Pangolin Photo Challenge 2021 logo

Welcome to the Annual Pro Photo Challenge!

This version of the Pangolin Pro Photo Challenge is open to professional wildlife photographers, photo tour leaders, full-time (and freelance) field guides, and trackers. Images entered into this challenge must be taken between January 1st and December 31st, 2023.

If you do not qualify for these conditions, please enter the Amateur Pangolin Photo Challenge 2023 instead.

 The Pro challenge is rather simpler than the Amateur Pangolin Photo Challenge where (if you qualify) you will be allowed to submit 5 images taken in 2023 to the finals and the best image, chosen by the panel of judges, will win!

Best of all, it’s free to enter; all you need to do is register and then do the Pangolin Guardian course which we think you will find very interesting! Please feel free to share it with your clients and followers too.

Canon R7 body and lens

So, what can you win?

The best image chosen by the judges will win the photographer a 5-night stay for two people at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel in Northern Botswana. The stay will include twice daily photo safari activities on the Chobe River as well as all meals, drinks, park fees and airport transfers.

When the winner of the Pro Pangolin Photo Challenge arrives at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel waiting for them will be a brand new Canon R7 as well as a 100-400mm RF lens courtesy of Canon South Africa.

pangolin chobe hotel challenge prize

Pangolin Pro Photo Challenge 2023

To create a Pangolin Pro Photo Challenge account, all you need to do is apply and then complete our Pangolin Guardian online course. This two-part course will not only teach you a few things about pangolins that you might not have known but also share some guidelines on how to enjoy an encounter with a wild pangolin.

It’s a very short and engaging course (suitable for all ages and taking around 15 minutes). Click here to register for the course now!

Once you have been approved to enter the PRO Challenge we will notify you that your account is open and you will receive 5 image credits to enter your best images of 2023.

Images must be taken in 2023. We have detailed rules in the neighbouring section.

Challenge Prize

The owner of the best image will win a 5-night stay for two people at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel.
This prize includes (exact details can be seen here):

  • 5 nights at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel

  • Twice-daily game activities

  • Photo tuition from the Pangolin Photo Host

  • Cameras, lenses, and memory cards

  • All meals and drinks
  • Airport transfers (if required)

  • Park fees and tourism levies

Canon Prize

In addition to that when the winner arrives at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel there will be a brand new Canon R7 with a 100-400mm RF lens waiting for you. This fantastic camera and lens is kindly donated by Roger Machin and the team at Canon South Africa.

If you would like to know more about the camera then check out Sabine’s review here on YouTube

Please note that the camera must be collected from the hotel when you arrive. We cannot organise shipping.

Who Can Enter?
The competition is open to all professional photographers. You are considered a professional photographer if you derive over 20% of your annual income from Wildlife Photography activities. This could be from stock photo sales, guiding, tour operating, or even online classes, for example.

  • Employees of Pangolin Photo Safaris and their immediate relatives or household

When you have completed the Pangolin Guardians course and been approved you will be issued with 5 entries to The Pangolin Pro Photo Challenge.

Image Submission
The image submitted to the Pangolin Pro Photo Challenge must adhere to the following conditions:

The submitted image must have been taken in 2023. The metadata of the file will be inspected to ensure qualification. The capture date will be published on the website along with the image. Please make sure that when you export your image from your editing programme of choice, you select to include the Meta (aka Exif) data with the image. This contains your settings for the display.

You may not enter any images that were submitted in the 2021 and 2022 Pangolin Photo Challenges. Repeat images will not be considered.

All images should be a faithful representation of the original scene in the natural world. The subject should be wild, not captive. The scene should not be staged for photography. Composite images will not be allowed (except for night photography images). Post-production adjustments can be used, but excessive use will count against the image’s overall standing with the judges.

The judges may request the original image file for review when the shortlist has been completed. This will precede their judgement and declaration of the challenges and portfolio winners and runners-up.

Please note. An image that has previously won a national or international nature photography competition prior to The Pangolin Photo Challenge will NOT be considered. If chosen as a winning image and later found to be in contravention of this rule, it will be disqualified.

