For a nature lover, there is no better place than visiting a national park. The flora, fauna, wildlife, and natural beauty of a national park are almost a treat for people living in urban cities and anyone who loves adventure.
Well, it is great news that India is one of the top countries in the world known for its biodiversity.
India has 101 national parks that include wildlife, sanctuaries, marine life, and much more. Boasting some of the rarest animals like One-horned Rhinoceros, White Tigers, Asiatic Lions, and many others, Indian National Parks are a favorite spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
People from across the world appreciate this natural beauty. However, one must realize that these are wild predators, and it is a privilege to watch these glorious and magnificent creatures. The least we can do is follow the rules when visiting these parks and taking a safari.
Indian National Park Safari Tips
Every national park in India has its rules and guidelines for visitors. This helps them see the animals but also keep both the animals and people safe.
Please ensure you know about these rules thoroughly and take time to follow them when taking a safari in these parks. Below are 10 common things you should know before taking a safari in Indian National Parks.
Maintain Distance with Animals
Remember that they are in their space. You are just a visitor. You are invading their private space. That is why you must always remember to let the animals be and not try and engage with them. As they walk around in their area, do not disturb them in any way or try and make them afraid or infiltrated on.
Do Not Litter
This is an actual rule of any place across the world. However, more so, in the different Indian National Parks, you may visit. Do not be irresponsible. Do not throw plastic covers or glass bottles around as you travel through the national parks.
Unlike us, animals that inhabit the area do not understand the difference between stepping on different textures. It is your responsibility to ensure that you protect them.
Do Not Smoke or Start Fires
Creating fires or throwing cigarette buds that are not turned off in the national park is dangerous. Fire is a real issue. Often, if you are in an Indian National Park, there are usually designated areas where you can start a campfire, a barbeque, or even smoke. Follow the rule.
One mistake could lead to drastic displacement and a lot of heartache for the inhabitants.
Avoid Feeding Animals
The experts know what they need. By that, it is the people who are handling the national park and the animals themselves. You are not helping by trying to throw food on the road. As much as you think you are helping the animals.
If you do not know what they must or can eat, you have to ensure that you stay away from the idea of feeding animals to satisfy yourself.
Spotted Deer (Chital)
Follow the guide’s instructions
Guides that take you through safaris in Indian National Parks are experts for a reason. They come with years of experience and know what they are talking about.
It is pivotal that you follow their instructions to the tee. Do not try or think you know better than those who have got it and done it for years.
Stay Inside the Vehicle
Safaris have select vehicles that can stand the route and is designed to protect you during animal encounters. So, unless you are advised to get out and walk around the national parks, do not step out of the vehicles. Trust the experts.
A Tiger in Ranthambore National Park
If you are taking a tour without a guide, make sure you stick to the route and don’t go off the way searching for more creatures. Such adventure can put you in a lot of trouble like losing the trail, animal attacks, and more.
Do Not Disturb Their Habitat
Again, you are in the animal zone. Keep it quiet. Parties can be taken elsewhere. When you are in their habitat, respect it. In all likelihood, animals do not like loud noises. Therefore, respect their space.
Avoid playing music or making noises to get a reaction from an animal. It is not just unnecessary; it is also cruel.
Indian Gharial in Chambal River
Stay Silent and Calm
When you are going on a Safari in Indian National Parks, there is every chance that you will have a trip of your lifetime.
Baby Elephants taking a bath
However, the best way to go through the safari is to not disrupt wildlife. They will come and showcase themselves. But if you gasp a little too loudly, you might scare or annoy them away and not get the complete experience of the safari. So, stay calm and be patient.
Wear Light Coloured Clothes
Jarring colors can throw animals away from trying to get closer to the people that are coming to meet the visitors. They usually do not respond well to bright colors. Doing the best to be one with and blend in with flora and fauna is part of the things we do.
This will help us be one with the surroundings making us as travelers more accessible to the animals.
Earthy colored clothes are the best for Safari
Safaris usually last a while. So, always carry supplies. This includes ensuring you are prepared for a long ride as the guides take you through different parts of the national parks. You should try and carry supplies like water, basic food, and a garbage bag, so you do not litter.
Additionally, make sure you have the right equipment to make all the memories. However, ensure you do not scare them with flashes.
Never in your safari trip, you should forget that you are venturing into the wildlife’s space and somehow disturbing their habitats. So, by abiding by the rules of the park you are not only respecting the animals but also helping yourself and the animals.
Gulshan Bafna is a wildlife enthusiast and a brilliant photographer. His love for natural beauty can be found on his blog, where he shares all his travel experiences in a beautiful way that most of his followers love to read.
Are you a nature lover who wants to experience something unique and beautiful? Do you love waterfalls, long walks, or cycling in nature? If your answer is Yes, then it is time for Krka National Park in Croatia which is known for its series of 7 waterfalls.
If you are planning to visit Croatia, one of the places you must see is this national park.
One of the waterfalls
How To Get Here
Krka National Park is located in central Dalmatia. It consists of almost the entire course of the famous River Krka and the lower course of the river Cikola.
The northern part of national park Krka is near the town of Knin and the Dinara mountain, where the river springs. The southern part of the park, near the town of Sibenik, is where the river flows into the sea.
Nearby are the towns of Skradin and Lozovac. There are at-least eight entrances into the Krka National Park located around the park’s various attractions.
Bike & Hike Friendly
You can visit the park by car, hiking trails, or bicycle routes. The roads to the park are well marked and connected to the main highways. Since the tourist locations are far from each other, some of them you can only visit by excursion boats.
Things To Do In Krka National Park
With a large number of sunny hours, unusual beauty of the waterfall, plenty of green areas, Krka makes for a real natural phenomenon. The National Park includes a large number of attractions that tourists visit, such as:
Roman military camp
The first stop from Skradin is Skradinski Buk. You can get there by footpath, bicycle or excursion boat. This ride is in the ticket price and lasts about half an hour. The ship departs every 20 minutes. It is possible to take a dog with you to the National Park if it has protection. Also, you can visit Skradinski Buk on foot from Lozovac, but there is also a bus.
Skradinski Buk is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in this national park. It got the name Buk because of the big noise, created by the water that descends through the rocks. Visitors are also allowed to swim, but only in marked places.
The characteristic of this part of the National Park is a pedestrian, one-way path almost 2 km long. The trail is circular and leads through beautiful landscapes of water and greenery.
On this trail, there are plenty of places to rest. Also, there are beautiful viewpoints that are great for photography. This road leads us over many wooden bridges. There are many mills in this part. You can also visit an ethnic village that presents old crafts.
A large number of souvenir shops and there are also restaurants. The whole footpath is well marked. There are also educational boards with useful information.
From Skradinski Buk you can go further towards the Island Visovac, or a little further Roški slap. The price of these boat trips is additionally charged.
On this island, there is a monastery with the church of Our Lady of Mercyand a museum. An island rich in greenery and gardens. First of all, it is a place of prayer. You need to be decently dressed when visiting the island.
Another magnificent waterfall! You can visit it by boat from the island of Visovac and Skradinski Buk, but also by car. This part of the park is known for the rocks that line one another, which is why they were named Necklaces.
From the waterfall, the road leads to a lookout point that gives a beautiful view of the Necklaces.
A special place is known as the home of the monks. It is an Orthodox monastery. You can come here by car or boat from Roški slap. The boat ride takes about 1 hour and is extra cost (not included in your park ticket). You can visit the church and the museum.
Represents the most beautiful viewpoint of the National park. It is also the highest waterfall in the Krka National Park. You can visit this waterfall by car to the parking lot, and then on foot to the viewpoint.
A characteristic of this part of the national park is the ancient Roman amphitheatre. It can be reached by car and continue with a walking tour. You can visit alone or accompanied by a guide. This amphitheatre shows the military past of this part of
Explore Skradin Town
Skradin town, Croatia
One of the entrances to the national park, as mentioned above, is Skradin. The small Mediterranean town is a great starting to visit the national park. During the season, it is very crowded due to tourists, and out of season, you will find a quiet place and a peaceful life of the locals.
With its narrow and long streets, it conquers this place. The colored tall houses, olive trees, old bicycles in front of the door make us peek into every corner. In the main street, there are many wineries. This area is known for its excellent local wine.
Besides to wineries, there are also restaurants, souvenir shops with handmade products. The donkey is an animal that represents the symbol of this area. Old stone steps lead to the landscape with a beautiful view of the marina and the river.
After this part of the city, we come to the promenade along the river. A large number of cafes and the port of boats during the season are the reason why you should walk through this part. Luxury ships sailing through this part of Europe come to Skradin for a break. They provide an unusual sight.
If we go to the other side of the promenade, we will come to a playground for children. There is also a part of the river where many swans have found their place. During the summer there is a small market, where you can buy local products such
as honey, olive oil, figs.
Note: It takes several days to tour the entire National Park. If this is your plan, the ideal solution is to find accommodation in Skradin. We offer hotel and apartment accommodation of various categories.
Plant & Animal World
Due to its pure nature, the National Park is home to various plants and animals. During the visit, we can see animals like turtles, frogs, lizards. There are more than 30 species of fish and over 200 species of birds. When we talk about plants, the most famous is the pyramidal bell that grows in the rocks and is purple.
It takes a lot of time to visit the whole national park! And after the tour, walking, feeling the freshness of the water on your skin, you will be full of impressions and thoughts.
Everyday lifestyle leaves us little time for us. The best thing today is to know how to plan your time and not forget your needs. That is the secret of love for travel.
Krka National Park is an ideal example of this and should be on your “must-see” list!
Tickets & Prices
You can buy tickets at the entrance to the National Park, at various marked places. If you want to save time, you can also buy tickets online (on the National Park’s website).
Ticket price depends on:
the location where you buy tickets
how old are you, and
whether you visit the park individually or in a group
An important factor that affects the price of the ticket is the period during the year when you visit the park. Prices are lower in the months outside the summer tourist season. During the winter, a large part of the national park is not open for visits.
Note: Children up to the age of seven have FREE admission.
Have you already visited this National Park? If so, what are your impressions?
Dragana Šuša is an economist in tourism and a freelance writer. Currently, lives and works in London. Many years of education and work in tourism she has dedicated to works with small and medium businesses. She works on the promotion and advertising of companies in tourism and hospitality through digital marketing. Her main goal is good textual content, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Social Media Optimization (SMO). You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
The Sunshine Coast, Queensland is one of the top destinations in Australia, attracting over 3 million visitors a year. Beautiful coastal walks, beaches, tourist attractions, magnificent nature, adrenaline-filled excitement, and great food and beer are just the beginning of all the fun things to do in the Sunshine Coast.
