Phenomenal rail journeys of Asia
By Sukie Chapman
18 January 2018
You love rail travel but also want to explore further afield than Europe; this is a conundrum many of our customers call us about.Read more
At the western edge of the tiny and landlocked Republic of Nepal, the lush landscape of the Chitwan Valley is an area of tropical lowlands and one of the regions last unspoilt natural ecosystems. The Chitwan Valley is inhabited by numerous rural farming communities as the fertile land is ideal for grain and food crops, but it is the region's non-human inhabitants that provide a compelling reason to visit the area.
Since 1973, more than nine hundred square kilometres of the Chitwan Valley have been legally protected to ensure the preservation of local ecosystems and biodiversity. As a consequence, Nepal's first national conservation area, Chitwan National Park, offers visitors one of Asia's greatest opportunities to observe and encounter wildlife in a natural environment of unparalleled beauty.
Awarded UNESCO World Heritage site status in 1984, approximately seventy percent of Chitwan National Park's area is covered by subtropical rainforest whilst most of the rest is lush grassland. Within this stunning landscape, backdropped by the Himalayan Mountains, some of the world's rarest and most exotic birds and mammals may be found. This is one of the last habitats of the rare Bengal Tiger, the protected One-horned Rhinoceros and the Gharial Crocodile. Many other mammals can be seen in the park, which is also a haven for birdwatchers with rare white-, red-headed and slender-billed vultures among the 544 bird species observed here.
Explore the highlights of India and Nepal on this grand tour which includes some of the world's most beautiful temples, sights and scenery. We witness colourful ceremonies, a game drive, and experience breathtaking views of the Himalaya from Pokhara on this adventurous tour.… see more
18 days from £2,895 ppView tour details >
Within the National Park, Bishajari Tal is a network of connected lakes, man-made waterways and wetlands which can be followed by road and is excellent to explore by bicycle. Wildlife visible along Bishajari Tal's route includes monkeys, crocodiles, deer and innumerable species of birds.
Located in the Chitwan village of Bachhauli, the Tharu Culture Museum invites vistors to explore the rich culture and history of the indigenous Tharu prople who have inhabited Chitwan for at least seven hundred years. Exhibits include traditional paintings, artefacts, instruments, handicrafts and natural medicines.
The administrative Headquarters of the Chitwan National Park is housed in a former royal hunting lodge on the south bank of the Rapti River where there is also a small but informative natural history museum and visitor centre. Elephants at the park's nearby elephant breeding centre bathe in the river here at lunchtime each day.
The small village of Kurintar on the banks of Trisuli River in Chitwan is the site of Nepal's only cable car; an unmissable experience. Imported from Austria and boasting a 100% safety record since its inauguration in 1998, the Kurintar Cable Car transports visitors 2.8 kilometres to the sacred Manakamana temple which sits on a high ridge overlooking the river.