Chitwan National Park

Established in 1973, the Chitwan National Park is a 932 square kilometre nature reserve of jungle, forest and marshland awarded world heritage status in 1984. The Park replaced a hunting reserve used by the rich and famous; King George V and his son, the future Edward VIII, bagged 18 rhinos during a 1911 shooting trip.

Chitwan—meaning 'heart of the jungle'—offers visitors an excellent chance of spotting one-horned rhinos, deer, monkeys, wild boars, hyenas, gharial crocodiles and over 450 species of bird (including parakeets, kingfishers, orioles and drongos). The Park is also home to (more elusive) leopards, wild elephants, sloth bears and majestic royal Bengal tigers. Despite setbacks during the Maoist insurgency, animal numbers are improving: a 2011 census counted 501 rhinos and 125 adult tigers. We suggest that visitors should spend two days in the park, so as to allow plenty of time for foot and elephant treks. One of Nepal's premier attractions.

where? The Chitwan National Park is to the south west of Kathmandu, and is usually accessed by a six hour bus ride.

when? The best time to visit Chitwan is between October and February (so that monsoon season and very high temperatures can be avoided). The best time to see animals is between January and March, when the phanta grass is slashed by locals, substantially improving visibility.

£$€¥ There is something for every budget, ranging from the $300 a night Tiger Tops Lodge to small lodges on the edge of the park (where rooms can be obtained for as little as $2). There is also a park fee of 500 rupees a day.

Accomodation :
Resorts and lodges are available to suit one's travel budget; most include elephant safaris, jungle walks, canoeing and a variety of cultural activities in their programs.Reservations for accommodations can be made at the Kathmandu offices of Chitwan resorts and lodges, with selections ranging from the most luxurious to those with simple food and shelter. On a village tour, you can observe the culture of the Tharu people. Tharu dance and song performances are included in most resort and lodge entertainment. A visit to Chitwan is a visit filled to the brim with activities, whether you stay two days or a week.