Many travelers to Nepal are enthusiastic travelers looking forward to reaching Everest Base Camp or taking a trip through the Annapurna Circuit. However, there is more to Nepal than walking, so if you are planning a trip to Nepal but feel you are challenging, there are many other options available. You will find a real mix of travelers in Nepal too – including a high number of non-trekkers – so you do not need to feel under pressure to travel.
The Royal Chitwan National Park is located in the lowlands of Nepal, known as Terai. This is a vast area of emerald rice fields and typical rural villages. The park is home to at least 43 species of mammals, including the forest king, Bengal Tiger. The Terai flooded habitat is one of the most beautiful tiger habitats in the world. Based on recent and ongoing research, it is estimated that there are about 82 breeding tigers in the park who consider the average tiger population decline in the world to be relatively limited! Apart from the obvious drawing of the tigers, leopards are also present at the edge of the park. There are also crocodiles, fishing cats, wild cats, leopard tigers, leopard cats, marble cats, foxes, Indian wild dogs, bear bears, Bengal foxes, spotted linsang, several species of mongoose, honeybadgers and otters. live in the river and in many rivers.
Perhaps the most popular in this park is the one-horned rhino that is easy to spot. A great way to watch these amazing animals is on the back of an elephant. Sitting on the back of your Chitwan elephant, you will not be able to safely reach anything hidden in the tall grass. The elephant seats four people so you will share it with others! You may also be able to see a rhino during a walk in the park with the guide, who will know the location as the back of his hand. If you were lucky enough to see a rhino on the ground this is an amazing experience that can cause a tremor of excitement at the top of your spine as you see how close you are to this huge animal. Your knowledgeable guide will whisper clear instructions on safety and how to pass the beast safely.
You may also want to explore the park in the morning by boat. In the morning you and your guide can take a wooden boat down the Rapti River. This will give you a very different view of the park. There is plenty of bird life and you can see the crocodiles sunset on the beach as the sun rises.
Near the Park is the Trisuli River. This is a great place for rafting and makes a great difference in the Kathmandu culture and hiking in the mountain air. You will float along the magnificent Trisuli River through canyons and under suspension bridges. However, do not overdo it … not all river rafting. You will definitely get an adrenaline rush or two as you drop a few exciting rapids.
For travelers who like to understand local culture by spending time with local people, this can also happen during a stay inside and near the park. The Terai region is home to the Tharu tribe, most of whom are guides within the park because they know the area and the behavior of the animals better than anyone. There are also a few outdoor valleys where you can see how the Tars live and give something back to the community. You can harvest vegetables from the forest, prepare meals and dance the night away near the campfire with the residents. They will show you how to live and take you for a walk in the woods to your waiting tower, where you will spend the night with a guide.