The eyes of an eagle and the reactions of a cheetah earned this photographer one of the most prestigious wildlife awards in the world.
This image of a lion being bugged by a black fly was judged as the winning photo in the 2021 Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year awards.
The moment a tiny fly takes on the king of the jungle by landing in his eye was captured by Hannes Lochner last year. It is a once-in-a-lifetime image which required both luck and skill.
Each of the 25000 entries was given the brief of showing the continent in a different light.
Lochner's image certainly does that. Judges were thrilled by the entry which, with a single shutter, created an image that was "technically brilliant from the perspective of timing, anticipation and setting the camera perfectly for the predicted behaviour."
The South African photographer has taken an impressive number of award-winning photos in his home stalking grounds, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Learning the news last weekend, Lochner said it was a "nice way to start a safari to Duba Plains and Selinda with our friends and guests!"
Lochner was joined by two runners up, who shared the $14,300 prize pot as well as an invitation to a private photo safari in Botswana.
Bob Chiu's confronting image from southern Ethiopia shows a gun-toting mother breastfeeding her child.
"I saw this woman holding an AK47, nursing her child. As I walked closer, it was the baby's eyes that attracted my attention," said Chiu.
Judges complimented the Hong Kong-born US photographer on his "cracking shot".
The final runner up belonged to James Gifford, showing a dust-bathing rhinoceros in Botswana.
"I wanted my picture to convey a sense of hope," said Gifford.
Stalking the mother and calf, the gamble that the animals would pass his lens. It paid off.
"I realised that the dusty ground would create a dramatic effect if I shot into the sun and underexposed as the rhinos were walking past."
Judges praised it as an "image in which you see something new every time you look at it."
Editor James Hendry said he was extremely grateful to all 25,023 of the year's entries.
"It has been a great joy and privilege to receive your entries each week, to see the vastly different perspectives of Africa. Over the desert sands, across the savannas, through the forests, under the ocean and from the mountain fastnesses, you have sent us images that inspired awe, wanderlust and a connection to wild places we so desperately need."
The next call for entries begins on 1 January 2022. Visit africageographic.com for details