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10 of the best national parks to visit

Get to know a country's flora and fauna by heading to a National Park. Usually areas of great natural beauty, the parks often protect the species and landscapes they contain. Here are 10 top parks to explore.


Etosha National Park - Namibia

Etosha National Park in Namibia provides many different, and even enigmatic, landscapes. Go through dense bush in search of elephant, rhino or lion, the grasslands for wildebeest, or waterings holes for springbok and giraffe. On top of all this variety, there's the incredible salt pan that's 12 million years old! Is it a zebra or is it a mirage? You'll just have to wait and see...

Lake District National Park - England

Ride across the northern-most countryside in England, from the east coast to the west. Starting in the Lake District National Park, often seen as one of the most beautiful parks in Britain, take on the quiet roads with sweeping views of green valleys and rolling hills. The great thing about this route is the cafés and tea-rooms that punctuate the route, seemingly at just the point when you're thinking about your next slice of cake for refuelling!

Torres del Paine National Park - Chile

Take on the iconic W-trek in Chile's Torres del Paine National Park and take in views of the namesake granite 'Paine Towers'. These three gigantic monoliths have been shaped by glaciation and the elements to create that infamous silhouette. With sweeping glaciers and turquoise lakes dotting the route, you'll be rewarded with spectacular views at every turn.

Cabrits National Park - Dominica

This National Park offers so much in the way of natural beauty and fascinating history. Cabrits National Park's forest is slowly reclaiming the land where once fortifications and ramparts stood tall and imposing. The fascinating history of this area adds an extra dimension. It was the site of many battles between France and Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, including a revolt from the 'British' slave soldiers which saw them earn their freedom.

Pacific Rim National Park - Canada

The Canadian coastline offers some incredible landscapes and wildlife-spotting opportunities. Pacific Rim National Park has rugged beaches and, perhaps surprisingly for Canada, coastal rainforests. The waters offer a fantastic chance to whale-watch, and even to spot black bears fishing on the shorelines.

Serengeti National Park - Tanzania

Tanzania's Serengeti National Park offers some of the richest diversity of wildlife in the world. Whether you want to spot wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and other grazers among the grasses, lion and leopard packs hunting among these herds or perhaps gentle giants such as elephant and giraffe... You're in with a great chance of seeing these incredible creatures in their natural habitat.

Cinque Terre National Park - Italy

Cinque Terre has some beautiful, well-marked trails following the Ligurian Riviera. Whether you're taking in coastal views, pine and chestnut groves or olive orchards and vineyards; these varying landscapes will each mark a new and exciting part of the park to discover. The area's colourful fishing villages, including idyllic Portofino, are perfect for refuelling on classic Italian cuisine after each day's walk.

Grand Canyon National Park - USA

Whether gazing up at the near vertical cliffs of the Grand Canyon from its floor, or looking down and across at the mile-deep and, at points, 10-mile wide chasm, this is an iconic US national park that no words or pictures can do justice. The sheer scale of the landscape is simply breathtaking; whether you're watching the sunrise light up the Colorado River or the sunset accentuate the red hues of the rocks. Looking for more US National Park inspiration? Check out our ultimate guide to US National Parks.

Ranamafana National Park - Madagascar

Trek along the forest trails of Ranamafana's lowland National Park. The endemic forests here are home to Madagascar's famed lemurs. These shy primates were once abundant on the island but deforestation has led to a loss of their native habitat which has sadly endangered many of the species. Thanks to the protected forests of the National Park though, your forest walk will give you the best chance of spotting these beautiful tree-dwellers.

Tayrona National Park - Colombia

Discover the tropical beaches and rainforest lined beaches of Colombia's Tayrona National Park. Perfectly-placed on the Caribbean coastline, this park has some of the best of Colombia's landscapes in one area. Only accessible on foot, you can wander the hilly rainforests taking in all the wildlife there until you reach the golden-sand beaches. Paradise if ever there were one! 


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