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Four of a Kind: National Parks

1. Krka National Park, Croatia
Nature’s equivalent of an aquatic theme park, Krka National Park is renowned for its stunning waterfalls and verdant oak and ash forests. It offers a variety of walking trails and riverboat trips, while the beautiful Skradinski Buk Falls’ warm, clear waters are particularly popular. The park is also home to the island of Visovac, which features a 15th-century Franciscan monastery and ancient Roman catacombs. np-krka.hr

2. Banff National Park, Canada
From canoeing on jewel-toned Lake Louise to trekking through icy Johnston Canyon, Banff — Canada’s oldest national park — is a dreamy destination for adventurers. Its resident elks, marmots, wolves and bears attract millions of visitors every year. There’s never been a better time to visit than 2017, with entry-free across all national parks as part of the country’s 150th anniversary celebrations. banffnationalpark.com

3. Etosha National Park, Namibia
Larger than Kruger or Serengeti, Etosha’s 8,600 square miles of diverse landscape and wildlife make it a fantastic option for glimpsing giraffes, zebras and leopards. The Etosha Pan transforms into a lagoon during the wet season, providing a temporary home to thousands of migrating flamingos. The ancient rock paintings of nearby Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, are a great addition to the safari experience. etoshanationalpark.org

4. Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve, Sri Lanka
This national park is the largest preserved rainforest in the country and its 45-meter canopy is home to many rare and endangered trees. The park can only be entered on foot, where guides introduce visitors to the abundance of flora and fauna. Many birds move around in mixed feeding flocks, with species such as red-faced malkoha and green-billed coucal foraging together. On the ground, barking deer and leopards can be spotted, while in the trees purple-faced langurs and three types of squirrel frolic overhead. rainforest-ecolodge.com

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