Shuklaphanta

SHUKLAPHANTA WILDLIFE RESERVE

SHUKLAPHANTA WILDLIFE RESERVE

Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is located in the far western region of Nepal. It harbours the famous one horned rhinoceros when it was relocated from Chitwan National Park for the third viable population. The park also lies in the Terai Region with Himalayas in the North and the Siyali River bordering the eastern part southward to the international border with India. The vegetation consists of deciduous trees, grasslands, savannah etc., The congregation of swamp deer in the park’s grasslands is the largest in the world. The population of Hispid Hare is phenomenal in nature. As of 2013 there were 2170 swamp deer in the park. The Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984

The jungles of the National Park were once the site of an ancient kingdom. Till today, the ruins of the kingdom can be seen. Near Rani Tal there remains a brick girdle measuring 1500 m in circumference. The locals claim that it is a remnant of the Tharu King Singpal.

Location Kanchanpur District (Nepal) 
Nearest AirportDhangadhi airport: about 51 Km away from the park. There is bus service from the airport to national park which is a 3  hours drive. There are daily flights available from Kathmandu to Dhangadhi
Nearest Bus StandThe park can be reached by the East – West Highway through Nepalgunj – Dhanagadhi – Mahendranagar (from Mahendranagar main market, it is just 3 km to the park entrance) . Overnight buses are available from Kathmandu. It takes about 20 hrs. by road from Kathmandu to the Shuklaphanta National Park
Key Wildlife AttractionsBengal Tiger, Great One horned Rhinoceros, Bengal Foxes, Golden Jackals, Yellow throated Martens, Asian Palm Civet, Hispid Hare, Gharials, Mugger Crocodiles, Swamp Deer.
Total Area Covered305 sq. kms.
Established in Year1976
VegetationSub – tropical Moist deciduous forests with alluvial grasslands and marshlands.
Best Time to VisitThe best time of the year to visit the Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is October to March.
ClimateTropical Monsoon Climate with relatively high humidity throughout the year.

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Chitwan

CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK

CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK

Chitwan National Park is the first National Park of Nepal and has a rich cultural flora and fauna. It is the home to one of the last populations of single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros and is also one of the last refuges of the Bengal Tiger. The national park is tucked away at the foothills of the Himalayas in the Central Terai Region. It extends over the four districts of Chitwan, Nawalparsi, Parsa and Makwanpur. The ecosystem consists of the Siwaliks Range as well as the fertile alluvial flood plains. The Gandaki River which is the third largest river in Nepal runs through the national park acting as the lifeline of wildlife there and also as a scenic attraction to people.

The national park is also a home to two religious areas: Bikram Baba at Kasara and Balmiki Ashram in Tribeni. These places draw pilgrimages from nearby areas and across India. It is also the native home to the tribal community named “Tharu”, who have been residing here for centuries and are known for their interesting and exotic cultural practices. The forest is of moist deciduous type and Sal is the most predominant tree.

Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is rich in biodiversity. The park is resident to 31% of mammals, 61% of birds, 34% of amphibians and reptiles and 65% of fishes that are found in Nepal. The park has the largest concentration of birds (about 350 species) making it the hotspot for ornithologist. It was recognised as one of the world’s diversity hot spots by Conservation International and it falls amongst WWF’s 200 Global Eco – regions.

