Northern Territories, Australia
The termite mounds of the Northern Territories might not sound like the prettiest of destinations, but they’re brilliant examples of the wonderful weirdness of this remote region. These architectural feats aren’t just piles of dirt, but elaborate structures, complete with arches, tunnels, chimneys, insulation and nursery chambers, making them some of Australia’s most amazing natural wonders. The mounds are even aligned north to south to minimise exposure to the sun. Some of the largest and most spectacular examples can be found in Litchfield National Park, where you can admire the mounds from observation platforms.
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Kenya’s beautiful widowbirds make an appearance in Planet Earth II’s Grasslands episode. This fascinating region is one of the planet’s most beautiful landscapes, and the Maasai Mara National Reserve is the location of the world’s biggest migration. Every year almost two million wildebeest – not to mention hundreds and thousands of other creatures – move from the Serengeti up to the reserve and back again. And it’s a journey fraught with danger, because the Mara-Serengeti landscape also has the highest concentration of large predators in the world. Today, the Maasai Mara National Reserve covers 1,510 square kilometres (580 square miles), although when it was established in 1961 it encompassed just 520 square kilometres (200 square miles).
The Karoo, South Africa
The Karoo is region of South Africa, typified by a semi-desert landscape. The Planet Earth crew travelled there to film servals, which have, in relation to body size, the longest legs and largest ears of any cat in the world, and which can jump three metres into the air. But it’s not just the cats which make this area amazing. Some of the world’s most important fossils have been found in Karoo National Park and astronomers flock to the Karoo to admire the fantastic night skies – the town of Sutherland is home to the famous Southern African Large Telescope. This region also has some of South Africa’s best game lodges – we love the Samara Private Game Reserve’s [Karoo Lodge](https://www.skyscanner.net/hotels/hotel/Samara+Private+Game+Reserve+Karoo+Lodge?idx=0&id=134567472&sd=2017-03-29&ed=2017-03-30&na=1&nr=1&q=Samara+Private+Game+R eserve+Karoo+Lodge&jbi=40cc749fba156d3cc4f17b2a4e968f87&tq=Samara+Private+Game+Reserve+Karoo+Lodge&eid=o_134567472&trps=0&trld=1), where rooms look out onto the wide grassy plains.
Duba Plains, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta, covering more than 15,000 square kilometres – or half the size of Switzerland. Planet Earth’s film crew spent five months there. Their aim? To film the region’s rare swamp lions – one of the world’s few lion prides which has learned to hunt in swamps. The crew – and the lions they filmed – faced constant threats, including buffalo, which kill more big cats than any other animal, and weigh over one tonne. The scenes were shot on the Duba Plains Concession, in the north of the delta. If you fancy checking out the region’s wildlife, there’s a huge number of safari lodges in Botswana. The Duba Expedition Camp is located in the heart of the concession where filming took place. Planning a safari but not sure where to start? Start by brushing up on our five tips for planning the perfect safari.
Millions of people travel to Asia every year, often heading straight for the Taj Mahal, yoga retreats in Kerala or beach resorts in Goa. Only a handful make it to Kaziranga National Park in India’s Assam state, despite the fact it’s one of the world’s most beautiful national parks. Luckily, the Planet Earth crew did the hard work for us, but travellers who love to get off the beaten track should put this destination at the top of their hit list. Kaziranga has two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinoceroses and the highest density of tigers found in protected areas. And if you were wondering where to see the Big Five? Forget about Africa, because this beautiful park has its very own: the rhino, elephant, tiger, swamp deer and wild buffalo.
Cerrado biome, Brazil
For the majority of travellers who book flights to Brazil, must-sees include Sugarloaf Mountain, Iguazu Falls and the Christ the Redeemer statue. But Planet Earth puts the spotlight on the little-known Cerrado biome, which covers 20 per cent of the entire country. Sadly these wooded grasslands, which once covered an area half the size of Europe, are quickly being destroyed. The focus of Planet Earth’s Grasslands episode is the biome’s giant anteater, but the region has a spectacularly diverse range of wildlife, including the maned wolf, the jaguar and the critically endangered Spix’s macaw.
Keen to get in touch with your wild side? Here’s where to go for some top-notch animal spotting.
Trying to find the best safari lodge or wondering where to go to see the great migration? Whatever your animal instincts, start by taking at look at our guide to the world’s best wildlife spots.
Bored with baboons and unimpressed by ocelots? Show some love for nature’s weird side with our guide to the planet’s strangest creatures.