It’s no secret that the Big 5 is one of South Africa’s ultimate trump cards when it comes to tourism. People
travel the world over to come and see this collection of wild animals. However, there is one secretive cat
who, more often than not, will leave guests wanting more, and that’s our gorgeous Leopards who call
Madikwe Game Reserve home.

A Leopard’s Cat-aracteristics. 

Being closely related to other big cats like lions, tigers and jaguars it goes without saying at these cats are
incredibly strong. Though the smallest in size standing only 60-70cm at the shoulder, pound for pound, they
are the strongest of the big cats. Able to carry a kill in their jaws up to three times their body weight while
scaling up a tree to stash their prize for safekeeping from scavengers and other predators. Incredibly agile,
leopards can clear leaps of up to 6m horizontally and 3m vertically. Spending most of their time in the
canopies, the king of the treetops, their beautiful coats double as camouflage as they blend in with the
fluttering leaves. Perhaps the cat with the most commanding presence, you won’t be able to pull your eyes
away from a leopard once you see one at Madikwe Game Reserve. Rather they’ll slink away into the
undergrowth and you’ll be left counting your lucky stars.

Lone Ranger

 Spending the majority of their lives in solitude, covering territories of up to 10-14km, leopards are not
exactly what you would call family orientated animals. Coming together only to breed, males and females
will interact for a brief period of a few weeks. Females will give birth to between 2 and 6 cubs that will stay
with her until they are about a year and a half to two years old and ready to fend for themselves. We’ve
been lucky enough at Madikwe Safari Lodge to have seen cubs in recent years, here’s hoping we see more

A female African leopard dragging its prey into a nearby tree at Madikwe Game Reserve
A female African leopard dragging its prey into a nearby tree at Madikwe Game Reserve

Spotting our spotted friend.

 Being powerful has its advantages but being so stockily built makes them the slowest of the big cats,
topping the speedometer at only 58kmph. While the other African cats such as lions come in at 80kmph
and the cheetah at 112kmph. Leopards are mostly solitary hunters and working slow and alone can be
extremely hard and energy-consuming work in the sun. Because of this, they play to their strengths, having
exceptional nocturnal vision leopards hunt at night to stalk their prey by starlight with the cover of darkness
acting in their favour.

The Best Place To See This Secret Agent Of The Big Five

The best opportunity you’ll have to see this spectacular cat at Madikwe Safari Lodge will be to make the most of the evening safaris, our guides are extraordinary trackers and will do their best to get you this rare sighting. However, even if you miss him you’ll have a gorgeous African sunset to toast a sundowner to in the bush, a moment we assure you’ll not soon forget. Madikwe Safari Lodge offers a unique, luxury experience of a world-class South African game reserve. Book your stay today!