Leopard Dreams

Today began like the others on this safari – early wake-up call, coffee, then reading the morning paper, which is what we called when the guide interprets animal tracks on the road as we leave camp just after sunrise. I wish every day could be like today.

Lucky for us, leopard tracks were heading off into an open area along the Savuti Channel. The call came quickly, a leopard was spotted on a termite mount. The time – 7:05 am.

Frame #1 a bullseye composition of a young female leopard coming down off the mound. Over the course of the next 4 hours and 17 minutes, I would shoot 1285 frames as she climbed two trees, three termite mounds, and hunted impala. At one point, we waited below the tree she was resting in for over 2 hours until she came down and resumed hunting.

Any leopard sighting is special. This day was exceptional. By the time we left her resting in the shade under a tree, she was known fondly to everyone in our group as "Cindy Crawford" because she was a super model, showing us every pose imaginable.

© Ralph Lee Hopkins

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