Tour the Stunning Makalu Barun National Park
The Makalu Barun National Park is situated in the Solukhumbu and Sankhuwasabha districts in Nepal. The Nepali National Park was first established in 1992. The Makalu Barun Park takes up 1500 square kilometers and the conservation area covers 830 square kilometers, which totals 2330 square kilometers.
The Makalu Barun is a unique park as it is the only protected area in Nepal that also has a strict nature reserve or conservation area. The geography and the vegetation of the park vary the higher you get. At 1000-2000 meters you get tropical Schima-Castanopsis forests; while at 3000-4000 meters you get a sub-alpine zone, which is a forested area made up of fir, maple, rhododendron, oak and birch forests.
At 4000-5000 meters you get alpine pastures consisting of vegetation such as grasses, fragrant herbs, wild flowers and shrubs, like the dwarf rhododendron. The alpine meadows and pristine forests found here at the Makalu Barun National Park are some of the last vegetation zones of their kind in Nepal.
The Makalu Barun National Park also has a rich variety of plant, animal and bird species, some of which can only be found at the park. There are forty-seven types of orchids that are found in the sub-tropical zone, twenty-five varieties of rhododendron, fifteen types of oak trees and forty-eight species of primrose, to mention just a few. The Makalu Barun Park also has sixty-seven species of plants that have valuable medicinal use.
The Arun River system that flows through the park is home to eighty-four types of fish. There are over four hundred species of birds that have been sighted in the vicinity of the Makalu Barun. The wildlife in the park includes the Himalayan black bear, the clouded leopard, the endangered red panda, wild boar and the langur monkey. The conservation area in the park is home to over 32,000 people who make up groups of Sherpa, Rai and other similar farming communities in the area. These culturally rich people play an important role in the conservation of the Makalu Barun area and the treasures it holds within its boundaries.
Nepal’s Makalu Barun National Park is known by relatively few tourists because of the difficult position it is in, which makes is difficult to access. Mainly mountaineers and trekkers make use of this spectacular park and all it has to offer. The best time to hike and climb the mountains in the park is during the March to April and October to November when there is less likely to be snow. Monsoon rains fall heavily from June to September, but it is the best time to see the vegetation burst with new life.