Most travelers to Nepal think of trekking in the Himalaya, but there's another entirely different landscape to explore in the south of Nepal—Chitwan and Bardia National Parks. Under the forested canopies of these two national parks, you'll spot rhinos, tigers, elephants, and a variety of birdlife. Here's a guide for planning trips to these two regions.
Best of Chitwan
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Chitwan National Park Essentials
Nepal is a geographically diverse place. Though many travelers associate the country with the Himalayas, a significant portion of Nepal's land is flat—including on the Terai, the plains and forests near the border of India. With this ultimate guide to the Terai, discover another side of Nepal, from national parks filled with rhinos to the birthplace of the Buddha.
Chitwan showcases another side of Nepal, where the landscape and culture are completely different from what you'll find in the Himalaya. Spending two or three days in Chitwan is a great way to complement your trek, and here are a few of the best things to do during your time there.
Nepal is an excellent destination for jungle treks, safari tours, and off-the-beaten-track adventure. If it's wildlife and national parks you're after, there are lodges in the heart of the jungle that rise above the competition to provide sustainable wilderness experiences that also prioritize comfort.
Chitwan National Park Itineraries
See another side of Nepal with this five-day itinerary that focuses on the grasslands and jungle of Chitwan National Park. Start with sightseeing in Kathmandu before two days of safari—you'll have the chance to see rhino, various types of monkeys, and perhaps even the elusive Royal Bengal tiger. During your stay in the park, you'll spend your evenings in a riverside, air-conditioned bungalow in the jungle.
While Nepal is known as a country of hills and mountains, many visitors are pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the Terai, the lowlands bordering India. The Chitwan National Park is a jewel on the Terai. It has run a very successful one-horned rhinoceros breeding program, and visitors on safari are almost guaranteed to spot one of the spectacular animals, as well as other wildlife. This tour gives you time to fully explore the highlights of Chitwan, while staying in some luxurious--as well as unique--accommodation.
Although Nepal is perhaps better known for its extremely high mountains, it is actually a very geographically and topographically diverse country. The plains bordering India, the Terai, are home to thick jungles and extensive wildlife, which are a surprise and highlight for many travelers. Visitors to the Terai shouldn't miss the Chitwan National Park, which has run a very successful one-horned rhinoceros breeding program. You're all but guaranteed to spot one of these incredible animals, as well as other wildlife and birds, in Chitwan. On this tour you'll have time to explore the highlights of Chitwan while staying in some luxurious and unique accommodation.
Mixing outdoor and jungle activities with a healthy dash of comfort and service, this trip will take you through the best of Nepal—with time for both adrenaline rushes and relaxation. The adventure starts in Kathmandu with a flight over the mountains, continues to the country's oldest temples, and leaves time for views of the Annapurna range, where thirteen peaks scrape the sky. Two days of rafting send you through the jungle to finally discover the abundant wildlife of Chitwan National Park.
Experience the diversity of Nepal through a visit to Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan. Kathmandu is a vibrant city, where they say there are more temples than abodes and more gods than men. In Pokhara, Nepal's adventure capital, you can relax by the lakeside or go paddling, paragliding, or trekking in the nearby Himalaya. Then, head to Chitwan, Nepal's lowest altitude at just under 100m above sea level, and go on a safari to see rhinos, various types of monkeys and deer, and perhaps even a tiger.
Nepal is known for its snow-capped Himalayan peaks, and this tour offers a taste of that imposing grandeur—but it also encompasses the grassy lowlands of the Terai in Nepal's south. Take in stunning views of the world's tallest mountains and immerse yourself in the bustle of local village life. Wake up to sounds of nature and break your fast with the elephants. Explore the best of central Nepal and Chitwan!
Experience the diversity of Nepal with this golden triangle of Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan National Park. Begin with sightseeing in Kathmandu, followed by a visit to Pokhara and villages in the stunning Annapurna region. From there, head to your riverside jungle resort in Chitwan. Spending some time on safari, you'll have a great chance of seeing rhino, various types of monkeys and deer—and perhaps even an elusive tiger.
