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Safari In Nepal: Discovering its Unique Wildlife

Feb 27 . 2023,Omi Karki
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When it comes to Safari rides, Africa is the first thing that pops into most people's minds. However, Nepal has its fair share of forested wilderness, gaming grasslands, eloquent flora, and fauna, offering a complete, robust package. Come and indulge in a wildlife safari adventure through the steamy jungles of Nepal as you witness the rare one-horned rhino, Asiatic elephants and even a Tiger if you get lucky enough.

Nepal is packed with the best euphoric experience as you witness the journey where people and wild animals co-exist in close proximity. After your venture from the northern breeze of aesthetic mountains, sit back and take the feel of the lush tropical vegetation offering awe-inspiring wildlife, including gharials, deer, crocodiles and flocks of bird life.

The best time to offer a wide range of blooming faunas in Nepal's topography lies between October and March.

Nepal is a South-Asian country tucked between the Tibetan Himalayas and the fluid Terai belt. It comprises nine National parks, three Conservation Areas and four Wildlife Reserves in an expansion of 15,000 sq km. The land is rich with tall grasslands intermingled with hardwood Sal woods and tranquil riverine.

Divided into three significant geographical distinctions, Nepal offers a wide variety of ecosystems, from the arctic condition of the Himalayan peaks to the subtropical vibrations of Terai's jungles. With such versatility in eco-diversity, Nepal accounts for over 19% of the country's land distributed for its sixteen protected wildlife regions across the domain.

Jungle Safari in Nepal

1.Chitwan National Park

Residing between two major tourism hub cities, Kathmandu and Pokhara, Chitwan National Park signs as the first protected area of Nepal with three decades-long nature conservation heritage. Exceptionally rich in bio-diversity, CNP is home to over 600 bird species, 55 reptilians, and 55 mammal species, including the prominent One-horned Rhinoceros and Bengal Tiger.

The thick, bristled forests make up for an intriguing homage for numerous wild dogs, monkeys, wild boar, wild cats, deer and other reptilian beings.

Moreover, the Tharu community residing within the vicinity of this area are a predominant attraction for experiencing the Tharu tradition in person. Their stick dance provides an essential insight into the cultural heritage of these natives.

Some of the highlighting activities one can take part in at Chitwan National Park includes the Elephant back Safari ride, Canoe ride, Jeep Safari, Jungle Walk and Tharu Village exhibition.

How to reach Chitwan National Park from Kathmandu

Chitwan National Park can be reached via multiple ways, i.e., Air and Land. The most convenient way to go to Chitwan is to take a flight from Kathmandu to Bharatpur; the headquarter of Chitwan. Both Buddha Air and Yeti Airlines fly directly to Bharatpur from Kathmandu Domestic airport on a daily basis.

On the other hand, if you experience road trips, several tourist buses depart to Chitwan from Kathmandu daily. The early morning bus will have you arrive in Sauraha in just over five hours while taking a few stops for meals.

2.Bardia National Park

Bardia is Nepal's largest national park, spreading over 968 sq km. The National Park borders the terai belt, resting as one of the best-kept treasures of Nepal. This undisturbed region is home to a flock of flora and faunas spread over the Sal thickets, grasslands and savannah.

Over the years, Bardia has gained fame for being an excellent place for tiger spotting and other endangered terrestrials, including One-Horned Rhinos and Asiatic Elephants. Similarly, during winter, Bardia is a haven to over 438 bird-life species hovering over the enchanted grasslands, river banks and forests while the Ghorials below sunbathe in the scorching shores.

A Guide to Bardia National Park

If you are pointing your coming adventure towards the subtropical paradise of Lowland Terai in Lumbini province, the most convenient way to reach this place is via flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj is one of Nepal's warmest places, and a little scorching heat is expected.

The Bardia National Park lies just 87 kilometres away from Nepalgunj and will take over 3 hours bus ride to reach.

3.Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

Koshi Tappu is an aerial paradise shimmering with a magnificent ecosystem, riverine and flocks of long-awaited bird safari. The region is an ideal blend of ponds, wetlands, and paddies and is home to 500 species of birds over the propensity of 176 sq km.

The Reserve is one of the best feeding grounds for waders and shore birds while hosting numerous migratory waterfalls. The preserved grounds are the home to Nepal's last remaining wild buffalo patch, reckoned at an estimation of over 488 counts in 2021 and other biotas, including, Spotted deer, Rock Python, Blue bull, Hog deer and Wild boars.

Where is Koshi Tappu wildlife Reserve Located?

