If you’re looking to experience a safari holiday in the wilderness, Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park are perfect destinations for you.
Chitwan National Park is situated in the subtropical southern part of Nepal, Terai region. Chitwan National Park is widely popular for its vast land area and numerous different kinds of exciting animals that can be seen during a safari, which also includesa rare One Horned Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger and Gharial Crocodile.
There are 56 species of herpetofauna, 126 different species of fish, 68 species of mammals and 544 species of birds in Chitwan National Park.
Bardia is another National Park located in the subtropical Terai region of Nepal. This park area hosts 30 different species of mammals, over 250 kinds of birds and quite a few varieties of reptiles and water animals. Throughout your safari ride, you’ll be able to see some exciting animals like elephant, swamp deer, gharial, marsh-mugger crocodile, blackbuck and even dolphins in the Karnali River. Endangered birds like Bengal florican, sarus crane, and silver-eared mesia might also be seen if you’re lucky. Also, you will be able to catch the glimpse of endanged Royal Bengal Tiger and One horned Rhinoceros.
Both these National Parks allow you to truly experience the wilderness from up close. Being able to go on a four wheel drive and ride an elephant through the jungle passing through tigers and rhinos and other animals close by is truly a surreal experience.
Being in the subtropical region of the country, both these places are similar in terms of climate, vegetation and ecological structure.
Due to this, the things you can do at these parks are also quite similar. For instance, both these places offer you enjoyable activities such as elephant ride, canoeing, guided jungle walk, experiencing the culture of nearby villages, 4wd safaris and whitewater rafting. The only difference here would be the different people in villages and different rivers to raft in.
While there are similarities between Chitwan National Park and Bardia National park, there are quite a few differences too.
The first underlying difference lies in the distance you have to travel to each of these parks from Kathmandu Valley. Chitwan is fairly close at about 4 – 5 hour drive, depending on the traffic and condition of the road it may be longer though. However, Bardia is situated in Bheri district, so you will have to travel to Nepalgunj first by drive which might take up to 15 hours or more to drive there.
You can also choose to fly to either of the location. But, you can only fly to Dhangadi, and you still need few hours to reach the Bardia National Park.
Apart from the distance, the level of luxury also slightly varies. While Bardia National Park does have sophisticated hotels and lodges around, Chitwan is just more developed in comparison and thus you will not have any shortage of quality hotels in Chitwan.
Another difference would be the amount of crowd. Since Chitwan is fairly easy to reach either by air or road, and is close by to many important cities of Nepal like Butwal and Dharan, it’s also destination for local tourists including the foreign tourists who come to visit Chitwan. On the other hand, Bardia National Park seems peaceful and quiet in comparison. This might offer a more pleasant experience if that’s what you’re looking for.
Overall, both these national parks are amazing and you’re bound to have a great time.