This unique wildlife experience takes you all the way across the Southern Terai region of Nepal. Starting from Chitwan National Park, for a special elephant encounter and safaris to see the endangered one-horned rhinoceros, you'll move west to explore the remote Bardia National Park in search of the elusive Bengal Tiger. En route, you'll also spend some time in spiritual Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha.
The Chepang Hill Trek is an off-the-beaten-path route that takes you through indigenous Chepang communities of Nepal. These people have their own distinct language, and lead a nomadic life. Enjoy views of Rolwaling, Gauri Shankar, Langtang, Manaslu, the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri and more while on this easy trek. The trek will be followed by a relaxing jungle safari in Chitwan National Park, where you'll spot all kinds of wild animals.
See the best of Nepal's Golden Triangle on this relaxed itinerary that takes you from the streets and shrines of Kathmandu to the lakeside bliss of Pokhara and the wilds of Chitwan National Park. You'll have lots of time to explore Nepal's capital and the gorgeous sacred sites around it. Later, relax by Phewa Lake, gazing up at the incredible views of the Annapurnas. Cap off your trip with a jeep game drive or river safari, meeting a host of Nepalese creatures and possibly spotting a Bengal Tiger along the way!
Experience all that Nepal has to offer in this luxury trip that combines the thrill of trekking the Himalaya, going on exotic jungle safaris (by jeep and by boat), and exploring both city centers and rural life... all in style. This itinerary combines a 4-day trek through the Annapurna region with time to explore Kathmandu, the lakeside city of Pokhara, as well as a stint in the jungle, where you'll stay in an elephant camp. Spend your days adventuring and your nights relaxing in luxe accommodations, as you enjoy sweeping vistas and stellar hospitality.
This trip combines the main cultural and natural highlights of Nepal's three main regions—Kathmandu, Chitwan, and Pokhara. You'll spend a night in the hilltop village of Nagarkot and the ancient cities of Bhaktapur and Patan, then head south to experience the wildlife, jungle, and birthplace of Buddha. Finally, you'll have a couple days in Pokhara to relax and enjoy some adventure before departing.
Nepal's many cultural attractions have roots in Hindu and Buddhist traditions that go back thousands of years. This itinerary starts with several day-trips from Kathmandu before you head to the jungle. Balance the sacred pilgrimage sites and monuments with outdoor activities: hike in Nagarkot, paraglide in Pokhara, and ride an elephant in Chitwan National Park.
This multi-activity tour is a perfect combination of adventure and culture featuring historic villages, wildlife, and some down time. You'll explore the Kathmandu Valley's popular attractions before flying to Pokhara to begin your multi-day trek through the Annapurna foothills. Meet Gurung locals, visit beautiful Namo Buddha, raft whitewater, feed elephants, and safari in the famous Chitwan National Park.
This multi-activity tour combines adventure with villages, wildlife, and relaxation. You'll explore Kathmandu, visit the beautiful village of Namobuddha, as well as the Pokhara Valey for a multi-day trek through the Annapurna foothills. Along the way, take in a rafting adventure on the Seti River before spending a day with elephants and going on a jungle safari in the famous Chitwan National Park.
This unique wildlife experience takes you all the way across the southern Terai region of Nepal. Starting from Chitwan National Park, you'll enjoy a special elephant encounter and wildlife safaris, seeing the endangered one-horned rhinoceros. Moving west, you'll explore the remote Bardia National Park in far western Nepal, in search of the elusive Bengal tiger. In both places, you'll stay in the elegant Tiger Tops properties.
This tour takes you into the heart of the Everest region, staying in Sherpa villages along the way, including a spectacular helicopter flight by Mt. Everest. Then, you'll head south to Nepal's jungle and to Buddha's birthplace in Lumbini. To break up the drive from Kathmandu to Chitwan, you'll take a short rafting trip and overnight at a cozy resort in the village of Kurintar.
