Wildlife Safari in Nepal
Being a hub for eco-tourism, Nepal is a country rich in biodiversity. 19.7% of the total land of Nepal is occupied with nine different national parks, three wildlife reserves, and six conservation areas. While the Himalayas in the country is famous for trekking and mountaineering activities, the lowlands of Terai offer tropical jungles just as famous for wildlife sanctuary for safari.
The wildlife safari tour in Nepal is one of the amazing adventure trips offering unique wild adventure for nature lovers. The wildlife safari tour in Nepal gives you hence to enter the jungle and view some of the rarest animals. Thus, a wildlife safari adventure could be fit for all trekkers and travelers.
The Safari packages normally include an elephant ride or a jeep safari, canoe rides, nature walks, and bird watching. There are a few excursion tours available around the villages that help to discover the unique village culture and traditions.
If you are around a local village area, cultural entertainment programs offered by the villagers is yet another highlight of your trip you wouldn’t want to miss. If you wish for something more than just wildlife excursion, the safari trip could be combined with any other adventure activities you may wish to take.
Considered to be the best way to explore the jungles and wildlife, wildlife safari tour in the tropical jungles of the lowlands could be a plan for your ideal vacation. Jungle safari is available in many national parks in Nepal as every national park offers a unique trail to jungle safari. For an exotic wildlife housing amid tranquil wetlands and majestic woods, here are a few places you could choose from:
Chitwan National Park
Formerly known as Royal Chitwan National Park, Chitwan national park was established in 1973 a is the first national park in Nepal. Covering an area of 932km2, Chitwan National park is located in the subtropical inner lowlands of south-central Nepal in the Chitwan district.
Jeep safari is one of the options to see the wildlife in Chitwan. During this trip, you will get to sit on the back of an open jeep to see the animals as the jeep takes you deep into the majestic jungles. Into the wildlife, you get a great opportunity to click some good pictures. Along the trip, the guide will be at the vehicle helping you to spot the animals and giving you details about every animal you encounter on the way.
To do the Jeep safari you get 2 options:
The first option is a short safari. This will take about 4 hours and you are in the jeep with a highest of 7 persons. With your back you will sit to the side of the jeep for this four-hour journey leading to the Kasara Crocodile breeding center.
The second option is a full day one. The jeep is more comfortable as you have better seats and a private car. This trip will start early in the forenoon and you will finish around the same time as the short drive. With this trip you will go deeper into the jungle and here you will have more chance to see tigers.
Elephant Safari is almost a synonym of the Chitwan National Park and is the most popular and adventurous way to encounter rare wild animals including one horned rhino and exclusive Bengal Tigers with numerous species of birds and reptiles. The experienced Mahouts take you deep in the forest to ensure more sights of animals at closest possible distance to make your trips enjoyable and meaningful.
Being seated high on the back of trained elephant and exploring the grasslands, you will become an integral part of the national park. Although the elephant ride is not the most comfortable rides, it surely is an amazing experience worth trying.
What could be a more relaxing wildlife excursion than to see the crocodiles basking motionless under the sun with their snouts wide? If you chose Chitwan as a place to relax, the canoe ride is the best option for you. Besides that, a canoe ride could be a way to get calmed after a few days into the wildlife tour. The canoe ride allows you to slowly pass the shores of the rivers full with amazing crocodiles and beautiful birds.
Proudly named as the country’s treasure as a fabulous wildlife sanctuary, the Chitwan National park is a wonderful opportunity that you would never want to miss.
Bardiya National Park:
Bardiya national park is located in the westernmost plains of Nepal, east of the Karnali river. Covering an area of 968 sq. km, it is the largest and one of the undisturbed protected parks in terai that home many endangered species of wild animals and the birds. The national park is full of open pasture and shrubs making it an ideal place for game-viewing adventure.
This park is famous for elephant back safaris and jungle drive tour. During the jungle safari tour on elephant back, you will come across small herds of wild elephants and can be seen rhinoceros, tiger, and other animals. The main existing wild animals in this Park are-30 different mammals, more than 250 species of birds, varieties of reptiles and aquatic animals.
You will enjoy the ride through the silent jungle catching wildlife by surprise in the largest national park of Nepal in Bardiya. You can take nature walks with experienced naturalists with years of experience in Bardiya.
Try going for white-water rafting on Karnali the longest river in Nepal, where you can watch the Gangetic dolphins surface or gharials lazing in the sun. Meet the charming Rana Tharu and Dangora people of southern Nepal and learn about their colorful culture.
Bardiya National Park is one of the most pristine conservation areas in the Terai and is a shelter to the endangered Royal Bengal tiger and Nepal's famous One-horned rhinoceros besides the many other mammals and reptiles.
The national park is covered in extensive Sal forests, riverine jungles, and tall elephant grass, making it an ideal habitat for all kinds of species that roam openly. The park provides opportunities for fishing at the Karnali and Babai rivers. The most preferred time to visit is autumn, winter and early summer when the weather is warm and dry. but not too hot.
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
The Koshi Tappu wildlife reserve is one of the protected areas in the Eastern Terai. Established in 1976 AD, it extends up to 175 sq km. The reserve touches the SUnsari, safari, and Udayapur districts. Situated at the bank of the Saptakoshi river, Koshi Tappu wildlife reserve is considered to be one of the best and finest bird-watching destinations in Asia.
Situated at 347 Km east from the Kathmandu Valley, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is home to endangered wild water buffalo (Arna in Nepali ) species. Besides that, this wildlife reserve also provides inhabitants with 31 mammals, 485 birds, 200 fishes and more.
Overall Koshi Tappu area is full of deciduous riparian forest, grasslands, rich swampy vegetation, etc. recorded to have 514 varieties of plants and vegetations, the common flora found in the Koshi Tappu wildlife reserve includes sugarcane, kapok, reed, and eelgrass.
Touring around Koshi Tappu wildlife reserve offers a unique exploration of the land and water ecosystem of Nepal. You can enjoy a boat ride on The Sapta Koshi River; and take a glimpse of Gangetic dolphins, sunbathing crocodiles, and gharials, etc.
The Koshi Wildlife Reserve is home to numerous local and migratory birds. About 485 birds found in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve which makes an ideal place for Koshi Tappu birds watching. Koshi Tappu Picnic Spot is also famous among locals for holidays.
Shuklaphanta National Park
Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve was claimed to be a Wildlife Reserve in 1976, after seven years of being managed as a hunting reserve since 1969. It is located in the southern part of far-western Nepal in Kanchanpur district covering 305 sq km of the land. It is bordered by Mahakali river on the south and west, Chaudhar River on the east and forest belt and cultivations on the north.
The reserve accommodates various species of flora and fauna, although the area is small. The main vegetation here is the grassland along with the Sal forest, Savanna, Asna, Simal, Sisau, Khair, etc are some of the species of trees found predominantly in the area. Some of the animals found in the reserve are the wild elephant, tiger, hispid hare, blue bull, leopard, chital, hog deer, and the wild boar. Marsh mugger, Indian python, monitor lizard, cobra, krait and rat snakes are also found in the Shuklaphanta.
The reserve is a prime habitat for swamp deer with an estimated population of 2000-2500. Sarus crane, swamp francolin, flycatchers, grass owl, warblers and the endangered Bengal Florican are some of the bird species colonizing the reserve.
Wildlife safari could be one of the many ways to enjoy your holidays in Nepal. As we know, Nepal is a naturally diverse country that offers varieties of excursions you wouldn’t want to miss. So why don’t you try going on a wildlife safari adventure in Nepal’s steamy jungles and gain experience for a lifetime!