A jungle trek through Chitwan; the jungle of Nepal
Nepal is also known as the roof of the world. Its imposing mountains, including the highest mountain in the world; the Mount Everest, attract thousands of walkers every year. The Nepalese mountains were also the main reason for us to book our airline tickets to Nepal. During the 30 days in Nepal we spent almost half on the Annapurna Circuit. But Nepal has much more to offer. For example, Nepal has a jungle! A very beautiful one. So visited Chitwan National Park, a place that you should definitely not miss
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A jungle trek through Chitwan
There are two different parks in Nepal, namely the Chitwan National Park and the Bardiya National Park. Chitwan is the most visited and also the oldest park in Nepal. The park has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1984 and is the perfect place to spot wildlife.
The jungle may not be as huge as in Indonesia or Brazil, but the chance that you will spot unique animal species here is huge. And these are not just animals! Wild elephants, the Asian rhino, bears live in Chitwan and it is one of the last places in the world where you can spot the Bengal tiger.
Jeep Safari or a walking safari
You can trek through the jungle on foot or with a jeep. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. With the jeep you can go deeper into the jungle and you have a greater chance of spotting a tiger. The disadvantage is that you can scare animals by the noise. Hiking through the jungle is of course extra special and you make a lot less noise. However, the chance of spotting tigers is smaller because you stay at the edge of the jungle. Moreover, I do not know whether you will be happy if suddenly a tiger is standing in front of you with only a walking stick as a weapon at your disposal.
We opted for a walking safari. You can choose to be taken to the jungle with a traditional boat. You then sail for 20 minutes in a tiny boat / tree trunk over the river between the crocodiles. Yes …. quite exciting. But I’m still glad we did this. It was a very nice start to the draw.
Tip! It is recommended to travel to Nepal at the end of October. Then most tourists have already left.
Okay all the animals in Chitwan want you dead
Please do not run when you spot a Tiger they are faster than you, when a rhino comes at you try to hide behind a tree or zigzag as fast as you can and if an angry elephant is approaching. well then you are fucked. Hilariously, this was literally our intro before our draw started. It basically boiled down to the fact that you secretly hope that you will not spot any animals at all, even though this was precisely the reason for a visit to the jungle.
The jungle of Chitwan is one with many open plains with high grass. Hiding behind a tree actually falls off immediately, p, but it makes the draw comfortable and easy to sustain. We soon come across traces of a tiger. While walking, our guide, who is only armed with the Gandalf staff only without super powers, tells us that the chance of spotting tigers is so difficult, because the tigers often see us much earlier. Okay fine thought …. while I am walking through the tall grass, there can be a tiger somewhere who sees me, but I do not see the tiger. Thanks man …
The fear of the tigers disappears for a while because I enjoy the beautiful surroundings too much. After 2 hours of walking we settle down at a hut on stilts where you can spot animals. And yes… in the distance we spot two rhinos, a mother with a baby. How cool! The rhinos walk quietly back into the jungle and we also resume our walk.
Come face to face with a rhino in Chitwan
The group quickly disintegrates after lunch and we walk on at a good pace with our guide at the front. After a while I really think I see a rhino standing in the water. But since nobody shares that opinion and I actually don’t see a shit without glasses, I must be wrong. Our guide just walks on cozy and then suddenly I stand eye to eye at less than 10 meters away from mama rhino. Fear, joy, nerves … … I can feel it all. After some wave gestures and a nervous DUDE, HELLO our guide (still only armed with a stick) finally turns around. I point to the rhino that looks less friendly up close. When I look at the guide I see fear of death …. haha not his idea of the ideal walk.
Leroy is about 3 meters away from me and I feel pretty lonely by the rhino. I carefully decide to walk back to Leroy, but mothers didn’t agree. The rhino is running towards us with a lot of noise and a mega speed. Our guide shouts RUNNNNNNN …. and I just see that our guide jumps between us like an idiot with just a stick and a lot of shouting. What a fool.
I have never run so fast in my life and in the meantime I pass the two Americans who walked a bit behind us and who have not had anything from the spectacle. I decide to stand behind a bush (because yes, it can hold back a rhino) and behind the two Americans. Hahaha yes my true nature came to the surface and I am apparently not so concerned with the well-being of other people. Apparently I also passed Leroy during my sprint and I see him running past zigzagging like a mega idiot. Fear immediately took place for a laugh kick. Thanks Leroy.
Our guide is still waving a cane and the rhino still seems to be panicking. Really just really sorry. If they were just as relaxed taking a bath with the two of them, some of those munchers are passing by. Eventually the rhinos walk quietly back into the jungle.
Fortunately, I can now laugh about it very hard.
Tigers in Chitwan
The entire rhino incident has cost a lot of energy and I have gained less confidence in the draw. After about 2 hours we come across a trail of a tiger that is still wet. Since it is plus 30 degrees, everything indicates that the tiger is still around. Perhaps for some a moment of joy, for me the reason to return.
Although we no longer spot a tiger, we still see a wild boar and enjoy a beautiful setting. In total we walked for about 7 hours. Despite all the crazy circumstances, a journey I will never forget and which I absolutely did not want to miss.
Useful tips for a Chitwan draw
- It is wise to be dressed entirely in black.
- Take enough water and a cap or scarf over your head.
- Take sunscreen and apply well.
- Mosquito spray can also be useful.
- Put on good walking shoes.
- If you want to spot tigers, it is better to book a jeep safari or a multi-day safari.