Top South African Wildlife Photographers of 2017

15 Dec 2017

Brendon Cremer

Having won the Nature’s Best African Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017, it is only fitting to pay tribute to Brendon Cremer. Technically, every image is on point, but they also tell a story. Perhaps this is what is most captivating about this born and raised Zimbabwean (who now resides in South Africa).

Exposed to wildlife and the outdoors at an early age, it’s not difficult to imagine how this passion expanded into wildlife and nature photography. As a qualified, professional and practising safari guide, Brendon is very much attuned to animal behaviour and apt at spotting photo opportunities.

For Brendon it’s not just about immortalising those fleeting moments – it’s about capturing beauty and showcasing Africa’s natural wonders to the world. His obsession with photography, and particularly the wild, has served him well and continues to serve those who are less fortunate to observe such magnificence.

 © Brendon Cremer

Luna the leopard and her cub

 © Hannes Lochner

Hannes Lochner

Hannes Lochner has a penchant for photographing leopards, and it is evident from his up-close and personal shots of these majestic cats that he has spent countless hours in the veld.

This year, Hannes Lochner blew us away with his evocative tribute to the wetland deltas of Botswana, exquisitely packaged in the full-colour coffee table book, Planet Okavango. It’s just one of many published works that tell the stories of southern African wildlife in its unspoilt wonder.

Get to know more about Hannes’ life in the African bushveld.

John Mullineux

John Mullineux Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 WPY53

 © John Mullineux / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

A process engineer by training and production manager by trade, John Mullineux’s heart lies with nature and art. In 2017 alone, he placed as a finalist in both the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Behaviour: Mammals category, and in the Getaway Photo Competition for October.

His photos are evidence of unwavering patience, such as when he lied waiting for the briefest of moments when a crocodile suddenly exploded out of the water attacking impala in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Using their incredible acrobatic skills to escape, four impalas hang comically in the air, whilst the crocodile, jaw wide, misses out on a much-needed meal to replenish during the drought.

 © Greg du Toit

Greg du Toit

Greg du Toit is one of Africa’s most well-known wildlife photographers boasting an impressive resume of publications from the being featured in the BBC Wildlife Magazine to the Africa and National Geographic Magazines. His work is consistently breathtaking and as such, it is no surprise that he placed as a finalist in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017, Black-and-White category with his image titled Wild Dog Pack.

Having studied Nature Conservation and living in the African bush, Greg loves exploring the wildlife mecca’s of the world from the Masai Mara in Kenya to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa. His work is an honest overflowing of his love for the southern African wilderness.

Brent Stirton

HLUHLUWE UMFOLOZI GAME RESERVE, KWAZULU NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA, 17 MAY 2016: A Black Rhino Bull is seen dead, poached for its horns less than 24 hours earlier at Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, South Africa. It is suspected that the killers came from a local community approximately 5 kilometers away, entering the park illegally, shooting the rhino at a water hole with a high-powered, silenced hunting rifle. An autopsy and postmortem carried out by members of the KZN Ezemvelo later revealed that the large calibre bullet went straight through this rhino, causing massive tissue damage. It was noted that he did not die immediately but ran a short distance, fell to his knees and a coup de grace shot was administered to the head from close range. Black Rhino are the most endangered rhino, HluHluwe Umfolozi is one of the last repositories for these animals, with less than 3000 left in the wild today. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)

 © Brent Stirton / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

With less than 5 000 rhinos left in the wild today, Brent Stirton’s photograph highlights the devastation of rhino horn poaching. Whilst on an undercover investigation into the illegal trade in rhino horn, he came across one of the trade’s victims – a black rhino bull from the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa. The image, titled Memorial to a species, won Brent the Grant Title of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017.

“There is a horrible intimacy to the photograph: it draws us in and invites us to explore our response and responsibility.” – Lewis Blackwell, Chair of the WPY jury.

Wim van der Heever King Penguins at Falkland Islands

 © Wim van den Heever

Wim van den Heever

Owner of Tusk Photo, which specialises in photographic safaris and tours, Wim van der Heever has no shortage of wildlife photo opportunities yet, like with any great photographer, the proof is in the pudding. After coming across an image of his featured on yet another magazine front cover, Wim realised that he must have placed in the celebrated Nature’s Best Photography competition – and he was right. Highly honoured in the Ocean Views category, is an image of King Penguins taken in the Falkland Islands while lying flat on his stomach in the ice-cold water and leopard-crawling closer to find the best angle to shoot from.

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The Outdoorphoto Team

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