by Megon Venter
on July 13, 2018
2 min read

Africa’s Photographer of the Year is considered the most prestigious photo contest on the African continent – not least because of its top-class APOTY jury. Nine experts from the fields of photography, tourism and conservation are looking for the best submissions in each category. We profile one such juror, Johan Maree, co-founder of Wildlife ACT and a passionate animal rights activist.

APOTY jury member, Johan Maree and his friend in Namibia

Johan Maree (left) during the fundraiser Challenge4ACause in Namibia

Early Life

Johan (also known as Jo) grew up in a small town in KwaZulu-Natal. He was aware from an early age that it was important to protect the biodiversity of Africa and after several years working in advertising and marketing for big South African firms, he quit his desk job. Together with his college friends Chris Kelly and Dr. Simon Morgan, he established an animal welfare organization called Wildlife ACT.

As co-founder and chair of the organization, his mission is to advance the sustainable development of animal welfare across the continent by establishing strategic partnerships. If he were an animal, Johan would be an African Greyhound because they’re tough yet social with close family ties.

The relocation of African Wild Dogs by plane

Relocation of African wild dogs
Photo Credit: Wildlife ACT

Wildlife ACT

The animal welfare organization Wildlife ACT has set itself the goal to drive up the population of various endangered species. This includes rhinos, African greyhounds, leopards and vultures. Through various measures Wildlife ACT creates a safe habitat for them and thereby ensures their survival. As it is essential for long term improvements to work hand in hand with local communities, they consider it an important task to educate rural areas in Africa. In this way, an awareness of the connection between animals and humans helps to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

Does your heart beat for the beauty of the wild African continent? Send us your best shots today and stand a chance to win a nine-day vacation trip for two. More information about the APOTY jury can be found on our website.