Royal Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park is in Central Nepal.

Understand

Chitwan Valley

History

In 1973, Chitwan National Park was established covering 932 km2 area is now listed in the World Heritage site by UNESCO. The Park consists of a diversity of ecosystems-including the Churia hills, Ox-bow lakes, and the flood plains of the Rapti, Reu and Narayani Rivers. The Churia hills rise slowly towards the East from 150 m. to more than 800 m. The western portion of the Park is comprised of the lower but more rugged, Someshwor hill. The Park shares its eastern boundary with the Parsa Wildlife Reserve.

Landscape

Its a plain region.

Flora and fauna

There are many species of birds, crocodiles, rhinos, sloth bears, tigers (though almost never seen), and monkeys. The elephants you will see walking through the village are domesticated and used for taking tourists on sightseeing excursions. Of course it would not be Nepal without the usual cows, goats, and stray dogs roaming the village as well. Rhino sightings less than a half-mile from the village are not uncommon.

Climate

It is quite hot and humid most of the year.

Get in

By plane

Bharatpur is the nearest airport, about 10 km away.

By bus

Take the tourist bus from Kathmandu or Pokhara. Stop in at one of the many tour agencies (in either city) at least 1-2 days before your journey. From Kathmandu, Chitwan is about 4 hours (cost is approx NPR 350 for standard tourist bus, no A/C). From Pokhara, it is maybe 6 hours. When you arrive in Chitwan (the village), you will need to take a horse cart or bicycle rickshaw (what the locals call a "taxi") the 7km into the tiny village that Sauraha. A bicycle rickshaw can take about 45 minutes and costs NPR120. When you arrive, you can easily walk down the main road that is lined with lodges and guest houses.

Rainbow Safari tours operates a bus that goes directly from the tourist bus park outside Thamel in Kathmandu to the bus park just outside Sauraha (as of Dec 3, 2010). When you get off the bus, you will be swarmed by touts waving pamphlets and offering to drive you into town. Ignore them or say you have a reservation and they will be respectful. It is a 15 minute walk into town. Backtrack on the dirt road the bus drove in on, take your first right, then follow the lodge signs into Sauraha.

Fees/Permits

For all activities inside and outside (yes, really), visitors must pay NPR 500 for a park permit.

Get around

See

Do

Buy

Many hotels in Sauraha that have restaurants serve good food but getting the food is another question-- they forget or they don't understand English so they take your order (you think) and disappear to do other things.

Drink

Sleep

Camping is possible near the park, along with a chance to see wild animals.

Go next

If you want to see more of Nepal, visit any of the tour offices or ask your hotel manager to buy a bus ticket onward. Nearly everyone supplies these so shop around and sometimes you can save a maybe 50-100 rupees on your ticket. The tickets will most likely be for the local bus and not the standard tourist bus like you may have come in.

If you want to go to India from Chitwan, you can buy a bus ticket the same way to the border (tell them you want to go to Sonauli). Sonauli is the border town and is about 4 hours from Chitwan. When you arrive, you should be let off at the last stop (after Lumbini, which is only a few minutes apart). Your bus will be swamped with touts wanting to take you the 2km to the border in their bicycle rickshaws. It should only cost NPR30-50 so bargain accordingly (and remember to be clear that you are both talking about Nepalise rupees and not Indian rupees!). Note that some drivers will take you to a money change office just in front of the Nepal immigration office and then demand extra payment for the unscheduled (read: commissioned) stop. Just pay the formerly agreed upon amount and walk away. The immigration office is on the left side of the road. After getting your exit stamp (don't let them try to charge you a fake exit fee), walk through the large "Welcome to India" arch and proceed straight ahead past the first grouping of police guards on the left and on to a small "office" that is a long table with 3-4 men sitting with entrance forms. The sign is small and so a bit difficult to see and is also on the left side of the road. After filling out your entry form and getting stamped you can either get a taxi to take you onward to your intended city or you can walk approx another 200 meters straight ahead to the bus lot (on right side of road) and ask around for your intended destination.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.