Chitwan National Wildlife Park is widely acknowledged as one of the best national parks in Asia. Chitwan National Park, with an area of 967square kilometers, lies 90 kilometers Arial distance southwest of Kathmandu in the Valley between Shiwalik range which is popularly known as inner Terai. Chitwan valley has been hunting grounds for Nepali and British Royalties. King George V and Edward VIII were among British Royalties. Chitwan was the first forest area of Nepal to be designated a national park in 1973, and was later also declared a World Heritage Natural Site by UNESCO in1984. Chitwan is a very popular wildlife safari destination on account of its thriving wildlife population and easy accessibility from both Kathmandu and Pokhara.
The subtropical forest of Chitwan in inner terai are host to a very diverse ecosystem. The predominant vegetation of sal (Shorea robusta) covers around 70% of the forest. 20% is grassland, with as many as 50 species of grass plants. The most spectacular among these are the elephant grass, which attain heights up to 8 meters. Seven percent of the area is Riverside forest in which we find Indian Rosewood (Dalbergia sisoo), Kapok (Bombax ceiba), and Acacia Catechu trees. The remaining 3% are the Chirpine (pinus roxburghii) trees that crown the upper ridges of the Churia Hills. Complementing the major vegetations is an immense variety of wild flowers, vines, creepers and parasites.
Of the 43 species of animals recorded in the park, there are an estimated 600 Great One- Horned Rhinoceros and a recent tally on tigers shows them to number 106 in all. Other mammals are Leopard, Gaur (Indian Bison), Wild Elephant, Sloth bear, Fresh water dolphin, Rhesus monkey, Langur, Wild boar, stripped hyena, Jackal, Dhole (wild dog), Ratel, Palm civet, Mongoose, various antelopes, Samber deer, spotted deer, hog deer, barking deer, etc. Ghariyal, a crocodile native of Chitwan, is most spectacular reptile. Other crocodile species is Magger. Other reptiles are: python, monitor lizard, Pangolin, Tortoise, King Cobra and other 19 snake species. There are 485 different bird species. The forests, grasslands, and wetlands of Nepalese Jungles are habitat for birds.
Highlights of the Safari
Jungle Safari in Chitwan National park encounter with wild animals.