Chitwan or Bardia National Park
November 07, 2022
Chitwan or Bardia National Park
Geographically, Nepal is a diversified country, which consists of the Himalayan region, trans-Himalayan region, mid-hill region, and Terai or the plains region. The highest point of the country is Mount Everest (8848.86 m) in the Solukhumbu district of the Himalayan region and the lowest point is Kechana Kalam (70 m) in the Jhapa district of the Terai region (previously), now Mukhiyapatti Musharniya of Dhanusa district at 60 meters, both in the Province No. 1 of Nepal. The majority of visitors to Nepal envision themselves trekking across the Himalayas. Still, there is also completely other scenery to discover in the south of the country, comprising the Terai, the plains, and forests near the border of India.
There are 10 national parks in Nepal, but two of them; Chitwan and Bardia National Parks are particularly attractive to tourists seeking out the forest and wildlife. Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park are ideal locations for you desiring to have safari vacations in the wild. Bardia National Park and Chitwan National Park are the major Royal Bengal Tigers sighting destinations in Nepal with 128 individual tigers in Chitwan and 125 tigers in Bardia. Nepal is the first country to double its tiger population from 121 to 355 in the past twelve years. The latest tiger census report shows that there are 128 tigers in Chitwan National Park, 125 in Bardia National Park, 41 in Parsa National Park, 25 in Banke National Park, and 36 in Shuklaphanta National Park, totaling the number of 355.
You may get a close-up view of the wilderness at both of these national parks. A very bizarre sensation is being able to drive a four-wheeler through the jungle while riding an elephant, passing by tigers, rhinos, and other nearby animals.
These locations share a similar climate, vegetation, and biological structure due to their subtropical locations in the nation. As a result, the activities available at these parks are also relatively similar. For instance, each of these locations has fun activities like an elephant safari, wooden dugout canoe rides, white water rafting, guided jungle walks, learning about the local Tharu culture, and 4WD jeep safaris. The only variations, in this case, would be the people in the various communities and the various rafting rivers to float in.
Bardia National Park Entry Gate
While Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park share some similarities, they also differ in addition to certain parallels.
The distance from Kathmandu Valley to each of these parks is the primary factor that differentiates them. Chitwan is about a 4 to 5-hour drive away, though it could take longer depending on the amount of traffic and the state of the road. However, as Bardia is located in the Bheri district, you will first need to go to Nepalgunj, which could take up to 15 hours or longer.
Flying is an additional option for getting to either place. The Bardia National Park, however, is still a few hours away and can only be reached sooner by flying to Dhangadhi or Nepalgunj. You can take a flight of 25 minutes to get to the Chitwan from Kathmandu to Bharatpur Airport, which is just outside the park. Every day, there are seven flights from Kathmandu. To reach the Bardia National Park, you can fly to Nepalgunj airport from Kathmandu, and then 3 hour’s ride to the park. The overland trip takes roughly an hour and there are usually five flights per day.
The size of the crowd would also be different. Due to its proximity to many significant Nepalese cities, like Kathmandu, Butwal, and Dharan, and the fact that it is more easily accessible due to the availability of highways and airways, Chitwan is a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors. Bardia National Park, in contrast, appears tranquil and serene. Depending on what you’re looking for, this can provide a more enjoyable calm experience. Despite being relatively far away, Bardia is the spot to go if you want to get away from the throng.
The degree of luxury also varies a little depending on the distance. While Bardia National Park does have upscale lodging options nearby, Chitwan is simply more developed in contrast, so there won’t be a scarcity of high-quality accommodations there.
Chitwan National Park Entry Gate
The best time to visit either of these parks is from March to April, which is Nepal’s dry season or Septermber to November. The jungle’s canopy is less dense at this time, making it simpler to distinguish between different species of fauna.
Additionally, since there won’t be as many natural water sources during this time, guides will have an easier job figuring out where the animals will be drinking and taking baths. The months of October through November are the next ideal season to go jungle exploring.
The forest is incredibly thick after the summer monsoon season, making it difficult to spot wildlife, but the weather is pleasant (with afternoon highs of about 70 °F).
Chitwan is the first national park of Nepal, founded in 1973, and has 360 square miles of sal woodland, grassland, and wetlands. It can be reached from Kathmandu in five hours by car or in 25 minutes by plane. The inner tropical Terai plains are where the park is situated. You require a guide’s company in order to visit.
Since animals are more active at dawn and the heat is less intense, most safari expeditions begin early in the morning. Safari walks, canoeing and park-based jeep safaris are all viable exploration options. Chitwan National Park has the second-largest population of the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros worldwide. There is a good possibility of encountering a one-horned rhino in Chitwan. Chitwan was established in 1962 as a rhino sanctuary before becoming the nation’s first national park a decade later. Today, the park is home to more than 694 rhinos (National Rhino Count 2021).
Safari in Chitwan National Park
With approximately 128 Bengal tigers reported to prowl the area, Chitwan also has one of the greatest populations of tigers in the world. In a dense jungle where the animals have access to numerous watering holes, they may be difficult to identify. An experienced local guide is crucial at this point. The Indian bison, langur, four different species of deer, the gharial crocodile (also known as the fish-eating crocodile), and 150 different species of butterflies are some animals to be on the lookout for. You might spot a leopard, sloth bear, or wild elephant if you’re extremely fortunate. Additionally, there are more than 500 different types of birds, including egrets, herons, kingfishers, flycatchers, and woodpeckers. Serious birdwatchers may choose to schedule their trip around March or December when the birds are most active in Chitwan.
Bardia National Park is located in the middle of the Far Western Terai, close to the northern Indian border. This is the place to go if you want to get away from the throng and experience Nepal’s wilderness on your own. The park, which has 373 square miles of sparse sal woodland and grassland divided by the jade-colored Karnali River, is not nearly as developed as Chitwan. Without encountering another person, you may spend hours here.
The eastern border of Bardia now has Banke National Park, which was formed in 2010. The parks collectively make up Asia’s largest tiger conservation region with 125 individual tigers. Because of the less dense forest and fewer water sources in Bardia compared to Chitwan, there is a higher likelihood of spotting the Royal Bengal Tigers. The park nurtures the highest population of Asian Wild Elephants and the second highest population of Royal Bengal Tiger, Greater One-horned Rhinoceros, and Swamp Deer.
Safari in Bardia National Park
Bear rhinos in mind as well. You might wish to take your party to the western side of the park since they appear to favor it. The park is home to a variety of animals, including Asian elephants, spotted deer, hog deer, nilgai antelopes, wild boar, leopards, jackals, and freshwater Gangetic dolphins. The Bengal Florican, Sliver-eared Mesia, Sarus crane, and smaller florican are just a few of the endangered birds that call Bardia their home.
You will undoubtedly have a great day because both of these national parks are incredible.