Great Wall Nepal Pvt. Ltd. | Chitwan National Park
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Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park is by far Nepal's most popular National Park and is also Nepal's oldest National Park. Its popularity is due to its declaration as Unesco World Heritage Site and location. From Kathmandu and Pokhara Chitwan is easily reachable by road and forms a welcome break when travelling between these two major tourist hubs.

Practical:

Size: 932 Km2
Established: 1973
Best Season: October - March
Park Main Entrance: Sauraha
Location: Central Terai

Mugger Crocodile Sun bathing at the Rapti River Bank in Chitwan

Climate

Chitwan is located in the subtropical Terai region and one can distinguish three seasons: October till the start of April enjoy mild day temperatures and cool nights with an average temperature of 25 degrees. The chance of rain is rare. From mid March to June the temperature soars to a maximum day time temperature of 43 degrees and the chance of rain increases. From June till September the Monsoon rains come in.

Flora and Fauna

The rich flora of Chitwan mainly consists of trees such as Sal, Palash, Silk Cotton, Fern, Cycas, Screw Pines and orchids. There are over 50 species of grass, out of which the Elephant grass, with heights up to 8 metres is the most well known.

In total there are 777 species living in the park. From those 58 species are mammals, 539 species are birds, 56 species are amphibians/reptiles and 124 species of fish. Examples of fauna to be found in Bardia: Bengal Tiger, One-Horned Rhinoceros, Wild Elephant, Golden Monitor Lizards, Leopards, Gharials, Pythons, Black Necked Storks, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Grey Heades Fishing Eagle, Brahmini Ducks and the Giant Hornbill.

During September to November, February to April, large groups of migratory birds visit Chitwan, giving the perfect opportunity to enjoy the large amount of birds by birdwatchers.

Best chance to view wildlife in general is during January, when the annual grass-cutting season commences.

Areas of Interest

The most frequently visited spot in Chitwan is Sauraha an surroundings. Sauraha is a great vantage point to do all kinds of jungle activities. In the surroundings you can also find an Elephant and Crocodile Breeding Farm . Visiting these centres is a rewarding and educative experience. For the culture lovers a visit to one of the Tharu villages or a Tharu Cultural Show is a must do. Just a across the Rapti River from Sauraha the actual National Park starts. Till the opening of the park the park housed over 11000 inhabitants. Nowadays the only inhabitants are wild animals such as the One Horned Rhinoceros.

Apart from its natural heritage Chitwan is also popular amongst local newly weds as it houses several shrines like Bikram Baba. Newly weds visit these shrines to pray for a healthy and fertile marriage.

Chitwan is also home to the Annual World Championship Elephant Polo. This multiday event is organised in the "winter" months in Meghualy.

Bordering Chitwan in the east lies de Parsa Wildlife Reserve, offering a similar landscape, flora and fauna as Chitwan.

Birdwatching in Chitwan National Park

Activities

With assistance from your hotel or us, you can undertake many activities in Chitwan. Many tourist visit Chitwan an a 2 nights 3 day, package filled with exciting jungle activities. What about a canoe trip in a traditional dug out canoe, or an exciting trek through the Sal jungle and Elephant Grass fieds. For wildlife watching a stake out in one of the View Towers is the perfect oppurtunity the snap a shot of the One Horned Rhino, or with some luck a Tiger dwelling through its territory. Other activities to be undertake in Chitwan are: Jeep Safari, Elephant Safari, Cultural Show, Birdwatching, River Rafting, Multi Day Jungle Trek etc.

Access

From Kathmandu there are plenty of bus services to Chitwan. Unfortunately none of these busservices goes directly to the National Park, so you will have to charter a taxi, horse carriage or ox-cart to make your way through the last 7 kilometres. Regarding busses you can choose for a luxury AC-Tourist bus ndluding lunch to a local bus or even a mini-van. Depending on the traffic the trip to and from Chitwan will take you 4 - 6 hours. From Pokhara to Chitwan will take you approximately 4 hours.
Another way to access Chitwan from Kathmandu is by domestic flight to Bharatpur. Flights are going on daily base and take around 30 - 40 minutes one way. From Bharatpur you can take a taxi to Sauraha, which takes another 30 minutes.
If you are planning to go of the beaten track you can also enter Chitwan from eight other entrance gates. Keep in mind that the facilities available are limited there. The other entrance gates are:

  1. Kasara via Jagatpur
  2. Ghatgain via Patihani
  3. Bhimle via Meghauli
  4. Khagendra Malli via Bhandara
  5. Sunachuri
  6. Laukhani via Pragatinagar
  7. Amaltari via Danda
  8. Kujauli via Rajahar
Map of all Entry Points

Facilities

As of 2013 there no longer or resorts and lodges within the National Park boundaries. Most hotels and lodges are located on the outskirts of the National Park, next to the Rapti River in Sauraha. In Sauraha alone there are over 60 lodges ranging from budget to luxury class. The main streat has restaurants and shops along both sides, anything you may need you will be able to find here. In Sauraha there are also several ATM machines, might you get tight on money. If you need any help organising your hotel or activities in Chitwan, please contact us.

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Park Information

Chitwan National Park Office
Kasara, Chitwan
Tel: +977 (56) 529405