My husband and I stayed at the Jungle Safari Lodge for 3 nights. Our tour was booked by Mosaic Adventures in Kathmandu. We paid US $210 for the 3 nights in Chitwan. A staff member from Jungle Safari Lodge was at the tourist bus station when we arrived from Kathmandu. The hotel is a short drive from the bus station. Once we arrived at the hotel we were shown to our room and asked if we had any dietary preferences for our lunch. We told them that we are mostly vegetarian, but also eat seafood and chicken. We arrived late so we missed the buffet lunch. They cooked us a delicious lunch of veggies and a piece of chicken. After lunch a guide took us on a short village tour, to the army elephant center, the park's visitor center, a short walk through the park, and showed us a nice place to watch the sunset. Later in the evening we went to the culture show. The auditorium where the show took place was packed full of tourists and hot. The show lasted about 45 minutes and was entertaining.
The second day consisted of an elephant ride that lasted a couple of hours. Our elephant walked alongside another elephant for the duration of the time. We saw some deer and birds, but no rhino while on the elephant. I recommend wearing pants during the elephant ride since the elephant will brush against trees and branches. After the elephant ride we watched the elephant bathing. We opted not to ride the elephant while bathing. It was entertaining enough to watch the other tourists get wet and fall off the elephants into the water. In the afternoon we took a 4 hour jeep ride in the park. Chitwan is such a beautiful place. The vegetation was very dense and lush making it difficult to spot many animals. I am impressed at how tall the elephant grass grows. Half way through the tour we stopped at the Gharial breeding center in the park. They are breeding Gharials in a safe environment and release them into the wild when they are large enough. After seeing a few birds, a wild pig, and some deer we finally saw 1 female rhino after driving around the park for 3.5 hours. She was huge!!! She stared at us for a couple of minutes before running across the road and into the bushes.
The third day was an early start with the canoe ride which lasted about 45 minute followed by a bird watching walk. We saw 1 marsh mugger during the canoe ride and lots of birds. We spent the rest of the morning shopping in the small town. If you want to buy a one-horned rhino carving, this is the place! In the afternoon, we took a jungle walk and saw 2 rhinos, a mom and a 5 year old baby, in the distance. We watched them for a while before walking to the elephant breeding center. According to our guide, the elephants that are bred there are used by the government and army to patrol the park for poachers. Later in the evening, my husband discovered that he had a leech on him. We saw a few leeches during the jungle walk and figured one crawled onto to him them. He didn't find the leech until it let go after sucking lots of blood. He bled for more than two days after the leech dropped off of him. We made good use of our first aid kit during this time! For this jungle activity, I also recommend wearing pants and bug spray to keep the leeches off.
Ram, our guide for the jeep tour and canoe ride, was fabulous. He spoke English well and knew a lot about the wildlife there. He said that he has seen 12 tigers in the past 8 years that he has worked as a guide. Don't expect to see a tiger in Chitwan. If you do, you are very fortunate. The guide for our jungle walk didn't speak English well so we weren't able to communicate much with him.
The staff at the Jungle Safari Lodge was fantastic. All employees that we had contact with were friendly, extremely helpful, and welcoming. Most employees spoke English well. The food in the restaurant was quite good. We have no complaints.
The room that we stayed in was basic, but fairly clean. It was also musty and smoky smelling. Smoking is not allowed in the rooms, but we figured out where the smoke smell was coming from. We stayed in a room on the bottom floor in the far corner of the hotel. If I remember correctly, it was in the Kingfisher building and room #2. It was next to a stable where elephants are kept. During the day, someone at the elephant stable would burn old straw/plant material and most likely elephant dung. Some of the smoke ended up in our room. All of our belongings smelled like smoke by the time we left the hotel. They are doing construction at the hotel. It looks like they are either building or remodeling rooms. Once completed, I think that these rooms will be better than the room that we stayed in.
Overall, we loved the tours that the hotel offered in Chitwan and the staff. They were fabulous. I give the tours and staff 5 stars. As mentioned before the room was very basic and an upgrade to the rooms are needed. 3 stars for the rooms.
If we visit Chitwan again, we will definitely consider staying at Jungle Safari Lodge and will request one of the newly built/remodeled rooms.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With more than 20 years of experience in safari lodge, Jungle Safari Lodge is one of the best base for wildlife adventure in Chitwan National Park of Nepal. Our services and professionalism catering to the needs of our guest have earned us a good reputation along the years among our agents all over the world. Jungle Safari Lodge is an exciting combination of luxury and wildlife adventure in Chitwan National Park. Our all rooms are air conditioned with attached bathroom running hot and cold water round the clock. We offer various safari activities such as Elephant Safari, Jeep Safari, Canoe Safari, Bird Watching, Elephant Breeding Center, Jungle Walk, Tower Night Stay, Tharu Cultural Dance Presentation, Elephant Bath, Visit to Elephant Stable, Visit to Tharu Museum, Sunset View and other many more.... ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jungle Safari Hotel Sauraha