Our Photographer of the Year 2023 is now closed for submissions.
Cash prizes of US$10,000 have been set aside for the winner and two runners-up. Winners and their partners will also join our CEO Simon Espley and his wife Lizz on the in Botswana. ultimate private safari
Judging for Photographer of the Year will take place throughout the month of May 2023, and the winners will be announced in early June 2023.
ALL winners (winner, runners up and highly commended) must provide raw files of their winning submissions before our winners are announced.
This is Gallery 1 of the finalists. To see the other Photographer of the Year finalist gallery, follow the link:
Photographer of the Year is proudly brought to you by
Hemmersbach Rhino Force and Mashatu Botswana.
The tragic culmination of severe drought and agricultural extraction as the Ewaso Ng’iro River runs dry. This river is a lifeline for wildlife (like these elephants) and people alike in the arid lands of northern Kenya. Samburu National Reserve, Kenya. © Alexandre Bès
A San Bushman elder inhales deeply on his makeshift pipe, fashioned from an old artillery shell. Xai Xai Village, Botswana. © Alwyn Chong
A critically endangered Perrier’s sifaka, one of the world’s rarest lemurs, clings to a tree – its profoundly disproportionate limbs designed for arboreal life. Anjahankely, Madagascar. © Andrew Macdonald
“Shall we dance? One of Dzanga Baï’s more elegant forest elephants, fresh from its mudbath make-up, takes its turn on this remote stage.” Dzanga Baï, Central African Republic. © Andy Skillen
The beast below. A Nile crocodile surfaces beneath the photographer’s drone. “The turbulent waters around make for a more interesting backdrop than the usually still waters of the Shire River. It stayed for a second or two before retreating into the depths.” Liwonde National Park, Malawi. © Daniel Badger
Stoicism in a sandstorm. A Namaqua chameleon must endure a harsh Namib wind that sent the photographer and crew scurrying for their vehicle. Namib Desert, Namibia. © Dewald Tromp
A yellow-billed kite swooping in to steal the limelight. Nxai Pans National Park, Botswana. © Ernest Porter
From dust thou art…At the height of the dry season, Chitake Springs turns into a dust bowl. The buffalo have no choice but to walk the lion gauntlet to drink each evening. Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe © Gail Odendaal
Every year during the sardine run, millions of sardines journey up the South African coast, prompting a feeding frenzy. These bait balls are typically formed by dolphins, but in this case, the photographer reports that the ball was kept together by hundreds of black tip sharks, later joined by Cape gannets, skipjack tuna and kingfish intent on partaking in the feast. Port St. Johns, Eastern Cape, South Africa. © Geo Cloete
In a land of sand and rock, the desert horned viper has made the harsh Sahara Desert its home. This image was taken during a herpetological expedition. Sahara Desert, Morocco. © Gerard Carbonell
When worlds collide. A plan comes together for the photographer, who spent years looking to create this moment using a waterproofed, remote-controlled camera. Using two separate light sources, he was able to capture this small-spotted genet coming to drink at a small waterhole, along with the fish swimming below. Makgokolo Private Game Reserve, Limpopo, South Africa. © Hannes Lochner
Leaps and bounds. “This young Maasai warrior and his friends challenged one another to see who could clear this stream flowing into Lake Natron”. Lake Natron, Tanzania. © Hesté de Beer
You go left, I’ll go right. A pair of male cheetahs work together to tackle a lone topi. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. © Ivan Glaser
Capture from a mokoro. An elephant feeds gracefully in the swamps of the Okavango. Okavango Delta, Botswana. © Jack Swynnerton
Brawl at the buffet. Tensions are high as scraps run low at Piper’s Pan, where a wake of white-backed vultures and lappet-faced vultures had hoped to grab a hearty meal. Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana. © Jannes Drotsky
The mating game: a tense moment between two amorous leopards. Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana. © Kevin Dooley
I’m just going to rest my eyes for five minutes…. Kibale National Park, Uganda. © Kunal D. Shah
“Sometimes I sits and thinks. And sometimes I just sits.” Mark, the 40-year-old leader of the Nyakagezi gorilla family, enjoys some alone time in the dense bamboo forest. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda. © Michael Stavrakakis
Geronimo! “This amazing moment of nature allows us to feel the energy and instinct for survival that drives the animals during the Great Migration.” Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. © Nando Morales
To get to the other side…Three cheetahs make the treacherous crossing to the opposite bank of the Talek River. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. © Preeti John Chacko
Quite a handful. This rescued baby pangolin (sometimes called a pangopup) will need to be bottle-fed regularly over the next few months. Lagos, Nigeria. © Prelena Soma Owen
The sinuous agility of Madagascar’s unique predator – the fossa. Kirindy Forest, Madagascar. © Sergey Savvi
A young male mountain gorilla tentatively reaches out to poke his week-old baby brother in a sibling tale as old as time. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. © Tomasz Szpila
Groom with a view. Geladas graze peacefully against one of Africa’s most dramatic backdrops. Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. © Turgay Uzer
The first of several impending near misses for a tiny GoPro camera. An elephant’s foot is a remarkable feat of evolutionary engineering, designed to bear its share of substantial weight on five individual toes. Amboseli National Park, Kenya. © Vijayram Harinathan
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