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.
It is here that your chances of spotting a tiger in Nepal are the highest. Other animals include the rhino-ceros, swamp deer, leopards, jungle cats, blue bulls (nilgai) sloth bears, barking deer and langurs. There are a few wild elephants, and one of the males is considered the largest in Asia!
The Geruwa River that rushes in through a break in the hill range, is home to the famous mahseer game fish, gharial, mugger crocodile and the freshwater Gangeric dolphin. The park also has cobras, kraits and pythons.
The park boasts more than 250 species of birds, including the endangered Bengal florican, Sarus crane and many species of geese, ducks and parakeets.
The activities include jungle safari on elephant back, walks, boat rides and jeep drives. The best time to visit is from October- March.
Best time: October-February for pleasant weather, March-June for hot weather, and July-September expect rain.
To reach the Royal Bardia National Park, there are daily flights as well as public buses from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. The park office is situated at Thakurdwara, 20 km southwest along a dirt road from Ambasa on the Mahendra Highway.
There are a number of tourist lodges and resorts for accommodation. In the season, it may be advisable to make a booking before heading out.
Although the Terai can be cool during the winter, it can be stiflingly hot during the summer months. If you are headed there in winter, bring along a sweater of jacket. Summer months require cool clothes, good walking shoes, shady hat and sunscreen make sure your clothes are in colors like brown and green that helps you blend into the background. Carry along some mosquito repellant, anti- diarrhea tablets and anti-histamines. Meanwhile, along with photo equipment, a pair of binoculars will prove invaluable. If you are closer to the Mon –soon months, carry some waterproof jackets and an extra pair of shoes. Just in Case.
The Terai jungle are also famous for leeches that appear in the monsoon and around for a few months after. Salt of a lighted cigarette will make them fall off, do not pull them off as the wound may get infected. Try an insect repellant to keep them away.