Pie Aerts: “One hour into my afternoon game drive in Naboisho Conservancy, Kenya, I suddenly started to sense that change was in the air. Wind began to rock the grass, ghostly shapes came crowding up in the skies and all the wildlife started to run for cover while some real bad mama juju started to brew over our heads. Little did I know at that point that the rumbling sound of thunder behind us was announcing one of the wildest afternoons I ever experienced in Africa.

“Then it hit us: torrential rains, hectic winds, flashes everywhere. But we kept pushing, deeper into the storm, finding all sorts of angles in a landscape that felt like another planet. For a brief moment it felt as if the entire world was ours, one giant playground. After two hours, it suddenly stopped. For one minute the entire bush went to pure silence. Animals started to emerge from the thickets, including Masai giraffes, and on the horizon the warm glow of sunshine emerged. It was as if the sky was crying and laughing at the same time, and I reminded myself once again to always run into the rain, rather than away from it.”
Joachim Schmeisser: “This is a southern white rhino, which I photographed in Solio Ranch, Kenya. I moved in very close to capture the authentic spirit and graceful beauty of these tremendous animals. Being so extremely near to this magnificent Rhino bull when he rose, I had the feeling the dinosaurs never died out and fortunately some of them still roam the Earth.”
Marion Payr: “It was my first time seeing the critical work African Parks does on the ground when I visited Akagera National Park in Rwanda this year. Their efforts in community-based conservation are tangible here after more than 10 years of managing this thriving ecosystem. It was already after sunset when we reached Kilala plains and saw the wildlife congregate for the night. Everyone comes together to unite for safety in numbers when darkness hits. This young giraffe mother was caressing her newborn.”

Prints for Wildlife, now in its third year, is now open! 100% of the proceeds after printing and handling will go to African Parks, in support of the non-profit conservation organization’s mission to protect 30 parks by 2030. Prints are available through September 25th only, in limited editions of 100. 

In the North of Akagera National Park in Rwanda, the photographer Marion Payr, who is also the co-founder of the Prints for Wildlife fundraiser, watched giraffes and zebras roam the vast plains and savannahs. In the South, she fell asleep to the sounds of hippos feeding. Akagera is the only Big 5 Park in the country, a safe haven for elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and buffalos. On Lake Ihema, you can find crocodiles basking in the sun while listening to the call of cormorants. 

But it wasn’t always the magical place it is today. More than twenty years ago, Akagera was devastated by the Rwandan genocide; during this time, the lions were exterminated, and the rhinos disappeared. At one point, poaching snares numbered in the thousands. 

The rehabilitation of Akagera comes down to the tireless efforts of the Rwandan government and the non-profit organization African Parks, who have been managing the park since 2010. Lions, black rhinos, and white rhinos were reintroduced in 2015, 2017 and 2019, and 2021, respectively. The park provides direct support for 300,000 people.  

Now, African Parks is currently in discussions with governments across the continent to preserve extraordinary and irreplaceable places and support the local communities that care for them. Right now, 22 parks fall under their management–including forests like Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda, which they have managed since 2020. Nyungwe is one of the country’s oldest rainforests, home to a quarter of Africa’s primate species and more than 322 recorded bird species. 

The organization’s goal is to reach 30 parks by 2030, with the next few years being critical for conservation and the mitigation of climate change. Estimates place the standing carbon in African Parks’ current portfolio at half a billion tons. 

Prints for Wildlife, which has supported African Parks since 2020, is an unprecedented fundraiser bringing together the work of more than 130 photographers in 2022, with more than 220 having participated over the last three years. In 2020 and 2021, they raised a combined $1.75 million, with 100% of the proceeds after printing and handling directly donated to African Parks. This year, the limited fine art prints are available for just $100 through September 25th only.

Featuring internationally renowned photographers, Prints for Wildlife 2022 includes once-in-a-lifetime pictures from around the continent, featuring cheetahs and flamingos in Kenya, hippos in Zimbabwe, elephants in Malawi, zebras and rhinos in Tanzania, lions in Zambia, gorillas in the Republic of Congo, leopards in Botswana, oryx in Namibia, and a pangolin (the world’s most-trafficked animal) in South Africa–to name just a few. 

This year’s collection is a stunning testament to our planet’s biodiversity–with photographers introducing us to orangutans in Indonesia, tigers in India, Arabian oryx in Dubai, and bears in Slovenia. You can find manta rays in Western Australia, dolphins in New Zealand, sperm whales in Dominica, hammerhead sharks in the Bahamas, and sea lions from Mexico. Plus, bison in Yellowstone, foxes in Alaska, and horses in Utah. Elsewhere, you’ll discover polar bears in the frozen landscapes of Norway and penguins from Antarctica. 

Each year, the two founders of Prints for Wildlife, Marion Payr and Pie Aerts, each donate a photograph of their own. For 2022, Payr chose a picture she made while visiting Rwanda’s Akagera National Park with African Parks. Six individual Masai Giraffes, an endangered species, were first introduced to the park in 1986. A survey from March of this year revealed that there are now more than 100 individuals living in the park. In Payr’s portrait,* a mother giraffe nuzzles her child–a new addition to the growing population.  

Every print is available in an edition of 100. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever, so grab yours today. Follow Prints for Wildlife at @printsforwildlife on Instagram, and sign up for their newsletter for updates. *Find Payr’s photo third from the top of this story, above.

