African Wildlife Foundation commemorates 60 years of conservation with wildlife photography competition


The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) celebrates its 60th anniversary with an exhibition of photographic awards celebrating decades of AWF conservation work in Africa.

The Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition kicked off with the announcement of the grand prize winner and winners from 16 categories. The global competition received nearly 9,000 entries from 50 countries around the world, including 10 countries in Africa.

16 photographers from around the world attended the ceremony held at the Nairobi National Museum. They received honorary certificates and awards for their photographs and videos as part of the global competition which received nearly 9,000 entries from 50 countries around the world, including 10 from Africa.

Grand Prize winner Riccardo Marchegiani from Italy received a cash prize from Ksh. 555,476 (5,000 USD) and a large sculpture of an elephant Shona. Riccardo emerged victorious for his photo titled Gelada and baby shot in the Simien Mountains National Park in Ethiopia.

For his victory, Marchegiani will also be featured in Nature’s Best Photography magazine, as well as an article in a special edition dedicated to the Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards.

Receiving his award, an enthusiastic Marchegiani said: “It gives me great pleasure to accept this award which is a true testament to the hard work and dedication put in over the years. I believe the art form of photography expresses my vision and sensitivity to the beauty of nature. My goal is to raise awareness and encourage conservation in a more sustainable way of life.

The inaugural photography competition was launched earlier this year to honor former Tanzanian President HE the late Benjamin Mkapa as an iconic conservation leader. The main objective of the awards is to engage and involve photographers from Africa and around the world to share stories from the field that inspire and encourage new conservation advocates.

The other category winners each received a prize in Ksh. 111,095 (US $ 1,000) and a sculpture of an elephant Shona. They will also be featured in the special edition of Nature’s Best Photography.

The list below includes the categories and the award winners.

Winner of the Coexistence and Conflict category: James Lewin from Kenya for Elephant orphans at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary at Painted Rock in Samburu, Kenya.

Winner of the Heroes of Conservation category: Jen Guyton from Germany for Veterinarian with Pangolin Sauvé, Mozambique.

Winner of the Wildlife at Risk category: Ingrid Vekemans from Belgium for White rhino battle, ”Solio Game Reserve, Kenya.

Winner of the Fragile Wilderness category: Anette Mossbacher from Switzerland for Ruacana Falls, Namibia.

Winner of the African Wildlife Behavior category: Australian Soyza Buddhilini for Cheetahs swimming on the Talek River, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.

Winner of the Africa in motion category: Olli Teirilla from Finland for his video, Magical Maasai Mara, National reserve.

African Wildlife Backyards Category Winner: Javier Lobon-Rovira from Spain for Farmer with green frog in his hands, Community of Anja, Madagascar.

Winner of the African Wildlife Portraits category: Kevin Dooley from the United States for African savanna elephant, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa.

Winner of the Art in Nature category: Paul McKenzie from Hong Kong for Galaxy – Little flamingos, Lake Natron, Tanzania.

Winner of the International Youth category: Zander Gallie from the United States for Mountain gorilla, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.

Winner of the Youth in Africa category: Cathan Moore from South Africa for Wildebeest, Timbavati Nature Reserve, South Africa.

The 79 winning images will be on display at the Nairobi National Museum until mid-January 2022 with the aim of capitalizing and engaging the Kenyan public and visitors.

The collection will also be published in a special edition of Nature’s Best Photography magazine and will be featured in a one-year traveling exhibition across Africa, North America, Asia and Europe.


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