My first visit to Africa was all Namibia, with a focus on landscape work. I actually did not expect to enjoy the wildlife part of the trip and shooting. Seeing it? Absolutely! But photographing it, well, that did not interest me as much. My indifference was short-lived. Getting images of rhinos at night, giraffes, zebras, and elephants by day, was endlessly exciting. Hearing lions roar close by and miles away at night was spine-tingling. Seeing cheetahs up close and personal was extraordinary. I was hooked.
While at Sossusvlei, we heard that a leopard had been spotted high up on the rocks near us. Our guide took us to the spot and we waited. For hours. With no reward. It was, in a word, disappointing.
But on this trip, which included lions in Zimbabwe, Victoria falls, the Chobe River, and finally Savute, we were blessed. We saw several leopards, including this gorgeous young female, who we watched for hours. We first spotted her ambling through the brush. Eventually, we parked under a tree she had been spotted in before. She glided silently through the grass, approached the tree until she was alongside the jeep, and in a startling flash of speed and power, she leapt past us. her first bound took her higher than the jeep, and soon she was above us. She was indifferent to us. We were in awe of her. The heading shot shows the reflection of the tree in her left eye.
Pardos is the ancient Greek word for leopard. It's what this series will be named. Others in the series are set out below.