Take a World-Beating Safari on the Cheap

It's "habitat to some of the most beautiful, most intriguing, and even most ferocious wildlife on Earth," according to Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

And next week, you can witness the sights for free... with just a smile and a wave to the ranger at the gate...

To celebrate Veterans Day this November 11, all of the country's national parks are waiving their entrance fees. So it's a great time to take an "American safari."

Some of the world's most spectacular wildlife roam the national parks of North America... Wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, bison, alligators...

These are the so-called "charismatic megafauna," the term used by biologists to refer to animals that people will travel a long way to see and photograph.

Better yet, the costs are significantly lower than an African safari. To travel to Kenya or Tanzania would cost you upwards of $800-$1,000 per person, per night... and that's the "affordable" option...

The best-known park in the U.S. for seeing these majestic animals is Yellowstone National Park. Getting in for free will save you $30 per car if you do it on your own... and while lodging fills up fast in the biggest parks, it is relatively inexpensive.

If you prefer a guided tour more comparable with an African safari, the price is about one-third the cost – around $250-$350 per person, per night.

Wherever you decide to go, expect for the free entrance to save you about $25 – the average park admission cost – per car.

And remember... Getting outside is especially important if you live in a city.

Studies show that people who walk in a park perform memory and attention tasks better than those who walk on downtown streets. Walking in a park promotes mental restoration and relaxation versus the city's distracting hustle and bustle.

So get out there, check out your nearest national park, and please soak up some vitamin D from the sunlight.

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