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The vast “Esteros del Iberá” are the second largest wetlands in the world after Brazil’s Pantanal and cover some 1300 km² of marsh, savannah and lagoons in north-east Argentina at the heart of Corrientes Province.
Jutting out into the roaring Atlantic Ocean in a remote, desolate corner of Patagonia, the Valdes Peninsula is one of world’s great wildlife sanctuaries and provides safe haven to an extraordinary wealth of marine life. The peninsula lies on the eastern edge of Chubut province and encompasses some 4,000 km² of cliffs, lagoons, mudflats, bays and endless pounding beaches.
Bolivia’s Amazon covers huge swathes of the country’s eastern lowlands, an endless sea of green which echoes with the shrill cries of monkeys and tropical birdsong. For visitors, the most popular destination for jungle adventures is the Madidi National park, two million hectares of protected mountains, cloud-forest and tropical rainforest.
The vast Amazon Rainforest dominates northern Brazil and what better way to explore the rainforest’s extraordinary diversity and rich wildlife than by staying at an eco-lodge deep within the jungle.
Cristalino is a unique conservation project and jungle lodge tucked into the southern edge of the Amazon Rainforest accessible only by water.
Uakari Lodge is a community-based eco-tourism project deep in the Mamiraua Reserve, a vast area of over a million hectares at the confluence of the Solimoes, Japura and Auti-Parana rivers. It represents the largest protected flooded forest in the world and is home to a breathtaking array of species including the iconic red-faced Uakari monkey.
Capital of Parana state, Curitiba is a pleasant, modern city and the starting point for one of South America’s most spectacular train rides – the Serra Verde Express.
Explore the mighty Amazon aboard the MV Tucano, an elegant 80 ft. riverboat that evokes the time-honoured river cruises of yesteryear.
Two hours’ drive from Cuiaba along the famous “Transpantaneira Highway”, Araras is a comfortable lodge at the northern edge of the Brazil’s Pantanal surrounded by lush gallery forest and wetlands.
The Fazenda Barranco Alto sits under the shadow a huge mango tree, a huge 11,000 hectare working cattle ranch located deep in the southern Pantanal some 120km northwest of Aquidauana. Surrounded by rolling savannah and gallery forest pocked with lakes and lagoons, the lodge sits on a gentle meadow slope that leads down to the famous Rio Negro.
Three hour’s drive from Cuiaba, gateway to Mato Grosso’s northern Pantanal, the Pousada Mutum is a beautiful lodge perched on the banks of the Mutum River. Set amidst glorious gallery forest and well-watered plains between Lakes Sia Mariana and Chacorore, it offers a wonderful introduction to Brazil’s Pantanal.
The Pantanal is one of the world’s largest seasonal wetlands; 140,000 square kilometres of forest, pampa grasslands and marsh which stretches across the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and into the neighbouring countries of Bolivia and Paraguay.
Kratie is a sleepy river town situated on the east bank of the mighty Mekong River. This picturesque town got off relatively lightly in the war years with much of the French architecture and the roads left in tact. There are many attractive French and Khmer homes scattered about, adding to the pleasant atmosphere and character of the place.
Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. It forms a natural floodplain reservoir that is drained by the Tonle Sap River into the Mekong River near Phnom Penh.
The face of Patagonia, the awe-inspiring Torres del Paine adorns tourist brochures the world over and is South America’s most spectacular national park. Perched at the tip of the continent, the park was established in 1959 and encompasses some 2,400 km² of mountains, ice and rolling Patagonian steppe close to the border of Argentina.
Colombia’s emerald “Amazonia” spans six departments - Amazonas, Caquetá, Guainía, Guaviare, Putumayo and Vaupés – and is a huge blanket of tropical forest that covers 403,000 km², some 35% of the entire country.
Four hour’s drive from San Jose on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific, Manuel Antonio is one of the country’s most beautiful national parks. Established in 1972, it covers close to 2000 hectares of tropical rainforest which spills onto golden beaches and rocky coves. Off shore, desert islands are locked in coral reef and harbour dolphins and migrating whales alike.
Thin wisps of mist are suspended amongst the lush jungle canopy of Costa Rica’s most famous cloudforest reserve - Monteverde. Founded in 1972, the reserve straddles both the Pacific and Caribbean flanks of the Tilarán Mountains, Costa Rica’s great continental divide and encompasses some 10½ thousands hectares of tropical forest.
The Casa Corcovado is the ultimate rainforest retreat, a rustic lodge and 170 acre private reserve tucked deep in the Osa Peninsula accessible only by water.
Ocean and jungle combine at the wonderful Lapa Rios, a beautiful eco retreat and thousand acre private reserve hidden amongst lush tropical forest deep in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. Built on a natural ridge, the lodge rises high above the lush canopy and boasts wonderful views over the sparkling waters of the Pacific and Golfo Dulce Bay.
Deep in the south western corner of Costa Rica surrounded by the rich waters of the Pacific and the Golfo Dulce, the Osa Peninsula is a breathtaking natural haven of rainforest, tumbling waterfalls and miles upon miles of palm-fringed beaches. Most famously, it is home to the Corcovado National Park, the jewel in the crown of Costa Rica’s park system.
