We started the South African Photographer of the Year awards because we believe in promoting South Africa’s incredible nature and wildlife photography at both a professional and hobbyist level.

We want to innovatively make a difference in the tourism industry through showcasing photography as an art form as well as ensuring we are involved in conservation. We have a passion to be known for cultivating a space where our love for South African photography becomes infectious to others.

It is our responsibility to do our bit to reverse the decline of South Africa’s wildlife species by supporting its conservation efforts. Donating funds is a vital focus for SAPOTY, but the competition itself has the potential to inspire people around the globe to care for and help support the country’s ongoing struggle to educate the future nature ambassadors, conserve our wildlife, and help protect the land that supports them. You can learn more about our conservation purpose and find out how you can help us here!


The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) has worked tirelessly since 1973 to save wildlife and habitats, with our vision being a world in which both humans and wildlife prosper in harmony with nature.

The EWT’s team of field-based specialists works across southern and East Africa, where committed conservation action is needed the most. Working with our partners, including businesses and governments, the EWT is at the forefront of conducting applied research, supporting community conservation and livelihoods, training and building capacity, addressing human wildlife conflict, monitoring threatened species and establishing safe spaces for wildlife range expansion.

The EWT is driven by a team of passionate and dedicated conservationists working through 13 specialised programmes across southern and East Africa, each falling under one of our three key strategic pillars: Saving species, conserving habitats, and benefiting people.

“The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) is very excited to be a beneficiary and partner of the very first South African Photographer of the Year (SAPOTY) competition. Their vision is to inspire and support South African photographers while encouraging increased conservation efforts within South Africa. Ours is a healthy planet and an equitable world that values and sustains the diversity of all life. Talk about a match made in conservation heaven!

The funds generated from this competition will help to keep the EWT at the cutting edge of conserving threatened wildlife in Africa. Some of our recent standout conservation wins include the reintroduction of Cheetahs into the 600,000 ha Bangweulu Wetlands Game Management Area in Zambia and African Wild Dogs into Karingani Game Reserve in Mozambique. As a progressive and forward-thinking organisation, we pioneered the innovative use of drones for conservation. We have leveraged technology using environmental DNA (eDNA) to find and identify golden mole DNA left in the sand where they forage. We have a large focus on empowering and building capacity in communities through our environmental education project, Guardians of the Future; and by supporting traditional health practitioners to sustainably cultivate and harvest products from the Endangered Pepper-bark Tree.

These initiatives are among the more than 80 EWT conservation projects throughout southern and East Africa, all of which are implemented alongside some of the most committed, innovative and impactful partners in conservation, science and business. We wish all the participating photographers the best of luck in this competition and would like to thank SAPOTY for supporting our conservation efforts.”

Alison Janicke
EWT: Head of Resource Development