January 20

Africa’s Photographer of the Year 2021 Competition is Open

By Luke Lalin on
January 20, 2021

Africa’s Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography competition on the continent and is proudly brought to you by Rhino Africa. It was created to inspire travel to Africa and showcase the continent’s incomparable beauty. Drawing on entries from around the world and focusing on the iconic destinations, the competition celebrates the beauty of Africa’s wildlife, landscapes and people.

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Lion at night, Photo Credit: Arnfinn Johansen

The 2021 Grand Prize

Africa’s Photographer of the Year is the biggest photography competition of its kind. It also has an incredible Grand Prize of an ultra-luxurious African safari valued at $40,000. This prize consists of all expenses paid journey for two through some of Southern Africa’s most pristine destinations.

Starting off with a 3 night safari at Tswalu. As the largest private reserve in South Africa, Tswalu offers a level of exclusivity unknown in this modern world. With no other vehicles around, the reserve is your own private oasis filled with intriguing animals like meerkats, pangolins, black-maned Kalahari lions, brown hyena and cheetah. 

Dinner under a acacia tree
A magical sunset at Tswalu, Image Credit: Tswalu Turkuni Lodge

Then it’s off to Cape Town for a 4 night stay at Ellerman House. Offering striking views of the Atlantic Ocean, world-class service, delightful decor and culinary masterpieces. This opulent boutique hotel has much to offer, from its famous art collection and winery to its spa and swimming. Ellerman House is also the perfect springboard from which to explore Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope, beautiful beaches and the vibrant V&A Waterfront

A waiter crosses the lawn in Ellerman House's grounds to serve a guest.
The perfect stay is one at Ellerman House

After this, it’s a quick flight up to the Kruger National Park, thanks to our friends at Airlink, for a 3 night stay at Silvan Safari. Awarded the World’s Leading Luxury Safari Lodge, Silvan Safari is the crème de la crème of the African safari experience. Located in the famous Sabi Sand Private Game reserve, which shares an unfenced border to the Kruger National Park, this is the premier game viewing destination in South Africa. With only six luxury suites, privacy and exclusivity is guaranteed at Silvan Safari.

Silvan-Safari-main-lodge
The exquisite interiors of Silvan Safari

Your final stop in this whirlwind trip is at Matetsi River Lodge at the Victoria Falls. This luxury lodge is located in a private concession along the mighty Zambezi River and is situated just 40km downstream from the Victoria Falls. The secluded location provides guests with the space to indulge and discover the precious natural wonders of Zimbabwe.

Matetsi River Lodge, lodge haut de gamme à quelques pas des Chutes Victoria au Zimbabwe.
A more tranquil view is impossible to find, Photo Credit: Matetsi River Lodge

Each quarterly winner will also receive a pair of Swarovski Optik binoculars valued at over $2 400.

How does the competition work?

Africa’s Photographer of the Year is a year-long competition which is split into four quarterly themes. Every 3 months, a new theme opens allowing photographers to enter different images for each theme. The first theme is for the 2021 competition is New Beginnings and is open until 31 March. The remaining themes for the competition are: Colourful Africa, Mighty & Miniscule and The Road not Taken.

Elephant playing with a flock of birds at sunset
The joys of youth, Photo Credit: Marc Gengler

Once one theme closes, another will open, each with a duration of three months. Our judges will select 5 quarterly winners from each theme who will then go into a public vote to decide who wins the grand prize of a once-in-a-lifetime 14-Day African holiday for two. 

What images should I enter for New Beginnings?

Each theme is open to interpretation from the photographer. The judges, when evaluating each image, take into account the extent to which a photographer captures the essence of the category as well as originality and creativity. 

Africa in images - one of our APOTY entries
Young cub screaming for attention, Photo Credit: Yaron Schmid

For New Beginnings, the possibilities are endless. From the dawn of a new day overlooking the Serengeti to the first tentative steps of a newborn elephant surrounded by the anxious herd, the theme of New Beginnings could be interpreted in so many ways.  

Join Africa’s Photographer of the Year Newsletters

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Our 2017 Africa’s Photographer of the year winner, Clement Kiragu

Sign up to for more information on our competition. From the best photography tips, latest photography entries to quarterly updates & reminders of new categories opening up, you don’t want to miss a thing.

Or enter your winning image now!

Main Image Photo Credit: Lakshitha Karunarathna

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About the author 

Luke Lalin

Born and raised in Johannesburg, Luke ventured to a small town in the Eastern Cape, Grahamstown, where he studied at Rhodes University. Clearly not having studied enough, he then completed a finance degree just for fun - who even does this? Luke is passionate about travelling and was lucky enough to work in the USA for almost 2 years. However, his love for Africa was too strong and he returned home and moved to the spectacular city of Cape Town to pursue a career in the travel industry. Having once been a competitive swimmer, Luke can often be found doing laps in the pool. He is, however, a general fitness junkie and can be found doing anything from cycling, running, mountain biking, triathlon, tennis, squash or anything that gets the heart rate up.

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