There is something about safaris that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you drank half a bottle of champagne with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.
RINA KUMARI MANDAL
There is something about safaris that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you drank half a bottle of champagne with heartfelt gratitude for being alive. Away from the noise and distractions of city life, there is unbelievable peace in the middle of a jungle listening to bird calls and animal sounds. Surrounded by greenery and filled with natural sounds, the mind relaxes, and one finds peace in the wilderness. It's an experience of a lifetime.
Ride an elephant through the silent jungle catching wildlife by surprise; it will be one of the most enduring experiences in Nepal. The jungles in the southern and south-western parts of Nepal are only a half-hour to an hour flight away.
Let's check out the top 5 best places for safaris to watch wildlife:
1. Chitwan National Park
If you want to explore the jungle yourself, then the Chitwan National park is a good option. Chitwan National Park has over 700 wildlife living there. Safari into the jungle allows you to see some rare wild animals like Sloth Bear, Clouded Leopard, Royal Bengal Tiger, One-Horned Rhino, and many more. Sit on the back of an open jeep or the top of the elephant and enjoy the scenery, animals, and birds in the jungle. Established in the year 1973, it is well known for celebrating the “zero poaching year” consecutively in the year 2016. In the year 1984, this park was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is no guarantee that you will come across animals; it depends on your luck.
Best time to visit: October to March
Safari Timings: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
How to reach Chitwan National Park: The easiest way to the national park is by taking a bus from Kathmandu or Pokhara.
2. Bardiya National Park
Ride through the silent Bardiya jungle catching wildlife by surprise in the largest national park of Nepal. Take nature walks with experienced naturalists with years of experience in the region. Safari in the pristine jungles of Bardiya is an unforgettable experience that will remain with you for a lifetime. The national park is home to countless species of mammals, reptiles, and birds, some of which, like the Blue bull, is not found in Chitwan. The park located in the far western district of Bardiya is bordered by the Karnali River in the west and the Churia range in the north, while the Babai River flows right through it, making it the largest national park in Nepal. Make sure Bardia National Park is on your “Must Visit” list when you visit Nepal.
Best time to visit: Mid-September to Mid-December.
Safari timings: 12:00 am to 5:00 pm
How to reach Bardia National Park: The nearest airport from the national park is Nepalganj airport in Banke district, from where one can take a jeep to reach Bardia national park.
3. Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
Covering about 175 sq. Km. of wetlands, Koshi Tappu wildlife reserve comprises of major reed beds and freshwater marshes. It provides the best scenic view for a nature lover as it offers the best opportunity to experience the beauty of nature peacefully. Facilities like bird watching (which comprises about 400 species of birds), village/jungle walk to witness the Tharus (the early inhabitants of the village), provide a great opportunity for travelers to see their unique lifestyle. This reserve also provides the wildlife rafting experience across the Koshi River to allow travelers to observe the water birds present in the area. Multiple safari packages are available for the people to see this peaceful wildlife reserve.
Best time to visit: October to May
Safari timings: 9 AM to 3 PM.
How to reach Koshi Tappu Wildlife Park: The Biratnagar airport is the nearest airport from where one can take a bus or taxi to the wildlife reserve.
4. Sagarmatha National Park
If you want to have a close look at the animals that live in high altitudes and you are more of a trekking lover, then this place is for you. Most of the areas of the Sagarmatha National Park are dominated by the mighty snow-capped mountains all around, which includes the highest peak, Mount Everest. Home to many endangered species including snow leopard, red panda, and musk deer, the iconic Sagarmatha National Park has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Established in the year 1976, it spans over 1,148 sq. Km is home to the Sherpas.
Best time to visit: October-November
Safari Timing: The National Park is open for 24 hours.
How to reach Koshi Tappu Wildlife Park: Take a flight to Lukla airport or Phaplu airport and trek to the park.
5. Banke National Park
It was established in the year 2010 after its recognition as “Gift to Earth” as it was built to conserve wildlife resources. It reflects the governmental commitment to preserving biodiversity. An array of eight ecosystem types in a point this park emphasizes saving the endangered species within their natural flora and fauna, and it promotes eco-tourism. Non-biodegradable items are strictly prohibited in the region, and entry is not permitted between the sunset and sunrise timings.
Best time to visit: October to April.
Safari timings: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
How to reach Banke national park: The nearest airport from the national park is Nepalganj airport in Banke district, from where one can take a jeep to the park.