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7 Spots in Africa & Asia to See Wildlife [Ethically]
There is nothing quite like the thrill of going on a wildlife safari. It is the stillness of the morning, the sounds of the wilderness, the sense of peace, and the smell of adventure that gets the adrenaline pumping.
For all those who love wildlife and want to be one with nature and watch the wild being absolutely untamed and free, here is a list of the best destinations that will enthrall you with some of the best game reserves in their natural habitat.
You can also check out the best gaming reserves from Far and Wild Travel. They have some exceptional safari holidays waiting to be experienced. From Botswana’s brutally wild Kalahari Desert to Tanzania’s sprawling, protected Serengeti National Park, here is a list of the top seven destinations that you as a wildlife enthusiast must visit at least once in your lifetime.
The Classic Zimbabwe Odyssey at Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park is the biggest national park in the country and also one of the most underrated. Covering an area of more than 14, 600 kilometers, it boasts of the largest diversity of mammals (108 species) than any other in the world and about 400 bird species.
It has the largest concentration of the Big 5 found anywhere on the planet. It also is the prime predator territory with “super prides,” having more than 20 lions.
After you are done with the jeep safaris to satisfy the adventure junkie in you, make a trip to Lake Kariba to soak in the serenity that Zimbabwe offers and also plan a trip to the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls.
The Wild Kalahari, Botswana
The Kalahari or The Great Thirstland showcases Africa at its most brutally wild. Spread across 52,800 square kilometers, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is tough to access due to the aridity, but once you get there, you are in for pure adventure.
Get ready to encounter herds of majestic gemsbok on the glittering mirages of Deception Valley and camp near Tau Pan amid the guttural roar of the lion prides lurking around in the areas.
There are many small and big game reserves within the vast Kalahari. Moremi Game Reserve is one of the most accessible one in the delta while Northern Tuli Game Reserve is one of the hidden gems, where you can get the best leopard sightings in the world. Hire a private jeep to traverse through the terrain with an experienced guide.
The Iconic Maasai Mara, Kenya
Sharing a border with Tanzania, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is Kenya’s quintessential safari hotspot. Sprawling over 1,500 square kilometers, it is home to the Big Five and is famous for the spectacular Great Migration.
The sheer quantity of wildlife on display is outstanding. From the king of the jungle, lion to giraffes, zebras, hyenas, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, and many more, Maasai Mara is a haven for not only wildlife enthusiasts but also a paradise for photographers.
You can get some beautiful wildlife shots with wild animals thriving in their magnificent habitat. The best time to visit is between July and October when you can see about two million wildebeest, zebra, and other antelopes making their way from Tanzania into Kenya across the mighty Mara River.
Majestic Ranthambore National Park, India
With more than 1400 tigers in India, it has about 50% of the world’s tiger count and what better place to find this majestic beast than the famous Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan.
It is one of the largest in the country, sprawled over 1,300 square kilometers of area. Once a hunting ground of the Kings, this park is now a protected haven for tigers, much like Chitwan National Park in Nepal. Wildlife thrives here with jungle cats, Indian fox, crocodile, leopards, sloth bears, and jackals seen in plenty.
Tigers are usually seen in the Bakaula region of the park with dense foliage covering the area and many watering holes. The best time to visit this paradise for wildlife enthusiasts is in April and May.
Bandhavgarh National Park, India
Located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh in Central India, Bandhavgarh National Park is renowned for its exquisite collection of flora and fauna. Home to more than 250 species of birds and 22 species of mammals, it is a favorite with nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
The park is spread over 450 square kilometers and, due to its small size, has a more significant density of wildlife. Once renowned worldwide for the elusive white tigers, now this species has not been spotted for years.
However, it boasts of having about 50 other tigers along with the other Indian wild species including, bison, sambars, langurs, cheetahs, and more. The best time to visit this place is between January and March.
Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka abounds with wildlife and the best part is that it is all packed into a compact space. The Yala National Park is one of the most famous of the 22 parks in the country, located in the south-east of Srilanka. It is arguably one of the best places to find mammals in Asia.
The top draw here is the Sri Lankan leopard, a subspecies that is endemic to the country. In fact, the chances of spotting this species are very high, almost one cat to every square kilometer.
Another species seen easily is the sloth bear, especially during the fruiting of the palu trees. Some of the other species seen here include toque monkey, golden jackal, wild pig, stripe-necked and ruddy mongooses, Indian palm civet, amongst others.
There are a lot of bird species too owing to a combination of marine, freshwater, scrub, and woodland areas.
Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka
If you want to see the majestic Srilankan elephants, then there is no place better than the Udawalawe National Park. The park was created to protect the watershed of the vast Udawalawe Reservoir and has extensive stretches of grassland, riverine forest, and scrub jungle, forming a stunning home for flora and fauna alike. Besides the giant elephant, the park is home to 184 birds, 33 reptiles, 43 mammals, and 135 different species of butterflies. With a myriad species of birds covering the sky, majestic elephants dominating the land, and the verdant mountains framing the landscape in the distance, Udawalawe National Park is undoubtedly a treasure to cherish and explore.
Experience exhilarating wildlife safaris in these exquisite sanctuaries across the globe and see wildlife at its untamed best. Enjoy the pristine silence of the forests and soak in nature in its glory. But before heading out for any of these trips, it is essential to have a quality travel backpack to carry all your gear in and ensure that you are adventure-ready.
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India now has nearly 3000 tigers in the wild.