Nepal is the country with diverse geographical and geological structure. Walking away from busy modern life to the extensive conversation system will quench your thirst for nature. Along with preservation of various animals and plants, the beautiful national parks of Nepal hold astonishing natural beauty. While at Nepal, visit the national parks and experience the unleashing beauty of nature.
This is Nepal's smallest national park with the biggest lake. Covering an area of 106 sq km Rara National Park is located in the far north-west districts of Mugu and Jumla. Lake Rara, with its crystal clear water is the heart of the park and one of the primary sources of the Mugu Karnali River. The area around the lake is dominated by sub alpine forests of blue pine, rhododendron, juniper, spruce, oak and cypress supports a wide variety of wildlife including Musk Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Leopard, Jackal, Himalayan Thar etc. Migratory birds and water fowl like Coots, Great-crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Red Crested Pochard, Mallard, Common Teal, Merganser and Gulls. The Snow Trout is the only fish recorded in the lake so far.
Rara National Park is 3 days walk from Jumla or a week trek from Surkhet. You will have to go through Nepalganj to reach both destinations. The easiest way however is an hour long charter flight to Gamghadi from where Lake Rara is an easy 2 hour walk. The best season to visit the park is in spring or in late autumn. There are no lodges in the park.
Covering 2330 sq. km Makalu Barun National Park is spread over the districts of Sankhuwasabha and Solukhumbu in northeast Nepal. The park has a unique ecosystem that is a combination of sub-tropical to alpine forests and boasts of 47 species of orchids, 67 species of medicinal herbs, and 25 of Nepal's 30 varieties of rhododendron, 19 bamboo species, 15 oak species, 48 species of primrose and 86 species of fodder trees. 400 species of birds, including the rare Spotted Wren Babbler and the Olive Ground Warbler, offer excellent bird watching opportunities for ornithologists. The endangered Red Panda, Snow Leopard, and other usual suspects such as the Himalayan Black Bear, Clouded Leopard, Ghoral, Tahr, and Wild Boar, barking deer, Himalayan Marmot, Weasel, Langur monkey and Serow can also be seen in the park. In addition the Arun River with its 84 varieties of fish originates in the park and flows down south to converge in the Saptakoshi River.
The only way to the Makalu Barun National Park is to fly to Tumlingtar from Kathmandu and take a six day walk that brings you to the park headquarters in Seduwa. The best season to visit the park is in late spring or autumn.
Located in the south west and spread over 968 km Bardia National Park is one of the largest and most undisturbed protected areas in the Tarai. Its most famous inhabitant was until recently Gajraj, touted as Asia's biggest wild elephant which used to frequently travel across Nepal and India through the forest corridors. However the park has also been successful in protecting the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger, One-horned Rhinoceros and the Asiatic Elephant. Karnali, one of Nepal's biggest rivers borders in the park in the west, while the Churia hill range forms the northern border. The Babai River, one of the tributaries of the Karnali River flows right through the park. The thick forests of the Shorea Robusta and grasslands render this region an ideal home to some 30 different mammals, 250 species of birds like the Bengal Florican, Silver Eared Mesia and Sarus as well as several species of reptiles. The Gangetic Dolphin can also be frequently spotted in the Karnali River.
Bardia National Park is 95km from Nepalgunj. There are a few lodges and resorts around the park and the best season to visit is from October - March.
Chitwan National Park in south central Nepal was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The park covers an area of 932 sq. km and is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger and the one horned Rhinoceros among the 50 or so mammals, 526 birds and 49 amphibians’ reptiles. The Naryani and Rapti rivers provide habitat to the endangered Snouted Gharial, Marsh Mugger and the Gangetic Dolphin. The bird population includes the likes of the Paradise Flycatcher, Indian Pitta and parakeets and migratory birds like the Brahmin Duck, Pintail, Bar-headed Geese, Cormorants and other feathered friends from Siberia.
Chitwan is five hours drive from Kathmandu. An old runway strip in Meghauli is also used for charter flights. There are several world class safari lodges inside the park and numerous other hotels and lodges outside the park. Visitors to the park are taken on jungle safaris on elephant back, jeeps and nature walks as well as boat rides in the Narayani and Rapti rivers. The park headquarters at Kasara is 21Km from Bharatpur which is 20 minutes by air or 146 km by road from Kathmandu. The best seasons to visit the park is from October to February when it's not too hot.
Spread over 3555 sq km, Shey-Phoksundo, Nepal's biggest national park is located in the trans-Himalayan region of Dolpo. The park gets its name from Phoksundo, a beautiful turquoise blue Himalayan lake in the southern area. To the north are the peaks of Kanjiroba and Hiechuli, both of which are above 6000m. With diverse terrain and altitude variation, the park is spread over Dolpa and Mugu districts and supports a broad range of wildlife and vegetation with coniferous forests in the south side and high alpine grassy meadows in the north. The park is home to 286 species of plants many of which have high medicinal value. Wild sheep, Ghoral, Musk Deer, Snow Leopard, Wild Dog, Marmot, Weasel, Mouse Hare, monkeys, Himalayan Thar, Himalayan black bear and Jackals can also be seen. There are over 200 species of birds including the Yellow-throated Marten, Tibetan Partridge, Wood Snip, White-throated Tit, Impheyan and Cheer Pheasant, Tibetan Snow Cock, Tibetan Twit, Himalayan Griffon & Lammergeyer.
The best season to visit the park is between June - September as the area falls in the trans-Himalayan region and receives little rainfall. Visitors usually fly to Juphal airport in Dolpo from Nepalgunj or Pokhara and take a three-day walk to the park headquarters in Sumduwa.