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The time has come to announce the 15 finalists of the Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2016 competition, brought to you by Canon and Cape Union Mart, and we'd like to thank everyone who took part.

   This year's winner will take home a Canon EOS 70D Body and 18-135 IS STM Kit from Canon South Africa, and will also be flown from Johannesburg to Pemba by Airlink to spend five glorious nights with a loved Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort. And the two runners-up can look forward to either two nights at Tintswalo Atlantic in Cape Town or two nights at African Luxury Hideaways’ Elephant’s Eye in Hwange National Park.

   Meanwhile, the prize for the most popular entry, as voted by our Facebook community, will win a three-night getaway for two people at Mseni Lodge in Sodwana Bay in iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which will include two nights of turtling with Ufudu Tours!

   Category finalists will also not go home empty handed as each Big 5 Photos.

   There were so many incredible entries to this year's competition that our panel of judges had a tough time whittling down their long list of favourites to just a select few. Click on the 'Next' button above each photo to see who's made it to the final nail-biting rounds of the competition, along with a bit of reasoning as to why the judges made their choices.

   

Congratulations and a drum roll please...