Wednesday, October 1, 2014

TRAVEL GUIDE: CHITWAN – THE HEART OF THE JUNGLE

Bath with the Elephants in Chitwan
Chitwan is one of 75 Districts of Nepal. If you are a lover of nature, Chitwan is the best place to go when in Nepal as it is considered as one of the few remaining undisturbed remainders of the natural ecosystem of Terai region. It is a place with rich flora and fauna, making it a number one choice for biologists and environmentalists when in the country. Chitwan is known as land of leopards and Bengal tigers. One of the last populations of single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros can also be found here.

Chitwan National Park is a place of exceptional beauty. It offers a fresh air coming from its lush vegetation and dreamlike view of the Himalayas. I can say that it is one of the most splendid parts of Nepal’s lowlands and just apt to be recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site.


HOW TO GET TO CHITWAN

Bharatpur, the capital city of Chitwan District is about 150 km away from Kathmandu.

A.)   By Bus 

1.)    You can take the tourist bus from Kathmandu or Pokhara to Chitwan. We took the second option.
2.)    From Kathmandu, Chitwan is around 5-hour trip and costs NPR700. From Pokhara, it took us 2 hours to reach Ngarayad, Chitwan. We paid NPR275 per head on a local bus.
3.)    From Ngarayad, we took another local bus (NPR 50 per pax) in route to Bazaar (the village). From there, one has to take a horse cart or a rickshaw to reach the tiny village of Sauraha, a well-known spot for tourists. There are a lot of hotels, lodges, restaurants, and travel agencies that organize day trips into the protected area in Sauraha, so it is best to be there earlier in order to find the beast deal.
4.)    We arrived late (past 5PM) at Ngarayad so there’s no more available local vehicles for commuters. We opted to rent a 4x4 ride to Sauraha instead and that cost us NPR500.

** There’s an option to go to Chitwan District via plane but I do not have much idea about it.

WHAT TO DO / WHERE TO GO IN CHITWAN

1.)    Roam around Chitwan National Park – I haven’t seen such great number of wild animals in my life until I visited Chitwan National Park. No wonder is it one of the primary draw cards in the country of Nepal. The park is an outstanding example of biological evolution with unique collection of native flora and fauna. According to our guide, Chitwan national Park has one of the highest concentrations of birds in the world (more than 350 species). It is renowned as one of the worlds’ biodiversity hotspots.
2.)    Visit Parsa Wildlife Reserve – Located at the far east of Chitwan National Park is another protected area dedicated to Tiger Conservation Unit (TCU) where one can see how splendid big cats are in close range.
3.)    Bath with the elephants – This is so much fun for NPR500 per pax!
4.)    Jeep Jungle Tour  (NPR 2,000 per pax) – If you will take advantage of Elephant Ride activity, I suggest you let go of this one since all of the things you will see during jeep jungle tour are also the things you will see during the elephant ride; the latter actually is better option.
5.)    Guided Jungle Walk – Tiring but more exciting.
6.)    Elephant Ride (NPR 2,000 per pax) – Riding an elephant while roaming around wilderness is awesome. I suggest you do this!
7.)    Boating in Rapti River
8.)    Motorcycle Safari 
9.)    Bird Watching. Be sure to carry a binocular. 
10.)  Visit the Gharial Crocodile breeding centre – No need to pay here as the entrance fee is already included in the park entrance fee.

FEES / PERMITS

For all activities inside and outside the National Park, visitors must pay for a park permit. Provided below are entry fee per person per day:

Nepali Nationals - NPR 100
SAARC NAtionals - NPR 500
Foreign Nationals – NPR 1,500
Children under 10 years old are free of charge

SEASONS

Chitwan district has a tropical monsoon climate with relatively high humidity. It has 3 seasons known as winter, spring, and monsoon. The cool winter season occurs from October to February while spring begins in March soon followed by summer. By the end of June, monsoon season starts and it continues until September.

Between September to November and February to April, is the best season for bird watching as migratory birds create spectacular bird watching opportunity. While the monsoon rains brings lush vegetation, most trees flower in late winter. The “Palash tree” known as the “flame of the forest” and slick cotton tree have spectacular crimson flowers that can be seen from a distance.

SEE OTHER PHOTOS OF CHITWAN
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This entry is part of our Nepal Backpacking Trip which happened last June 23 – July 01, 2014 (JUST CLICK ON THE LINK FOR DETAILS OF EACH ARTICLE)
·                     TRAVEL GUIDE TO NEPAL
·                     GOING AROUND KATHMANDU
·                     TRAVEL GUIDE: BHAKTAPUR – THE LIVING HERITAGE
·                     TRAVEL GUIDE: POKHARA - THE PLACE OF MAGNIFICENT HEIGHTS
·                     TRAVELGUIDE: CHITWAN – THE HEART OF THE JUNGLE
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1 comment:

  1. I never visited Chitwan ever in my whole traveling life. This place sounds amazing according to my interest. That's why I want to go there after my new york to canada bus tours in coming month. Missy Penaverde, would you like to give me some suggestions or tips regarding this trip? Also tell me about some famous and awesome attractions of this stunning destination.

    ReplyDelete

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