MalaMala is home to one of the world’s densest leopard populations! On average we view 20 to 25 different individuals every month.
The leopard is by far the most successful large predator in Africa, and arguably the world. Solitary and secretive by nature, leopards are capable of surviving in and around areas of human habitation such as farmland and forestry areas. Their relatively small size benefits them in this respect, as it reduces their food requirements compared to, for instance, a lion, and also enables them to supplement their principal diet of antelope-sized animals with smaller prey such as hares and even mice. The smallest prey items recorded are beetles, and the largest is an adult eland. On MalaMala the largest prey items that have been recorded are adult kudus and waterbuck; elsewhere zebras have been taken.
In this area female leopards average 35kg and males 60kg. The maximum weight of a male leopard is probably about 90kg. In the Western Cape, leopards are significantly smaller, with males averaging 32kg and females 20kg, which makes them in many instances smaller than a large male caracal.