Location Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Parsa and Makwanpur Districts (Nepal) 
Nearest AirportBharatpur airport – 15 Km to the Chitwan National Park. Buddha Air and Yeti Airlines have daily flights to Bharatpur from Kathmandu.
Nearest Bus StandFrom Kathmandu: First bus leaves at 07:00 am from Thamel along Kantipath Road and it takes 5 to 7 hours. You can also take local or private air con buses operated by Greenline Tours.
From Pokhara: The tourist buses from Pokhara bus stop leave at 07:30 am. Travel time is approx. 5 to 7 hours. The last stop is the Bachhauli tourist bus park, a 15 mins walking distance from Sauraha. Jeeps can be hired for the last leg of the journey. Beware of touts, as it is better to book your transport from the hotel.
Key Wildlife AttractionsBengal Tiger, Clouded Leopard, One horned Rhinoceros, Bengal Foxes, Golden Jackals, Yellow throated Martens, Asian Palm Civets, Hispid Hares, Gharials.
Total Area Covered932 sq. kms.
Established in Year1973
VegetationSub – tropical Moist deciduous forests with alluvial grasslands and marshlands.
Best Time to VisitThe best time of the year to visit the Chitwan National Park is October to February.
ClimateOctober – February: Has average temperature of 25°C and offers an enjoyable climate..
March – June: Temperature can reach as high as 43°C making it uncomfortable to go on safaris or trekking.
June – September: Monsoons set in and the rivers get flooded. The weather is hot and sticky, and the rising water level makes the park inaccessible.

CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK ACTIVITIES

Chitwan National Park is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and has got multiple activities to offer. There are many half, full or muti-day adventure activities to choose from as mentioned below. We would recommend you book the preferred activities ahead of your proposed trip so the required permits can be taken, and camping gears, food and transport arrangements can be done.

Activity DurationDescription
Jungle Walk/TrekkingHalf/Full/Multi DayA Jungle Walk/Trek is a great opportunity to observe the forest wildlife from close quarters at the Chitwan National Park. You will be accompanied by trained naturalists on this trip who will offer valuable insights into the flora and fauna of the jungle. Overnight treks that go deeper into the forest also include accommodation and packed lunch/dinner in some cases.
Jeep SafariHalf/Full/Multi DayThe Jeep Safari allows you to go deeper into the forest with short breaks at popular sighting spots. Two/three day tours offer better value with a mix of excursions and activities
Elephant Ride/Trek1-1.5 hrsAn Elephant ride is probably the best way to see Rhinos at Chitwan. These rides can be hired from the lodges or local tour agencies, and are usually carried out two/three times in a day – morning and late afternoon.
Visit to Elephant Breeding Center3-4 hoursThe Elephant Breeding Center at Sauraha was established for captive breeding of domesticated elephants. A visit to this center will offer you insights into the life of elephants, their nature and habitats. Timings: 06 am – 06 pm
Elephant Bathing-You can walk down to the Rapti river late afternoon and see some mahouts bathing their elephants after a hard day's work. Take a ride over one of these mammals and enjoy the sun set.
CanoeingHalf/Full DayHire a canoe for a half/full day ride on the Rapti river looking out for Crocodiles and various wet-land species. Customised packages also include 1-2 hours of canoeing followed by short jungle walks.

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Bardia

BARDIA NATIONAL PARK

BARDIA NATIONAL PARK

Bardia National Park is the largest national park of Nepal. It is situated in the Terai Region with Karnali River flowing in the east and bisected by the Babai River in the district of Bardiya. The Nepalgunj – Surkhet Highway runs along the southern borders of the National park. Together with the Banke National Park, Bardiya forms the Tiger Protection Unit. Ecologically Bardia consists of greater habitat than Chitwan with its dry deciduous forest, pockets of savannah and grasslands. The distributaries of Karnali River act as waterholes for wildlife.

Approximately 1500 people who used to live here have been relocated and since then farming has stopped here and natural vegetation of this park has prevailed. The forest here is an assortment of moist deciduous trees, grasslands and savannah. The park comprises of 839 species of flora including vascular plants and gymnosperms. Like Chitwan, Bardiya is also famous for its one – horned rhinoceros.

