Wildlife Jungle Safari in Nepal
Nepal is known throughout the world for its Himalayan mountains and its long history of mountaineering. But the little known plains in the south locally called the terai plays host to a large number of wild animals, exotic birds and fearsome reptiles, which few in the west are aware of. With a large part of the country now devoted to conservation, the safety of the animals seems guaranteed. There are eight national parks, four wildlife reserves, three conservation areas and one hunting reserve where tourists can observe wildlife. Here is your chance to encounter wild animals in their natural habitat and within short distances from the capital city, Kathmandu. Nepal’s safari camps are known for their high standards of service and easy access.
Nepal has one of the world’s best habitats for the endangered species, the Royal Bengal tiger and the Greater One-horned rhinoceros. Besides these there are other endangered species though more elusive and rarely seen: the snow leopard, red panda, blue sheep to name a few. Other animals found in Nepal are bear, several species of deer, wild elephants, will buffaloes, blackbuck, monkeys, wild boar, hyena, wolf, jackals, etc. Among the reptiles found is the Gharial crocodile, Marsh mugger, monitor lizards, turtles, pythons, cobras and many species of other snakes. Besides the mammals and reptiles, more than 800 species of birds (see bird watching) and a large variety of butterflies have been recorded in Nepal.
Safari in the national parks:
Nepal's national parks provide an excellent opportunity for observing wildlife in their natural habitat. Within Royal Chitwan National Park there are many safari camps that make all arrangements for a safari. There are more facilities outside the park. In the Royal Bardia National Park in western Nepal, all the safari camps are outside the park except for one tented camp that sits perched on the bank of the Karnali river. Accommodation, food, transport and all other requirements are taken care of. While in the park there are many ways to see the animals in the wild. The best means is on elephant back. The elephant has the incredible ability to walk through practically anything, except trees. Then there are the jeep drives and a trip down the river on a rubber raft or wooden dug out canoes. Each has its own advantages with the elephants taking you deeper into the forest. On foot, you can go for nature walks, bird watching excursions or an educative tour of the villages. The Tharu people living in the surrounding villages have a rich culture. Their stick dances and festivals are enthralling. To observe a festival one has to arrive at the right time but cultural dances are arranged for the benefit of visitors according to your schedule.
A trip to the national parks can be combined with a trek or a rafting trip adding more adventure and fun. The best time to visit the national parks in the terai is during late autumn and the winter months, ideally between October and March.