The 5 best National Parks in the world

 

The world is filled with a staggering amount of natural beauty, taking the form of unique rock formations or expansive forests which are home to some of the rarest animals. It is important to protect these places, to ensure that they remain undisturbed and stand the test of time. Of all the national parks out there, here are my favourite five:

Kruger

South Africa is renowned for its remarkable landscapes, filled with a plethora of flora and fauna which promises to bewitch natives and tourists alike. As one of the largest game reserves in Africa, Kruger National Park covers an area of 19,633 square kilometres and is home to some of the world’s rarest and most incredible animals, such as the lion, rhino, elephant and cheetah. Over the years South Africa’s tourism industry has taken off, with many people booking safari holidays to witness the amazing wildlife. The rugged landscape of Kruger National Park ensures that visitors will go away with a camera stocked with countless unforgettable photographs.

Kruger

Yosemite

Yosemite National Park spans over 3,080 square kilometres, and is filled with spectacular cliffs, waterfalls and forestry. Over 3.7 million people visit Yosemite every year, with many choosing to spend their time in Yosemite Valley. Home to sights such as the Half Dome, Yosemite Valley is an area bursting with natural beauty, as well as a rich history which visitors will surely enjoy learning about. Nowadays the adventurous choose to go hiking in Yosemite, or even rock climbing; its beautiful scenery makes it the ideal place to combine sport with beauty.

Yosemite

Galapagos

The Galapagos National Park is a relatively new national park and World Heritage Site, having been established in 1959. Consisting of an archipelago of small islands, visits to the Galapagos National Park have been restricted, due to the area’s fragile ecosystem. The Galapagos Islands are home to an array of incredible wildlife, such as giant tortoises, sea lions and birds of prey, not to mention volcanoes which visitors are able to hike across. Although the Galapagos Islands are a somewhat exclusive location that can cost a pretty penny, they are well worth travelling to.

Galapagos sea lion nursing, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador - nursery with a view

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is an icon of the US and is the 15th oldest national park in the country. Its history dates back to 1919 when it first became a national park, but is said to be thousands of years old. There are many ways to take in the Grand Canyon, whether it is on foot or on a helicopter ride. No matter what angle it is viewed at, the Canyon never falters to amaze those who look upon it.

Grand Canyon

Activities such as hiking and rafting are commonly enjoyed at the Grand Canyon, as well as camping in one of the established campgrounds. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is also a popular way to view the Canyon – the transparent bridge juts out over the Canyon, providing a once in a lifetime view.

Everglades

The Everglades is an extraordinary location, and is the largest subtropical area in the United States, where a whole host of interesting wildlife resides. It was first declared a national park in 1947, to help maintain the area’s fragile ecosystem. The Everglades is home to 36 endangered species of animal, including the American crocodile and Florida panther. Visitors of the national park can explore it on foot or on an airboat tour.

Everglades

Matthew Coe is Online Marketing Manager for Wanderforth.

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Comments (19)

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  1. Grand Canyon has always been a fantastic place associated with cougars for me since childhood. I just wonder given the assumption that this region is very hot, are there several animal species living there? What are they? What about vegetation? it seems to be very hot and dry, of course, apart from the little amount of water in its river.

    Please explain it a bit more or introduce some source for learning more about it. Thanks.

  2. Sharon says:

    There are so many great National Parks. See no reason to list only 5 parks. Each park has something special.

  3. Bec says:

    I couldn’t stop at 5
    Banff National Park Is wonderful
    Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park In Australia
    Great Barrier Reef – National Marine Park Queensland Australia

    I think these are just as great, if not more so, than Everglades national park

  4. Peter says:

    The Maasai Mara in Kenya and Serengeti in Tanzania shouldn’t be out of this list. Though i think that the list also has the best parks.

  5. I’ve just been 11 days on Galapagos and it’s amazing how close you can come the animals. If sealions, seaturtles, iguanas or pelicans – if you don’t touch them they’re fine and you can watch how they live. It’s a shame people have so much impact.
    In April I’ll be visiting the Kruger Nationalpark. Am curios how it’s there.

