Must-visit Safaris for wildlife enthusiasts
There is nothing more enthralling, intriguing and inviting than experiencing nature in its true form. Wildlife travel is without a doubt the best way to explore the call of the wild. So, if you’re bored of those regular holidays and want to do something more adrenaline-pumping and exciting, then plan a wildlife safari vacation where you can have close encounters with amazing animals of the wild. From the vast grasslands in Kenya safari holidays in Africa to the dense forests of the Indian sub-continent, numerous wildlife sanctuaries across the globe are teeming with wildlife making it difficult for you to choose the best. Here’s our list of the best National Parks in the world that will offer you the most unique game viewing experience on earth.
Kanha National Park, India
Nestled in the Maikal range of Satpuras, Madhya Pradesh sits in the heart of India. The Kanha National Park is one of the best tiger reserves in India, spanning across 940 square kilometers, it is best known for the majestic tiger, whilst there you’ll also see Barasingha deer and countless birds, reptiles, and insects. All these beings live in perfect harmony surrounded by luxurious meadows, wooded strands and dense maroons of jungles, making the magnanimous sighting even more beautiful.
Experience nature in its purest form at Amboseli in Kenya. Often called the ‘Land of Giants,’ set against the breathtaking vistas of Mt Kilimanjaro, Amboseli is famous for the impressive elephants carrying massive tusks. Besides this beast, you can also spot the other Big 5 easily. Spread across 8,000 square kilometers, this ecosystem is thriving with life. The best time to visit Amboseli is in the dry season, between June and October when animals get together around the marshes and other waterholes.
Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia
Characterized by pristine, untouched wilderness, this remote National Park in the far west of Zambia, it is a land of dramatic storms and long stretches of rolling grasslands. In fact, it has one of the oldest conservation histories in Africa dating back to the 19th century. The game is spread across an area of 1,400 square kilometers and it takes quite a bit of driving around to find the game in this forgotten piece of Africa. However, the sheer wilderness of this national park is what makes it completely fitting for the wildlife to thrive. You can have some fantastic photographic opportunities here owing to the dramatic lightning and storms rising on the horizon and contrasting beautifully with the gold and green grasslands, creating magnificent views.
The best time to visit is between August and December with November being the best month as the rainy season begins, creating spectacular skylines. This is also the time when large herds of blue wildebeest migrate from the neighboring country, Angola.
Bandhavgarh National Park, India
Formerly, a hunting ground for the Kings of Rewa, Bandhavgarh National Park is a world-renowned tiger reserve. It has the highest density of Bengal tigers in the world, making it a must-do for all you ardent tiger lovers. Besides this majestic beast, the park has 22 species of mammals and about 250 species of birds. Amongst the carnivores, the favorite game that wildlife enthusiasts come for is Asiatic jackals, sloth bears, leopards and grey mongoose. The park is home to some beautiful bird species including, dove, black vulture, parakeet and many others.
The park is open for visitors between mid-October and June with the best time for game-sighting being between November and February.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Located in the Arusha region of northern Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area has a unique ecosystem with myriad landscapes and habitats co-existing. Sprawled around 3,200 square kilometers, it has all kinds of landscapes, from grasslands and forests to mountains, Savannah woodlands, volcanic craters, swampland, lakes and rivers. It also houses the Ngorongoro Crater, one of the biggest unbroken calderas in the world. Amidst this beautiful area, live a wide array of animals. You can see wildebeests, zebras, the endangered black rhinoceros, leopards, lions and more than 400 species of birds. The best time to visit this place is in January and February when massive calving of wildebeest comes outside the crater area.
Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Hwange National Park is the largest safari destination in Zimbabwe. Spread over an expanse of 14,600 square kilometers, it is abounding with wildlife. You are sure to encounter lions, African wild dogs and leopards here along with approximately 400 species of birds. But the elephant is what truly defines Hwange. It is home to the world’s largest populations of about 4,000 tuskers.
The best time to visit this haven for wildlife lovers is between August and October when the wildlife congregates around shrunken water spots and the jungle is stripped off the greenery.
Udawalawe National Park, Srilanka
If you want to find elephants in the wild, there is no better place than Udawalawe National Park. With over 400 of them calling it their home, sightings are easy to come by. Framed by highlands in the north and huge grasslands and bush forest, it makes for the ideal setting for wildlife. Besides the elephant, you can also spot grey jackals, wild boar, the rare rusty-spotted cat (the world’s smallest species of cat) and the Srilankan leopard.
The best time to visit Udawalawe is between October and January, if you want to see big herds of the Asiatic elephants.
Etosha National Park, Namibia
Sprawled across 20,000 square kilometers, Etosha National Park in Namibia offers the world’s greatest wildlife-viewing. Unlike other parks where you have to go looking for animals, Etosha’s charm is in its ability to bring the animals to you. All you have to do is park your vehicle near a waterhole and wait. You will see a host of animals including lions, elephants, gemsboks, springboks flock in hundreds.
The essence of the place lies in the vast Etosha Pan, which is a large, flat, saline desert that is transformed into a shallow lagoon due to rain for a few days, teeming pelicans and flamingos. Similarly, in the dry season you can see the grand animal brigade marching in hordes to water spots. The best time to visit Etosha is between May and December.
A safari is the best way to encounter nature and wildlife, from seeing animals in the natural habitat against the perfect natural setting to camping under the stars. So get set for a thrilling holiday amidst the wild and the wilderness and while doing so ensure that you are equipped with a good pair of hiking boots for a comfortable all-day safari.
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