Chitwan National Park safari
Chitwan National Park is situated in south central Nepal in the sub-tropical lowlands of the inner terai of Chitwan, Makawanpur, Parsa and Nawalparasi districts. The altitude ranges from 110m to 850m above sea level and the park is bounded by the Rapti and Narayani River in the north, Parsa Wildlife Reserve in the east and Madi settlements and India border in the south. The physiography of the park consists of the Terai and Siwaliks. Three major rivers Narayani, Raptiand Reu, and their floodplains and several lakes and pools are the major water sources of the park. Being the first protected area of Nepal, it has a long history of over three decades in park management and rich experiences in nature conservation. Chitwan was a big game area for the royal families, Rana rulers and their guests. The area comprising the Tikauli forest from Rapti River to the foothills of the Mahabharat extending over an area of 175 km2 was declared as Mahendra Deer Park in 1959. The area south of the Rapti River was demarcated as a Rhino Sanctuary in 1963. It was proclaimed as Royal Chitwan National Park with an area of 932 km2in 1973. After the peoples’ revolution in 2006, the park’s name was changed to Chitwan National Park. In recognition of its unique biological resources of outstanding universal value, UNESCO designated CNP as a World Heritage Site in 1984. In 1996, an area of 750 km2 surrounding the park was declared a buffer zone, which consists of forests and private lands including cultivated lands. The buffer zone contains a Ramsar Site – Beeshazari Lakes. The park and the local people jointly initiate community development activities and manage natural resources in the buffer zone. The government of Nepal has made a provision of plowing back 30-50 percent of the park revenue for community development in the buffer zone.
Habitat Types: The Chitwan valley is characterized by tropical and subtropical forests. Roughly 70 percent of park vegetative cover is Sal (Shorearobusta) forest, a moist deciduous vegetation type of the terai region. The remaining vegetation types include grassland, riverine forest and Sal with Chir pine Pinusroxburghii. The later occurs at the top of the Churia range. The riverine forests consist of Khair (Acacia catechu), Sissoo (Dalbergiasisoo) and Simal (Bombaxceiba). The grasslands are mainly located in the floodplains of the rivers and form a diverse and complex community with over 50 different types of grasses including the elephant grass (Saccharum spp.), renowned for its immense height. It can grow up to 8 meter in height.
Species Diversity: A total of 68 species of mammals , 56 species of herpeto fauna and 126 species of fish have been recorded in the park. The park is especially renowned for its protection of One Horned Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger and Gharial Crocodile. The park harbors not only the world’s largest terrestrial mammal (wild elephant) but also the world’s smallest terrestrial mammal (pygmy shrew). A total of 544 species of birds has been recorded so far including 22 globally threatened species including critically endangered Bengal Florican, Slender-billed Vulture, White-rumped Vulture and Red-headed Vulture.
The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is a protected area in the Terai of eastern Nepal covering 175 km2 of wetlands in the Sunsari, Saptari and Udayapur Districts and with the altitude of range from 75 to 81 m. It was established in 1976 and designated as a Ramsar site in December 1987 to protect a small triangle of phanta and tappu in the flood plain of the SaptaKoshi River. The wildlife reserve is easily accessible from Mahendra Highway and is suitable for the nature lover especially birds lover. It is a home of almost 493 species of birds, 200 species of fish, 31 species of mammals and last habitat of the endangered Arna. This wildlife reserve also include 2 toad species, 9 frog species, 6 lizard species, 5 snake species and 11 turtle species. In addition to it, scenic beauty, sunny weather of the reserve provides warmth in the heart of the travellers.
Bardia National Park
The Bardiya National Park also spelled Bardiais a protected area that was established in 1988 as Royal Bardia National Park covering an area of 968 km2.it is the largest and most undisturbed national park in Terai adjoining the eastern bank of the Karnali River and bisected by the Babai River in the Bardiya District. Natural boundaries to human settlements are formed in the west by the Geruwa, a branch of the Karnali River, and in the southeast by the Babai River. The park has been expanded to become one of the finest national park in Nepal providing home to Endangered species such as Rhinoceros, Wild elephant, Tiger, Swamp deer, Gharial crocodile, Gangeticdolphin, Bengal florican and the Sarus crane. This park has also provides the wonderful scenic beauty due to dense forests, savannah and riverine woodlands with varieties of flora and fauna.