The Leopard

Vital Statistics

  • Shoulder height: Male – 65 cm (26 inches) Females – 60 cm (25 inches)

  • Body length (from nose to the tip of the tail): Male – 2 m (7 feet) Female – 1.8 m (6 feet)

  • Tail length: Male: -68 cm (27 inches) Female – 67 cm (27 inches)

  • Weight: Male – 60 kg (132 lbs.) Female – 55 kg (121 lbs.)

  • Maximum speed: Approximately 60 kilometers an hour (37 mph)

  • Killing technique: Strangulation and suffocation

  • Social grouping: Usually solitary, unless mother with cubs and sub-adults

  • Gestation period/pregnancy: 3 months

Social Grouping of the Leopard

Leopards are generally solitary animals that lead an arboreal lifestyle which means they live in trees. Males will only interact with females long enough to mate. Both male and female leopards maintain a specific territory and males tend to respect these boundaries. Females, on the other hand, have overlapping home ranges and both sexes mark their territory with scent marking, urine spraying, tree scratching as well as scat.

How do leopards hunt?

Leopards are carnivores and only consume meat. The prey that leopards prefer ranges in sizes from between 5 kg (11 lbs.) up to as much as 70 kg (150 lbs.). Even though leopards are opportunistic hunters, they are not averse to taking carrion if the opportunity arises. Baboons, monkeys, hares, and porcupines are also on the leopards’ menu.

Leopards will drink water when needed and as often as they can find water, but will also get enough moisture from the prey they consume.

The term “leopard crawl” is commonly used and it refers to the leopard’s master ability to stalk its prey. Leopards do prefer to hunt at night but have been recorded to take opportunistic prey if the opportunity is favorable. The leopard will stalk its prey to as close as possible before rushing into a swift powerful pounce.

They are masters at camouflage that aids in their survival and elusiveness! Leopards are also known to steal the prey of cheetah. The hunting success during day time is not as great as during the night and they only have about a 10% hunting success rate during the day.

Safeguarding their prey/kill

As previously mentioned, the leopard is altogether a powerful predator that leads an arboreal lifestyle. Even though the leopard is known to be the second-largest predator in Africa, their skills leave them vulnerable to bigger predators like the lion, and also animals that hunt and cooperate in packs, for example, the spotted hyena and the African wild dogs.

Nevertheless, they have adapted! After they have successfully killed their prey, they will drag the kill into the nearest tree for safekeeping and guard it against scavengers and opportunistic animals.
Leopards are skilled tree climbers and can hoist carcasses into the tree that can weigh its body weight.

It has great balance and sharp claws to climb trees. It simply drags the kill up the tree, grasping the carcasses in its powerful jaws. When the kill is safe, high up in the tree, it can feast on the flesh peacefully, sleep, and then wander off only to return once more to consume everything.

After the leopard has consumed quite a decent size prey, it does not have to hunt again for up to 3-4 days.

Reproduction of the Leopards

Female leopards become sexually mature at the age of 2 years. Males will activity seeks out female leopards that are ready to mate. Females will display behavior whereby she presents herself in a copulatory crouch to the male, or she will nuzzle him, roll on the ground and lift her tail in front of him. Mating is not often observed and if you ever encounter this unique sighting, you can count yourself lucky.

Mating is usually brief but frequent, lasting for only a few seconds, after which the male will bite the female’s ears and the female will respond aggressively, lashing out and even snarling or growl at him.

Gestation is 3 months, with 1-3 cubs being born in a concealed area, where they will be nursed for 6 weeks. After this, they can make short trips following mom around and will start to eat meat.

The leopards’ cubs are fully weaned at 3 months, but still won’t be able to look after themselves up until they are a year old. During this time, the mother will spend half of her day by herself, hunting and feeding, and the other half of the day with her cubs. Cubs grow accustomed to going for long periods without eating followed by gorging themselves when they do get food.

Leopard cubs and how they learn

As cubs start to become stronger and gain more confidence, they will start to venture out and play for long sessions that will eventually prepare them for hunting. During these play sessions, they will stalk each other or things, learn to pounce the tip of their mother’s tail or each other.

At 5 weeks old, they can catch small things like lizards, mice, or frogs. Before their first year, they will be able to make small kills like hares, etc. for themselves and will hunt with their mother until they are 2 years old. They will only reach full adult size within 3-4 years. At this stage, their mother will become aggressive towards them as her next estrous cycle approaches.

She will now start to drive them away so that the adult males wanting to mate with her won’t kill the young adults.

