Top 5 Major Destinations for Wildlife Jungle Safari Tour In Nepal
Wildlife Jungle Safari is an act of exploring the forest regions via a jeep or by sitting on the back of an elephant or even on a horse. Nepal, home to more than 200 species of mammals and over 900 species of birds, is one of the world’s most lucrative destinations for wildlife lovers all around the world. Jungle Safari is the best way to enjoy these gems of nature roaming freely in the wild. There are 10 National Parks and four wildlife reserves all over Nepal so you will never be short of visiting sites for exploring. Some of the best destinations for Jungle Safari in Nepal are listed below:
Chitwan National Park :
Chitwan National Park is the most popular destination for jungle safari in Nepal. The major attraction of this park is one-horned rhinoceros. There are about 500 one-horned rhinoceros in this park and you get to see them up close. In addition , there are some hundred nocturnal Royal Bengal Tigers living in the dense forest of park. Who wouldn’t love to watch these vicious creatures up close ? Apart from these, the park offers many exotic animals including but not limited to rhesus monkey,grey langur,leopards,crocodiles,elephants,pythons and more.
If you are vegetation lover, the park offers you view of towering trees and twisting vines of many different species. As a dessert to these treats, the park offers you colorful tharu culture, their way of living, culture and tradition and mesmerizing tharu dance. Located just an hour’s drive from the major city of Bharatpur, there are many world-class lodges and restaurants which provides jungle safari packages with the best price. The price of package starts from $150 which may or may not include accommodation, transportation, bathe with an elephant, visit Tharu village and much more. The service offered depends on package you select. You can log on to chitwanjunglesafari.com to view best price on different packages.
- Bardia National Park :
Home of over 30 species of mammals and over 350 species of birds, Bardia National park is the largest national park in Terai of Nepal stretching over 968 sq km. It is situated in the mid-western region of Nepal accessible by a short drive from Nepalgunj city. The major attraction of this park is Largest wild tuskers in Asia, the majestic species of Elephant. Rhesus Monkey, Hyenas, Civets, Wolf roam in the jungle. There are vast swathes of grasslands within the region where sightseeing would be easier.
For vegetation lovers, towering sal trees and carpet of Savannah and riverine vegetation would be the best of the treat. It is heaven for bird lovers as exotic bird species such as cormorants, egret, storks, geese, jungle fowls etc wander in the sky of the park. Babai River, which cuts through the park, is the home to Black Buck, gharial and marsh mugger crocodile. There is much to see and explore and jungle safari is the best way to get most out of this parks. Many companies provide these services in reasonable price. There are many jungle safari packages which include airport pickup, lodging, and additional services. The cost of safari starts from $150.
- Koshi-Tappu Wildlife Reserve:
Located in Eastern region of Nepal, it covers an area of 175 square km and included the region of Saptari and Sunsari District. It was primarily established to conserve wild buffalos which are the endangered species. Easily Accessible through East West Highway, Saptakoshi river flows through the reserve which is home to special species of dolphins only found here. Some of the major attractions of Koshi Tappu are wild buffalo(water buffalo also known as Arna), deer, nilgai, mugger crocodile and Gangetic Dolphins.
There is a birdwatching ground where you can watch different exotic species of wetlands birds. You can also enjoy boating in Saptakoshi river watching several aquatic animals.If you purchase the safari package in one of the reputed travel agencies, they will take care of all the nitty-gritty things like accommodation, transportations, skilled safari guides and necessary permits. The cost of packages varies with the travel agencies.
- Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve:
Shuklaphanta wildlife reserve is located in far western Terai of Nepal. It is also the prime destination for great jungle safari in Nepal and is a habitat for 2,000 swamp deer, around 50 elephants, and 30 tigers. There are many open grasslands and numerous waterholes in the park. The forest consists of Towering Sal Trees with marsh vegetation on the floor. Originally established as protected hunter area, safari in this park allows you to spot animals such as spotted deer, blue bulls, barking deer, hog deer, wild boars, leopards, jackals, langurs and rhesus monkey.
Open grasslands will allow you clear sight of some of the rare bird’s species such as endangered Bengal Florican, Sarus crane, swamp francolin, grass owl etc. Reptiles such as mugger, cobra, crocodile, and python live in swampy regions. Thus there are much to explore in this park and couple of days of safari would be quite enough to get the most out of this reserve. It is easily accessible via roadways and flights from Kathmandu and many travel agencies provide affordable packages including accommodation and transportations services.
- Parsa Wildlife Reserve:
Parsa Wildlife Reserve is a protected area in the Inner Terai of south-central Nepal covering an area of 499 sq. km. Parsa wildlife reserve area is the largest wildlife reserve in Nepal. It was established in the year 2040 B.S. (1984AD.). This reserve is spread in the districts fo Parsa, Chitwan and Makawanpur, and in some area of Bara in Narayani zone of Central Development Region of Nepal. The protected area has Rapti River and Siwalik Hills in the north and Hetauda – Birgunj highway in the east, forest roads in the south and Chitwan National Park in the west. It lies at the altitude of 750 to 950 meters of Chure Range and Siwalik Hills. The main objective of this protected reserve is to conserve the wildlife.
Parsa Wildlife Reserve is a home to different wild animals and birds. There are a wild elephant, tiger, leopard, sloth bear, stag deer, wild boar, gaur, blue butt, wild dog and many other wild animals are found here. Other common animals are sambar, Chittal, hog deer, barking deer, langur, striped hyena ratel, palm civet, jungle cat etc. found here in this reserve. About 527 species of birds like Giant hornbill, peafowl, red jungle fowl, flycatchers, woodpeckers etc. and other common birds have been witnessed in the park. This wildlife reserve is famous for reptiles and many various kinds of local snakes like a king cobra, common cobra, krait, rat snake, pythons are also found here due to hot tropical climate.
Parsa Wildlife Reserve is dominated with Chure Hills (Sal with Chir pine) and Bhavar (Sal forest and mixed Sal forest). The soil of this wildlife reserve is erodible. The soil is composed of gravel and conglomerates. Water is scarce resulting in poor habitat conditions for wildlife. Flore and fauna of this reserve are both fully protected and prohibited not to be disturbed by any visitors.
Although there are many other locations best suited for a safari in Nepal, these locations are particularly popular among the tourists because of unique experience they provide. Safari is just a click away in Nepal as many travel agencies nowadays provide online booking system. They provide cost-effective packages which will take away the extra tension of managing everything by yourself. Just buy suitable packages provided by travel agencies and get ready to enjoy unique safari experience. If you want the thrill of doing everything yourself, all the above safari sites are easily accessible by roadways and flights and accommodation is not of much trouble as these safari sites are located in either urban or suburban area.
Writer: Aashish Poudel