A journey to Chitwan National Park in the Terai provides visitors to Nepal with a very different experience compared to the more familiar vision of Nepal. It is where you discover that a country known for its beautiful mountains has so much more to offer, perhaps not surprising when you realize that at Chitwan you are only 150m meters above sea level with the highest place on earth being only 100 miles away to the north. The southern part of Nepal provide a wholly different experience and many people say that a visit to Nepal remains incomplete without seeing the beauty of the Terai.
Chitwan National Park was established in 1973 and it provides a great wildlife experience for anyone interested in animal birds or nature with its rich and diverse range of flora and fauna. It is home to a vast variety of wild animals including the One Horned Rhino and The Royal Bengal Tiger. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded in the park and there is a huge range of butterfly species already recorded. The place gets steamy from March-June with peak temperatures reaching 43°C in the shade. Short grass makes Feb-May the best game-viewing season, but the autumn months are gorgeous, with Himalayan views, and in winter (December-January) Chitwan is pleasantly warm compared to Kathmandu. The monsoon season (July-August) is intense with pounding rain, swollen rivers and luxuriant vegetation. While the rain isn’t constant the humidity is all pervasive.
There are basically two choices either you take a more exclusive package inside the park itself of which there are only seven and all activities including elephant riding canoeing nature walks and birding are conducted by the lodge you are residing at. The luxury lodges in Chitwan provide quite an exquisite experience. Swimming pool, cocktail bars, safari ambience, organized game spotting trips, orientation by trained naturalists. Alternatively you can stay at Sauraha a small town nowadays that has developed on the edge of the park where there are many hotels and resorts type facilities of varying standards and you enter the park on a daily basis.