I go back quite a few years and not in SA.
Was guiding a Swiss filming crew in various national parks (3 months filming leopards for a documentary) and moved our base camp every 10 days.
Leopards are territorial and this obliged us to move often so as not to get the beautiful animals too used to us, we actually followed them from 4 am to 8 pm 7 days a week. After two months we had got fed up of finding leopards used to humans around them and followed the advice of the locals and moved out of the reserves.
2 hours from the nearest town or tar road, dry bush and lots of rocky hills around. Took us 5 days to spot our first one and decided it was there we would end out filming tour. Luck of all lucks, a mateing pair and had a fantastic first week listening to them during the night but with very little filming done.
My hairy day, dinner time, eleven of us under a big safari tent enjoying our dinner and haveing the normal end of the day chat. As I would normaly do I was keeping an eye at what the cook was in walks our male leopard, enters the tent and walks the whole length of it and stops at the other end/exit.
I must admit I felt my hair go straight up the back of my neck and took one of my coldest decisions: say nothing as no one else had seen it, all too busy talking, eating and drinking. The only other witness was the cook who saw it only because he entered the tent straight after the animal but stopped immediately and was so scared he froze where he was.
The animal came so close his tail touched my arm and I still believe that had I said something about it the crew would have panicked.
The final, and maybe surprising behaviour of the leopard was his marking, urine, the spot he had reached before vanishing.
I slowly got up and asked for some silence, while the cook ran and hid in the land cruiser, and told the film crew what had just happend. At first no one wanted to believe me and only on seeing all the signs did they understand what had happend and how close the animal was to them.
It's difficult to understand the leopards behaviour, we were in 12!, if not to mark it's territory and this it did very well. The following days was fantastic for the filming and we'd moved the whole camp outside the leopards mateing area.
Had many other close encounters with wild animals (elephant, buffalo, hippo and very pissed off warthog) but this is the only time I felt my hair go up straight.
"You can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you"
LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!