Amazing National Parks around the world – II

This post is in continuation of Amazing national parks around the world. In this post, we are profiling our pick of three nationals parks in Asia, Africa and Oceania. Click here to read the first post.

 

Asia

Fuji-Hakone-Izu national Park, Japan

Best time to go – spring and summer months (Late February-September)

Famous for – Mount Fuji, Fuji Five Lakes, Hakone, Izu Peninsula, Izu Islands and Cherry Blossom and Plum

 

Being home to Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji, Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is an assemblage of dispersed tourist sites that dot the region. It is located in the western Tokyo Metropolis, Japan and is one of the first four National Parks established in Japan (Feb 2, 1936). It attracts huge crowds every year on account of its strategic location to the Japanese capital. This park is a scenic assortment of varied topography like water falls, hot springs, volcanic islands, deep lakes and coastlines. Lined by sub-tropical fauna, this place is exceptionally enchanting due to the presence of beautiful cherry blossom and plum trees, the likes of which have adorned Japanese calligraphy and paintings since centuries. This park, in itself, captures the legacy, tradition, beauty and identity that Japan stands for, in the world. Image :- 

Fuji-Hakone-Izu national Park, Japan

 

Guilin and Lijiang River National Park, China

Best time to go – Anytime of the year

Known for – Karsts; Limestone cones, cylinders and hills with unique names like “Elephant Trunk” or “Dragon Head”; boat trips on Lijiang River

 

A long time ago; limestone stratum, which makes up the hills in this national park, had accumulated at the bottom of the ancient sea. Several millions of years later this part of the Earth’s crust went up due to massive earthquakes. Subsequently heavy showers and snow befell on this region, eroding the bedrock that was already weakened by cracks and ruptures. Later the upper limestone stratum fell off, exposing spired limestone trunks, which are considered by modern scientists as exemplary and picturesque, ancient karstic rocks; forming the unique shaped hills. During the orchid blooming season, one can see a variety of multi colored flower islands light up on the slopes. Hazy mountains and still waters of the Li River have a magical aura that has inspired Chinese painters and poets through centuries. Image :- Conor Macneill

Guilin and Lijiang River National Park, China

 

Sundarban National Park, India

Best time to go – Anytime except the rainy season (mid June-mid September)

Known for – Besides being a National Park, it is also a Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve; Mangrove trees; the Royal Bengal Tiger

 

On 4 May 1984 Sundarbans was declared as a National Park, as a core area of Sundarbans Tiger Reserve in 1973 and a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1977. The area, located in West Bengal, India; is immensely humid (80% humidity average) and has heavy rainfalls. That’s why rainy seasons are not ideal here. Its biggest attraction is the endangered and majestic, Royal Bengal Tiger which attracts huge gamut of tourists from across the world. It is also home to a variety of bird, reptile and invertebrate species, including the salt-water crocodile. The park is made up of 54 small islands and is crisscrossed by several tributaries of the Ganges River. There are seven main rivers and innumerable watercourses forming a network of channels at this estuarine delta. Hence this area is densely green is located at the scenic union of the rivers to the Bay of Bengal. Image :- Asif Salman

Sundarban National Park

 

Africa

Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe

Best time to go – June-September (Winter months)

Known for – Victoria Falls, Victoria Falls Bridge, Rainforest, David Livingstone statue

 

The Victoria Falls National Park, complete with The Zambezi National Park together cover a massive area of 56,000 hectares of land. It is home to the iconic “Victoria Falls”, which is one of the “Seven Wonders of the World”. It is made up of five falls; four of which lie in Zimbabwe (The Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls, Horseshoe Falls) and one lies in the bordering country, Zambia (The Eastern Cataract). The rainforest consists of very unique species of flora and fauna, that are intrinsic to the topography (Fig, Mahogany and Date palm groves, etc.). The Victoria Falls Bridge is renowned for bungee jumping, a major attraction to many tourists. The Zambezi river flows through, which also forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Image :- Clare Forster

Victoria Falls

 

Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

Best time to go – February and April (rainfall months)

Known for – Naukluft mountain range, Namib desert

 

Established in 1907, this national park covers an area of 49,768 sq. km. That is larger than the area of Switzerland (41,285 sq. km.). The area is characterised by high, isolated rocky outcrops made of dramatic blood red granites. This place has the tallest sand dunes of the world, some being more than 300 metres from the desert flow. The dunes taper off near the coast, and lagoons, wetlands and mudflats located along the shore attract hundreds of thousands of birds. A surprising collection of creatures survives in the hyper-arid region, including snakes, geckos, unusual insects, hyenas, gemsboks and jackals. The Namib-Naukluft is the largest game park in Africa and the fourth largest in the world. The most well-known area of the park is Sossusvlei, which is the main visitor attraction in Namibia. Image :- Anne Cathrine Bernhoft

Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

 

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Best time to go –Anytime of the year

Known for – the annual migration of 1.5 million white bearded wildebeest; 250,000 zebra and the Nile crocodile

 

The park, established in 1951, is Tanzania’s oldest national park and remains the flagship of the country’s tourism industry, providing a major draw to the Northern Safari Circuit encompasses Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, Arusha National Park, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The park lies in the north of Tanzania, bordered to the north by Kenya, continuous with the Maasai Mara National Reserve. To the southeast of the park is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, to the southwest lies Maswa Game Reserve, to the west are the Ikorongo and Grumeti Game Reserves, and to the northeast lies the Loliondo Game Control Area. Together, these areas form the larger Serengeti Ecosystem. There are usually three regions; the emblematic scenery of the almost tree-less grasslands, the western corridor with the “black cotton” or black clay soil (home to the Nile crocodile) and Northern Serengeti, a landscape dominated by open woodlands. The wildlife is speckled and migratory in nature over here. Elephants, Giraffes, dik diks, Lions, Rhinos, Buffaloes, Babboons, Crowned Cranes, Kori Bustards, Marabou Storks, etc are found here. This park attracts about 90,000 tourists each year. Image :- Eduardo Huelin

National Park Niokolo Koba in Senegal

 

Oceania

 

Uluru-Kata Tjutu National Park

Best time to go – March-May

Known for – Sandstone monolith, Uluru/Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta/Mount Olga
The sandstone monolith is 348 meters high and most of its bulk below the ground, located in this National Park. It is home to Uluru, Australia’s most recognizable national icon; that acknowledges Australian indigenous culture and helps people recognize and relate to Australia as a country worldwide. Kata Tjuta, meaning ‘many heads’, is a sacred place relating to knowledge that is considered very potent and perilous, only suitable for initiated men. It is made up of a group of 36 conglomerate rock domes that date back 500 million years. Uluru and Kata Tjuta provide physical evidence of feats performed during the creation period.

The Park is ranked as one of the most significant arid land ecosystems in the world. As a Biosphere Reserve under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program, it joins at least 11 other reserves in the country and an international network aiming to preserve the world’s major ecosystem types. There are a number of walks that visitors can take around the major attractions of the Park. The Base Walk is one of the best ways to see Uluru. Other walks surrounding Uluru include the Liru Walk, Mala Walk and Kuniya walk, while the sunrise and sunset viewing areas provide strategically beautiful picture-clicking locations. Image :- 

Uluru National park
Blue Mountains National Park, Australia

Best time to go – November-May

Known for – Sandstone rock formations, rainforests, waterfalls, adventure sports, plateau cliffs, Katoomba Scenic Railway
The Blue Mountains National Park is one of the most popular in Australia. The majority of tourists to the Blue Mountains see the national park from one of the many lookouts between Wentworth Falls and Blackheath, and many of these never actually set foot in the park. Activities for the visitor include short walks to lookouts above cliffs and waterfalls, overnight and longer walks to more remote areas of the park, canyoning, abseiling, rock climbing and mountain biking. It is also home to the world’s steepest railway, The Katoomba Scenic Railway. The most famous attraction in the park is the Three Sisters rock formation. It attracts about 600,000 tourists at an average.

Structurally, the Blue Mountains are part of the greater Sydney Basin and  lies on the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range. The plateau slopes gently down from west to east from a height of around 1,100 m near Mt Victoria to less than 200 m around Glenbrook. Image :- Dennis tan

Blue Mountain

 

 

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Best time to go – November-March (Summer Months)

Known for – Helicopter Hunting, Milford Sound, Takahe Bird, Tramping, Water Falls, Picturesque Splendour
“A cherished corner of the world where mountains and valleys compete with each other for room, where scale is almost beyond comprehension, rainfall is measured in meters and scenery encompasses the broadest of emotions”- This is how the author of the book “Mountains of Water- The Story of Fiordland National Park” described this absolutely stunning place.

Established in 1952, Fiordland National Park occupies the southwest corner of the South Island of New Zealand. It is the largest of the 14 national parks in New Zealand, and a major part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site. A variety of habitats here support a diverse range of flora and fauna, with many developing in relative isolation leading to a high rate of endemism. The park is a popular destination for alpine climbers and trampers, with the Milford, Kepler, Hollyford and Routeburn tracks all in or close to the park. Market hunting from helicopters continues today in a reduced fashion, with the largest market being Germany. The NZ government uses helicopters to poison the deer and possum population with aerial dropping of large volumes of 1080 poison, despite some public opposition to the indiscriminate use of such poisons. Image :- Andrea-pozzi

Milford Sound 

 

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