I’m so pleased to have been selected as the winner for Birdlife South Africa’s Wetlands of Life photographic competition. The aim of the competition was to highlight the diversity of life that depends on wetlands to survive. Finalists in the competition had their photos on display in Sandton in Johannesburg in February 2015 at Birdlife’s Flufftail Festival. My photograph was selected as the overall winner!
I took the winning photo in 2012 when I was on an assignment for African Parks to document the wildlife and conservation efforts in the Bangweulu Wetlands, one of Africa’s most famous swamps. I got up before the sunrise to take this photo of a black lechwe standing in the flooded grasslands of Chikuni plains. You can just make out the hundreds more lechwe standing in the background and the birds flocking by. For a few moments before the sun appeared over the horizon, the low clouds exploded with color, silhouetting the lechwe. Black lechwe are an endemic subspecies found only in Bangweulu–it’s a very special place.
I had a second image make the finals too, and it was also on display in Sandton. This photo of a shoebill in flight was taken on the same trip. It’s such a large and special bird, it was incredible to see it take off at close range.
My prize is a luxury safari to Botswana to stay at two of Wilderness Safari’s camps. I can’t wait!