FASCINATING READING, this thread!
So much we can learn from each other ...
I tend to also drive 20km/h.
So, since most people roar past when you're doing 20, one can safely assume that a car going 20 km/h is a mite
I have also learnt that an animal's camouflage is often underestimated.
Many times you think an a multicoloured bird, or skin colour different from surrounds, is easy to spot.
And every time you are dead wrong!
So, at any open piece of ground extending some way back, I grab the binocs and do a rapid scan.
Often, you will find some animal lying under a tree that one's eyes don't readily pick up while moving.
Once I took a careful naked-eye survey at Rabelais Dam, and was convinced I could see everything and there was nothing around. Something told me to check with the binocs, and low and behold I picked up a leopard skirting the reservoir, in a slight declivity. So I scan a lot.
Also, I check every gap in the bush. I'm not shy to see something far away - in the bush you take what you can get. I recently picked up a sable perhaps 500 m distant, just the magnificent sweep of the horns clearly visible.
Nobody else bothered to stop, but for me that was rare, and excellent, sighting.
Once, at Nkumbe, I saw a cat moving decisively through the bush, but it was too far away too distinguish if it was a lioness or a leopard! Still, my instinct suggested a lioness.
The first two hours after and before sunset are, for me, the golden hours. Most of my great sightings have been then, although nature can do anything: I've seen leopard sidling across a road at 11h45, and walking down the centre of a tar road at 15h00 in the heat of summer.
I haven't been one to park at dams or waterholes in the early morning because I have this strange belief that I'm wasting time in the golden hours when I could be covering more ground. However, the cats often drink early in the morning, so a 5-10 minutes stop at water is now becoming part of my morning drives.
Finally, I exercise great patience. If I know there is a leopard or pride of lion deep in the bush, I wait as the impatient milling cars move off, which allows me to move into a prime position, whereupon I watch and wait.
Almost every time I have seen the carnivore venture forth when the noise level and fumes die down as cars move off. For some reason, I have always had an uncanny ability to select just the right spot for the sighting to walk right in front of my car, or right next to it!