CNN lists Zimbabwe in World's Top 30 National Parks!

CNN • 25 June 2014

Mana Pools and Victoria Falls are listed 17th and 14th respectively in a recent CNN travel article featuring the World's best National Parks!

Here is what they have to say:-

Mana Pools

Lauren Haupt says the elephants at Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe have a reputation for being exceptionally relaxed around humans. She says elephants walk through the camp in search of tree pods on the camp floor. "At night the elephants come close enough to rub up against the tent," she said.

Victoria Falls

If you're brave enough, you can jump into Devil's Pool, just above the falls on the Zambian side in Victoria Falls National Park, as Anne Dirkse did here. "When the water is low, you can jump into the pool, where a natural rock wall stops you just at the edge of the falls," Dirkse said. "It's an exhilarating experience."

From biking hundreds of miles in Patagonia to trekking across Myanmar, CNN iReporter Anne Dirkse has set foot on all seven continents, and she's done it all on her own. The travel writer and photographer from Loveland, Colorado, spends months out of the year uncovering hidden gems in other countries, and says some of her favorite places to visit are national parks.

"I love nature, and the opportunity to experience its beauty, often in remote places, far from the noise and light pollution that so many of us are accustomed to in our daily lives," she said.

The United States may have been first to establish a national park -- Yellowstone, in 1872 -- but governments around the world have reserved thousands of acres supporting wildlife conservation, protecting natural beauty and promoting ecotourism.

As the summer travel season kicks off, Dirkse and others shared their photos of their favorite national parks outside the United States. Having visited more countries and parks than she can count, Dirkse had a few tips for travelers interested in touring parks abroad:

1. Take your time: "It is very easy to make your itinerary so tight that you don't really see anything at all, especially when you've come a long way to get there," Dirkse said. "Sometimes it is best to experience one thing slowly than many things quickly, and with national parks, the more slowly you can move the better."

2. Befriend locals: Ask local people their favorite places in the park, and listen to their stories, she suggested.

3. Sleep outside: "Almost all national parks allow camping, though rules and facilities vary widely, and for me it is the best chance to experience nature at its most serene, and often local culture," Dirkse said.

4. When it comes to weather, plan for the worst: Even rainy days can be pleasant if you have a hat and waterproof clothes, she said. Her best day at Rapa Nui National Park on Chile's Easter Island "was filled with intermittent downpours ... but between the rains, the light and clouds were incredible."

5. Know your limits: "It's important to understand that you are responsible for your own safety and that the precautions to prevent you from doing something stupid, or the services to rescue you in an emergency are often very different from what you expect back home," she said.

Read the original CNN article (13th June) at this link:-
National Parks you need to visit

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