National Parks

Thanks to Nepal's extensive and effective parks and reserve system, the country has managed to preserve more endangered species of flora and fauna than any other country in Asia. Now, the protected areas in Nepal include 10 national parks, 3 wildlife reserves, one hunting reserve and 6 conservation areas and 11 buffer zones covering an area of 34,186.62 sq. km, that is, 23.23 percent of the total area of the country.

Chitwan National Park (UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site)
Activities: Jungle safari on elephant back, jungle walk, canoe ride, jeep drive, experience of Tharu culture
Accommodation: Resort hotels and lodges
Access: The park headquarters at Kasara is a 21-km drive from Bharatpur which is 20 minutes by air or 146 km by road from Kathmandu
Wildlife: 56 species of mammals that include one-horned rhinoceros, Royal Bengal tiger, rhesus monkey, langur, deer, leopard, gaur, wild boar, wild dog and wild cat; 49 species of amphibians and reptiles that include the endangered long snouted gharial, marsh mugger crocodile and python.
Birds: 539 species of birds that include summer migrant birds like paradise flycatcher, Indian pitta and parakeets etc. during, while winter birds include waterfowl, Brahminy ducks, pintails, bar-headed geese, cormorants and migratory birds from Siberia
Vegetation: Deciduous forest with 600 plant species
Best Season: October-March (average temperature 25 degrees Celsius); April- June (hot, up to 43 degrees Celsius), July-September (rainy)
Park Headquarters: Kasara
Added Attraction: Devghat, Padavnagar, Balmiki Ashram, Kabilaspur, Chepang Hills Trail
Entrance Fee: Nepali - Rs. 100 per day per entry, SAARC nationals - Rs. 750 per person per day, foreigners - Rs. 1,500 per person per day

Sagarmatha National Park (UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site)
Activities: Trekking, mountaineering, experience of Sherpa culture
Accommodation: Resort hotels, lodges, tea houses, camping
Access: Fly to Lukla which is 30 minutes by air from Kathmandu and then trek onward
Wildlife: Himalayan tahr, ghoral, musk deer, pika (mouse hare), weasel, jackal, black bear, wolf, lynx and snow leopard
Birds: 193 species of birds including impeyan pheasant (Danphe), blood pheasant, red-billed chough, yellow-billed chough, snow cock, snow pigeon, Himalayan griffon and lammergeier
Vegetation: Pine and hemlock forests at lower altitudes, while above 3,500 m, forests are dominated by silver fir, birch, rhododendron and juniper trees
Best Season: October-November and March-May; December-February (snow, daytime temperature 5 degrees Celsius) June-September (rainy)
Park Headquarters: Mendalphu, Namche Bazaar
Entrance Fee: Nepali - Rs. 25 per person per entry, SAARC nationals - Rs. 1,500 per person per entry, foreigners - Rs. 3,000 per person per entry

Bardia National Park
Activities: Jungle safari on elephant back, jungle walk, boat ride, jeep drive
Accommodation: Jungle lodges
Access: Three hours' drive (95 km) from Nepalgunj, which is 1 hour by air or 516 km by road from Kathmandu
Wildlife: 53 mammals that include the Royal Bengal tiger, one-horned rhinoceros, elephant, swamp deer, black buck; reptiles include gharial crocodile, marsh mugger crocodile; fresh-water Gangetic dolphin is commonly seen in the Karnali River
Birds: 400 species of birds include Bengal florican, lesser florican, silver-eared mesia and sarus crane
Vegetation: Sal, savannah forests and grasslands
Best Season: October-March, April-June (hot, up to 42 degrees Celsius), July-September (rainy)
Park Headquarters: Thakurdwara
Entrance Fee: Nepali - Rs. 50 per day per entry, SAARC nationals - Rs. 500 per person per day, foreigners - Rs. 1,000 per person per day

Khaptad National Park
Activities: Trekking
Accommodation: Camping
Access: Fly from Kathmandu-Nepalgunj (60 min.), then fly to Chainpur (Bajhang)20 min. and then a three-day walk; or fly Kathamndu-Dhangadi (1 hr 10 min.) 670 km by drive, then 10 hurs drive to Silgadi and then 1 day trek
Wildlife: Wildlife include barking deer, wild boar, ghoral, Himalayan black bear, yellow-throated marten, rhesus monkey and langur monkey
Birds: 270 species of birds, the common ones being different varieties of impheyan pheasant, partridges, flycatchers, bulbuls, cuckoos and eagles
Vegetation: Grasslands and forests of subtropical, temperate and sub alpine vegetation; 224 species of medicinal herbs
Best Season: March-May and October-November (10-20 degrees Celsius); June-September (rainy), December-February (snow)
Park Headquarters: Khaptad
Added Attraction: Ashram of Khaptad Swami, Khaptad Lake, Tribeni, Sahashra Linga (at 3,200 m, the highest point of the park), Ganesh Temple, Nagdhunga and Kedardhunga
Entrance Fee: Nepalis - Free, SAARC nationals - Rs. 100 per person per entry, foreigners - Rs. 1,000 per person per entry