Track Tiger in the Sal Forest Jungle in Nepal

An authentic jungle safari adventure into the heart of pristine tiger habitat in the meandering river valleys of Western Nepal

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Where
NEPAL
When
OCTOBER TO APRIL
How long
10 NIGHTS
How much
FROM £5,350 PP
why
PRISTINE SAL FOREST TIGER HABITAT; FAR OFF THE BEATEN TOURIST TRACK; ON FOOT AND BY 4X4. ENJOY JUNGLE WILDERNESS IN SEARCH OF ELEPHANT, TIGER, ASIAN ONE HORN RHINO, SLOTH BEAR & RED DOG IN THE COMPANY AN EXPERT NEPALI NATURALIST GUIDE AND EXPEDITION CHEF
staying in
LUXURY JUNGLE LODGE; EXPEDITION STYLE TENTS; TRADITIONAL EN-SUITE SAFARI TENTS

FAMOUS FOR ITS TOWERING MOUNTAINS AND HARDY GURKHA PEOPLE, EXPLORE A DIFFERENT SIDE OF NEPAL IN ITS REMOTE AND LITTLE VISITED RIVERINE WILDERNESS OF THE WEST. DISCOVER A TRUE ‘JUNGLE BOOK’ OF MAGNIFICENT WILDLIFE INCLUDING HIGHLY ENDANGERED BENGAL TIGER IN THE COMPANY OF ONE OF NEPAL’S TOP WILDLIFE GUIDES

THIS 10-NIGHT EXPEDITION TAKES YOU FROM THE CAPITAL CITY OF KATHMANDU INTO THE BEAUTIFUL UNSPOILT JUNGLE WILDERNESS OF WESTERN NEPAL’S TERAI REGION.

Arriving into Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu you will be met and transferred to the beautiful Dwarika’s, generally regarded as the finest hotel in the capital. Here you can rest and enjoy a massage, a great meal and unwind after your journey. The next morning after breakfast you will be free to explore the fascinating Hindu and Buddhist sites of the city at your leisure.

The next day, fully rested, you will fly to Nepalgunj in Nepal’s Western Terai region. Here you will be met by your safari guide and transferred 2.5 hours to the start of your adventure on the Karnali and Babai Rivers.

The Babai valley 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 river valley harbours pristine ecosystems remarkably rich in biodiversity. The major vegetation and forest types 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 Babai river. There are also large areas of phanta (grassland), where the local ‘elephant grass’ grows up to 8m high. All in all this 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 include the greater one-horned rhinoceros, tiger, Himalayan sloth bear, blue bull, four species of deer (Sambar, spotted hog and barking deer), goral, leopard, and many small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, molluscs, arthropods. Major aquatic fauna includes two species of crocodiles - the highly endangered prehistoric gharial and the notorious marsh mugger. The Babai valley is also reputed for its rich avifauna with over 250 species of birds being recorded and the river itself is teeming with fish, most notably the Golden Mahseer. This species is revered by anglers worldwide and guests can include a spot of catch and release fishing on request.

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DAYS 1 - 2

ARRIVE AND EXPLORE KATHMANDU

Arrival into Kathmandu and transfer to Dwarikas Hotel for a well deserved relaxed dinner. Explore the temples and sites of Durbar Square, the bustling eateries and antique shops of the famous Thamel district in this ancient city. 

DAY 3

TRANSFER & FLOAT INTO CAMP

After breakfast you will be transferred to the domestic air terminal for your one hour flight to western Nepal.

You will meet the team at Nepalgunj airport and together drive approximately 2 hours to Chepang Bridge, 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) you 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 while watching the sun set behind the Churia Hills before dinner is served and retiring to your comfortable tents.

DAY 4

DEEP INTO THE JUNGLE

Rise early and set off down river and as you go deeper and deeper into the valley, the scenery becomes wilder and more breath-taking. The valley widens as it forms the Ghuti Phantom - an area of wide grassland plains and a key area for wildlife spotting.

DAY 4

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.

DAY 5

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 an hour to Karnali Jungle Lodge.

DAY 6 - 9

SAFARI IN BARDIA NATIONAL PARK

Settle into a wonderful routine for the next four days at 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 domesticated Asian elephant 
  • 4x4 safaris exploring  the park amd surrounding area 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 - a truly wonderful and energising experience

DAY 10 - 11

HOMEWARD BOUND

After breakfast you will be transferred back to the airport at Nepalgunj for your flight  to Kathmandu and your last night stay at Dwarikas Hotel.

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.

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+44 (0) 1747 830950

Our experienced travellers include:

Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme
Rod Tether
Rod Tether
Olly Williams
Olly Williams

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.

Reviews

Delivered

"Excellent experience - again - from trip design through to execution. Excellent staff in Natural High but also on the trek."

Paul & Liz

Excellent Service

"Really enjoyed the holiday. Was exactly what we were looking for. Service from Natural High was perfect. Would definately recommend and use again."

Patrick and Carmel

THE PERFECT TREK!

"Vanessa from Natural High Safaris provided a very responsive,personal and bespoke service which in turn led to a perfect trip, that was without fault! From our pack mules all the way up to our guide, Oulaid, it was outstanding. We were guided through the most beautiful and remote countryside to camp sites with the most awesome views. Oulaid had really thought about our route and request to be off the beaten track. It was a delight that we did not see any tourist for the whole trek. Our team were professional,hospitable and friendly, delivery a very well prepared and comfortable camp each evening.The camp chef did an amazing job bearing in mind the remoteness of our location, conjuring up very tasty and varied meals each day. If I could book another trip tomorrow I would.Next year beckons!Well done all!!"

Anonymous

Sublime Garden Route

"Fantastic accommodation recommendations in small boutique hotels"

Ian And Jo Ashby CR

I will definitely plan an expedition with this company again.

"They promptly provided an itinerary in response to our desires. Feedback on the plan was well received. Closer to the time we were connected with our guides to further hone our trip. A group of 5 women, arriving from various destinations, camping and lodges in the desert with extraordinary guides. Yes, the cliche works here...a trip of a lifetime."

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