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Step by step guide to planning your ideal holiday in NEPAL- Part I

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Nepal has recognized itself as a travelers and backpacker’s destination, displaying its breathtaking landscapes, pristine lakes, and rivers, huge mountains, varied cultures and traditions attached by peace and harmony. Tourism has not only helped with the exchange of culture and traditions, philosophies and principles, beliefs and ethics among nations but also has helped Nepal with its financial growth and authority. Here in this post I have tried to share all information about Chitwan National Park Safari for those who wish to do Chitwan Forest Safari with family and friends.

Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, it will incur no extra cost to you but I will get a referral bonus to fund our travels.

Tourism is the major industry in Nepal and its largest source of foreign exchange and revenue. Owning eight of the ten highest mountains in the world, Nepal is a hot spot destination for mountaineers, rock climbers and people seeking adventure. The Hindu and Buddhist heritage of Nepal and its cool weather are also robust attractions.

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Mount Everest, the highest mountain peak in the world measuring 8848m above the sea level, is situated in Nepal. Mountaineering and other types of adventure tourism and ecotourism are vital attractions for visitors. The world heritage spot Lumbini, birthplace of Buddha, is situated also in Nepal and there are other important pilgrimage sites throughout the country. Tourism in Nepal was badly affected, by the series of earthquakes in 2015.

Our itinerary

Day 1- Reaching Birgunj from Raxaul. After freshening ourselves moving to Chitwan. Night stay at Chitwan.

Day 2- Early Morning Chitwan Jungle Safari. After breakfast moving to Pokahra. Night stay at Pokhara.

Day 3- Pokhara Sightseeing. Nightstay at Pokhara.

DAY 4-Morning Pokara local market. Evening boating at Fewa Lake.

Day 5- Pokhara to Kathmandu. Night stay at Kathmandu.

Day 6– Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Nightstay at Kathmandu.

Day 7- Patan Darbar Square. Night Stay at Kathmandu.

Day 8- Kathmandu local sightseeing including Kathmandu Durbar Square, Kala Bhairav, Narayanahiti Palace, Budhanilkanta Temple, Thamel. Evening at Royal Casino. Nightstay at Kathmandu.

Day 9– Way to Nagarkot. Night stay at Nagarkot.

Day 10Nagarkot to Kathmandu. Boudhnath, Swayambhunath and Pasupatinath Temple darshan. Nightstay at Kathmandu.

Day 11Kathmandu to Raxaul via Manakamana Temple Darshan. Back to Kolkata.

We 18 family members started our journey by13021 Mithila Express from Howrah. From Howrah station it departed at 3.45 pm. We reached Asansol Jn around 9 pm and have our dinner. We reached Raxaul Jn around 11 am, 2 hours late from its schedule time. There is no pantry in the train so we have to arrange food of our own.

DAY 1- Reaching Birgunj from Raxaul. After freshening ourselves moving to Chitwan. Night stay at Chitwan.

Raxaul is border point of India side. Birgunj is border point of Nepal side. From Raxaul we have to move Birgunj and then to Chitwan. We went to the Railway crossing on the main road and went near the IOCL depot. There we saw loads of rickshaws and tongas (horse cart). From there we took tongas to Birgunj. Tonga cost of 40 INR per head during daytime and 60 INR at night.

Birgunj is a metropolitan city of southern Nepal. It lies 135 km south of the capital Kathmandu, attached north in the border of Bihar. As an entry point to Nepal from Patna and Kolkata, it is recognized as the “Gateway to Nepal”. The town has important economic significance for Nepal as most of the trade with India is via Birgunj and the Indian town of Raxaul. Tribhuvan Highway links Birgunj to Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. Simrah airport, about 30 minute drive from Birgunj has schedule flights to Kathmandu that take about 15 minutes flying time to reach to Kathmandu.

From Birgunj, Nepal, one can easily reach both Kathmandu (5 hours) and Pokhara (6.5 hours). Birgunj is roughly 10 kilometers from Raxaul. Officially, the border is open from 6 am until 10 pm. If you come from India, note that visas (for foreigners) are only issued on the Nepal side until 6 pm.

If you come during regular hours, from India crossing the border should be a cake walk. Processing takes approximately 10 minutes at either side of the border. You have to fill up an entry/exit form on both sides. You have to show your voter I card/aadhar card if you are a citizen of India.

After reaching Birgunj we went to a transit hotel to freshen up ourselves. We took our breakfast and tea and recharged ourselves to start for Chitawan. After reaching Chitwan we went straight to Safari Wildlife Lodge & Camp in Sauraha, of Chitwan National park. We reached around 2pm. They offered us welcome drinks. There are many hotels in Sauraha. One can choose and pre-book any one of them online. At the hotel, we arranged for our jungle safari for the next day morning.