If you’re a nature lover, you’re in luck in your visit to the Sunshine Coast, with all the animals and plant life to see in this amazing holiday destination.
The Sunshine Coast is located approximately 100 km (62 mi) north of Brisbane. In this blog, we will share with you our Top 6 attractions for nature lovers.
Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park is situated near Noosa Heads between the Pacific Ocean and the Sunshine Coasts’s northern area, past Lake Weyba to Coolum. The Headlands Section of the park contains pockets of rainforest where hoop and kauri pines dominate.
There are also areas of open eucalypt forest, wallum heaths, pandanus palms and grasslands. The Peregian Section is known for its wildflowers which blossom in spring, particularly the rare swamp orchid and Christmas bells.
A population of koalas is found in the park, as are mammal species such as the short-nosed bandicoot, common ringtail possum, brushtail possum.
Birds such as the eastern ground parrot, glossy black cockatoo, eastern yellow robin, rufous fantail, satin bowerbird and crimson rosella are all found in the park’s forests.
Headlands in the park are a popular place to watch migrating humpback whales (pictured above).
There are only two everglades in the world, and one of them is right on the sunshine coast along the Noosa River. Float along the serene water that so perfectly reflects the plant life that borders it on either side.
Join an organized cruise so you can just enjoy the feeling of being on the water or hire a kayak and paddle along the water yourself. View the natural plants and animals—the Noosa Everglades are home to over 40% of Australia’s bird species.
Whether you’re a local or an international visitor, there’s something to see on the everglades.
Maleny Botanic Gardens
Wandering through the botanic gardens is a treat for avid botanists, nature lovers, and anyone who enjoys escaping from city life for a little while.
Walk along over 6km of pathways through the gardens (or jump into a golf cart to make getting around the gardens a little easier). Enjoy a picnic in a gazebo or among the scenic grounds. Young ones can run wild through the fairy gardens while you relax.
The botanic gardens also feature Bird World—a place where you can get hands-on with live birds and get a photo with them for an experience you’ll never forget.
The Australia Zoo, affectionally subtitles the Home of the Crocodile Hunter, is the Zoo that Steve Irwin and now his family have always strived to make the biggest, best wildlife conservation facility in the world. The zoo has won a whole host of awards for the work it does to help animals and to educate visitors.
When you arrive at the zoo you might find yourself overwhelmed with all there is to see and do! Throughout the day there are several animal shows you can watch to learn more about the residents of the zoo.
Not to mention the up close and personal animal encounters you can have. You can even adopt an animal and pay to keep it happy and safe throughout its life.
Glass House Mountains
The Glass House Mountains are a cluster of 13 hills that rise abruptly from the coastal plain on the Sunshine Coast. The highest hill is Mount Beerwah at 556 metres above sea level, but the most identifiable of all the hills is Mount Tibrogargan which from certain angles bears a resemblance to a face staring east towards the ocean.
The Glass House Mountains are located in the traditional lands of the Jinibara and Gubbi Gubbi people. Local Natives have an elaborate legend about the mountains.
Sea Life Aquarium
When you haven’t had enough of amazing animals after your trip to the zoo, you can head into the SeaLife Aquarium. Walk through the aquarium and take a look at the underwater life from a perspective you won’t get anywhere else.
See the penguins, seals, sharks, smaller fish, and many more exotics aquatic species!
Walk through the ocean tunnel and look around as sharks, rays, reef fish, and more swim above and next to you. The Tidal Touchpool gives visitors of all ages the opportunity to get their hands wet and touch some real sea stars, sea cucumbers, and more.
There’s plenty of fun things to do in the Sunshine Coast if you’re an animal lover. from getting up close and personal with animals to wandering through scenic nature.
Many of these parks are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. They can be visited for safaris and to see the African flora and fauna.
The mighty lion in Botswana
Some nations also have considerable areas designated as private parks, game reserves, forest reserves, marine reserves, national reserves, and natural parks.
We have selected the most popular Game Reserves to be included in this list of National Parks because we believe you should not skip them. They are equally as impressive as any National Parks on this list.
National Parks in Africa
Listing all countries alphabetically (A to Z).
Sahara desert, Algeria
Alhaggar National Park
Belezma National Park
Chrea National Park
Djebel Aissa National Park
Djurdjura National Park
El Kala National Park
Gouraya National Park
Taza National Park
Theniet El Had National Park
Tlemcen National Park
Sunset in Angola
Bicauri National Park
Cameia National Park
Cangandala National Park
Iona National Park
Longa-Mavinga National Park
Luenge National Park
Luiana National Park
Mucusso National Park
Mupa National Park
Quiçama National Park
Antelope calf drinking mother’s milk, Benin
Pendjari National Park
W National Park — also called W of the Niger National Park spanning Niger, Benin & Burkina Faso
A leopard in Okavango Delta in Moremi National Park, Botswana
Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Chobe National Park
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Moremi National Park— in the heart of the Okavango Delta
Oryx Antelope (almost near extinction in the wild)
Arli National Park
Deux Balés National Park
Kaboré Tambi National Park— formerly called Pô National Park
W National Park — also called W of the Niger National Park spanning Niger, Benin & Burkina Faso
Kibira National Park
Risizi National Park
Rurubu National Park
Mount Cameroon, Africa
Bénoué National Park
Bouba Njida National Park
Boumba Bek National Park
Campo Ma’an National Park
Faro National Park
Korup National Park
Lobéké National Park
Nki National Park
Waza National Park
Fogo National Park
Central African Republic
St. Floris National Park
André Félix National Park
Bamingui-Bangoran National Park
Dzanga-Ndoki National Park
Mbaéré Bodingué National Park
A Caravan in Chad’s Sahara
Aouk National Park
Goz Beïda National Park
Manda National Park
Zakouma National Park
Democratic Republic of the Congo
A chimpanzee in the wild
Garamba National Park
Virunga National Park
Kahuzi-Biéga National Park
Kundelungu National Park
Lomami National Park
Maiko National Park
Mangroves National Park
Salonga National Park (North and South sections)
Upemba National Park
Okapi Wildlife Reserve(Note: This is not a national park. This is a reserve with core protection and multi-use areas)
Republic of the Congo
A Mandrill Monkey in Congo
Conkouati-Douli National Park
Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park
Ntokou-Pikounda National Park
Odzala-Kokoua National Park
Ougoue Lekiti National Park
Assagny National Park
Banco National Park
Comoé National Park
Îles Ehotilés National Park
Marahoué National Park
Mont Nimba National Park
Mont Péko National Park
Mont Sângbé National Park
Taï National Park
Day Forest National Park
Djibouti National Park
Yoboki National Park
White Desert National Park, Egypt
Gabal Elba National Park
Lake Burullus Protectorate
Lake Qarun Protectorate
Nabq Protected Area
Ras Muhammad National Park
Saint Katherine Protectorate
Sannur Valley Cave Protectorate
Taba Protected Area
Wadi Allaqi Biosphere Reserve
Wadi El Gamal National Park
Wadi El Rayan Protectorate
White Desert National Park
Monte Alen Park
Mountains in Eritrea
Dahlak Marine National Park
Semenawi Bahri National Park
Simien Mountain Gelada, Ethiopia
Abijatta Shalla Lakes National Park
Awash National Park
Bale Mountains National Park
Mago National Park
Nechisar National Park
Omo National Park
Simien National Park— stunning mountain scenery and important wildlife populations in Ethiopia
Yangudi Rassa National Park
Aberdare National Park
Amboseli National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park
Meru National Park
Mount Elgon National Park
Nairobi National Park
Samburu National Park
Sibiloi National Park
Tsavo National Park (East and West)
Maasai Mara Game Reserve(Note: not a National Park but the most popular destination in Kenya)
A herd of African Buffalo
Akanda National Park
Batéké Plateau National Park
Birougou National Park
Crystal Mountains National Park
Ivindo National Park
Loango National Park
Lopé National Park
Mayumba National Park
Minkébé National Park
Moukalaba-Doudau National Park
Mwangné National Park
Pongara National Park
Waka National Park
Abuko National Park
Bijilo National Park
Kiang West National Park
Niumi National Park
River Gambia National Park
Life in Ghana, West Africa
Bia National Park
Bui National Park
Digya National Park
Kakum National Park
Kalakpa Game Production Reserve
Mole National Park
Nini-Suhien National Park
Badiar National Park
Haut Niger National Park
Cacheu River National Park
João Vieira Marine Park
Orango Islands National Park
Sehlabathebe National Park— a remote mountain reserve great for hiking with rare wildlife, impressive waterfalls, and ancient rock paintings and stone shelters
Lake Malawi National Park — pictured above
Kasungu National Park
Lengwe National Park
Liwonde National Park
Nyika National Park— a large highland national park in Malawi
A Nyala Antelope in Mozambique
Gorongosa National Park
Limpopo National Park
Antelopes in a flowers meadow in Etosha National Park, Namibia
Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park — including the Fish River Canyon Park
Bwabwata National Park — composed by ex “Caprivi Game Park” and ex “Mahango Game Reserve”
Etosha National Park — abundant wildlife in the “big white place”
Fish River Canyon Park — the second largest canyon in the world
Khaudum National Park— maybe the most remote of all Namibian national parks, known for its tourist-terrorizing elephants
Mudumu National Park
Namib-Naukluft National Park— contains the famous Sossusvlei valley and the world’s highest dunes
Nkasa Lupala National Park
Skeleton Coast National Park
Waterberg Plateau Park— another good place to watch wildlife
W National Park — also called W of the Niger National Park spanning Niger, Benin & Burkina Faso
Zebra is common across sub-sharan Africa
Chad Basin National Park
Cross River National Park (Okavango and Oban sections)
Gashaka-Gumti National Park
Kainji National Park (Borgu and Zugurma sections)
Kamuku National Park
Okomu National Park
Old Oyo National Park
Yankari National Park
Rwanda is the best place in the world to see Silverback Gorillas
Akagera National Park
Volcanoes National Park— in Rwanda is full of impressive rainforest and volcanic scenery of the Virunga Mountains and is perhaps the best place in the world to see rare mountain gorillas. Across the border, in Uganda, it is known as Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
São Tomé and Príncipe
Obo National Park
Basse Casamance National Park
Isles des Madeleines National Park
Langue de Barbarie National Park
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary
Niokolo-Koba National Park
Saloum Delta National Park
A beach in Seychelles
Curieuse Marine National Park
Morne Seychellois National Park
Praslin National Park
Ste. Anne Marine National Park
Gola Rainforest National Park
Outamba-Kilimi National Park
Western Area National Park
Hargeisa National Park
Hobyo grasslands and shrublands
Jilib National Park
Kismayo National Park
Lag Badana National Park
A Yellow Billed Hornbill in the mountains of Pilanesberg in South Africa
Addo Elephant National Park
Agulhas National Park
Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
Augrabies Falls National Park
Bontebok National Park
Camdeboo National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Karoo National Park
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Knysna National Lake Area
Kruger National Park
Mapungubwe National Park
Marakele National Park
Mokala National Park
Mountain Zebra National Park
Namaqua National Park
Table Mountain National Park
Tankwa Karoo National Park
Tsitsikamma National Park
West Coast National Park
Wilderness National Park
Bandingilo National Park
Boma National Park
Nimule National Park
Southern National Park
Nile Crocodile in Sudan
Dinder National Park
Lantoto National Park
Radom National Park
Suakin Archipelago National Park
Hlane Royal National Park – known for its Rhinos
An Elephant Family in Serengeti, Tanzania
Arusha National Park
Gombe Stream National Park
Mount Kilimanjaro National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Mikumi National Park
Mkomazi Game Reserve
Ruaha National Park
Rubondo Island National Park
Serengeti National Park— the biggest national park in Tanzania, perhaps the archetypal African game park; becomes the Maasai Mara National Reserve over the border in Kenya
Selous Game Reserve
Tarangire National Park— one of the best places in the world to see lions
Fazao-Malfakassa National Park
Fosse aux Lions National Park
Kéran National Park
Bou-Hedma National Park
Boukornine National Park
Chaambi National Park
El Feidja National Park
Ichkeul National Park
Jebil National Park
Sidi Toui National Park
Zembra and Zembretta Islands National Park
A mountain Gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Kabelaga National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park
Murchison Falls National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Rwenzori National Park — home of the almost mythical, otherworldly scenery of the Mountains of the Moon in Uganda
Blue Lagoon National Park— very accessible
Kafue National Park— the largest national park of the country
Lavushi Manda National Park
Liuwa plains National Park
Lochinvar National Park— excellent for bird watching
Lower Zambezi National Park
Luambe National Park— used to be the president’s private game reserve, now pristine wilderness without mass tourism
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
Nsumbu National Park— used to be very popular in the 1970s but has declined in the last decades
North Luangwa National Park— one of Africa’s great safari destinations
Nyika National Park
South Luangwa National Park
Victoria Falls National Park— one of the world’s largest waterfalls (pictured above)
Africa marks our 6th continent. Since Kenya is one of the best destinations to go for a Safari, we picked it as our first country to explore in Africa. It has been on our bucket list for so long and at last, we were about to experience a new continent!
