Best National Parks in the World, 10-12

Best National Parks in the World, 10-12

Starting off 2024, our All World Travel MegaLists Series spotlights the top 218 national parks worldwide. As we reveal the best parks gradually, sit back and anticipate what’s to come. For now, enjoy numbers ten, eleven, and twelve!

10. Uluru, Australia

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, located in Australia’s Northern Territory, is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, celebrated for its iconic sandstone monolith, Uluru, and the domed rock formations of Kata Tjuta. The park, jointly managed by the traditional Anangu owners and Parks Australia, holds cultural and spiritual significance for the Indigenous Anangu people.

Photo Credit to Henrique Felix

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, rises majestically from the flat desert landscape, changing colors with the shifting sunlight. It is a sacred site and holds cultural significance, with the Anangu requesting that visitors refrain from climbing it. The base of Uluru reveals ancient rock art, waterholes, and caves.

Kata Tjuta, meaning “many heads,” is a series of 36 steep red-rock domes located nearby, offering an equally captivating and culturally significant experience. The Valley of the Winds walk allows visitors to explore this unique geological formation.

Photo Credit to Kyle Hinkson

The national park is rich in Indigenous culture, and guided tours led by Anangu traditional owners provide insights into the Dreamtime stories and the spiritual significance of the land.

The town of Yulara, situated near the park, serves as the main access point, providing accommodations, dining, and visitor services. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park invites visitors to appreciate the spiritual essence of the Australian Outback and the cultural legacy of the Anangu people against the backdrop of these extraordinary natural wonders.

Photo Credit to Seven Roadtrips

11. Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

Grand Canyon National Park, located in Arizona, USA, is a geological masterpiece and one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders. Established in 1919, the park encompasses the magnificent Grand Canyon, a vast and awe-inspiring landscape carved by the Colorado River over millions of years.

Photo Credit to Omer Nezih Gerek

The Grand Canyon is a showcase of geological history, with its colorful layers revealing the Earth’s story dating back nearly two billion years. The South Rim, home to the Grand Canyon Village, offers stunning panoramic views, while the North Rim provides a more remote and less crowded experience.

Photo Credit to Jan Kronies

Visitors can explore a network of hiking trails, including the renowned Bright Angel Trail and Rim-to-Rim Trail, offering various vantage points and perspectives of the canyon’s immense scale. Adventurous souls can embark on river rafting trips along the Colorado River, providing a unique perspective from the canyon floor.

The park is a haven for diverse flora and fauna, from the ponderosa pine forests on the rims to the desert ecosystems within the canyon. Wildlife enthusiasts may spot bighorn sheep, California condors, and a variety of desert species.

Photo Credit to Jura Ko

The Grand Canyon is accessible from nearby towns such as Flagstaff and Williams, and the Grand Canyon Village provides accommodations, dining, and visitor services. With its unparalleled beauty and geological significance, Grand Canyon National Park stands as a testament to the power of nature and invites visitors to marvel at the wonders of the Colorado Plateau.

12. Kruger, South Africa

Photo Credit to Leon Pauleikhoff

Kruger National Park, situated in northeastern South Africa, is one of Africa’s premier wildlife reserves, renowned for its diverse ecosystems and abundant animal populations. Established in 1926, the park spans nearly 7,523 square miles, making it one of the largest game reserves on the continent.

Photo Credit to Charl Durand

Kruger National Park is a haven for the iconic “Big Five” – lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards, and rhinoceros – along with a wealth of other wildlife species, including giraffes, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, and numerous antelope species. The park’s varied landscapes, from savannas and woodlands to riverine forests, contribute to its rich biodiversity.

Photo Credit to Chris Stenger

Visitors to Kruger can embark on game drives, guided walks, and even wilderness trails to observe and appreciate the park’s incredible wildlife. Birdwatchers are treated to a diverse avian population, with over 500 bird species recorded.

The park’s numerous rest camps and lodges offer a range of accommodations, from basic camping sites to luxurious safari lodges, providing visitors with immersive experiences in the heart of the African wilderness.

Photo Credit to Dianne Gibson

Gateway towns such as Skukuza and Hoedspruit provide access to Kruger National Park, where visitors can arrange guided safaris, obtain permits, and enjoy local amenities. With its extraordinary wildlife encounters and stunning landscapes, Kruger National Park remains a premier destination for those seeking an authentic African safari experience.

Photo Credit to Deborah Varrie

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