Tucked away in a remote pocket of the Terai in western Nepal is Bardia National Park, the country’s largest and most undisturbed wilderness area. Bound by the Siwalik Hills to the north and the Giraw River to the west, this is a place that doesn’t make it onto most travel itineraries, and the experince is all the richer for it.
The land was originally set aside as royal hunting grounds in the 60s but in 1988 was granted national park status with the aim of protecting its wildlife, namely the Bengal tiger.
The park suffered during the Maoist insurgency in the late 90s and poaching reached an all time high, but numbers have been steadily rising and the park is home to several endangered species, including elephants, the greater one-horned rhinocerous, gharial crocodiles and gangetic dolphins.
A safari here offers an exceptional experience where you’re more likely to bump into a leopard or langur monkey than a horde of snap-happy tourists.
When to Go
The park has three distinct seasons. From October to early April it is dry with warm days and cool, pleasant nights. Between April and June the temperatures start to rise and it can get incredible hot in May. From June to September it gets stickier and the monsoon rains arrive.
What to do
- Elephant, jeep and walking safaris
- Tiger spotting
- Geruwa River rafting