We were excited! Moreover, we were going to see the “Big Five” in the wild! We picked Australken Tours and Travel as our safari company and they thoroughly impressed us! In short, we highly recommend them! They are mid-budget-range, locally owned and operated, flexible, and very, very professional!
In Africa, the Big Five game animals are the Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Elephant, and African Buffalo. The term “big five” was coined by big-game hunters in the colonial past, and it refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on “foot” but is now also widely used by safari tour operators.
That said, we were in for a surprise because on our 7 days safari we saw animals which we did not even know exists (such as the ones pictured below)!
Our 7 Days Kenya Safari
We’ll first share what was on our safari itinerary plan which then follows our experiences!
Day 0: Get to Nairobi
We arrived in Kenya late evening. This is the day where you will mostly rest and meet your tour operators and discuss your final safari logistics and trip plan!
Day 1: Nairobi to Amboseli
Trip plan: Depart from Nairobi for Amboseli National Park. Check-in and have lunch at AA Amboseli Lodge. Later proceed for the evening game drive in search of gigantic elephants the park is famous for, with chances of seeing lions, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, hippos, and different species of birds not forgetting the views of Mt. Kilimanjaro on a clear day. Meal plan (Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: Jambo, Kenya!
Giraffe and Zebras are everywhere in Kenya! You don’t even have to go to a park!
We woke up early morning (partially because we were jet-lagged and also because we were super excited to begin our safari!) We ate breakfast at our hotel and met Zippy our tour operator. She introduced us to our safari guide/driver, Albanus who has been doing safari tours for the past 29 years!
Since we chose a private safari tour, it was just two of us and our safari driver/guide. After a warm introduction, we were picked from our Nairobi hotel and started our first day of Safari towards the Amboseli National Park.
It was a lovely, sunny day. The warmth of the sun was so energizing. As we started our drive south towards Amboseli, to add to our adventure, our vehicle broke down midway. While we waited for it to be fixed, we saw Giraffe, Zebras, Donkeys, and pretty wildflowers by the roadsides.
Our safari van was fixed in 2 hours and we took some cool photos and stretched a bit and talked about the culture, tribes, and wildlife in Kenya!
Highway to Mombasa
The drive to Amboseli along the Mombasa highway was spectacular. One thing that really stood out at first was the magnificent landscape of Kenya. Red soil, beautiful landscape, cattle grazing, almost everything along the road was something new and different for our eyes!
During our drive, we crossed multiple small towns. It was very interesting to see life in rural Kenya as we drove through these small towns. Many people waved and smiled as we passed through; such a great welcome.
Not to forget the Acacia tree with birds nest and butterflies humming around, it was truly a moment of bliss. Mid-January is the season for mangoes in Kenya, so we also grabbed a bag of mangoes from the street vendors.
Morning view from our AA Amboseli lodge
Finally, we reached our lodge, quickly grabbed lunch, checked into our super cute tent and in the evening we headed out for our first game drive. We saw tons of Zebra very close to the park.
Next, we entered the park and caught a family of elephants grazing. We were surrounded by elephants and it was just so spectacular.
Amboseli is known for its huge Elephant population
Oh, another fun story, while we were entering Amboseli National Park, a Maasai man came to sell us handicraft. We did not want to buy a souvenir on our first day so he proposed bartering since he loved our The Art of Travel wooden watch. We exchanged our wood watch for a Maasai women wood sculpture.
It was the first time in our travels that we have bartered. This was an amazing experience! He was happy and we were happy! What a day! With all these fond memories our Day one of African safari came to an end. What an adventure!
Day 2: Amboseli National Park
Trip plan: After breakfast, we spend the day exploring the park. We also walked to the observation hill for the scenic view of the park and picnic lunch. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: A spectacular view of Kilimanjaro
Glorious view of Mt. Kilimanjaro
With sounds of rain and thunder, we woke up early morning. The rain had stopped during sunrise and we caught glimpse of Mount Kilimanjaro standing tall in all glory. We were very lucky.
After a quick breakfast at the camp, we started our day at the park. During our drive, we saw many new animals.
A Cheetah family
Playful yellow baboon monkeys, a lonely wildebeest, happy family of hippos, family of 3 cheetah all out for their fresh meal hunt, happy flamingo and Pelicans in the swamp, sneaky fox, busy Pumba, cunning hyena, skeptical ostrich, sassy giraffe, curious buffalo, herds of elephants, impala, and gazelle all around the park. Not to forget hundreds of species of birds on the ground as well as flying.
We went to the observation point for lunch where we had 360-view of the park. We ended the day at Masai Mara village where we saw cultural welcome dance and learned how the community functions in the tour through the tiny village.
Maasai tribe of Amboseli
Day 3: Drive to Lake Naivasha
Trip plan: After an early breakfast departs from Amboseli passing via the outskirts of Nairobi en route to the Great Rift Valley where we will have a stopover to admire the escarpment before we proceed Lake Naivasha where we will arrive in time for lunch at West beach camp. Later we will proceed for an hour’s boat ride with chances of seeing hippo and different species of birds. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: Everything happens for a reason
Early morning we started towards Lake Naivasha from Amboseli. Our van broke down again (Ugh!). So while our van was getting fixed we had some unforgettable moments interacting with the locals.
Our van broke it in front of a local handicraft store which was perfect for us to buy some souvenirs and check out local handicrafts. The lady at the shop was really sweet and she had some really cute collection. We bought a few souvenirs here (pictured below).
We moved along but the car needed more maintenance. We had to stop by a small town. While we were thinking about how unfortunate it is to have our car broken and possibly miss the activity planned for the day we spotted a beautiful Masai mother feeding her little baby girl.
A Maasai with her baby
I was watching her and the baby who was very friendly. The Maasai woman could not speak much English but she looked at us and smiled. I asked if I could take a picture with her and she was absolutely okay. After the photo and some interactions, she said “little money” and I was happy to give some money to the mother.
Next, we realized that there is a street market across the road selling shoes and all kinds of stuff. I was in much need of shoes since my only shoes broke on day 1 of safari (what a stroke of luck, right) so I bought a pair of safari type boots for 400 Kenyan shillings (i.e. $4 USD). It kind of looked somewhat tarnished but it did serve my desperate need since I was in my flip flops.
Shopping for shoes
It also made me appreciate simple things in life and to be humble. I have nearly 50 pairs of shoes back home but all I needed was one.
Moving on to another mishap we were out of our camera’s SD card capacity in just 2 days. We underestimated how many pictures we would take and we needed an SD card which is really hard to find in small towns. Still, we inquired the guy who sold shoes if we can find an SD card anywhere. He directed us to the cyber cafe nearby.
We went to the cyber cafe but they did not have an SD card for sale. Turns out that the guy working there is a photographer himself. He offered us to loan his SD card but we were not coming back there. We asked if he could sell to us and buy a new one for himself.
He was really sweet (and helpful and honest). He agreed to sell his memory card for the price that is sold in the market rather than asking us for an insane amount since we were in high need of that. (Needless to say, we are friends now! When you travel with an open mind you make friends from all walks of life.)
By the time we did all our necessary shopping our van was ready. We were really happy that we used the time and found what we needed. Just when we hit the highway the van started acting up again. The radiator got so heated that smoke and water was coming out, the car stopped again for the third time absolutely In the middle of nowhere.
We had a deep sigh this time because now we are not only missing the boat ride at Lake Nakuru which was planned for the day but we are stuck absolutely out of nowhere. Our driver was thinking and figuring out what to do, what is the nearest town, etc.
