Wildest West Nepal: Paradise Yet to be Explored!
Western Nepal is relatively unexplored compared to other parts of the country. The area is home to beautiful lakes, dense forests, fast-flowing rivers, and pristine lakes, among others. Some of Nepal’s best-protected areas, which are rich in different species of flora and fauna, lie in the western part of the country. Also, the unique language, culture, and tradition of locals of the area can be of great attraction to the visitors.
Wild West Triangle is a relatively new tourism product that links three major tourist attractions in the mid and far-western development region – Rara National Park, Bardia National Park, and the Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve.
Day 1: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj
The day was relatively uneventful. It begins with either a drive or a flight to Nepalgunj – the commercial hub of the mid-western development region. Nepalgunj is also a gateway to different remote districts in the mid-western area. There are good hotels and eateries in Nepalgunj. Flights and buses to Nepalgunj are readily available in Kathmandu.
Day 2: Nepalgunj to Rara
The day begins with a flight to Talcha airstrip in the Mugu district, which takes around 45 minutes. After the flight lands at the airfield, your trek begins. A trek of about 3 hours takes you to Rara Lake – the biggest lake in Nepal. Rara Lake is the major attraction of Rara National Park – the smallest yet most beautiful protected area in the country. The Rara National Park has spread over 106 sq km. The altitude in the national park varies from 1,800 meters to 4,480 meters. Coniferous forests cover most of the protected areas.
Rara Lake, which lies at the height of 2990m, is spread over 10.8 sq km. Richly forested hills surround the blue tortoise lake. Chuchemara Danda, at the elevation of 4087m, is the best vantage point to get the magnificent views of the lake and the forested hillside as well as the snow-capped peaks around it. The national park is home to 20 different species of mammals and 214 species of birds. Accommodation is on tented camps.
Day 3: Rara
The day is for an excursion around the national park. In the morning, you can enjoy hiking to Murmatop, which takes around two hours. Murmatop (3400m) is a small hill above Murma village. Breakfast is served after you descend to the camp. After breakfast, you can enjoy boating in the scenic Rara Lake. Lunch is served after the boating trip concludes. After lunch, you can walk around the lake. Accommodation is on a tented camp.
Day 4: Rara-Bardia National Park
You walk to Talchha airstrip to catch a flight back to Nepalgunj after having breakfast in Rara. You take lunch at a local in Nepalgunj before boarding a jeep to drive to Bardia National Park. The National Park is the largest and most undisturbed wilderness area in Tarai. Spread over 986 sq km, the national park provides an excellent habitat for different endangered species like rhinoceros, elephant, Royal Bengal Tiger, swamp deer, blackbuck, Gharial crocodile, Marsh Mugger Crocodile, and Gangetic dolphin among others. Similarly, Bengal florican, Silver-eared mesia, Sarus crane, and Lesser florican are some of the bird species found in the park. Accommodation is in a local lodge.
Day 5: Bardia National Park
The day is for sightseeing in the national park. After breakfast, you will enjoy an elephant safari deep into the jungle for the entire day. Packed lunch will be served to you. Elephant safari will offer you the opportunity to catch the sight of one-horned rhinoceros, four types of deer, monkeys, wild boar, leopard, and Royal Bengal Tiger as well. In the evening, local artists will perform traditional Tharu songs and dances at your lodge.
Day 6: Bardia to Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve-Dhangadhi
After breakfast, you will board a jeep to drive to Shuklaphanta National Park, which takes around five hours. Lunch is served at Mahendranagar. On the way to the reserve, you will be taken on a short side trip to Ghodaghodi Lake. Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is famous for big herds of the swamp deer. Located in the far-western region on the southwest edge of Nepal, the reserve, which is spread over 305 sq km, is home to around 2,000 heads of swamp deer. The region has the largest concentration of tigers (in terms of per sq/km comparison). Other wildlife species found in the reserve are Blue Bull, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Wild Boar, Leopard, Jackal, Langur, Rhesus Monkey, and one-horned rhinoceros. After a jungle safari in reserve, you will be driven to Dhangadhi for an overnight stay.
Day 7: Dhangadhi to Kathmandu
After breakfast, you can enjoy bird watching in the nearby community forest and visit the newly opened Aircraft Museum and the market area. Lunch is served at a local hotel. After lunch, you will be driving to the airport to catch a flight to Kathmandu