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Shukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve

Shukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve
Nepal Travel Destination


In 1969, what is now known as the Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve was declared a Royal Hunting Reserve and shortly after that it was designated to be a wildlife reserve in order to save the last herd of Nepal’s swamp deer. Nowadays when you travel here you can see thousands of this species thriving and frolicking throughout the park and surrounding area.

The reserve is located on the far southwest edge of Nepal’s Terai region. It spreads over 300 square kilometers and is an ideal place to animal watch. The grasslands look like an ocean which creates an idyllic hunting ground for the endangered tigers looking for their next meal.

Besides swamp deer and tigers, it is also inhabited by many other animals such as wild elephants, hog deer, barking deer, monkeys, jackals, blue bulls, and langurs.

The diverse habitat also supplies a home for some interesting reptiles such as the marsh mugger, cobra, python, and crocodile. Even more than 260 species of birds including the grass owl, swamp francolin, sarus crane, flycathers, and endangered Bengal Florican call this reserve home.

Besides just animals, the reserve has lakes offering scenic views and opportunities to bird watch as streams pave through the marshy vegetation of the wetlands. The reserve has built man-made waterholes to help improve the animal habitat. There are towers set up around some of the lakes and waterholes offering a great view of the animals. Almost all the different types of animals visit the waterholes so you can actually see the different footprints left behind as well as the animals coming to get a refreshing drink of water.

Although you can reach the reserve by car, it is an 18 hour bus ride from Kathmandu to Mahendranagar where the headquarters is 8 kilometers southwest. The most time efficient and prefered method of travel is a flight from Kathmandu to Dhangadi and from there you drive 1 and 1/2 hours to Mahendranagar. However, there is no regular public transportation services from Mahendranagar to the park entrance but you might hire a rickshaws, jeep, or tempos to get there.

In the reserve near the bank of the Bahuni River there is limited lodging, but you can find more places to stay in Mahendranagar.

It is always a good idea to have a first aide kit as well as some medicine for intestinal problems. Travel through the park from sunset to sunrise is prohibited.

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