This route is an excellent opportunity to experience the culture of traditional life in the Nepali countryside, as you share the route with shepherds and donkey trains and witness traditional Nepali farming life. You'll also get those incredible views that Nepal is famous for with overnights in luxury lodges along the way. You'll then leave the mountains for the jungle to experience a completely different side of Nepal before returning back to Kathmandu.
This tour combines two great Nepal experiences: Chitwan National Park in the subtropical lowlands and the Ghandruk Trek in the Annapurna foothills. Chitwan has a wide variety of wildlife including tigers, rhinos, elephants and many bird species. The Ghandruk trek is suitable for every level—beginners, families, and older age groups alike—and includes overnight stays in Gurung villages.
Combine two classic Nepal experiences: the Ghandruk trek in the Annapurna foothills and Chitwan National Park in the lowlands of Nepal. Chitwan National Park has a wide variety of wildlife, including tigers, rhinos, elephants, and many bird species. To end the tour, you'll overnight in Namobuddha for a beautiful vantage point over the Kathmandu valley before doing some last-minute sightseeing.
This Best of Nepal tour perfectly mixes adventure and cultural exploration with relaxation. Featuring multiple days of trekking through the Annapurna foothills, you will start in the Kathmandu Valley before flying to Pokhara to begin the trekking portion of the itinerary. Discover Gurung villages and ancient temples and feed elephants and safari in the Chitwan National Park.
This tour combines three of Nepal's most famous regions—Everest, Pokhara, and Chitwan. You'll start with a short multi-day trek into the heart of the Everest region to Namche Bazaar for views of Mount Everest. Returning to Kathmandu, you'll fly to Pokhara for a bit of relaxation and optional day tours into the surrounding hills. Finally, you'll head south to Nepal's jungle in Chitwan, to experience the wildlife and unique cultures of this region.
This adventure combines the Himalaya with the jungle. You'll trek to the foot of the tallest mountain in the world and then reward yourself with a relaxing getaway in the jungle of southern Nepal. During the trek, you'll pass through traditional Sherpa villages and Buddhist monasteries with great views of Cho-Oyu, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. Then, you'll fly to Chitwan to spot wildlife, experience the elephants, and relaxing at a comfortable resort.
This trip connects the three main regions of Nepal and moves at a relaxed yet steady pace to help you get the most out of your time. You'll go from the bazaars and temples of Kathmandu to traditional villages, and then onto Pokhara and Phewa Lake, after which you'll take a short trek in the Annapurna foothills with unforgettable views of the Himalaya. Round out your journey in Chitwan National Park, where you'll see elephants and other wildlife in their natural habitat, before heading back to Kathmandu.
Experience the beauty of Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan. This tour takes you past small farming villages where you'll get the opportunity to experience local daily life, beautiful scenery of lush green forests, ancient temples, and rich terraced fields. Featuring a short easy trek, this itinerary is ideal for those short on time or new to trekking who want to explore the Pokhara Valley.
This offbeat trip plan is perfect for the explorer looking to combine a trek with cultural discovery, a jungle safari, and an epic helicopter tour of the Himalaya. Get to know the traditions and history of the Kathmandu Valley, then hike through the gorgeous Annapurna region and summit Pikey Peak, where you'll enjoy a spectacular view that Edmund Hillary claimed as his favorite of Everest. Trade the trail for the jungles with a safari in Chitwan National Park, then end your trip on a high note with areal views of the Himalaya on a flight above the world's tallest peaks.
This route takes you off-the-beaten-path in the lower Annapurna region to multiple spectacular viewpoints. You'll hike through local villages, terraced farmland, and dense bamboo, oak, pine, and rhododendron forests to rewarding vistas of snow-capped Himalaya. Contrast your adventure with a relaxing stay in the peaceful village of Bandipur before heading south to explore Chitwan's jungle and wildlife.