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While jungle safari in Chitwan National Park may have become more popular in Nepal due to accessibility factors, a few days in Bardiya National Park which used to be a hunting reserve before 1976, will definitely outmatch your experience of wilderness at its best.
Officially declared a National Park in 1988, Bardiya National Park (or Bardiya Rastriya Nikunja in Nepali) is situated in the midlands of far western Terai, bordered by the Karnali River. The park is predominately comprised of dense forests of Sal (Shorea robusta) along with a mixture of grasslands, and savannah and riverine forests, housing eight distinct types of ecosystem.
At Orbit Alpine Adventures, we highly recommend Bardiya Jungle Safari because it is far less explored by foreigners than other national parks in Nepal, and is a perfect way to witness one of the best wildlife conservation projects. If you are lucky enough, you might be able to see legally protected species of animals including one-horned rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger, wild Asian Elephant, Swamp Deer, Gharial Crocodile Gangetic Dolphin, Black Buck Antelope, Bengal Florican, Silver-eared Mesia, etc.
Bardiya National Park safari usually involves elephant back safari, jeep safari for deeper exploration of the conserved area, bird-watching, canoe ride, local village tour, jungle walk and cultural programs.
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu; transfer to hotel
Day 2: Domestic flight to Nepalgunj, followed by transfer to resort. After check-in formalities and refreshments, join a briefing session. After lunch, visit the nearby village inhabited by ethnic Tharu people, return to the resort for dinner.
Day 3: After breakfast, begin outdoor activities that include: elephant back safari, crocodile breeding center and Tharu Cultural Museum. After lunch, go out for a jungle walk and return to the resort in the evening.
Day 4: After breakfast, resume the safari activities and go out for tiger tracking and bird watching. After lunch, continue safari by jeep and return to the resort in the evening.
Day 5: After breakfast, drive to the rafting put-in point and start rafting. After lunch (packed meal), raft back to the resort.
Day 6: Breakfast, followed by a visit to Karnali River for dolphin sighting. Return to the resort for lunch and transfer to Nepalgunj Airport for the flight back to Kathmandu. Alternatively, you can drive to Chitwan, Pokhara or Lumbini, if you have plans to visit those places too.