Wilderness Safaris has announced its 2020 Africa in Focus Photo Competition winners.
The judges received an array of powerful entries in the fourth annual showcase of the amazing continent, celebrating Africa’s spectacular landscapes, unparalleled wildlife and culturally rich, welcoming people.
A total of ZAR250, 000 was also raised from the entry fees, and will be donated to Wilderness Safaris’ COVID-Relief Conservation Heroes programme, a statement said.
“With the global COVID-19 pandemic inhibiting travel this year, and challenging us on so many levels, it is now more than ever that we need to reminisce – and dream – of Africa’s beauty, adventure, wide-open spaces, and true wilderness.
We are thrilled with the success of this year’s competition, showing that despite the challenges the world is facing, we are still connected by the desire to travel, and to celebrate our shared experiences in a way that inspires positive action,” Hadley Allen, Wilderness Safaris Chief Commercial Officer noted in the statement.
Sponsored by, and in partnership with Olympus, Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Conference and C4 Photo Safaris, the competition comprised four categories: African Wildlife, African Landscape, Conserving Africa’s Wilderness, and People/Cultures and Communities of Africa. Entries were not limited to Wilderness Safaris areas; instead, photographers, guests, partners, intrepid travellers and Africa enthusiasts were invited to submit any of their favourite images taken anywhere in Africa.
Headed by award-winning South African photographer, Isak Pretorius, this year’s judging panel also included two of last
Joining them were world-renowned photography experts Keith Ladzinski, Shannon Wild, Chris Eyre-Walker and Gaël vande Weghe.
Over 3, 800 images were submitted this year by 641 photographers, and 12, 920 people voted in the People’s Choice Award.
The overall winner was Lance Van de Vyver for his striking image titled ‘Scaly Protection’, taken at Tswalu Private Game Reserve, South Africa.
Lance wins a nine-night safari for two people sharing at a choice of three Wilderness Safaris Classic camps in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia or Zimbabwe, as well as a private photographic guide, international flights (economy) to the destination country, and Wilderness Air charter flights, all valued at USD20, 000.
“We were really impressed with the range and quality of images received this year, and enormously thankful to our judges for their time and expertise in choosing such compelling winning shots.
We are also proud to channel the funds raised from the entry fees to our Conservation Heroes campaign, to be used in providing ongoing food security and sanitation to all our local communities, and protecting wildlife and wilderness areas against increased poaching, at this time of reduced tourism revenue.
We also look forward to sharing more details about the 2021 competition details in the next few weeks,” Hadley concluded.