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Chitwan National Park

Indian Rhinoceros in Chitwan © Tiger Tops

© TOFTigers Library

© TOFTigers Library

Safari drive in Chitwan © Barahi Lodge

Chitwan National Park


World famous as one of the first parks to see tigers regularly in the 1970’s, the rich biodiversity of Chitwan National Park has earned its status as a World Heritage Site as one of the last surviving examples of the natural ecosystems of the Terai region. It was the country’s first National Park declared in 1973 and also holds within its boundary a Ramsar Wetland site, the Beezashari Lake. It is a treasure trove for nature enthusiasts and an early pioneer in some of the best practices in nature tourism and support for conservation.   In these forests, you will find a diversity of wildlife from the largest terrestrial mammal, the elephant, to the smallest, the pygmy shrew! It is most famous for one-horned rhinos and the Bengal tiger of which there are believed to be 120 at the last census. The park covers an area of 932 square kilometres between two East-West river valleys at the base of the Shiwalik range of the Himalayas.   Historically, Chitwan wa...s protected by Nepalese kings as it was the hunting ground for aristocrats. King George V and his son, the future Edward VIII, hunted here in 1911 and in just one safari killed 38 tigers and eighteen rhinos! Hunting has been long since banned and poaching activities have been brought under control due to relentless efforts by the government. There has been a recent revival in the population of tigers and herds of rhinos basking in the sun are once again a common sight.
You can hire a jeep from your hotel or local travel operator for a jeep safari and your hotel can arrange for an experienced driver and naturalist who will guide you through the forest. The Narayali River is ideal for boating rides and gives you the chance to view wildlife on the banks with village life in the backdrop. The best way to explore the forest is on foot. It makes your trip rather interesting as essentially you can do a river, jeep and foot safari all together, one after the other.
Apart from the one-horned rhino and the Bengal tiger, keep an eye out for leopards, sloth bears, fishing and jungle cats, golden jackals, crab-eating mongoose and yellow-throated martens. You can also catch a glimpse of the gharial and the marsh mugger on a boating safari. Chitwan also has one of the highest concentrations of birds in the world, with more than 22 globally threatened species in its boundaries such as the critically endangered Bengal florican, slenderbilled vulture, white-rumped vulture, spotted eagle and red-headed vulture. It also receives several migratory species such as the greater spotted eagle, eastern imperial eagle and Pallas’s fish eagle
The visitor centre at Sauraha and a museum at Kasara provide fascinating information on wildlife and conservation programmes. The Women’s User Group souvenir shop offers a variety of handicrafts and other local products. Nearby is a gharial breeding centre, which also has marsh muggers, as part of a conservation initiative. Here you can learn about the conservation measures being implemented for the long-term survival of the species. The Elephant Breeding Centre at Khorsor gives you information on domesticated elephants and the baby elephants born there.
The aquatic life in these forests faces a serious threat from pollution of their ecosystems due to infrastructural developments on the banks of the river. Also, the Government of Nepal has proposed a new railway line, which threatens to cut across the heart of this National Park and put its wildlife in jeopardy.

Destination Information

How To Book

Your tour operator or lodge would be able to make the bookings for you. Or you can book at the entrance directly.

Park Timings

The park is open from sunrise to sunset all year round.

Getting Around the Park

Wildlife safaris by jeep, boat, on foot, or on elephants can be arranged by your tour operator or lodge, depending on weather conditions affecting the river and roads

Entry Fees

For International tourists: NR 1,500 For SAARC Nationals: NR 750 For Nepalese Nationals: NR 100 Buffer zone: NR 200
By Air: Kathmandu (55 km), Bharatpur (10 km) By Road: Most travellers prefer to take local or private buses that leave Thamel along the Kantiparh Road in Kathmandu. Cabs are also easily available at the airport.
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Wildlife Travel Guide

Eco-friendly properties in the area

Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge

A short bullock-cart ride from the Narayani River, the natural boundary between Chitwan National Park and the surrounding townships, takes you to the doors of Tharu Lodge.

Barahi Jungle Lodge

Set on the northern banks of the Rapti River, its glorious location looks out over the tall golden grasslands and verdant forest and green hills of Chitwan National Park.

Other Destinations To Combine

Chitwan National Park


World famous as one of the first parks to see tigers regularly in the 1970’s, the rich biodiversity

Bardia National Park


Bardia National Park is the largest of Nepal’s Protected Areas, covering 968 sq kms in the

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