Amongst pressing concerns about the state of the planet and the desperate efforts of governments and activists to bring the natural cycles back to a harmonious rhythm, there is a dire need for the young generation to know what it feels like to be able to breathe clean air and see the world the way it was supposed to be before human greed and corruption brought it to near ruins. Kids of today would not be able to fully grasp and appreciate natural beauty if they were to stay in their city dwellings. Online documentaries help, but there is nothing quite like the real thing. To that effect, there are wildlife sanctuaries spread all across the world that safeguard precious natural ecosystems and give a glimpse of how much fuller life can be if the stains of pollution, waste, and human activity are minimized. The following are the 10 most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries that you must take your family to.
- Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India – 940 km2 (360 sq mi)
The four major zones in this national park offer great tiger sightings here. Either join the morning trip to witness the sunrise or another afternoon trip which goes on till dusk. This tour is perfectly suitable for nature lovers to experience vast flora and fauna. The best time to visit Kanha National Park is between October- March.
- Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica – 121.24 square kilometers (46.81 sq mi)
Costa Rica is world-renowned for its amazing flora and fauna, especially in the diversity of birds. Add to the fact that the national park is home to an active volcano, interspersed with waterfalls and lush greenery, Arenal Volcano National park should be on your bucket list by all means.
- Kruger National Park, South Africa – 19,485 km2 (7,523 sq mi)
Kruger National Park is arguably the best game reserve in Africa and a wildlife safari here gives you the chance to see the Big Five – lion, leopard, African elephant, rhinoceros and Cape buffalo.
- Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat, India – 1,412 km2 (545 sq mi)
It is the only natural habitat in the world for spotting Asiatic lions. The majestic lions roam around freely, and nearly 523 lions have their home here. Gir National Park is also home for leopards, deer, hyenas, crocodiles, snakes, and others.
- Ranthambore National Park, India – 282 km2 (109 sq mi)
For all those who want to spot tigers especially, Ranthambore offers the best. Get to Sher Bagh Hotel and stay at colonial-themed bedrooms, a relaxing pool and romantic candlelight dinners at the campfire. Tourists usually travel in the giant open-sided trucks and spot a tiger just from miles away! Also, indulge in the jungle styled cooked food which is made in the middle of the forest.
- Yosemite National Park, United States- 748,436 acres (3,028.81 km2)
Popular among rock climbers Yosemite National Park is widely sought after by adventure sports aficionados but that doesn’t mean its shut off for the rest of the fraternity. It has the perfect natural setting with its beautiful lakes, pine forests, and snowy peaks, and before you forget, crisp, clean air.
- Etosha National Park, Namibia – 22,270 km2 (8,600 sq mi)
The whole of Africa is one giant landscape of wilderness and amazing wildlife that has been left mostly untouched and unexplored, but if you want a more familial feeling, there is no better place than the Etosha National Park in Namibia. And while you’re at the wildlife business, don’t forget to check out the 2000 ancient paintings along the rocks.
- Akagera National Park, Rwanda – 1,122 km2 (433 sq mi)
For the wildlife lover, a safari through a tough jungle path is something to yearn for. Witness the wide range of monkeys, chimpanzees, and head off to Akagera National Park to watch elephants, giraffes, hippos and so on. Just two hours from Kigali, Akagera National Park is situated in the eastern province of Rwanda, on the border with Tanzania.
- Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada – 6,641 km2 (2,564 sq mi)
Like Africa, most of Canada is a gigantic desert of rocks, mountains, rivers, lakes and typical wintry surroundings. It’s the best the Canadian Rockies can offer you and is the perfect place for shutterbugs and people who generally appreciate Nature at its finest.
- Grand Canyon National Park, United States – 1,217,262 acres (4,926.08 km2)
Home of the mighty Colorado River, and a gorge so deep it can be seen from outer space, the Grand Canyon is alien to very few people. For locals, it is actually a place that you pass between connecting cities but for the wanderers amongst us, it holds many secrets waiting to be unraveled. It’s an educational experience that doesn’t disappoint on the thrills.
- Pantanal Matogrossense National Park, Brazil – 135,606 hectares (335,090 acres)
This area is home to one of the largest tropical wetlands in the world, which means that the variety of flora and fauna that you will get to witness over here, and be overwhelmed by the immense knowledge of it all, is stupendous, to say the least. It’s a vast playground for mother Nature in her natural habitat.
- Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand, India – 520.8 km2 (201.1 sq mi)
Named after the British naturalist, Jim Corbett national park has the most beautiful wildlife reserves in the world. There is a healthy population of tigers and the travelers are also allowed to stay overnight at the Dhikala village. Try out a jeep ride to explore the wildlife or try out traveling on an elephant’s back. The best time to visit Jim Corbett is from the months of October and March.
- Yellowstone National Park, United States – 2,219,791 acres (8,983.18 km2)
The crown jewel of the wild American West, Yellowstone is writ in history as being the first Natural Park of its kind in the world. You have your usual array of pristine lakes and surreal visuals, along with fauna, chief among them being bison that roam freely along with the land. What sets it apart is that it heightens the whole experience to another level. What’s more, America’s largest volcanic is calls Yellowstone it’s home.
- Serengeti National Park, Tanzania – 14,750 km2 (5,700 sq mi)
This safari witnesses the annual migration of wildebeest across the plains every year. Apart from jeep safaris, this place also offers chilled out activities like billiards, archery and refresh your senses at a rejuvenating spa. Book Singita Explore, a tailor-made mobile camp for the wildlife hungry traveler.
- Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India – 1,536 km2 (593 sq mi)
This park is located in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh state and attracts wide number of tourists annually. Out of the three zones named as Tala, Magdi, and Bamera, Tala Zone offers more tiger sighting opportunities. One can spot majestic Indian tigers, leopards and sloth bear here.
- Yala National Park, Sri Lanka – 978.807 km2 (377.919 sq mi)
For all those who want to spot leopards, this park offers nothing but best. Uda Walave Park is another destination which is close to Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. This place has an amazing range of elephants to witness. Try out to stay at Chena Huts near the fringes of the park. Also, witness the sea turtles near the beach for an unforgettable experience.
- Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom – 823 square miles (2,130 km2).
If mountain cycling is your thing, and you like Nature scenes and crisp, clean air while you’re at it, the Snowdonia National Park in Wales is the last word for that. It has the human element too. There are castles, vibrant festivals and the typical Welsh countryside that will endear it to your good memories for a long time.
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