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Chitwan National Park

This National Park is considered to be one of the finest wildlife areas in Southeast Asia and to view the mammals of the Terai region it is a key site. The park is in average 100 miles and in addition to the excitement of suddenly discovering a tiger or a rhino, one can also view other impressive wild animals - the graceful deer, majestic Gaur, full grown wild boar - celebrated in Nepalese folklore and Putanas. Langurs are seen frolicking in the trees and their shrill cries echo for miles. Within the 932 sq. km. of the Royal Chitwan are found over 500 rhinos, about 100 Royal Bengal Tigers, four species of deer, approximately 50 species of mammals and over 500 species of birds.

The Chitwan National Park is located about 160 km southwest of Kathmandu. The fastest way to get there is by air and the journey takes half an hour from Kathmandu to the Bharatpur/Meghauli airfield. From there visitors are transported on elephant back or Land Rover to the jungle lodges. The drive from Kathmandu to the Chitwan takes 5 to 6 hours, depending upon the condition of the highway. It is also possible to travel there by river rafting.

Elephant rides during the visit provide a superb view of the wildlife and it is fascinating to watch rhino from the vantage point you gain by sitting on the back of an elephant. Someone who is interested in bird watching can spend time in a hide and be accompanied by an experienced naturalist. Crocodile enthusiasts and anglers can canoe ride down the river and see the Marsh Mugger crocodile. Fresh water Gangetic Dolphin and rare Gharial crocodile can be sighted in the Narayani River and its tributaries at the Rapti and the Reu. These rivers are stocked with fishes of different species and include the Shar Mahaseer or Nepalese salmon.

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email: birdlife@mos.com.np
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Photos by Dr. Paul Sterry (www.naturephotographers.co.uk), Tim Loseby & Nick Bray
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