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Bardia National Park

Bardia National Park
Nepal Travel Destination

¬†Originally a hunting reserve – turned Royal Wildlife Reserve – finally turned Bardia National Park in 1982, it is located in Nepal’s western Terai lands. The park spreads over 968 square kilometers and is the largest protected area in the Terai. It has elevations ranging from 152 meters as high as 1441 meters.

This Nepal travel destination is full of wonder. With more than 70 percent of the park covered by grassland and Savannah forests and bordering Nepal’s longest river, the Karnali, it is no wonder why so many animals call this place home. There are many endangered species like the tiger, some of the last wild elephant herds in Nepal, gharial and marsh mugger crocodile, black buck, Gangetic dolphin and rhinoceros, all living in the grounds of the park; as well as some endangered species of birds like the Bengal florican, silver-eared mesia, sarus crane, and the lesser florican.

Besides the endangered animals, its rich ecosystem including everglades and dense forest is also home to over 30 different mammals and more than 250 species of birds and several snakes, lizards, fish and other aquatic animals.

Apart from the interesting animals that live here, in the north of the park on the crest of the Churia range at Sukarmala (the highest point in the park) offers spectacular sight-seeing views as well as a vast panorama of the stretching plains of the terai and to the north the Surkhet Valley.

As a testament to show how dedicated the park is to preserving the animals and their natural habitat, the Babai Valley with its River Babai, that once used to house some villages with over 1500 locals, has now been converted back into the wild by relocating the people to the Bardia District.

For those fishing lovers, the Karnali provides a great chance for you to test your skills on a large game fish and try to land a mahseer a prized game fish known for its fierce power. You might even get lucky and see a Gangetic dolphin show as you wait for a bite.

The best time to visit the park is in autumn, winter and early summer when the weather is warm and dry and before the monsoon season starts in the beginning of June where the river swells and the roads to the park are nearly impossible to use safely.

At Thakurdwara, about an hours drive from the Nepalgunj-Surkhet Road, is the park headquarters and also different lodges of every standard. If camping is more your style, you can do so within the park in specified areas. While camping you should be prepared with fuel, food, and any other supplies like a first aid kit since there are no medical facilities within the park.

If you choose to travel to the park via flight, from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj there are regular flights. You can also reach the Bardia via private vehicle from Pokhara. If you want to take a public bus, they are available from Nepalgunj to Thakurdwara, but they are very limited and you should call to confirm schedules before depending solely on this form of transportation. If you plan to use a private vehicle, proper supply of fuel is necessary as there are no gas stations around the park.

To view pre-designed Nepal travel packages, see our programs page or the encyclopedia for more Nepal Travel items.