The national parks of Chitwan are a 5 ½ hr drive on rough roads from Katmandu. There is also an option to fly, but I hate the Katmandu airport so much, that when I return – I think I will choose to drive again.
We chose Nepal Dynamic Eco tours for Chitwan and I would chose them again. They had no hidden fees and very personalized service. My only complaint would be the down time between activities. But we loved our guide, Bishnu and we thoroughly enjoyed all of our activities.
- Evening walk along the river was a great introduction to the area and we saw our first Rhino, Gharials (crocodiles), Elephants and over 25 types of birds (I stopped counting and recording them at 25).
- A morning jeep safari through the park yielded some amazing Rhino viewing. I also really enjoyed the drive through the villages to where you could see people waking up and starting their day.
- Canoe ride down the river allowed us to get up close to the wildlife and nature – even the Gharials!
- But the jungle walks and night in the tree house was my favorite. The tree house was much more luxurious than expected (lights, toilet, beds with mosquito nets) and we were able to see more wildlife including evidence of tigers (but no actual tiger sightings).
Some additional thoughts and tips:
- We stayed at the Royal Park hotel which was very comfortable and charming.
- We ate at KC’s twice. They had an extensive menu, great food and outside seating.
- My friends also ate at the Greasy Spoon and said it was also good (but not as good as KC’s).
- If on the fence, skip the cultural show. But do hang out in town in the evening to try and catch a Rhino or two walking through.
- Regardless of how hot it is, long pants, long socks and closed toed shoes are a must for the park. Even with long pants and closed toed shoes I found four leeches on me after our jungle trek. Yuck!!
- We were told that March – May is the best time for wildlife. The struggle is Oct and Nov are the best times for trekking…
- If driving to Pokhara to or from Chitwan, it is worth a stop in Bandipur. It is a charming town with amazing views. I read good things about the Old Inn. We ate at the Bakery restaurant which had the best momos and brownie of the trip!
Cover photo is from Spokenlight photography!