Elephant Safari in Chitwan National Park
If you plan to visit Nepal anytime soon a trip to the Chitwan National Park will no doubt make it onto your list of things to see. This magnificent wildlife conservation area offers some fantastic wilderness experiences that cannot be beaten. It also offers visitors the opportunity to do game viewing from the back of an elephant!
Founded in 1974, the Chitwan National Park is Nepal’s oldest national park. Its rich abundance of flora and fauna and its age has earned it World Heritage Status. As you can imagine there is plenty to see at this breathtaking location. Two very popular animals which live here but are not always seen, are the Bengal tiger (panthera tigris tigris) and the single-horned Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis). This national park is one of the last known refuges for these endangered animals.
While the Chitwan National Park was once a popular hunting spot, it now serves as a popular ecotourism destination. Facilities for canoeing, jungle walks and other eco-friendly activities have been well-established. However by far the most popular services is that of elephant safaris. Visitors are loaded onto these hulking, gentle beasts in a large custom made ‘cab’ and carried around the jungle. From this height, it is much easier to spot some of the 43 mammal species and 450 bird species that have made the Chitwan National Park. The soft footfalls of the elephants also make the animals more at ease, allowing visitors the chance to get really close to animals if they refrain from chatting too much.
Of course each elephant is guided along the trail at the hands of experienced elephant handler. Watching this person ply his trade gently and firmly without bridle or bit is also a part of the experience. It is truly inspiring to know that such a large, heavy animal can and does put itself in subservience to kind and respectful handlers One cannot escape the feeling that other animal handlers might learn something from this.
If you visit Nepal you simply have to go on an elephant safari in Chitwan National Park! It is an unbeatable, magical experience that will allow you to see far more than you would from the back of a car or on foot.