Suddenly an old Maasai man who lived nearby came for help, then another young Maasai shepherd came to help. They all greeted us with a handshake and smile. The old man’s wife also came by and got some clean water for the car. They were curious.
The old man asked Salil to let him see things through the camera lens. He was so happy when he could see things far away up close through the zoom lens. It was a moment of joy.
Then all the men pushed the van if it could work after we put the clean water but it didn’t. Luckily since our van was not functioning as well from day 1 another van was on its way from Nairobi. We waited a while and it finally came to our rescue.
We got on the new van and started to contemplate that if our van did not break maybe we would not have such an authentic local experience and get to know how warm, nice, and helpful Kenyan people really are.
We stared towards Lake Naivasha and stopped by Great Rift Valley which was spectacular. Finally, late in the evening we reached our accommodation near Lake Lake Naivasha and ended the day with some really memorable experience and a delicious dinner.
At this time we were thinking that we have made the best of every situation thrown at us. We made lemonade when life gave us lemons for real.
We ended the day at West Beach Camp by the shores of Lake Naivasha! It was a gorgeous lodge and we were the only guests besides one another couple! Both the sunsets and sunrise in Kenya are spectacular.
Sunrise from West beach camp
Day 4: Lake Nakuru
Trip plan: After breakfast, we will depart from Lake Naivasha for Lake Nakuru National park where we will explore the park with a chance of seeing rhino, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, baboon, monkey, leopard among other wild not forgetting a visit to the baboon cliff for the scenic view of the park. We will also explore the shores of Lake Nakuru with the chances of seeing flamingos. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: Something unexpected
Morning view at West Beach Camp, Lake Naivasha
We woke up, ate breakfast and as planned we headed to Lake Nakuru national park which has the salty lake Called Nakuru. On the way there we saw a lot of wildlife!
As we were exploring Nakuru, out of nowhere, we saw a lone male lion. This was the first time we saw a lion. He was a big male taking a nap under a bush. After about 30 minutes of waiting, he did stand up to watch us. He did not seem bothered at all and we felt the thrill of seeing a huge lion so close.
Next, we saw a huge troop of olive baboon monkeys, the zeal of zebras, heads of buffalo running, mommy and baby white rhino chilling, Waterbuck, gazelle, pumbas playing, and dozens of birds.
It was unreal for us to see a lion, we were not even expecting. We had picnic lunch at baboon cliff where we got a good view of the park and salty lake. It was really peaceful up the hill.
The water level is rising at the park and it’s flooding a lot of sections in the park. The view at Lake Nakuru was unreal; the trees were half under the water and dead, making them home for birds to stop by.
It was a lovely day at Nauru. The camp where we stayed had such amazing food we were relaxed and excited for Masai Mara.
A mother and baby Rhino at Nakuru
Day 5: Lake Naivasha and Maasai Mara
Trip plan: After breakfast, we will continue with our safari to the renowned Maasai Mara game reserve which is Kenya’s premier game reserve. It is the home of the “big five” – lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, and elephant, as well as cheetah, zebra, giraffe and vast herds of plains antelope and numerous other wildlife. We will arrive in time for lunch at Osero luxury Camp followed by afternoon game drive before you return to Osero luxury camp to wait for dinner followed by overnight. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: Hakuna Matata
We woke up early morning and headed to Lake Naivasha for a boat ride. We were supposed to do the boat ride on day 3 but we did manage to squeeze this on day 5.
Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake, unlike Lake Nakuru which is a saltwater lake. We had a memorable boat ride where we spotted numerous birds singing, cruising, and sunbathing on the trees.
We also saw a lot of hippos here! They are mighty creatures and the babies look so cute!
The highlights of lake Naivasha were seeing green plants grow on the lake, the fishermen catching fish, hippos with their family and an eagle hunting fish from the water. These are some moments we will always remember.
After Lake Naivasha, we headed towards Masai Mara straight. It was a long drive but we could see so much of the country by land. Finally, after a long drive, we reached Masai Mara.
The moment we reached Masai Mara we could instantly feel how different it is from other parks we have been. Not just the size but the landscape. It was interesting and unique. Vast grassland, meadows, small hills around, different kinds of trees (like the sausage tree and fig trees) and scattered acacia trees it was all adding to its beauty.
It was late afternoon game drive we were spotting new animals we have never seen like Topi, Dik-Dik, and Steenbok.
We were driving and suddenly we spotted three young male lions sleeping and fooling around. They were muscular, strong, and powerful. We watched them take a nap and change bushes. It’s rare to see three male lions all together but we were lucky.
Two teenage lions
As it was about time to exit the park we spotted a family of Cheetah. A mother and 3 cubs chilling. This was the first time we saw cheetah so close. They are so lean and curious. They look adorable too.
With an amazing first game drive at Masai Mara, we headed to our lodge. On our way back just outside the park, we saw so many Pumba running around with their tail up. They are so cute to watch.
There was also a Jackal running across the road. We followed him for a while and it ran away.
Our lodge was deep inside the park in the wooded area. We had dinner at the lodge where Maasai people danced for us. They asked Salil to join and so Salil did participate. We’ll share the Maasai dance video on YouTube.
Maasai welcome dance
At night we could hear Hyena howling. We also heard elephants and we woke up to birds chirping. What an experience!
Day 6: Maasai Mara
Trip plan: We will spend the whole day exploring the expansive Maasai Mara game reserve in search of Elephant, Zebra, Wildebeest, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard and other plains game with a visit to the Mara river where we might have a chance to see hippo and crocodile. We will return to Osero luxury camp to wait for dinner followed by overnight. Meal plan (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)
Our Experience: A very special moment
It started with pretty heavy rain early morning in Masai Mara but our guide assured us that it will still be a great game drive because animals, unlike humans, are not bothered by the rain.
We were driving towards the park early morning and the rain started to slow down a bit. On our way, we spotted two Masai kids in school uniform trying to cross a stream and go school.
They were small and after the rain, the stream had got to the road. We asked our guide to stop and offer them a ride to school. They were very happy. We dropped them at their school and they smiled and said ‘Asante’ which means ‘Thank you’ in Swahili.
We had just started our game drive in Masai Mara and thankfully the rain had also stopped. As we were watching some game around the park our guide got a call from his friend. After the call, he said, “guys, sit down. I think we’ve got something.”
Usually, the guides have a radio where they share what animals are spotted or they call and let other guides know about any major game around.
Also until the very end of our safari, we realized that guides usually don’t tell you what you’re going to see next or what can be seen. It totally makes sense because until today we were never told what exactly we are seeing, so every time we saw something we were always pleasantly surprised.
We knew there is something coming up but honestly, we did not pay much attention to what it would be. During that drive, we were just admiring the beauty of the park and landscape.
Suddenly we were on a road where few vehicles were stopped. We then knew there’s got to be something here hence so many vehicles. Our guide said “here is a pride of lion sleeping on the road”.
Our jaws opened wide as we saw 13 lions 8 females and 5 cubs having their siesta time. It was such a wonderful surprise. We luckily got a good spot to admire these sleeping lions on the road. Some cubs were curious and looking at us. Some were going back and forth around the female lioness for milk.
We saw them pet each other, cuddle, nap, stretch, stand, and sleep again. It was just magical. Hard to comprehend in words.
An hour felt like a minute. That mother-child bond and love we encountered was one of the most special moments at Maasai Mara. Our heart was filled with joy.
As of the 6th day of our Safari, we have seen 4 of the big 5 and many other interesting and important members of Africa’s beautiful savannas. Now we were on a hunt for the big cat aka Leopard.
Leopards are very shy animals unlike cheetah and the hardest to spot among the big five. Since it rained all night the road was very muddy. We went on a hunt around a lot of places where we could spot leopards like the fig tree, sausage tree, and the famous acacia tree.
We saw a wildebeest leg handing on a tree. Most likely a leopard must have had its meal there. There were no signs of leopard around and in all honesty, we did not feel sad about that. Nature and animals have their own rule and we cannot challenge that.
This was not a zoo where one can always trace an animal. The wildlife here is part of the vast African Savanna where we humans are no one but visitors in their homeland. With that registered in our brain and with much respect for the wildlife we drove towards the Mara River where the great migration from Serengeti of Tanzania to Masai Mara of Kenya happens.
On the border of Tanzania (behind us) and Kenya (in front)
On the way, we stopped at the border of Kenya/Tanzania. Such an interesting place. We were also thinking about how all these animals cross borders and that nature is not bound by any county or borders.
We reached the Mara river and took a short hike around the river with a ranger. This was our first hike experience at the park. It was beautiful and remarkable to set our foot and walk through the land of some deadly predators.
The famous Mara river full of hippos and crocodiles
We spotted some hippos in the river and the guide gave us a lot of information about the wildlife there. After that, we started our way back to our camp. On the way back we spotted two Waterbucks mating putting in a show for everyone. We also saw a lot of African Ostriches.
By sunset, we made it back to our camp to enjoy the evening. We enjoyed our gorgeous tent, had a wonderful conversation with the Masai guard, and a very scrumptious dinner with our guide. It was a day filled with the most pleasant surprise of all.
Day 7: Maasai Mara to Nairobi
Trip plan: Early morning game drive followed by breakfast then we will depart from Maasai Mara as we continue with your journey passing via Narok town then proceed to Nairobi where we will be dropped to catch our homebound flight. Meal plan (Breakfast provided)
Our Experience: Farewell until we meet again
The last day of our Safari. Just the thought of this made me teary and sad. As I was contemplating over my cup of Kenyan tea about this entire Safari trip and all the beautiful encounters with all different species of wildlife.
With Maasai people
The breathtaking views of the African savannah, the gorgeous Acacia trees, the bushes, the insects, the birds, the view of Masai cattle grazing, the smiles of kids waving, the people, the food, the smell of the air, the red land, everything almost everything that we had experienced in these 6 days will be safely treasured as beautiful moments in Africa.
Our Osero luxury camp in Maasai Mara
We checked out from our camp and went for one last quick drive around the park to bid farewell to the beautiful land and then headed towards Nairobi. We reached Nairobi and wanted to meet our Facebook friend from Kenya at the local mall (we
have never met her in person) we were excited.
Our tour operator also came to say goodbye. She got us a beautiful souvenir. She was very apologetic about the vehicle incident but it was all unexpected and we had nothing but good memories out of the trip. We told her that we’ll be back for more!
The terrain inside the park is pretty rough and with rain gets very muddy. We have seen a lot of vehicles break down as well so it comes with the experience. Overall we had an amazing time and actually we did not miss any activities as planned so we were very happy with our overall adventure in Kenya!
