The 5 best National Parks in the world to visit
The tigers of Bandhavgarh National Park
Our best national parks list start from the tigers of India.
There were 3,200 in 2010, today, around the world, there are 3,890 tigers. Most are in India: 2,967 specimens surveyed in 2018, compared to 2,226 in 2014. An increase that bodes well.
The same Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on the occasion of the World Tiger Day, was optimistic, declaring to the BBC that the country is today among the largest and safest habitat for this splendid feline, which only until about ten years ago it was in danger of extinction.
Project Tiger has paid off: it began in 1973 with the establishment of nine protected areas (about 30,000 square kilometers) and then continued with the construction of 50 reserves, which cover 2.21 percent of the whole of India.
Where to see tigers in India
The tiger population has grown mainly in the state of Madhya Pradesh, where the Bandhavgarh National Park stretches, formerly owned by the Maharaja of Rewa: 448 square kilometers of moist deciduous forest, where there is a good chance of coming face to face with the most fascinating of felines.
Naturalists and guides from the park, which is a six-hour drive from Khajuraho (magnificent, near the village, the complex of 22 Hindu and Jain temples in ocher sandstone, which the British cleared from the jungle), leave at dawn in search of traces and smells along the paths that wind along the edges of the forests of sal trees, between silent prairies, close to stagnations where you can easily spot Asian fallow deer, antelopes, pomellated deer.
There are 37 species of mammals and over 250 varieties of birds in this animal sanctuary also called The land of the white tiger (actually, a variant of the famous Bengal tiger), which the Maharaja of Rewa in 1968 he decided to donate to the state.
Bandhavgarh National Park is of course one of the best National Parks.
The Grizzly of Alaska
Alaska, a wild region that takes us back to the origins of our planet, where infinite spaces and majestic nature have not yet been disfigured by human intrusiveness: the largest carnivore in the world lives and thrives in this pristine Eden: the Grizzly bear.
An animal of extraordinary strength and size, which can reach 700 kg. in weight (almost 3 male lions together) a shoulder height of 1.5 meters and up to 3 meters in a standing position! Despite its size, it is capable of sprinting and running at speeds over 50 km / hr
The Grizzly has a bad reputation for its aggressiveness, fueled by frequent attacks on humans, often fatal, and is therefore considered the most dangerous animal in North America.
Grizzly bears generally tend to avoid contact with humans and do not attack unless approached or disturbed, or in the case of females with cubs, or pregnant females in search of food.
Unfortunately in some areas where man has developed his settlements, a competition mechanism for territory and food is triggered, in addition to hunting, which forces the animal to a struggle for its own survival which can lead it to be more aggressive, to protect their territory, their food and their life.
Often the other attacks are the consequence of a wrong behavior on the part of man, in the territory of the grizzlies it is necessary to know that only by knowing very well their behavior can a safe encounter with these animals be achieved.
Katmai National Park & Preserve
The grizzly, like many other wild animals, lives thanks to its instinct, its habits and gestures, and with the help of its extraordinary nose and hearing constantly makes decisions that are the best for it. One of the best places to see them is Katmai National Park & Preserve.
This is the area with the highest concentration of grizzlies in the world, and, together with the population of the neighboring island of Kodiak, the largest ever.
Here human settlements are hundreds if not thousands of kilometers away, it is one of the most remote and wildest places on our planet, and thanks to the fact that there is no territorial competition, they are not hunted and there is a great abundance of food, bears tolerate the presence of the few human beings he happens to meet.
As always, entrust yourself to competent and specialized guides or tour operators in the area to be able to enjoy the wild nature to the maximum in safety.
The park of Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park, in the United States of America, is one of the most fascinating places on the planet and one of the best National Parks.
It is located in the heart of Wyoming, located atop a volcanic formation, and extends over 9000 km2 to Idaho and Montana; inside, nature dominates unchallenged, for a truly unique spectacle in the world.
The attractions to be admired in the park are very numerous, so much so that one day is not enough: luckily it is possible to stay in one of the many lodges throughout the park to enjoy a complete experience.
Inside the Yellowstone Park, imposing uncontaminated forests, volcanic geysers and multicolored hot springs, deep rocky canyons, wonderful caves, lakes, breathtaking waterfalls, solfataras and fumaroles follow one another without end, giving life to some of the most evocative landscapes ever seen.
The reserve is also home to an extraordinary variety of flora and fauna, including some protected species now in danger of extinction.
Finding such a concentration of wonders in one place is almost impossible, in fact Yellowstone Park was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1978.
Founded way back in 1872, Yellowstone Park is the oldest natural park in the world and for us also one of the best National Parks. It is home to a one-of-a-kind ecosystem, and is the largest US protected area.
The name derives from the characteristic golden color given to the rocks by the sulfur, present in the area due to the numerous active volcanic phenomena.
The ideal way to explore the park is undoubtedly by car, the different attractions are in fact quite distant from each other, although all are well connected by the Loop Road, an 8-shaped internal 320 km road that touches all five entrances.
A complete visit takes at least three days, and within the park there are various solutions for overnight stays, distributed throughout the park:
Mammoth Hot Springs, in the northwestern area, near the springs
Old Faithful in the geysers area, offers various solutions, from sumptuous hotel rooms to the most rustic and authentic wooden bungalows and cabins
Grant Village and Lake Village, on the shores of Yellowstone Lake
Grand Canyon Lodge, located in the center of the park near the rocky gorges
Roosvelt Lodge, the cheapest accommodation with small cabins and log cabins immersed in the forest.
3 iconic animals of Yellowstone Park
Brown bears are the most important animals in the park, as the species was in danger of extinction and was saved thanks to Yellowstone, one of the best National Parks.
