking a few quick steps towards you

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