The Cliffhanging Leopard

During my four years as a guide at Singita Kruger National Park I would always scan the cliffs of the Lebombo Mountain range.

I  imagined how amazing it would be to see a leopard scale these steep, craggy cliffs. Leopards are incredibly agile in trees and this mountain, I thought, would test their skills to the limit.

We sat for a short while with a female leopard and her two cubs at the foot of the mountain. The mother started walking towards the river, we didn’t think much of it, she would probably return shortly. Hardly 5 minutes went by when I heard a klipspringer alarm right at the top of the cliff. To my complete and utter disbelief there was the female leopard, standing tall atop of the cliff I thought would be near impossible to climb. She had conquered it in less than 5 minutes and was hardly out of breath!

The leopard briefly scanned her surroundings and began her journey down. Every step she took was unfaltering and committed, so elegant and graceful.  It looked as if she had done this many times before, a routine she had skillfully mastered.

leopard singita kruger national park leopard singita kruger national park leopard singita kruger national park

leopard singita kruger national parkBefore we knew it she was on the ground and making her way to her waiting cubs. I sat in awe of this cat – leopards truly are one of nature’s most competent and expertly skilled predators.

Interested in doing a photographic safari with Marlon du Toit and Africa Geographic to Mana Pools? Find out more here:

Don't miss out! Get our 'Top Blogs of the Week' newsletter sent to your mail box each week. Sign up now!
Marlon du Toit

An adventurous person by nature, Marlon has been immersed in Africa and its beauty from a young age. Growing up alongside the Kruger exposed him to the wonders of nature and has since crafted his passion for guiding and photography. As a Field Guide at Singita Sabi Sand, Marlon specialises in connecting travellers with the secret lives of some of the most amazing creatures in the wild.

  • Martin Fletcher


  • Sue Dickinson


  • Judy Beyer

    That’s an amazing series of pix. The leopard is defying gravity — males weigh up to 90 kilograms. Fabulous!

  • Karen Larsen

    What an amazing creature!

  • Debby Thomas

    Thank you for sharing this, amazing!

  • JohnGore

    Great sighting, wow! Tks for sharing!

  • Fred

    Thanks for sharing your stunning pics. of this beautiful animal.To think that when I was a kid they used to have shotgun traps to kill leopard as they used to kill our dogs! Tsk,tsk!

  • Beata Levine

    My favorite magazine ever!! Keep up the great work – especially for all those that have been to Africa and got smitten with all that it has to offer.

  • Vernon Baillie

    without question the worlds most amazing solitary feline,shown by equally amazing photography

  • Graham Ford

    Great set of photos. Truly skilled cats – thanks for sharing.

  • matilde

    wonderful picture!!! I love leopards, I think they are fascinating.Thank you for sharing

Follow us on Social Media

Posts of the Week

Sign up to receive our online magazine and most popular blog posts via email

Africa Geographic Blog
Receive our weekly magazine and best blog postsSign me up
Africa Geographic Blog