girl with cat smiling in Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Welcome to the jungle!

I had the opportunity to visit Chitwan National Park while traveling in Nepal. While probably everyone who goes to Nepal is thinking of the Himalayas (myself included), I had a big surprise discovering this special wild place.

I found Chitwan to be a very exotic area. It was a part of a more extended holiday. I had only one day and a half to discover the jungle, so everything was a bit on fast forward. Certainly, I would have enjoyed having several days available to discover several trails and go deeper into the jungle.

Next, I invite you to read about the activities I did while visiting the Park.

Entrance to Chitwan National Park

Walking tour into the jungle

I enjoyed the lovely views very much, walking through the jungle’s exotic vegetation and seeing incredible sunsets! It was just right for my mind and soul to relax.

The walking tour through the jungle was a wonderful experience. I could have done this for several days and not get bored. Walking through the high trees and making my way between the vines, I had the impression I just entered another world. My senses were captivated with so many new sounds, views, bright colors, and this totally new environment for me.

Our guide informed us about wild animals that we might see and how to react if we end up near dangerous species. Luckily it was not the case to put that info into practice. I did see monkeys in trees, peacocks, rhinos (from very far away), and an entire herd of bison.

Safari tour

For a wider tour into the National Park, I chose the jeep safari. Elephant safari was also available for tourists, going into the jungle on an elephant’s back.

While everyone is free to choose the way they wish to do the tour, I think the elephants’ natural way of living doesn’t include carrying people on their backs. I saw elephants kept in short chains in breeding and training center. Tourists were all over the place, laughing and making photographs, but this whole scene was heartbreaking for me.

There are sources that state the training of these elephants include abusing them. I didn’t personally see these practices, but I did see elephants with big scars near their ears and forehead. I recommend you do some research online if you are curious to find out more. You can also check out reviews and other travelers’ opinions about the Elephant Breeding Center in Nepal on Trip Advisor.

I hope that post-pandemic tourism will not include these habits and practices anymore. It is our responsibility as travelers to look closely at the activities we pay for and therefore support. I also believe that sustainable tourism is the key to a thriving, healthy natural environment, and protecting local wildlife comes along with it. Maybe the pandemic gave us the time we so much needed for reflection, to understand that we are one with the nature around us, and destroying it or using it solely for profit will lead to destroying our habitat and ourselves, in the end.

In the end, if more and more tourists will avoid buying these tours, slowly there will be less and less demand for elephants trained for these purposes.

If you travel in these areas and care about protecting wildlife, please consider not taking elephant rides. Tell your friends also about this and promote a responsible way of entertaining and tourism.

Canoe riding

This experience was so much fun! I never was so close to crocodiles before. It’s fantastic to see these fierce creatures in their natural environment.

I was so close to the water level from the canoe, that I thought a crocodile could quickly jump in. Imagine that! Well, despite these thoughts, I went on and did the ride. And it was awesome!

I was mesmerized by the incredible silence I encountered during my canoe ride. It was almost like time stood still.

If you decide to visit Chitwan National Park in Nepal, you will need a specialized tour guide to accompany you during this incredible journey. Apart from essential safety information, they will share fascinating facts about the types of plants and animals you will see.

For example, did you know this is a home for the termites?

Local guide next to termite house
Termite house

Neither did I! Moreover, it has pretty much the same dimensions underground.

I liked that we had to declare the plastic recipients we had with us when entering the Park. Also, when leaving, we must have those same recipients with us. In that way, the plastic went to the trash and not into nature. It proved that this area is protected, and local people care about keeping the natural environment clean from pollution.

Facts and figures

Chitwan National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Center situated at the Himalayas’ foot in the southern part of Nepal. The Park was formed in 1973 and is home to various species of wild animals and specific jungle vegetation.

By having an area of 932 square km, the destination is perfect for observing wildlife in its natural habitat. Here you will find:

  • the endangered Asian one-horned rhinoceros,
  • the Bengal tiger,
  • rhesus and hanuman monkey,
  • various types of reptiles, including the gharial crocodile
  • more than 400 species of birds (actually one of the highest concentrations in the world)

In the end, I would say that this is a great destination for tourists who want to discover the natural wonders of Nepal. If you plan to visit Nepal, make sure you include it on your must-see list.

If you have already visited this Park, share your experience in a comment below. Did you see the tigers?

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