  6. jimbo jones says:

    definitely the Great Barrier Reef should have been mentioned… i’ve also heard that Yellowstone national park makes Yosemite seem a bit tame

  7. rob sellars says:

    I agree, there are so many amazing national parks because there are so many amazing countries! Restricting the list to 5 is too small in my opinion. Currently I am in India and it seems to get missed off all of these types of list but is actually a top 10 contender for any category of “must see” lists.

    Last month the Government in India just opened up the visa on arrival scheme here to now cover 43 countries including USA, Germany, Russia, Singapore, Australia etc so maybe now it will get more coverage and more people can be amazed by it!

  8. jhon peter says:

    You should come to Argentina before closong this list! we have beautiful nacional parks to discover

  9. Peter Morris says:

    Only my opinion, but would take out the two US ones and substitute Algonquin (although provincial) and Banff/ Jasper. In another league from environment to conservation.

  10. Linda says:

    I am wondering why Kenya’s Masai Mara and Serengeti in Tanzania are not in the list.tell them Peter. their is much to see here

  11. Evans says:

    Maasai mara got the best free natural safari anywhere in the globe folks. You add the magical both tsavos national reserves authentic bush experience and Amboseli at the foot hills of Mt kilimanjaro and you got kenya on top of your holiday destination.

  12. You should see Tayrona Park in Colombia. Simply stunning and it will take your breath away. It’s located in Santa Marta. If you ever need info feel free to let me know.

  13. Victoria says:

    Five National Parks in all the world and THREE of them in the USA? A tad parochial, perhaps?

    Would love to see a longer list showcasing some of the National Parks we’ve not heard so much about. Fascinated to see commenters suggesting India and Argentina have world-class National Parks and would love to hear about those!

  14. Mamerito says:

    This is list is incomplete without Kidepo Valley National Park. The park’s dramatic scenery, with jagged mountain peaks laying rings around sweeping grasslands and palm-lined river valleys, is home to a variety of wildlife. But surely one of the most dramatic sights is Kidepo’s famously vast buffalo herds, with up to thousands of these bovine beasts in a single congregation. Lions are commonly seen here on game drives and it is an excellent birding destination. Travel and visit the CNN Top Rated Kidepo National Park in #Uganda where lions climb sausage trees!

  15. Rebekah says:

    Grand canyon is pretty amazing. I’m also in love Juizhaigou National park in China. Such crazy blue water. Hopefully I’ll make it to Yosemite soon

  16. Nestor says:

    During the late seventies and early eighties I compiled many fond memories with students traveling by canoe during 3-4 weeks paddling trips in Everglades National Park (Flamingo to Everglade City) in winter, on the “Wilderness Waterway Trail”, as well as along the gulf of Mexico. Camping on old indian shell mounds, along sawgrass rivers and on sand beach gulf shoreline and islands provided up front and personal observations, interactions and challenges with flora and fauna that has shaped by life. Back then it was truly a wilderness adventure with little or no other humans. Wondering if such travel and experiences are still possible there.

  17. Luke says:

    Check out Kerinci Seblat National Park on Sumatra, Indonesia! Highest volcano in Southeast Asia, largest tea plantation in the world on its border, highest crater lake, waterfalls, hot springs, montane rainforest, swamps and wetlands, and endangered species like tigers (the most in SEAsia), elephants, gibbons, bears, etc. It’s one of the largest protected areas in all of Asia. Idyllic and far, far off the beaten path.

  18. Beth says:

    If just one African National Park was to be on this list, I wouldn’t have chosen Kruger. With its tarred roads, it doesn’t really capture the true African idea of a truly wild safari. Sure, it has a lot of wildlife, but if you really want a real African National Park in the original sense of the world, I would have chosen Mana Pools National Park, Chobe or Luangwa. I wouldn’t have chosen Masai Mara or the Serengeti as those parks can be overrun with other tourist vehicles at times, which detract from the wildlife.

  19. Martin says:

    For me Bwindi Impenetrable Rain Forest should have made it to this list. The vegetation, the terrain and above all the mountain gorillas makes this place qualify to be in this list

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