YES! We offer affordable Kruger National Park safaris

Our rates include the following:

  • Transfers from a pre-arranged pick-up location to Kruger National Park and back (this can be at your accommodation where you are staying, depending on the location). This includes Nelspruit | Kruger National Park | KMI Airport | Skukuza Airport | White River | Hazyview | Malelane | Komatipoort and Marloth Park

  • Full Day safari with a luxury open safari vehicle

  • An accredited & professional Field Guide doubling as the driver of the vehicle on the day of safari

  • A snack box per person consisting of various treats to munch on during the day of the safari

  • +- 8 Hours of sheer “entertainment” in the world-famous Kruger National Park (excludes travel time outside the park)

  • Assistance with Kruger National Park entrance/conservation fee payments, paperwork and permits

  • The use of high-quality, waterproof ponchos on-board the vehicle when needed

Please note:

Our area of operation covers Nelspruit and surrounding areas, White River | Malelane | Hazyview | Komatipoort | Marloth Park | Kruger National Park | KMI Airport | Skukuza Airport.

Please contact us if your accommodation falls outside of our area of operation.

We also conduct safari tours in the North of Kruger upon request and need. You also have the option to hire the safari vehicle privately, email us to find out more. Additionally, you have the option to add your Kruger entrance/conservation fees when you make your booking so you don’t have to go to the office on the morning of the safari to make payment for entrance fees.

REVIEWS


Fantastic experience

We really enjoyed our safari with Liz and the web photographer. They pointed out many sightings which we would never have seen on our own. We saw 3 leopards, many elephants, rhinos, cape buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, hippos and different types of antelopes and birds.
They provided binoculars which helped a lot, especially when observing the leopards in the reed!
The service is top: on time, friendly, very informative and you get a feeling how much they enjoy “going the extra mile” for the customer. They tried to keep ahead of the crowd and do not enter thru Numbi gate which is usually very crowded. Its great the park fee is included in the price because then you do not need to queue at the entrance like in the case of some of the other operators. We will definitely recommend you!

dorischristina2015, TripAdvisor
Emocional experience

When we thought about that trip, my wife, my stepson, our friend and I ,had never imagined how amazing could be , and how deep can touch us. From the first moment when we founded Lizelle, our guide at the Malelane door, the magic begins to happen.She was so unreal in some way, that my wife said ( in Portuguese,) she seems to be a caracter from a movie!, We had very good luck , and in just 2 full days, 20 hours total, we could see the real big five, including black rhino and leopard, and many many other species, of course. Lizelle was so nice, so professional and so dedicated that we are recommended to our friends around the World to do the same program.. .. we will repeat it for sure. There is not words, not video or pictures, that can transmit this experience, .. believe me, after you live it you will understand it .

FellowTraveler507918, TripAdvisor
Great services! Amazing commments

The guide was very friendly and helpful!
She really knew the way around the park and we were able to see a big variety of animals

344hama, TripAdvisor
Super accommodating and informative.
Liz was super patient in making sure we get the morning bush walk and night drive within limited dates. They know lots about every animal we saw. I love that they provide parkas for their guests because it gets super chilly as the truck moves. Their truck is clean and not loud like other trucks which tend to scare the animals away.
Zzame Em, Google Review
Leading Safari Company

Lion Roar Safaris offers safaris in Kruger Park. In an excellent car and with professional equipment we discovered in a small groupe the big 5. The guide was an expert and is very customer oriented.

DutchAdventurer, TripAdvisor
Spectacular day in the Mighty Kruger!

Even if the weather was cold during the day, the spectacular sightings we had made up for it all. Luckily this company is not one of those that rush from one big sighting to another but rather take it at a slower pace and therefore not miss even the small things like some bird species and trees and plants, lizards and much more.
Oh and I am so glad their Photographer was also on board with her very sharp eye sight. She spotted plenty of animals where the rest of us missed them…especially that Cheetah! And she took the most beautiful pictures (and some short videos clips) of all our sightings that day. We were surely one lucky group of people seeing all those magnificent wildlife, especially the Elephant Calves, Wild Dogs as well as Hyena Pups!
Oh and let’s not forget the snack bags that was packed for us!!
The Guide was very informative and interactive with our group. Evidently her kindness and helpfulness is not only restricted to the time a guest is on her vehicle still busy on the Tour but even helping when one of our group members was staying over at a place in the Kruger Park, she assisted him from booking in at the camp to taking him to where he would be staying, to briefly showing him around on what is where and available to him in the camp. And this all took merely a few minutes.
I would definitely be recommending Lion Roar Safaris.

Grifinne, TripAdvisor

Best experience ever!

Lizelle was very informative and made sure we had the best views of all the animals!

Johan , Google Review
Amazing experience

Staff is professional and on time.
We saw a lot of animals like lions cheetah hyenas rhinos elephants hyppos and many others.
Really an amazing day!! Thank you!

valeva2019

Some of the services Lion Roar Safaris Offer…

Upmarket Luxury Safaris  I  Tailored Safaris  I  Professional Personal Holiday Photographer   I  Hire a Professional Field Guide  I  Hire a Private Safari Vehicle   I   Accommodation in and around Kruger   I  Photographic Safaris   I   Safari catering – picnic lunches, dinners and BBQ’s and more…

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