Well the answer is......
Thanks everyone for their comments...hope this meets up to the expectations and excitement....
Well here is what happened
At the time of first sighting she had just descended from a tree on the other side of the river…She slowly made her way to my side as she headed north…
Soon she was walking right next to me
I had to zoom out from my original 500mm zoom lens to a 86 mm so as not to crop out any legs or tail…She was magnificent…Oh the feeling of driving next to a leopard as it slowly walks down the riverbed. I was entirely alone…
As she walked she visited different trees..Sometimes she would smell them and grimace … was it the smell of a male?
After a bit of time one car joined me and she headed to those large (probably empty) watertanks on the road before rooiputs. She smelt them and then went behind and climbed the tree.
By then the cavalry had arrived…Consisting of large 4x4 with trailers they enjoyed driving around and around the tree taking photographs through the one small gap available…It did not bother me …I just waited away from the tree…One guy advised me to join the queue behind the other four wheel drive which I did.
I took a few shots through the gap but they weren’t so good..
By then the other cars had all left (???? Yes the left a leopard next to the road)
I waited alone for a while and then she did the ultimate..she turned around and faced south…I maneuvered my car around to the back of the tree and slightly inwards so the sun did not hit my lens…I was literally with her in the tree…Alone… I got these shots
(and also the introductory shot)
When she left the tree she looked up
Other shots I liked
Now I was with her from 12:45 until 4:30…She wasn’t always moving..sometimes she would lie down where no one else could see her..I knew that in five or ten minutes she would be moving again ..not so the tourists who passed at this time….they just shook their heads and refused to wait,…During this time she also decided to climb a massive kameeldoring tree..at the top of which was a large birds nest…(some sort of buzzard) of course July is not breeding season so the juvenile that was up there just flew to another branch and ‘’swore at her in bird language’’’
Back on the ground she also succeeded in flushing a cape fox who ran off barking on to the ridge..also not happy with her. She had rushed in to the bush as only a leopard can rush…with incredible speed and stealth…After which she left the river bed for a while as she looked for game over the ridge…
A lone ‘Land rover’ had joined me during this time…He had passed and headed my advice to wait a minute or two, as a result was enjoying the experience with me…he was very kind to always let me drive first…he eventually left me when the cavalry arrived again
Our experience finished when she got near to Rooiputs…She headed out of the river bed towards the campsite…All the cars went looking for her but she disappeared..
I went back to the campsite elated with my experience….Good experiences of lions and leopards on the same day and this was only the first full day of my trip.
On the way back I noticed some cars at the side of the road
And the final sighting of the day was very quick but something I hadnt seen in the park yet
It was a .......
(to be continued)
PS: @Pumbaa - Enjoy your holiday - glad you are enjoying the TR
@Hilda - Thanks Glad you enjoyed the Eland - Saw a lot more then normal this trip ...Definetly think the population has grown...However they seem to be skittish and most times ran into the dunes
@ Serifa,Delene,Barry,Petra,Richard,Billy,Normana and others
Thanks for all your comments. Keep them coming...