Chitwan in Brief
A city with terai people and their culture, a destination close to Capital and a popular point to travel to many cities in the country by bus. For travelers, it is one of the most admired cities for wildlife activities such as nature tours and safari.
About Chitwan City
If you wanted to see birds and animals in Nepal, this is where you would come. For animal lovers, Chitwan national park offers them an opportunity of a life time to see Royal Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinos, various species of birds and butterflies. Your choice of Resorts and lodges are located in the region. Most include elephant safaris, jungle walks, canoeing and cultural activities.
Attractions in Chitwan includes learning about the Tharu people, traditional dance and songs are performed in resorts and lodge entertainment, and visiting the national park.
Chitwan’s National Park is the main attraction in the region. This park is regarded as the best national park of Nepal, and is also the most developed one. Elephant Breeding Center, Crocodile Farm are two other must see locations in the park.
Main activities in Chitwan include Jungle Safari, Bird Watching and Boat Tour. Jungle Safari is the most popular one. You will journey into the deep forest riding on elephant back, you will witness the preserved natural assets of Nepal, birds, flora and fauna. World’s one of the most endangered species, Bengal Tigers are found abundant in Nepal, many in Chitwan national park. If it’s your day, you might see them too.
The other major animal you will see is the one-horned rhinos whose famous place to live on earth is none other than Nepal. The park is also famous for bird watching, and boat tours. A walk to nearby villages is also a recommended thing to do.
A newly developed tourism area providing an unique opportunity for travelers isn’t so far away than you think. Witness some local culture, traditions and embrace Chepang culture. On clear days, view mountain range from Dhaulagiri to Kanchenjunga. Depending on how far you wish to go, there are trekking programs from 3 days to 5 days to all the way up to 8 days. In comparison to other trekking areas, this trekking is easy, fun, relaxing and memorable. Route has become popular – now, Nepali travel agents offer complete travel package specially made for this region. A typical package would include arrival to Kathmandu, sightseeing, departure to Chitwan, trekking and then back to Kathmandu for your onward journey – all in 3 days or more.
- Cost : a 5 days trekking shouldn’t cost you more than $500 alone but traveling in a group of 7 or more is advised for bargain.
- Best Time for Trekking ? :February to May
- Elevation : The highest hill is Siraichuli – 6384 ft (1946m)
- What to look for in a travel package ? : Combine food, guide, porter and accommodation, and be sure to find Hattibang, Siraichuli, Jyandala, Chisapanitar, Gadi and Shaktikhor regions in the route of your trekking program.
Main Things to Do
Knowing what others do can help you add some extra activities into your program. To learn more about these activities, see separate pages under “Activities” Menu.
- As you have already learned Chitwan is visited by tourists for wildlife. Those who visit Chitwan for a day or two are missing a lot. For best, we recommend that you spend 5 to 7 days. Give a day or two for jungle tour, then rest of your program for trekking and nature/village walks.
- Bird Watching
- Elephant Polo – During polo season, this strange yet unique sport draws thousands of visitors to Chitwan
- Paragliding – gliding from up above the Chitwan land, can be both adventurous and rewarding.
How much will it cost ?
This greatly depends on your choice of accommodation and activities. See Jungle Safari under activities to find our cost.
A Maximum Budget around US$700 for a week stay should be good enough for Chitwan for Jungle tour, food and accommodation. Add a few more for trekking. For best deals look for companies that have exclusive services for the region such as Chitwan Resort for safari programs other then getting services from non exclusive agents for this activity such as trekking operators whose main activities remain towards the Himalayas.
There are packages starting from 1 night / 2 days to up to 6 nights and 7 days. The 1 night / 2 days will be a fast ride; wake up, get up, go to the jungle, have a lunch, see some culture program then head back to Kathmandu or Pokhara. Chitwan was not developed over-night, it took years to bring what this park is today. We recommend at least 5 nights / 6 days travel program for Chitwan which includes some of the activities we listed above plus more for those interested in a longer jungle tour, for those visiting Nepal for study on nature or casual birding activities.
Best time to visit
Chitwan National Park – October to May, Bird Watching – December to March. Maximum temperature can reach up to 95 Fahrenheit (35 C) in April through September. November through February are cooler months with average temperature around 67 Fahrenheit.
Chitwan and Rural Tourism
Most of Nepal lies in what could be described as the Nature’s own land – untouched by modern civilization. Although Chitwan is a modern city, many parts of it are still in rural areas. Through tourism, Nepal tries to alleviate poverty and bring development to these rural areas. When you visit Chitwan, you are in Rural Tourism arena, for you have a direct affect on the lives of many villagers and rural folks. Rural tourism is thriving in Nepal, for its seen as the true way to explore and discover Nepal. It’s not a wonder that many travel packages to Chitwan consist village tours, rural dance and cultural programs, home-stay type of accommodations and so on. Chitwan is part of the Tourism for Rural Poverty Alleviation, an ongoing push by the United Nations Development Program.
How to get there?
Chitwan is easy to reach by road or by air. There are daily flights from Kathmandu to a nearby city Bharatpur. Your travel or hotel agent will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your lodge / resort. Reservation for sightseeing and accommodation can be done from Kathmandu or Pokhara. Please note, most travel packages for Chitwan are designed for your hassle free travel. It may already include transportation, accommodation and cost of sight seeing and the National Park Fee. But be sure to check the details of your package. If you are in Kathmandu or Pokhara, you can easily get a travel deal for Chitwan. Just contact your hotel’s travel desk or nearest travel company for a package to Chitwan.
Notes & Facts
- Chitwan is known as Chitwan National Park, mainly because the city’s main attraction is the national park itself!
- Chitwan National Park is included in the list of world heritage sites, this protected area has a forest with area of 360 square miles (about 932 square kilometers)
- 7 world class resorts run by park concessionaire are located inside the park alone! Other numerous resorts and hotels are located outside the park, all giving tourists with more options for price and services.
- One Horned Rhinos and Bengal Tigers are the main two animals that are famous in the park. Spotting them while on a safari will be the joy of a life-time. To spot bengal tiger, you might have to extend your stay in Chitwan a little longer!!
- Altitude of the park ranges from 492 feet (150m) to 2673 feet (815m)
- Over a 50 different mammals and 450 species of birds are located in the park
- The prefix “Royal” is being slowly removed from many names in Nepal such as from the name Royal Nepal Airlines which is now Nepal Airlines. Similarly Royal Chitwan National Park is now just called Chitwan National Park.