The 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is now well underway, accepting your best travel photos in four distinct categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments. With the grand prize winner taking home a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Galapagos Islands, now’s the time to enter to share your most memorable travel photos.
Last month, we showed you 13 stunning nature standouts and, this time, we focus solely on the animal kingdom to present some outstanding shots featuring everything from adorable baby penguins to a ridiculously large whaleshark! Our partners over at National Geographic just tipped us off to the most amazing animal entries to date. See our top 12, here.
Two newly hatched Gentoo Penguin chicks get their first glimpse at the Antarctic wilderness.
Photo and caption by Richard Sidey/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
I clicked this photo as the osprey was taking off from his perch.
Photo and caption by Mark Gottlieb/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Looking Into My Eyes
This picture was taken on a game drive in the Addo Elephant National Park, the third largest national park in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The park contains a wide diversity of fauna, flora and landscapes and incorporates semi-arid landscapes all the way to a marine reserve. These zebra were so calm and you just got the feeling they wanted to be photographed!
Photo and caption by Natalie Murray/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
In the Rain
This photograph was taken while I was on vacation in South Carolina. It was a rainy miserable day until I happened upon this alligator hanging out in a local pond.
Photo and caption by Kandace Stroupe/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Ruffled Feather Inspection
A cafe outside of Aquas Calientes in the Cuzco region of Peru has perches for wild parrots that come and feed on seed and fruit left out for them. This curious little fella was peeking out from behind a leaf to get a better look at me. Apparently he was entertained by the odd human with the camera because he let me get only a few inches away, where my ring light could better illuminate his beautiful feathers.
Photo and caption by Adam Lichtcsien/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Sea lion on Pacific coast of Oregon.
Photo and caption by Gary Migues/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Two vultures in action. From Massai Mara in Kenya, while they are fighting.
Photo and caption by Majed Ali/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Morning Game Drive
Our first morning game drive on safari in South Africa brought us this magnificent leopard. He was bathed in the orange hues of the sunrise and it was breathtaking.
Photo and caption by Douglas Croft/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
I have seen alligators and turtles together in ponds before, but never like this! I was at Bluebill Pond in Harris Neck NWR when I saw what I thought was an alligator sunning itself on a stump. As I got closer I realized that it was actually perched on the back of a turtle! I wish I had been there to witness how this surprising esprit de corps had came to pass!
Photo and caption by Mary Ellen Urbanski/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.
A family of snow monkeys cuddling up together for security and warmth. They appeared very protective of one another and seemed unsure of my presence.
Photo and caption by Petra Bensted/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Curious Whale Shark
Whale Shark encounter in the Bohol Sea, Philippines.
Photo and caption by Jonne Seijdel/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
A two year old mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) of the Sabinyo family, plays in the bamboo forest of Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. In 1981, this population fell to 240 because of rampent poaching and habitat loss. Today the population is estimated to be around 800 and rising and this photograph represents the exciting turn around and hope for the next generation. Thank you to the conservationists, rangers and educators working to protect these magnificent cousins of ours and their habitat in the Virunga massif.
Photo and caption by Peter Stanley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest