Nepal’s Royal Chitwan National Park
Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Lest you think the “Lost World” is only the stuff of fantasy dreamed up by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; think again. As you carefully trek through one of the world’s last remaining jungles – you’ll find yourself seated high on top the back of an elephant reveling in the sights and sounds of the lush greenery that surrounds you. Ahead of you, a rare single-horned rhino thunders by. A mosaic of multi-colored birds flies overhead. Deer and crocodile share space at the river’s edge. And in the early morning, a crowd of animals makes way for the silent footsteps of the Royal Bengal Tiger. Welcome to Nepal’s Royal Chitwan National Park.
Situated 75 air miles from Kathmandu, the park rests in south central Nepal and covers nearly 1000 square kilometers of subtropical lowlands that make up the Tikauli forest. You’re not that far from civilization but it sure looks that way.
And talk about things to do…
Organized safaris via elephant put you right in the thick of things. Whether you take advantage of this unique point-of-view to watch other animals or you just came along for the ride. “By elephant” is the only way to go.
A visit with the Tharu tribe lets you know that some cultures treasure more than cell phones and video games. Here time almost stands still. Allow yourself to get deep in to a culture that has lived by the jungle’s edge for 100’s of years. The Tharu honor the jungle in everything they do.
Bird watching, organized trekking and tracking will make you consider extending your stay.
And if you’re not quite ready to don the trappings of Indiana Jones, don’t worry. Inside the park, there are seven resorts run by park concessionaires that provide comfortable lodging and access to wildlife activities. Various resorts and lodges situated outside the park also offer a variety of services. Check our Nepal Hotels Link for more information.
Chitwan is linked by public buses, tourist coaches, and air service from Katmandu. Charter flights will get you to Chitwan the quickest. But in this part of the world, no one is in that much of hurry.