I very seldom give poor reviews, but in view of the previous positive reviews, feel some aspects of our stay should be be highlighted to give a balanced view. The lodge is outside Chitwan National Park, 1.5km from the park in the village of Jagatpur. It is sitauted in 'the buffer zone' between the agricultural land of the village and the River Rapti which borders Chitwan. On arriving we were met by our guide who gave us a 'program' determined by the manager of the lodge. Our stay was 3 nights and 2.5 days, but we were told we would only spend part of one day actually inside the park, even though there were gaps in the program marked 'optional' with no activity planned. We were told this was because the wildlife in the park is no better than in the buffer zone and that the entrance fee to the park is expensive at Rs 1500 (approx $16). We were very disappointed and unhappy this should be the case given the 5 hour trip from Kathmandu and the cost of the stay at over US$350. We voiced our concerns and it was suggested we spoke with the manager, Mr Kumar. Mr Kumar gave us numerous excuses as to why we couldn't enter the park including saying 'if you go there is only one track and you'll have to do the same tomorrow', whilst wondering how there could be only one track in such a large park, we pointed out that the wildlife would vary so this was fine. He then made further excuses saying we couldn't go as 'the jeep is in the garage', or 'we'll take you to a lake instead' etc. We repeatedly asked why, when coming so far to visit a national park, we couldn't spend the at least half of the time actually in the park, he seemed not to want to answer this question directly. We had to stand arguing with him and literally force his hand to hire a jeep for us. I still don't understand why he was so reluctant to allow us to enjoy what is the main selling-point of his lodge. Presumably it was monetary. The other big disappointment was the food. After some fairly repetitive, bland trekking food for 16 days, we were looking forward to a something slightly better given the relatively high price of the lodge by Nepali standards. Unfortunately the food was definitely inferior to the average teahouse! There was no choice whatsoever, the food was bland, served cold or luke warm, meals were repeated several times over a 3 night stay and the quality was poor. We were the only guests staying at the time. Our request (made in advance) for vegetarian food was addressed by merely omitting food. Breakfast one morning was a half plate of cold potatoes sitting in a pool of oil.
By far the best thing about the whole place was our guide, he was a gem! As enthusiastic birdwatchers we were very impressed both by his knowledge (based on 25 years experience as a naturalist in Chitwan) his amazing bird identification skills and his approach in general. He also kindly varied from the program to provide a flexibility that his manager refused to provide. He really made the trip for us and showed us up close the amazing bird and wildlife of Chitwan. We tipped accordingly and if returning to Chitwan would contact him directly and stay elsewhere.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Eco Wildlife Lodge, Chitwan, Nepal, is set in peaceful surroundings within local farmland and with views of the community forest and, on a clear day, the Annapurna and Manaslu Himalayas.If you are seeking tranquil surroundings as well as the opportunity to see and learn more about the wildlife, flora, fauna, culture and history of the area, Eco Wildlife Lodge is the perfect place to be. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Eco Wildlife Lodge Nepal/Chitwan District