Embrace Megadiversity

Nature lovers and the environmentally-minded amongst us have long been extolling importance of biodiversity in the ecosystem. Every year you flock in your thousands to wonderful natural sights to see birds and animals and whether you like to watch the birds in your garden, or have dreams of going on Safari, nature is an important world resource for all of us.

Some countries have a relatively low level of biodiversity, whether due to natural reasons, or because deforestation, urbanisation or pollution have eroded the number of species, but others are blessed with almost boundless riches. These are the megadiverse countries, and there are seventeen of them in the world. If you want to be at one with nature, you could do a lot worse than heading for one of these exotic locations.

Europe may be home to countless historical cities and plenty of beautiful countryside to boot, but when it comes to being megadiverse, it has nothing to offer. The Americas and Asia are home to the vast majority of these countries so it may be a little more expensive to get there, but we’re sure you’ll think it’s worth it when you arrive.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Great Rift Valley

by genvessel

Home to the second largest rainforest in the world (yes, Brazil is also on the list), rainforests are known for their fantastic diversity in flora and fauna so a trip into the lush greenery is a very exciting prospect. Surrounding the rainforest are plateaus with savannah land, and since this is Africa you have the chance to spot some of the big game the continent is known for. Add to this a mountainous region that even includes some glaciated parts and dense grassland around the Congo River and it becomes easy to see how this country has so much to offer.


Mount Bromo, Java, Indonesia

by sara marlowe

The Indonesian archipelago has long been synonymous with exotic adventures and beautiful sights. Lying on the edge of three tectonic plates, there is plenty of volcanic activity here with Krakatoa and Tambora two of the most active in recent decades. Boasting a mix of Australasian and Asian plants and species, forests dominate on many of the islands. The sea ecosystems here contribute heavily to what is the second highest biodiversity in the world with beaches, sand dunes, mangroves, coral reefs, mudflats and sea grass beds all offering wonderful places to explore and spend a holiday.



by Aleix Cabarrocas Garcia

The extraordinary plants and creatures that have developed on this isolated island were showcased on the recent BBC Nature series of the same name. With 80% of the species found nowhere else on earth if you want to experience Madagascar then you have no other choice but to head over! With rain forests, desert, spiny forests and conventional forests as well as a huge mountain range, this is like a mini-continent in one, with very specialised animals found in each area. Lemurs, chameleons and the world’s smallest bee are all waiting to be discovered here.



by ilkerender

The country is split into sections by the Andes range which runs parallel to the coastline, and this helps to create diversity in the temperatures outside those normal for the equatorial tropical region. With an arid coastal region, the highland plains and part of the Amazonian rainforest, which covers about 60% of the country, you will find plenty to enjoy here. Add to this the huge number of rivers which criss-cross all the regions and it’s clear to see there’s a lot to explore!


Cantona, Mexico

by RussBowling

Often overlooked by all but enthusiastic “Spring Break” holidayers, Mexico has an astonishing amount to offer in terms of heritage as well as natural attractions. Mexico is crossed by several mountain ranges as well as a belt of volcanoes, and its position on the Tropic Of Cancer means it’s home to one of the most diverse weather systems. This means that a huge range of climates here from the dry desert areas of the north to the tropical lowlands of the south. Boasting 34 biosphere reserves, 64 national parks, 4 natural monuments and plenty of protected areas, there’s an amazing amount to discover here.

top image by Daveness_98