ItineraryBARDIA NATIONAL PARK
- Date: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Sunday, April the 14th, 2019. From here you will be picked up by our rep and transferred to your comfortable hotel
- Duration: 17 days, ending Tuesday the 30th of April in Kathmandu to fly back home.
- Cost: USD6999 per person inclusive of hotels & tented camps, transportation, local taxes & permits with breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.
- Deposit: 50% of the cost of the trip placed at least one month before duration. All bookings require 50% deposit of the trip price to be confirmed. The amount is to be deposited in US dollars. The remaining sum of the trip will have to be paid 45 days prior to departure. All major credit and debit cards are accepted.
- Places: 3 or 6
Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu where you will meet our company representative and be driven to the Thamel area of the city and stay overnight in the famous Kathmandu Guest House.
Travel by minibus to Bardia National Park where you will stay for the next eleven nights at the Tharu Home Lodge run by local Tharu people and situated within easy walking/driving distance from the entry into this wild and isolated natural paradise.
A full day rest day at the lodge. In the afternoon you will be introduced to our chief guide, Rajan Choudhary and other local members of our team. They and Clive Grylls will be on hand to answer any questions regarding your visit. You will also enjoy a ‘sundowner’ at a close by beauty spot. Dinner will be served at our lodge.
After breakfast we will spend a full day walking into the heart of the Park through Riverine forests and open grasslands. A packed lunch will be supplied. Locations visited will include the Teenkune, Kingfisher, Bhellor tree locations and waterholes and the Elephant and Tiger Machan posts. There will be chances (if we are fortunate) to spot and photograph the following wildlife: Tiger, Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Otters, ungulates such as Chital, Sambar and Hog deer. Birdlife that may be spotted include: Red headed fish eagle, Asian open-billed stork, Woolly necked Stork, and many species of Bee-eaters and Kingfishers.
A packed lunch will be supplied. After breakfast we will visit the ‘Tharu Cultural Museum’ at the Park entrance and then spend a full day walking into the heart of the Park through Riverine and Sal forest visiting the Pattharbandt, Khaura cross and Bhellor tree locations. There will be chances (if we are fortunate) to spot and photograph the following wildlife: Tiger, Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Otters, Elephants, ungulates such as Chital, Sambar and Hog and Swamp deer and Pythons. Birdlife that may be spotted include: Dusky large owl, Brown fish owl, Great hornbill, Great slaty woodpecker and many species of Bee-eaters and Kingfishers.
A packed lunch will be supplied. After breakfast we will walk to the same locations as the previous two days. These are some of the best viewing locations in the Park and will enable us to maximize our chances of seeing the wildlife often spotted there.
A packed lunch will be supplied. After breakfast we will embark on a full-day drive through the Park traveling through Riverine and Sal forest and ending our drive camping overnight at the Laimati/Japanese Camp region overlooking the confluence of the Karnali and Geruwa rivers where dinner will be taken under the stars. Locations visited along the way will include: the Baghaura, Gaida Machan, JBS Camp (so-called because the naturalist John Blashford Snell discovered there the two largest Asiatic elephants ever recorded in Asia), Balcony, Dhanesh tal, Ganesh tal and khodao tal waterholes. There will be chances (if we are fortunate) to spot and photograph the following wildlife: Tiger, Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Otters, Elephants, Asiatic wild dog (dhole), Leopard, Hyena, Jackal, Porcupine and ungulates such as Chital, Sambar ,Hog, Barking and Swamp deer, Pythons and critically endangered Gharials. Birdlife that may be spotted include all the Park’s bird species (407.)
Breakfast will be served at the campsite and a packed lunch will be provided.
- Option one: (Dependent on the seasonal flow of water)
Full day rafting on the Geruwa River and ending up at the ‘Elephant Breeding Centre’ or at our lodge. We will also have the chance to moor our raft and walk off-track into the forest. There will be chances (if we are fortunate) to spot and photograph the following wildlife: Tiger, Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Otters, Gharial and Mugger crocodiles and all the wildlife that inhabits the riverine forest areas of the Park. Birdlife that may be spotted include most of the species found in the riverine forest sections of the Park.
- Option two:
Full day rafting on the Karnali River starting at the Karnali Bridge and ending up at the village of Daulatpur to visit and dine at the famous and unique ‘Banana Resort’ restaurant where everything from alcohol to fine and delicious foods and snacks are made entirely from bananas. We will then be driven back to our lodge for a late dinner. There will be chances (if we are fortunate) to spot and photograph the following wildlife: Critically endangered Gangetic dolphins, Blue Bull or Nilgai (Asia’s largest antelope), Otters, Elephants and ungulates. Birdlife that may be spotted include most of the species found in the riverine forest sections of the Park……plus Ospreys and Black baza which are commonly sighted along this section of the river.
