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The winners of the Nature’s Best Photography (NBP) Africa competition was announced at a gala awards ceremony at the Iziko South African Museum (ISAM) on 23 June. The winning entries will be showcased as part of an exhibition entitled: Nature’s Best Photography Africa, on public display from 24 June until 16 September 2015.

The 70 winning photographs selected for this exhibition captures the splendour of Africa with a single shutter of the camera lens, sharing the glory that few have the opportunity to experience in person. Nature and photographic enthusiasts should be well advised not to miss this spectacular showcase of the overwhelming natural beauty of the African continent.

Organized by NBP Africa, in partnership with Iziko Museums of South Africa, NBP USA, and Nikon South Africa, the competition was launched on 2 April 2015 and ran until 2 May 2015. Photographers from all over the world were invited to enter the competition by submitting photographs taken on their travels in Africa.

Juan vd Heever - Carmine Fight, Youth Photographer Of The Year.

“Showcasing the majesty and splendour of Africa through these (art) works, evokes a sense of splendour, enthrallment, respect and concern – not only for our continent, but for our planet.
The preservation of our natural resources is not an activity we can or should leave for future generations. Museums have an important role in educating, creating awareness, and providing a solutions based platforms of public engagement. It is acutely apt, on the eve of its 190th year of existence, to host this phenomenal photographic exhibition at the oldest Natural History Museum in Southern Africa”, said Hamish Robertson, Director of Natural History, Iziko Museums of South Africa.

The 12 winning categories: African Landscapes, African Culture, Wild Cats of Africa, Birds of Africa, Mammals of Africa, Reptiles of Africa, Africa Underwater, Africa Up Close, Africa Wildlife Story, Youth Award Under 13 Years, Youth Award 13 – 18 years, and Video.

“The judging panel was very impressed by the quality of many of the entries and it was not easy to select the winners to represent the 12 categories” says Lou Coetzer, the head adjudicator.

Hannes Lochner - The Great Escape, Mammals.

Adult category winners will be awarded prizes in the form of specialist photographic safaris to the combined value of R1 million. These spectacular awards, sponsored by Coetzer Nature Photography Safaris and the &Beyond Group, will take the winners to the Masai Mara in Kenya or to the Serengeti in Tanzania for an unforgettable experience in Africa’s finest wildlife environs. Winners in the youth categories will receive world-class accommodation at the luxurious Thulani Lodge in Hoedspruit, sponsored by A Spring of Hope and Coetzer Nature Photography.

Iziko Museums of South Africa has partnered with Natures Best Photography Africa and will host the annual competition, gala awards and exhibition. NBPAfrica is owned by a South African nonprofit entity and provides a valuable platform for Africa to take a leading role in terms of how our continent is presented globally. The winning photographs from NBP Africa will be showcased as part of the African category in the Natures Best Photography USA exhibition, hosted annually at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

“Our core objectives are to encourage photographic excellence amongst existing photographers, to attract new audiences to photography, to foster an appreciation for and conservation of our natural resources and to promote the continent of Africa to a massive global audience”, says Craig Mark, director of NBPAfrica.

Winner Mark Dumbleton - Canyon Aloes, African Landscapes.

Lou Coetzer will be conducting a walkabout on the 24 June at 10:00AM and will share his insight on the judging criteria, and the reasons for the selection of these particular images. The walkabout is free-of-charge* and open to the public.

An exquisite hard cover publication (catalogue) has been produced to document and celebrate the exhibition with kind sponsorship from Paarl Media, SAPPI and Vans Bookbinders. This can be ordered from the NBP Africa website.

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