Besides the impressive mountains of the Himalayas, Nepal also has a lowlands area in the south. At the fringe of the Indian plains lies the Terai. This is where you can find Chitwan National Park. The park boasts diverse forest and grasslands and, because of that, a majority of the wild animals in Nepal can be spotted exactly here.
The variety of safari tours in Chitwan National Park give a completely different experience of Nepal than the trekking trips that the country is so famous for. But what animals can you spot? And does the wild Bengal Tiger really live in Nepal? Allow us to take you on a safari tour to show you what wildlife you can find in Nepal.
The largest population of rhinoceros living in Nepal can be found in Chitwan National Park. This is due to a 1973 rehabilitation scheme. One of the best times to spot this wild animal is early in the morning before breakfast. On our trips to spot the one-horned black rhino you will be accompanied by experienced and well trained local guides from the area.
Every year dedicated bird watchers and conservationists survey bird species occurring all over Nepal and have recorded 543 species in the Chitwan National Park. A canoe safari is one of the best ways to see numerous birds like spotted eagle, kingfishers, storks, peafowl and brahminy ducks.
Often after we’re back from our early morning safari we have breakfast at our hotel. Then mid mornings we take a ride in dug-out canoes on the river, a good site for viewing crocodiles in the warmer months. Crocodiles tend to reside in the quieter ponds where nothing much is going on, so be as silent as you can on a canoe trip.
Our wildlife safaris take place inside the park boundaries. Leopards like to be on their own although they can live with tigers. Normally they can be found in the peripheries of the park. Nepal has just about 250 Bengal tigers, one of the most endangered species in the world, and most of these are in Chitwan. It’s rare, but not uncommon, to spot one of these wild cats and if you do, it’s probably the highlight of your safari. Other cats that have been seen in the park are golden jackals, jungle cats, fishing Indian civets and Asian palm civets.
The observation towers that are set up on various locations in Chitwan NP are some of the best places to spot deer. There are several species of this wild animal living in Nepal, such as red muntjac, sambar dear, herds of chital and hog deer. The hills more to the north of the park are home to four-horned antelopes.
Chitwan National Park is home to the wild sloth bear. The park is considered to have such a high population density of sloth bears that chances are relatively high to see a wild bear during your wildlife safari. Always take a guide with you for security measures.
Langur, Rhesus and the Macaque Monkey are wild primates that live in Nepal’s oldest national park. After a lecture on Chitwan’s flora and fauna, it’s amazing to go out for a wildlife safari and spot the animals in real life.
Spot Wild Animals in Nepal
Chitwan NP was the first national park in Nepal, established in 1973, to conserve Nepal’s wildlife. If you want to see some of the wild animals that – because of this protected status – still live in Nepal, World Expeditions organises 5 trips that reserve ample time to spot the wildlife in Nepal. The trips are Annapurna Chitwan (12 days), Nepal Family Adventure (12 days), Nepal – Raft and Hike (15 days), Summit to Sea (combining visits to India and the Maldives with Nepal in 29 days), and a 3-day Chitwan Safari extension from Kathmandu.