NEPAL, FAMOUS FOR ITS TOWERING MOUNTAINS AND HARDY GHURKA PEOPLE - EXPLORE THE REMOTE AND LITTLE-VISITED JUNGLE AND STUNNING RIVERINE WILDERNESS OF WESTERN NEPAL – HOME TO A TRUE ‘JUNGLE BOOK’ OF MAGNIFICENT WILDLIFE INCLUDING THE HIGHLY ENDANGERED BENGAL TIGER, WILD ASIAN ELEPHANT, ASIAN ONE HORN RHINO, SLOTH BEAR, MARSH MUGGER CROCODILE AND ELUSIVE LEOPARD. VENTURE INTO THIS PRISTINE WILDERNESS IN THE COMPANY OF ONE OF NEPAL’S TOP WILDERNESS GUIDES IN SEARCH OF TIGER. STAY IN A LUXURY JUNGLE LODGE, RUSTIC TENTED CAMP WITH AN EXCELLENT CHEF
THIS 10-NIGHT EXPEDITION WILL SEND YOU FROM THE CAPITAL CITY OF KATHMANDU INTO THE BEAUTIFUL UNSPOILT JUNGLE WILDERNESS OF WESTERN NEPAL’S TERRAI REGION.
Arriving into Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu you will be met and transferred to the beautiful Dwarika’s hotel, generally regarded as the finest hotel in the capital. Here you can rest and enjoy a massage, a great meal and unwind from your journey. The next morning after breakfast you will be free to explore this beautiful ancient Buddhist city at your leisure.
The next day, fully rested, you will be transferred by light aircraft to the Nepalgunj in Nepal’s Western Terrai region. Here you will be met by your safari guide and transferred 2.5 hours to the start of your adventure on the great Babai river.
The Babai valley, through which the Babai River flows, forms a core protected area of Bardia National Park. As an area of pristine forests that is rich in biodiversity, the National Park was expanded to include the valley in 1984. The Babai River flows from east to west and about 40 km of it flows inside the park.
The valley harbours pristine ecosystems remarkably rich in biodiversity. The major vegetation and forest types in the valley include riverine and khair sissoo forest in the floodplains and Sal forest (Shorea robusta), Asna (Terminalia tomentosa), and balki (Anogeissus latifolia) on the slopes of the Churia Hills either side of the river. Tall 'elephant grass' known as Phanta are the major grassland types in the valley. As such the valley provides a good habitat and corridor for several wildlife species, but particularly as a safe-haven for Bardia National Park’s wild elephants.
Other wildlife species recorded in the valley include the greater one-horned rhinoceros, tiger, Himalayan sloth bear, blue bull, four species of deer (Sambar, spotted hog and Muntjac / barking deer), ghoral, leopard, and a large number of small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, arthropods. Major aquatic fauna includes two species of crocodiles - the highly endangered prehistoric gharial and the notorious marsh mugger and the highly endangered fresh water Ganges river dolphin. The valley is reputed for its rich avifauna with over 250 species of birds being recorded in the valley. The Babai river is teeming with fish, most notably the golden Maheer. This species is revered by anglers worldwide. Guests who are keen fisherman can include a spot of catch and release fishing on request.
Arrival into Kathmandu before transfer to Dwarikas Hotel for a well deserved relaxed dinner.
EXPLORE THE LOCAL AREA
Explore the Buddhist temples of Durbar square and bustling eateries and antique shops of the famous Thamel district in this ancient city. Dinner back at Dwarikas.
TRANSFER & FLOAT INTO CAMP
After breakfast you will be transferred to the domestic air terminal for your 1-hour flight to the west of Nepal.
Here our team will pick up our guests from Nepalgunj Airport and drive approximately 2 hours to Chepang Bridge which is the put-in point for the rafts and the starting point for the expedition.
A short float by raft downstream away from the nearby villages (approximately 3 hours) the guests arrive at the first camp site on the banks of the river. Activities include a swim, a spot of fishing or simply enjoying a drink by the camp fire whilst watching the sun setting behind the Churia Hills before dinner is served and guests retire to their comfortable tents.
DEEP INTO THE JUNGLE
Rise early and set off down river and as you go deeper and deeper into the valley, the scenery becomes more breath-taking and wilder. The valley widens up as it forms the Ghuti Phantom - an area of wide grassland plains and a key area for wildlife spotting.
IN SEARCH OF THE ELUSIVE TIGER
Stop at a deserted sandy beach for lunch, and perhaps go on a walking safari with one of our experienced naturalists in search of herds of wild elephant and the elusive tiger.
Continue downstream until you reach your campsite.
FULL DAY RAFTING TO YOUR JUNGLE LODGE
Today is a full day’s rafting towards the Babai dam. A quick last cast in a prolific Mahseer pool before being picked up by our team and driven for 1 hour to the Karnali Jungle Lodge.
DAY 6 - 8
TRANSFER INTO BARDIA NATIONAL PARK
After a leisurely breakfast you will be transferred by 4x4 deep into Bardia National Park. Here you will settle into a wonderful routine for the next three nights in your jungle tented camp. Your guide will be on hand to arrange a host of daily activities including:
- Jungle safari in search of fresh tiger sign
- Walks in the forest with resident Asian elephant including the opportunity to both feed and wash these gentle, retired domestic elephants
- 4x4 safaris exploring deep into the interior of the park in search of game and over 450 species of bird life.
- Sleeping under canvas, tuning into the sounds, smells and rhythms of life in the forest is a truly wonderful and energising experience
LAST NIGHT IN THE JUNGLE
Enjoy your last full day in the jungle and then transfer by 4x4 back to the Karnali Jungle Lodge for a delicious dinner, drinks and great last night’s sleep in the jungle.
DAY 10 - 11
After breakfast you will be transferred back to the airport at Nepalgunj and your flight back to Kathmandu and your last night stay at the Dwarikas Hotel.
After a relaxed breakfast you will be taken by private road transfer to the international airport for homeward flights.
A NOTE FROM OLLY
INSPIRATION AND GROUND TRUTH
I first came with Suzi to Bardia in 1997 as guest of the resident tiger tracking team. We lived and worked in the pristine jungle of the Karnali valley for over 3 months tracking tigers and exploring a large swathe of this pristine Sal forest and verdant elephant grassland both on foot and on elephant back. Rising early each day enjoying a cup of fresh chai by an open fire in the cool morning mists, we spent our days exploring deep into this remote National Park in search of tiger-sign. It left an indelible impression on us. Here we learned the skills we would need to safely track predators on our future wilderness expeditions. The ground-truth we gleaned in the jungle forged in us a passion for the ancient art of tracking and we would draw upon these skills and lessons learned time and time again over the years.
Bardia National Park is home to an extraordinary variety of both predator and prey species as well as a vast array of birdlife. The Karnali river valley holds a special place in our hearts and we are excited to now share this stunning region with you.
I have ground-truthed this unique action-packed multi-day safari with our Nepali team to ensure over 10 days you experience an authentic glimpse into the kingdom of ‘Bhag’, the Bengal tiger, in the company of an expert safari team who are the true pioneers of jungle ecotourism in Nepal.
Here, deep in the Sal forest, living under canvas, you and your family can relax and unplug from civilisation in both safety and style and experience life ‘on the food chain’ in the company of true Nepal Safari pioneers.
Our experienced travellers include:
It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.
All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.