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Royal Chitwan National Park

Royal Chitwan National Park (Nepal)

Practical information about Royal Chitwan National Park

  • Family
  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • River
4 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
150km by bus from Kathmandu
When to go
From October to May
Minimum stay
2 to 3 days

Reviews of Royal Chitwan National Park

David Debrincat Travel writer
459 travel articles

At 160km from Kathmandu, Chitwan is Nepal's most famous national park, where you can spot a wealth of animals including rhinos and the elusive Bengali Tiger.

My suggestion:
If you're planning to tour Chitwan, sort out any reservations in advance, as it works out cheaper.

I visited the Chitwan National Park during my trip to Nepal in the hope of seeing a wild Bengali Tiger...I won't try to keep up the suspense - sadly, I didn't spot one. I did, however, see some prints by a river and, according to my guide, they were fresh. Annoying - we were just an hour too late! But Chitwan's not a zoo and nature does its own thing. On the plus side I did get to see hundreds of birds as well as a rhino. The elephant ride in the jungle was amazing. The best moment was bath time, when the mahout gave them all a good wash. Even though the water was cold, I had to give it a go. I swam with elephants! It took a while to sink in that I'd had such an extraordinary experience.

I suggest you spend at least 3 days in Chitwan, so as to make the most of your visit.

*After the devastating earthquakes that shook Nepal in April and May 2015 the country is slowly getting back on its feet. This article was written before these catastrophic events occurred.

Sunset over Chitwan
Simon Hoffmann Travel writer
193 travel articles

Situated in the TeraÏ, to the south of Nepal, the Chitwan National Park was the country's first national park. It's famous for being home to the magnificent Indian Rhino.

My suggestion:
Sauraha is a small town on the eastern edge of the Chitwan National Park. A quiet little town, it's a great place from which to explore the park for a few days.

With its vast jungle, rivers and marshlands, the stunning Chitwan National Park is a classified World Heritage Site. It's home to remarkable, diverse plants and animals including the Indian Rhinceros and the Bengali Tiger, for which the park is one of the world's last natural habits.
If you head out from Sauraha, you can go on guided tours either by foot or elephant. The latter is safer and you can get up close to animals without alarming them, rhinos in particular. To find yourself just a few feet from these immense beasts is quite something! Close to Sauraha, you'll find the Elephant Breeding Camp where you'll see elephant calves - if you're on a familiy holiday, your kids are going to love this!

*After the devastating earthquakes that shook Nepal in April and May 2015 the country is slowly getting back on its feet. This article was written before these catastrophic events occurred.

Indian Rhinos in the Chitwan National Park
Marc Sigala Travel writer
67 travel articles

The oldest national park in Nepal, it occupies an area of almost 1000km² and is home to a number of endangered species. Chitwan, in Nepalese, means "heart of the jungle". An excellent meas of discovering Nepal and its unspoilt nature.

My suggestion:
If you choose to stay in Chitwan for a few days, why not stay in one of the guesthouses along the Rapti River? Sunset is an opportunity to watch the animals as they come to drink water from the opposite bank.

I spent several days in Chitwan and I won't be forgetting my jaunt to the jungle any time soon! The park is enormous and you can experience first-hand the natural environment, with nothing to get in your way. I've never seen so many wild animals, and certainly not from so close.

The elephant back rides and Jeep tours are in particular not to be missed. One adventure which I cannot recommend enough is the walking tour in the heart of the jungle – but don't stray too far from your experienced guide!

The tour leaves at dawn, and you'll be taken by boat to the heart of the jungle. You'll be able to see thousands upon thousands of birds, crocodiles taking in the sun on the riverbanks, birds of prey and apes causing a stir in the trees... Upon arrival, you'll take to the jungle on foot, accompanied every step of the way by Chitwan guides, armed with huge bamboo sticks, without whom you'd probably be slightly out of your comfort zone. We first realised this when one of them pointed out the droppings of a Bengal tiger who had been there a few days prior... There are also stops in lookout posts to observe rhinoceros, crocodiles, deer and wild elephants without impacting upon their respective natural environments. Magical!

*After the powerful earthquakes which hit Nepal in April and May 2015, the country is slowly rebuilding itself. This article was written before the disaster.

Elephant back ride
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