Situated more than 300 miles (500 km) from Kathmandu, Bardia National Park is as remote and wild as it gets. For wildlife enthusiasts seeking an off the beaten path experience, it is a must. With only a fraction of the number of visitors compared to the more famous Chitwan National Park, you'll have a truly wild experience, one that is not overrun by crowds. 

Highlights

  • Explore the vibrant bustle of Kathmandu, the Nepali capital
  • Head into the wilds of the jungle, then enjoy luxe comforts at Karnali Lodge
  • Embark on a jeep safari at dusk in search of leopards 
  • Spot a Bengal Tiger on a jeep wildlife safari or the rare Gangetic dolphin on a river safari

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, Overnight at Karnali Lodge Bardia National Park
Day 3 Explore Bardia: In Search of the Royal Bengal Tiger Bardia National Park
Day 4 Explore Bardia: Jungle & River Safari Bardia National Park
Day 5 Fly from Bardia to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 6 Depart Kathmandu  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!

The cityscape of Kathmandu and Boudhanath Stupa
The cityscape of Kathmandu and Boudhanath Stupa

Flying into Kathmandu, you'll have views over the valley, the Himalaya, and the terraced fields below. After completing customs, a representative will be waiting to greet you outside the airport and to guide you through the initial culture shock of Kathmandu’s narrow, winding streets to your hotel.

Once you've settled in, head out and explore the city. Kathmandu Durbar Square is a great place to start your exploration, where you'll walk through narrow alleyways teeming with small shops, ancient temples, and local restaurants. If you want to stretch your legs, Swayambhunath, the white stupa rising above the valley, is the perfect spot to catch the sunset over the valley.

In the evening, the tourist hub of Thamel is a good place to grab your first meal, with a variety of restaurants to chose from offering both Western and local Nepali dishes.

Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, Overnight at Karnali Lodge

Enjoy the comforts of Karnali Lodge after a day out in the jungle

Upon arrival in Nepalgunj Airport, you will be met by a Tiger Tops representative, served refreshments and transferred to Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge, approximately a two-hour drive away. 

En route, get a feel for life in the Terai as you pass through towns, fields, and forests. Close to the lodge, you will cross the Babai River, where Marsh Mugger Crocodiles may be warming in the midday sun.

Once at Karnali Lodge, a hot Nepali lunch will be served. Many of the ingredients are organic and picked on a daily basis from the lodge's own farm.

In the afternoon, head out on a dusk jeep safari to the National Park in search of elusive tigers and leopards. Tigers hunt in the cool of the day so dusk is a perfect time to catch a glimpse of the great cats patrolling their territories. The safari will last for two and a half hours. You will be accompanied by an experienced naturalist who will provide in-depth knowledge of the local fauna and flora of Bardia National Park.

Spend your evening with cocktails around an outdoor fireplace before moving into the Ghol Ghar (Nepalese dining room) for dinner. A good setting for late-night chats, the stocked bar remains open until the last person goes to bed.

Day 3: Explore Bardia: In Search of the Royal Bengal Tiger

Keep an eye out for Bengal tigers
Keep an eye out for Bengal tigers

Wake up early to the sounds of the abundant birdlife and grab an early breakfast before embarking on a full-day jeep safari in the jungle in search of the Tiger. An experienced naturalist will guide you to various hides, lookouts, and areas of amazing vistas whilst showing you a plethora of wildlife found in Bardia National Park. Enjoy a packed lunch, whilst you wait for a glimpse of the elusive orange and black stripes. Return via the National Park Headquarters, where you can visit both the elephant and Gharial (world's rarest crocodile) breeding centers.

Return to the lodge in the early evening to a well earned cold beer or hot shower, followed by delicious dinner.

Day 4: Explore Bardia: Jungle & River Safari

Royal Bengal Tiger crossing the Karnali river in Bardia National Park
Royal Bengal Tiger crossing the Karnali river in Bardia National Park

Today, you'll have time to relax or to choose from a variety of activities to explore the jungle of Bardia. 

Elephant or Jeep Wildlife Safari
Explore the jungle by elephant ride or jeep safari, where it's best to go early when the morning mist rises over the river and grasslands and the wildlife goes to the water to drink. Monkeys chatter and birds call from the trees. If you're lucky, you'll spot an elusive Royal Bengal Tiger. After lunch, you can take a jungle walk for another opportunity to see wild animals and take some great photos.

Chisapani Bridge & Karnali River Safari
Embark on a one-hour drive to the Chisapani Bridge (the largest in Nepal) and the starting point of your river safari. You'll float down the Karnali river, spotting an abundance of aquatic birdlife, crocodiles and, if you are lucky, the extremely rare Gangetic dolphin. Drift slowly past small islands as the river splits watching the deer and monkeys foraging on the river bank. Following your safari, you will be picked up and driven to the lodge for a late lunch.

Explore the Local Villages
In the afternoon, it's a good time to go for a gentle stroll through the neighboring villages and paddy fields, meeting the local farmers and learn about the Tharu way of life. 

Day 5: Fly from Bardia to Kathmandu

Dawn in Bardia National Park
Dawn in Bardia National Park

After a leisurely breakfast, you'll drive back to Nepalgunj (2 hours) for your return journey to Kathmandu. In the afternoon, there will be some free time to visit other points of interest in the capital or do some last-minute shopping.

Day 6: Depart Kathmandu

The all-seeing eyes of Buddha at Swayambhunath
The all-seeing eyes of Buddha at Swayambhunath

It's time to say farewell to Nepal. Enjoy your last moments in Kathmandu with breakfast in a café, a final stroll through the narrow alleys and temples, and some final souvenir shopping. A driver will be waiting for you at your hotel to take you to the airport for your return flight home. It's best to be at the airport at least two hours prior to departure.

Map

Map of Wild & Remote West Nepal - 6 Days
Map of Wild & Remote West Nepal - 6 Days