What would you need to travel? Enough cash in wallet and some foot tapping music can simply turn your mood to pack a bag for a trip. I am from Kathmandu and the easiest adventure destination for me is Chitwan. Its main attraction is Chitwan National Park which has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Mostly known for its conservation of Royal Bengal Tiger and Rhinos it hosts a lush vegetation with more than 700 species of wildlife. As a nature and travel lover, Chitwan is the destination for me.
Let the journey begin
It takes around 7 hours by bus or half hour flight from Kathmandu. If you are a true adventure person I would suggest you take a bus. With a river flowing beside you and people passing by it won’t feel like a long ride instead your anticipation just keeps building.
You get a taste of village life around the highways and a flowing river beside you most of the journey.The long ride from the bus calls for a relaxed evening beside the river bank. There are many hotels and lodges in Chitwan as it is one of the main tourist destinations in Nepal. The lodges inside the National Park are expensive so you can choose to stay in nearby town of Sauraha.
The evening is there just for your relaxation with a chilled beer and good food beside a river. If you are lucky you may see some crocodiles resting in the banks. A word of advice don’t forget mosquito repellents, the climate in Chitwan is mostly hot and humid in tourist season so you will experience a lot of bug infestation. After all you are in middle of a jungle.
Things to do in Chitwan
There are many activities you can do in Chitwan, the most popular is the Jungle Safari on an Elephant. The elephant safari takes you deep into the jungle of Royal Chitwan National Park, one of Nepal’s largest with a vast range of wildlife including the endangered great One Horned Rhinoceros, Sloth Bear, Leopard, Fresh Water Dolphin, the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger and the like. You can also ask to see the elephant bathing which is exciting as well.
The park has much to offer, a typical 2 nights/ 3 days jungle safari would suffice for elephants or canoe ride to watch the crocodiles and waterbirds. If you really want you can also see the lifestyle of the indigenous Tharu people. Besides the jungle safari you can visit the Elephant Breeding Center and Gharial Crocodile Farm where the animals and reptile have been successfully bred in captivity.
Chitwan National Park holds a special memory for me with my first interaction with wildlife and nature. Apart from the city life it’s a calm and quite place for a perfect gateway. I hope to visit Chitwan again and let you know more about top holiday destinations in Nepal. I end with Nepal’s tourism slogan: “Naturally Nepal – Once is not enough”.