Best places and times to spot tigers in Nepal

Best places and times to spot tigers in Nepal

Best places and times to spot tigers in Nepal

Nepal has rich natural and wildlife diversity despite its smaller size. Nepal is home to 12 national parks, 4 wildlife reserves, and 6 conservation areas in the high Himalayan hills and flat lowlands. These national parks are the habitats of rare and endangered animals and birds like Snow Leopards, Red Pandas, and the Tigers in the world. Among the endangered animals, the Royal Bengal Tiger is the mighty creature that plays a vital role in healthy ecosystems. The large predator, the tiger, is at the top of the food chain.  The tiger maintains a balance between the herbivores and the vegetation.

With an estimated 355 tigers in the wild, Nepal is one of the best places to see tigers in the world. Nepal is one of the top 5 countries in the world to have more tiger populations and sightings in the wild as per the Departments of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. There are 128 tigers in Chitwan National Park, 125 in Bardiya National Park, 41 in Parsa National Park, 25 in Banke National Park, and 36 in Shuklaphanta National Park, for a total of 355 tigers in the country, according to the most recent tiger census report data from 2018, which is over twice as many as the 121 tigers that were counted in 2009.


best place to spot tiger in nepal


Among the national parks in Nepal, Chitwan and Bardia National Parks are the main habitats of tigers. These parks have more tiger population in Nepal.  Therefore, without a doubt, the best places to watch the tigers in the wild.

Moreover, the Bardia National Park (BNP) of Nepal won the 2022 TX2 Awards for doubling the tiger population from less than 20 tigers in 2009 to 125 tigers in 2022. Because of the increased number of Royal Bengal tigers, the BNP has recently grown in popularity with tourists. The best evidence that Nepal is more than just mountains exists in Bardia National Park. In addition to the towering Himalayan peaks, Nepal has verdant jungles abounding with wildlife.

Bardia National Park is the largest national park in the lowland far western Terai of Nepal.  It is the major habitat for wild tigers. Back in 2010, WWF made Mission TX2, a global goal to double the number of wild tigers by 2022. Nepal is the first country to double its tiger population in the past 12 years.


tiger tracking in bardia


Although Chitwan National Park, is the first national park and most visited park in Nepal for wildlife watching with a higher number of tigers and proximity to Kathmandu, Bardia National Park offers a marginally greater success rate when witnessing tigers in the wild.

However, Bardia has particular qualities because of its isolated location. It makes Bardia more peaceful than Chitwan and occasionally gives you the sense that it is all yours. Being one of the few unspoiled wilderness places in the country, its remote and isolated location has helped maintain the park’s natural features and animals unlike anything else in Nepal.

Likewise, Bardia is not overcrowded with tourists like Chitwan. Bardia trips are smaller in scope and significantly more sustainable. It’s addictive to spend all of your time in Bardia enjoying nature.  You are free to enjoy the region without having to enter the park.


tiger tour in nepal


The best time to see tigers in Nepal is the dry spring season from March to May with pleasant temperatures and beautiful mornings and evenings. The majority of wildlife safari tours start early in the morning. Since animals are more active and the heat is less harsh around dawn.

This is the time of year when there are fewer natural water sources. So nature guides will have an easier time determining where the animals will drink and bathe. The jungle’s canopy and grassland are also less dense, making it easier to figure out the different species of fauna. After the summer monsoon season, the forest gets very thick, making it challenging to see wildlife.


tiger bathing in bardia


The autumn season from September to October is the next best time to go for spotting tigers in Nepal. In spring, the hottest days fall in September. It’s usual to observe the animals including the tigers of the park trying to cool themselves in lakes, rivers, and water holes.

Our Bardia Tiger Tracking Tour has been successful mostly in April. By April, every bird starts singing melodiously the plant gets blooming adding the beauty of wandering in the lush forest. The wild animals begin coming out of the dense forests. This year too, we had a more successful tour in the same month with a happy tiger watching groups. Manju Mahatara, a native of Bardia is our leading nature guide who showed the tigers to our valuable clients. She is an expert in tracking the tigers in Bardia and is a wildlife photographer.

Bardia Expert Tiger Tracker


Blog by: Lhakpa Gyalbu Sherpa (Hyolmo)