The 27th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is open for entries until 30 June. Photographers can submit travel photos in four categories: Travel Portraits; Outdoor Scenes; Sense of Place; and Spontaneous Moments.

The grand prize winner will receive an eight-day National Geographic photo expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal. Second prize is a six-day photo expedition in Yellowstone for two and the third prize winner will receive a six-day cruise for two from Schooner American Eagle and Heritage.

IBTimesUK presents a selection of photos that have been received so far. See more – and enter your own pictures – on the National Geographic website.

National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
This photo was taken during an afternoon safari in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. This huge male elephant was roaming around some bushes while we approached. However, he passed by as if he did not perceive us and continued feeding from leaves and grass. Such a close encounter was breathtaking.Felipe Arias Gutiérrez / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Every year, humpback whales come to the Kingdom of Tonga during July to September. The mothers raise their babies and when they are strong enough  they go far away to the cold water. During whale watching activity, you can live some incredible experiences by interacting with this fabulous mammal. This young calf played with me for 30 minutes under the control of his mother – a great memoryMarc Henauer / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
This was taken at the volcanic beach at Stokksnes in south eastern Iceland in February 2015. I used a two-second exposure to capture the water trails as the waves receded over rocks at the edge of the beach, just as the sun was setting behind me, illuminating the mighty Vesturhorn mountain and some peaks in the far distanceSophie Carr / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
During southern India's New Year's festival of Pongal, they like to decorate livestock. I met this colourful goat standing next to a shabby pink wall. It looks like an oil painting재우 설/ National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Competition
Niagara Falls, 40 below zero with the windchill. Everything frozen. Beautiful sightMark Duffy / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Cuba is changing. There is no doubt about that. And change is usually for better, right? American dollars will start flowing, the tourism industry will develop along with countless other great changes. The younger generation cannot wait, I'm sure. But what about the older generation left behind?Oded Wagenstein / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Taken from a helicopter, this is an aerial shot of Dubai. Known for its grandiose cityscapes, it also has a vast natural beauty which leaves one in awe. The serene turquoise water and the golden hues in the desert sand present an interesting contrastAbrar Mohsin / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
I was around 400 feet in the air over salt flats in Northern California and was staggered at the colour of the water and how the shape was affecting the landscape. It was an amazing experience.Andrei D / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
I waited all day in the kelp for this shot and after many failed attempts to catch the air time that these little guys were getting, this one finally got skyrocketed high enough. He or she proceeded to do an epic face plant, which I found was the standard style of penguin landing. They are the most entertaining creatures to photograph and kept a smile on my face throughout the course of my two-week excursion to the Falkland Islands. This photo was taken on Bleaker IslandAshley Neuhof / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
On a trip to southern Chile I landed in Puerto Varas, and encountered this show [the eruption of Calbuco volcano]. Amazing and terrifying at the same timeCote Baeza / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest