Skip To Content
    Posted on Apr 19, 2015

    11 Places To See Before They're Gone

    Going, going...

    Jenny Chang / Via BuzzFeed

    1. The Elephants and Rare White Rhinos of Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

    Nuria Ortega / CC BY-SA http://3.0 / Via en.wikipedia.org

    What you'll see: The park became well-known in the 1930s when it created an African elephant domestication program, in which these animals were trained for use in forestry and tourism.

    Why it's in danger: Since then, the elephant population has fallen to just 4%. The park was also home to the only remaining white rhinos in the world, but it's believed they'll soon go extinct due to poaching and civil unrest in the area.

    ENOUGH Project / CC BY-NC-ND / Flickr: enoughproject

    2. The Glaciers of Glacier National Park, Montana, U.S.

    Emily Hildebrand / CC BY / Via Flickr: emilyrachelhildebrand

    What you'll see: The mountains of Glacier National Park were carved out by giant glaciers during the last ice age. This park is also a wildlife lover's dream.

    Why it's in danger: As of 2010, only 25 active glaciers remain in the park due to global warming patterns. If current warming trends continue, all the glaciers will be gone by 2030.

    GlacierNPS / CC BY / Via Flickr: glaciernps

    3. The Endangered Species of the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, Honduras

    Arturo de Frias Marques / CC-BY-SA http://4.0 / en.wikipedia.org

    What you'll see: The reserve includes both tropical rainforest lowlands and mountains and is home to rare and endangered species like the giant anteater, jaguar, and ocelot.

    Why it's in danger: Threats to the reserve include illegal hunting, logging, and clearing of land to graze cattle.

    International Rivers / CC BY-NC-SA / Flickr: internationalrivers
    Stefan Laube / Public Domain / en.wikipedia.org

    4. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System

    John Brandauer / CC BY-NC-ND / Flickr: brandauer

    What you'll see: Comprised of seven protected areas, the Belize Reef Reserve System is the second largest reef system in the world, second to only The Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Its clear waters are amazing for snorkeling and sea kayaking.

    Why it's in danger: The World Heritage Centre lists challenges and threats as “over harvesting of marine resources, coastal development, tourism, industrial development and proposed oil and gas exploration and exploitation.”

    Ruth / CC BY-SA / Flickr: rsuehle

    5. The Mountains of Potosí, Bolivia

    Martin St-Amant / CC-BY-SA http://3.0 / Via en.wikipedia.org

    What you'll see: Sitting on top of the world at 13,420 feet, Potosí is one of the highest cities in the world. Visiting one of the silver mines is considered the most memorable part of many trips.

    Why it's in danger: Unfortunately, although Potosí was once regarded as the world’s largest industrial complex in the 16th century, hundreds of years of mining have left the mountain porous and unstable.

    BORIS G / CC BY-NC-SA / Flickr: gameoflight
    Danielle Pereira / CC BY / Flickr: galeria_miradas

    6. Maldives

    Mac Qin / CC BY-ND / Flickr: qin1109

    What you'll see: Made up of 1,192 islands, this country is only 8 feet above sea level. Hence all the luxury hotels made up of huts on stilts. The main attraction is the beautiful waters that make snorkeling, diving, or even seaplane tours the thing to do when visiting.

    Why it's in danger: Rising sea levels and coral bleaching will put the country completely underwater in less than 100 years.

    FredD / CC BY-SA http://4.0 / en.wikipedia.org

    7. Christian Ruins of Abu Mena, Egypt

    Institute for the Study of the Ancient World / CC BY / Via Flickr: isawnyu

    What you'll see: A monastery was built on the tomb of St. Menas in the third century and the city rapidly expanded to become a place to make pilgrimages in the fifth and sixth centuries. Archaeological excavations have revealed an entire town with houses and cemeteries, which many still visit today.

    Why it's in danger: The dramatic rise of the water table makes the clay land become semi-liquid with excess water. It has resulted in the collapse of several overlying structures and opened huge sink holes.

    Institute for the Study of the Ancient World / CC BY / Via Flickr: isawnyu

    8. The Dead Sea, Israel

    Kasia Trapszo / CC BY-NC-SA / Via Flickr: ktrapszo

    What you'll see: With a salinity 10 times that of the ocean and 1,300 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is both the saltiest body of water and the lowest point in the world. For centuries, people have traveled to the sea to soak in the minerals, and the sea bed also has deposits of black mud that are believed to "cure" skin ailments.

    Why it's in danger: Most of the sea's water comes from the Jordan River, which has been diverted for agriculture and drinking water in nearby countries. And since the water here evaporates more quickly than it is replenished, it's constantly shrinking.

    Dan Zelazo / CC BY-NC-SA / Via Flickr: 1yen

    9. The Wildlife of Madagascar

    mariusz kluzniak / CC BY-NC-ND / Via Flickr: 39997856@N03

    What you'll see: Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, and more than 80% of its local plant life can't be found anywhere else. It's ideal for nature and outdoor lovers — some of Madagascar's national parks see fewer than 100 people a year.

    Why it's in danger: Since the arrival of humans, Madagascar has lost 90% of its original forest. The slash-and-burn agriculture technique has decimated the island's natural habitat and put as many as 23 species of lemur on the critically endangered list.

    Martha de Jong-Lantink / CC BY-NC-ND / Flickr: marthaenpiet
    mariusz kluzniak / CC BY-NC-ND / Flickr: 39997856@N03

    10. Everglades National Park, Florida, U.S.

    Diana Robinson / CC BY-ND / Flickr: dianasch

    What you'll see: A network of wetlands and forests, the Everglades protects 800 species of land and water animals and contains 200 known archaeological sites. Most of the animal inhabitants can be seen on the boating and canoe trails that are marked throughout the park.

    Why it's in danger: The loss of marine habitat and decline in marine species due to pollution has put this site back on the UNESCO World Heritage Danger List after it was removed in 2007.

    the_green_squirrel / CC BY-NC-SA / Flickr: the_green_squirrel

    11. The Forests of East Rennell, Solomon Islands

    ...your local connection / CC BY-NC-SA / Via Flickr: whltravel

    What you'll see: East Rennell makes up the southern part of Rennell Island, which is the southernmost tip of the Solomon Islands. It has one of the largest coral atoll in the world.

    Why it's in danger: Rennell is mostly covered in dense forest filled with endemic bird species, but damage due to logging has had adverse effects to the surrounding ecosystem.

    Des Paroz / CC BY-NC-ND / Flickr: bluebeyond
    ...your local connection / CC BY NC-SA / Flickr: whltravel

    H/t World Heritage Centre and Encyclopædia Britannica.

    This post has been updated with the correct location of Glacier National Park in Montana. Now go explore!

    Sign Up For The Bring Me! Newsletter!

    The latest travel tips, off-the-beaten-path experiences, and inspiration delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form