Our beautiful planet is blessed with countless varieties of flora and fauna, spread over different geographical terrains and topographical features that leave us speechless in wonder and amazement. One of the best ways to experience the glorious beauty of our home planet is by visiting national parks. Many of these national parks were set up solely for the purpose of preservation and protection of the natural wonders that our planet possesses, like the Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka which was built to rehome animals that were displaced due to human activities. Breathtaking landscapes, untamed beauty, endangered wildlife, diverse ecosystems, etc. are all what you can witness up close when you take a trip through a national park.
Whatever be your reason – be it surrounding yourself by the nature, or to explore the wildlife, or to scale some majestic mountains, or to trek through trails long forgotten, or simply to witness majestic sights that are untouched by human intervention and revel in their own natural beauty, national parks are the best places to visit in this world.
That is why, we have compiled a list of best national parks in the world (in no particular order) to highlight some of the striking features of our beautiful planet.
1. Jim Corbett National Park, India
Let’s start off this list with our very own Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand. Located in the laps of the Himalayas and close to Nainital, it is one of the few national parks in the world where you can witness Bengal Tigers in their natural habitat. Covering over hundreds of kilometers of stunning sights and varied landscapes this national park is also home to Asiatic elephants, bears, deer, hundreds of species of birds, etc. The park offers jeep safari tours deep into its heart that lets you come face to face with nature.
2. Yosemite National Park, USA
How can we make a list of best national parks in the world and not include one of US’s oldest and largest national park? Even though the US visa process can be quite tedious and time consuming, but a visit to Yosemite National Park will make it all worth it! Filled with giant sequoia trees and housing the tallest waterfall in the USA, it is not only a favorite destination of nature lovers but also of thrill seekers. Go hiking in Yosemite Valley, or rock climbing at El Capitan, head over to the Glacier Point and take the view of the Yosemite Valley, do what your heart desires, the park welcomes you with open arms.
3. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Granite peaks, icy rivers, endless plains, and Fagus tree forests surrounding it, add to it the Cordillera Paine that turns reddish-purple during sunrise and the Torres del Pain National Park becomes one of the best national parks in the world to experience untouched nature in all of its glory. Declared a “Biosphere Reserve” by the UNESCO in 1978, Torres del Paine National Park is a paradise for nature lovers and a famous spot for mountain bike riding and hiking.
4. Goreme National Park, Turkey
Located in the Cappadocia region of central Turkey, Goreme is not just a famous spot for going on hot air balloon rides during your Turkey holidays. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Goreme National Park and Rock Sites of Cappadocia are also well known for their 200+ stone churches, storerooms, cave dwellings, etc. dating back to the 4th century. This vibrant and far flung valley is amongst the only national parks in the world to witness the famous underground cities and formidable rock towers that are a result of thousands of years of erosion caused by wind and water.
5. Kakadu National Park, Australia
This 20,000 sq. kms big park is almost half the size of Switzerland! With important aboriginal sites like Nourlangie Rock and Ubirr that date back to almost 20,000 years, and dusty plains, natural pools, bustling waterfalls and wildlife reserves, the park not only showcases its untouched natural beauty but its historic aboriginal culture as well. One of the majestic national parks in the world, Kakadu National Park has grave historic importance, keep it in mind to be respectful while visiting this park on your next Australia holiday.
6. Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Named after its primary resident – the Komodo Dragon, the Komodo National Park is the pride of Indonesia. Spread over three islands of – Komodo, Padar and Rinca, this national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Center. Apart from housing these protected and heavy weight lizards, the island park is also a great place for scuba diving and snorkeling due to the diverse variety of marine life found in the surrounding waters. It is one of the easiest national parks in the world to visit because of Indonesia visa on arrival facility and cheap flight tickets to Indonesia.
7. Kruger National Park, South Africa
Home of the Big 5- elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and rhino, Kruger National Park has had a strong magnetic pull on all wildlife enthusiasts all over the world. A UNESCO recognized “Biosphere Reserve”; it also shelters some of the endangered and rare species like African Wild Dogs and Black Rhinos. If going on a night safari and coming face to face with creatures of the night doesn’t interest you, include a camping kit when planning your South Africa holiday itinerary, the kit will surely come in handy.
8. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
If you thought Norway had the best fjords, think again! The ice covered fjords of New Zealand are nothing short of phenomenal. Fiordland National Park is one of the largest national parks in the world and also in New Zealand. It is home to impressive fjords, lakes, mountains and houses everything from plants, animals and birds to fishes! After getting your New Zealand Visa make sure to include this national park in your New Zealand itinerary to see the Milford and Doubtful Sounds – 2 of the most famous fjords in the Fiordland National Park.
9. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA
One of the most beautiful national parks in the world, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also the most visited national park in the US. Surrounded by fog throughout the day, which resulted in the nickname “Smokies”, this ancient mountain range is home to historic buildings, and a diverse array of animal and plant life. With abundance of waterfalls, freshwater lakes and due to its historic importance the “Smokies” will make an excellent addition to your US holiday packages.
10. Banff National Park, Canada
Situated in the Alberta Rockies region, Banff National Park is one of the most scenic national parks in the world. No matter when you get your Canada visa approved, fly off as soon as you can and you won’t be disappointed with the activities and the sights the park has to offer. Hiking, and boating in summers, ice climbing and skiing in winters, birdwatching and wildlife spotting in spring, and exceptional views as you drive along the road, there are ample of activities and things to do in the park throughout the year.
11. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania – Kenya
Since it is situated along the Tanzania – Kenya border, so you can apply for either Tanzania visa or Kenya visa to visit this national park. Every year the golden landscape of this park witnesses “The Great Migration” where millions of wildebeest and thousands of zebras and gazelle migrate to Kenya from Tanzania in search of food, water and breeding grounds. Out of these millions and thousands, quite a few fall prey to the predators like crocodiles, lions, leopards, etc. that are waiting for an opportunity to nab their prey. This oldest national park in Tanzania tops the list of national parks in the world to watch a predator live in action.
Go backpacking through the lush greenery, walk among tranquil nature, witness the majestic creatures in their natural element, and marvel at the breathtaking beauty of this planet that we call our home. Take a sip of some of the freshest water on this planet, untouched and not polluted. Spend a night under the stars and marvel at the sheer size of the universe in which we are merely a speck. There are so many things you can do in nature parks. You only need to make up your mind and head towards one.
Even if it is simply just to take a break from your daily life, plan a trip to many of the national parks in the world which will provide you with much needed escape from this concrete jungle of civilization.
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