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To see Himalayan wildlife is where a tailor made nature holiday comes into its own. Invariably to stand any chance of seeing anything you need to trek. On a hurried hiking itinerary and with a large group of people often making a total racket, the chances of seeing anything are remote. Sure, if you remember to look up you may just see a Golden Eagle or even a Lammergeir. So, if its Himalayan wildlife you're looking for, we can structure the trekking element to be a less hurried experience, provide you with a guide who knows about the wildlife of Nepal, as well as all the usual trek services (e.g. porterage) and allow more time at locations along the way to step away from the trails and human habitation and see what's out there. Of course wildlife watching can translate as a lot of searching, sitting around under cover with nothing happening, and trekking for prolonged periods. This may not be your 'cup of chai' . Thankfully we know one or two interesting places that can be reached by vehicle/air and where there are pleasant accommodations too . These make ideal 'base camps' for on foot Himalayan 'looking for nature day' excursions or to simply wait and see what passes by.
The Snow Leopard. A sighting of the rare and elusive Snow Leopard is perhaps the ultimate as far as Himalayan mammals is concerned. It's invariably the hardest earned too due to the remote, wild, high altitude locations that the Snow Leopard calls home. However, a very good friend of ours specialises in guided treks in search of the Snow Leopard. He just happens to hail from a Snow Leopard 'hotspot', but before you develop any romantic notion of seeing a wild Snow Leopard, you're looking at some very challenging, high-altitude trekking and seriously wild camping. Neither have we any desire to despoil the realm of the Snow Leopard with hordes of tourists, so we will only consider accepting a maximum of two, small, private groups per year at our discretion. If you think you've got what it takes to go in search of the Snow Leopard, contact us to discuss further.
As for the Yeti......the only one we've seen had a Skoda badge on it, and it wasn't in Nepal!
The chances are that wherever you go in Nepal you'll encounter wildlife. Even if looking for natural encounters isn't really your thing, a visit to world famous Chitwan National Park is something to seriously consider for a couple of days. There are around120 Bengal tigers in Chitwan, and also the one-horned rhinoceros, leopard, mugger crocodiles and the increasingly rare gharial, plus an incredible amount of colourful bird life. To visit Chitwan and take an elephant back safari, a river canoe ride, jungle jeep safari and realise that people live there too is an experience in itself. Certainly if you've been in the Himalayas then the flat, almost sea-level Chitwan region puts Nepal in full perspective.
As well as Chitwan, Bardia National Park is excellent for wildlife too. Established in the 1980s, Bardia is both larger and more remote than Chitwan, and as well as tigers, crocodiles etc, the Gangetic river dolphin is also sometimes seen. Being more difficult to reach, Bardia is much quieter than Chitwan, and very much the domain of the more dedicated wildlife enthusiast.
Bird watching enthusiasts should flock (sorry...couldn't resist) to Nepal's premier birding holiday destination, Koshi Tappu Nature Reserve.
The general principles that are known to those whom are wildlife watching enthusiasts apply. First (and perhaps) foremost is 'luck'. Many animals do their level best not to be seen, or as is the case with the tiger are rare and elusive by nature. The second is 'perseverance'. If luck isn't happening, then a lot of searching and waiting (and hoping) are involved. So, the longer you spend time wise at a particular location (in theory) the greater your chances of seeing wildlife. The third principle of wildlife watching is 'acceptance'. In other words you have to be prepared to accept that you may not see precisiely what you were hoping to see. But if you're a nature enthusiast you know that already. Whilst we have prepared some suggested itineraries for a wildlife holiday in Nepal, your tailor-made vacations can be designed to spend as much (or as little) time as you feel appropriate at the various locations. Generally speaking in the National Parks it is the accommodations that provide the a nature watching activities and although the standards of accommodations range from luxury to cosy, but simple eco-lodges they all generally afford the same chances of seeing wildlife and provide similar safari operational styles. So, a lot of money may buy you a nice bedroom, but the budget accommodation will still give you the same opportunities and chances of seeing wildlife.
All meals 'on tour' included
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