Terra Incognita Wildlife Blogger of the Year 2018

Yellow-Eyed Penguin, native to New Zealand. Credit: David Brighten

Sponsored by Swarovski Optik, ecotourism social enterprise Terra Incognita Travel have organised a competition (details below) to find the wildlife blogger of the year. How exciting is that!

Thank you to James Common, Director of New Nature Magazine, for sharing his red squirrel encounter on social media that led me to Terra Incognita. Reading the variety of wildlife experiences and stories, I was inspired to enter my own: ‘Jewel in the Crown: New Zealand’s Yellow-Eyed Penguin‘. What an opportunity to be read by judges that include highly regarded nature writers, wildlife filmmakers, conservation scientists and environmental campaigners—that’s a prize in itself!

I’m not a conservationist (though my daughter is), but I hope to show that regardless of whether we’re conservationists, filmmakers, photographers, writers, tourists, or just out walking in the wild, we all have stories of how nature touches and transforms us. If you read and enjoy my penguin encounter story, please vote for entry number 57. Thank you!

Image credit: Penguins set off for squid by David Brighten.

 Search begins for Wildlife Blogger of the Year  

The Wildlife Blogger of the Year 2018 competition has opened for entries. It calls on bloggers from around the world to put their favourite wildlife moment into the spotlight, in 800 words or fewer. Sponsored by SWAROVSKI OPTIK and organised by Terra Incognita, the competition aims to celebrate storytelling for positive change, and has an impressive list of prizes and star judges.  

“We’re seeking stories that raise awareness about our planet’s incredible wildlife and explore people’s connection with nature through travel”, said Dr Nick Askew, co-founder of Terra Incognita.  

As a social enterprise Terra Incognita believes that ethical ecotourism, combined with the power of blogging, can be a real force for good in the world. “Bloggers are some of the greatest storytellers of our time, and we want to create opportunities for bloggers to be recognised and rewarded for their talent through support, encouragement and publicity”, said Nick. 

 The Wildlife Blogger of the Year 2018 competition will award two winners – one chosen by a star panel of judges and another as voted for by the public. There will also be runners-up prizes and benefits for anyone who enters.  

 Winners will each receive a pair of SWAROVSKI OPTIK CL Companion 10×30 binoculars (value £930), plus wide-scale promotion and recognition for their blog. Winning entries will be published on some of the biggest wildlife blogs online, including Mark Avery and Conservation Careers. Winning bloggers will also have the opportunity to be interviewed for two popular wildlife podcasts – Conservation Careers Podcast and the Wild Voices Project. Winner will also receive a membership to Conservation Careers, its online Conservation Career Kickstarter course and career coaching (valued at £199). 

 All entrants will be offered benefits as part of the Terra Incognita Eco-Blogger Network, a global community of storytellers and influencers, including their profile featured on Terra Incognita and opportunities for published work and promotion to increase their profile.  

“Blogging engages everyone from scientists and activists to concerned citizens and youth in important issues like wildlife conservation, across cultures and continents”, said Kristi Foster, co-founder of Terra Incognita. “Let’s celebrate great storytelling by passionate people who will continue to educate and inspire us – sparking conversations that lead to positive change”.  

Wildlife Blogger of the Year 2018 judge panel includes:  

·         Dr Mark Avery – Britain’s premier wildlife blogger 

·         Dr James Borrell – Conservation scientist and uber-blogger  

·         Marta Calix – Co-founder of The Conservation Hub  

·         Ed Drewitt – Professional naturalist and BBC broadcaster  

·         Hendrikus van Hensbergen – Chief Executive of Action for Conservation  

·         Justin Lennon – CEO of Conservation Guide  

·         James Lowen – Award-winning travel and nature writer 

·         Lucy McRobert – Nature writer and environmental journalist 

·         Eilidh Munro – Wildlife and conservation filmmaker  

·         Daisy Ouya – Science writer, editor and communications specialist 

·         Dr Kate Rawles – Outdoor philosopher, writer, lecturer and environmental campaigner  

·         Matt Adam Williams – Wildlife photographer, writer and naturalist  



The Wildlife Blogger of the Year 2018 competition is open to anyone – amateur or professional – who runs a blog or website. Stories must be original (unpublished) and are limited to one entry per person. 

To enter, simply submit a short story about your favourite wildlife moment (in 800 words or fewer). Please visit the following page for full details of the competition and how to submit your entry: www.terra-incognita.travel/wildlife-blogger-of-the-yearThe deadline for entries is Midnight on 30 November 2018, and the winners will be announced on 31st December 2018. If you have any questions or problems, please email hello@terra-incognita.travel.  


Terra Incognita believes that ecotourism can be a powerful force for good in the world, and seek to promote the best examples of ecotourism worldwide. They do this by collating lists of amazing tour providers who help conserve the environment, support local people and educate their guests. The Terra Incognita community wants to ‘travel for good’. They help people get off the beaten path, have adventures, and be part of a movement that creates positive change for people and planet through travel. If you’d like to get in touch, please contact hello@terra-incognita.travel.