With our friend Anita at Nairobi airport
We finally met our friend and ate our last meal in Kenya together. We shared hugs, laugh, and wonderful conversations. Our friend offered to drop us to the airport, and we had more conversations in the car and such an amazing time overall in Kenya.
With all of this in our hearts, it was time to bid farewell to beautiful Kenya. The memories made in the continent of Africa will always be very dear to us. Back from the trip, we feel extremely rejuvenated, fulfilled, and grateful for all the experiences we had along the way.
From the pristine beauty of Alaska to the eye-popping skyscrapers of New York, America is an incredibly diverse nation, which provides an impressive array of entertainment.
We have carefully selected the top iconic destinations that define tourism in America. They range from natural to architectural.
THE GRAND CANYON
“I believe in evolution. But I also believe, when I hike the Grand Canyon and see it at sunset, that the hand of God is there also.” ~ John McCain
The majestic magnificence of the Grand Canyon is hard to describe in mere words. It would be a futile attempt to do justice to the 1.2 million acres of exotic beauty.
The Colorado River created this unique structure over the course of centuries. From the river to the rim you will find an ecosystem so rare that it is hard to find anywhere else in the world.
Imagine California Condors flying over the clear blue skies, while the Coyotes sing their song.
You may feel like an expert tracker while looking for wolves throughout the valley. However, you will have no difficulty finding tiny fluffy squirrels that are so cute you will want to take them home.
Your muscles will cramp, sweat will pour, but the epic moment of hiking Grand Canyon will be a lifelong memory. If you want to cool off during the hike, try swimming in the pools of the Mountain Valley.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
“In the wilderness, I sense the miracle of life, and behind it, our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.” ~ Charles A. Lindbergh
Under the blanket of blue sky, Yellowstone National Park is full of every blessing of nature. It is the only place on Earth where you can view the highest number of colorful hot springs.
The highest lake in North America, Yellowstone Lake, is the namesake of the park.
Valleys scattered around the park are home to diverse wildlife. In these valleys, you can spy on grizzly bears and bison. Furthermore, the park occupies a vast area. Consequently, it is split into eight groups for easier access.
The Giant Prismatic Hot Spring looks like it belongs on Mars. The dark blue center fades into orange splashes along the edge. Plus, the beautiful Bridge Creek winds through the vegetation forming a natural bridge.
Gushing streams, graceful basins, roaring streams, and swelling waterfalls are in every corner of the park.
STATUE OF LIBERTY
“The first time I saw America was from my perch on the mast of a Spanish naval ship, where I could spot Statue of Liberty reaching proudly into the open endless American sky.” ~ Jose Andres
A token of freedom given by France to America stands proudly on Liberty Island. Gustave Eiffel, the man who built the Eiffel Tower, also built the Statue of Liberty.
This 305-feet-high statue depicts the Roman Goddess – Libertas. Piercing the skyline of Manhattan, it best symbolizes the character of America.
You need to take a ferry ride to reach Liberty Island from Jersey City. Once you enter the monument, it is free to look around and explore the American masterpiece.
The stairs wind up from the base of the statue to the crown. You must book a reservation ahead of time to have access to the top. This copper enigma is an emblem of peace and freedom for the entire country.
JOHN F.KENNEDY ASSASSINATION SITE
“Things do not happen; Things are made to happen.” ~ John F. Kennedy
America might be a young nation, but the history still runs deep. The assassination of John F. Kennedy occurred in Dealey Plaza in 1963.
The Sixth Floor Museum now stands on the site of the assassination. The museum displays the planning hub of the sniper, which was redesigned and displayed here.
The general aesthetic of Dallas is super-modern. However, Dealey Plaza is a reminder of that time when Mrs. Kennedy was drenched in red blood and the nation suffered a great tragedy.
HANAUMA BAY BEACH
“So that the monotonous fall of waves on the beach, which for the most part beat a measured and soothing tattoo to her thoughts, seemed consolingly to repeat over and over again…” ~ Virginia Woolf
Roads that are often traveled become beaten and boring. Hanauma Bay beach was beaten and boring once, until recently when it was declared a protected area. Every woman envies curves.
The elegant curving shoreline of Hanauma Bay beach in O’ahuHawaii is no exception. Volcanic eruptions formed this ancient caldera, which eventually eroded to form the bay.
The turquoise blue water has a plethora of coral displayed across the ocean floor. If you do not harm marine life, you are allowed to snorkel in the bay.
The beach closes every Tuesday to replenish the ecosystem since it is a maritime natural preserve.
If you are like us, chances are you love road trips and you want to visit all the National Parks in the United States. But, the United States is a vast landmass and if you work a full-time job or run a business, you have limited vacation days. Plus, traveling requires planning and money.
In 2019, we finished our quest to visit all 50 US States as “the First non-US born Couple”. During our 5 years long adventure, we made numerous road trips, drove more than 15,000 miles, visited more than 100 US Cities, and explore over 30 National Parks.
We thought, sharing our journey will be a helpful resource for other wanderlusters who are planning a similar adventure.
Death Valley National Park, Nevada
US National Parks Road Trips
Before we jump into the best ways to visit the America’s National Parks and various google maps routes, let’s take a quick step back and reorient ourselves on what is our goal here.
The goal here is to visit most (if not all) of the US National Parks.
There are 61 National Parks in the United States. If you’ll try to drive to all of them in one stretch, it will be more than 15,000 miles of driving and it will easily take you over 3 months. But, we are not going to propose that. Enjoying nature is opposite of rushing!
Therefore, the purpose of this guide is to help you save money and time while enjoying the beauty of the North American continent. It’s not a record making or breaking quest, it’s a carefully thought-out itinerary for anyone who has a busy life and day-to-day responsibilities. Jobs, businesses, family, health concerns, and so on.
Depending on where you live or if you are flying from abroad, you can start anywhere (on any of the loops) and then make your way towards Eastcoast, Westcoast, Midwest, or the South.
West Coast National Parks Road Trips Itinerary
Since California has the most National Parks in the contiguous United States, let’s start here.
Below is the trip we planned for ourselves along with our friends who live in the San Jose area. Please note, we live in Boston (on the opposite coast) and the tickets to San Francisco is usually the cheapest among all California airports. So, we made San Fransisco as our start and end point.
Depending on where you are coming from or if you happen to live in California or Oregon, you can tweak the journey to your liking and whatever best suits your situation.
California National Parks Road Trip Itinerary
Since California has 8 National Parks and it’s one of the largest state, this loop only consists of California National Parks.
We flew to Seattle from Boston and started south. Portland city should not be missed and there are plenty of scenery near Bend so we added those as out stops. Crater Lake National Park is a short drive from Bend.
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
In Idaho, we made Boise our night stops and Idaho Falls as a stop for Grand Teton National Park.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
From the Grand Teton, you head directly north into the Yellowstone National Park and you should give it at least 2 days. There is just too much to see here. Also, note that in terms of the size, Yellowstone is larger than the state of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.
Continuing north, we passed through Choteau and made East Glacier village our pit stop for entry into the Montana’s crown, Glacier National Park. Again, the weather is unpredictable and allow yourself a few extra days so you don’t miss the breathtaking beauty of many green, blue, and turquoise colored glacier-fed lakes.
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
After that, you can head west and if you want you can explore Spokane on your way. Continue further west to North Cascades National Park, then head south to Seattle. Then explore Olympic National Park and Rainer National Parks.
Visit the Space Needle and the famous fish and farmers marker – Pike Place.
Next, we flew to Las Vegas from Boston (the tickets are usually cheap to Vegas from almost anywhere in the United States). This time, we focused on the great Canyons of Arizona and the remaining wonders of Utah, including Westworld’s Monument Valley.
The above two loops gives 12 National Parks which brings your totals to 27/61. This is getting exciting, isn’t it! You have just made 4 trips from your home base (wherever it may be) and you are already 44% done towards your milestone!
The Narrows in Zion National Park, Utah
Minneapolis National Parks Road Trip
This time we flew from Boston to Minneapolis as the tickets are again usually cheap and it’s the biggest airport for the next 5 National Parks road trip loop.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota is the best place to see wild bisons and wild horses. Whereas Wind Cave and Badlands in South Dakota is a unique geographical wonders.
Bisons in Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota
Minneapolis and Michigan bordering with Canada and surrounded by the Great Lakes is amazing during the summer time.
Talk about driving across the entire country from the comfort of your own rental car or RV. After making this 5th trip, you are more than halfway done. Your totals after visiting the above 5 National Parks now stand at 32/61.
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
You have now visited more than half of all National Parks in the United States. Congratulations!
Let’s shift gears and head to the South now for a long road trip before we continue our journey into the Midwest and Northeast and Atlantic South.
Phoenix or Albuquerque National Parks Road Trip
This last trip will wrap up everything in the South, Pacific Northwest, the Rockies, and the West Coast. And you have two choices in terms of where you want to start and finish your road trip: Phoenix, Arizona or Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Depending on whether you are flying in or driving and whichever city seems to be nearer and cheaper, you can pick either one and do this loop. You have 5 National Parks to cover in this trip:
Petrified Forest National Park, Saguaro National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and Big Bend National Park. Two in Arizona, one in New Mexico, and two in Texas. (If you wondering where is Grand Canyon, scroll above to Las Vegas National Parks Road Trip loop.)
You have now 37 national parks out of 61 total. 😉 Talk about wandering around!
The Big St. Louis National Parks Road Trip Loop
The goal of this big road trip is to finish everything remaining except the National Parks of Alaska (eight), Hawaii (two), Florida (three), and Maine (one). By doing this almost 3500 miles long loop, you’ll end up with 47 National Parks out of 61 total.
Now, that’s almost near-80% finished! And, you are just 4 trips away from finishing your adventure.
In the above loop, you have got two newest National Parks of the United States, the St. Louis Gateway Arch and Indiana Dunes in Indiana. On this trip, you’ll also pass through great cities such as St. Louis, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Memphis.
Florida National Parks
Florida has three National Parks. Everyone has heard of Everglades National Park and the gators but did you know, Florida also has two marine area that are protected National Parks: Biscayne and Dry Tortugas.
Alligator in Everglades National Park, Florida
You can fly to Miami and then rent a car and drive to Everglades. Then drive back to Miami and then drive to Biscayne National Park. In the end, head to the Key West and explore Dry Tortugas National Park.
