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Chitwan National Park Overview

Chitwan National Park Overview

 

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Chitwan National Park is one of the premier sites to visit in Nepal. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is 359.8 square miles. It has forests, marshlands, grasslands, and abundant wild animals. Chitwan National Park is one of the best parks in Asia for seeing endangered animals. It has single-horned rhinoceroses, Asian elephants, gharial crocodiles, monkeys, deer, leopards, sloth bears, Bengal tigers, 544 species of birds, and many others.

In this blog post you will learn about Chitwan’s location and climate, the history of Chitwan, animals in Chitwan, cost to visit Chitwan, and the best time to visit.   I hope this article provides the information you are looking for as well as enjoyment from reading the content. If you have any questions, please contact me or post your question(s) in the comment section.

You can also read my captains log eteries of day 1 and day 2 of my Chitwan Jungle Safari.

Chitwan’s location and climate

peacock and fence
peacock and fence

Chitwan National Park is in the inner Terai lowland in the southern central region of Nepal.  It is 65.8 miles south west of Kathmandu, and 119.3 miles south east of Pokhara.

The Terai is classified as a humid, subtropical climate with an average yearly rainfall of 87.2 inches.  Over 80% of the rainfall occurs within the monsoon season from June through September.  The average high temperature of the area is 87.44o F, while the average low is 61.39o F. You can find a weather graph here.

History of Chitwan

Royal Chitwan National Park was established in 1973. Before that, in the 18th century, the Terai was segregated into small kingdoms in harmony with the jungle.  After the unification of Nepal in 1800 A.D. In the 1920’s jungle areas were cleared for agricultural production and the forest products were sold to India.

By 1955, malaria was removed from the Terai using DDT and other insecticides.  This paved the way for tourism and the development of the park.  The King of Nepal had an advisor that told him he could make more money in tourism than in forest products, so the king stopped the forest clearing, declared Chitwan a national park, and then opened it to the public.

Animals in Chitwan

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Chitwan park is home to 68 species of mammals, 56 species of reptiles, 544 spices of birds, and 126 species of fish. Among the threatened and endangered animals are the Bengal tiger, 1 horned rhinoceros, giant hornbill, gharial crocodile, and the south Asian river dolphin.

Elephant love
Elephant love

Despite their threatened or endangered status some of these animals are quite common in the park! The most commonly encountered animals in the park are alligators, gharial crocodiles, elephants, 1-horned rhinos, deer, monkeys, and birds of various species, which includes the wild chicken.

Alligator in Rapti River
Alligator in Rapti River

Cost to visit Chitwan

The entrance fee into the park is $7.50 with an added $0.98 as a tax.  This fee does not include the any services such as jeep/ elephant safari, elephant sanctuary admission, boat ride, guided hike, or elephant bathing. These services can be purchased individually at a premium, but in a package, they are cheaper.

Package jungle tours come in a variety of classes. The prices range from $150 to $1,3335. In general, you get what you pay for.  Upper Himalayan Treks and Adventure offers an excellent tour package that includes food, accommodation, and all available jungle activities for $1,090. Mention this article and receive 10% off the purchase price.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the park for comfortable weather is in the winter, November through January. The best time to visit the park for animals is in the spring season, April and May, which is also the best time to see Bengal tigers.

The park is closed to tourists during the monsoon season from July through September.  During this time, you can book trips to the buffer zone which has a lot of the same amenities as the park.

 

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