Nepal has successfully made a mark as the Himalayan nation and a trekker’s paradise in the world map for long now. However, many might not know that right beneath these gigantic mountains and hills, there are lush and vast forest ranges in Southern Nepal. These forests are home to a staggering number of flora and fauna species, with some being only exclusive to Nepal. If you are looking for an awesome safari-like holiday experience, Chitwan National Park, located suitably beneath Kathmandu, can be the perfect destination for you. If you are considering a trip to this UNESCO Heritage Site, here is our list of five awesome things to experience in Chitwan National Park.
Ride on an elephant and discover the jungle
There are very few experiences in the world like an elephant safari. Riding on a big, majestic beast and traversing through the dense jungles populated by wild animals and bird is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are over 68 mammal species, 56 herpetofauna species, and 68 mammal species. Keep an eye out and you might even have a sighting of the great one-horned rhino or the regal Royal Bengal tiger. You have to be really lucky and have powerful set of eyes to spot the tiger, but you will encounter the unbelievably big and rustic rhinos on more than one occasion. Other than that, you will come across other equally exotic animals several time.
River Boating and Canoeing
Going for a river boating or canoeing in the marshy Rapti River is undoubtedly an exciting adventure. That is because this serene-looking river is inhabited by hundreds of marsh mugger crocodiles who often swim close to the canoes. You can also see a lot of these exotic beasts basking in the sun peacefully. So, in that way, it is a both relaxing and nerve-wracking experience at same. Although, don’t worry, there are negligible casualties of this adventurous experience.
Explore the amazing Tharu culture
The Tharus are the native inhabitants of the region. They are one of the very few ethnic groups in Nepal of Dravidian race. They have lived in the proximity of these jungles for several hundred years and are believed to be even immune to Malaria. Their culture and traditions are isn’t as sophisticated as others, thus offering a very interesting and rare cultural exposure. Here, you can visit their villages dotted with traditional mud houses, visit the Tharu Cultural Museum, and even attend the nightly show where they put on a very grand performance of dancing with fire and sticks.
Play with baby calves at Elephant Breeding Centre
This organization was originally set up for the welfare of elephants, but today it has become a great tourist spot due to the increase in the species’ population and setup of an elephant museum. You can visit the baby elephants commonly placed with their mothers in the stable. If you careful enough and under trusted supervision, you can even pat them and spend some time with them. Afterwards, you can explore the small museum that chronicles the lives of these peaceful animals in form of photographs.
Birdwatching and Butterfly-watching experience
Chitwan National Park is home to more than 544 incredible bird species. Although, the different species of butterflies found here are not vastly studied, there sure are several exotic ones for sure. You can go on a birdwatching or butterfly-watching experience with a seasoned naturalist who can be available easily. You can go on foot, by a jeep, or even ride and elephant and navigate through the jungles and grasslands. If you are looking for a more relaxed and laid-back type of jungle activity, this one is definitely the suitable one for you. Even if you’re not, few places in world boast of such astounding number of birds and butterflies, so make the most out of it.
Embark on a jungle trek
Jungle trek? Yep, sounds very unusual in a country known for its implausible Himalayan treks. But, yes. Jungle treks are a thing in Chitwan National Park. You can even choose from a half-day trek, full day trek, 2-3 days trek, and 3-5 days trek. These treks offer the highest chances of spotting a rhino or a tiger since you will be trekking through the deepest parts of the jungle. The facility of hiring a guide and porters is readily available, and the food and lodging services are satisfactory.