Now you are “50 National Parks visited” kind of person.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park, Maine
For your 51st National Park, fly to Boston or Portland, Maine and then drive to Bar Harbor, Maine and enjoy the scenic beauty of Acadia National Park. It’s amazing during the Fall colors.
Since we live in Boston, we have been to Acadia numerous times and in all seasons. Maine has a beautiful coastline and Acadia is the crown jewel.
Woohoo! Congratulations! You have just finished 51/61 and all of the National Parks in the Contiguous United States.
You can pat on your back and take a moment to allow yourself to celebrate. This is quite a milestone! Not many people have seen this beautiful country coast-to-coast and you are among the lucky few!
Alaska National Parks
Fly to Anchorage and rent a car and visit the four national parks near the Anchorage region. These are: Lake Clark National Park, Katmai National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and Kenai Fjords National Park.
Then head south to Juneau, Alaska to visit Glacier Bay National Park. It’s accessible only by ship or plane.
Next, head north to Denali National Park and then continue further north to the Gates of the Arctic National Park. Upon return, either from Fairbanks or Anchorage, you may want to take a flight to the last remaining national park in Alaska, Kobuk Valley National Park.
Denali National Park, Alaska
Hawaii National Parks
What could be a better a place to finish this epic adventure than in Hawaii. Hawaii was the 50th state of the US and it has 4 major islands that everyone visits to: Oahu, Big Island, Maui, and Kauai.
For the National Parks adventure, you’ll be visiting Maui and the Big Island (also called as Hawaii). In Maui, you have Haleakala National Park, and on the Big Island, you have Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park.
Congratulations once again, now you have visited all 61 US National Parks!
Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming
Yosemite National Park, California
Zion National Park, Utah
The Narrows, Zion
US National Monuments
African Burial Ground
African Burial Ground National Monument, New York
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, Texas
Aniakchak National Monument, Alaska
Aztec Ruins National Monument, New Mexico
Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico
Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, District of Columbia
Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, Alabama
Booker T. Washington National Monument, Virginia
Buck Island Reef National Monument, Virgin Islands
Cabrillo National Monument, California
Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona
Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska
Capulin Volcano National Monument, New Mexico
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Arizona
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Florida
Castle Clinton National Monument, New York
Castle Mountains National Monument, California
Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah
César E. Chávez National Monument, California
Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, Ohio
Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona
Colorado National Monument, Colorado
Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho
Devils Postpile National Monument, California
Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming
Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado and Utah
Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa
El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico
El Morro National Monument, New Mexico
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Colorado
Fort Frederica National Monument, Georgia
Fort Matanzas National Monument, Florida
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Maryland
Fort Monroe National Monument, Virginia
Fort Pulaski National Monument, Georgia
Fort Stanwix National Monument, New York
Fort Sumter National Monument, South Carolina
Fort Union National Monument, New Mexico
Fossil Butte National Monument, Wyoming
Freedom Riders National Monument, Alabama
George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Virginia
George Washington Carver National Monument, Missouri
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico
Governors Island National Monument, New York
Grand Portage National Monument, Minnesota
Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, Idaho
Hohokam Pima National Monument, Arizona
Homestead National Monument of America, Nebraska
Honouliuli National Monument, Hawaii
Hovenweep National Monument, Colorado, and Utah
Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Maine
Lava Beds National Monument, California
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana
Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona
Muir Woods National Monument, California
Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah
Navajo National Monument, Arizona
Ocmulgee National Monument, Georgia
Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve, Oregon
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona
Petroglyph National Monument, New Mexico
Pipe Spring National Monument, Arizona
Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota
Poverty Point National Monument, Louisiana
Pullman National Monument, Illinois
Rainbow Bridge National Monument, Utah
Reconstruction Era National Monument, South Carolina
Russell Cave National Monument, Alabama
Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, New Mexico
Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska
Statue of Liberty National Monument, New Jersey and New York
Stonewall National Monument, New York
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Arizona
Timpanogos Cave National Monument, Utah
Tonto National Monument, Arizona
Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, Nevada
Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona
Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, Virgin Islands
Waco Mammoth National Monument, Texas
Walnut Canyon National Monument, Arizona
White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Alaska, California, and Hawaii
Wupatki National Monument, Arizona
Yucca House National Monument, Colorado
Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument
National Historic Sites
San Juan National Historic Site, Puerto Rico
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, Pennsylvania
Andersonville National Historic Site, Georgia
Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, Tennessee
Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site, Colorado
Boston African American National Historic Site, Massachusetts
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, Kansas
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, North Carolina
Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site, District of Columbia
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, South Carolina
Christiansted National Historic Site, Virgin Islands
Clara Barton National Historic Site, Maryland
Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, Pennsylvania
Eisenhower National Historic Site, Pennsylvania
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, New York
Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, California
First Ladies National Historic Site, Ohio
Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site, District of Columbia
Fort Bowie National Historic Site, Arizona
Fort Davis National Historic Site, Texas
Fort Laramie National Historic Site, Wyoming
Fort Larned National Historic Site, Kansas
Fort Point National Historic Site, California
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, North Carolina
Fort Scott National Historic Site, Kansas
Fort Smith National Historic Site, Arkansas, and Oklahoma
Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Montana and North Dakota
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Washington
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, District of Columbia
Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, Massachusetts
Friendship Hill National Historic Site, Pennsylvania
Golden Spike National Historic Site, Utah
Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, Montana
Hampton National Historic Site, Maryland
Harry S Truman National Historic Site, Missouri
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, Iowa
Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, New York
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Pennsylvania
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, Arizona
James A. Garfield National Historic Site, Ohio
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, Georgia
John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, Massachusetts
John Muir National Historic Site, California
Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, North Dakota
Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Illinois
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, Arkansas
Longfellow House – Washington’s Headquarters, Massachusetts
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, Virginia
Manzanar National Historic Site, California
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, New York
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House, District of Columbia
Minidoka National Historic Site, Idaho
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, South Dakota
Nicodemus National Historic Site, Kansas
Ninety-Six National Historic Site, South Carolina
Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site, District of Columbia
President Bill Clinton Birthplace Home, Arkansas
Pu’ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Hawaii
Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, New York
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, New Hampshire
Saint Paul’s Church National Historic Site, New York
Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Massachusetts
San Juan National Historic Site, Puerto Rico
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, Colorado
Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, Massachusetts
Springfield Armory National Historic Site, Massachusetts
Steamtown National Historic Site, Pennsylvania
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, New York
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, New York
Thomas Stone National Historic Site, Maryland
Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, Alabama
Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site, Alabama
Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, Missouri
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, New York
Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Oklahoma
Weir Farm National Historic Site, Connecticut
Whitman Mission National Historic Site, Washington
William Howard Taft National Historic Site, Ohio
Vanderbilt Mansion, New York (NHS)
Arkansas Post National Memorial, Arkansas
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, Virginia
Chamizal National Memorial, Texas
Coronado National Memorial, Arizona
De Soto National Memorial, Florida
Federal Hall National Memorial, New York
Flight 93 National Memorial, Pennsylvania
Fort Caroline National Memorial, Florida
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, District of Columbia
General Grant National Memorial, New York
Hamilton Grange National Memorial, New York
Johnstown Flood National Memorial, Pennsylvania
Korean War Veterans Memorial, District of Columbia
Lincoln Boyhood Home National Memorial, Indiana
Lincoln Memorial, District of Columbia
Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac, District of Columbia
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, District of Columbia
Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, Ohio
Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, California
Roger Williams National Memorial, Rhode Island
Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, Pennsylvania
Theodore Roosevelt Island, District of Columbia
Thomas Jefferson Memorial, District of Columbia
Vietnam Veterans Memorial, District of Columbia
Washington Monument, District of Columbia
World War I Memorial, District of Columbia
World War II Memorial, District of Columbia
Wright Brothers National Memorial, North Carolina
Abraham Lincoln Statue at Lincoln Memorial
National Battlefields, Parks & Sites
Big Hole National Battlefield, Montana
Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland
Big Hole National Battlefield, Montana
Cowpens National Battlefield, South Carolina
Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Kentucky, and Tennessee
Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Pennsylvania
Monocacy National Battlefield, Maryland
Moores Creek National Battlefield, North Carolina
Petersburg National Battlefield, Virginia
Stones River National Battlefield, Tennessee
Tupelo National Battlefield, Mississippi
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Missouri
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Georgia
Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia
Richmond National Battlefield Park, Virginia
River Raisin National Battlefield Park, Michigan
Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site, Mississippi
National Military Parks
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Georgia and Tennessee
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park, Virginia
Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, North Carolina
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Alabama
Kings Mountain National Military Park, South Carolina
Pea Ridge National Military Park, Arkansas
Shiloh National Military Park, Tennessee
Vicksburg National Military Park, Louisiana and Mississippi
National Historical Parks
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, Kentucky
Adams National Historical Park, Massachusetts
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Virginia
Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park, Rhode Island
Boston National Historical Park, Massachusetts
Cane River Creole National Historical Park, Louisiana
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, Virginia
Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, District of Columbia, Maryland, and West Virginia
Colonial National Historical Park, Virginia
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, Ohio
First State National Historical Park, Delaware
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, Indiana
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia
Harriet Tubman National Historical Park, New York
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, Maryland
Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, Ohio
Independence National Historical Park, Pennsylvania
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Louisiana
Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Hawaii
Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, Hawaii
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Alaska, and Washington
Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Oregon and Washington
Lowell National Historical Park, Massachusetts
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, Texas
Keweenaw National Historical Park, Michigan
Manhattan Project National Historical Park, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Washington
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Vermont
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, Georgia
Minute Man National Historical Park, Massachusetts
Morristown National Historical Park, New Jersey
Natchez National Historical Park, Mississippi
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, Massachusetts
New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, Louisiana
Nez Perce National Historical Park, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington
Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park, Texas
Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, New Jersey
Pecos National Historical Park, New Mexico
Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, Hawaii
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, California
Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, Virgin Islands
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, Texas
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, California
San Juan Island National Historical Park, Washington
Saratoga National Historical Park, New York
Sitka National Historical Park, Alaska
Thomas Edison National Historical Park, New Jersey
Tumacácori National Historical Park, Arizona
Valley Forge National Historical Park, Pennsylvania
War in the Pacific National Historical Park, Guam
Women’s Rights National Historical Park, New York
Women’s Rights National Historical Park, NY
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan
Crabtree Falls, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina and Virginia
George Washington Memorial Parkway, District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, Wyoming
Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi
National Preserves & Reserves
Aniakchak National Preserve, Alaska
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska
Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida
Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas
Craters of the Moon National Preserve, Idaho
Denali National Preserve, Alaska
Gates of the Arctic National Preserve, Alaska
Glacier Bay National Preserve, Alaska
Great Sand Dunes National Preserve, Colorado
Katmai National Preserve, Alaska
Lake Clark National Preserve, Alaska
Little River Canyon National Preserve, Alabama
Mojave National Preserve, California
Noatak National Preserve, Alaska
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Kansas
Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, Florida
Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico
Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve, Alaska
Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, Alaska
City of Rocks National Reserve, Idaho
Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, Washington
National Recreation Areas
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California
Amistad National Recreation Area, Texas
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Montana and Wyoming
Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Massachusetts
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Georgia
Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Oklahoma
Curecanti National Recreation Area, Colorado
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Gateway National Recreation Area, New Jersey and New York
Gauley River National Recreation Area, West Virginia
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona and Utah
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California
Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, Washington
Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona and Nevada
Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, Texas
Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, Washington
Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Washington
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, California
Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area, California
National Wild & Scenic Rivers & Riverways
Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, Texas
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Kentucky and Tennessee
Buffalo National River, Arkansas
New River Gorge National River, West Virginia
Mississippi National River and Recreation Areas, Minnesota
Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri
Alagnak Wild River, Alaska
Bluestone National Scenic River, West Virginia
Delaware National Scenic River, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania
Great Egg Harbor National Scenic and Recreational River, New Jersey
Missouri National Recreational River, Nebraska and South Dakota
Niobrara National Scenic River, Nebraska
Obed Wild and Scenic River, Tennessee
Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, Texas
Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, Minnesota and Wisconsin
Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreation River, New York and Pennsylvania
National Scenic Trails
Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Maine to Georgia (13 states)
Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Alabama, Mississippi, and, Tennessee
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and Virginia
Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts
Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland and Virginia
Canaveral National Seashore, Florida
Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina
Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia
Fire Island National Seashore, New York
Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida and Mississippi
Padre Island National Seashore, Texas
Point Reyes National Seashore, California
Constitution Gardens, District of Columbia
Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland
Constitution Gardens, District of Columbia
Fort Washington Park, Maryland
Greenbelt Park, Maryland
National Capital Parks-East, District of Columbia
National Mall and Memorial Parks, District of Columbia
Piscataway Park, Maryland
Prince William Forest Park, Virginia
Rock Creek Park, District of Columbia
White House, District of Columbia
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Virginia
Saint Croix Island International Historic Site, Maine
Cost of Travel
Only 118 of 417 park sites charge entrance fees. One can obtain a park entrance pass by visiting a park site that charges an entrance fee.
