This summer, we asked you to share your best wildlife videos and photography with us for the chance to win an Audley safari. The criteria was simple; your entry could be from anywhere in the world, as long as it showed animals in their natural environments.
The quality of imagery and videos shared was fantastic and we were delighted to have received over 7,000 entries into the competition, from puffins on Skomer Island’s coast in Wales to ghost crabs in the Galapagos.
Shortlisting was no easy task and choosing just one winner was almost impossible for our judges. Thank you to everyone who shared their memories with us, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing them all.
We enlisted the help of travel blogger Heather Cole to help us choose the overall winner, alongside Loic Robertson and Jonny May from Audley.
Meet the judges
Heather is the owner of Conversant Traveller, a blog which focuses on luxury adventure travel to all corners of the world. By day, you'll find her camel trekking in the Sahara, ploughing paddy fields with water buffalo in Laos or snorkelling in the Galapagos. By night, she likes relaxing in rainforest treehouses, Scottish castles and Moroccan riads.
Loic is the Director of Digital and Marketing here at Audley and his passion for travel has taken him to many destinations around the world. ‘One stand-out moment for me was arriving at the entrance to Machu Picchu for the first time. It was somewhere I had always wanted to go — I had an image in my head of what it would be like, and the emotion of finally reaching that goal was more than I had expected.' Loic is a keen amateur photographer himself and has been extremely impressed by the quality of this year’s submissions.
Jonny is the Africa Product Manager at Audley. He has worked in the travel industry for ten years which included training guides in Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and Kenya. Jonny first went on safari at the age of 13 and has been hooked ever since. He enjoys walking in the bush and camping out in the wilderness.
All of our judges were immediately drawn to John’s compelling photograph. African safari images, specifically big cats, made up a huge portion of the entries received, so we knew this was special when it managed to jump out from the rest.
‘Whilst I love action shots when it comes to animals, something just kept drawing me back to this lion cub. The cockiness of youth in his demeanour and his nonchalant pose have me wondering what he's thinking. The composition and focus of this photo are excellent too, and the contrast of golden fur against the gnarly grey branch works really well.’ — Heather.
‘After much deliberation, I keep being drawn back to this lion cub, it’s an incredible image. His eyes seem to have an immense depth of feeling, or even longing. It makes me think that although he is a youngster, he could tell a thousand stories about his life in the bush. It’s amazing that the photographer managed to capture that emotion.’ — Jonny.
‘This image grabbed me the moment I saw it. The cheeky expression in this cub's eyes combined with the rich textures and composition made it a winner for me.’ — Loic.
Here are some of our judges' favourites which made our top selection. To view more entries, browse the gallery on our social page here.
‘Birds are notoriously difficult to photograph, something to do with them never sitting still, so I really appreciate the skill and patience it must have taken to capture this superb shot. I love the movement of water droplets cascading off the wings, it really transports you into that moment, and the detail on the feathers is quite mesmerising — you don't often get to admire these beautiful birds so closely.’
‘Orangutans are often thought to possess one of the most expressive, human-like faces. This striking image seems to perfectly capture the difficult situation that orangutan find themselves in — trapped by a shrinking habitat and facing a bleak future. Fortunately for this young ape, he is safe within the protective environment at Sepilok. There is a sadness in his eyes that moves the viewer and brings the situation that the species face to reality.’
‘It’s always special to see a cheetah on safari, but seeing a mother with her cubs is an incredible sighting. I love that this image catches her having a good stretch, it’s such a classic feline pose. You see your cat at home do this every day, however, this cheetah is stretching before embarking on a hunt to feed her family, something that most house cats don’t have to do!’
We always love to see your travel updates. Write #TheAudleyWay on your Twitter or Instagram posts, share them on our Facebook wall, or upload them directly via our website.
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