Minnesota and the Dakota’s/ 2021

I have grown up around the world and have written in the past of my ancestry in Tanzania and the years I spent there that led to my love of wilderness and mammal watching. Another place to which I have family connections is Minnesota and the Midwest in America. Just as I have seen the vast herds of wildebeest in East Africa, I have always wanted to see the masses of bison thundering across the plains in the US. 

A trip to Yellowstone was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. But, in the summer of 2021, we headed back to my father’s homeland, Minnesota, and ventured to a series of national parks across the region. (I once recall seeing a stoat near my father’s childhood home back in 2019 and have always enjoyed visiting the state. Tanzania and Minnesota are dear to my heart.)

I wanted to go back and revisit our trip in this report.

Post author

Moses Swanson the XVI


  • Trakncritters

    Super report on some of the best NP’s in the Northern US! Best wishes in your pursuit of 1000, a goal that will surely expose you to a wealth of amazing wildlife discovered in a world full of terrific places!

  • JD OKasick


    Interesting update on the horses in Teddy Roosevelt NP above: feral? wild? pests? integral now to the ecosystem and tourism? Debates go on…

  • PaintedTraveler

    Love this trip and report!

    I saw my first ever North American Porcupine and my first ever American Badger on my first visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I also saw two bobcats and a mountain lion while spot lighting at night on that visit (all in the south unit). You can usually spot Bighorn Sheep at the North Unit there, although, there are better places for them in Badlands National Park. I’ve spent a lot of time in all three of these parks and I have NEVER, been sure of a black-footed ferret (thought I saw one once but not positive). If you manage to make that Yellowstone trip one day, I highly recommend taking a side trip on the Beartooth highway out the Northeast side of the park (really reliable area for mountain goats, marmots, and pikas).

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