A trip to Nepal is incomplete if you have not been on a jungle safari. While the mountains of the north have some of the highest and most magnificent peaks in the world, the tropical jungles of the Terai reserve some of the best wildlife habitat in the Subcontinent. Some of these rich wildlife habitats are now protected, and can be toured on elephant back, 4WD, dugout canoe or on foot accompanied by a licensed guide.
Nepal has several national parks, wildlife reserves and conservation areas, occupying 16 percent of its total geographical area. Jungle safaris on elephant back or Jeep rides are offered at the Parsa Wildlife Reserve, Royal Bardia National Park, Royal Chitwan National Park and the Royal Suklaphanta wildlife reserve, all located in the Terai.
Chitwan National Park is the most popular destination for tourists wanting to have a good experience of the region's wildlife. It was declared a National Park in 1973. In 1984, UNESCO designated it as a Natural World Heritage Site.
The Royal Bardia National Park is spread over 968 sq km and located in the Western Nepal Terai. It is easily the largest and least disturbed wilderness spread in the Terai, and is predominantly Sal forest sprinkled with tall grasslands. It is bound on the north by the Chure hills and is skirted on the West by the Geruwa River.
Suklaphanta is a smaller (305 sq km) version of Bardia. Located at the southwestern extreme of the kingdom, its topography is primarily rivering floodplain, open grassland and sal forest. It also has a large lake and the Bahini River flows through the park.