Bardia National Park- Situated in the mid-far western Terai, bordered by the Karnali River, Bardia National Park covers 968 sq. km. It is 585 km from Kathmandu and is the largest and most undisturbed expanse of wilderness in southern Nepal, although it is also the least explored by tourists.
About 70% of the park is covered with sal jungle; the remaining 30% is a mixture of grassland, savannah and riverine forest. The park contains eight types of ecosystem. The park headquarters are situated at Thakurdwara (also the location of Forest Hideaway) and is surrounded by idyllic villages and fields inhabited by an indigenous ethnic group, the ‘Tharu’.
Bardia National Park is a key element in Nepal’s efforts to preserve the Bengal tiger and its prey species, while protecting the related ecosystems. The park initially began as a small area known as the Karnali Wildlife Reserve in 1976. It was renamed the Bardia Wildlife Reserve In 1982, extended to its current size in 1984 and in 1988, Bardia was given National Park status. Today there are nearly 50 Bengal tigers that make Bardia National Park their home.
Bardia National Park has also become an important sanctuary for the greater one-horned rhinoceros. The rhinoceros was re-introduced into the area from Chitwan National Park in 1986. With careful management and several other relocations from the Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park now has over 80 rhinoceros living within its boundaries.
Conservation efforts have also seen a return of the Asian elephant to the Bardia National Park. The elephant population has grown from a handful of individuals in the early 1990’s to over 60 today. Domesticated elephant rides are provided in Bardia National Park allowing visitors the opportunity to go off the main trails and enjoy the wildlife of more remote areas of this national park.
Getting to Bardia National Park
4 daily, approx one hour flights from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj ( Bardia, nearest airport) operated by Buddha Air & Yeti Airlines in the morning and evening. There will be an approx 2 hours ( 95 km ) scenic drive from Nepalgunj airport to Thakudwara ( the main village of Bardia National Park – HQ)
It will be an approx 14-15 hrs drive (585 km) by private vehicle from Kathmandu to Bardia National Park. From Lumbini, it will be an approx 6-7 hrs drive and from Chitwan National Park, it will be an approx 8-9 hrs drive by private vehcile.
Activities can be done at Bardia National Park
Karnali river, a longest and largest river of mid-west Nepal is well known for the large volume of water and unlike other rivers in Nepal, its has been inhabited by the endangered Gangetic Dolphins, soft-shelled turtles and Mahseer fish etc. So any traveler willing to experience some fishing tour, fishing game and other river side activities can come an enjoy the trip with some good fishing equipment. Also the Karnali bridge at chisapani offers a great viewpoint for observing water body around.
The best time for fishing is generally October to April.
KARNALI RIVER RAFTING
An early morning 30 km drive by jeep will drop you by the Karnali River. This is followed by a serene day rafting down the gentle Karnali. Drifting down the river allows you to spot wildlife, especially the endangered freshwater Gangetic dolphin, the gharial crocodile, exotic birds and big game on the nearby river banks. Swimming is also possible and sometimes the dolphins may join you!
Bardia National Park provides a number of well looked after domestic elephants. These fearless, majestic animals provide the safest and easiest way to move around inside the park. Walking through tall grasslands and dense jungle, you’ll sight wildlife safely from the back of the elephant.
THARU CULTURAL PROGRAM
This essentially dances performed by local Tharu dance troupes and is a highlight of any visit to Forest Hideaway. You will see the colorful dances with traditional costumes and music.
This is the fastest way to explore the park, allowing you to journey deep into the jungle. You visit some of the best viewing towers and you go off-road in a four-wheel drive vehicle for an unforgettable safari experience
Recommended Lodges in Bardia National Park
- High End Lodge – Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge
- Budget Lodge – Rhino Lodge Bardia
- Budget Lodge –Bardia Adventure Resort
Please contact us for package of Bardia National Park at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
By Anil Blon