World's last great quiet places
(Courtesy of the Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resoruces)
Bernie Krause has found aurally uncorrupted places on almost every continent. Not surprisingly, most of them are in remote locations.
Gordon Hempton, who has been recording soundscapes for 30 years, says that we’re in danger of losing places of purely natural sound unless people speak out against noise pollution and governments enact laws to limit its reach. Here, Krause and Hempton share their top picks for noise-free spots.
Closest major city: Dar es Salaam (155 miles)
For the bold natural-sound seeker, Tanzania’s remote Selous is an adventurous alternative to the more-visited Serengeti. Vast areas of the reserve are rarely traveled, and visitor numbers and all human activity are carefully monitored and controlled by the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Among the wildlife you’ll find (and hear) are hippos wallowing in oxbow lakes, Cape buffalo grazing in the grasslands, and lions, whose roars often pierce the night’s quiet.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Pyrenees National Park, France
Closest major city: Lourdes (20 miles)
The nearby town of Lourdes draws thousands of pilgrims each year, but the Pyrenees National Park attracts people seeking a different sort of healing. The park’s dramatic landscape of jagged peaks and verdant valleys is home to more than 70 species of animals, including bears and Pyrenean chamois, but the most common sounds are those of the sheep being tended by shepherds in the designated farming areas that dot the region.
(Photo: Courtesy of National Parks Service)
Muir Woods National Monument, California
Closest major city: