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8 wonderful wetlands

By: Josh Lew on July 4, 2012, 5:54 p.m.
Florida Everglades

Photo: Meghan McCarthy/ZUMA Press

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Wet and wild

From the Florida Everglades (shown here) to Botswana's Okavango Delta, wetlands are some of the most wildlife-rich places on Earth. Intrepid eco-tourists come to these often-buggy, perpetually moist lands to see everything from rare species of wading birds to prehistoric-sized reptiles.

While they are a paradise for birders and adventure-seekers, many wetlands lack the infrastructure that would make them heavily visited eco-tourism destinations. Sure, there will always be a steady stream of thrill-seekers wanting to see crocodiles or snakes, but, for the most part, these ecosystems remain havens for nature lovers and dedicated bird-watchers.

While they might not be high on many people's to-visit lists, some wetland destinations are easily accessible via boardwalk trails and boat tours. Getting to other, more remote destinations simply requires hopping on a bush plane and maybe even paddling through swampland in a dugout canoe. The amount of bug repellent that needs to be applied and the odds of getting mud-filled boots vary from wetland to wetland, but nearly all of these places are quiet, under-visited and ideal for nature viewing.

Where are these wet and wild places?