Seeing animals in freedom is one of the best travel experiences. And, in addition, a way to contribute to its conservation.
I tell you five places in the world where you can have very wild encounters.
Learn moreVideo | The five recommendations of Paco Nadal: fascinating places from a drone view
- Mountain gorillas in the impenetrable forest of Bwindi (Uganda). This is where 60% of the population of this primate that came to be on the verge of extinction lives. Seeing in the thickness of the forest and a few meters away the largest of the apes is a moving experience.
- Meerkats in the salt flats of Botswana. Makgadikgadi means in Twsana language "the driest dry place yet". The Makgadikgadi salt flats occupy the northeastern corner of the African country and is the desiccated bottom of a paleolake. With 37,000 square kilometers, it is one of the largest salt flats in the world. Inside nothing grows or prospers. But on its edges live the most sympathetic and nervous animals of the south of the continent: meerkats, small mongooses with an elongated and slender body. They live in matriarchal families and are very social, their members cooperate in everything. They come out of their burrows at dawn and dusk to dig for arachnids, worms, scorpions and all kinds of insects. While some dig, others steep on their hind legs watching that no predators appear.
- Bengal tigers in Ranthambore National Park (India). Ranthambore ―one of the spaces hosted by the Tiger program, which fights for the protection and conservation of this big cat― is one of the largest and best known national parks in northern India. It is situated in Sawai Madhopur district in southeastern Rajasthan, about 130 kilometers from Jaipur city. Once considered one of the famous and ancient hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, today it is a major wildlife tourist attraction that has attracted the attention of many photographers and nature lovers.
- Whale sharks in Cenderawasih Bay (Papua New Guinea). This is one of the few places on the planet where you can dive among specimens of the largest fish in the oceans. The only site with a stable year-round population of whale sharks (harmless animal up to 18 meters in length) is Cenderawasih Bay. The fishermen of the area fish with a system of floating wooden platforms called bagangs and powerful spotlights with which they attract at night the schools of ikan puri, a species of anchovy. As they do not have refrigeration, they keep the nets with the fish alive in the water for days, until the collection boat arrives, and the whale sharks, usually nomads in search of plankton, have become accustomed to prowling there to feed on the remains of fish and krill that are detached from the nets.
- Galapagos Islands (Ecuador). The great laboratory of biodiversity. A group of 13 islands and more than 110 islets and rocks populated by, land and marine iguanas, sea lions, whales and thousands of birds, without forgetting the giant tortoises -galapagos- that give name to the archipelago and are the longest-lived beings that exist (their age exceeds 150 years), if we except for trees and some bacteria. Charles Darwin visited it in 1831, during his famous voyage aboard the Beagle, and there he found the bases of his theory of evolution. The absence of predators in the Galapagos makes the fauna of the archipelago extremely confident with visitors, who can approach a span of the animals, although without leaving the marked trails.
You can follow Paco Nadal also on Spotify, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter. And listen to him every Friday, at 19.00, with Carles Francino in La Ventana, from Cadena SER.
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