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gagan

TOP 10

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@ earthian..i think except the third and the Seventh one all others are truely unique and worth visiting.as per USA today...

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@@gagan

i was at yellowstone last may and would definitely recommend a visit- more from natural beauty, rather than wildlife

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Thank you for the useful info, all. But this thread should be banned so as not to encourage too many visitors to these gems.

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Posted (edited)

Are american national parks rewarding??... I mean ..the density and variety of wildlife. ..and is it easier to spot the animals?? Really wish to visit yellowstone. .

One reason Americans are so enamored with parks in other countries is the accessibility of wildlife sightings compared to opportunities at home. Though breath-taking scenic landscapes abound.

 

Easier to spot animals?

You would be well rewarded in Yellowstone. Bears (brown and black), buffalo, wolves (especially Lamar Valley), moose, elk, coyotes, mule deer are all likely to be spotted. Before Memorial Day weekend (last Mon in May) and after Labor Day Weekend (first Mon in Sept) help thin out the crowds. I'd like to do a winter trip to Yellowstone for wolves and some of the hoofed species.

 

Alaska has exceptional abundance. I see Katami is mentioned in some of the listings above. Brown bear (grizzlies) are virtually guaranteed in Katmai, with quality sightings. Denali has abundance too, including caribou herds. One place in Alaska that I was especially impressed with for viewing coastal wildlife was Kodiak. The whales and puffins were excellent, seen by boat or kayak. Alaska is a very expensive place to visit, though.

 

In South Dakota, Custer State Park is at least as easy as Yellowstone to see buffalo, plus pronghorn.

 

One of my favorite parks in the US is in North Dakota--Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Buffalo and feral horses roam through fantastic scenery.

 

Don't forget the Everglades in Florida. I have not been there in many years and I know invasives have done a lot of harm, especially the pythons that have been let loose. But as an eco-system, it is unique in the world. Alligators and birds are easily seen.

 

In Manitoba, Canada (I know it is not the US but it is "relatively close" and has two really different species to check out) are 2 interesting and very different creatures. The Narcisse Snake Dens 2 hours north of Winnipeg have the largest aggregation of snakes in the world, especially right at this time of year--last week of April and first 2 weeks of May. When the sun comes out, these are easy to see, all 5000 or many more of them. Further north in Churchill from mid-Oct to about mid-Nov are the polar bears on the shore of Hudson Bay. As long as you get there before the bay freezes over, usually just before mid-Nov, the bears are easy to see by tundra buggy. I have a return to Churchill at the end of Oct.

 

Here's a spot that is not that well known that I've visited numerous times: Vince Shute Black Bear Sanctuary in Orr, Minnesota.

 

A brief history:

Half a century ago the location of this sanctuary was a logging camp and sometimes the bears would break into the food storages. When that happened, the bears would be shot and killed. Vince Shute and some of the lumberjacks

came up with the idea of putting out food for the bears (they eat anything) so they would leave the food storage areas alone. It worked.

 

When logging activities ceased on the property, Vince Shute bought the acres and continued to supplement the bears’ diets. Vince Shute is no longer alive but the bears he grew to love and their offspring continue to roam at will in

and out of the unfenced sanctuary.

When food is plentiful, fewer bears show up; in leaner years, more bears do. Feeding bears is generally not a good idea but generations of bears have come to incorporate the food from the sanctuary into their foraging routine.

The bears know they are not harassed on the Vince Shute grounds but these same bears can expect negative conditioning by the sanctuary staff when outside the boundaries. Bears are smart creatures and have figured this out,

passing on that knowledge to their young.

Edited by Atravelynn
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@ earthian..i think except the third and the Seventh one all others are truely unique and worth visiting.as per USA today...

I'd be interested in why you think Costa Rica and Churchill are not unique and worth visiting.

