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African wildlife and nature photography brings sometimes quite some surprises on a safari during the day or during the night! Especially predator photography, not to forget the big mammals, the elephants, both together I have not seen them very often! Actually only 3-4 x, going each other out of their way. This situation showed that action can come by surprise and you want to be ready.
At a waterhole in Etosha National Park in Namibia, I found a female leopard. A Ranger from the camp I stayed in, told me that she has hidden not to far from the waterhole her cubs. First day, I went right after the gate opened, at sunrise, to the waterhole in the hope to get a glimpse of the cubs. I spent all day till sunset there. It turned out that I spend 3 full days in a row at the waterhole, from sunrise to sunset, just to get a glimpse of the cubs. At day two an elephant bull came to have his enjoyment in the water. Dipping his full body under water, rolling him, you just could see how much fun he had. By my surprise, the female leopard came out of her hide and went towards the waterhole. I thought that she will go on the other side further away from the elephant, as more I was surprised that she went straight to the elephant. She sat down and started to drink water in such a peace, but always having the elephant in her eyesight. The elephant did not see her nor smelled her for quite a while. This went on for about 1-2 minutes. With rolling himself around the elephant finally saw her when he came with his head out of the water. He immediately stood up, flapping his big ears, but no trumpeting. The leopard was not much impressed at all, only got up when the elephant went towards her. The leopard was walking away so slow, that I got the impression she wanted to tease the elephant bull. African leopards and elephants are listed in the IUCN list. The leopard as near threatened, the African elephant as vulnerable.
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