This is Africa for you – a seemingly boring place can produce the most interesting of sightings. I shouldn’t knock St. Lucia. If you’ve never seen a croc or a hippo in your life, this is probably a good place to start. Cheap enough tours will take you everywhere from whale to bird watching, and though the park still recommends not getting out of your car, it’s relatively safe to do so "“ there are no lions.

My highlight event in St Lucia was going to be a night drive. Having visited the park during the day and finding nothing more interesting than a few wildebeest and reedbuck, I went through the motions as the guide pointed out chameleons and yet another bushbuck, until something big and feline appeared on a hill above. Mesmerized, I found myself looking into the eyes of a striking leopard that squinted at the light from my spotlights and came down the hill towards the car to check what was making so much ruckus. It came and crouched beside the car. I could hear everybody’s heartbeat. The game drive car is an open jeep "“ nothing but some flashlights to stop an inquisitive leopard from coming in to check what’s in the tin can. The driver waited until it was unsafe to wait any longer – when the leopard’s eyes begun to adjust to the light and it started looking like it has seen a fly on my forehead.