Itinerary

CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK 
  • Date: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Saturday, April the 27th, 2019. From here you will be picked up by our rep and transferred to your comfortable hotel
  • Duration: 13 days, ending Tuesday the 9th of May in Kathmandu to fly back home.
  • Cost: USD6500 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

A tour party traversing a river in the Madi district of Chitwan National Park.

A tour party traversing a river in the Madi district of Chitwan National Park.
© www.clivegryllsphotography.com

Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu where you will be picked up by our rep and transferred to the famous Kathmandu Guest House for an overnight stay.

Exterior of the Barahi Hotel at night time.

Exterior of the Barahi Hotel at night time.
©Hotel Barahi

Travel by minibus to the picturesque town of Pokhara where you will at Barahi Hotel(above) close to the shores of Lake Fewa.

Rowing boats moored on Lake Fewa, Pokhara.

Rowing boats moored on Lake Fewa, Pokhara.
© www.clivegryllsphotography.com

A rest day in Pokhara, soaking up the unique ambiance of this town.  For those who wish to spend the day visiting its famous temples and sights (or to take advantage of its many adventure activities-such as paragliding, guided walks or boating on Lake Fewa) our reps will gladly assist/guide you and book these activities for you at an additional cost.

T-shirt advertising two complete years of zero poaching of the Greater one-horned rhinoceros in Chitwan National Park.T-shirt advertising two complete years of zero poaching of the Greater one-horned rhinoceros in Chitwan National Park.

T-shirt advertising two complete years of zero poaching of the Greater one-horned rhinoceros in Chitwan National Park.
©www.clivegryllsphotography.com

You will depart by minibus to the town of Sauraha by the entrance to Chitwan National Park. In the afternoon you will join up with the guests who are on OPTION ONE (FT) and meet our local guides and support staff who will discuss with you our visits to the Park that start in the morning of the next day. A sun-downer will be taken on the shores of the Rapti River and you will be dined at a local eatery.

Lesser Adjutant Stork Chitwan National Park Nepal

Lesser Adjutant Stork Chitwan National Park Nepal 
© www.clivegryllsphotography.com

After breakfast we will take a two-hour canoe ride on the Rapti river ending up in the Chararaha area of the Park and then spend a full day walking through Riverine forests and tall elephant grasslands. A packed lunch will be supplied. The birdlife that may be spotted includes: Ruby-shelled duck, Lesser adjutant stork, Black Stork, Kingfishers, Cormorants, Darters, and Egrets. There will be chances (if we are fortunate) to spot and photograph the following wildlife: Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Mugger crocodile, Chital, Hog deer, Barking deer, Wild pig and Rhesus Macaque and Grey Langur monkeys. Dinner will be taken at a local eatery.

Crested serpent eagle perched on a tree at the ’20,000 Lakes’ area found in the buffer zone/community forest outside of the Chitwan National Park

Crested serpent eagle perched on a tree at the ’20,000 Lakes’ area found in the buffer zone/community forest outside of the Chitwan National Park  
© www.clivegryllsphotography.com

After breakfast we will travel by minibus to the entry point of the ‘20,000 lakes’ area found in the buffer zone/community forest outside of the Park. From here we will walk with our guides observing birdlife and wildlife along the way until we reach the Bishazari Tal (local name)- an extensive oxbow lake system surrounded by forested wetlands that provides an excellent habitat and wildlife corridor for critically endangered and vulnerable species including Bengal tiger, Sloth bear, Smooth-coated otter, Greater one-horned rhinoceros, White-rumped vulture, Pallas’s fish-eagle, Lesser adjutant stork, Ferruginous duck, Gharial and Mugger crocodile. A packed lunch will be supplied.

Peacock flying over Riverine forest in Chitwan National Park.

Peacock flying over Riverine forest in Chitwan National Park. 
© www.clivegryllsphotography.com

After breakfast we will cross the Rapti River by canoe and enjoy a half-day walk through the Park crossing wetlands, grasslands and Riverine forest until we reach the Padampure area. Wildlife that may be spotted includes: Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Sloth bear, Gaur and all the major species of deer. The birdlife that may be spotted includes: Peacock, Babblers, Black francolin, Oriental dollarbird, Indian roller, Paradise flycatcher, Lesser golden backed woodpecker, Osprey, Crested serpent eagle and Changeable hawk-eagle. After taking lunch at a local eatery we will embark on a half-day jeep safari to the Kasara region passing through wetlands, Riverine and Sal forests and grasslands offering excellent chances of seeing the Greater one-horned rhinoceros as well as all the Park’s ungulate species including Gaur (Indian bison), Wild pig and Sloth bear. Included in this drive will be a brief visit to the ‘Crocodile Breeding Center’ where critically endangered Gharials and other endangered turtle and vulture species are bred for a return to the wild.

Asiatic elephants bathing in a river in Chitwan National Park.

