Jungle safari in Nepal
To make conservation management of the country’s valuable but fast diminishing wildlife resources more effective, Government of Nepal has established The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. The aim of this department is to ensure more effective conservation and management of the country’s valuable wildlife resources and their habitats, and to establish national parks and reserves. In addition to its conservation role, it also has the responsibility of educating people on environmental problems and wildlife management. Within a decade of its existence, the office has been able to successfully establish seven national parks and three wildlife reserves with the necessary legislation, staff and infrastructure in areas representative of various ecosystems in the country.
ROYAL CHITAWAN NATIONAL PARK
The park is situated in south central Nepal, covering 932 sq km in the subtropical lowlands of the inner Tarai. The area comprising the Tikauli forest-from Rapti river to the foothills of the Mahabharat-extending over an area of 175 sq km was declared Mahendra Mriga Kunj (Mahendra Deer Park) by the late King Mahendra in 1959. In 1963, the area south of Rapti River was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. The area was gazetted as the country’s first national park in 1973, recognizing its unique ecosystems of international significance. UNESCO declared RCNP a World Heritage Site in 1984,In 1996 an area of 750 sq km surrounding the park was declared a buffer zone, which consists of forests and private lands including cultivated lands. The park and the local people jointly initiate community development activities and manage natural resources in the buffer zone. His Majesty’s Government has made provision of to provide 30-50 percent of the park revenue for community development and natural resource management in the buffer zone .Features The park consists of a diversity of ecosystems-including the Churia hills, Ox-bow lakes, and the flood plains of the Rapti, Reu and Narayani Rivers. The Churia hills rise slowly towards the east from 150 m. to more than 800 m. The western portion of the park is comprised of the lower but more rugged Someshwor hill. The park shares its eastern boundary with the Parsa Wildlife Reserve.
LANGTANG NATIONAL PARK
It was established in 1976 to conserve the unique flora and fauna of the region. It is the nearest national park of the capital Kathmandu in the Central Himalayan Region. The 1710 sq. km. of the park extends over parts of Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchok districts in the southern mountainous terrain of the Nepal-Tibet border. In 1998 an areas of 420 sq km in and around the park declare as a buffer zone. The park represents a meeting point between indo-Malayan and Palearctic realms, and holds a rich biodiversity.Buffer zone management is a joint venture between the park office and the local communities. Local communities have a decision-making role in the management of such areas. Additionally, the local communities or the BZ receive 30 to 50 % of the park revenue for the better management of natural resources to ensure a sustainable supply of resources and community development.
SAGARAMATHA NATIONAL PARK
Sagaramatha (Mt. Everest) National Park is spread over an area of 1,148 sq km in 1976, of the Himalayan ecological zone in the Khumbu region of Nepal. The Park includes the upper catchments areas of the Dudhkoshi and Bhotehoshi Rivers and is largely composed of rugged terrain and gorges of the high Himalayas, ranging from 2,845 m at Monjo to the top of the world’s highest Himal – Sagarmatha at 8,848 m above the sea level. Other peaks above 6,000 m are Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Thamserku. Nuptse, Amadablam and Pumori,The famed Sherpa people, whose lives are interwoven with the teachings of Buddhism, live in the region. The renowned Tengboche and other monasteries are common gathering places to celebrate religious festivals such as Dumje and Mane Rumdu. In addition to Tengboche, Thame, Khumjung and Pangboche are some other famous monasteries. For its superlative natural characteristics, UNESCO listed SNP as a World Heritage Site in 1979.
SHEY PHOKSUNDO NATIONAL PARK
Shey-phoksundo Narional Park is situated in the Trans-Himalayan region of northwest Nepal. It is Nepal’s largest National Park covering an area of 3,555 sq km. It was established in 1984 to preserve a unique Trans-Himalayan ecosystem with a diversity of flora and fauna. The Park’s climatic differences, altitude variations, and different zoo-geographical regions support a diverse range of biotic systems. In 1998, an area of 1349 sq km surrounding the park was declared as buffer zone, which consists of forests and private lands. The buffer zone is jointly managed by the park and local communities. Together they initiate community development activities and manage the natural and cultural resources.
RARA NATIONAL PARK
Rara National Park is located in the North-Western high mountains of Nepal . The park was gazetted in 1976 to conserve the unique beauty of Lake Rara, and to protect the representative flora and fauna of the Humla-Jumla region. The park is Nepal’s smallest protected area, comprising an area of 106 sq. km. There were two villages Rara and Chhapru within the park. The
residents of the two villages were resettled in Banke district, outside the park.
