Chitwan was the first national park in Nepal. Formerly called Royal Chitwan National Park it was established in 1973 and granted the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984. It covers an area of 932 sq km (360 sq miles) and is located in the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal in the Chitwan District.
The river plains and jungle at Chitwan are home to one of the few remaining populations of the rare Bengal tiger,and also home to one-horned rhinos and wild elephants. All of these are best viewed on elephant-back safaris.
The park has a tropical monsoon climate with relatively high humidity. The winter, spring and monsoon are the three main seasons. The cool winter season occurs from October to February. The spring begins in March and is soon followed by summer that ends in early June. The summer days are typically hot with 30 C the average day temperature. The monsoon usually begins at the end of June and continues until September. The mean annual rainfall is about 2150 mm and during this time of the year rivers are flooded and most of the roads are virtually closed.
The park is about 6 hours' drive from Kathmandu to Narayanghat and there are also air services from Kathmandu to Meghauli and Bharatpur. If you are interested in visiting Chitwan we can arrange a trip with flights to and from Bharatpur.
Our 3-day Chitwan experience starts from £399 per person. Single supplements apply.
Detailed 3 day itinerary
Day 1: Early morning flight from Kathmandu to Bharatpur Airport and transfer to your lodge. You will have time to enjoy a spot of lunch before taking an afternoon village tour by ox cart to find out more about the local culture.
Day 2: An elephant safari is an ideal opportunity to see some of Chitwan's larger animals such as deer, rhinoceros, wild boar, monkey, leopard and sloth bear. If you're really lucky, you may get to see the Royal Bengal Tiger - sightings are very rare so keep your eyes peeled. In the afternoon you will explore the Rapta River by canoe. Don't forget to take your binoculars to spot some of Chitwan's amazing birdlife and also the two rare species of crocodile: the Marsh Mugger and the fish-eating Gharial. You will complete the day by visiting the elephant breeding centre located within the park.
Day 3: You spend your last day in Chitwan on a bird watching tour to discover some of the 450 different species that abound. Look out for kingfishers, blue-throats, long-tailed nightjars, lesser adjutant storks, brown crakes and brown fish owl - just a few of the famous birds found in Chitwan. Transfer to Bharatpur airport for onward flight to Kathmandu.