Bardia National Park
For those with a sense of adventure and an urge to get away from the crowds, a long drive or a flight to Nepalgunj is rewarded with a real sense of wilderness, and sometimes whole days to search the park for tiger and rhino without encountering another tourist! Bardia is much quieter than better-known Chitwan because of its location, but is by no means any less impressive.
Established in 1988, Bardia National Park is the largest park in the Terai, and because of its location further west, it receives just a fraction of the tourist numbers that the better-known Chitwan receives.
About 70% of the park is sal forest, but there is grassland and savannah to explore too, as well as riverine forests of acacia and rosewood. This provides an excellent habitat for six species of deer, more than anywhere else in Nepal, as well as rhino, tiger and leopard. The two main rivers within the park are the Babai and the Geruwa, a tributary of the great Karnali that has swept down from Mount Kailash from over the border in Tibet; drift down these rivers and you might spot endangered gharials or even gangetic dolphins.
As in Chitwan, in Bardia there are many activities on offer, and a variety of great ways to explore the park. Jeep safaris and jungle walks are all on offer and give you the chance to explore the national parks with a freedom that isn’t possible further south, in India. Coming to Bardia also opens up the chance to fly into Nepal’s beautiful northwest, where you can experience vast stretches of the Himalayas without meeting another trekker.