5 facts about African Leopards you never knew
Five facts about leopards
Leopards have remarkable night vision – they see seven times better than humans in the dark. This is a tremendous advantage when hunting at night.
The leopard is Africa’s most widely distributed cat and has a remarkable ability to adapt to different habitats. Leopards can be found in deserts, coastlines, equatorial rainforests and even mountains ranges. As human development continues to encroach on wildlife habitats, leopards have even been discovered living secretly on the outskirts of large cities.
Leopards are not picky eaters! They have an extremely diverse range of prey and can adapt their hunting based on local availability. In the Savute area of Botswana leopards have even been observed (inexpertly) hunting large catfish in shallow water, as seen in this BBC Earth video
Although research has shown that leopards spend most of their time on the ground, leopards are excellent climbers and use trees to escape from more powerful predators such as hyenas and lions. They also use trees as a place to store their kills and keep them out of reach of pesky scavengers.
Before you head out on safari you will definitely want to know how to tell the difference between a leopard, cheetah and jaguar! Look closely at the spots and markings and you will notice how strikingly different these big cats really are. Leopards have rosette spots on the body and solid black spots on the legs, head and sides. Jaguars have a smaller spots inside the polygonal rosettes while cheetahs have two distinctive black facial stripes.
Where is the place to see a Leopard in the wild?
Now you know all about leopards, but where is the best place to see them? South Africa’s world renowned Sabi Sands Game Reserve is home to some of the best game viewing in Southern Africa. With a 70-year track record of responsible and respectful game management, the reserve boasts a high population density of leopards and their well-managed tourism practices have made the leopards remarkably relaxed around game viewing vehicles.
The importance of Leopard Conservation
The Cape leopard is one of the few predators at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat and its surrounding region in the Cederberg Mountains of South Africa. As local human populations have grown over the past several decades, so too have the number of encounters and conflicts between the rare Cape leopards, people, and their livestock. The Travel Corporation's not-for-profit organisation, The TreadRight Foundation, helps to fund The Cape Leopard Trust, which uses these funds to assist in the collaring, tracking and monitoring of the endangered and elusive Cape Leopard found in the Cederberg Area, with a goal of ensuring the long-term survival of leopard populations.
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