Chitwan National Park, located in Nepal’s southern Terai lowlands, is the country’s most visited tourist destination and one of the most popular places in the world to spot elephants in their natural habitat.
The national park’s name means a place where people live without fear and it makes this promise to visitors who come to explore its wildlife and natural beauty.
Whether you want to see one of nature’s biggest land animals or simply want to get away from civilization, Chitwan National Park offers plenty of opportunities for adventure and exploration.
Being the country’s first national park, Chitwan National Park boasts an incredible diversity of wildlife from more than 200 species of birds to at least 150 species of mammals and other types of animals as well.
It’s also home to more than 10,000 people who live in the surrounding communities and make up almost half of the local population, according to the Ministry of Environment, Science, and Technology.
Why See Chitwan National Park?
The dense forest and open grasslands at Chitwan provide habitat for rhinos, tigers, leopards, elephants, deer, and monkeys. The park attracts tourists from around Nepal and from abroad.
Although seeing wild animals in their natural habitat can be rewarding for visitors to Chitwan National Park, it is vital that visitors follow strict safety precautions to prevent injuries to both themselves and wild animals.
Travelers should always stay in groups when visiting any wildlife reserve or national park. Visitors should also refrain from approaching wild animals, especially those with young. It is important to remember that many species are endangered and protected by law.
So visitors must never try to touch or feed any animal within Chitwan National Park; feeding a wild animal will only encourage them to approach humans again in search of food.
What Else Can You Do in Chitwan?
Visiting Nepal’s largest national park, you can expect to see many animals including different species of deer, gaur (the largest ox in Asia), wild boar, elephant, and leopard. The famous rhinos were relocated from Chitwan to Bardia in 1989 but plans are underway to bring them back.
Even without these magnificent beasts though, there’s still much to see and do – from jungle walks to boat rides on river lodges. There are also several nature reserves within a day trip or two that offer good opportunities for bird watching as well as trekking.
You could even visit the Birendra Wildlife Museum where stuffed animals provide a glimpse into some of Nepal’s most endangered creatures. For more information about what else you can do in Chitwan, check out our guide to wildlife tours and activities in Chitwan National Park.
Jungle Safari in Chitwan National Park
If you are thinking about visiting Nepal, then adding a trip to Chitwan National Park is a must. The park is one of very few in Asia where you can come face-to-face with Bengal tigers. Located just outside Kathmandu and easily accessible via day tour from most hotels, it’s an excellent place to spend an afternoon or evening watching wild animals in their natural habitat. Plus, there’s no better way to experience life on wheels than by riding an elephant through these lush forests.
The Best Time to Visit Chitwan National Park
The best time to visit Chitwan National Park is during the dry season. From mid-November to mid-May, tourists can spot rhinos in large numbers. It is also possible to swim in the water here during these months. However, during monsoon season, from mid-June to mid-September, flooding makes it difficult for visitors to explore freely. From October until November and March until May is ideal for an invigorating excursion in Nepal’s most pristine national park.
How to Get There?
Fly to Kathmandu and take a connecting flight to Bharatpur, where you can hire a taxi to bring you to Narayangarh, which is just east of Chitwan. Alternatively, opt for a bus or train ride. The three most popular spots in Nepal are all in close proximity: Bardia National Park, Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, and Chitwan.
Where to Stay in Chitwan?
There are two ways to travel in and out of Chitwan. The first is by plane from Kathmandu, and there are regular flights every day. The second option is a road trip from Kathmandu to Narayangarh – an 11-hour drive. There’s one town within Chitwan that has accommodation, so it’s best to stay in Kathmandu or other areas near the park-like Pokhara or Sauraha.
Entry Fee and Cost of Travel in Nepal
Foreign tourists can travel through Nepal visa-free for up to 90 days or 180 days with an official transit pass. If you are traveling in groups and want to stay longer, you will have to pay $25 per group each day. Similarly, there is a charge for visiting national parks like Chitwan. There is also a fee if you are not traveling on foot—hiking trails allow free access only.
If you love nature and want to explore the untamed wildness of the Nepalese jungle, then Chitwan National Park is an absolute must-see on your trip to Nepal. If you have any queries related to this article, let us know. Share the article if you find it useful and informative!