Exclusive: World's Top 10 Wildlife reserves and parks

Holidays are beautiful, as it serves as way to regain strength for the working days, however, holidays are not complete without tourism.

Today, we talk about 10 of the most visited and beautiful wildlife reserves and park in the world.


10. Yellowstone National
Park
Famous for its geothermal features – and for being
parodied in Yogi Bear – this park is also home to a
number of different varieties of animal. Grizzly
bears roam the mountains and they’re a tad less
friendly than Yogi, although the official website
claims that your chances of being eaten by a bear
are 1 in 2.1 million. Apparently, only 7 people have
died at the paws of bears in the last 140, so you’re
more likely to drown, or die of burns from the
thermal pools. Provided you pick your way through
unscathed, as the vast majority of visitors do, you
can also see herds of bison, elks and wolves as well
as the unique system of geysers and thermal pools
that the park is so famous for.


9. Kafue National Park
Covering an impressive 22,400km2, Kafue National
Park in Zambia is one of Africa’s biggest and parts
of it are still unexplored. It was established as a
National Park in 1924 by the British Colonial
Government, by moving the Nkoya people off the
land and turning it into a tourist attraction. There
are now calls for compensation to the Nkoya, but at
the time it was standard practice for the colonists
to assume control of land and do with it what they
wanted.
The park is full of different types of wildlife, and
claims to be one of the best places to see leopards.
But you’ll also find elephants, hippos, crocodiles
and African wild dogs in the Kafue, along with the
elusive cheetah. Some species are now under
special protection, following a spate of poaching,
and authorities are working to conserve their
populations.

8. Bialowieza National Park
There aren’t many huge wildlife reserves in
Europe, given how densely populated it is
compared to other continents. But this area on the
border of Belarus and Poland is almost untouched,
with dense forests providing homes to elks, bison,
deer and wild boar, as well as a bison-cow hybrid
known locally as a żubroń. Walking through the
forest, you can almost imagine how Europe was in
the prehistoric times and because of this it’s been
designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is
little  in the way of “civilization” in the forest,
although the Tsar had a hunting mansion (Palace
Park) in Białowieża, which is worth visiting. A great
destination for anyone really hoping to get away
from it all, although parts of the reserve are
guided-tour only. Check before you wander too far!


7. Bandhavgarh National
Park
Known as the Tiger-spotting Capital of Asia, this
446km2 National Park in India also has a large
population of breeding leopards and some deer.
It’s split into four zones – Tala, Magdhi, Khitauli,
and Panpatt – and Tala is said to be the hotspot for
tiger-spotting, as they wander across the roads
seemingly oblivious to the hordes of tourists
photographing them! However, the Alpha Male of
the park, Bamera, has territory in all four zones, so
might appear in any one of them. Bamera is the
son of legendary tiger B2 , and it is likely that he
killed his father in a slightly Oedipal display of
supremacy. You too can witness tiger-on-tiger
rivalry close up at the Bandhavgarh National Park!


6. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National
Park
This National Park, situated in the barren center of
Australia, is most famous for the large red rock that
gives the park its name – Uluru, also known as
Ayres Rock. It’s a site of great mystical significance
to the indigenous Australian population, and so the
surrounding area has been preserved as a wildlife
reserve.
While visiting Uluru, you can see a surprising
number of creatures who survive in the gaspingly
dry heat – including mammals such as bats and
moles, although these are rarely spotted during the
day. A more common sight are cold-blooded
reptiles, like the thorny devil – a lizard that is
native only to Central Australia. There are also 13
species of snake and even a type of frog that buries
itself in the sand, rather than taking up a more
traditional frog position near a pond. On top of
that, there are beautiful and unusual birds to see.
So, not only is it a great cultural site, it’s also full
of life!


5. Vancouver Island
A settlement built on top of an undersea mountain
range, Canada’s Vancouver Island sits off the west
coast of the mainland, and stretches for 460km. It’s
famous for whale-watching, and pods of Orcas visit
the area regularly, with tour guides almost
guaranteeing you’ll see one on your trip out. But
Orcas aren’t the only wildlife – there is also the
chance to swim with salmon or go on the hunt for
grizzly bears (not in a literal sense, just to track
them down and photograph them). It’s very much
a working community, with fishing and logging the
primary industries, but it is tourist-friendly and
hosts a number of festivals throughout the year,
like the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, which are well
worth visiting.


4. Khao Sok National Park
There are many beautiful areas in our list so far,
but Khao Sok in Thailand may be a contender for
most beautiful. With mountains, lakes and
rainforest, the landscape is ever-changing, and it’s
a great place to observe some of the local wildlife.
You can go trekking on elephants, canoeing or on
jeep safari and the wildlife is hugely varied. There
are leopards, tigers and gibbons as well as
elephants and, if you’re unlucky, you may even
have a close encounter with a cobra! The website
says that “Lethal bites are very rare” and that only
10-20 people die in the country from snake bites a
year. Still, it’s worth looking up their information
on snake bites before you go. Venomous potential
aside, it’s a truly stunning nature reserve with
some very exciting wildlife to spot.


3. Croajingolong National
Park
Another Australian entry, but a complete contrast
to arid Uluru. Located in Victoria, the “garden
state” of Australia, this is a lush, green area of
875km2 and home to the typical Australian animals,
such as kangaroos and koalas. Its lushness comes
partly from its location right next to water, with
the Pacific on the south side and the Bemm River
on the west. It is a UNESCO World Biosphere
Reserve and is officially owned by the Aboriginal
people, as they were settled on the land long before
anyone else claimed it. It’s fairly developed though,
with campsites, picnic areas and even lighthouses
along the coastline and is very much a tourist
attraction as well as an Aborigine reserve.
Watersports, such as boating and canoeing are
available and it’s a great place to sit and admire
the view as well as spotting some wildlife hopping
through.



2. Madikwe Game Reserve
So far, you may have noticed the absence of the
words “Big 5”, a commonly used safari term to
describe the animals that most tourists want to see
– lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino. These
animals are often the main goal of safari goers, a
tradition that stretches down from the big-game
hunters (these 5 are the most difficult to kill on
foot). The reason they’ve been absent so far is that
many reserves insist it’s not about ticking off
boxes, it’s about biodiversity and seeing a whole
range of animals. This South African resort ,
however, is proud of being a “big 5” reserve, and
keen tourists should be able to tick those boxes off,
along with 61 other mammal species and 300 birds,
all over 750km2. It’s an impressive reserve and a
key destination if you’re serious about safari. And
especially if you want those 5 animals to be ticked
off your list!

1. Amazon Rainforest
But for real, untamed wildlife there is nowhere in
the world quite like the Amazon rainforest .
Teaming with all kinds of deadly creatures, from
anacondas to tree frogs, it’s a unique experience
and a true taste of what the world was like before
man intervened. With an area of 7,000,000km2 it’s
on a different scale to the rest of the reserves, and
is home to hundreds of species that simply don’t
exist anywhere else.
It’s not friendly, it’s not tame and you may not find
a lot of fast-food outlets about the place but for
anyone who’s passionate about seeing creatures in
their natural habitat, it’s the trip of a lifetime. Be
prepared to be hot, sweaty and scratched by the
dense vegetation…but also overwhelmed by the
wonder of the wildest place on Earth.

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