Beverly Joubert: “I took this photo of plains zebra in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Botswana. Zebra herds travel for weeks, migrating down from the Okavango Delta to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, they move with the seasons and the rainfall, always in search of lush grazing and plentiful water.”
Graeme Green: “This photo was taken on a recent assignment in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. A massive silverback known as Kigoma, head of the Kwisanga troop, was sitting in the middle of the trail through the forest, picking insects from his fur and chewing on plants, while watching over his family. I wanted to create a portrait that gave a sense of gorillas’ gentleness and soulfulness.

“Mountain gorillas are a conservation success story. Thanks to conservation efforts and cooperation between Rwanda, Uganda and DRC, the three countries where mountain gorillas live, their numbers have risen gradually over the past 30 years. The Virunga population, estimated to be down to 250 gorillas in the 1980s, has more than doubled to above 600. Gorillas have been relisted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) from ‘Critically Endangered’ to ‘Endangered’. As long as the animals and their habitats continue to be protected, hopefully mountain gorillas will continue to thrive.”
James Lewin: “For three hours we eagerly waited for an elephant herd to venture across the expansive dry lake of Amboseli National Park, Kenya. As we continued to scan for elephant, I saw the shapes of five Masai giraffe beginning to emerge through a mirage in the distance. It was an almost biblical moment as these giant creatures silently made their journey across the parched cracked earth as if walking in slow motion. I have never before managed to photograph giraffe with their strides so in sync with one another. It was a special moment for me.”
Gurcharan Roopra: “After receiving a call from my pilot saying he had never seen Lake Magadi in Kenya look so beautiful, we quickly gathered all our gear and flew as soon as we could. On arriving at Magadi, the conditions were truly one of a kind. The yellow-orange mix over the dark side of the lake was phenomenal. Adding the beautiful flamingos into the mix was the icing on a magical location.” 
Clement Kiragu: “On a warm September evening in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, I spent time observing Lorian the leopard as she soaked up the last warm rays of the setting sun. I am always mindful to document natures’s simple moments and to be aware that sometimes as a wildlife photographer you can miss exceptional moments while looking for the unusual. I will truly miss this exceptional cat. RIP Lorian.”
Chris Schmid: “After a very quiet day in the Northern Serengeti looking from some crossing, we were heading back to camp slowly. As the sun was setting down, we spotted two cheetahs coming up from nowhere as a big surprise. I quickly saw a small mound where the two cheetahs were hiding. Having work[ed] with cheetahs quite a lot during the last few years, I was guessing they will probably use one of the mounds to scan around.

“So I quickly decided to position ourselves to get the mound with the sunset behind and hopefully one of the cheetah. After waiting a few minutes, one of the cheetah took the direction of the mound and setup on top just at the right time to create this amazing silhouette. Just a nice touch to remember that in wildlife everything can always happen, even after a quiet day. Always be ready for something, and then wait.”
Chase Teron: “During the month of November each year, herring fill the fjords and the orcas follow. We had been exploring the fjord of Northern Norway in search of feeding orcas without much luck. In an open zodiac at 0 degrees Celsius, we started to think that we wouldn’t be able to find any opportune moments to swim with the wild orcas.

“Then we turned the corner into a bay within the fjord to find a large pod coming directly towards us. We turned off the boat, slowly slipped into the water and saw this incredible pod swim gracefully right by us. To see orcas above the surface is one thing, but to be in their environment under the surface takes your breath away. Moments like this last only seconds but the memories and the feelings are for a lifetime.”
Arnaud Legrand: “When I went back to Kenya and planned this trip, I knew exactly that I wanted to come home with: a shot of elephants and Kilimanjaro in the background. One very early morning, our guide Patrick took us there and we were lucky to find a big herd of elephants with newly born calves. They were quite far off, so we stayed there in awe for a while. At one point, this big, beautiful female came out of the marsh straight towards us to check out the vehicle. That’s when I took my camera out and began shooting. I remember looking at Patrick and telling him, ‘Alright, this is the shot.’ These are unforgettable memories.”
Andrew Liu: “On one particularly wet and dark morning, we came across the legendary Short-tail of the Marsh pride lounging in the morning dew. Right as the sun was crossing over the horizon, he took a few steps forward and leaned down for a drink from a nearby puddle. As he lifted his head, this glorious image with water sparkling and dripping down his mane presented itself to me. One snap and I knew I had the shot.”
Saul Rivkind: “Tracking and positioning can be extremely unpredictable in wildlife photography but this time the stars aligned as we positioned ourselves in a clearing in close proximity to a large Mashatu tree hoping the leopard we had seen crossing the river earlier would exit the thick foliage in our direction and make its way to the tree. Excitement and nerves brewing, the leopard appeared from the shadows into a field of beautifully bright Devils Thorn flowers, which painted a golden path to the tree it eventually settled in that morning.”
Marco Gaiotti: “My image of a polar bear was taken on the pack ice north off Spitsbergen Island, Norway. It was a very warm day along the archipelago with the highest temperature ever recorded of 23.0 °C (73.4 °F). The bear was actively hunting, searching for seals on the broken pack ice. Bears are good swimmers, and this one decided to step on an ice floe next to our boat. I decided to take a close-up photo of the water slipping off the bear’s fur.”
Lucia Griggi: “This photo of Gentoo penguins was taken in the Antarctic peninsula, Antarctica. I was accessing this region by boat and came across some Gentoo penguins on this iceberg. They were awaiting the tide to jump off into the ocean to feed. When one brush tail penguin goes, the rest follow.”