Chitwan National Park(932 sq km)
Owing to its rich adornment of nature, Chitwan National Parks was declared UNESCO Natural Heritage Site in 1984. The park that includes in its area a part of the Shivalik Hills, is covered with deciduous forests overlooking the flood plains of Narayani, Rapti and Reu rivers and offering a wilderness of rich ecosystem that includes mammals, birds, reptiles and water animals of several kinds. There are around 600 plant species, 56 mammals, 539 birds and 49 amphibians and reptiles found in the in the park. Bengal tigers that live in the dense forests of the park. Sharing home with these are other animals like rhesus monkey, langur, deer, leopards, gaur, wild boar, wild dogs and wild cats. Among reptiles are different kinds of snakes including the python, while the river areas breed reptiles like the endangered long snouted gharial popularly known as Gangetic crocodile and marsh crocodiles. The forest is alive during summer with the arrival of migrant birds like paradise flycatcher, Indian pitta and parakeets, while winter birds include waterfowl, Brahminy ducks, pintails, bar-headed geese, cormorants and migratory birds from Siberia. Other bird varieties are woodpeckers, hornbills, peacocks, peahens, floricans and redheaded trogons. A rare attraction of the park is the world’s fresh-water dolphin sometimes seen in River Narayani. Another factor adding a distinct touch to the Chitwan experience is the colorful Tharu culture. There are also sites of religious and historical importance at devghat, Pandavnagar. Balmiki Ashram and Kabilaspur.
Activities in Chitwan National park:
Jungle safari on elephant-back, jungle walk, canone ride, jeep drive, experience of Tharu culture.
Accommodation: Resort, Hotels and Lodes.
Access: The park headquarters at Kasara is a 21 km drive from Bharatpur which s 20 is 20 minutes by air or 146 km by road from Kathmandu.
Best Season: Oct-Feb(average temperature 25 degrees Celsius); Mar-Jun(hot, up to 43 degrees), Jul-sep(rainy)
Bardiya National Park(968 sq km)
The Bardiya National Park is the largest and most undisturbed protected area in the Terai and is home to the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger and Nepal’s famous one-horned rhinoceros. The national park located in the far western district of Bardiya, is bordered by River Babai flows right through the park. The varied geographical factors together with the thick cover of Sal, savannah forests and grasslands render this region ideal as wild animal habitat. The park hosts 53 different mammals, more than 400 species of birds, and several varieties of reptiles and water animals. Some of the other animals found here are elephant, swamp deer, black buck, Gharial Crocodile and marsh mugger crocodile. The fresh-water Gangetic dolphin is also commonly seen in River Karnali. Birds include endangered varieties of Bengal florican, lesser florican, silver-eared mesia and saruscrane. The park offers the rare opportunity of angling at River Karnali and River Babai.
Activities: Jungle safari on elephant-back, Jungle walk, boat ride, jeep drive.
Accommodation: Jungle Lodges
Access: Three hours by jeep(95km) from Nepalgunj which is 1 hour 10 minutes by air or 531 km by road from Kathmandu.
Best season: Oct-Mar; Apr-Jun(hot, up to 42 degrees Celsius).July-Sep(rainy)