Nepal is home to an incredibly diverse array of precious endangered wildlife. Due to conservation efforts, it’s easier than ever to spot a rare one-horned rhino, Bengal tigers, and Asian elephants. Plan your visit with the Community Homestay Network (CHN) to ensure that your walk on the wild side supports the preservation of these incredible creatures’ natural habitat, anti-poaching efforts, and local tour guides who are experts about Nepal’s animal kingdom. Lets dive deep into ethical wildlife experiences one can have in Nepal.
CHN has two destinations that you can visit if you seek a trip that centers around handpicked experiences ethical wildlife interactions. Choosing to interact with wildlife through CHN is the most ethical option in Nepal. CHN supports the local communities at the frontlines of protecting the national parks and all the critters that reside there. Booking wildlife observation excursions through CHN has a dual impact. Firstly, it showcases to host communities that the indigenous flora and fauna are worth protecting. Secondly, it can generate financial stability, as wildlife tours bring in a constant stream of money from tourists.
Bardia Community Homestay: A Wildlife Haven
The Bardia Community Homestay was established in 2011 in support of the World Wildlife Foundation in Dalla which is within close proximity to biodiverse Bardia National Park. The protected park is where you’re most likely to get a glimpse of incredible animal life. The hosts, having grown up sharing the land with the phenomenal wildlife in this area, are well-acquainted with tracking animals.
This increases your likelihood of spotting one-horned rhinos, Bengal tigers, and more in the subtropical lowlands. By hiring a guide through the homestay, you can be confident that a knowledgeable and environmentally conscious explorer will lead you into the wild. Your guide is an expert at locating wildlife—keep your eyes peeled for wild boars, Asian antelopes, striped hyenas, pangolins (the most poached animal on Earth), spotted chital deer, and endangered langur monkeys.
In the park, Wild Asian elephants roam the terrain, elusive Bengal tigers stalk their prey, and one-horned rhinos engage in combat in shallow waters. Additionally, visitors can spot around 30 other mammal species and over 400 types of birds. Keep an eye out for the mystical Bengal florican and sarus crane. If you’re lucky, you might see the endangered Gharial crocodile or Gangetic dolphins in the Karnali River.
Wildlife Spotting from the Community Forest Tree House
Bardia National Park is so dense with wildlife that you may even be able to witness some of these species from the Community Forest Tree House. Those that want to be one with nature and rewild in the most serene settings can join a guide for a jungle walk through the National Park. Jungle walks are your best chance of seeing wildlife without all the commotion from a jeep safari. Your guide will be a member of the native Tharu ethnic group and will prepare you on how to stay safe should you come across a tiger, rhino, or elephant. Just follow the tiger paw prints and see where the adventure takes you!
Chitwan’s Authentic Tharu Village Experience
In Nepal’s first protected area, Chitwan National Park, mindful travelers can stay at the authentic Tharu village via the Barauli Community Homestay. The hosts, intimately familiar with the phenomenal wildlife that inhabits this area, are adept at tracking animals. This enhances your chances of encountering one-horned rhinos, Bengal tigers, and more in the subtropical lowlands.
When you hire a guide through the homestay, be confident that you have a safe explorer leading you into the wild. This guide deeply respects the environment and animals, and is an expert at locating wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for wild boars, Asian antelopes, striped hyenas, pangolins (the most poached animal on Earth), spotted chital deer, and endangered langur monkeys.
Guided Jungle Walks in Chitwan
A guided jungle walk through the Baruali buffer zone near the Rapti River is the most exciting way to see wildlife. Strictly avoid riding elephants as it is never an ethical choice. Plus, it’s so much more fun to explore by foot and really immerse yourself in nature. If the idea of climbing a tree to escape a charging rhino terrifies you then opt for a canoe tour to calmly explore all that Chitwan National Park has to offer. No matter how hot it may be, don’t go in for a dip, crocodiles are lurking in the waters.