  • Galapagos Islands
  • Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Peruvian Amazon
  • Costa Rica--third
  • The Pantanal, Brazil
  • Katmai National Park, Alaska
  • Okavango Delta, Botswana
  • Churchill, Manitoba--seventh
  • Yellowstone National Park, USA
  • Serengeti/Maasai Mara, Tanzania & Kenya
  • Ranthambore National Park, India
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Hi @@Atravelynn... really useful info you have provided About american national parks ..now I have no intention to ignore yellowstone visit if I get a chance in future..but as far Churchill and costa rica are concerned..I never heard about them but when I searched online I found churchill to be similar as alaska ..though alaska seems to be much better is terms of wildlife species and number. ..costa rica seems to be more famous for reptiles , Insects and amphibians.(have jaguars and anteaters though)....but not so many big game species....

 

perhaps you are a better travelled person..so may be you can throw some light on this...

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Posted (edited)

Hari

Edited by Earthian

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Hi earthian ...have you copy pasted the info from excel or word??? The alignment seems to have got disturbed a little...

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sorry not able to copy paste it. will try something else

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Hi @@Atravelynn... really useful info you have provided About american national parks ..now I have no intention to ignore yellowstone visit if I get a chance in future..but as far Churchill and costa rica are concerned..I never heard about them but when I searched online I found churchill to be similar as alaska ..though alaska seems to be much better is terms of wildlife species and number. ..costa rica seems to be more famous for reptiles , Insects and amphibians.(have jaguars and anteaters though)....but not so many big game species....

 

perhaps you are a better travelled person..so may be you can throw some light on this...

I'm not pushing either Churchill or Costa Rica, but having visited both, I can say the polar bear viewing in Churchill far surpasses Alaska. Alaska certainly has more diversity overall. You can even go to Churchill in the summer (though I have not) and see a few resident polar bears that did not cross the ice wandering through the wildflowers. Something else I'd like to try in the summer in Churchill is snorkeling with belugas. If getting in the water doesn't work, then at least viewing them from a boat. But like Alaska, Churchill can get expensive if you want a small group on the tundra buggy. For those willing to sit 2 to a seat with 20-30 participants and just do a trip or two into the tundra, it can be a reasonably priced trip with nearly guaranteed chances of seeing a polar bear.

 

Costa Rica is indeed great for reptiles, such as leatherbacks laying eggs on the beach, caiman, and iguanas. Mammals that are reasonable to see and I saw them are olingas, coatis, kinkajus, and pacas. I found sloths were easier to see in CR than all the Amazon spots I've been. The resplendent quetzal is a prize in the cloud forest and with effort, we saw some at a great distance. The Osa Penninsula is a wildlife hotspot I hope to see someday, but I saw lots in just Tortuguero and Monte Verde Cloud Forest. While it is possible to see a jaguar, I think you are right about fewer big game in CR.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

sorry not able to copy paste it. will try something else

Here's what I've done for Excel docs.

 

I copy and paste the doc into Publisher and save the Publisher file as a jpeg.

 

Then I upload the jpeg file, which contains the excel doc, as I would any photo to safaritalk.

 

This may be a convoluted and unsophisticated way to make it work. But work it does.

Edited by Atravelynn

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I found sloths were easier to see in CR than all the Amazon spots I've been.

 

~ @Atravelynn:

 

I've found sloths easiest to spot in certain government offices...the precise locations of their natural habitats — comfortable chairs behind wide desks — best left unspecified although certainly widespread.

Tom K.

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I found sloths were easier to see in CR than all the Amazon spots I've been.

 

~ @Atravelynn:

 

I've found sloths easiest to spot in certain government offices...the precise locations of their natural habitats — comfortable chairs behind wide desks — best left unspecified although certainly widespread.

Tom K.

 

Ba-dum-bum

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I found sloths were easier to see in CR than all the Amazon spots I've been.

 

~ @Atravelynn:

 

I've found sloths easiest to spot in certain government offices...the precise locations of their natural habitats — comfortable chairs behind wide desks — best left unspecified although certainly widespread.

Tom K.

 

@@Tom Kellie

this is one species which does not need to be protected. in fact we would be happy if it becomes extinct. the sooner the better. we have them in hordes in many sizes, shapes and colours.

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I found sloths were easier to see in CR than all the Amazon spots I've been.

 

~ @Atravelynn:

 

I've found sloths easiest to spot in certain government offices...the precise locations of their natural habitats — comfortable chairs behind wide desks — best left unspecified although certainly widespread.

