What are National parks?
“A national park is a natural park in use for conservation purposes; national governments create and protect them”, according to Wikipedia. Often it is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns.
Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently, there’s a common idea- it serves as a national pride; at the same time helps in the preservation of nature.
International Union for conservation of nature (IUCN) defines national parks’ characteristics which states-
It should be an ecosystem or a natural and beautiful landscape, which human cannot exploit or occupy; the plants, animals, habitat; can be only of scientific, recreational, and educational interest. The highest authority of the nation should ensure this. So, visitors have permission to enter for inspirational, educative, cultural, and recreation purposes; under special conditions.
Why does one visit National parks?
Without a doubt- to breathe in fresh unpolluted air. They are the perfect vehicles for reconnecting with nature.
Apart from this, these are places for us to enjoy & relax; away from the concrete jungles.
Surely, we can learn about native birds, animals, trees, etc. Aboriginal people, their habitats and their ways of living also, in national parks.
Besides, there are lots of things to do in a national park such as swimming, skiing, painting, mountaineering, taking photographs other than enjoying the view and taking in fresh air.
What should you keep in mind while visiting National parks?
Take food and water, warm clothing, sunscreen, hat and a raincoat.
Don’t go alone.
Be careful when walking on rocks at the sea edge.
Stay behind safety fences. Tread lightly.
Before swimming, check the depth, temperature and current.
Don’t disturb the flora & fauna, historic sites or aboriginal sites.
Don’t ride/drive inside the national parks.
Use toilet facilities and not the bush.
Now, the pick of some of the National parks to enjoy your next adventure are:
Ranthambore National Park
In Ranthambore National Park of Rajasthan in India, you may spot and photograph royal Bengal tigers in their natural habitat. Indian leopards, sloth bears, striped hyenas, and other interesting wildlife also call the park- home. You’ll find ancient ruins, including a historic fortress scattered around the park.
Best time to visit is October to March.
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Steep snow-capped mountains, turquoise alpine lakes, and icy glaciers surrounds Torres del Paine National Park. Glacial erosion wore them down into steep shards; a balm for sore eyed. Surrounding the massif are ice fields, lenga forests and pampas with grazing guanacos. It’s an alluring destination for intrepid hikers, kayakers, and mountain bikers.
Best time to visit is October to April.
Etosha National Park, Namibia
Etosha National Park means ‘Great White Place.’ This refers to the salt pan; a popular place to spot animals. Also, you can spot the wildlife quite easily because the plant life is so sparse. You may also spot rhinos, lions, and elephants, giraffes, zebras, gemsbok, wildebeest, and springbok. What makes this park unique is the floodlit waterholes at all the main camps, with some photography hides!
Best time to visit is from May to December.
Gwaii Haanas National park and Haida Heritage, Canada
You’ll find Haida people’s ancient carved poles and fallen longhouses on the lush rainforest filled with massive moss-draped cedar and Sitka spruce on the islands of Gwaii Haanas. Skies fill with bald eagles; bears scavenge salmon on wild beaches and the ocean teems with breaching whales, porpoises and sea lions. Experience a rich, remote landscape steeped in spirituality.
Best time to visit is May to September.
Salt river Bay National Historical park
Salt River is home to one of two bioluminescent bays or bio bays on the island of St. Croix. Surely, take flights to Caribbean from London to see the glowing water of the Bio Bay at night. Hundreds other popular national parks are there, which you may visit as well.
Visit them at all times of the year.
Manuel Antonio National Park
The magic of the beach and the greenery of the forests of Costa Rica is a natural paradise indeed. In addition to beaches, the Park offers a very humid tropical forest where species of flora and fauna (sloths, squirrel monkeys, and white-faced monkeys) in danger of extinction coexist; along with a mangrove, marine environments, islands and a lagoon of 14 hectares.
To enjoy sunshine, you may visit from November through April.
Jiuzhaigou National Park
Jiuzhaigou National Park is a scenic nature reserve in the Sichuan province of central China. It’s famous for its giant pandas and Sichuan Golden Snub-Nosed monkeys; multi-layered waterfalls, impressive mountains, and hundreds of lakes that shine every shade of blue, turquoise, and green. Jade Pool has magnificent, color-changing waters. Long Lake- surrounded by snow-capped peaks and forests is one of the most photogenic places.
Time to visit Jiuzhaigou is in autumn.
Goreme National Park
Located on the central Anatolia plateau; erosion sculpted Goreme National park to form a succession of dramatic rock formations, mountain ridges, valleys and pinnacles known as “fairy chimneys”. Enjoy post-iconoclastic Byzantine art & still lived-in, interconnecting, rock-carved (since the 4th-century) underground tunnels and villages, chapels, storerooms, and secretive homes.
The perfect time to visit this place would be between April to May or September to October.
Horsnell Gully and Giles Conservation Parks
Without a doubt, take cheap flights to Adelaide to visit Horsnell Gully and Giles Conservation Parks. Bushwalk through the steep gullies in the picturesque Adelaide Hills. Along the signposted walking trails, spot koalas & find the remains of a large homestead, including the coaching sheds, stable and cowsheds.
Furthermore, Yosemite National Park, Kakadu National Park, Canaima National Park, Komodo National Park, Kruger National Park, Fiordland National Park, Iguazu National Park, Banff National Park, Galapagos National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and many more national parks are amongst the most popular ones.
Besides, Yellowstone National park and Tobago main ridge forest reserve are amongst the oldest national parks.