The leopard tortoise has a wide distribution in sub-Saharan Africa from Sudan to the Cape. As a grazing species of tortoise, the leopard tortoise is most commonly found in semi-arid areas including shrubland and grasslands.
The leopard tortoise is a herbivorous animal meaning that it only eats plants and plant material in order to sustain itself. The leopard tortoise primarily grazes on grasses, leaves, berries and flowers along with fruits such as the prickly pear.
Due to it's fairly large size, the leopard tortoise has few natural predators within it's African habitats as many simply cannot penetrate the leopard tortoise's high-domed shell. Humans are the primary predators of the leopard tortoise along with the occasional wild cats and dogs.
Leopard tortoises are not able to reproduce until they are at least 10 years old (known as reaching sexual maturity). As with other tortoise and even reptile species, the female leopard tortoise lays her clutch of up to 18 eggs into a burrow in the ground, which is quickly covered to protect her young from hungry passers-by.
Although there are thriving populations of leopard tortoises in more remote areas, when they are close to humans, the leopard tortoise populations are generally suffering, something which is primarily due to over-hunting by humans.