The views from the hotel terrace and surrounding garden is really awesome. Extra features at this hotel include tour/ticket assistance, a picnic area, and barbecue grills. The restaurant is also good to enjoy a meal. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available. Bathrooms have showers and complimentary toiletries. Amenities include complimentary bottled water, and housekeeping is provided daily. 

In the evening hotel manager arranged the colorful and heart touching Tharu Dance. The Tharu people are an ethnic group indigenous to the Terai in southern Nepal and northern India. They are accepted as an official nationality by the Government of Nepal. In the Indian Terai, they live foremost in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The Government of India considers the Tharu people as a scheduled tribe.

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DAY 2- Early Morning Chitwan Jungle Safari. After breakfast moving to Pokahra. Night stay at Pokhara.

Chitwan Forest Safari

One of the options to see the wildlife in Chitwan national park is to do a guided jeep safari. Throughout this trip you will sit in the back of an open jeep to see the animals. The driver will stop to spot animals. You will have a great chance to get some good pictures this way. Guide will also give information about the forest and the wildlife.

Chitwan national park is famous for 500 Asian one-horned rhinoceros and some hundred Royal Bengal Tigers that live in the dense forests of the park. Apart from these, there are other exotic wild animals like elephants, crocodiles, pythons, deer and brilliantly colored birds.

We entered the park through Sauraha entry point. This is the eco-tourism region. You can find many developmental activities like resorts, safari route, birdwatching sites and others here. Sauraha has the wildlife conservation centre, souvenir shop, gift shops and others in the visitor center.

The best time to visit Chitwan is from October to March, when skies are relatively clear and the average daily temperature is 25°C. However, the best time to see animals is late January to March when the tall phanta grass is cut by villagers, improving visibility significantly.

In addition, monsoon makes jeep safari harder. In the month of May itself our jeep stuck off in the mud. June to September is the monsoon month there. The safari is limited only to the buffer zone during monsoon. Flooding is very common during monsoon season. Thus, it is best to avoid it. We went there in the month of May got little rain. In Chitwan there are many activities to do-

1. Jeep Safari

The first option is a short safari. This will take about 4 hours with a maximum of 7 persons. This safari will start in the morning around 6 am and ends around 10 a.m. In the afternoon it starts around 1 p.m. and ends around 5 p.m.

The second option is a full day safari. This trip will start early in the morning and you will finish around evening. With this trip you will go deeper in the jungle and here you will have more chance to see tigers. During this trip, the lunch will be arranged by organizer in the jungle.

Wildlife Safari Timing
Timing – 6 am to 6 pm
Entry Fee of Chitwan National Park
Cost of Entry for Foreigners – 2000 NPR (valid for at some point in park and therefore the next day for buffer region if the ticket is purchased after 2 pm)
Cost of Entry for Nepal Citizens – 150 NPR
Cost of Entry for SAARC Citizens – 1000 NPR
Children below the Age of 10 – Free
Jeep Safari
Cost of Short Jeep Safari – 2000 NPR
Cost of Full Day Safari – 3800 NPR

2. Elephant Safari
Chitwan National Park Safari
Chitwan National Park Safari

This is the best selection to spot rhinos and other large predators from close. On top of elephant, you are safe from many animals, as they fail to notice the humans on top of the elephant. You can go very close to animals.
Elephant Safari
Cost Of Elephant Safari for Foreigners– 2500 NPR Per Elephant (2 People)
Cost For Nepal Citizens – 200 NPR
Cost For SAARC – 1000 NPR

3. Canoe Ride
Chitwan National Park Safari

Canoe ride is out there on the Rapti River inside the park. This is the best way to discover the shore regions to spot animals that come to quench thirst. You may spot crocodiles and many animals and birds. A boatman and guide would row you through the water route. You need not peddle yourself.

4. Jungle Walk
Chitwan Forest Safari

If you are ready for some physical activity, you can cover particular trails in the park on foot. The routes will cover small animals, colorful birds and interesting species. A guide will accompany each group to hide the park, safely and thoroughly. If you love bird watching, this is one of the best options.

5. Bird watching Tour

Chitwan Forest Safari

This safari covers jungles, grasslands and river banks, where spotting birds is extremely easy. Professional nature guide accompanies tourists in this safari. Cost 1500 NPR per head for 4 hours for all 3, 4, and 5.

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6. Elephant Breeding Center
Chitwan Forest Safari

This is the major attraction of the region. You can watch the calves playing; you can feed them, bathe them and take a ride on adult elephants.
Elephant Breeding Center
Entry Cost for Foreigner – 60 NPR
For Nepal Citizens – 10 NPR
For SAARC – 25 NPR
Timing – 6 am To 6 pm
Cost for Elephant Bath Show – 200 NPR
Around 10 am we came back to our resort. After our bath and breakfast we got ready for our next destination Pokhara. After few minutes driver switch on the video in the bus. The nepali music started-

Also read HOW TO REACH NEPAL FROM VARIOUS INDIAN METROS

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