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What is the reality of Chitwan now with no lodges in park?

Minneapolis, MN
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What is the reality of Chitwan now with no lodges in park?

This will be our first visit to Nepal, and since we had a pretty disappointing visit to Corbett in India I am thoroughly checking out the idea of a visit to this park.

There are no longer any lodges in the park itself. With all of the lodges outside the park, is this really any type of jungle or wildlife or true national park experience now? When I read about the package it seems to me that they all offer the same things and there is in reality very little time spent inside the park itself, and many of the activities just seem like filler.

If you've visited recently, what are your thoughts?

Nepal Dynamic Eco Tours and Services
Multi-day Tours, Walking Tours, Private Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Photography Tours
Chitwan Jungle Safari
Nature & Wildlife Tours, Safaris
United Jungle Guide Service
Walking Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
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1. Re: What is the reality of Chitwan now with no lodges in park?

Personally, I love going to Chitwan and have been there about 5 times over the last 20 years – But whether it is what you are looking for is difficult to answer – Maybe Bardia would maybe the better choice for you as a Lot Less people visit there, so you definitely get a greater “Away from the crowds” feeling

Whereas Chitwan is more of a destination to go to wind down and relax after a hard trek - You can get a package that will include your transportation there, all activates such as Elephant Rides, Dug-Out Canoe Trip, Jungle Walk, Cultural Show and Bird Watching / Village walk, also including food and accommodation in a budget resort for very little money – These packages also include onward transportation back to Kathmandu

You could do a lot worse that Tiger Residency – See their reviews on here


Good Luck and Happy Safe Travels


My Nepal Blog members.virtualtourist.com/m/50192/6ec/

Settle, United...
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for Nepal, Annapurna Region
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2. Re: What is the reality of Chitwan now with no lodges in park?

I agree with Rob that Chitwan is a great place to chill out after a trek, but it is a bit of a conjuring trick. The resorts along the Rapti river, for example Safari Narayani, are very pleasant places to be, with comfortable accommodation and perfectly adequate food, and the National Park is on the opposite bank of the river. Programmes in most resorts tend to be fairly leisurely and enjoyable - elephant safari, elephant bathing, jungle walk, village visit etc. but hardly a 'jungle experience'.

When I was there last year the National Park had banned resort-owned elephants from the Park (heaven only knows why - it can hardly be on environmental grounds, particularly as when we visited the Gharial Breeding Centre in the Park there were numerous tourist jeeps there !) which rendered our Elephant Safari a bit of a non-event in terms of wildlife - a few deer, but no rhino, python, leopard, and certainly no tiger !Similarly our 'jungle walk' in the Park was very pleasant, but only once we'd decided to treat it simply as a stroll in a delightful environment rather than a wildlife safari.

On previous visits I have seen rhino, both from the back of an elephant, and on foot.

The area beyond the resorts is in fact well farmed land, hardly a jungle environment, and not exactly teeming with wild-life. It is, however, worth 'escaping' for an hour or two and simply strolling: on a couple of occasions I've had delightful hours chatting with local Nepalese p it's fascinating to meet locals who are not involved in tourism.

So if you want to celebrate after your trek with a gentle experience, and normally very pleasantly warm weather, in a pleasant environment, then go for it, but don't expect a wildlife bonanza like African game parks !

Minneapolis, MN
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3. Re: What is the reality of Chitwan now with no lodges in park?

You two have really helped me get a true picture of what the environment of the park is. From what you have described, it sounds like a resort area on the edge of some wilderness with possibilities of different pleasant, but certainly not wilderness, activities to wile away your time.

An interesting tip that I read in one of the reviews of a resort was to spend the money and hire a jeep for yourselves for the entire day so you can penetrate deep into the park where they typical package tours do not have the time to go.

If we do this, I do not want to have inflated expectations so you have really helped.

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4. Re: What is the reality of Chitwan now with no lodges in park?

I am in the process of booking a trip to Nepal with a friend, and wanting to experience Jungle life too. Of course in a lodge with bed and bath however not grouped in with a bunch of tourists making so much noise the animals stay away. Would love the opportunity to spot tigers and the idea of renting a jeep to drive ourselves through the jungle seems perfect. Just park somewhere, wait and watch. If this is doable, I think we will definitely take apart in it!

Minneapolis, MN
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5. Re: What is the reality of Chitwan now with no lodges in park?

Just to make sure you didn't misunderstand what I said about renting a jeep. This is not a drive-it-yourself jeep. This is hiring a jeep driver/guide to take you into the park as a private party.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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6. Re: What is the reality of Chitwan now with no lodges in park?

I found the village walk a bit mediocre, probably because I've previously traveled quite a bit around rural villages. Most of the European tourists - most who had just finished weeks of trekking - found it interesting.

The jungle walk was great. Not many wildlife parks actually allow this due to obvious dangers. Canoe ride is worthwhile if you've never done that sort of thing before.

The highlight of course is the Elephant back safari. The thing with safaris is that people tend to focus on the "animal list" and then be disappointed if they get a low head count. Animal spotting can be a hit and a miss, and one has to relax and enjoy the novelty and the experience as a whole.

Elephant baths - again, a touristy experience - but enjoyed by everyone. Not the most luxurious hotels but it's all in a very rural part of the world.

7. Re: What is the reality of Chitwan now with no lodges in park?

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