Nestled at the foothills of Nepal, Chitwan National Park is recognised as one of the worlds’ biodiversity hotspots and falls amongst WWFs’ 200 Global Eco-regions. And its also a UNESCO World Heritage site so bonus! The spectacular landscape, covered with lush vegetation and the Himalayas as the backdrop really is an exceptional natural beauty.
An incredibly diverse natural ecosystems of subtropical lowland, wedged between two river valleys produces a mosaic of riverine forest, grasslands, forested hills and alluvial flood plains.
One of the parks main rivers that flow through is the Narayani river, the third-largest river in Nepal which originates in the high Himalayas and is a tributary of the Ganges, the most sacred river in India.
Chitwan is also famed for its rich flora and fauna and 800 species of wildlife can be observed here including 68 species of mammals and over 500 species of birds (one of the highest concentrations in the world).
The park is home to one of the last populations of single-horned Asiatic Rhinoceros and is also one of the last refuges of the Bengal Tiger. It also gives shelter to many other endangered species including sloth bears, clouded leopards, otters, hyenas, mongoose, civets, pangolins, monkeys, gaurs, crocodiles and wild elephants.
During our 3 night excursion we managed to spot over 16 rhinos, a ridiculous amount of birds, elephants, civets and deer. Make sure you do a jungle trek as opposed to a jeep safari as you will be immersed more and really get a feel for this incredible wonderland!
I highly, highly recommend contacting a local guide Bali [balaram.40C@gmail.com or +9845150440] for a passionate and safe experience in Chitwan National Park. Seriously this guy is the man, highly respected in the community and being doing it for donkeys years. He still loving doing his job everyday, and even goes out on his days off, which really says something about his passion!
I would place Chitwan National Park alongside the Amazon, Borneo, Yellowstone and Galapagos as the greatest natural landscapes I have witnessed and highly recommend it to anyone in the area with even a passing interest in wildlife and geographic processes! Two days trekking over 50 km and even I am still craving more! But now its off to Poon Hill. Until next time Chitwan …