20. Torres del Paine National Park -
One of the biggest and most visited Chilean national parks, the Torres del Paine National Park is famous for its marvellous natural beauty. The park houses snow-clad mountains, lakes, rivers, and glaciers. Guanacos are the most notable species of this national park. Foxes, pumas and the endangered Chilean Huemul, a type of deer, also live here. The Torres del Paine National Park is famous for its avian diversity including 15 birds of prey like the Andean condor, rufous-tailed hawk, magellanic horned owl, austral pygmy-owl, and others.
19. Chitwan National Park -
Located in the picturesque settings of the Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal, the Chitwan National Park is one of the best national parks in the world. The national park, established in 1973 was the country’s first national park. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Narayani-Rapti river system to the west and north of the Chitwan National Park forms a natural boundary between the human settlements and the protected area. Mammals like Royal Bengal tigers, Indian one-horned rhinoceros, Indian elephant, chital, Bengal foxes, sloth bears, golden jackals, small Indian civets, and a wide variety of birds, reptiles, and amphibians are found in this national park.
18. Plitvicne Lakes national park -
Another national park with a surreal landscape, the Plitvicne Lakes National Park in Croatia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Southeast Europe’s oldest national parks. Fauna of the Plitvicne Lakes National Park includes the European brown bear, wild cat, lynx, owl, wolf, owl and more.
17. Goreme National Park -
A national park of a different kind, the Goreme National Park of Turkey is one of the best national parks in the world. The national park is famous for its fairy chimney-like rock formations and ancient cave dwellings.
16. Manas National Park -
One of the wildest national parks in the world, the Manas National Park located in the Indian state of Assam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an elephant reserve, and a Project Tiger Reserve. The Manas National Park is located in the foothills of the Himalayas, and the Manas River separates this national park in India from the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. The landscape of the park is picturesque with dense forests, vast, flowing river, and mountains in the backdrop. Endemic species like the Assam roofed turtle, pygmy hog, golden langur, and hispid hare are found here. Indian elephants, Indian rhinoceros, Indian tigers, capped langurs, hoolock gibbons, black panthers, sambar deer, slow loris, etc., are some of the other animals found in the Manas National Park. The park is also famous for its rich avifauna like great hornbills, jungle fowls, bulbuls, bee-eaters, magpie robins, ospreys, herons, and more.
15. Lake District National Park -
The Lake District National Park is one of the best national parks of the world. It displays one of the most beautiful landscapes in the United Kingdom. The mountains or fells, the picturesque lakes, and surrounding forests have inspired poets like William Wordsworth to pen down poems on nature’s beauty. The Lake District National Park hosts the highest mountain in the country which is the Scafell Pike, and the largest lakes, the Wastwater and the Windermere.
14. Fiordland National Park -
The Fiordland National Park is located in New Zealand’s South Island and is the largest national park in the country. Dolphins and seals thrive in the waters of this park while a wide range of vibrant and beautiful birds also live here. One of the most famous birds of the Fiordland National Park is the kakapo which is the only flightless parrot living today. The kiwi, a native bird of the country is also found here.
13. Canaima National Park -
The Canaima National Park is situated in Venezuela’s Bolívar State. 65% of the park is occupied by tepuis which are age-old table-top mountains. The Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, enhance the beauty of this national park. The giant otter, giant armadillo, the jaguar, the white-faced saki, the harpy eagle, the dusky parrot, green iguana, cougar are a few of the rare and unique species of fauna found in the park.
12. Ranthambore National Park -
One of the best places in India to spot tigers in their wild habitat amidst the landscape of forests and ancient Indian forts, the Ranthambore National Park is situated in Rajasthan in India. Besides tigers, the national park also hosts leopards, nilgai, gray langur, striped hyena, sloth bear, chital, and other animals.
11. Andohahela National Park -
The Andohahela National Park, located in the south-eastern region of Madagascar, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was inscribed as such in 2007. The lemurs which are endemic to Madagascar are the most notable animals of this national park.