KHAPTAD NATIONAL PARK
Khaptad National Park is located in the Far-western region of Nepal. The park was gazetted in 1984 covering an area of 225 sq. km. The proposed area of buffer zone is 216 sq.km. The park is the only mid-mountain national park in western Nepal, representing a unique and important ecosystem. The late Khaptad Swami moved to the area in 1940’s to meditate and worship. He spent about 50 years as a hermit and became a renowned spiritual saint.
BARDIA NATIONAL PARK
Royal Bardia National park is the largest national park in the lowland Terai covering on area of 968 sq.km. The park situated in Nepal’s Western Terai was established to protect representative ecosystems and conserve tiger and its prey species. Initially, a small area was gazetted as the Royal Karnali Wildlife Reserve in 1976.1500 households of the Babai valley were resettled outside the park allowing the vegetation and wildlife to flourish. In 1982, it was renamed as Royal Bardia Wildlife Reserve, and in 1984 it was extended to its current size. The reserve was given the status of a National Park in 1988. Greater One-horned Rhinoceros were translocated from Royal Chitwan National Park in 1986, 1991, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.In 1997, an area of 327 km2 surrounding the park was declared as a buffer zone, which consists of forests and private lands. The park and local communities jointly manage the buffer zone. Together they initiate community development activities and manage natural resources in the buffer zones. An elephant ride provides
a different view of the park as one can go off the main trail, Morning and late afternoon is the ideal time to go on a ride. Karnali river is the suitable home for Gangetic dolphin. Babi valley is a majestic place to visit where flagship Rhino, tiger, elephant can be observed in the wilderness site.
MAKALU BARUN NATIONAL PARK
Makalu Barun National Park and Buffer zone area (previously conservation area) was established in 1992. This park administered and managed by Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. Government of Nepal and supported by The Mountain Institute’s initiative, is an innovative conservation model that integrates protected area management and community development.
SHIVAPURI NATIONAL PARK
Shivapuri National Park 144 sq km is situated on the northern fringe of Kathmandu valley and lies about 12 km away from the center of capital city. The area was gazetted as the country’s ninth national park in 2002. Prior its declaration as national park, it was managed under the Shivapuri Watershed Development Board, and was later declared as Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve.
PARSA WILDLIFE RESERVE
Parsa Wildlife Reserve is located in the south-central lowland Tarai of Nepal. The 499 sq km of pristine sub-tropical jungle makes Parsa Nepal’s largest wildlife reserve. Once this area served as a vacation site for the Rana Rulers of the country. In 1984, it was gazetted as a wildlife reserve to preserve the habitat for wild Asian elephant, and a variety of other fauna- It is contiguous with Royal Chitwan National Park in the west.
KOSHI TAPPU WILDLIFE RESERVE
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve lies on the floodplains of the Sapta Koshi River in the south-eastern Terai. The reserve was gazetted in 1976 to preserve habitat for the only remaining population of Wild buffalo, Arna (Bubalus arnee). The 176 sq. km. reserve is Nepal’s smallest wildlife reserve. The eastern and western embankments of the Sapta Koshi River define the area. In 1987, Koshi Tappu was declared a Ramsar site, a wetland of international significance. His majesty government of Nepal has declared the buffer zone 173.5 sq. km surrounding the reserve in 2004.
SHUKLAPHANTA WILDLIFE RESERVE
Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve was managed as a hunting reserve beginning 1969, and was gazetted as a Wildlife Reserve in 1976, covering an area of 305 sq. km. It lies in the extreme south-western section of Nepal’s Terai in Kanchanpur District. The reserve shares a common boundary with the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in the south and west which is formed by the Mahakali (Sarda), River, and a major tributary of the Ganges. It is bordered on the eastern side by the Chaudhar River and to the north by a forest belt and cultivations. A total of 24 mammal species was recorded by Schaff (1978b), a total of 350 species of birds of which 180 are breeding species (Inskipp, 1989), Bhatt and Shrestha (1977) provide an annotated list of 14 species of fish, Schaaf (1978b) recorded 10 species of ectoparasites and biting flies.
DHORPATAN HUNTING RESERVE
Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve adjoins Rukum, Myagdi and Baglung districts in the Dhaulagiri Himal range in West Nepal. Putha, Churen and Gurja Himal extend over the northern boundary of the reserve. Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve was established in 1983 and was gazetted in 1987. Management objectives of the reserve allow sports hunting and preserve a representative high altitude, ecosystem in Western Nepal. The reserve extends over an area of 1325 sq km and is the only hunting reserve in the country to meet the needs of hunting for Nepalese and foreign hunters of blue sheep and other game animals. Local people depend on the reserve to meet their requirements of timber, fuel-wood, fodder, and pasture.