EXPERIENCING THE HIMALAYAN WILDLIFE – CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK
If you are a wildlife lover, and if you are looking to experience the wildlife of the Himalaya, then you really need to make Chitwan National Park part of your plan.
Chitwan is a world class National Park, and being in the lower Himalayas, Chitwan is a world away from the rugged mountain trails.
It is a haven for native species, both flora and fauna. With lush jungles and nothing but the sounds of nature, Chitwan is a treat for your mind, body and spirit.
Chitwan National Park is in south-central Nepal and covers 952.63km2.
Love wildlife as much as you love the mountains? If you are visiting Nepal for a trek, or if it is just to experience the culture, don’t overlook Chitwan. You’ll be surprised what awaits you in this secluded part of Nepal.
What’s So Unique About It?
Chitwan National Park is in the subtropical Inner Tarai Lowlands of the south-central region of Nepal and is protected by the Rapti-Narayan river system. It is one of the most significant drawcards of Nepal.
In fact, the park, which covers a whopping 952km2 area full of dense forests, grasslands and marshy lands, was selected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is home to a wide range of flora and fauna.
Believe it or not, Chitwan is one of the best National Parks of the world and is home to some of the most fascinating species like one-horned rhinos, monkeys and deer, and over 500 varieties of birds. However, if you are fortunate enough, you can come across leopards, elephants, and even sloth bears. Let’s not forget to mention one of the most secretive inhabitants of Chitwan, the royal Bengal tiger!! One of the more elusive residents, the Bengal tiger calls Chitwan home.
How To Get There?
Getting to Chitwan and stepping on the giant footsteps of the rhinos and wild elephants is easy and really depends on your schedule and preference.
The other most feasible option is visiting the place by air. The closest airport to the Chitwan National Park is Bharatpur Airport. It is just 10km from the park. Flights run regularly between Kathmandu and Bharatpur.
Booking flights locally can be a task at times, as they are popular with locals and often sell out. It is advisable to have any flights pre-booked if possible, to avoid disappointment.
If you are feeling adventurous and time permits, then you can travel by local tourist bus. The conditions can be a bit average, but this can be part of the experience. There are some tourist class buses, which offer a bit more comfort, but it should be known that going by road is generally slow and bumpy.
Climate of Chitwan
Chitwan mainly has a tropical subcontinental monsoon climate, with very high humidity.
Monsoons last from mid-June till late September, receiving nearly 2500mm of rainfall on average.
Hence, the best time to visit Chitwan National Park is after the middle of October, when the monsoon clouds retreat, dropping the humidity level, and unfurling the green beauty of the region to its fullest.
The wildlife of Chitwan
The park has a wide plethora of vegetation and wildlife.
Wildlife includes over 700 species, with everything from large mammals to tiny insects. It has 17 species of snakes, apart from the King Cobra and Rock Python, along with monitor lizards, 113 recorded types of mudded crocs and fish along the tributaries of the Narayani River.
Then there are the one-horned rhinoceros, leopards and sloth bears, Bengal foxes and spotted linsangs, palm civets, small and large civets, various types of mongoose, honey badgers and yellow-throated martens.
Tigers, though in limited numbers, have also been sighted in the park, and populations are increasing. Chitwan is one of the few National Parks in the world where conservation actions are working.
What to do?
You can take jeep safaris to venture into the remote areas of the park.
But it’s not just the wildlife that Chitwan has to offer.
There are remote village tours that you can take, which will reveal the rural side of Nepal to you.
Villages that are still living in traditional ways, and although this is slowly changing with each generation, you can visit the elephant breeding centre.
If you are more adventurous, energetic and eager to make your Nepal trip more memorable, you can go for canoe ride through the National Park. Travelling to new destinations can be a daunting thought. Most of the time, people have heard of or seen the main sites and attractions of a country, and although this is great as an appetiser to whet your travel buds, there are always so many off the beaten path destinations to see and experience – places that get you away from the tourist trail and allow you to see and feel the destination in its true form.
A reputable travel company with local knowledge and experience can assist in proper planning and advise on what to see and do when travelling somewhere new.
Forward Travel is just that. Priding ourselves on being more than just another travel agency, we are quite literally experts in our field and pride ourselves on being not just an agent selling travel, but a consultancy, consulting with our clients to provide the best experience possible.
Why Travel Agents?
You might be asking yourself, but why should I use a travel agent?
We at Forward Travel make sure that you do not have to think about all the obstacles that you might face if you were to try and arrange things on the ground.
Nepal may be a beautiful country, but when it comes to organisation, things are a bit chaotic.
Just let us know about your thoughts, and together with you, we will take care of everything to make sure your trip runs smoothly.