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200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Find, identify and discuss the animals of all the SANParks
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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by ggreensill » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:29 pm

There are definately more leopards than cheetahs in Kruger for the simple reason that the habitat favours them. What the exact numbers are though is anyones guess, especially when it comes to leopards.
This does not however mean that you will see more leopards than cheetah when visiting.
The dense bush and riverine habitat that leopards prefer as ambush hunters often makes them harder to see than cheetahs who prefer open areas to hunt in.
Leopards are also primarily nocturnal whereas a cheetahs movements are mainly restricted to daylight hours in order to aviod confrontation which the other larger predators.
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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by AndreaB » Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:55 pm

Just can't resist it.....

Taken on the S28 near Croc.Bridge and seeing that little face peering through my open window was the biggest highlight EVER in Kruger. :dance:


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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by Canis Lupus » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:00 pm

For me cheetah sightings far outweigh leopard sightings. Since 1996 I have seen
a mother with 5 cubs near Lower Sabie,
2 males hunting on the Orpen/Satara road,
3 cheetahs resting in the shade on the s28,
a cheetah with a kill just outside Lower Sabie and
3 cheetahs eating a zebra near Babalala.

Leopard I have only seen twice - one female swiftly crossing the road on the Skuk/LS river route and one on the CBridge/LS road in a tree far away. It was basically a swollen branch with a tail. :lol:

I guess I have just been luckier with cheetah than with leopard so far.
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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by Mohsin » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:57 pm

kallis1786 wrote:
Mohsin wrote:Hey guys.

That's an amazing sighting AndreaB. You making me greeeeennn !!!

I've been going to the park every year and the first time I saw a cheetah was last year. And then I had 2 sightings in 2 days and one of them was with no other cars.
One was between orpen gate and orpen camp and it was 3 males eating a zebra.
The other was a few kilometers after shingwedzi going towards punda and the cheetah just jumped in front of the car. I almost got a heart attack :).

But I've seen multiple leopard sightings on each trip and once I saw a hunt in progress but the leopard missed the duiker :(

Mohsin, if you dont mind me asking, how many Cheetahs were you had your sighting just North of Shing and when was this sighting, I just want to know if it is the same Cheetah Brothers I have seen a few times in the Mphongolo Loop

No don't think so. It was just a single cheetah. Rather large so I'm guessing it was a male. And it was last year july about 5-10km's after the shing turnoff. It crossed the road and looked aroung from an anthill and then it was gone.
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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by kallis1786 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:36 pm

Ok, I think and I am fully guessing but I think that cheetah is the father of the cubs in the Mphongolo loop because I saw the mother Cheetah with 4 cubs in 2009 in the north of Mphongolo loop just about 5kms from BABALALA, than my dad saw the 4 cubs really South of the Mphongolo Loop eating an Impala. Thanks for the info Mohsin. Hopefully I can see the daddy now in my next trip.

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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by ruud » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:37 pm

Hi, just back from 2 weeks Kruger, we had 3 cheetah sightings. 1 single cheetah on the S28. A really beautifull sighting while the cheetah climbed on a fallen tree. The other sightins were along the S100. The first sighting was while 3 cheetahs were laying under a tree at the south side of the (dry)river, the next day we saw (I am sure they were the same 3 cheetahs) again 3 cheetahs near the waterhole while they were chased away by a big herd of buff's.
In the same periode we had 6 leopard sightings.

And when I think back on all our other trips in Kruger we saw by far much more leopards than cheetahs.
I think it was 3 years ago we were in Kruger in september and we saw during our 4 weeks trip, 16 leopards.


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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by FlorisCathy » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:04 pm

Graham_5000 wrote:Am so jealous! We are only in Kruger 4 night OL and LS as we have Kayaking and hiking to do in St Lucia and Drakensberg - wish we had more days so we could spend more time in park as I think 4 nights in those two locations will not maximise chances of seeing and photographing much!

Don't say that... Friends of us were in Kruger for two days. The day on arival they saw the entire big5. The next day, they saw 4 out of 5 (without Leopard), but the did see a Cheetah then. It's all about luck and a little bit of knowledge where to look for.
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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by brogan » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:55 am

my family and I have been going to Kruger for the past 22 years, 3-4 times a year. we used to see lions every time we went into the Kruger, but sightings are becoming more and more rare! to the point- I will have to say it is far more easier to find and see leopard than cheetah. partly because there are so many of them, but also it depends on were you are in the park..we frequent the southern part of Kruger 99% of the time and the areas where the cheetah are "at home" we do not go to.. as it is open and not many animals like tp be seen by potential threats. so there will generally be less animals in that area..

So a definative answer: probability of seeing a cheetah: 10%-20%, where as sighting a leopard: 50%-60%

From the figures in the name of the blog, you are 10 times more likely to see a leopard than sighting a cheetah. given you are in the perfect habitat for both the animals at the same time...which will be almost impossible.

great topic though!!!!


Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by Joao » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:14 am

I agree with the statistics that there are more leopards.

I have seen about equal numbers of cheetah and leopard.

I have never seen a leopard on a night drive though and can't wait for that first nocturnal leopard sighting.

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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by wheckroodt » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:25 am

Leopard and cheetah sightings are equal for me in the last 22 years also get there a few times a year, luck and patience is the name of the game. Most of the cats have a territory that they patrol, have seen the same leopard in the same area. From Marloth Park on day trips often able to see big 5 or 6 in a morning outing in the southern park. Do think lions seem to become less and less frequent. Can remember trips in early years when saw lions 5 or 6 times in one day. But yes any cat will do and briding does help see more of them. have stopped to look at a bird and a lion gets up from the long grass underneath the tree

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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by Joao » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:35 pm

Because of the elusive nature of leopards and their predominant nocturnal behavior it is difficult to establish the correct numbers of these cats.

If one considers their ability to adapt to different environments and prey species it is quite possible for the numbers to be much higher than what could be calculated in a census.

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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by cheetah2111 » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:10 pm

Bushbuck the 2008 census, undershot the number of leopard :thumbs_up:
There are wayyy more leopards in Kruger than 20 years ago say.
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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by Graham_5000 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:24 am

Someone just changed the numbers on wiki page! It now says 120 cheetahs, 2000 leopards, 1,500,000 impala etc etc

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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by cheetah2111 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:16 am

The number of animals in the Park is constantly changing! My thinking is that the best we can do is what for the annual report to see what the census says for the year :hmz: The precise number of each species is impossible to reach! But I do not doubt the ration of 10 leopard to every cheetah.
We know the leopard is elusive by nature. And we know the Kruger is more favorable leopard terrain than cheetah. Moreover, cheetah struggle to thrive in areas where hyena, leopard and lion can take the cheetah's food ... or even kill the cheetah.
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Re: 200 cheetahs, 2000 leopards

Unread post by ekoppen » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:30 pm

Great forum, just discovered it. On our last trip to KNP, Nov 2011 we enjoyed 15 leopard sightings and 28 Cheetah sightings. Older cub with Impala kill.
Last edited by ekoppen on Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

Skukuza Oct 27, 28, 29,30,31
Orpen Nov 1, 2
Letaba Nov 4, 5
Oliphants Nov 6, 7, 8
Satara Nov 9, 10, 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25
Lower Sabi Nov 26, 27,28,
Crocodile Bridge Nov 29, 30
Skukusa Dec 1,2,3,4

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