Six years ago we fell in love with Africa, so we tend to return there every now and then.  On our last trip, an extensive photo journey through Zambia (a splendid Squiver workshop organised by Marsel van Oosten & Daniella Sibbing), we were very lucky to have some close encounters with the most elusive animal of Africa: the leopard.

Because leopards are mostly nocturnal animals and rather shy in character, they are rarely seen during daytime. Nevertheless we were privileged to see several of them during our stay. We would suggest checking our future blogposts for some interesting images....

But leopards at night are different ... The most amazing and relaxed sightings we had, were the ones after sunset indeed. Roaming around by jeep based in the beautifully located Old Mondoro Camp in the Lower Zambezi National Park,  we met some really remarkable spotted individuals.

Guides and trackers haveadopted a policy to use only red lights after dark to trace the animals. Even the headlights of the jeeps are covered with red transparant film. It is kind of spooky driving around with just the dim red light - seeing for instance pink and red elephants ;)  along the way. You are constantly wondering how these excellently skilled guides see the “road”, let alone find their way in the bush. But the red light has the great advantage that animals are much more relaxed and do not look shocked when caught in the spotlight. So the chances of having successful sightings increase.

For the average camera the red light can be a bit of a nightmare. Luckily, all light used is of the red type, so when you get the white balance right, some amazing photos can be made. We had a most wonderful time in Zambia, and we will let the photos speak for themselves...

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