A few days in the Jungles of Nepal, searching for the Royal Bengal Tiger. Along the way, understand the human animal conflict, walk with elephants or tick off birds from your list of sightings. The one horned rhino sighting is almost guaranteed.
The Royal Bengal Tiger in Chitwan has doubled in number, making Nepal's reputation in Tiger conservation one of the best in the world. For a few years, we also had zero poaching of the endangered one horned rhino, and sightings of this majestic creature almost a certainity.
Chitwan also boasts an incredible variety of birds, making it one of the world premier bird watching destinations.
Some of the animals that are sighted during activities in Chitwan are - the Asian one horned Rhino, Asian Elephant, Cheetal spotted deer, wild Boar, Langur & Rhesus Monkeys, the Gharial aligator and the magar crocodile, over 300 varieties of birds, etc. And, of course, if you are incredibly lucky, the Royal Bengal Tiger.
RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES IN CHITWAN
Walking with the Giants (3 hours) - a walk with the giants while they graze, done well, can be equal to a safari, as the giants keep predators away, and you are safe while in the jungle. You also learn a ton about these gentle giants, and how intelligent they are.
Feeding the Giants (1.5 hours) - A chance to get close to the mahouts and work with them to create little delicacies for the Giants, a supplement that contains salt, straw, grain, that they really like, and is good for captive elephants. Done at the chain free enclosures.
Canoe Safari (2 hours) - a gentle punt down the small tributaries of the Rapti river, to see crocodiles, aligators, an occasional rhino and if you are very lucky, the tiger.
Jungle Walk (half day) - a three to four hour walk inside the jungle, where finally you are at equal footing with the animals, and be and exhilarating adrenalin rush, when done with a well trained proper guide.
Village Walks (three hours) - walk to a local Tharu village, to see how village life unfolds in the south of the country. Try to add in a meal at the village to enjoy some local delicacies
Cycling safari (three hours) - depending on where you are, you can cycle a flat dyke, or some jungle roads in the buffer zone, which is easy and fun. Meander into lazy villages. Guided, this can be equivalent to a safari.
At socialtours, we do NOT RECOMMEND doing the Elephant safari, not because carrying humans is bad for the elephant, but mostly because, from what we understood in our research, the training measures are inhumane, and its not natural for an elephants to approach either the rhino or the tiger - they do not want to be in this situation. We request travellers to use their own judgement.
We highly recommend the Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge, which is the pioneer in conservation focussed tourism in Nepal. Choose this option if you want to ensure that your actions has a minimal carbon footprint and with a company that is genuinely putting conservation first!
We also recommend the Sapana Village Lodge, which though it is located in the very frequented Sauraha part of Chitwan, is making big strides in doing the right thing around conservation.
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Day Tours | What to carry
The day tours are the ones where you have to worry the least about what to carry. However, some information is always helpful.