Jungle Safari

National Parks located specially in the Terai region in Nepal attract visitors from all over the world. A visit to these parks involves game – stalking by a variety of means – foot, dugout canoe, jeep drive, elephant ride. One is bound to sight s one – horned rhino or two at every elephant safari. Besides the rhinos, wild boars, samburs, spotted deer, sloth bear, four – horned antelope are also usually seen. A Royal Bengal tiger may surprise you by his majestic appearance.

National Parks of Nepal
Chitwan National Park is the first national park of Nepal established in 1973. According to UNESCO, the World Heritage Site is “at the foot of the Himalayas, Chitwan is one of the few remaining undisturbed vestiges of the Tarai region. It has a particularly rich flora and fauna. There are more than 50 different types of grass species, including the elephant grass, renowned for its immense height reaching up to 8m. It has 58 species of mammals, 539 types of birds, 56 types of reptiles and amphibians, and 124 species of fish. One of the last populations of One-horned Asiatic rhinoceros lives in the park, which is also one of the last refuges of the Bengal Tiger.

Bardia National Park occupies the Karnali flood plain, the Babai river valley, and the Siwaliks range with the highest peak of Sukarmala (1441m). Practically untouched by modernisation, it is a major component of the Tiger Conservation Landscape and its proposed extension has been declared a ‘gift to the earth’. The park is home to 59 species of mammals, 407 types of birds, 52 kinds of amphibians / reptiles, and 124 species of fish.

Khaptad National Park was esthablised in 1984 for the conservation of natural herbs and the habitat. It is an isolated plateau and has about 355 species of vascular plants of which 135 species are distributed in moorlands. The park is home to about 287 bird species both migratory and residents. Among the 23 mammalian species, the common ones include leopards, musk deer, wild boar, Himalayan black bear, wild dog, and Rhesus and Langur monkeys.

Langtang National Park is the first Himalayan national park of the country. The park lies along the trade route between Nepal and Tibet. The historical site of Rasuwagadhi, a medieval period fort, lies at the border. The park represents eighteen ecosystems ranging from the Hill sal and pine forests in the lower belt to the alpine belt of glaciers, snow and rocks. There are over 1,043 species of vascular plants recorded and 46 mammalian species, including red panda, snow leopard, clouded leopard, musk deer and Himalayan tahr. There are over 345 species of birds, 4 herpeto and 30 fish species.

Makalu Barun National Park & Conservation Area lies in the northeastern Himalayan region of Nepal adjacent to SagarmathaNational Park. It is the only protected area on earth with an altitude gain of 8000m from the low tropical forests along the Arun valley to the lofty, icy mountain summits. The skyline is made up of a chain of rugged Himalayan peaks, including Mt. Makalu (8463m), Mt. Chamlang (7319m), Mt. Baruntse (7129m) and Mera Peak (6654m). The park represents 20 different ecosystems and is recognised for its tremendously rich floral diversity.

Rara National Park is located in the north-western Himalayan region of Nepal. Rara (2990m) is the biggest lake (10.8km2) but the park is the smallest one. The landscape includes the towering snow-capped peaks around the lake namely Chuchemara peak (4039m), Ruma Kand (3731m) and Malika Kand (3444m). The park is characterised by sub-alpine and high temperate vegetation and it represents 11 types of forest ecosystems.

Sagarmatha National Park is, according to UNESCO, an exceptional area with dramatic mountains, glaciers and deep valleys, dominated by Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world (8848m). Several rare species, such as the snow leopard and the lesser panda, are found in the park. The presence of the Sherpas, with their unique culture, adds further interest to this site.

Shey Phoksundo National Park is the largest national park in the country. The PhoksundoLake, a major landmark, drains out in the form of a waterfall that reflects sunlight and throws rainbow colours. It is famous for sightings of snow leopards and their prey, the blue sheep and the musk deer. The park has been proposed for a World Heritage Site for its unique trans-Himalayan flora and fauna (it contains 21 types of ecosystems) and the ancient Bonpo culture.

Wildlife Reserves of Nepal
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve lies in the south-eastern lowlads (tarai) of Nepal and is composed of the alluvial floodplains of the SaptaKoshiRiver, a unification of seven rivers by the hermitage of Kaushik. It was declared a Ramsar Site on December 17, 1987 and is the first one in Nepal. The reserve supports more than 20,000 waterfowls and is a storehouse to 514 species of flora. The reserve is home to 485 species of birds and there are at least 114 species of water birds. It is the only area in Nepal where the watercock and Abbott’s babbler are found. It is inhabited by 31 mammalian species, 45 amphibians / reptiles and 200 fish species. Nepal’s last remaining population of wild water buffalo inhabits the floodplain, and the critically endangered Gangetic dolphin is found in the waters of the KoshiRiver.

Suklaphanta National Park occupies the largest grassland in the lowland Tarai. Along with the Suklaphanta (dazzling, fresh and open grassland), the reserve consists of forests, riverbeds and wetlands. The major vegetation types are the Chir pine forest and the Hill sal forest in the north, and the sal and Mixed Broadleaved forest in the south. It is a storehouse of 553 vascular plants and home to 46 species of mammals, 351 species of birds, 7 herpeto (amphibians and reptiles) and 28 fish types.

Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve was established in 1987 as the only hunting reserve. Its landscapes are characterised by Dhor (marshland) and Patans (moorland) above the tree line (4000m). The reserve comprises 14 types of forest ecosystems and serves as a prime habitat for blue sheep, a highly coveted trophy. The reserve is divided into six hunting blocks: the magnificent view of Dhaulagiri Himal from Barse, Dogari and Gustung blocks is remarkable. The Seng and Sundaha blocks are rich in wildlife.

Annapurna Conservation Area is the largest protected are in the country. Within its boundaries lies the famous Annapurna I (8091m). It forms the watershed of the rivers like Kali Gandaki, Seti and Marshyangdi. The landscape comprises mountain peaks, alpine pastures, trans-Himalayan valleys, forests, lakes, glaciers, rivers, caves and cultivated lands. The area offers the most fascinating routes for trekking.

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