Leopard searching for warmth



Leopards are not the only predators roaming this part of Africa. Cheetah, hyena, crocodiles, civet, nomadic lions, jackals and wild dogs can be in the private reserve too.

The African wild dog is one of the world’s most endangered mammals. Only 3500 to 4500 individual animals are to be found in the wild today, mainly in East and Southern Africa. A very small population compared to the 500.000 dogs that once roamed the entire continent. Wild dogs are very social animals and hunt together. They are opportunistic predators, usually hunting medium-sized ruminants such as impala’s and they can accelerate to a top speed of around 50 km/h in seconds.

Rosette patterns

The spot and rosette patterns of individual leopards are unique. A well-supported, owners-led campaign to spot, photograph and identify the leopard population has led to the identification, naming and logging of well over 20 different individual leopards on the reserve to date, with new leopards being detected regularly.

The project has contributed to the wildlife experience of the owners and led to a unique bond between owners and these predators as they can better understand their movements and behavior.

High leopard visibility

The reserve sets itself apart by a very high leopard visibility. Though naturally shy, many of the leopards dwelling on the reserve are very relaxed and go around unbothered, hunting, marking, feeding and resting. Early mornings and late afternoons are generally the best times to spot one of these magnificent predators.

A solitary leopard is very vulnerable when consuming its prey out in the open. While it is amazing to watch the leopard pursuing its prey, the true show lies in the leopard protecting its meal from other opportunistic predators after the hunt. That is why the leopard goes to the lengths of climbing trees with prey, which often doubles their own weight.