THE Traveler Tom Koch of Edina

Although leopards thrive in sub-Saharan Africa, the solitary, nocturnal cats are difficult to spot. Koch and his wife lucked out when they encountered this one during an early-morning safari drive in the Okavango Delta, an inland river delta in northern Botswana. They had taken a four-country wildlife safari looking for the "African Big Five": lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros and Cape buffalo. At the edge of an open savanna, they watched this leopard climb an African fig tree, where fruit camouflaged the animal. "The leopard was very edgy, and our guide told us there were probably lions nearby," Koch wrote in an e-mail. After the leopard retreated from the tree and slipped away, the guide was proved right. "We found a pride of lions, less than 100 yards from the fig tree, sleeping in the savanna grass."

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