The first National Park in Nepal and later crowned as a World Heritage Site, the Chitwan National Park is on the list of every nature-lover. It definitely tops the list of places to visit in Nepal and just a safari in this park is enough to give you all the reasons why. What’s more is that this site is a home to so many species of flora and fauna that you won’t be able to take your eyes off. The picture-perfect serene and tranquil sceneries that you get to witness here are beyond comparison. While you plan your trip, take a look at all you need to know beforehand.
Best time to visit Chitwan National Park
If you wish to avoid rains and go around the time when the skies are relatively clear, the months of October till March are ideal. However, the best time to see the huge variety of beautiful species here is from January till March.
The Chitwan National Park weather is humid all through the year but the monsoon starts from June till September.
While you’re out and about: Things To Do
1. Go for an elephant safari
Sitting on a giant elephant and experiencing the wild with the wild will give you a new level of high. Not knowing where the turns are and directed by the guide through the elephant, the elephant safari through the park will help you spot the animals and birds from an engaging point.
2. Capture the beautiful flora
Spreading across the major region of the park are sal trees but you will also find rosewood, elephant apple, balsam, and gooseberry in the northern slopes of the area. World’s tallest grass like the elephant grass and other species of true grasses are also present here.
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3. Spot the enchanting fauna
Apart from the varying range of flora, the park is also home to King Cobra, Rock Python, Bengal Tiger, starred tortoise, monitor lizards, and mugger crocodiles.
If you’re amongst the really fortunate, you can also spot some deers in this natural habitat.
4. Row a canoe
For those who love the canoe rides, this one is definitely meant for you to tour the Chitwan National Park. To witness the crocodiles resting on the shores of other rivers, it is advised to take the Canoe Safari.
5. Hop in for a jeep drive
Yet another option to take a trip through this World Heritage Site is to book a Jeep Drive. It is generally included in 3 day-4 nights packages but can also be hired for a single day on special request. The Drive goes through the grasslands, river and sal forests to Kasara which is the headquarters of this National Park. The price for such packages start from INR 8,000 approx.
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6. Visit the Chitwan Tharu Village
Even though attempts have been made in the past to remove the Tharu tribes residing in the vicinity, the Tharu folk dance is still one of the major attractions of this park and a trip to the village is a must to take a peek into their culture and traditional cuisines.
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Essential information about the park
Area: 932 km²
Location: Subarnapur 44200, Nepal
Established: 1973 (Status of World Heritage Site in 1984)
Timings: 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Entrance Fee: INR 750 per person per day (additional tax charges may apply)
Accommodation: Staying amidst nature & luxury
A comfortable and luxurious stay near one of the entrances to the Chitwan National Park is a must for a laidback weekend plan to Nepal. Along with the Elephant Safari tours, canoe safaris, and sweet deals on suites, the dining experience served with the freshly grown vegetables and blended spices give an extra kick to your vacation. Green Park Chitwan and Chitwan Village Resorts are some of the other options for a budget stay in the Sauraha region near the park.
Price: Starting from INR 13,000 onwards.
Must Try: Tharu Village Thali which offers a peek into the traditional food of Tharu tribe living in the Chitwan National Park.
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When hunger strikes: Top places to eat
This list of places to eat around the Chitwan National Park will satisfy your taste buds like none other.
1. Little Amsterdam
Offering several cuisines including Nepalese food, burgers, wraps and pancakes, it is the perfect stop for a hearty meal before heading towards the park. One can also order a chill beer at a sunny afternoon to beat the heat.
Timings: 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Location:Buspark Road, Jhawani, Sauraha, Nepal
2. Jungle View Restaurant
Good curries, barbeque and an even better view, this place gives it all in one place. Hog all you want here because the prices are reasonable and totally worth it. Being a rooftop restaurant, this place facilitates an aerial view of the surroundings and a good place to click amazing pictures.
Timings:6.30AM to 10:00 PM
Location:Gaida Chowk, Sauraha, Nepal
3. KC’s Restaurant
Set in a cool vibed- thatched roof bungalow, KC’s restaurant creates the perfect mood for winter dinners. With their fire pit and beguiling garden in the background, the chefs here have well executed the menu to offer a variety of cuisines. Viola!
Timings: 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Location:Gaida Chowk, Sauraha, Nepal
How to reach Chitwan National Park
There are mainly two entrances to the park, Sauraha in the east and Meghauli in the west region of the park.
From Uttar Pradesh, India
If you’re going to this place from India, the nearest city is Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. You can board an air-conditioned bus at the Gorakhpur Bus Station,traveling on alternate days from Varanasi to Kathmandu which will take approximately 6-7 hours to reach.
Travel Tip: A reservation in advance is highly recommended for this route.
If you’re coming from Kathmandu, the nearest airport to this place (10 kms away) is Bharatpur Airport and you can easily get a cab from the airport. Flight fares may start from 11,000 Nepalese Rupee (INR 7000 Approx.)
Travel Tip: Try bargaining hard as the cab fares might be high depending upon various factors like fuel strikes etc.
You can also board a bus from Kathmandu to visit Chitwan National Park. The bus leaves just outside Thamel along Kantipath Road and charges may vary. To reach early, you have to start at 07:00 in the morning from Kathmandu.
Here’s a list of additional information pointers that will help you on your visit to this scenic park:
- Carrying a government approved valid ID proof like an Aadhar Card, Pan card or Passport is a must for all Indians travelling to this destination.
- For all other foreigners, a valid passport is required to enter Nepal.
- Make sure you hire a travel guide to get around the National Park, for a better location and understanding of the area and also to avoid any mishappenings in the region.
- Since this place is home to many insects as well, carry a repellent cream and mosquito nets in case you’re planning to stay at a budget accomodation.
- Surrounded by rural villages on both entrances, make sure you’re carrying enough Nepalese currency to ensure a smooth trip.
Curious to find out more about the wildlife here? Plan your trip to Nepal with TravelTriangle today and take a safari to experience it all live.
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