In the north-eastern corner of Costa Rica, Tortuguero is one of the country’s most celebrated national parks, 77 thousand acres of rainforest, mangrove swamps and sheltered channels that spill onto the Caribbean. Accessible only by plane and boat, Tortuguero provides some of the last remaining nesting sites of four of the world’s eight species of green turtles.
The steamy Mindo Nambillo Reserve features over 20,000 hectares of lush valleys and rolling cloudforest and is a true paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers alike. Perched in the shadow of the snow-capped mountains between 1400 and 4778 metres above sea-level, Mindo forms part of the Andean Choco corridor, one of the richest biodiversity hotspots on the planet.
Ecuador encompasses a mere 2% of the continent’s rainforest yet boasts a dizzying third of the Amazon’s entire bird species. At the heart of country’s tropics, the Yasuni National park covers 9,820 km² of pristine rainforest and is arguably the most biologically diverse spot on Earth, designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1989.
For those whom prime focus of visiting a National Park in India is to see a tiger then Bandhavgarh National Park in the central state of Madhya Pradesh is the obvious choice with sightings pretty much a daily occurrence from October to June.
Most well known as the gateway to the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur sits just 3kms north of the UNESCO listed park. There are a few sights in the city itself which are worth a look including Lohagarh – an 18th century iron fort in the heart of the city, however it is only really visited by those heading to Keoladeo Ghana National Park.
Located in the heart of rural Rajasthan 3 hours drive from Jodhpur and Udaipur, Jawai Leopard Camp offers an unrivalled off the beaten track luxury wildlife experience.
Named after legendary British tiger hunter and photographer Jim Corbett, this famous reserve was established as India’s first national park in 1936. The park is located in the foothills of the Himalaya’s on the Ramganga River and astonishingly is home to over 580 species of bird as well as tigers, wild elephants, leopards, mugger crocodiles to name just a few species!
Located in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park is one of India’s largest and most popular National Park that offers a good chance of viewing tigers in the wild. The park boasts over two hundred tigers and leopards as well as deer, antelope, sloth bear, Indian wild dog and langur monkeys.
Situated on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River in the state of Assam, Kaziranga is most well known for being home to the Indian one-horned rhino, representing more than two thirds of the world’s total. Safari’s are generally conducted by elephant which adds to the adventure as you roam around the parks expansive grasslands.
Located in the southern state of Karnataka, Nagarhole National park was originally the exclusive hunting ground of the Maharaja of Mysore before being set up as a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and upgraded to a national park in 1988. Nagarhole is known for its lush forests and marshy swamps which surround a huge reservoir where safari’s take place by conical boats as well as on land by jeep.
Located just 45 minutes drive from Khajuraho, Pench is one of India’s most accessible National Parks and fits easily into cultural itineraries around the north.
Located in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, just two hours drive from Nagpur airport, Pench Tiger Reserve is less well known than the state’s other two national parks – Kanha and Bandhavgarh which in our opinion enhances the appeal as there are less visitors which makes for a more personalised visit.
Located near the town of Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambhore National Park is one of the main areas in India where tigers still roam. The park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and in 1973 became part of the project tiger programme, since being declared as one of the projects greatest success stories.
Sasan Gir National Park spans over 1,500 square kilometres and is the world’s last destination where you can see the Asiatic lion in the wild. Located on the Saurashtra Peninsular in far west India, the area is off the beaten track and not developed as a tourist destination which increases the appeal for the adventurous traveller and real wildlife enthusiasts.
Created in 1981, Satpura National Park is one of central India’s lesser-known parks and takes its name from the Satpura hill ranges of Madhya Pradesh. Satpura National Park is home to a variety of mammals including the tiger, leopard, sambar, bison and wild dog. Safari’s through Satpura are varied and can be conducted by canoe, elephant or jeep!
Nara is located less than one hour by train from Kyoto and Osaka. In times gone by Nara was the first permanent capital, and as such it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples.
The area near Wat Phou where the Mekong River is at its widest point, some 14 kilometres, is the vicinity known as 4000 islands or Si Phan Don. The islands range in size with Don Khong being the largest. You can stay on some of the smaller remote islands but the accommodation is extremely basic.
Along with north-western Cambodia, the far north of Laos is one of the truly adventurous destinations in Asia. Due to the lack of facilities and infrastructure travel in the remote region is arduous but ultimately rewarding.
One of the finest places to really get away from it all and experience wildlife in its most natural environments make the long and bumpy journey to the Danum Valley. It is located a two hour drive from the nearest town of Lahad Datu. The whole area is primary rainforest jungle far removed from human habitation.
For the majority of travellers no trip to Borneo is complete with out seeing the majestic orang-utan. The orang-utan sanctuary at Sepilok is famed worldwide for its fantastic work in rehabilitating these apes with the view to releasing them back to the wild.
For a truly unique experience in ancient rainforest but yet easily accessible from KL, Taman Negara is a great choice. Originally named King George V National Park, Taman Negara (National Park) is the first and the oldest official Protected Area in the country. It was gazetted to preserve the land's indigenous nature and was renamed Taman Negara after the nation gained independence in 1957.