In 1975 there were fewer than 200 individuals worldwide, but today it is believed that they exceed 500. The grizzly bear is one of the largest mammals living in Yellowstone and, in general, one of the largest in the world.
It can weigh more than 550 kilos, while as regards the stature, it reaches one meter in height when it is on all fours, and exceeds two and a half meters when it stands on its hind legs.
One of the most famous examples of wildlife conservation in recent years is the reintroduction of the Gray Wolf to Yellowstone. These canids had been persecuted and hunted until they almost disappeared from North America, before the natural park took a stand.
Towards the end of the 1980s, a plan was put in place to re-insert the wolf among the mammals present in Yellowstone. His return meant a major change in the food chain, for the entire park.
The wolves, for example, caused the change in the course of rivers and stopped the erosion of the soil.
The American wolf is larger than the Iberian wolf: it weighs up to 70 kilos and reaches around 90 cm at the withers in height.
It is a very intelligent carnivorous animal, capable of elaborating important group hunting strategies.
Natural parks are large ecosystems in which animals can develop without being subjected to external threats.
Yellowstone is a great example of how animals can live together in freedom and how it is possible to recover and give new possibilities to endangered species.
Bisons are by far the largest mammals living in this natural park: they measure more than 1.5 meters in height and almost 3 in length.
As for weight, they range between 450 and 1300 kilos. They are brown in color and their fur takes on a darker shade in winter than in summer.
Bison are herbivorous animals that live in groups on the plains, in meadows and near rivers. Their diet is strictly limited to grasses and rushes found in wetlands.
Thanks to their large size they do not have to fear many predators.
South Africa is a location where the possible experiences are almost limitless, from the most desolate places to the savannah full of life.
You can join a guided safari, move independently or seek peace in an isolated camp.
There are solutions for those on a limited budget (with some risk of crowding) and there is no shortage of roads that can be traveled with a rented car.
For your first safari, consider this park:
Kruger one of the best National Parks
Kruger National Park is one of the best National Parks, most famous and largest nature reserves in Africa. The park, called by the inhabitants the “wildtuin” (wild garden), covers about 20,000 square kilometers.
From the size of the park and the various eco-zones inside it is clear that it is possible to find almost any type of animal, in large quantities: over 13,000 elephants, 5,000 giraffes, 86,000 impalas and about 5,000 rhinos roam Kruger Park.
The nature reserve is a 5-hour drive from Johannesburg and can also be reached by domestic flight.
You can explore the park by renting a car, thanks to a 414 kilometer long paved road and numerous dirt roads in good condition.
However, you will be more likely to spot animals if you go on a safari organized by the park – in the morning, at sunset or at night.
The light is wonderful at the beginning and at the end of the day. Often these are also the best times to spot animals, as it is cooler.
Observe the wild life Kruger National Park roughly consists of 3 parts.
The fertile southern part, dense with bushes and dotted with mountains and rivers, is by far the most famous. Here you will find large herds of giraffes, impalas, zebras and elephants, as well as lions, crocodiles, hippos and some cheetahs.
In the park there are several Rest Camps with simple accommodation to spend the night, as well as shops, a petrol station and a restaurant.
Some Rest Camps thanks to their position will allow you to spend the night at a watering pond: elephants go there during the night to bathe and you will be able to see entire families of warthogs stopping to drink.
The northern section of the Lebata River, full of colorful birds, is a favorite of birdwatchers.
The Okavango Delta one of the best National Parks
The Okavango Delta, in Botswana, is the second largest inland river delta in the world, after the inland delta of Niger, and is one of the most unusual ecosystems on the planet and even one of the best national parks.
It is formed by the Okavango River, which originates in Angola (near Huambo) and reaches its mouth after a journey of over 1000 km and meeting with numerous tributaries.
Overall, the river carries around 11 cubic kilometers of water each year, which is discharged from the delta directly into the sand of the Kalahari desert, forming an alluvial plain of 15,000 km² in extension, characterized by a complex and changing grid of canals, lagoons and islands.
In 1965 a part of the territory of the delta was declared a nature reserve, with the name of the Moremi wildlife reserve (about 3000 km²).
The reserve is managed by the Ngamiland Fauna Conservation Society and is the main tourist attraction in Botswana.
The water that enters the delta is unusually pure, due to the almost total absence of agricultural or industrial activities along the river.
The delta contracts and expands according to the seasonal rhythm of the rains.
In March and April, the rains in Angola begin to swell the river, later as the months pass, the rains tend to move west, following the course of the river and starting from June the delta begins to gain 3 km per day.
In July, however, the water begins to evaporate more and more and consequently the flood decreases.
On the islands of the delta, “Mokolani” palms, acacias, ficus and willows abound, while bamboo and papyrus can be found in the canals and water lilies and lotus flowers in the open waters.
The water and vegetation attract large numbers of birds; among others, the fish eagle, the African oriole, the black heron, various species of ducks, starlings, kingfisher, herons, parrots, hoopoes, storks and hornbills.
Nile crocodiles and various species of fish swim in the water, including barbs, much appreciated by local fishermen, including numerous amphibians, including bullfrogs and the colorful “bell frogs”.
Soon we will finally return to travel safely. The parks that we have listed above are certainly among the 5 best parks in the world, they are the unmissable.
Obviously there are many parks in addition to these to visit but finally we will have time and we will be able to enjoy the beauty of nature and the incredible wild animals that populate them.
As always, we advise you to study your trip well and rely on certified tour operators and guides with a reputation for reliability.
Have a good trip everyone