Chitwan National Park is the first national park in Nepal. Formerly called Royal Chitwan National Park it was established in 1973 and granted the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984. It covers an area of 932 km2 and is located in the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal in the Chitwan district. In altitude it ranges from about 100 metres (330 ft) in the river valleys to 815 metres (2,674 ft) in the Churia Hills.
In the north and west of the protected area the Narayani-Rapti river system forms a natural boundary to human settlements. Adjacent to the east of Chitwan National Park is Parsa Wildlife Reserve, contiguous in the south is the Indian Tiger Reserve Valmiki National Park. The coherent protected area of 2,075 km2 represents the Tiger Conservation Unit (TCU) Chitwan-Parsa-Valmiki, which covers a 3.549 km2 huge block of alluvial grasslands and subtropical moist deciduous forests.
Since the end of the 19th century Chitwan – Heart of the Jungle – used to be a favorite hunting ground for Nepal’s ruling class during the winter seasons. Until the 1950s the journey from Kathmandu to Nepal’s South was arduous as the area could only be reached by foot. Thus, in an area known as Four Mile Forest comfortable camps were set up for the feudal big game hunters and their entourage, where they stayed for a couple of months shooting hundreds of tigers, rhinocerosses, leopards and sloth bears.
In 1950 Chitwan’s forest and grasslands extended over more than 2,600 km2 and was home to about 800 rhinos. When poor farmers from the mid-hills moved to the Chitwan Valley in search of arable land, the area was subsequently opened for settlement, and poaching of wildlife became rampant. In 1957 the country’s first conservation law inured to the protection of rhinos and their habitat. In 1959 Edward Pritchard Gee undertook a survey of the area, recommended creation of a protected area north of the Rapti river and of a wildlife sanctuary south of the river for a trial period of ten years. After his subsequent survey of Chitwan in 1963, this time for both the Fauna Preservation Society and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, he recommended extension of the sanctuary to the south
However, by the end of the 1960s 70% of Chitwan’s jungles were cleared using DDT, thousands of people had settled there, and only 95 rhinos remained. The dramatic decline of the rhino population and the extent of poaching prompted the government to institute the Gaida Gasti – a rhino reconnaissance patrol of 130 armed men and a network of guard posts all over Chitwan. To prevent the extinction of rhinos the Chitwan National Park was gazetted in December 1970 with borders delineated the following year and established in 1973, initially encompassing an area of 544 km2
In 1977 the park was enlarged to its present area of 932 km2. In 1997 a bufferzone of 766.1 km2 was added to the north and west of the Narayani-Rapti river system, and between the south-eastern boundary of the park and the international border to India.
The park’s headquarter is located in Kasara. Close-by the Gharial and Turtle Conservation Breeding Centres have been established. In 2008 a Vulture breeding centre was inaugurated aiming at holding up to 25 pairs of each of the two Gyps vultures species now critically endangered in Nepal – the Oriental white-backed vulture and the slender-billed vulture.
Tour itinerary: 6 nights/7 days Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley and Chitwan.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu Tribhuwan international airport, Nepal.
I will be on standby air-condition vehicle and displaying your named template at the airport on that day to pick you up and transfer to your hotel then within one hour later, will go to orientation walk to get familiar with your surrounding or sightseeing in Kathmandu valley if possible otherwise, will be rest in your hotel.
Day 02: Full day cultural and historical sightseeing in Kathmandu valley by a.c. vehicle.
Boudanath stupa (one of the biggest Buddhist temple in Nepal), One of the holy place of Pashupatinath temple, Swayambhunath stupa ( monkey temple ), and Hanuman dhoka durbar square (Kathmandu durbar square).
Overnight at hotel.
Day 03: Full day cultural and historical sightseeing in Kathmandu valley by a.c vehicle.
Bhaktapur durbar square, Patan durbar square, and One of the oldest Hindu temple of Nepal Changunarayan. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04: Drive to Chitwan National Park approx. 5 hours by private vehicle.
After breakfast at 8:00 a.m. we will drive to Chitwan. It is approximately 200 kilometers away from Kathmandu. On the zigzag way of mountain areas, we will pass through beautiful landscape, paddy terraces, river, tiny villages, mountain views, small town etc. on the way to Chitwan, we will have drink tea or coffee or lunch then continue our destination. Between 1 to 2 p.m. we will reach to Chitwan and transfer to hotel or resort where you will be offered refreshment and be given a briefing and it`s facilities. After being given your programs for the day, your room will then be allocated to you. According to the briefing, will start your programs: 2 nights/3 days
At 13:00 hrs. will be arrival and refreshment time.
At 13:30 hrs. will be lunch time.
At 15:00 hrs. will be elephant breeding center: This is a first elephant breeding center in Asia. Naturalist will take us there to show the baby elephants socializing with their parents, show how the elephant meals are prepared and eat. They will explain the nature and the habits of the elephant. The center is government owned and its purpose is to raise the young elephant to secure a viable population. Sun set view from the bank of Rapati river.
At 19:00 hrs.Tharu cultural dance presentation ( which you will also participate in ) by the local villagers or slide show presentation on almost everything under the Chitwan.
At 20:00 hrs. Dinner and Overnight at hotel or resort.
Day 05: Wildlife activities program.
At 5:30 hrs. wake up call.
At 06:00 hrs .tea/ coffee followed by natural walk for bird watching: The Chitwan national park is a home for more than 915 species of bird include resident and migratory. Naturalist will help us to view and identify them such as cormorants, egrets, storks, cranes, jacanas, miniverts, ibis, woodpeckers, hawks, osprey, falcons, kestrel, hornbills, floricans, kites, cuckoos, kingfishers, swallows, orioles, babblers etc. Birds watching is always best on foot early in the morning.
At 07:30 hrs. Breakfast.
At 08:30 hrs. Dugout canoe ride along with National park visit center and village tour on ox cart or by vehicle: During the canoe trip on the Rapati river, you will be able to view aquatic plants, creatures and different types of brightly colored birds. Two types of crocodiles- may catch a casual glimpse of Gharials and Mugger basking on the river bank. Visit to national park visitor`s center where you can get more information about National park, history and wildlife. Tharus are the malaria resistant tribal and indigenous inhabitants of the Tarai. Naturalist will help us to meet the Tharu people and experience their traditional way of living. This remains us many years back to human civilization.
At 13:00 hrs. lunch time.
At 15:00 hrs. elephant back safari ( approx. 2 hrs.): we can monitor wildlife activities in the deep jungle while sitting on a well trained elephant. An excellent opportunity to see four different kinds of deer, rhinoceros, wild boar, monkey, leopard, sloth bear, and the royal Bengal tiger ( if we are lucky ). We will also encounter many other smaller mammals that have made chitwan their home. It is safest and closest option to view the flora and fauna of the park.
At 20:00 hrs. Dinner and overnight at hotel or resort.
Day 06: At 06:30 hrs. Wake up call.
At 07:00 hrs. Breakfast
At 09:00 hrs. Back from Chitwan to Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.
After this cultural, historical and National park sightseeing tour if you would interest for further activities like rafting tour, Hiking tour, Trekking etc. I organize the trip according to your desire. If you decided to leave Nepal, I transfer to Airport for your onward destination. Note: Above mention itinerary will be up and down according to the park`s and hotel rule.