2024 Edition

Marcus Westberg

Seeds of Hope

Two chiefs from the Kassangor community during a collaring operation, South Sudan, 2023

Category - Change Makers: Reasons for Hope

Seeds of Hope

In 2023, under the aegis of African Parks, 126 animals from 12 different species were fitted with tracking devices to learn more about their movement patterns and behaviour in the vast wilderness of Southern Sudan which contains the largest concentration of land mammals on the African continent. The support and involvement of the various ethnic groups living inside and around the national parks – African Parks manages nearly three million hectares – are critical. As a small part of that, two Jie chiefs from Kassangor, never having been close to a live elephant, were invited to participate in the collaring of a bull elephant.  I spent two weeks in the field documenting the operation, believed to be the largest ever undertaken in Africa. Several species thought to be locally extinct were spotted during the collaring flights and the early survey data on the migration of white-eared Kob antelopes suggest an unexpectedly large scale, probably double that of the Mara-Serengeti, and perhaps even the largest on the continent.


24-70 mm f/2.8 Lens - 1/1000 sec at f/6.3 ISO 640