Creative animal poses at the Mkapa photography awards

Sunday November 14 2021

Leopard and Plains Zebra. FILE PHOTO | KEVIN DOOLEY B


Sixteen photographers from around the world are the lucky winners of the BAfrican Wildlife Photography Awards. Sponsored by the African Wildlife Foundation and Nature’s Best Photography, the competition was open to professional, amateur and youth photographers.

The grand prize of $5,000, announced in Nairobi in October 2021, went to Riccardo Marchegiani of Italy for his Gelada and Baby photograph.

Shot in the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia, the composition, stunning scenery and intimate portrait of a gelada monkey with an infant are remarkable.

Winners in the others categories received a $1,000 prize. James Lewin of Kenya won the Conflict and Coexistence category with his black-and-white image of orphaned elephants beneath a huge rock painting of an elephant.

The giant elephant looks like she is protecting the elephant youngsters of Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Samburu, Kenya.

Nature’s unpredictability


The Conservation Heroes category went to Jen Guyton from Germany for Veterinarian with Rescued Pangolin in Mozambique.

Anette Mossbacher from Switzerland took the Fragile Wilderness prize for mystic looking image of a mist-laden Ruacana Falls in Namibia.

From the Javier Lobon-Rovira from Spain won the Wildlife Backyards category with a delightful photo of a tiny frog in the hands of a Madagascan farmer.

The narrative in Savanna Elephant and Baobab Tree speaks of nature’s unpredictability. The picture shows lions feeding on the carcass of an elephant under a fallen baobab tree in Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park. Photographer Robert Ross of the US postulates that the elephant accidentally brought down the tree while feeding on the bark.


African Savanna baby elephant. FILE PHOTO | CHARL STOLS

The Wildlife at Risk section had worrying images of caged African parrots and rescued chimpanzees in a sanctuary.

Poor representation

The new competition is named after Tanzania’s late former president, a person ‘respected for his legacy of principled leadership and protecting Africa’s wild heritage,’ said an AWF statement. The awards coincide with AWF’s 60th anniversary and are ‘intended to engage global audiences in documenting and conserving wildlife and wild lands in modern Africa through the art of photography and video’.

There was a disproportionately high number of non-African photographers, evidence of how few Africans have entered this field.

Nevertheless, the collection of pictures gives a comprehensive view of Africa’s wildlife, landscapes and the real threats facing our natural places. They are on display at the Nairobi Museum until January 2022.