Another of the many wildlife highlights in Sabah is a trip to Turtle Island National Park to watch cumbersome greenback and hawksbill turtles crawl to shore to lay their eggs, truly one of nature’s greatest sights!
Jutting down from the northwest corner of Mexico, the bony finger of Baja California runs 760 miles south from the US border to the golden beaches and pounding surf of Cabo San Lucas. Although on average only 25 miles wide, Baja California is a remarkable haven of marine life.
About 70 miles north of Yangon you will find the Moeyungyi Wetlands, a vital shelter for both resident and migratory waterfowl. In 1878 a water storage reservoir was constructed in the area and over a period of many years the reservoir changed gradually, but naturally, into wetlands it is today.
Bardia National Park lies to the west of Chitwan and for those willing to make the effort to reach will be rewarded with an unrivalled wildlife experience with few visitors and great chances to spot wild elephant, one-horned rhino, leopard and if you’re exceptionally lucky then even the ra
The World Heritage listed Chitwan National Park is located in southern Nepal and is easily reached from both Kathmandu and Pokhara. The park is renowned for being home to the rare Bengal tiger and one horned rhino as well as wild elephant, leopard, crocodiles and prolific birdlife.
Staying at an eco-lodge deep within the heart of the Peruvian Amazon provides a wonderful base for exploring the rainforest’s extraordinary diversity and rich flora and fauna. Shrouded in lush vegetation and overlooking rivers and ox-bow lakes, the lodges evoke the traditional design of the indigenous tribes and offer fully inclusive jungle adventures.
In the dusty coastal plain some four hours’ drive south of Lima lie the ancient man-made wonder of the Nasca Lines, one of the most enigmatic sites of all South America.
Located in eastern Sri Lanka away from the typical tourist trail in Gal Oya National Park, Gal Oya Lodge is a real gem and a must visit for wildlife and nature enthusiasts or those looking to get off the beaten track.
Horton Plains National Park is located between 2,100-2,300 metres above sea level in Sri Lanka’s central highlands. The mysterious looking plains are an expanse of misty grassland and are home to "World's End" which is considered to be the finest view in all of Sri Lanka.
Located in the iconic Cultural Triangle on the Habarana to Polonnaruwa road, Minneriya National Park is most well known for its high population of elephants which is thought to be around 300 due to successful conservation work in recent years. The best time to visit the park is during the dry season from May to September when the animals are more active as they search for water.
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage makes for an interesting visit en-route to Kandy and provides visitors with the best chance of seeing a large number of elephants at close quarters.
Renowned for rivalling East Africa’s national parks, Uda Walawe features open parkland making it the ideal location for viewing vast herds of elephants, as well as leopards, wild buffalo and sambor deer. As well as being renowned for its wildlife Uda Walawe is probably Sri Lanka’s most scenic national park with the surrounding hills of Horton plains forming the most picturesque backdrop.
Wilpattu is actually Sri Lanka’s largest National Park and has only in the last couple of years reopened to visitors after the conflicts of the northern part of the country. The park is home to around 50 leopards which are the main drawcard as it offers a much less touristy experience than the national parks down in the south.
Sri Lanka’s largest and probably most well known National Park, Yala is a must visit for wildlife enthusiasts and offers one of the world’s best opportunities of seeing a leopard in the wild. The park consists of 1268 sq km of protected area comprising of grassy plains, forest, rocky scrublands and lagoons and runs along the country’s south east coast.
Located right on the edge of Yala National park Cinnamon wild Yala offers the ultimate in bush chic accommodation.
This elegant though simple hotel is located close to the park gates and has a splendid location between the lagoon and the ocean. The property comprises a number of chalets scattered across 10 acres of mixed evergreen forest and typical dry zone vegetation.
Southernmost of the Galapagos Islands, Española is also one of the oldest whose dramatic cliff tops of Punta Suarez teem with sea-birds including Nasca and blue-footed boobies, oystercatchers, tropic birds and Galapagos hawks. More famously, the island provides the only nesting site in the entire archipelago for waved albatross which arrive between April and December.
One of the Galapagos’ most remote islands and often overlooked by cruises, Genovesa is a huge horse-shoe bay and sunken crater that teems with bird life. From the pristine coral beach of Darwin Bay, a trail leads past tidal lagoons to a viewpoint overlooking colonies of frigate birds and one of the largest and only nesting sites of the red-footed booby.
Perched on an extinct volcano with sweeping views across Santa Cruz island, Pikaia Lodge is a stunning contemporary eco-lodge that has raised the bar in terms of land-based Galapagos tours. At 450m above sea-level, it occupies a private Tortoise Reserve between the arid savannah and tropical highlands and enjoys near perfect conditions year round.
Cat Tien National Park is located around 150 kms north of Ho Chi Minh City. It consists of about 50% evergreen forest, 40% bamboo woodland and 10% farmland, wetlands and grassland. The National Park is one of Vietnams most biodiverse regions, which explains the impressive range of wildlife that can be found.
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