Did you know, that many of our rafting trips tie in well with a visit to some of the most spectacular National Parks and safari trips in Nepal. For example, you can paddle the Trisuli to get to Chitwan National Park, or the take out of the Karnali is right by Bardiya National Park. Awesome! So why not extend your whitewater rafting trip with a stay at one of Nepal’s National Parks.
Chitwan National Park –
Chitwan National Park is possibly the most touristy of the national parks in Nepal, simply because it is the easiest one to travel to. Just a few hours drive from the take our of our Trisuli River trips (and our camp), rafting is a great way to get to the Park. It’s situated in the south of the country in the lowlands of the Terai regions and covers 932 sq.km (although only a very small park of this is really open to tourists) and in 1984 it was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
We recommend staying at Chitwan for at least 2 nights to get the most out of your time there. The majority of hotels offer packages which include your park entrance fees, accommodation, meals and all your activities which we personally think offer the best value for money!
In Chitwan you will have the chance to go on a Jeep safari (see our note below about why we do NOT promote elephant back safaris), visit the local Tharu villages, travel in a dug out log canoe in crocodile infested waters! visit the elephant and crocodile breeding centers, attend a traditional Tharu stick dance show and go bird watching.
If you are luck you will hopefully be able to spot Rhino, deer, crocodiles (a highlight are the endangered Gharial crocodiles), peacock, hog, monkeys, monitor lizards, black bears and my personal favourite, the wild chickens! It is also full of wonderful flora and fauna to gaze at.
Our favourite place to stay is Hotel Westwood. As they have a great location, great food, lovely jungle guides and clean and spacious rooms (not to mention fully A/C!). Contact us for a special discount exclusive to GRG!
Bardiya National Park –
Bardiya is a much more remote and less developed National Park. Due to the distance to get there (either 24 hours in a bus, or a relatively expensive internal flight to Nepaljung) not many tourists venture here. Luckily for us, it ties in perfectly with the end of our Karnali rafting trip.
Bardia covers 968 sq. km and is considered to be one of the most beautiful parks in Asia. The park is home to over 30 different species of mammals including one horned Rhino, Langur monkeys, Hyena’s, Sloth Bears and Deer. In it also home to the Gangetic Dolphins in the surrounding rivers. There is also over 350 species of birds here. You are also more likely to see Tigers here than in Chitwan. If you are joining us for a trip down the Karnali, then if you have the time, we highly recommend spending a few nights here before you travel back to Kathmandu.
We recommend staying with our good friend Kris at Racy Shades Resort. He has lived in Nepal for many many years and is an expert on the wildlife found in Bardia.
Other parks worth a mention…
- Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve – Awesome for bird watchers. There are over 440 species of bird in Nepal, and you will see a lot of them here.
- Sagarmatha National Park – Home to the highest peak in the world. The might Mount Everest (8848m)
- Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park – Just north of Kathmandu. Full of orchids, one of the last jungles left in the valley. We can even do canyoning here on request!
- Rara Natoinal Park – The smallest park, but with the biggest lake! Red pandas are found in this area.
SIDE NOTE – At GRG, we are against the use of elephants in tourism, which is why we recommend requesting a jeep safari rather than an elephant walking safari. This is a huge debate, and not one to get into here. But if you are interested, you can read more about elephants in tourism from Responsible Travel.
We are happy to help book your adventures to Bardia or Chitwan, so if you looking to combine your whitewater rafting trip in Nepal with some fun in the jungle, just let us know!