10. Los Glaciares National Park -
The Los Glaciares National Park is an Argentinian national park that was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. The park encompasses an area of 7,269.27 square km and a landscape of snowy mountains and massive glaciers.
9. Yellowstone National Park -
Located primarily in the Wyoming state of the US and extending into Montana and Idaho is the Yellowstone National Park, a protected area globally famous for its amazing geothermal features and fierce grizzly bears. The Yellowstone National Park was the first US National Park and probably the first one in the world. Massive lakes, rivers, mountains, and canyons form the landscape of the national park.
8. Banff National Park -
The spectacular Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada. The 6,641 square km national park encompasses a landscape of snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains, numerous glaciers, coniferous forests, ice fields, and alpine landscapes. The Banff National Park is located in the Canadian province of Alberta 110 to 180 km west of Calgary. Grizzly bears, cougar, elk, bighorn sheep, moose, wolverine, etc., are some of the most notable species that inhabit the national park.
7. Kruger National Park -
One of the biggest game reserves in Africa and one of the best spots for the “Big Five” sighting, South Africa's Kruger National Park covers an area of 19,485 square km. African buffalo, black rhinoceros, hippopotamus, giraffe, elephant, blue wildebeest, spotted hyena, lion, African wild dog, black rhinoceros, zebras are some of the most notable mammalian species of the Kruger National Park. 114 species of reptiles like the black mamba, African rock pythons, and crocodiles also occur in the park.
6. Galapagos National Park -
The Galapagos National Park is located in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. It is not only one of the best national parks in the world but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Galapagos was where Darwin first studied speciation in finches which led to the famous Darwinian theory of speciation and natural selection. Marine iguanas, birds, Galapagos crabs, gigantic Galapagos tortoise, white tip reef sharks are some of the animals living on land and in water in and around the Galapagos Islands.
5. Kilimanjaro National Park -
Located near the equator in Tanzania, the Kilimanjaro National Park is one of the best national parks in the world. The primary features of the park are the Mount Kilimanjaro and the montane forest belt surrounding it. The Kilimanjaro tree hyrax, bushbuck, gray duiker, red duiker, cape buffaloes, elephants, black and white colobus, leopards, blue monkeys are some of the animals found in the Kilimanjaro National Park.
4. Serengeti National Park -
A wildlife lover’s paradise, the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is witness to one of the most awe-inspiring natural phenomena, the annual migration exhibited by about 1.5 million wildebeest and 250,000 zebras. The park is also known for its Nile crocodiles, honey badgers, and the “Big Five.” The Masai lion, the African bush elephant, the African buffalo, the Eastern black rhinoceros, and the African leopard all inhabit the Serengeti National Park.
3. Sunderbans National Park -
Known for its man-eaters and mangroves, the Sundarbans National Park is one of the most dangerous national parks in the world. The tigers here are known to have developed a taste for human blood. It is said that danger lurks in both the land and in the waters of the Sundarbans National Park since man-eating tigers on land and salt-water crocodiles in water thrive in this park. The park is also famous for tourism which is mostly via vessels plying on the waterways of the national park. Fishing cats, leopard cats, pangolin, chital, Indian gray mongoose, jungle cat, macaques are some of the mammals living in the Sundarbans National Park. A large variety of birds is found in this park as well as venomous reptiles like Russell’s viper, King cobra, common krait, etc.
2. Victoria Falls National Park -
The Zimbabwean Victoria Falls National Park is home to the world-famous Victoria Falls. One of the best national parks on Earth, this park extends along the Zambezi River from the Zambezi National Park to 12 km above and 6 km below the Victoria Falls. The park features a dense rainforest and unique fauna like the elephant, southern white rhinoceros, hippopotamus, eland, Cape buffalo, crocodiles, and more. The Victoria Falls is undoubtedly the “must-see” feature of the Victoria Falls National Park.
1. Grand Canyon National Park -
The Grand Canyon National Park is not just one of the best national parks in the world but also one of the seven natural wonders. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Grand Canyon National Park is located in northwestern Arizona in the US. The Grand Canyon displays an extensive system of tributary canyons famous for their extensive layers of colorful rocks.
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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