Royal Chitwan Things to Do Tips by Saagar Top 5 Page for this destination
Royal Chitwan Things to Do: 47 reviews and 109 photos
Hurrying along by ox cart in Sauraha...
Sounds a bit weird, but actually it is quite nice. The ox cart rides go through the neigbourhoods of Sauraha, and everybody knows the driver and his purpose, so locals are happy to stop in their steps for a chat with the tourists and explain what they are doing and how life is like in Chitwan. Mostly Tharus live here. Costs a little money but it is a good investment. It is also a good way of getting from the resort to the Sauraha fountains of beer and sunset views. Cost is normally included in the resort packages, if not negotiate a price with the driver or a bystander who can translate.
4,5 meters of muscle with teeth at one end
This fierce crocodile is a close relative to the saltwater crocodile of the Sundarbans, but seemingly more timid. However, don't mess around with it if you come across one. They have deer on the menu, and local people get eaten, too, so why not a tourist?
They are fairly rare and take some effort to find. But ask your guide if there is anything special you should do in order to highten your chances at seeing one, such as going to a hide-out in the early morning darkness etc. I find croc-watching fascinating - but boring when it's cold: they're not moving an inch!
Unfortunately, both the gharial and the muggar are severely threatened by pollution in the narayani River from the paper factories in Naryanghat upstream of Chitwan's western parts.
Directions: I have only seen muggars near Sauraha (small ones) and Bhandarjola (huuuge ones).
Tharu Cultural Program
The Tharu Cultural Center has Tharu dancing troupes that visit the resorts at night. The centre offers a performance in the local cultural hall. Not among the top 10 performances I have seen in Nepal but worthwhile seeing if nothing else to do. Normally start abour 6 - 6.30 pm and lasts for an hour or so and entrance is a couple of hundered rupees. I kept waiting for the ladies' dances in vain. So it was the boys cultural club - the girls apparently do not exist. On the other hand, with the Tharu ladies outfit and bold dances (seen it elsehwere), the dancing might just as well have been erased from the program by orthodox and prudish hindu conservatives of upper dominant castes...
A bit of a tourist trap, but not at all a sinister one - and a good thing to be charitable toward.
Address: Sauraha main street.
Kasauraha elephant breeding centre
If staying near Sauraha or Kasauraha in a resport you will be given an option to see the elephant breeding and training facilities at Kasauraha. If you are interested in seeing how elephants are bred, fed and trained for use at resorts or for sale to India and elsewhere in Nepal, it is worthwhile visiting this place. Nice, orderly and it seems that the ollies are happy. There is one huge tusker ( photo No 2) that gives a mighty impression of what huge critters these are.
Directions: Go direct by vehichle from Bharatpur/or Tadi to Kasauraha, or by jeep/ox cart from Sauraha along the Rapti until a creek stops you. Wade, or if by appointment, an elephant will pick you up. You are close enough to see the facilities.
Canoeing the Rapti
You can go on custom-made canoe rides with guide on the Rapti and Narayani rivers, depending on your location.
The general resort programs normally include a combination of hike upstream and canoe/boat ride downstream (or the other way around) back to the resort. It is a good way to view aquatic birds and crocs.
Canoeing is a very nice activity to do in Chitwan, not to be missed. If you are keen, try to do a special tour. If you are even more keen, ask for a hollow-tree trunk canoe rather than a boat.
Tourists learning to trick ride with elephants
The resorts and elephant training centres in Chitwan will sometimes invite their clients to get better aquainted with elephants. Several resorts have elephant feeding and bathing on the regular program, and a few select ones will actually assist you in riding and commanding the elephant by yourself. Elephant minders are on stand-by if the elephants get fed up with your antiques.
Elephants are very skilled, playful and nimble (see photos) and will be gentle around you and enjoy you feeding and scrubbing them.
Every resort in Chitwan and hotel outfit at Sauraha will offer elephant rides of various quality. The general trip introduces you to the elephant and tell you wha to expect. You sit 4 on top of the elephant back in a "howdah", each in a corner with a pole between the legs and a rack to hold on to. Like on a camel, you may become seasick! Don't drink excessively before boarding the elephant, and do go to the toilet before embarking. There is no way you can get down to the ground level in rhino/tiger country once on top of an elephant.
The rides are a combination of general gentle walks in open grassland and sal forests with rhino and tiger searches in dense forests, often several elephants trying to flush out a tiger or gently herding out a rhino into open glens. The wildlife generally ignores people on top of the elephants if you are just quiet and not gaudily dressed. With an elephant you can get within meters of rhinos.