The judges reserve the right to refuse photos that they deem unsuitable at their discretion. The image must be the sole property of the submitter and have no third-party publishing rights or restrictions attached to it.

The image must have been taken by the submitter. Your images must be submitted as jpeg files without a watermark. The platform that we use will place a standard watermark on your image to protect it and also allow for the image to be judged anonymously.

The judging process is conducted blindly, so all watermarked images will be rejected. Once the winners have been selected, the competition organisers will delete all the submitted images from their servers or cloud-based storage.

The owners of the winning images give permission for their images to be used for the purposes of promoting the Pangolin Photo Challenge. All entrants give permission to Pangolin Photo Safaris to display their image on the Pangolin Photo Safaris website and social media channels.

Obviously, no AI-generated images will be allowed. If suspected, the judges will be asking for RAW files as well as images taken before and after a sequence.

Editing: Do’s and Don’ts

      • Adjust your image in post-production, but don’t get carried away. Adjustments in exposure, contrast, white balance, sharpness, and local adjustments are allowed.
      • Cropping is fine, but make sure that it is not in some strange shape or cropped too small so as to lose image quality.
      • Turning your image from colour to black and white (or similar) is fine.
      • You may remove sensor spots from the image.
      • We will allow for HDR manipulation and focus stacking as long as they are used with restraint.
      • Panoramas are allowed.


      • Add anything to the image in post-production.
      • Use effects like frames or canvas mimicry.
      • Include a watermark on the image, as the judging is done blind.
      • Remove any object in the image that would constitute more than 5% of the image (except for sensor spots).

No images that have used live or dead bait when capturing the image will be allowed in this photo competition. If the judges suspect that a subject has been coerced, baited, or harassed, the image will be disqualified from the competition.

To clarify, we do not consider photographing a bird or mammal drinking or bathing in a permanent water source (waterhole, man-made lake or reservoir, garden pond, or birdbath) to be a baiting scenario. If the body of water has been stocked with fish, for example, for the purposes of capturing images of birds fishing, we would consider this to be baiting. This includes hides where fish are replenished regularly, rather than a natural breeding ground for the fish. If you are not sure, then please email us at with information on the scenario in question so we can make a judgement call.

Agreement or Participation
By entering an image into this photo competition, you agree to and are bound by the rules set out above. Entrants agree to have their names added to the Pangolin Photo Safaris email newsletter database. This will be the primary method of communication and updates.

The judging of The Pangolin Wildlife Photographer of the Year will be carried out by The Pangolin Photo Hosts and Directors as well as guest judges selected for their skill and expertise in the field of wildlife and landscape photography. The judges’ decision is final, binding, and non-negotiable.

How Old Can the Image Be?
The image must have been taken by you in 2023. We don’t want images taken before January 1, 2023.

What Format Should My Image Be In?
We have had to set a file size limit of 10 MB and 1920 pixels along the longest edge as we have to upload all the images and make them downloadable by the photo hosts in Botswana, where the internet access is not very robust. The file type should be jpeg.

Why Can’t I Submit Images With My Watermark?
The judges of the photo challenge are the Pangolin Photo Hosts based in Botswana, along with our guest judges, and to be fair to all entrants, they will be judged blind.

What Will Happen to My Images After the Contest Ends?
As soon as the competition ends, we will delete all the images that were submitted.

I Can’t Upload My Image. Can You Help?
If you are struggling to upload your image or enter the competition, please email, and we will assist where we can.

What If I Cannot Travel Before the Safaris And Vouchers Expire?
All of the safaris and photo safari vouchers must be redeemed for travel before the 31st of December 2024. If you are not able to travel, then the prize will be issued in the form of a voucher worth $2500 to put towards any Pangolin Photo safari in Botswana. The winners of the safaris and vouchers must travel themselves. The safaris and the vouchers cannot be resold.

Will You Be Showing All the Images In One Place?
Yes. The system we are using allows all the images to be viewed again after they have been entered. They are also searchable by the name of the photographer. In addition to that, the system also displays the settings used by the photographer to help you better understand how the image was taken.

Register To Enter