Een hert in Chitwan.
A deer in Chitwan. Corno van den Berg

Chitwan National Park was founded in 1973. It’s the oldest national park in Nepal and is a 4- to 5-hour drive to Kathmandu.

The park is about 930 km2 with swamps, forests and grasslands. You can find up to 50 different kinds of mammals in the park, and about 100 kinds of birds. It’s located in the south of Nepal, in the subtropical lowlands.

Een moeraskrokodil in Chitwan Nationaal Park.
A mugger crodile in Chitwan National Park. Chris Hartford

The name Chitwan literally means ‘the heart of the jungle’ and is home to the rare one-horned rhino, tigers, Asian elephants, spectacled bears and leopards.

It would be a shame to only set apart one day for this park, there is so much to see here. So make sure you have the time to spend, as animals are unpredictable and often shy. You might even see a Bengal tiger, though they’re becoming rarer.

Een Indische neushoorn in het water in Chitwan.
An indian rhino in the water in Chitwan. Matt Werner

It’s possible to stay at the park, but it’s pricey. It’s cheaper to stay near the edge of the park, or in Sauhara where there are good hotels and restaurants.

More information: www.chitwannationalpark.gov.np

Hiking