Chitwan National Park is the best park in Nepal for seeing animals in the wild. In the earlier part of the century, when rapid deforestation was devastating Nepal's southern Terai belt, the Government of Nepal intervened and proclaimed the Chitwan area, a national park. This led to the survival of the forest and its denizens. Projects were carried out with the help of friendly nations and wildlife populations have once again shown an upward trend.
Today Bengal tigers roam the region, one-horned rhinos can be seen charging through the underbrush, feeding and even courting. The Rapti River has been dammed to form a man-made lake called ‘Lamital’. Numerous water-birds have made this lake, their home making it an ornithological paradise.
Elephant grass, eight to ten feet tall, provides excellent camouflage for animals. Swaying on your seat on the elephant back in this tall grass, searching for the majestic tiger will take you back to the days of the Raj and the Maharajas. This grass also serves as food for the gaur, rhino and other herbivores. Once a year, local people are allowed into the park area to cut grass. The grass is dried, and used to thatch roofs or is stored as food for the domestic animals.
Chitwan is well accessible from Kathmandu via the national highway, running from Bhadrapur to Sauraha. There are daily flights to Meghauli airstrip just outside the park boundary. Accommodation in the form of resorts and lodges are available to suit most travel budgets. Elephant safaris, jungle walks, wildlife watching, bird watching, canoeing and numerous cultural activities will ensure that the memories of Chitwan last a lifetime.