- Trip Details
- Trip Info
Best Time: Autumn, winter, and early summer when the weather is warm and dry
Bardia National Park was originated as a royal hunting ground back in the late 1960s. Due to the availability of rich biodiversity within the pristine Babai valley, royals used to enjoy the hunting experience here in Bardia. It was only in 1988, that the area gained the official status of a full-fledged national park. The objective behind nominating it as a national park was to preserve the endangered species, especially the tiger and its natural prey species within the valley. Bardia National Park is still one of the undisturbed National parks in Nepal as it was only posted in the 1990s that it started to gain tourist attraction. Still, the number of footfalls in the park is minimal to other National parks, hence, visitors can feel closer to nature, and away from hustle and bustle of luxury hotel range, restaurants and traffics.
Bardiya National park is the largest national park situated in Nepal’s western side of Terai in Bardiya district. The park is bordered by the Karnali river in the west, the Churia range in the north, while the Babai river flows through it. Currently, it is extended to the area of 968 sq. km. Initially, over 1400 households, many of them farmers, were relocated from the vicinity to provide a congenial ecosystem for biodiversity to flourishing within a park. Currently, an area of 507km surrounding the periphery of a national park is declared as a buffer zone. Hence, as a part of the buffer zone management program, locals are encouraged to adopt eco-friendly land-use practices and participation in the conservation of park areas for long-term sustainability.
Flora and Fauna
The park is blanketed with precious species of vegetation. Almost 70% of the park is covered with jungle consisting of wooded grassland, savannah, and riverine forest. As per the record, the park comprises 839 species of flora, of which 173 are vascular plants (Dicots: 140, Monocots: 26, Fern: 6, and 1 gymnosperm species).
The undisturbed ecosystem in the park is home to an enumerable number of exotic species of mammals, reptiles, and birds. As per the record, around 642 faunal species, including 30 species of mammals, more than 250 species of birds, and several species of snakes, lizards, and fishes are residing in the park. The park is renowned for catching glimpses of the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger and the greater one-horned rhinoceros of Nepal. Initially, few rhinoceros were translocated from Chitwan and were reintroduced in this valley. Due to the effective security measures, rhino numbers are now increasing in the valley. The other endangered animals seen grazing around the park are wild elephants, swamp deer, and blackbuck. One can also locate rare gharial crocodile and marsh mugger along the banks of Karnali river inside the national park. The river is also home to the exotic Gangetic dolphin which can be often seen on the river surface. The Karnali and Babai rivers also offer an excellent opportunity for sport fishing. The large masher, a game fish, is usually considered an excellent catch. Few rare bird species are recorded currently in the park peripheral. The dense riverine forests along river shores create the prime habitat for birds such as herons, egrets, black-necked stork, and little pratincole including the endangered birds such as Bengal florican, lesser florican, and sarus crane. In addition to the local birds, the park is also decorated with several migratory birds throughout the season.
The best time to visit the park is during three distinct seasons, autumn, winter, and early summer when the weather is not too hot. From October through early April, the days are warm and nights are cool and pleasant which makes it a perfect season to enjoy the wilderness of the park.
The park provides ample opportunities to soak in nature including elephant rides, jeep safari, rafting, sport fishing, and bird watching accompanied by a naturalist. Additionally, one can also meet the Rana Tharu and Dangora people of southern Nepal and observe their colorful culture. You can use telephone and mobile phones in several areas of the park. One is advised to carry a comprehensive first-aid kit including necessary medicines while visiting the park. There is a community health post at Thakurdwara near the park headquarter. For accommodation, you can find more than a dozen safari lodges in the surrounding areas of the park providing excellent hospitality services.
How to get there
You can take a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj which is approximately minutes away. The national park can also be reached by road, passing through Nepalgunj from where a park is only two hourd drive away.