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Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve lies on the alluvial flood plain of the Sapta Koshi river in the south-eastern lowland. The area is defined almost entirely by the eastern and western embankments of the river. The reserve is 510 km from Kathmandu and the easiest way to reach it is by air with a flight time of around 50 minutes, followed by a road journey which lasts for 1 hour 15 minutes.

In 1976 the area was officially granted the status of wildlife reserve. It is 175 sq. km. in size and the Sapta Koshi (the largest river in the kingdom of Nepal) flows through it.

The mighty River Koshi is calm in winter but swells greatly during the monsoon and brings severe flood problems, which often bring changes in it's course. The depth of the river fluctuates largely from season to season. It is also one of the three main tributaries of the Ganges.

Riverine forest dominates the vegetation of the reserve. To the west you will find Sal forest and grasslands. This diverse habitat of wetland and scrub make the faunal beauty of this place beyond comparison to any other protected area of Nepal in which birds dominate the scenery.

Groups of Arna Wild Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), Blue Bull (Bocelaphus tragocamelus) and Gangetic Dolphin (Platanista gangetica) are the main attractions of this reserve. There are also varieties of deer, cats, otters, bats and boar. More than 450 species of birds have been recorded in the reserve and which mostly include waterfowl, birds of prey and waders. Globally threatened Swamp Francolin (Francolinus gularis) has become a familar bird at Koshi during the dry season.

The nearby Koshi Barrage has created a vast expanse of water making this area a most important staging point for migrating birds and an all year round playground for resident wildlife. Lesser known reptiles, amphibians, fishes and arthropods are very worthwhile exploring here.

On a clear day it is even possible to glimpse Makalu (8463m) the world's fifth tallest mountain. Besides this spectacular array of flora and fauna, the natural beauty of this place will appeal to any nature-lover - magical sunrises, the loveliest of sunsets and the peaceful pace of local life all enhance the beauty of the area in an inexpressible way.

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Nature Safari Tours (P) Ltd.
P.O.Box 21016, Khusibu, Nayabazar, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Tel: 00977 1 4355609
Fax: 00977 1 4355616
email: birdlife@mos.com.np
birdingnepal.com / kosicamp.com
Photos by Dr. Paul Sterry (www.naturephotographers.co.uk), Tim Loseby & Nick Bray
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