Tuesday, 1 April 2014

World’s Top 10 National Parks

National parks are kind of an American thing. After all, we established the first one (Yellowstone) in 1872. But it didn't take long for the idea to catch on overseas, and these days the international community can give even our most impressive parks a run for their money. If you love exotic wildlife, ancient ruins, and otherworldly scenery, you might want to add these 10 foreign national parks to your bucket list.

(Photo: Zebras at Sunset in the Serengeti via Shutterstock)

Kruger National Park, South Africa
Image byRobinH00d

There is quite literally nothing to match the grandeur and the magic of the African wildlife. With its vast land, untamed scenery and vibrant wildlife, the Kruger National Park is arguably the best Safari on earth. A dream trip where you’ll see large mammals, plenty of birds, the big hunters and the prey all sharing one land – that’s a must if you love wildlife.

Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, Peru
Image by dckf

It may not be your idea of a typical national park, but variety is the spice of life, and nothing provides more than the majestic Machu Picchu. No matter how many times you visit the ancient sites nestled in the thick green canopy, the journey through the Inca trail always seems to carry an air of excitement and a mystic aura with it. These are the South American Andes at their best.

Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal
Image bywikipedia

Nestled in the unparalleled majesty of the mighty Himalayas, the Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal contains three of the world’s ten highest peaks (including Mount Everest itself). Two to three mile long retreating glaciers and deep, vibrant valleys, a snow-filled rugged terrain and a host of mountain wildlife, make this UNESCO World Heritage Site a grand destination.

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Image byemmajg

If you love the boat rides through magnificent Fjords, then this is the place to go. With Milford Sound being the main attraction and 14 other fjords making up this great spot down under, it’s a must-stop spot to enjoy one of the most romantic settings you will ever witness.

Galapagos National Park, Ecuador
Images bytim_ellis, arkntina, dramafreezone

A great variety, unique history and scientific interest that comes along, the Galapagos is a heaven for exotic wildlife creatures that you will find nowhere else on the planet. A promoter for responsible eco-tourism, we vouch that you’ll enjoy the blue waters and the amazing landscape.

Tikal National Park, Guatemala
Image byjungle_boy

If the journey to the Machu Picchu is all about the Incas Heritage, then this is the site where you explore the Mayan part of South America. Studded with the amazing jungle canopy and woven into the natural beauty that surrounds it, the Tika National Park in Guatemala is a World Heritage Site that contains the spectacular ruins of a Maya settlement from around 250 – 900 AD. With towering temples, great architecture and integrated with vibrant wildlife, it can be one of the most amazing journeys you’ve ever hopped on.

Yellow Dragon Scenic Area, China
Image bySteven Sichuan

Located in a calcium-carbonate sediment that creates the illusion of a golden dragon, the Yellow Dragon Scenic Area in China is the home to that cuddly and cute Giant Panda— the most recognizable face of WWF. An amazing eco-system that breathes the oriental style, snow-covered peaks, waterfalls, gorges, primeval forests, and hot springs along with rare and endangered species like the Giant Panda and the Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey, this is the ultimate place for photographers.

Iguazu National Park, Argentina
Image byvtveen

An outstanding World Heritage Site that protects one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazu National Park is a diverse array of South America’s finest fauna. With magical waterfalls (that fall over 70 meters high and 1500 meters wide) and the surrounding subtropical forest as a cover, the views are breathtaking.

Kakadu National Park, Australia
Image bypmforster

The Kakadu National Park is situated in the top part of the Northern Territory in Australia. A typical Australian outback and one of the select few places on the planet that is listed as a World Heritage Site both for natural and cultural aspects, the park is spread over 3.2 million acres. It includes the traditional lands of several Aboriginal groups and is home to the stunning South Alligator River. Housing stone plateaus and escarpments, monsoonal rainforests, flood plains and billabongs, tidal flats and coastal beaches, we can only imagine a magical week in Kakadu.

Swiss National Park, Switzerland
Image bylbugnion

Ironic how Switzerland is famous for its amazing Alps and only has one national park on offer. But what a park … The Swiss National Park more than makes up for the lack of quantity with quality. Established in 1914, this is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elks, chamois and ibex on the ground, and golden eagles and bearded vultures in the air. Valleys, rivers and snow-clad peaks, this is definitely nature’s perfection.

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