The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Leopard

Afrikaans name: Luiperd

Seeing a leopard is the ultimate sighting in a game reserve

Leopard photographed near Shingwedzi Camp

Photo © Steven Herbert

Panthera pardus

Interesting facts about Leopards

The Leopard is a member of the Big 5 that also includes Lion, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino.

A Leopard's coat varies in colour from a pale yellow to a darker brown or even greyish in some areas. The fur on the underside of the is a pale colour. Irrespective of the colour of the coat, the Leopard is marked with black rosettes.

Leopards are much smaller than Lions. Males can weigh up to 90 kg and females up to 60 kg. Leopards from different habitats show a remarkable difference in sizes.

Leopards may be found over a wide distribution in South Africa and Africa. They are able to adapt to a variety of habitats.

They are normally solitary and are predominantly active at night. They are very secretive and their colouration makes them very difficult to see.

Leopards tend to hunt smaller antelopes such as Impala. Normally they will drag their prey up a tree to protect it from other predators such as Lions and Hyenas.

Young Leopards remain with their mothers for up to 2 years.


Leopard spots close up

Photo © Steven Herbert

Leopard on the rocks

Photo © lienkie - Fotolia.com

Leopard with kill

Photo © lienkie - Fotolia.com

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 212

Wild Issue 36 - Author: - Published: 2016 - Page: 11

Wild Ways - 2nd Edition - Author: Peter Apps - Published: 2000 - Page: 72

Tracks and Tracking in Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2000 - Page: 84

The Mammal Guide of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 2011 - Page: 112

South African Animals in the Wild - Author: Anthony Bannister - Published: 1985 - Page: 74

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 62

Signs of the Wild - 3rd Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1986 - Page: 101

Signs of the Wild - 5th Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1996 - Page: 96

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southe - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Published: 1991 - Page: 417

Questions and Answers - Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 4

Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 1987 - Page: 49

Mammals of the Kruger and other National Parks - Author: The National Parks Board - Published: 1980 - Page: 22

Land Mammals of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Reay HN Smithers - Published: 1986 - Page: 100

Kruger National Park Questions and Answers - Author: P.F. Fourie - Published: 1987 - Page: 241

Kruger National Park, Visitors Map 1996 - Author: - Published: 1996 - Page: 3

Hit the Road - 2nd Edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2018 - Page: 147

Game Ranger in your Backpack - Author: Megan Emmett and Sean Pattrick - Published: 2013 - Page: 18

First Field Guide to Animal Tracks of Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2003 - Page: 37

Field Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar et al. - Published: 1987 - Page: 90

Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 2001 - Page: 160

Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1997 - Page: 274

Country Life - Issue 280 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 74

Chris and Tilde Stuarts Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 1st Edit - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1988 - Page: 160

Caravan & Outdoor Life - Issue 697 - Author: - Published: 2020 - Page: 58

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 33

Africas Big Cats and Other Carnivores - Author: Nigel Dennis - Published: 2001 - Page: 24

An Introduction to the Larger Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Joanna Dalton - Published: 1987 - Page: 138

A Field Guide to the Tracks & Signs of Southern and East African Wildlife - 3rd - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 2000 - Page: 19

African Wildlife - A photographic safari - Author: Nigel and Wendy Dennis - Published: 1999 - Page: 22


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List of South African Mammals

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