Kgalagadi Lodge and Kgalagadi Photography proudly hosted the very first Kgalagadi Photographic Competition Awards at the Lodge - almost on the doorstep of the Transfrontier Park - and deep in the heart of sacred Koi San soil amongst the red dunes that lend a breathtakingly perfect backdrop for this highly anticipated occasion.  

Competition entries were focused on Kgalagadi subjects and scenes captured in and around the Transfrontier Park area and had a total prize value of around R80 000.00 which included a welcome cash prize of R10 000.00.
Unique to this competition, all 6 finalist and their partners attended the prize giving weekend on an all-expenses-paid basis, which included 4 star accommodation and meals and the award ceremony. According to Joe Lategan, owner of Kgalagadi Photography and co-sponsor, this decision was ultimately taken by the organisers to get the finalists together in the Kalahari heartland - the place that inspires and fosters photographic passion and commitment - to share this passion and celebrate together. The quality of entries submitted was of such an equally high standard, says Joe that this was indeed an easy decision. 
The award evening exceeded the expectations of all that attended and appealed to all senses; emotional, culinary and amazement as the guests were treated to delectable food and entertained to traditional song and dance of the Komani-San -  the local Bushmen tribe - with their ancient rhythms and sounds around the boma fire.  Very few people today have the privilege of witnessing this historical ritual of this endangered ethnic group of Southern Africa. Another characterful senior member of this resident tribe mesmerized all and sundry with his almost unbelievable, jaw- dropping tales of a life remembered and days gone by in the Kgalagadi Park and the surrounding territory. 

An honorary award was also given to Elias Le Riche; the last member of the famous Le Riche family who largely founded and shaped the original park since 1931 into what it is today.  Joe Lategan presented this award on behalf of Kgalagadi Photography and the Kgalagadi Lodge. On receipt of the award, Elias Le Riche called  on all photographers to assist in ensuring that the highest standards of conservation are maintained through their continuous and sustained effort to share the Kgalagadi experience as far and wide as possible, and with that recognizing that photographers historically played a vital role in marketing the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. 
Michiel Duvenhage of Bloemfontein won the first prize and Geo Jooste also of Bloemfontein was the first runner up Frans Lombard and Mart Marie Duvenhage was second and third runner up respectively and Hugh Michler and Arnold van Dyk make up the rest of the finalist group. 

Michiel’s winning image of a frightened Springbok in full flight from a cheetah giving full speed chase through what almost perfectly resembles “flames of dust”, is a deserved winner of the 2019 Kgalagadi Lodge Photo Competition. The 2020 competition commences 1 Nov 2019 and closes 30 Sept 2020. Detail of prizes and award ceremony will be issued in due course on the relevant social media and other platforms. So keep shooting!