Earth is an exceptionally diverse planet, with a plethora of ecosystems, elevations and terrain. We really do live on in an amazing place that is filled with beauty at every turn. Majestic waterfalls, peaks that rise well above the clouds, rain forests that are overflowing with wildlife and underwater reef systems filled with colourful marine life are just a few of the things that can be seen around the globe.
Thankfully, most of the most amazingly beautiful parts of the earth have been protected and preserved, and classified national parks. Nearly 100 countries across every continents have a national park, making it very difficult to decide which ones to visit. To make things a little bit easier, here are my picks for the 3 national parks in the world that should not be missed.
This iconic national park is South Africa’s first ever national park. All of the Big Five game animals call the park home, as do hundreds of other animals. In fact, the Kruger National Park has more species of large mammals than any other game reserve in Africa.
The best way to visit the park is go on a tour with a reputable tour company that offers a variety of accommodation options, has great local guides and cares about environmental issues. Kruger Park Tours is one of these companies and has a wide range of tours to choose from, from camping under the stars to being pampered at a 5-star lodge.
Arguably the most spectacular park in the USA, the Grand Canyon is known for its unique colours, incredible formations and spectacular views. Visiting the 446 kilometre long canyon is the number one reason to visit Arizona, and five million people would agree! The best views can be seen from Lipan Point on the South Rim or by walking along the Tanner Trail. For something really incredible, stay at the El Tovar Hotel, which sits right along the South Rim and boasts incredible views of the national park below.
To really get your adrenaline pumping, go tandem skydiving right over the canyon! This offers the very best views, as well as giving you a once in a lifetime experience. Paragon Skydive can arrange it all for you, with their planes taking off right from the Grand Canyon National Park Airport.
This diverse national park is made up of glaciers, mountains, rivers and lakes. As soon as you arrive you will feel as if you are in a National Geographic magazine. It is that breathtaking! The Cordillera del Paine is the main focal point of the park, towering for 2,884 metres between the Patagonian Steppes and the Magellanic subpolar forests. It is Chile’s most visited national park, with over 250,000 tourists arriving at Punta Arena’s Presidente Carlos Ibáñez International Airport each year.
The most phenomenal way to experience the Torres del Paine National Park is by hiking along one of its many trails. All trails in the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve are paved and well-marked, most of which have campsites, hotels and lodges along the way. For a really memorable experience, jump on board the Grey II and go on a three hour voyage along the Pingo River to be memorised by the spectacular Grey Glacier.