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Wildlife in Royal Bardiya National Park


The Royal Bardiya National Park covers 968 sq. km./ 363 sq. mi. of the Terai in Nepal's far-West, and is the largest and least-disturbed wilderness area in the Terai. It provides an excellent habitat for over 30 different mammal species, including the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger, One-horned Rhinoceros, Wild Elephant, Swamp deer, and Black buck. The Great One-horned Rhinoceros was successfully reintroduced to Bardiya from Chitwan in 1986. Herds of elegant black buck in the open grassland are a stirring sight unique to Bardiya. Other common animals found in the Park include the leopard and lesser cats, the blue bull (Nilgai), several species of deer, the langur and rhesus monkeys, sloth bear, and the wild boar. The open grasslands within the Park, locally known as phantas, are ideal for game viewing.

The Karnali, one of Nepal's largest rivers, forms the western boundary of the park. The endangered Gangetic dolphin is often seen in its waters. Other endangered riverine species include the fish-eating Gharial and Marsh mugger crocodiles. The Karnali also offers excellent fishing for masheer, a large freshwater perch. Over 250 species of birds have so far been recorded in the Park, including the endangered Bengal and Lesser Floricans, Silver-eared Mesia, and the Sarus crane.

The lodges in the Park offer comprehensive wildlife tours of three or more days, inclusive of accommodation, meals, wildlife activities, park entry fee, etc. There are a host of options to explore the jungle, accompanied by resident naturalists and guides: elephant-back safaris, canoe rides, jungle walks, bird-watching tours, and jeep drives. A two-night stay is the minimum to experience Bardiya, and for wildlife enthusiasts, staying an extra day is worthwhile. The lodges operate round-the-year except during the Monsoon (June - September) when most lodges are closed.

The quickest way to get there is to fly from Kathmandu to Nepalganj, where lodge staff will meet you for the 2 hour drive to camp. Bardiya is also accessible by road from Kathmandu or Pokhara, a 12-14 hour drive from Kathmandu and 8-9 hours from Pokhara.

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