The leopard Panthera pardus is in range-wide decline, and many populations are highly threatened. Prey depletion is a major cause of global carnivore declines, but the response of leopard survival and density to this threat is unclear: by reducing the density of a dominant competitor (the lion Panthera leo) prey depletion could create both costs and benefits for subordinate competitors. We used capture–recapture models fitted to data from a 7-year camera-trap study in Kafue National Park, Zambia, to obtain baseline estimates of leopard population density and sex-specific apparent survival rates. Kafue is affected by prey depletion, and densities of large herbivores preferred by lions have declined more than the densities of smaller herbivores preferred by leopards. Lion density is consequently low. Estimates of leopard density were comparable to ecosystems with more intensive protection and favourable prey densities. However, our study site is located in an area with good ecological conditions and high levels of protection relative to other portions of the ecosystem, so extrapolating our estimates across the Park or into adjacent Game Management Areas would not be valid. Our results show that leopard density and survival within north-central Kafue remain good despite prey depletion, perhaps because (1) prey depletion has had weaker effects on preferred leopard prey compared to larger prey preferred by lions, and (2) the density of dominant competitors is consequently low. Our results show that the effects of prey depletion can be more complex than uniform decline of all large carnivore species, and warrant further investigation.