ItineraryCHITWAN 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
“All images appearing on this web site, unless noted otherwise, are the exclusive property of Clive Grylls. The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Clive Grylls. These copyright laws impose substantial penalties for infringement, and violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The use of any images or other materials included herein, in whole or in part, for any purpose other than the private purpose of viewing them online, including, but not limited to, copying, reproduction, publication (including on Internet Web Site), including third party web pages by any means, including “hotlinking”, storage in a retrieval system (other than internet browser), manipulation (digital or otherwise), or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,recording or otherwise, is expressly prohibited without the written permission of Clive Grylls. All artistic and moral rights of the author are hereby asserted. For online use on social media sites, you may use images from this website…. provided you keep the watermark intact, clearly credit Clive Grylls next to the image, and link back to his social media page.”