Koshi Tappu Wildlife sanctuary is located in the South-Eastern Terai floodplains of the Sapta Koshi River and is the smallest preservation reserve in Nepal. Accessibility via roadways and airways is comparatively possible to reach Koshi Tappu Reserve.

The distance from Kathmandu to Koshi Tappu is 437 km, and you can take a 35 minutes flight to Biratnagar, then a 1 hour 25 minutes bus ride to reach the base camp. Travelling via bus ride from Kathmandu is bound to take over 8 hours, where you get off at Jamuha, 4 km after Laukhi.   

4.ShuklaPhanta Wildlife Reserve

Shukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve is situated in Nepal's extreme southwest region, covered in extensive grasslands, Sal forests and waterholes. The Reserve is an ideal zone for game viewing and Jungle Safari cruise. Some of the most intriguing delicacies of the wildlife harbouring these grasslands include the rare hispid hare, Bengal florican, swamp deer and francolins.

This Reserve holds an area of 305 sq km and shares its border with neighbouring Uttar Pradesh in the South and the Mahakali River in its eastern section.

Accessible for Jeep rides, the Jungle Safari experience in Shuklaphanta will funnel you through breeding grounds of over 24 mammal species, 450 aerial types, and over ten species of ectozoan. However, the compactly packed National Park preserves and assembles a wide variety of biodiversity that perseveres in this subtropical monsoonal kingdom.

The Indian subcontinental bustard species, Bengal Bustard or much known as Bengal Florican is one of the significant highlights of Shuklaphanta, as the place has the highest population of this aerial species in Nepal.

 Shuklaphanta National Park also welcomes visitors to its awe-inspiring ponds and river trips. Some most recommended places to check out in Shuklaphanta NP are Rani Tal, Mahakali River and bridge, and Ghodaghodi Tal.

Journeying to Shuklaphanta National Park

You can get assistance from a Travel agency or guide or practically form your schedule, plan and make the trip happen. The most favourable medium of travel is by Airways. Just book a flight to Dhangadi Airport situated in the far west, and after arriving there, you can take a bus ride to Shuklaphanta National Park. The locals are resourceful, and you will also meet people greeting you in English, perhaps.

5.Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge

Resting in the flanks of lush jungles, watching over the serene Terai landscape, Tharu Lodge is the best place to relax. The Lodge is an architectural wonder inspired by the Tharu culture, offering a soothingly distinct insight into Nepalese people's rural life and culture.

And if adventure is your preference, brace yourself first for this unique experience of the jungle sounds at night, as you must pay attention to the option of Safari tents.

This intimate library of operations comes with numerous exquisite experience offerings such as Jeep Safari, Boat Safari, Bird Watching, Elephant Walks, Ox Cart rides and showers with Elephant.

You will never feel any closer to nature as you participate in the simple yet refreshing activities envisioning through a local native's lens, co-existing alongside wilderness.

Where is Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge Situated

Tiger Top is a four-star resort establishment in Chilha, 1.6 km from the centre of Chitwan. The resort is stretched to a distance of 45 kilometres away from Bharatpur Airport; one can arrange a private vehicle ride which will take you just over an hour to reach Tharu Lodge. 

6.Parsa Wildlife Reserve

Nestled in the Central Lowlands incorporating three significant districts, i.e., Parsa, Bara and Makwanpur, Parsa Wildlife Reserve rests as a bridge section between its neighbour Chitwan National Park on the West and Valmiki Tiger Reserve of India in the South-Western portion.

The main feature of this wilderness is the significance of the historical Char Kose Jungle and its habitats of Asian Wild elephants. Since the area was extended by 128 km2, the Wildlife Reserve officially gained the status of a National Park in 2017.

Parsa offers a number of avenues for locals and foreigners with wildlife encounters and adventures. Your expedition to this Sal hardwood enclosed forest will venture through some daring proximity with its fauna, such as Tigers, leopards, Gaur (Indian Bison), Wild dogs and blue bulls.

How to get to Parsa Wildlife Reserve

You can travel via roadways as the path passes through the park's entrance gate via the Hetauda-Birgunj highway.

A Bus ride from Kathmandu will take six to seven hours to reach this location, while there are several flights from Kathmandu to Simara, which only take 20 minutes. After landing at Simara Airport, a 15-minute bus ride will suffice to reach the park's headquarters.

Is it Safe for Jungle Safari in Nepal?

You will be kept under the supervision of guides and professionals while sitting comfortably on the Jeep. This is not just for the security of visitors but also so that the wildlife remains undisturbed despite your venture into the wilderness. For safety reasons, there are various view towers where you can safely glare into the awe-inspiring art of nature and ponder your senses to climax.