Leopard Hunting in Namibia

Ever challenged yourself to a leopard hunt? This elusive and dangerous cat is one of the most resilient animals of the Big 5 to hunt. Leopards are incredibly shy but intelligent cats, with excellent senses. They usually appear at night, which is how they are able to avoid human contact. For the trophy hunter, the challenge cannot be greater.

Imagine the thrill of this chase! It takes the right amount of planning and a combination of techniques to fool this animal. It requires physical strength, mental fortitude, patience and endurance. Tracking, baiting and hunting a leopard is one of the greatest challenges one can experience on an African hunting safari.

Omatako Hunting Trails offers two exclusive leopard hunting safaris each year, and has a high success rate. We challenge you to the ultimate dual. Do you have what it takes to outwit this elusive beast?

12 Day Leopard Hunting Package

This 12 Day Hunting Package allows for a permit for 1 Leopard trophy. Certain plains game animals can be included at an additional cost.

Package is inclusive of the following:

– Ground transportation to and from Windhoek airport
– 12 full 1×1 hunting days (13 nights in camp)
– Government tax of 15% on daily rates
– Leopard trophy fee (U$ 6500 will be credited/refunded if leopard is not taken)
– Leopard tag
– Leopard baiting and pre-hunt preparations
– Services of Professional Hunter, tracker, driver, and skinner.
– Four wheel drive hunting vehicle
– Hunting license
– Hunting permit
– Field preparation of trophies (skinning, salting, drying and tagging)
– Transport of trophies to local taxidermist in Namibia
– Luxurious accommodation
– Daily services of chef, housekeeping, and laundry
– All meals including breakfast, lunch, tea-time and dinner

Package is exclusive of the following:

– Additional days that may be added plus government tax of 15%
– Trophy fees for animals other than leopard
– Dipping/packing, taxidermy, and shipping of trophies
– Excursions and tours outside Omatako Hunting Trails
– Gratuities to PHs and camp staff

Pre-baiting

Baiting is a traditional way of hunting, and is essential to a successful leopard hunt. We begin baiting months before your arrival in order to stimulate the leopard activity and increase your chances.

The bait is typically placed in a dense area or thick bush close to his favorite travel routes or waterholes. The dense bush helps the cat to feel secure and encourages him to feed in daylight hours.

By the time you arrive for your leopard hunt, there will be good leopard activity on the baits.

The Hunt

As soon as the leopard starts feeding on the bait, a blind is set up from where the hunter waits.

Blind location is determined by terrain and wind direction. The approach to the blind is also very important. When an ideal location is selected, the blind is built, with a steady dead rest and clear path to the bait.

Normal shooting distance is 60-90 m. We take great care to ensure these important details are covered, to give you the best opportunity.

Caliber and bullets

We use a caliber of .30mm, which is necessary for big game hunts. Because the leopard is a soft skinned animal, we recommend fast expanding bullets. This will greatly improve your rate of success.

Best time of year

The better months of the year for leopard hunting on Omatako Hunting Trails are April through to August, with your best time being end April to end May. Although, leopards are present and can be hunted throughout the hunting season.

Our clients also enjoy combining their leopard hunt with plains game hunting, which is not always possible with other hunting outfitters.

Permits

All countries require a CITES permit for the importation of a leopard hunting trophy, which should be applied for before the leopard hunt takes place.

Only free roaming, self-sustaining and adult predators may be hunted as trophies with a minimum skull measurement of 32cm for a male leopard. No female leopards may be hunted as a trophy.

General Information

Description:

Distinguished by its exceptionally beautiful, black-spotted coat, the leopard (Panthera pardus) is also recognized for its supreme stealth and its remarkable versatility.

The leopard has an average body length of 100 – 190 cm. Their tail length reaches 70 – 95 cm. At shoulder height they stand 45 – 80 cm tall. Males are heavier, weighing around 30 – 70 kg while the females average 28 – 60 kg.

An individual leopard can potentially live up to 20 years. The leopard gestation period is between 90 – 100 days (3 months).

Despite being the smallest of the ‘big cats’, the leopard is the most widespread of all the wild cat species, and is well known for the variety of prey it takes, as well as its ability to occupy a range of habitats, from deserts and mountains to jungles and swamps. These predators adapt well to their environment, and use their muscular rigour to bring down their prey.

The leopard can be individually identified by its spot pattern. Its distinctive black spots contrast with the pale background coat colour and the white underparts. Small, solid black spots mark the head, throat, chest and lower limbs, with larger black patches on the belly. The leopard’s back, flanks and upper limbs are patterned with pale-centred rosettes, which vary greatly in shape and size. There is huge variation in coat colour, pattern and body size across the leopard’s range, and the appearance of this species is often associated with its habitat.

Leopards inhabiting savanna regions have a reddish or yellow-brown body, while desert leopards are usually pale cream or yellow-brown. Leopards from cooler regions generally appear greyer, and rainforest and high-mountain leopards typically have dark golden coats. Leopards that live in more open country tend to be larger than individuals that live in forests.

A superb predator, the leopard has a long, well-muscled body, thick, short limbs, and broad, powerful paws. Its powerful jaws enable it to kill and dismember prey, while particularly long, sensitive whiskers allow the leopard to ‘feel’ its way as it hunts at night. Several long hairs in the eyebrows help protect the eyes from vegetation as it moves through the undergrowth. The leopard is also an extremely agile climber, with heavily-muscled shoulders and forelimbs which aids it in climbing, pinning down prey and hauling prey into trees.

Habitat:

Dense bush in rocky surroundings and riverine forest are their favorite habitats, but leopards adapt to many places in both warm and cold climates. Their adaptability, in fact, has helped them survive the loss of habitat to increasing human settlement. Leopards are primarily nocturnal, usually resting during the daytime in trees or thick bush. The spotted coat provides almost perfect camouflage.

Behavior:

When a leopard stalks its prey, it keeps a low profile and slinks through the grass or bush until it is close enough to launch an attack. When not hunting, it can move through herds of antelopes without unduly disturbing them by flipping its tail over its back to reveal the white underside, a sign that it is not seeking prey.

Leopards are basically solitary and go out of their way to avoid one another. Each animal has a home range that overlaps with its neighbors; the males’ range is much larger and generally overlaps with those of several females. A leopard usually does not tolerate intrusion into its own range except to mate. Unexpected encounters between leopards can lead to fights.

Leopards growl and spit with a screaming roar of fury when angry and they purr when content. They announce their presence to other leopards with a rasping or sawing cough. They have a good sense of smell and mark their ranges with urine; they also leave claw marks on trees to warn other leopards to stay away.

Leopards continually move about their home ranges, seldom staying in an area for more than two or three days at a time. With marking and calling, they usually know one another’s whereabouts. A male will accompany a female in estrus for a week or so before they part and return to solitude.

Diet:

The leopard is a cunning, stealthy hunter, and its prey ranges from strong-scented carrion, fish, reptiles and birds to mammals such as rodents, hares, hyraxes, warthogs, antelopes, monkeys and baboons.

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