National Park Maps
You can view maps on specific park websites. You can also get a map from the national park services when you visit the park.
Camping in National Parks
For campground reservations, visit Recreation.gov. Not all parks participate in this service; many campgrounds are first come, first served.
For more information on specific camping and lodging services offered at the park(s) of your interest, please check specific park websites.
How do I reserve a tour in a park?
You can book some park tours through Recreation.gov. But note that not all parks participate in this reservation service. For more information on tours offered at a specific park, please see the park search.
Can I bring my pet to a national park?
Some national parks welcome pets—in developed areas, on many trails and campgrounds, and in some lodging facilities.
What do I need to know about driving off road in national parks?
Before you head out, check with the national parks that you intend to visit. In many national parks, off-road driving is illegal. Where off-road driving is allowed, the National Park Service regulates it.
15 National Parks Fun Facts
There are over 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures preserved within the 417 National Parks System.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska is the largest National Park in the country at 13.2 million acres of area.
Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Pennsylvania is the smallest national park unit at a mere 0.02 acres of area.
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,185 mile long public trail that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains from Maine to Georgia.
The nation’s deepest cave is 1,593 ft deep in New Mexico at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
Yellowstone National Park sits on top of a super volcano, one active volcano, thousands of petrified trees, and almost 300 waterfalls.
Yosemite National Park supports more than 400 species of vertebrates including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
There are more than 2,000 documented arches in the Arches National Park, some as tall as up to 300 feet.
Acadia is the oldest park east of the Mississippi River and the first instance where the land was donated to the federal government.
Bryce Canyon has the largest collection of hoodoos–odd-shaped pillars of rock–in the world.
Crater Lake’s volcanic caldera is almost 6 miles in diameter and 3,900 feet deep.
Maui’s Haleakala, meaning “House of the Sun” in Hawaiian, is one of the world’s largest volcanic craters.
Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park two active volcanoes are within the bounds of this national park, Kilauea being the world’s most active.
Isle Royale National Park is the only national park in the United States that completely closes in the off-season. The park is typically closed November through mid-April due to extreme weather conditions. Also, Isle Royale has the most repeat visitors.
Mammoth Cave National Park is the world’s longest known cave system, with more than 400 miles explored.
It’s the beginning of summer, which means it’s time to start planning a fun road trip. If you’re in Utah, you’re in luck! The Mighty Five National Parks (Arches, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef) are within a half-day’s drive of Salt Lake City.
If you feel like a long road trip, you can visit Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, or Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Must Vist Destinations On Your Utah Road Trip
I first moved to Utah two years ago, and have visited all of the national parks here. Here’s what I’ve learned from my road trips that are a must-see if you’re driving through Utah this summer.
If you’re leaving from Salt Lake City, expect to arrive at any of these spots within about 5 hours.
Zion is Utah’s first ever National Park, and has over 4 million visitors every year. By far Utah’smost popular national park, this place is a must-see destination. It gets crowded, so make sure to plan ahead and arrive early. My favorite adventure was a hike through the Narrows!
If you are looking for a more challenging and hike with beautiful views you will not go wrong with Angels Landing. You can spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days in Zion.
Just remember: you must use shuttles to get through the park, it’s best to arrive early, and bring plenty of water.
Pro tip: The city of Hurricane is only 30 minutes from the entrance to Zion National Park, and is a much more cost-effective option than staying in or near the park.
This is truly one of Utah’s most underrated parks with some of the most unique rock formations in the world. Bryce Canyon National Park has over 2 million visitors per year. There are shuttles available or you can drive your own car through the park.
Pro tip: There isn’t a whole lot of trails in Bryce Canyon National Park. Much of the park can be seen by parking and a viewpoint.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
This National Monument is the size of Delaware, and features many unique rock formations throughout. It’s also one of the most remote and infrequently visited travel destinations in Utah. You can even find some of Utah’s famous slot canyons here.
Pro tip: Find the Visitor’s Center and talk to a ranger. Plan out your visit because this park is huge, remote, and fairly empty. Make sure you know where you’re going before entering the park.
Arches National Park
Last, but not least – Arches National Park. This is arguably Utah’s most famous national park. Delicate Arch is one of Utah’s most famous rock formations, and is featured on across tourism campaigns everywhere. It’s worth the hike to see this amazing rock.
Pro tip: Be sure to leave early in the day, as it gets hot and crowded pretty quickly. Wear good shoes, bring a hat, and bring more water than you’ll think you need.
I really can’t stress how much there is to see in Utah. Salt Lake City itself is full of great hikes, nightlife, and fun events. If you have time, be sure to check out a list of hikes and sights to see in downtown Salt Lake and Park City.
Utah boasts some of the United State’s best and most unique National Parks, and they’re all accessible by car. If you’re planning a trip to Utah, be sure get in your car and explore the state’s unique rocks and deserts.
Victoria Schmid is a freelance writer with a background in television and digital journalism. She enjoys writing articles about smart technology that will educate and inspire readers. She has a passion for news, writing, and reading. In her free time, she loves hiking, traveling, exploring, and volunteering.
Costa Rica is a famous tourist destination many people desire to visit. The small country has been thoroughly explored, and yet there are still places off the beaten path that only the most determined adventurers get the pleasure to enjoy.
Everyone wishes they had a local to show them all the hidden gems that elude visitors. Sure you can go to a tourist location and fight the crowds, but wouldn’t it be nice to know all the secret spots before you go?
Chances are if you book a hotel or vacation home you will be on your own. That is if you do not want to pay big bucks for a private guide. So, here are our top 5 secret Costa Rica stops. These recommendations come from a Costa Rican insider, and they are sure to get you off the well-traveled paths.
PLAYA PALO SECO
Hidden deep in the heavy lush vegetation, Playa Palo Seco is off the main road yet close to Manuel Antonio. This uncrowded, almost solitary, enchanting piece of paradise stretches over 5 miles. Walking along the beach, you will be surrounded by a thick line of Palm trees on one side and the immense Pacific Ocean on the other.
A visit to Playa Palo Seco gives you a chance to deeply connect with nature and enjoy the sweet sounds of Mother Earth.
Take long walks along the shore, relax in a hammock or ride some great waves; whichever activity you choose, you will be totally in peace with only the company of just a few locals.
The Public Elementary School runs a Turtle Sanctuary which cooperates to protect and release thousands of Baby Sea Turtles. The best time to see these little creatures running from the sand to the Ocean will be from August through November.
The sunsets are an absolute show of nature, with unique colors reflecting in the soft, clean, dark sand.
This remote corner of heaven is one of the few areas in Costa Rica that remains undiscovered and undeveloped by foreigners. Playa Zancudo is located near the old banana port of Golfito in the South Pacific. Venturing along the coast of Playa Zancudo will truly take your breath away. A trip here offers you a unique experience in the wild.
The black sand beach stretches as far as the eye can see. The combination of fascinating savage life and sea life will give you the sensation of being the only human being on Earth. During a big south swell, the surfing is fun with long lefts and only a few locals riding them.
The Coto River is truly an eye-opening jungle scenery. The river mouth creates a tropical dreamland, inhabited by different creatures such as huge crocodiles, curious monkeys and colorful species of birds just to mention a few.
The sleepy and picturesque village of Zancudo welcomes you with friendly bars, tasty restaurants, and cozy accommodations.
For those looking to get a real taste of Costa Rica, the rural village of Bijagual is the place to go. Located approximately 20 minutes away from Jaco Beach and hidden among green hills, it overlooks the Central Pacific coast. Here you will discover stunning views and cool refreshing breezes.
Travel back in time and discover how the entire country used to be before it was developed and urbanized by foreigners. You will be back in a time when it wouldn’t be unusual to see Cowboys cruising around on their horses, stopping to get cold beers at the only bar in town.
Here you won’t find souvenir shops or fancy restaurants, just traditional little places where classic Costa Rican dishes cooked on wood can be savored.
