South Luangwa is undoubtedly the jewel of Zambia’s national parks. It lies in the north-eastern part of Zambia and comprises some 9,050 square kilometres of unspoilt African wilderness. Its eastern boundary is the meandering Luangwa River whose regular changes in course leave scenic ox-bow lagoons.
Surrounded by rainforest, the little visited savannahs of this tableland are of enormous ecological importance, and attract many hummingbirds. Situated at the heart of South America, the red sandstone cliffs give the landscape its characteristic appearance with canyons, caves and waterfalls.
Danum Valley is arguably Borneo’s premier wildlife location and boasts all ten of Sabah’s primate species. Early morning is the best time to enjoy the canopy walkway through the surrounding lowland rainforest and view the stunning birdlife. It also offers maybe the best chance to see orangutan in the wild.
Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO world-heritage site, is located on the Brahmaputra River, and is a rich natural habitat for the Asian one-horned rhino. The open country makes wildlife viewing at Kaziranga fairly easy, and it is also a paradise for birders – thousands of migratory birds visit the park seasonally.
Kinabalu Park is dominated by the peak of Mount Kinabalu, and is probably one of the most important biological sites in the world. It harbours a remarkable botanical diversity with as many as 6,000 species of flora and fauna, over 600 species of butterflies, 320 species of birds and 100 species of mammal.
The Kinabatangan River snakes through Sabah’s lowlands for 560kms to reach the Sulu Sea. Along its length, a river safari will reveal a mosaic of riparian forest, oxbow lakes, nipah swamp and mangroves which supports a wide variety of mammal and birdlife who have grown surprisingly tolerant of human presence.
The Lamar Valley is located in the remote northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park, and is one of the best places to view wolves, where several packs live. These isolated rolling grasslands become a blanket of long grass meadows during the summer months, but are virtually inaccessible during winter.
Accessed via the town of Cuiaba, the northern Pantanal is home to some of Brazil’s rarest wildlife, such as jaguar and giant river otter. Many of the lodges here are still functioning cattle ranches, offering day and night trips by boat, vehicle, on foot and on horseback, accompanied by local naturalist guides.
Satpura National Park is one of India’s most intriguing wildlife destinations. Walking safaris are possible here and hides have been built in its meadows, forested plateaux and mountains, which are shared by a number of mammal species, including sloth bear, leopard and bison.
Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary is renowned for its work in rehabilitating orphaned orangutans, However, set in primary lowland rainforest, the reserve has much more to offer. The forest boardwalks make exploring easy, the birdwatching is superb and there is a tremendous variety of snakes and frogs to see.
The basin of the world’s largest river contains its oldest tropical forest and most diverse ecosystem, with at least 40,000 plant species, and a variety of wildlife. The lodges offer outings on foot and by canoe to explore the rainforest. Alternatively a riverboat voyage can take you deeper into the rainforest.
This ecological paradise is the world’s largest wetland, with 124 mammals (including the world’s largest jaguars), 177 reptiles, 1,100 species of butterfly, and a myriad of birds, brightly coloured flowers, and shoals of fish. There are significant differences between the north and south; we recommend visiting both.
Yellowstone National Park is dominated by its forest covered mountains and, because of its location on the North American plate, also experiences volcanic activity in the form of geysers, of which Old Faithful is the most famous. This relatively unique geography has attracted over 60 different animal species.
The Serengeti supports Africa’s greatest concentration of plains game. Its ranges include wooded highland, grass plains, acacia savannah and rivers. With an estimated three million large animals, most of which take part in a seasonal migration, you can experience one of nature’s greatest wonders.
Marojejy National Park is the best place to look for the rare silky sifaka, famed for its long, silky, white fur. The park also has nine other lemur species and is the only place left in the country where you can walk through rugged unbroken forest from sea level to mountain summit, where the views are spectacular.
The dense forests of Bergslagen around Skinnskatteberg, just a couple of hours drive northwest of the capital, are a good place to encounter the magnificent ”king of the Swedish forest”, moose, in its natural habitat. Its many lakes and watercourses bear ample evidence of beaver activity.
The Masoala Peninsula supports the largest area of lowland rainforest in Madagascar, and the greatest number of species. The mountain and valley cloaked primary forest borders the Bay of Antongil and is home to several rare birds and the last refuge of the red-ruffed lemur, one of the country's largest primates.
It might be one of the smallest parks in Zambia, but Kasanka is packed full of different habitats with miombo woodland, riverine forest and papyrus swamps being just a few. It also has lakes, lagoons, plains, dambos and marshes. Picturesque and peaceful, the birdlife here is exceptional.
The Ngorongoro Crater is a natural amphitheatre and one of the most dramatic settings in Africa. Its swamps, forests and soda lake attract thousands of flamingos and other waterfowl and the plains enclose the largest concentration of game – the predator prey balance is so precise that animals seldom leave.
Daraina is one of the most important sites in Madagascar. Home to the golden-crowned sifaka, one of the world’s rarest primates, the area is a mosaic of rolling hills covered with patches of deciduous and semi-evergreen forest and is one of richest and most ecologically sensitive areas in the north.
The sunny village of Fiss stands in a lovely elevated position looking out over the upper valley of the River Inn, set against a backdrop of high mountains. The area is a well-developed ski resort in winter, while in summer serves as a base for walking and family holidays.
The unique diversity of Manu’s wildlife is due to the range of ecological zones that extend from 300 to 4,000 metres above sea level. More than 1,000 species of birds, 200 species of mammals, many reptiles, and around 10% of the world’s plant species have been recorded within the park's boundaries.
Tadoba Andhari is the largest national park in Maharastra and is becoming increasingly well-known for its tiger sightings, and is one of India’s 41 Project Tiger reserves. The park is bounded by the Chimur, Moharli and Kolsa ranges and is dominated by teak and bamboo forests.
Timbavati is home to a myriad of wildlife and more than 360 species of bird. With no fences between Timbavati and neighbouring Kruger National Park, wildlife is free to roam across a vast tract of wilderness, with herds of elephant, buffalo and wildebeest, along with their attendant predators.