Situated at the southwestern part of Nepal, Chitwan has always been on the list of must visit places. A perfect harmony of wildlife and people has resulted into a blissful blend of nature and human. Chitwan Jungle Safari Tour takes you to the deep sal forest, Tharu villages, Rapti River and the home to Great One-horned Rhino and Royal Bengal Tiger, Chitwan National Park. After Kathmandu and Pokhara, this place is the major hub for the nature loving tourists. Wildlife Safari in Chitwan has never failed to amuse the viewers either with bird watching or the beautiful sunset view from Rapti River. With proper accommodation facility and managed environment, one can get the best of Chitwan. Local Tharus are charming and hospitable. The major tourist activities in Chitwan are Jeep Safari, Jungle Walk, Boating/Canoeing, Tharu culture shows, Elephant bathing, Bird Watching Tour and Visit Elephant Breeding Center.
Chitwan National Park
One of the natural heritages of Nepal to be enlisted in the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, Chitwan National Park boasts its wide range of flora and fauna. Established in 1973 and recognized by UNESCO in 1984, it lies in the sub-tropical Terai of Nepal. It is renowned for its protection of endangered species like One-horned rhinoceros, Royal Bengal tiger and Gharial crocodile. Besides these, this national park posses 68 species of mammals, 544 species of birds, 56 species of amphibians and reptiles accompanied by 126 species of fishes. Besides the above mentioned, the park is home to leopards, wild boar, sloth bears, cobra, pythons, storks, kingfishers, hanuman langurs and so on. A visit to this park gives you an immense insight of Nepalese Wildlife. It is also the main tourist attraction in Chitwan.
Jeep Safari in Chitwan National Park
Jeep Safari is one of the best ways to explore wildlife in Chitwan National Park. Your jeep drives through grasslands and sal forests. Going deep into the jungle, you can spot some animals roaming around the tall grasses of the park. If you’re lucky, you can get a rare glimpse of Royal Bengal Tiger or the Great One-horned Rhino. The driver will stop whenever he spots any animal or even you can tell him to stop when you see one. Some animals that can be easily spotted are wild boar, foxes, antelopes and peacocks. Jeep drive approximately takes you 4 hours.
Tharu Village Tour
Tharu are the local inhabitants of Chitwan. Legends say they are the people from Rajasthan, India who migrated to the present area after Mughals captured their place. Their culture also supports this story. These people are known to be malaria-resistant. With the population of nearly 2.6 millions, these people are active, fun-loving and extremely hospitable towards the visitors. The mud houses make the interrelationship between man and nature clearer. They have their own culture, traditions, attire and dances. You can explore their culture and lifestyle with the Tharu Culture Museum. There you can find the objects used by them, their attires and many other things related to Tharu culture.
Tharu Culture Show
Tharu people are known to be isolated from Indian culture in spite of being so close to India. It also has no influence from the other part of Nepal making it a distinct one. Thus, Tharu people have continuously and successfully preserved their culture. When you visit Chitwan, you cannot miss the cultural show hosted mainly by Sauraha Tharu Culture Home in Sauraha. It is also presented in private hotels. This show includes ethnic dances and other performances by young people. The stage of Sauraha Tharu Culture House displays objects used by Tharu people in daily life and in farming. The peacock dance is the centre of attraction for the tourists. At the end, they allow the audience to join them on the stage. You definitely need to visit this culture house once.
Visit Elephant Breeding Centre
At headquarter of Chitwan National Park, there lies the Elephant Breeding Centre which is the first one in Asia. You can see elephants right in front of your eyes and also a small museum aside. The museum exhibits the skull of an elephant and you can get other information from there. It is also home to orphan elephants whose parents might have died or killed for poaching. You can watch baby elephants getting nurtured. The process of making their food and the way they eat it tells a lot about their nature. The centre is owned by government with sole purpose of securing the viable population of elephants.
Canoeing is one of the most exciting activities in Chitwan National park. It is an amazing way to observe the riverside life and the aquatic creatures. You can see two types of crocodiles namely gharials and muggars basking in the riverbanks. It is mainly done in the Rapti River in the early morning. It is so amusing to hear the blissful sounds of the birds. Birds come together in a huge number to get their food. This scene is totally unexplainable. Typical canoe trip starts from Sauraha including one hour of downriver and two hours of guided trip back to Sauraha. These trips can easily be managed from your hotel or a local agency.
Chitwan is a paradise for birdwatchers and ornithologists. Chitwan is blessed with about 544 species of birds. Some of them are Cormorants, Herons, Egrets, Storks, Cranes, Ducks, Woodpeckers, Hawks, Ospreys, Falcons, Kastrels, Parakeets, Ibis, Kites, Cuckoos, Kingfishers, Swallows, Orioles, Drongos, Babblers, Rollers, Hornbills, Sunbirds and Flycatchers. Chitwan is a great spot to observe local and migratory birds.
Sunset View from Rapti
In Chitwan, you’re away from the hustle and bustle. Amidst the nature, you feel inner peace and tranquility. To add some more, you can walk on the banks of Rapti River in the early evenings just perfect for the view of sunrise. It feels so much relaxing and you can enjoy it with some beer or cocktails. If not them, a cup of coffee will also work. This is the most prominent activity in a Chitwan Jungle Safari Tour. You can see the boat men tying up their boat on a big rock. Also the elephant and its mahout can be seen taking the final bath in the river before heading to home. This scene of the elephant splashing water on him with its trunk seems amazing. People gather to clap for the scene and offer some notes as if it’s a show. However, a walk in the Rapti riverside is the perfect way to end your day or your trip.
An ideal opportunity to explore and experience closer view of the floras and fauna is the walk through jungles. There are many watchtowers called machan from where you can get 360° view of the surrounding. You can reach at the prime spot from where you can spot deers, rhinos and other animals. The guide who will be accompanying you will give detailed information about the plants and animals. Jungle walk gives you more than ample time to observe the habitat and nature of animals closely.
Bis Hazaar Taal (Twenty thousand Lakes)
This lake lies on the southern part of Bharatpur. Bis means Twenty and Hazaar means Thousand; Literally meaning Twenty Thousand Lakes. Paradoxical to the name, it doesn’t have twenty thousand lakes but it is one large lake system. It is a perfect sanctuary for endangered species like Royal Bengal Tigers, Great One-horned Rhino, gharials and sloth bears. This place is habitat for a large number of flora and fauna. The lake is very attractive and acts as an important bird watching centre with various migratory birds. This lake has many crocodiles. You might also luckily get to spot the smooth-coated otter or a white-rumped vulture from here. The beauty of this lake is truly mesmerizing.