Discover Bardia National Park
Bardia National Park is one of Nepal’s best kept secrets. Located in the Terai region it is Nepal’s largest national park and wilderness area, protecting 968 km² of sal forest, grassland, savannah and riverine forest. On the west side it’s bordered by the Karnali River and it’s bisected by the Babai River in the Bardiya District. The foot of the Siwalik Hills marks the northern boundary of the park.
It’s not overrun by tourists and there are excellent opportunities to spot endangered species of wildlife. The king of Bardia is the Bengal tiger. The tiger population is slowly increasing and counts around 60 animals. But Bardia is also the habitat for the wild Asian elephant and the greater one-horned rhinoceros.
The park is surrounded by idyllic villages and fields inhabited by an indigenous ethnic group named the ‘Tharu’ who have their own unique language, customs and traditions.
If you really want to enjoy Bardia, don’t be in too much of a rush. You’re welcome for a short time, but we advise you to stay at least 4 to 5 days. This gives you the opportunity to discover Bardia National Park in different ways and it will increase your chances to see the wildlife.
Wildlife and Birdwatching in Bardia National Park
With an experienced guide like Budhi or our guide Manmohan, a bit of luck and patience, there is a good chance to see the big three, the Bengal tiger, the Asian elephant and the greater one-horned rhinoceros. Among the other 50 species of mammal living in Bardia are the Gharial crocodile, Marsh mugger crocodile, leopard, swamp deer and grey langur monkeys. The rare Gangetic river dolphins are occasionally spotted on rafting trips along the Geruwa River, the eastern channel of the Karnali River.
With more than 400 species of birds, including the endangered Bengal florican and Sarus crane, Bardiya is a paradise for birdlovers. Anglers can enjoy fishing on the Karnali or Babai river which are a great habitat for the 125 recorded species of fish like the golden mahseer.
Ready for discovering Bardia? Read more about the adventurous jungle activities you can experience.
Explore the countryside & meet the Tharu people
Besides the park there is also a beautiful countryside to explore and friendly local Tharu people to meet. Their houses are constructed with reed and bamboo, covered with a layer of mud and dung. On the outer walls you’ll sometimes find colorful paintings and carvings of peacocks and deers.
The Tharus are self-supporting and live from farming and fishing. Many households keep buffaloes, goats, chickens and pigs. This is a place where time stood still.
A walk through the rice fields or a bicycle tour along the river is a great way of exploring the countryside. You can join the locals with farming, dancing and cooking. And of course you are welcome to celebrate a Nepalese festival with our family. Have a look at the Tharu culture & countryside activities.
Unspoiled nature in Far West Nepal
If you are looking for unspoiled natural beauty and remoteness, then the Far West of Nepal will give you a memorable experience. Our home is a good base camp to combine Bardia National Park with a visit to Khaptad National Park, Rara Lake National Park, Shuklaphanta National Park and the area around the Karnali / Bheri river.
Shuklaphanta is characterized by flat open grassland, forest, riverbeds and tropical wetlands en famous for birdspotting and the endangered swamp deer. Khaptad and Rara National Park are respectively situated above the 1400 and 1800 meters above sea level and offer beautiful trekking experiences.
You can easily spend 2 to 3 weeks in West Nepal. We would like to help you to organize tours and transportation in this undiscovered and beautiful area. Read more about Far West Nepal activities you can do.
The best time to visit Bardia and Far West Nepal
The best time to visit Bardia National Park and Shuklaphanta National Park is from mid-September till mid-December and the start of February till the end of May. During these months day temperatures vary between 25 up till 37 degrees and animals will move to the river to drink which gives you better chances to spot them. From mid-December onwards till the end of January it can be more chilly and sometimes we have foggy weather. The monsoon brings hot and sticky days and starts in June and lasts till the end of August. The rising river levels can make access to the park difficult.
Khaptad and Rara National Park can best be visited between mid-September to December and the beginning of March till the end of May. From December to February the winter kicks in and temperatures drop. Both national parks will be covered with snow and trails are not accessible. Between June and September the monsoon brings lots of rain which makes the trek to both parks difficult.