Breakfast will be taken at our lodge and a packed lunch will be prepared for us. There are many highlights on this trip. You will be working with expert guides that are also (in the strictest sense of the word)……true conservationists……and an expert tutor and professional photographer who spent years studying Asiatic wildlife all over the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Today we will embark on a journey by jeep into the true heart of the Park where few people have ventured. Starting from our lodge in the west of the Park we will embark on a five-six hour drive through grasslands, Sal, Riverine and Pine forests into its South-western heartland, the Guthi region, where we will be camping close to or by the Babai River. All camping, rafting food and other equipment for our stay will be transported in a separate jeep(s). There will be chances (if we are fortunate) to spot and photograph the following wildlife: Sloth bear, Four-horned antelope, Tiger, Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Otters, Elephants, Asiatic wild dog (dhole), Leopard, Hyena, Jackal, Porcupine and ungulates such as Chital, Sambar ,Hog, Barking and Swamp deer as well as Pythons and critically endangered Gharial. Because of the topography covered on this day the birdlife that may be spotted include most of the Park’s bird species (407) including a rare chance to maybe spot or photograph the elusive but relatively common Silver-eared mesia and Fire-tailed myzornis.
Breakfast will be at our campsite and a packed lunch will be prepared for us.
- Option one: (Dependent on the seasonal flow of water)
Full day rafting on the Babai River and then a jeep drive back to our lodge. There will be chances (if we are fortunate) to spot and photograph the following wildlife: Elephants, Four-horned antelope, Sambar and Gharials. The birdlife that may be spotted include: Black-capped kingfisher, Blue-eared kingfisher, and if we are very lucky…..the Great Hornbill.
- Option two:
The whole morning walking along the shores of the river and the surrounding Riverine forests. In the afternoon we will take the long drive back to our lodge.
Breakfast will be at our lodge and a packed lunch will be prepared for us. In the morning we will travel by jeep to the historical Lake Badhaiya located outside of the National Park and spread over an area of 73 hectares. This is a paradise at this time of year for resident water birds. The birdlife that may be spotted include: Painted stork, Sarus crane, Asian pheasant-tailed jacana, Pied avocet, Grey-headed lapwing and Black-winged stilt. In the afternoon we will drive to the ‘Blackbuck Conservation Area’ established in 2009 to conserve the elegant but endangered blackbuck antelope. This protected area covers 16.95 km2 and is a sanctuary for the northernmost surviving herd in the world.
Breakfast at our lodge and lunch taken at a local eatery. In the morning we will travel inside the National Park to reach a bridge that traverses the Babai River……this is possibly the best place to view both critically endangered Gharial AND Mugger crocodiles (sometimes together) sunning themselves on sandbanks. The river is dammed and huge shoals of the endangered game fish, the Golden Mahseer, also gather there. Mid-morning we will take local tea and refreshments with a typical Tharu family. In the afternoon we will travel outside of the Park into ‘community forests’ to visit the village of Pattharboji, described by our chief guide, Rajan, “as possibly the most unique and isolated Tharu village in the area.” Surrounded by abundant wildlife that thrive in the buffer zones of the Park…..in this village we will be able to witness and photograph century old skills of basket making and construction of storage vats made entirely from straw and clay. A donation to this village is included in the cost of the trip. Finally, we will visit Rajan’s tree house built deep inside a community forest and take a late afternoon walk where there will be a good chance of spotting/photographing resident Greater one-horned rhinos.
Breakfast at our lodge and lunch taken at a local eatery. The whole day will be spent in and around the Tharu village of Bantarya……this is where our chief guide, Rajan, was born and still lives. We will visit his home to meet his elderly parents (his Mum is 97 years old). Then visit a local water course where bee-eaters nest on the adjoining banks and local ladies fish with circular nets……pyramid shaped baskets perched precariously on their heads. In the afternoon we will join local people who have survived Leopard and Tiger attacks in the community forests. Despite suffering appalling injuries they still play an active role in local committees set up to protect the wildlife and to inform on poachers.
This trip is a combination of wildlife, landscapes and people photography. For the wildlife on this trip a 400, 500mm or 600mm lens will be useful for birds, mammal close-ups etc. A tripod OR better still a beanbag or soft cushion is a must. (If your budget does not run to prime lenses, a high quality 100-400mm or similar zoom can be a great alternative.) Alternatively, you can get wonderful results with a high quality digital compact camera with a 20x or higher optical zoom. For portraits and landscapes a 24-105mm or lens would be ideal.
If you have questions about what equipment you ought to bring, please contact me:
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