Chitwan National Park is home to one-horned rhinos, Benghal tigers and hundreds of elephants, bears and crocodiles.
It’s the first national park in Nepal and boasts the largest population of Indian rhinos in the country: 600 out of a total of 645.
Chitwan also has the highest population density of sloth bears, with an estimated 200-250 individuals.
Due to the sheer volume of mamels in such a small area (932km2), you have a high chance of seeing them.
Chitwan: Jeep safari or walking tour?
Jeep safaris (1,500 rupees) and walking/canoe tours (700 rupees) run daily. Both have their merits: by car you can venture deep into the park, driving quickly to cover more ground. On foot, you are quieter and can creep through the reeds unnoticed.
Of course, this is more dangerous. You are likely to encounter wild rhinos, tigers or families of elephants. And if you do, there are three commands to listen for: run; climb a tree; or stand still!
But don’t worry, if you’re unable to scramble up a tree, your guide will defend you with a stick. Yep, you heard right, a stick.
We recommend doing both: the walking tour in the morning (7am-11am) and jeep safari in the afternoon (1pm-5pm). This makes full use of the park entrance fee of 1,700 rupees.
We were lucky enough to see several rhinos (one right next to our jeep!), a sloth bear and a distant elephant. Look out for crocs lurking on the river bank – they’re surprisingly big!