The Wilderness Safaris sixth Africa in Focus photo competition, in partnership with OM System, produced an exceptional level of photography, giving the esteemed judges a nigh-impossible tassk selecting the winning entries.
The votes are in and we are thrilled to announce our overall winner, as well as the winners in each of the four categories: African Wildlife; African Landscapes; Conserving Africa’s Wilderness; People/Cultures and Communities of Africa, as well as the favourite People’s Choice contestant.
The competition is about helping Wilderness Safaris to raise funds for our non-profit, Children in the Wilderness (CITW). CITW is responsible for leadership and conservation training of youth in rural areas near where we operate. This year’s competition raised ZAR 300 000 for CITW, going towards its ongoing Eco-Clubs and Eco-Mentor training at various schools, building the future custodians of Africa’s wilderness.;
2022 Wilderness Safaris Photographer of the Year
Touch by Tomasz Szpila, Poland
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
The birth of the mountain gorilla is an important issue both for the family group and for the entire population of this species. Another member of the Nshongi family, residing in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda and led by a silverback named Bweza, is greeted with joy by the other members of the group. This seven-day-old toddler, cuddled against his mother`s breast, is tenderly touched by his much older brother.
Last Wish by Thomas Vijayan, Canada
Masai Mara, Kenya
I have always found that predators have a soft spot when killing a young prey as I have seen them showing some reluctance, but eventually their hunger overrides their feelings showing nature at its most raw. From the lion’s perspective in this scene, it is seems the lion asking its tiny prey ‘What is your last wish?’
More than Darkness by Florian Kriechbaumer, Germany
Africa’s many wild and untouched landscapes are a stunning sight, but when the sun goes down you get to experience a different and less obvious kind of beauty: Darkness. The lack of light pollution from human development opens up a window into our Milky Way and beyond that many people in more densely populated parts of the world have never been able to observe. The Quiver Tree Forest in Namibia is a place where beautiful one-of-a-kind earthly features and the magic of the stars come together
People / Cultures & Communities of Africa
The Abore girl by Simone Osborne, South Africa
Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Visiting, photographing and experiencing the cultures of the Abore tribe in the Omo Valley in Ethiopia.
Conserving Africa’s Wilderness
Clutching to Life by Blair Eastwood, Australia
Johannesburg, South Africa
A Temminck’s pangolin’s natural defence against any threat in the wild is to curl up into a ball to protect its soft underbelly, exposing only its rock hard scales. Unfortunately, this defence mechanism makes the pangolin too easy to poach, making them one of the most trafficked animals on the planet. The pangolin which are intercepted, are often found submissively curled up in buckets, car boots and suitcases. This pangolin was poached somewhere in Southern Africa. It then spent three weeks being passed through the black market before being intercepted at the airport in Johannesburg on a flight bound for Hong Kong. Its long claws used for digging up anthills for feeding were ripped out during its captivity and it arrived at this wildlife veterinarian practice severely malnourished and on the brink of survival. Named Fortunate for its luck in being discovered alive, this pangolin was anaesthetised and fed through a tube daily. Fortunate would clutch to the vet’s arm for warmth as she woke, symbolising the fragile grip this species still has on life and how their fate is in us human’s hands. Unfortunately she passed away a few days after this photo was taken.
2022 Young Wilderness Safaris Photographer of the Year
Snack Time by Gabriela Potgieter, South Africa
Virunga National Park, DRC
After a morning of running around and exploration, everyone needs a snack and nothing beats the delicious food found on the forest floor.
2022 People’s Choice Winner
Mini Me by Giovanna Aryafara, Indonesia
Omo Valley, Ethiopia
The matching art of this mother and her child was so mesmerising to see. They were asleep under the blanket and woke up peacefully as they heard me coming, I knew then that I had to lay on the ground, get on the same level as the child, to capture this moment.