Can’t decide between the mainland beaches or the mountains as your next vacation destination? Well, this year ditch both, that is to say, plan a trip to the well preserved and rich wildlife sanctuaries in Nepal instead.
Yes, you heard us right!
Nepal, a landlocked country in South Asia is a land of serenity and splendor. Plan a trip to Nepal to experience altering landscapes. From fertile valleys to subalpine hills, Nepal has it all. At the same time, witness some of the tallest mountain ranges in the world. Above all, Nepal is home to the majestic Mount Everest.
On the other hand, this varied elevation proves instrumental to house a variety of flora and fauna. The biomes include the tropical savannas, subtropical broadleaf, coniferous forests, grasslands, and shrubs. In like manner, the highest elevation points put up the most magnificent display of rock & ice.
Furthermore, no words will ever do justice to this beauty called ‘Nepal‘. In other words, plan a trip to Nepal to fathom this beauty for yourself.
With this in mind, let’s help you shortlist your next jungle safari with a list of the top nine sanctuaries in Nepal.
1. Chitwan National Park
Notably, Chitwan National Park was the first national park in Nepal and was established in 1973. The park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984. It is located in the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal and spans over an area of 952.63 square kilometers. In fact, like the rest of Nepal, it displays varying altitudes. The altitudes range from about 100 meters near the river valleys to a whopping 815 meters in areas near the Churia Hills.
The typical vegetation of Chitwan National Park is the subtropical broadleaf forests with chiefly Sal trees accounting for almost 70% of the total coverage. The sanctuary houses more than 700 species of wildlife and countless butterflies, moths, and insect. It is important to realize that the majority of these species are yet to be fully surveyed. It is also the home to the famous yet endangered ‘Bengal tiger’ and ‘One-Horned Rhinoceros’.
Particularly, elephant safaris, nature walks, canoe trips, and river rafting are some of the main attractions of this laid-back and relaxing trip. The best time to visit this ‘jungle abode’ is from May to September when both the flora and fauna are in full bloom.
2. Parsa National Park
Next in our top nine choices of Sanctuaries in Nepal is the Parsa National Park. The sprawling maze of green was declared as a wildlife reserve in 1984. In 2017, the area was consequently awarded the status of a National Park. To point out, much like the Chitwan National Park, the area is adorned with Sal trees too.
Love spotting wild animals?
Then plan a trip to Nepal today and be ready to spot elephants, rhinos, tigers, leopards, sloth bears, deer, and striped hyenas. The whole expanse is in fact an absolutely enchanting experience.
3. Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve
Number #3 on our list of wildlife sanctuaries in Nepal is the Shuklaphanta National Park. It is a protected area in the Terai region. The reserve is approximately 300 square kilometers of open grassland, forests, riverbeds, and tropical wetlands.
The area abounds with 700 species of flora. The marshland is teeming with mahseer & rohu, mugger crocodile, python, cobra, common krait and even the Oriental rat snake. An uncommon sight, right?
It is in fact an absolute haven for bird enthusiasts with over 423 recorded species. The best time to visit is from February to May or September to December. Plan a trip to Nepal and indulge in a jungle safari to witness this natural wonder. The safari will take you on a wonder ride through the Chaudhar River leading deep into the forest belt.
4. Sagarmatha National Park
Sagarmatha National Park is located at an elevation of 9,700 feet above sea level. The park is the window to the highest peak; the majestic ‘Mount Everest’. There are eight other peaks in the park that are equally alluring and amass tourists from all over the world. Plan a trip to Nepal to witness the opulent beauty called Sagarmatha.
The pristine rocky landscape is complete with deep valleys and huge rocks houses. The National park is home to over 118 species of birds and 26 species of butterflies. If luck is on your side then you will be able to spot the threatened species of snow leopard, red panda, and pheasants.
Indulge in long leisurely walks at your own pace or trek to enjoy the glorious views of the surrounding mountain peaks. The choice is yours! As for us, definitely a winner in our list of top sanctuaries in Nepal!
5. Makalu Barun National Park
Makalu Barun National Park is actually an extension of the Sagarmatha National Park. The area covers an area of 1,500 square kilometers. It offers jaw-dropping views of tropical forests and snow-clad peaks. The fifth highest peak in the world, Chamalang forms a major attraction in the National Park.
The park shelters almost 3,000 species of flora, 440 species of birds and 75 species of animals. Spend your evenings listening to the ‘sweet-cacophony’ of these varied species of returning birds. Truly, a balm to any aching soul!
The best time to visit the park is from October to November or March to April. On a clear day, you will easily spot the deer, marmot weasel, and serow. A truly fulfilling trip to Nepal indeed!
6. Annapurna Conservation Area
Annapurna Conservation Area is Nepal’s largest protected area in Nepal. The area at the highest elevation is 8,091 meters above sea level. The conservation area houses the famous Annapurna Circuit. This makes it a top choice among trekkers from all over the world.
Annapurna Conservation Area is home to rare snow leopards, blue sheep, impeyan, and blood pheasants. At the same time orchids and rhododendron dot the entire area. The Annapurna Conservation Area is certainly a top choice among the sanctuaries in Nepal.
7. Kanchenjunga Conservation Area
Next on our list of top sanctuaries in Nepal is The Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. The area has been declared as one of the 200 “Global Eco Regions” by world wildlife fund houses. In fact, the Conservation Area is part of the Sacred Himalayan Landscape. It is being developed specifically by WWF Nepal along with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.
It houses almost 2,500 species of the flowering plants in addition to many threatened wildlife species. The Impeyan pheasant, red-billed, blue magpie, shy drogue are a common sight here. For all those flower lovers out there, here is your chance to drool over 30 varieties of rhododendron and 69 varieties of orchid.
To make the most out of the trip, plan this trip to Nepal from March to May or September to December. Don’t forget to pray to the Goddess of luck to spot the endangered species of snow leopard, black bear, musk deer, and red panda in their natural habitat.
8. Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is a protected area in the Terai region and lies in the floodplain of the Sapta Kosi River. It has an extensive display of mudflats, reed beds, and freshwater marshes. In the winter months, birds migrate all the way from Siberia making the reserve a must-visit destination in our list of sanctuaries in Nepal for this reason.
As per the data published by the conservative evaluation, this wildlife reserve has 31 species of animals and 200 species of fishes. Herons stork’s, egret’s ibis, wild buffalo & boar, hog & spotted deer, and blue bull have tourists flocking to the area every year.
9. Langtang National Park
Out of the sanctuaries in Nepal, Langtang National Park is the first Himalayan national park in Nepal. Diversity is prominent both in vegetation & wildlife and stretches over an area of 1,710 square kilometers. Interestingly, the Gosainkunda Lake in the region has thousands of Hindu pilgrims flocking the park every year. For this reason, plan a trip to Nepal to coincide with the Janai Purnima festival in August. For one thing, the festival will help you soak the rustic feel of the place in tandem with the local folklore.
On this note, we hope that you are spoilt for choices to plan a trip to Nepal. Pick any one or target multiple sanctuaries. Connect with nature and recharge your batteries. Let Mother Nature heal you and your soul!