Tom K.

 

@@Tom Kellie

this is one species which does not need to be protected. in fact we would be happy if it becomes extinct. the sooner the better. we have them in hordes in many sizes, shapes and colours.

 

 

~ @Earthian:

 

A unique instance wherein most Safaritalk members concur that a particular species is sufficiently noxious to merit extinction, with immediate effect!

Will there be fossilized evidence of their having existed in government archived databases?

Tom K.

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I know I know this topic is long dead... But ain't it fun? Some good old top 10's :-)

 

I'll have to stick to a top 5 for what African Parks are concerned. Just having visited 16 in total, so a top 10 would be pushing it.

So out of the visited 16: Etosha, Palmwag, Mahango (Caprivi), Moremi, South Luangwa, Nyika, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara, Bwindi, Kibale, QE II, Addo, Kgalagadi, Ruaha, Selous, a top categorized 5 would have to consist of:

 

For best overall safari experiences: Ruaha, Moremi & Kgalagadi

For that one unique once in a lifetime experience: Bwindi

Because this one, although limited because on a very thight budget back then, was our very first: South Luangwa

2 'special mentions' go to: Addo, yes Addo National Park, SA. Because my expectations were low yet delivery was well above those expectations, obviously with elephants but especially with 2 marvellous caracal encounters.

And Kibale! OK, nothing beats the thrill of being in between gorillas, but we had splendid chimp tracking for a fraction of the cost at Kibale.

 

On my wish list?

Oh, plenty, but at the top must be:

- Again to South/West Tanzania to re-visit Ruaha, but especially getting to Katavi

- Getting back to South Luangwa (& possibly North Luangwa)

- Mana Pools, Zim

- Some parks in Gabon if my euros would once stretch that far

- Been totally allured by this Zakouma park (and story!) lately

- Getting back to Bots to do the full drive Maun-Moremi-Savuti-Chobe-Kasane

Oh and did I forget to mention I'd love to get to Ethiopia, DRC & Madagascar to :P

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~ @@koelan

 

What a nice way to end 2015 — learning something.

As with most Safaritalk members, you have a far richer safari experience than I do, thus your list adds a couple of unfamiliar names.

Nyika? Palmwag?

Gotta do more reading to discover where they are.

That's half the fun of reading Safaritalk each week...there's some new destination about which I was unfamiliar.

Happy Travels 2016!

Tom K.

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Nyika is a highland park in Northern Malawi. Not exactly the wildlife densest place in world, but a sweet area and...simply my very first Africa experience so don't take me for objective ;-)

Palmwag is a private concession up North in Damaraland, Namibia. A private concession also offering...cheap camping and thus our choice.

For Namibia a relatively 'wild' place, that is in comparison with Etosha...

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Nyika is a highland park in Northern Malawi. Not exactly the wildlife densest place in world, but a sweet area and...simply my very first Africa experience so don't take me for objective ;-)

Palmwag is a private concession up North in Damaraland, Namibia. A private concession also offering...cheap camping and thus our choice.

For Namibia a relatively 'wild' place, that is in comparison with Etosha...

 

~ @@koelan

 

I'm grateful for the explanation.

Every place which is recommended is useful to know, providing texture to my evolving understanding of African safari geography.

Wild places have much to recommend them — I'm glad that you were able to visit such an area.

Tom K.

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Has any one visited VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK? ? How gud it is??

 

after watching the netflix movie VIRUNGA I really felt like going there...

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@@gagan I spoke to an American lady who had visited Dzanga Sangha, Odzala,and Virirunga national park. She had visited Dzangha Sangha four years ago in Central African Republic,and felt that it was without a doubt better than Virunga or Odzala. She said there was no place in Africa that offered a better safari experience. I hope to visi Dzanga Sangha in 2019. I would only feel comfortable traveling with a group led by an experienced guide. There seems little doubt that the National park is safe, it's the rest of the country.

 

I have to say that I want to visit the DRC not only to visit Virunga, but also to climb Mount Nyiragongo and spend a full days at Lake Kivu. I'll need to wait until thing s become a little less volatile.

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