8 Incredible Safari Adventures You Must See in Nepal

Nepal is better known as home to the highest mountains in the world, but the steamy jungles below house some impressive wildlife. Our local insider Elen shows you where to go for an unforgettable safari experience in Nepal.

While people flock to Africa to see the ‘big 5’, Nepal has its own awe-inspiring wildlife: rhinoceros, elephants, tigers, gharial crocodiles, deer, and an abundance of bird-life.

When you’ve had your fill of the mountains, head south to the national parks and wildlife reserves on the plains. The best time to visit the jungle is between October and March.

Buffalo, Nepal Countryside. Photo credit: Elen Turner

Spot Rhinos, Elephants and Crocodiles in the Chitwan National Park

One-horned rhinoceros. Photo credit: Elen Turner

The Chitwan National Park, accessible from Kathmandu and Pokhara, has run a very successful rhinoceros conservation project.

In 2016, it celebrated the second consecutive ‘zero-poaching’ year, and has roughly doubled its population of one-horned rhinoceros in the past decade.

Now, there are more than 600 of the enormous animals in the park, and you’re practically guaranteed to see at least one—I saw nine on my last visit!

Other animals and birds live in and around the park, including elephants, gharial crocodiles, deer, and vultures.

Ox-cart safari, Chitwan National Park. Photo credit: Elen Turner

There are various ways to go on safari in Chitwan, including on foot, via jeep, by ox-cart or on elephant back (the latter is not ethically recommended).

While many tourists flock to busy Sauraha, there are some more peaceful and eco-friendly ways of experiencing the park:

Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge

Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge. Photo credit: Elen Turner

Tiger Tops’ Tharu Lodge, on the edge of Chitwan, offers a range of lovely safari options.

Traveling through the jungle on an ox cart is much quieter than going in a motorised vehicle, and it disrupts the wildlife much less.

You are more likely to see shy animals this way. You can also take on-foot safaris.

Collecting elephant grass with Tiger Tops Elephant Camp. Photo credit: Elen Turner

Barauli Community Homestay

Barauli Community Homestay. Photo credit: Elen Turner

Stay at the Barauli Community Homestay to learn about the local Tharu people, participate in their daily lives and experience the jungle at a slower pace.

I took a sunset bicycle tour down to the banks of the Narayani River. I also joined the Homestay’s jeep tour within the park, and was the only client. We ended up spending several hours in the park.

Ethics of Elephant Tourism – Tiger Tops Elephant Camp

Elephants in the Narayani River. Photo credit: Elen Turner

The ethics of elephant tourism in Asia are problematic, but the recently opened Tiger Tops Elephant Camp is a good way of getting up close and personal with these animals.

This camp was developed in consultation with elephant welfare experts.

Guests stay in permanent tents close to the animals, and help with feeding and bathing, as well as collect grass for these majestic creatures.

Spot Tigers in Bardia National Park

Rafting on the Karnali River. Photo credit: Elen Turner

Bardia National Park, in the far west of Nepal, is much less-visited than Chitwan, so offers a more rugged safari experience.

While Royal Bengal Tigers live in various parts of Nepal, and are pretty elusive, you have a chance of spotting them here.

The Karnali River runs very close to Bardia, so a unique way of experiencing this park is to combine it with a ten-day white-water rafting trip down the Karnali.

Bird Watching in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

Bird enthusiasts will love Koshi Tappu, on Nepal’s eastern plains. It also makes for an excellent day trip from Pokhara.

The wetland area is home to over 400 bird species. You can spot various species of storks, ducks, geese, eagles, terns, lapwings, kingfishers…

Tented camps, both luxury and quite basic, have been set up in the area, and cater specifically to bird watchers.

Get our FREE Insider’s Guide to Nepal!

Whether you're off for the trek of a lifetime, an unforgettable safari, or just to soak up the amazing culture, get our FREE Insider's Guide to Nepal to make the most of your trip.

Related articles

No Comments

Add a Comment