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Bardia National Park
Arguably the more desirable Terai National Park for dedicated wildlife enthusiasts, Bardia in the far west of Nepal. Being further away from Kathmandu Bardia is nothing like as busy as Chitwan is nowadays. The Bardia National Park is the largest National Park in the entire Terai region of Nepal and is indeed also home to the Bengal Tiger. Many agree you have a better chance of seeing tigers in Bardia than at Chitwan. With the creation of the 'next door' Banke National Park, combined with Bardia this is now the largest tiger conservation area in Asia. Bardia is also home to the Asian elephant, the one-horned rhino, leopard and over 300 species of birds also call Bardia home.
It is best reached from Kathmandu by flying to Nepalgunj, a 45 minute flight and around 1 hour by road. From Chitwan, or Pokhara reaching Bardia overland is best managed with an overnight stop at Lumbini.
The main season for Bardia is October-April i.e. outwith the monsoon season. Post monsoon (October- December) the grasslands refreshed by the monsoon rains are quite high, which can diminish wildlife spotting potential.
Appalling value and the money you will pay here will not buy you a tiger sighting. The Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge is the 'top end' accommodation of choice for the "super rich" coming to Bardia. Hollywood Superstars and Royalty alike have stayed here. With DELUXE "SIGNATURE" ROOMS & "TRADITIONAL" STYLE STANDARD ROOMS" , delightful gardens and attentive staff give the Karnali Lodge that 'exclusive, intimate' feel. Over-priced and over-rated in our humble opinion, but if you want to "splash the cash" then it's the best place to stay in Bardia, although the chances of seeing wildlife are the same as the Forest Hideaway.
OK....so it's not as "posh" as Tiger Tops, but it is considerably much better value and has all the "creature comforts" too. Our clients invariably provide very positive feedback about the Forest Hideway, particularly with regard to the quality of the wildlife actvities they provide as well as the very friendly staff. All with traditional Tharu style. This really is a great place from which to enjoy wildlife excursions by jeep, on foot and on the calm waters of the Karnali River. Natural, atmospheric gardens to relax and enjoy some sub-tropical warmth.
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