It’s that exciting time of year again…many of you have been eagerly awaiting the result of our #WhyILovesaruni 2022 Photo Competition, and finally, we have a winner!
Entries closed in December 2022, and this year we did things a little differently. We asked the entire team of around 255 staff to help vote on the winning image. Not an easy task, but a fun one nonetheless! A big thank you to the entire team for taking the time to browse through the images and the biggest THANK YOU to all our guests who shared their photographs and entered the competition.
Our esteemed judge, Matt Caldwell, who is also a fan of the competition and has been following the competition keenly, had the last call on the 5 finalist images that received the greatest number of votes and finally a winner was selected.
There was one image that stood out for all of us, capturing vividly how there is always hope even in the bleakest of moments, and a chance for new beginnings. It’s also a strong testament to our continued efforts towards conservation and sustainability by caring for the land and habitat that is the very source of our livelihood and that of the communities around us.
‘Seed of Hope’ by Britta Kaercher
Congratulations to Britta Kaercher
who wins a 3-nights’ all-inclusive stay for two, including internal flights at Saruni Samburu, Saruni Rhino, Saruni Mara, or Saruni Wild*
We can’t wait to welcome you back to Kenya and to Saruni!
A note from Britta
The trip to Kenya in October/November was my third stay in this beautiful country and on departure we were aware that Kenya, like the whole of Eastern Africa, was suffering from a devastating drought. Nevertheless, we were shocked by the images of dead and emaciated animals, dried up water points and rivers and the stories of the people who take a long way to get water.
At the end of October, there were sporadic heavy rain showers, localised and brief, but the change was fascinating to watch. Where the rain hit the ground, three days later it started to sprout green.
We spent our last two nights at Rhino Camp, in the Sera Conservancy. I wanted to photograph two vultures with my telephoto lens, so I walked along the riverbed accompanied by camp staff. The ground, dry as dust and broken up, cracked under my steps. While I was watching the vultures, I suddenly saw a scattering of small green stalks emerging from the hard, cracked surface. For me, it was a symbol of new beginning and of hope for the people and the region, that were so eagerly waiting for the much-needed rain, that I desperately wanted to capture.
I am extremely grateful to have won the competition with this photo and thank the jury very much. Travelling to Kenya under these conditions always raises ambivalent feelings about whether it is right to spend a holiday where others are struggling to survive. And yet I am convinced that these pictures in particular also give courage, that our fragile nature despite climate change, is hopefully still stronger and finds a way of resilience and adaptation. And it also shows the importance of conservation and how easily a plant can grow from a single seed.
The photo was taken using a Canon EOS 5 D Mark IV with a Canon ef 300 f/2.8 L is II USM lens, shutter speed 1/250, f13 and -1/3 exposure compensation.
In total we stayed at three Saruni Lodges, Saruni Wild, Saruni Samburu and Saruni Rhino and all three were equal fantastic. Even though they are unique and all set in different very beautiful landscapes, they are all united by the friendliness and cheerfulness of all the staff, which we found very inspiring. And we were very impressed, that everyone seems to share the thought regarding the protection of nature.
A simple image with a big message
‘Seed of Hope’ beautifully encapsulates the reforestation efforts driven by Saruni in partnership with Seedballs Kenya. With the seedballs technology and support from private companies like Saruni, reforestation of these areas is now not only affordable, but fun! By simply throwing the seedballs into degraded areas as you pass on your game drive, the seeds, encased in a fertile charcoal crust, will germinate, soon covering these areas with indigenous trees and shrubs.
Read more on our partnership with Seedballs Kenya here.
Our Judge’s comment
“I think our mind must think very similarly. When I looked at all the shortlisted entries there were, for me, 3 that stood out and all those 3 are in the final 5. The one of those I liked best was Seed of Hope and that view still stands. It is a simple image with a big message and composed really well to draw you in”.
#WhyILoveSaruni Judge, 2022
Past Saruni guest & photographer
A Few More Favorites
For some extra inspiration, we’re sharing the ‘highly-commended’ images below that our team noted.
A huge THANK YOU to all who entered and supported the competition this year, it has kept us all engaged and inspired, and we can’t wait to see what you, our lovely guests, capture next on your Saruni safari adventures!
One with the Stars
by David Christman
by Jon Pallet
by Beena Balu
by Jon Pallet
by David Christman