This Kathmandu Chitwan National Park tour offers travellers and families an exciting introduction to bustling Kathmandu before driving through the country’s lowland breadbasket south of the High Himalaya to our premier jungle game reserve.
We are renowned for the friendliness of our people: discover their warmth and explore their skills, lifestyles and beliefs. We will introduce you to the best of our landmarks; both natural and cultural.
The forest and grasslands of Chitwan is one of the few remaining islands of jungle-forest that once spread across the northern sub-continent: now replaced by industry and farmland with poor soils. The park is rich in game and bird life and is further protected by a buffer zone that houses several conservation and breeding projects for endangered species – then released into the park.
Chitwan has a tropical monsoon climate and is generally humid. Temperatures are most comfortable from mid-October to January. Most of its annual 2500m of rain falls from June – September.
Visit the Elephant and Crocodile Breeding Centres. Ride an elephant through the forests; and canoe down a river to see mugger and endangered gharial (long snouted) crocodiles.
Enjoy guided jungle and early morning birding walks. Meet and be entertained by the unique local Tharu community and their cultural program in the evening.
Then return to Kathmandu and to your hotel.
For more exploration, perhaps include an early morning flight along the high Himalayan chain to view Mt Everest and its satellites.
Day 01: Arrival: Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (1 300m/4 260ft). We will meet and transfer you to your hotel. Afternoon free. Evening welcome dinner.
Day 02: A day in the City: Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour
Day 03: Kathmandu – Chitwan National Park (100m to 800m/330ft to 2700ft), Tharu Village sunset walk, 4-5 hrs drive
Day 04: Chitwan National Park activities: Elephant ride, Canoe trip, Jungle walk. Dinner and Tharu Cultural Show
Day 05: Early morning bird-watching walk. Chitwan – Kathmandu (1300m/4260ft), 4-5 hrs drive
Day 06: Final Departure: Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight to your next destination.
After completing passport, immigration and visa requirements, we will meet you outside the terminal building (look for your name board) and transfer you to your hotel: afternoon free. Evening: a welcome dinner, introduction to your guide and a briefing on the trek with a check on necessities. Overnight at hotel.
Take a day tour to five of the Kathmandu Valley’s cultural world heritage sites: Swayambhunath, the famed “monkey temple”; the city’s historical Durbar Square with ancient temples, unique art and architecture, plus the chance to see the Kumari (living goddess); Patan’s Durbar Square; the Hindu temple Pashupatinath and Bouddhanath, the world’s largest stupa (under restoration).
A car and driver will take you to each site-entrance and wait for you. (Entry tickets and lunch are not included.)
After breakfast, drive west along the Prithvi Rajmarg (Highway) towards Pokhara which offers fascinating glimpses of rural Nepal as you pass through Middle Hill scenery and along the major Trisuli Nadi, which rises in Tibet north east of Kathmandu. The route passes through the lower Gorkha region (home of the first Ghurkha regiments), beneath Manaslu and south of the epicentre of the first of the earthquakes. At Mugling the river turns south and you follow it as it descends into the lowland Terai region towards the Indian border. There should be good views of the high peaks to the north from high ground.
Our destination is the village of Sauraha at the edge of the famed Chitwan National Park; and our hotel. (There are no longer any lodges within the park.)
After lunch and a rest: walk along the banks of the Rapti Khola to the village of Tharu; for sunset. The Tharu, an Indian ethnic group, have long been settled in this region (being naturally immune to malaria). Return to the hotel for dinner, followed by a Tharu cultural show.
Chitwan NP (932km2 opened in 1973; gained World Heritage status 1984) typifies the ‘original’ Terai region. It contains subtropical Sal forest, grasslands and a rich mix of flowering species on hill slopes. It is home to 68 mammal, over 500 bird, 120 fish and 56 reptile and amphibian species. The animal population has increased significantly since the opening of the park and creation of the surrounding controlled buffer zone.
After breakfast, drive into the park to the elephant centre: for a three hour elephant game-viewing ride. Look out, hopefully, for Bengal tigers, one horned rhinos, boars, et al. Next, visit the elephant bathing centre. After lunch and a rest, take a canoe river trip to see mugger and endangered gharial (long snouted) crocodiles. Follow this with an hour’s (cooler) guided jungle walk. Finally visit the elephant breeding centre outside the park. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Begin with an early morning guided 1 - 1½ hrs bird-watching walk along the riverbank, followed by breakfast. Then return to Kathmandu; and your hotel. Rest of day free.
Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight to your next destination.