5 mins

The 10 best wildlife photos from Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year 2019

Ever waited hours, days, months in the same place, waiting to snap the perfect shot? That's the reality of wildlife photography. Gruelling at times, but well worth the effort, as our finalists prove...

Arctic fox, Hornstrandir, Iceland, (Deborah Dunderdale)
Blue in the Arctic, Iceland (Deborah Dunderdale)

Blue in the Arctic, Iceland (Deborah Dunderdale)

This photograph was taken on a remote nature reserve in Iceland. She is a blue morph Arctic fox, who was quite curious and came over to see what was happening, despite the dreadful blizzard conditions.

With her back to the snow, she just hunched up, gave me a backwards glance, before disappearing over the hill and into the blizzard.

The dark stormy sky provided a beautiful backdrop for both fox and snowflakes.

 - Deborah Dunderdale, Police Officer 

Whakarewarewa wild wallaby, Rotorua, New Zealand, (Johnny Hendrikus)

Whakarewarewa wild wallaby, Rotorua, New Zealand, (Johnny Hendrikus)

This was taken on the mountain bike tracks of the Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua.

While lining up a shot of the forest path, a wallaby bounced across my frame, creating a silhouette of spontaneity.

- Johnny Hendrikus, Videographer

Food, Pisa, Italy (Giovanni Frescura)

Food, Pisa, Italy (Giovanni Frescura)

This photo was taken in the countryside near my home in Pisa.

I found a hoopoe nest in an old house and spent a lot of time watching the bird coming in and out, carrying food to its young.

After a few days a baby put out his head only to find a butterfly flying in front of it… ah, to eat or to see the new world?

Giovanni Frescura, Lawyer

I see you, Belize (Ruta Prendiukaite)

I see you, Belize (Ruta Prendiukaite)

While travelling around Belize and enjoying its nature, I spotted this cute, little spider staring at me with his big, beautiful eyes.

As long as I was there with my camera looking at him through my lens, he seemed very happy to stare right back at me.

- Ruta Prendiukaite, Pre-Press Operator 

Symphony at the waterhole Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa (Prelena Soma Owen)

Symphony at the waterhole Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa (Prelena Soma Owen)

As I was about to leave the park, I was distracted by some red-billed queleas congregating into a single flock at a waterhole.

I followed the cacophony of chirps and saw the small birds descend and ascend en masse at the edge of the waterhole. It was quite a spectacle to behold.

The challenge was getting the right exposure. Even at 8:30am, at 36°C, the light was already very harsh.

- Prelena Soma Owen, General Manager 

Hunting wabbits… Khwai, Botswana (Giovanni Frescura)

Hunting wabbits… Khwai, Botswana (Giovanni Frescura)

A young leopard was surprised by a rabbit, which he then tried to catch, but he was not lucky this time.

But his mother, watching nearby, didn’t lose her dinner.

- Giovanni Frescura, Lawyer 

Polar majesty Jackson Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia (Christopher Marsham)

Polar majesty Jackson Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia (Christopher Marsham)

Few people get to visit Franz Josef Land in the Russian High Arctic – a mist-shrouded land of basalt islands covered in ice.

Sightings of polar bears were rare when I went, so this was a special moment when a young male bear was spotted on this massive glacier.

He had only a glaucous gull for company and, of course, my group in a Zodiac way below the ice cliff. It was presumed that the bear was feeding on eggs from the terns that were nesting on the ice-free rocks elsewhere.

Glacial melt was very evident, so this is a rather precious image, showing a bear in its receding natural environment.

- Christopher Marsham, Retired

Togetherness, Maldives (Ruta Prendiukaite)

Togetherness, Maldives (Ruta Prendiukaite)

It was a wonderful moment to capture the diving instructor and the subject of his enthusiasm.

- Ruta Prendiukaite, Pre-Press Pperator 

Whale shark encounter, Teluk Cenderawasih National Park, West Papua, Indonesia (Marco Zaffignani)

Whale shark encounter, Teluk Cenderawasih National Park, West Papua, Indonesia (Marco Zaffignani)

In Teluk Cenderawasih National Park, you can meet the whale sharks of West Papua and swim with these beautiful animals.

They approach the fishing platforms, surrounding you with their slow and impressive motion. The experience leaves you breathless.

- Marco Zaffignani, Social Worker

Arctic fox, Hornstrandir, Iceland (Giovanni Frescura)

Arctic fox, Hornstrandir, Iceland (Giovanni Frescura)

This was taken in one of Iceland’s national parks. I went there to snap some photos of the ‘blue’ Arctic foxes, but it was not easy.

The families’ dens are really well hidden – but this little one found me! In his clutches is a bird given to him by his mother.

- Giovanni Frescura, Lawyer

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