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Brent Stirton

Brent Stirton is a South African photographer who works as a Senior Correspondent for Getty Images and is a regular contributor to National Geographic Magazine. Brent specializes in documentary work, often photographing at the intersection of man and the environment. He works regularly for GEO, Stern and Le Figaro magazines as well as other international titles. He works with Human Rights Watch, the Gates Foundation, the Global Fund and various United Nations groups.

Brent has received multiple awards from the Overseas Press Club of America, Visa pour L’Image, the National Magazine Awards, the Peabody Awards, Pictures of the Year International, as well as 13 awards from World Press Photo. He is a Fellow of the National Geographic Society and has been voted National Geographic Magazine’s photographer’s photographer. Brent has won the Natural History Museum’s prestigious Wildlife photographer of the Year and he has won the Wildlife Photojournalist of the year 5 times. He has been a Canon Ambassador since 2008.

He is currently working on a series on planetary health and a story on the state of gorillas. He is working on his first book, “Virunga” about Africa’s first national park, one of the most difficut places in the world to practice conservation.

Brent Stirton



This is Africa’s first national park. Located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is the second national park created in the world after Yellowstone, in 2025 it will be 100 years old. Since 1994, when the Rwandan genocide deposited over 2 million refugees on the parks doorstep, it has been the most dangerous place in the world to practise conservation. Over 250 rangers have died in the course of their duties over the last 14 years. Inside Virunga, the Congolese army fights proxy armies from Rwanda and multiple Mai-Mai militia groups fight to exploit the resource of the park, working with and against them are a ranger force of 600 men who seek to maintain this unique habitat and protect the iconic species inside Virunga. Visionary, sustainable hydroelectric plants created by Virunga now power the region and make Virunga one of the largest employers in eastern Congo, a campaign for hearts and minds that no other park in the world has achieved.