Seeing amazing wildlife can be totally awe-inspiring, and there’s nothing better than witnessing animals in the freedom of their natural habitat. North America offers some spectacularly breathtaking National Parks and landscapes where animals have the pick of the land and the natural world is there for visitors to enjoy in all its splendor.
Also known as the polar bear capital of the world, Churchill is one of the few places where these majestic animals can be viewed in the wild. Head over in October or November to witness the bears as they begin their migration across the tundra back to seal-hunting territory; the area is also a brilliant place to view the Northern Lights or catch a glimpse of a beluga whale – summer sees over 57,000 gather in the region.
Everglades National Park, Florida
The largest tropical wilderness in the US, this World Heritage Site is home to 36 protected species including the Florida Panther, American crocodile and the Manatee. There’s a multitude of ways to view the beautiful wildlife here – take a boat trip across the expansive waters of the park, set up camp and experience the landscape waking up around you, or head out on a ranger led program and learn more about the park and its inhabitants.
Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Millions of acres of wild land, where animals roam free and North America’s tallest peak stands tall and proud, make up this expansive Alaskan National Park and Preserve. With breathtaking landscapes and an abundance of activities to be found here, many visitors make the trip in summer when the park can be accessed by bus (in winter, icy and snowy conditions make this almost impossible!). Those in search of wildlife could catch a glimpse of grizzly and black bears, wolves and moose to name a few, whilst other ways to enjoy the park include meeting the park’s sled dogs, hiking and camping out.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho
The first National Park in the US, Yellowstone is famed for its geothermal features and wide variety of wildlife. Check out the herds of bison and elk which live in the park and wander freely: the park’s public bison herd is the oldest and largest in the US! Alternatively, take in the natural wonder of the park’s many geysers, the most famous of which is the Old Faithful Geyser. Our advice? The park is extremely popular in the summer months, so book in advance and arrive early to beat the crowds!
Top tips to enjoy nature responsibly
Enjoying nature and viewing wildlife responsibly are key to an enjoyable trip, both for you and your natural surroundings! There are some easy ways you can do this:
- Don’t get too close to the animals – even if an animal appears calm, it is always advisable to maintain a safe distance. That means no petting and no close up selfies!
- Report any suspicious or harmful behavior – either to park officials, or via this handy app.
- Follow park guidelines – they’re there for your safety and play a huge role in making your visit one to remember!
- Travel by train or bus to reduce your carbon footprint – liligo.com lets you compare the best deals on a range of transport options!
IMG: Churchill, Canada, Gary Ullah, Hey, you with the camera, did you know?, Valerie, Everglades National Park, slack12, Bull moose 2, Denali National Park, Arthur T. LaBar, IMG_2217 Grizzly Bear, Yellowstone National Park, I-Ting Chiang / Flickr cc