Asiatic elephants bathing in a river in Chitwan National Park.
© www.clivegryllsphotography.com

After breakfast we will travel by minibus to the start of the Khorshor community forest run by local committees and after a long day’s walking will end up overnighting at the village of Pathani. Along the way-walking through mainly Sal and Riverine forest-there will be excellent chances of seeing Greater one-horned rhinos wallowing in many of the waterholes that we pass. There will also be a fair chance of spotting Elephants, Sloth bear and all of the ungulate species. Birds that we are likely to see include: Jacanas, Moorhen, Owlet and other raptors, Great hornbill and many species of Parakeets, Kingfishers and Bee-eaters. Our lodge is situated on the banks of the Rapti River where at sunset local mahouts wash their elephants and local ladies fish and collect wild grass-all of which make for excellent photographic opportunities.

Critically endangered Gharial at the ‘Crocodile Breeding Centre’ in Chitwan National Park.

Critically endangered Gharial at the ‘Crocodile Breeding Centre’ in Chitwan National Park.
© www.clivegryllsphotography.com

After having breakfast at our lodge we will embark on another long days walk through wetlands, Sal and Riverine forests to visit the lakes of Lami Tal, Kamal Tal and Tamal Tal. All three lakes offer excellent chances of seeing rhinos and are some of the best known spots to perhaps see the Royal Bengal tiger. Other wildlife in this area include Gaur (Indian bison), Sloth bear, Hyena, Monkeys, Wild pig, Mugger crocodile, Pythons and all the major Deer species. There will also be a extended detour back to the ‘Crocodile Breeding Centre’ offering superb opportunities to photograph Gharials and endangered turtles living in a semi-wild environment. Our walk will end when we cross the Rewa River to reach the hamlet of Pandavenagar where we will stay for two nights in a local Tharu homestay powered only by solar electricity. This village, part of the Madi municipality, is surrounded by the National Park on all sides and has the unenviable record of having the worst record of wildlife predation of livestock and crops in the area. Fifteen villagers have also lost their lives through elephant attacks in the last three years. The village now has collectively decided to discontinue growing crops due to continuing losses and is trying to establish itself as an alternative tourist hub…….and we will be one of the first tourist groups to support this effort. We will also contribute to a foundation being set up by our chief guides, Prakash and Rajan, to help with the education and vocational training in the village. A glorious and tasty dinner will be served at our homestay comprising of furn (jungle spinach) and locally grown soya bean seed salad washed down with alcoholic raksi made from rice.

Chitwan National Park has a population of over 120 Royal Bengal Tigers but they are very seldom seen. The tall elephant grass and dense riverine forests offer them perfect cover. This image was taken In Bandhavgahr National Park in Madhya Pradesh.

Chitwan National Park has a population of over 120 Royal Bengal Tigers but they are very seldom seen. The tall elephant grass and dense riverine forests offer them perfect cover. This image was taken In Bandhavgahr National Park in Madhya Pradesh.
© www.clivegryllsphotography.com

We will leave our homestay before first light. The area of the Park around our village offers an outstanding chance of spotting the Royal Bengal tiger either marking out and patrolling his territory or quenching their thirst at a river or waterhole. Fresh pug marks are seen on a daily basis along the natural pathways of the Hill and Sal forests of the region as well as its wetlands and grasslands. We will start our day walking to the Bhalwoli vantage point overlooking the Rio River hoping for a sighting of this mystical felid. Mid-morning will be spent visiting the old and world famous ‘Tiger Tops’ camp which remained in the Park until 2012 until all the lodges INSIDE the protected area were closed by the government. The camp-now overgrown by jungle and virtually derelict- will cast an eerie and nostalgic spell on you. Our packed lunch will be taken by a local lake. The afternoon will be spent retracing our steps and revisiting known tiger haunts: our guides sometimes posted high up in trees to maximize our chances of a spotting. This area is also sometimes visited by Wild dog (dhole) and Hyenas.

Tharu lady at the village of Pandavenagar surrounded by Chitwan National Park.

Tharu lady at the village of Pandavenagar surrounded by Chitwan National Park.
© www.clivegryllsphotography.com

The whole morning you will be guided through the village where we are staying: meeting local people from the Tharu, Bot and Fisherman tribal groupings and photographing their fascinating local life, dwellings and activities. After a late lunch we will say goodbye to our hosts at our homestay (the Chaudhary family) and take a minibus back to our lodge in Sauraha. You will be served dinner at a local eatery after a sundowner overlooking the Rapti River.

Greater One-horned rhinoceros munching on grass in the Chitwan National Park.

Greater One-horned rhinoceros munching on grass in the Chitwan National Park.
© www.clivegryllsphotography.com

After breakfast we will drive back to Kathmandu (arriving around lunchtime) where you will stay overnight at the famous Kathmandu Guest House.

This rhino died of natural causes when it was unable to climb out of quick sand. By going on this tour you are contributing to Nepal's zero poaching policy.......Thank you.

This rhino died of natural causes when it was unable to climb out of quick sand. By going on this tour you are contributing to Nepal’s zero poaching policy…….Thank you.
© www.clivegryllsphotography.com

After breakfast your tour will end and you are free to fly home. If you would like to extend your stay to take in a guided tour of the sighcaption]ts of Kathmandu then this can be arranged by us at an additional cost.

PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT

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:

www.clivegryllsphotography.com
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