Elephants may push fast through jungle and the mahout elephant driver may not be able to keep overhead branches from sweeping across passengers. If wearing caps and glasses, use sturdy retainers. Mornings are cold and damp in Chitwan, bring a non-noisy jacket or so. Bring camera and film made ready for inserting into the camera - don't waste time unpacking film (if not in digital age yet) while the elephants flushes out wildlife or forges through the bush. It is dark, so if using film, ensure that the speed is high.
Bird watching in the sal forests in Kasauraha
Bird watching in Chitwan is as good as it comes anywhere on earth. Nepal's diversity includes bird life and with more than 500 species, no little number is on show in Chitwan, too. Chitwan is an all-season resoprt for birds: nesting, winter quarters, feeding grounds, migratory resting place. You need more specific info than I can provide here, but essentially you have the birds connected to the open sal forests, including some fantastic wood peckers. The you have the water fowls, ducks, waders, cormorants encountered on and along the rivers, the specialists such as irridicent king fishers, open-billed storks etc. Birds of prey are plentyful, both owls, osprey, eagles - the fish eagle is a character bird - and the harriers, hawks and little falcons. The birds of the jungle and canopy forest, exemplified by the noisy hornbill, the jungle cock, and the Chitwan sound machine, your alarm clock, the peacock.
Some places are better than others and your choiceof resport may be detrimental. There are pilgrimage spots for bird watchers in Chitwand, and one particular place is the small lakes south of Bharatpur, between there and Rapti river. A superb place for viewing birdlife. Bring good binoculars to Chitwan, this is a great opportunity.
This is a must in Chitwan - the Nepali equivalent to the safari jeep in Masai Mara!
Wildlife accepts elephants and you can get very close to rhinos, wild elephants, gaur, wild hogs, chital deers etc.
You will be seated in a corner of a howdah with the corner beam between your legs, so you sit safely in a frame. Go to the toilet befor you "board".
Don't wear shorts, but long pants against scratches and bruises from branches and elephant grass. Likewise, if you use glasses (sunglasses, too) bring a retainer so they don't get swept off by branches. A retainer for your hat/cap is very useful, too.
It will be dark out there and the movement of the elephant further increases the need for a high-ASA film if you are into photography.
This sub's watching you
This huge crocodilian is specializing in fish-eating, so you are not on the menu as long as you stay away from their nests.
Up to more than 6 meters they are amongts the biggest of the crocodilians. And the most funny-looking with their long, knobbly and slender snout full of needle-like teeth.
It is easier to see these in Chitwan's river than the muggar. The breeding program of the park authorities is quite successful.
You will find gharials both in Rapti (downstream from Sauraha also) and side rivers and canals as well as in the Narayani. With the Narayanghat pollution, fish stocks have dwindled in the Narayani and chemicals cause skin diseases, so gharials are threatened in that part of Chitwan.
More Reviews (28)
- See All Easy access - great upmarket place at...
- See All Pack your sack!
- See All Slowly down the river ... rafting to...
- Elephant polo world championship
- Tharu culture
- Sauraha and Chitwan
- Souvenirs from Chitwan
- See All Pub and snacks on the Rapti in Sauraha
- See All Bars and restaurants at Sauraha
- See All The biggest dangers in Chitwan
- A handy book on Chitwan
Been to Royal Chitwan?Share your travels with the world!
Saagar's Related Pages
Royal Chitwan Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Chitwan - Nepal's premier jungle area"
- "A nice and peaceful place"
- "Royal Chitwan National Park"
- "Chitwan National Park."
- "Into the Jungle"
- "What I Have Seen in Chitwan National Park"
- "My first jungle experience"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Royal Chitwan
- Hotels in Royal Chitwan
- Transportation in Royal Chitwan
- Nightlife in Royal Chitwan
- Restaurants in Royal Chitwan
- Shopping in Royal Chitwan
- Warnings and Dangers in Royal Chitwan
- See All...
Explore the World
- Martina Franca
- Oyster Point Hotels
- Westerville Hotels
- Hohhot Hotels
- Ruswil Hotels
Badges & Stats in Royal Chitwan
- 38 Reviews
- 54 Photos
- 1 Forum posts
- 3 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (30)
Have you been to Royal Chitwan?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Royal Chitwan
Photos in Royal ChitwanSee All Photos (54)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Svalbard Intro, 141 reviews, 186 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Norway Intro, 162 reviews, 131 photos, 6 travelogues
- Asker Intro, 161 reviews, 87 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Nepal Intro, 108 reviews, 105 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Mongolia Intro, 84 reviews, 109 photos, 5 travelogues
- Simikot Intro, 67 reviews, 122 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Bangladesh Intro, 78 reviews, 91 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Pokhara Intro, 75 reviews, 75 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Seychelles Intro, 70 reviews, 78 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Greenland Intro, 52 reviews, 74 photos, 3 travelogues