What is the first thing that comes into your mind about safari? -“Africa”, isn’t it? What if I tell you that Nepal can be an alternative destination to enjoying jungle safari? Don’t believe me? Let’s take you to Nepal and help you explore the famous Chitwan jungle safari of Nepal.
So, Nepal is most famously known for its high mountains in the North. But, if you head down south, you will get to experience the plains called the “Terai”, which is quite different in terrains, culture and of course wildlife.
How to get to Chitwan National Park?
Chitwan National Park, the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal, is just 175 km away from Kathmandu. A drive from Kathmandu would take around 4-5 hours to get to Sauraha, while the flight takes around 20 minutes. I personally recommend you to take the roadway if you are a first timer, as you get to experience the real Nepal. Circular highways, beautiful hills, local highway food and of course, the thrilling ride would make unforgettable memories.
Things to see during Chitwan Jungle Safari
Basically, if you go through a tour operator, they give you the “Chitwan Jungle Safari Package Tour”, which is a 2 night and 3 days package. You will be going on an elephant safari (‘WOW’), riding the ox cart (Strange, isn’t it?), canoe ride-with view of crocodiles, visit to Elephant Breeding Center, Tharu village tour, Tharu Cultural Program and more.
While on the Chitwan Jungle safari, the most frequently seen animals are the spotted deer, musk deer, wild boars, monkeys and the one-horned rhinoceros. You are a lucky guy if you spot the Royal Bengal tiger. I just hope you see one, because I have not been fortunate enough to see one on my last 3 visits.
Also, the canoe ride on the Rapti river to the Elephant breeding center has its own feel. Crocodiles can be seen on the river banks, but chill they don’t want to hurt you. Across the river is the breeding center for Elephants. It is a bit painful to watch the mothers tied up, but for biodiversity conservation sector, it’s a plus point.
Then, there is the Tharu cultural dance, which is amazing to watch, and it is never enough to see them dancing with their traditional attire and playing their traditional instruments. Join along and dance to the Tharu beats!
If you opt for the 3 nights and 4 days package, you get a jeep safari drive in Chitwan National Park, which is approx. 5 hours. You will get glimpses of wild animals and birds during this trip and a trip to the crocodile breeding center in Kasara.
Finally, the entry fees per day for Chitwan National Park is Rs. 2000 (USD 20) for foreign nationals while for SAARC nationals it’s Rs. 1000(USD 10).
Take your camera or smartphones, get good pictures and bring back good memories. Remember to take water with you and stay hydrated.
Go for the Chitwan Jungle Safari, if you are fed up of the mountains or the noisy streets of Thamel. It will surely refresh you. You will get a mix of wildlife, culture and hospitality in a short span of time. Happy travelling!
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