Few large countries are as rugged, wild, and seemingly empty as Mongolia. This country is a land of stark desert, forested mountains, and steppes. Birdwatching and wildlife viewing are excellent in Mongolia. Lynx, wolves, gazelles, wild horses, and over 400 bird species can be seen here.
Following are some key natural highlights of Mongolia:
• Mongol Daguur: Situated in northeastern Mongolia, this protected area encompasses wetland and steppe ecosystems.
• Gobi Desert: This vast desert in the heart of Asia is a must-see for nature lovers. Don’t forget to visit the Gurvan Saikhan National Park as it offers some spectacular geological wonders, exotic desert birds, and wildlife such as Argali Sheep, Ibex, and Wild Bactrian Camels.
• Khustain Nuruu National Park: This park protects the Takhi – the only true wild horse in the world. You can see them as well as many other wildlife, e.g. the Pallas Cat, badgers, and wolves.
Blessed with lush jungles, towering mountains, untouched islands, and pristine beaches, Vietnam is a paradise on earth for nature lovers. Excellent biodiversity exists in the country’s cloud forests, wetlands, and limestone hills. As you explore the wilds of Vietnam for endemic wildlife and birds, you will be treated to various cultural delights and breathtaking scenery.
Following are some key natural highlights of Vietnam:
• Ninh Binh Province: Limestone hills and mountains in this province offer an unearthly backdrop to the picturesque, lush valleys. Cuc Phuong National Park harbors wide variety of primate species, including endangered langurs.
• Tram Chim National Park: Situated in the Mekong Delta, this rare wetland habitat is home to many different bird species, including the majestic Sarus Crane.
• Cat Tien National Park: This park shelters about 30% of the animal species found in the country. Apart from various primate species, it is home to Sunda Pangolins, Asian Elephants, Sun Bears, over 350 bird species, and many other animals.
Poland boasts one of the best primeval ecosystems in Europe. It contains some of the continent’s best and last tracts of wilderness. Many of the Poland’s wildest places are situated in its northeast corner, although the southwest region also has some must-see natural wonders, e.g. the lofty Tatra Mountains.
Following are some key natural highlights of Poland:
• Bialowieza Forest: Bialowieza Forest is the largest remnant of ancient temperate broad-leaf forest in Europe. The Bialowieza National Park protects some true old-growth remains. It is also home to lynx, wolves, European Bison, and many birds.
• Tatra Mountains: Tatra National Park is highly recommended for hiking and searching for wildlife. Marmots, Tatra Chamois, Brown Bears, and other animals roam its forested canyons and highlands.
• Biebrza Marshes: A jumble of woodlands, bogs, marshes, and river channels, this area is home to a wide range of birds and other animals.
Being at one with nature feels amazing. There is no denying it. Whether you wish to enjoy the natural landscapes and scenery or you are simply looking to be amazed by the great biodiversity of a region, there are many destinations that will surely spark your wanderlust. Take a break from the daily grind and reconnect with nature by traveling to any of the above-listed countries.
Photos by: Nick Bondarev, Sungmu Heo, Vo Thuy Tien, Alex Azabache, Dominika Roseclay, Josh Hild and Oziel Gómez