The area also features one of the largest waterfalls in the country measuring 600 plus feet tall. Composed of many natural springs and swimming pools running through the Rain Forest, the waterfall is a wonderland for hiking enthusiasts. Delightful tropical nature can be admired, along with wildlife and gentle sounds from the birds.
Enjoy a full day of intense tradition, majestic nature, and astonishing views.
A dirt road from the well-known beach town of Montezuma heads south all the way to Cabuya, which is a part of the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve nested in the Peninsula of Nicoya. Along the short journey, you will be amazed by the grace and charm of nature.
Massive ancient trees, white sand beaches, crystal clear water and small rivers plunging all the way down to the beach create a surreal experience. Playa Los Cedros has a left point reef break that works only with a massive swell. Usually, locals are the only ones surfing during the winter.
Cabuya Island is located at the end of this enchanting scenic littoral landscape. You can reach the island by walking through dead coral during low tide. The island is beyond spooky and mysterious. It is even rumored that ghosts haunt the island.
On the island, there is an old graveyard. The legend says that natives used to bury their dead in this graveyard and the locals keep the tradition alive by using it as a cemetery.
All around the island, you can enjoy some upscale snorkeling. In fact, this is one of the best spots in Costa Rica for snorkeling. You can find several different types of multicolored sea life.
Mar Azul is a surfing point named after a local restaurant and cabin, whose remains still face the rocks. Adjacent is the only sandy beach in Malpais. Despite being well known by locals, the waves here tend to be pretty uncrowded. The waters are fun with easy lefts breaking from different levels. It is best to surf during high tide, due to the rocky bottom.
The quaint fishing village of Malpais boasts of a laidback atmosphere, unspoiled nature, and a volcanic coast. This beautiful beach has sand made almost entirely of shiny and precious little pieces of shells. At the port, traditional fishing boats float peacefully.
Before sunset, you can buy fresh and cheap fish. At sunset, the fisherman head back to shore after a hard day of work.
Jason Mueller is an entrepreneur that relocated to Costa Rica. His Business Jaco Ropes keeps him busy, but in his free time, he enjoys to surf and work on his farm.
California is a hotspot for all sorts of travelers, but most especially for adventure seekers and outdoor lovers. Why wouldn’t it be when you have access to so many National Parks and the Pacific Ocean?
It offers hundreds of hiking trails, loads of camping sites, and a wide range of activities just for your adventurous spirit. To get the most out of California, you’re going to need at least a few months. Otherwise, you can just make several visits to the state.
Here’s a list of activities not to miss when you’re in California:
Roadtrips and Camping
One of the best ways you can enjoy the nature that California offers is by camping. It’s also one way to keep you close to the main activity such as hiking or surfing. Whether you are a hammock camper, a tent camper or an RV camper, there is a place for you.
Going on a road trip and a camping trip in California is in itself a great adventure. You only need to pack your bags, drive and find a spot you to camp. Then you can move on and find another beautiful spot to enjoy.
If you have a storage room in your car or RV, make sure to bring a camping grill so you can enjoy great food outdoors. One of the best things about camping is cooking the food outdoors. It’s ideal for long trips for couples, families or friends.
If you start from the south of California, you can begin with the Joshua Tree National Park. Then continue to make your way north, stopping at Sequoia National Park, Yosemite National Park, until you get to Redwood National Park.
Some of the parks offer ultimate adventures. Backpack through the towering trees, hike to amazing waterfalls, rock climbing in Saddle Peak, paddle in rivers and lakes, etc.
If you feel like you want to go to the beach, go for it! Drive to the coast and enjoy the Pacific.
While it’s possible to go on day trips, there’s nothing like camping to soak it all in. There are many routes you can go so it’s up to you where you want to start or stop.
Like we said, you’re going to need months, if not a whole lifetime to enjoy all of California. Otherwise, just make lots and lots of visits until you see it all.
Southern California has one of the best surf breaks in all of the US so get ready to get high on waves. Don’t worry if you’re not a pro because there are spots just for you! There are loads of surf schools around so you can get the lessons you need to become better.
Windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, stand up paddling, and other water sports are just some of the other watersports you can do.
During winter, you can go skiing in Bear Mountain or Lake Tahoe.
California is one of the best places to go bungee jumping and skydiving
California also has hundreds of biking trails fit for different levels of trail bikers. There are friendly trails for families and more difficult ones for extreme bikers.
Adventure doesn’t just mean being in the woods. You can get a lot of adventure in the concrete jungles of California. Experience the hustle and bustle of the large cities in California such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Long Beach, and Sacramento.
California is a very diverse state. It’s also the most populous state, and the people are from all backgrounds and cultures. Even as you walk on the street, you’ll see the diversity. Also, try to keep it interesting when you see a celebrity. You’ll see lots of them walking around.
You’ll also be able to enjoy the splendid food. There are so many food establishments and even food trucks that offer different meals.
Amusement Park Adventures
Another fun adventure you can do in California is going to amusement parks. Have the time of your life on the crazy rides that will certainly give you an adrenaline rush you’re searching.
Six Flags Amusement Park
Knotts Berry Farm
Whether you are going solo, as a couple, with your family or with friends, you will find something perfect specifically for you. California is a place where you can quench your thirst for adventure. It’s also a place you are going to want to visit over and over because there’s also something new to do.
While it is a hub for thrill seekers, it’s also a place where you can wind down. Go for long walks on miles of sandy beach, drink a glass of wine by a vineyard, or visit art museums. You can take it easy, or you can go full throttle; California has it all.
Warren Kuhn is an outdoor and camping enthusiast, always out to seek for the thrill and adrenaline that only nature gives. He even took up survival training to prepare him for the worst-case scenarios while outdoors.
With his background, you can learn a lot from him so you can get the most out of your camping trip at TheCampingTrips.
Sierra Leone is an African country with Guinea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean in the southwest. This country was under the rule of British for many years. Examples of it can be seen throughout the country. Slavery of Africa started from this point. Still, the beauty of nation was not hampered. Sierra Leone is a country which retains its primitive beauty like many African countries.
If you want to have some water sports, Banana Island is a perfect option in Sierra Leone. You can do diving and snorkeling on the shores of the island. It is located in the southwest part of the country. Its coastal location adds to the adventures. You can explore the dense forests in the islands.
When we say islands, it is the group of three islands we are talking about. Ricketts, Dublin and Mes Meheux. These three make up the Banana islands which are popular for being HQ of Etisalat Telecom. You can lose yourself among many caves here. They house thousands of bats. Visit the medieval churches. You can find remnants of past slavery in the slave docks here.
TACUGAMA CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARY
Want a view of forests? Head to Freetown. A rough ride of forty minutes will take you to Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. It has become a tourist attraction in the recent years. The ride along the sandy road on a motor will take you through the beauty of forests.
Hear the gushing waterfalls and feel the fresh air on your face. You can sight many Chimpanzees in the sanctuary. This hundred acres of land will offer you the natural beauty of Sierra Leone.
Were we in Freetown? How about boating away from it. Three hours from Freetown you will find a group of eight islands. Together they are commonly named as Turtle Islands. It is so because Turtles make the shores their breeding ground.
You can do fishing here. If you are new to it, ask a local. Fishing community flourishes here. A peaceful time can be spent here. You can sit and enjoy the blue fresh water. You will also taste some amazing seafood in Turtle Islands.
Welcome to the highest mountain of Sierra Leone. Bintumani towers at a height of 1945 meters. It has a rich flora and fauna which will stun you on your way up.
Many riders, climbers, and trekkers come here seeking adventure. Another name for this epic mountain is Loma Mansa. If you don’t want to climb, on the foothills, you will find dense forests which are rich in wildlife.
A favorite spot of French supermodels. This beach is popular since the 1970s. People flock here to have a day off. They can lounge in the sun and relax. It is near to Freetown. So you can get back if you have based your trip there. Or you can stay here for a night. It has got a guest house, which is very comfortable. You can spend your night listening local tales. One of the famous tales is that of Crocodile lady. It is said that she lures crocodile out of waters.
Have an incredible time enjoying scenic charms of Sierra Leone!
Botswana is an expensive African country to travel. It is underrated than any other African country. But it gives more natural experience. People who prefer luxury travel can prefer this nation. The numerous sanctuaries and safari rides will give you a taste of wildlife. There are many places of beauty which are not so well known. You can visit the places listed below.
The desert is located near the Orange River. Erosion from the stone formations has led to sand deposition. The vast expanse is from Angola to Orange River. Terracotta dunes cover the land in unique shapes. The Central Kalahari game reserve is the largest in Africa.
The grasslands are spread across the land abounding in wildlife. At night you will get the clearest skies. You can take a safari ride here.Behold the wilderness of grasslands. During summer you can watch different wild beasts coming out. The perfect essence of Africa is in Kalahari.
The name Jwaneng means the store of small stones. Jwaneng is not only the richest diamond mine in Botswana but is the richest in the world.In the first year, 13 million karats of diamond were manufactured here.
You can visit the world’s richest diamond mine. It has many places to stay.Luxurious restaurants and hotels are in every corner of Jwaneng. The Game Park here is another attraction you can visit.It also has two cute white rhinos. Visit Botswana’s rich place.
CHODE NATIONAL PARK
The national park is named after river Chobe. When you first see it, you will be amazed. The national park surrounding the river is rich in biodiversity. The animals like elephants, baboons, birds, lions, giraffes live here.
You can even take a river safari! The antelopes, crocodiles, and hippos are abundant here. In summer you can see a huge herd of elephants wandering. The river and national park will give you a treat of nature. Enjoy the wilderness.
Botswana has many natural beauties. It has the world’s largest inland delta.Okavango Delta is a myriad of islands. The untouched beauties are rich in natural vegetation. It is like an oasis in the midst of wild Kalahari desert.
Take a safari in a canoe. You can stay overnight here. Camping in Okavango will be adventurous. Be warned about the exorbitant costs. It might cost you a fortune. But the experience here will be once in a lifetime kind.
These hills are a natural heritage of Botswana. Nobody knows how long they have existed. Cave paintings on the wall of the Hills date back to 30000 years. The history and beauty in Tsodilo will leave you spellbound. It is World Heritage site. All the history buffs can go and have a look at the 4000 cave paintings.
There are 200 locations you will have to visit in order to cover all paintings. The best time to visit is winter. The weather is pleasant during winter. Botswana is a microcosm of Africa’s natural heritage. It may be one of the expensive countries of Africa but is nature at its finest.