Despite being spread throughout East and Southern Africa, leopards are by far the most elusive of the big cats. These stunning creatures are most active starting in the evening and tend to favor rocky landscapes with dense bush. This, and their solitary nature, make them a challenge to spot and the most difficult of the Big Five to check off your list. While there is a chance you will go your whole safari without seeing a leopard you might also see one every day! A few places known for their high concentration of leopard include the Sabi Sands and Kruger in South Africa, and South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. You can also see the Indian Leopard in certain parts of India, including Kanha and Pench National Parks in Madhya Pradesh and at one of our favorite properties in Rajasthan, Jawai Leopard Camp in Jaisalmer. If you want a truly once in a lifetime trip, then tracking Snow Leopards in Indian Himalayas might be right for you.
Leopards have the largest range of any of the big cats. Once found in Europe, Asia and throughout Africa, the leopard’s range and population have declined significantly in recent decades. Leopards have vanished from almost 50% of their historic range in Africa and more than 80% of their historic range in Eurasia. However, because leopards are so reclusive, despite evidence of their reduced habitat there is limited information on current leopard numbers. As a result, much leopard conservation work focuses on increasing our knowledge of leopard populations and movements. African Wildlife Foundation has projects in several countries including the Greater Kruger Leopard Conservation Science Project and the Limpopo Leopard Conservation Project. Panthera’s Snow Leopard Program is working in seven countries across Asia to protect Asia’s ‘Mountain Ghost.’
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