Location Bardia District (Nepal) 
Nearest AirportNepalgunj Airport: 90 km (3 hrs. drive). It takes about a 50 mins flight from Kathmandu Airport to Nepalgunj.
Nearest Bus StandFrom Kathmandu: Regular buses to Mahendranagar leave from Gongabu Bus Stand (in Kathmandu) whereby one can get down at Ambassa before boarding an another bus to Thakurdwara for Bardia National Park. Journey time: 15 hrs.
From Pokhara: Daily buses leave from Pokhara to Mahendranagar or Dhangadi passing through Ambassa Bardia. Journey time (approx.): 12 hrs.
Key Wildlife AttractionsBengal Tiger, One horned Rhinoceros, Swamp Deer, Wild Elephant, Gangetic Dolphin, Gharial and marsh mugger crocodiles.
Total Area Covered968 sq. km.
Established in Year1988
VegetationMoist deciduous forests with alluvial grasslands, Savannah and marshlands.
Best Time to VisitThe best time of the year to visit the Bardia National Park is from October to May.
ClimateOctober – March: Temperature varies between 25 – 37°C except during December and January.
Winters last from mid-December to end of January. Temperature during this period varies from 7-12°C and the weather could be foggy at times
Summers are from February to May. Animals during this period approach the water holes or the river thus giving a better chance to spot them.
Monsoon: June – August, could be the wrong time to visit the park. The weather is hot and sticky, and the rising water level makes the park inaccessible.

BARDIA NATIONAL PARK ACTIVITIES

Bardia National Park can be best enjoyed if you take a customized experience over a period 4-5 days. There are many half, full or muti-day adventure activities to choose from as mentioned below. We recommend you book the desired activities in advance so the required permits can be taken, and camping gears, food and transport arrangements can be made.

Activity DurationDescription
Jungle WalkHalf/Full DayA Jungle Walk is a great opportunity to observe the wildlife and birds from close quarters at the Bardia National Park. You will be accompanied by trained naturalists on this trip who will offer valuable insights into the flora and fauna of the jungle. Covering a distance of 5-8 kms. (for half day), the journey would include walking along small tracks, criss-crossing rivers, and waiting alongside the riverbanks or watchtowers to observe the wildlife movement. Full day jungle walks will cover a distance of 15-20 kms.
Jeep SafariHalf/Full DayThe Jeep Safari allows to cover more distance taking you deeper into the jungle with short breaks at popular sighting spots and watchtowers. A half day jeep safari during morning hours can be combined with a half day jungle walk in the afternoon to offer you a varied experience.
RaftingHalf/Full/Multi DayRafting on the Karnali, Geruwa or Babai river can provide a good opportunity for sighting of birds, animals or the rare Gangetic river dolphin. The tour includes short jungle walks and stopovers at some good wildlife viewing spots.
FishingFull/Multi DayThe Himalayan waters are known for the famous freshwater fishes such as Goonch catfish and Golden mahseer along with many other species. Anglers can enjoy fishing at the Karnali, Babai or Bheri river. A good time or the best season for fishing in these waters is from October to November and February to May
Bird WatchingHalf/Full/Multi DayThe Bardiya National Park is home to more the 400 species of birds including the endangered Bengal florican and Sarus crane. A good time of the year or the best season to go on a Birding tour is between September – November and February – April.
Visit to Elephant Breeding Center2 hoursThe Elephant Breeding Center at Hattisar was established in 1985 for captive breeding of domesticated elephants. A visit to this center will offer you insights into the life of elephants, their nature and habitats. A good time to visit this farm is after 4 pm when the elephants have returned from grazing, and their patrolling schedule. One can also take an elephant ride into the forest during early morning or late afternoon.
Crocodile Breeding Center2 hoursSituated within the park is a small breeding center for marsh mugger crocodiles, gharial crocodiles, and turtles. Very near to this center is the Tharu museum which showcases the culture and tradition of the Tharu people
Blackbuck Conservation AreaFull DayCovering an area of 15.95 sq. km., the conservation area was established in 2009 in the Bardiya district to preserve the endangered Blackbuck.
Trekking and CampingMulti Day
River Rafting and Fishing ExpeditionMulti Day

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