A Complete blog for tourism guide in Nepal

Tourism in Bardia National Park

Pic:Bardia National Park 
Destination: Bardia National Park 

Highlights:

  • Tigers in the hot season are seen at watering holes
  • Jungle treks to spot a rhino
  • River boating and fishing
  • Tharu Museum
  • Crocodile breeding center
  • Elephant breeding center
  • Elephant rides
  • Jeep Jungle tours
  • Jungle walks/trekking
  • Ghodaghodi Tal

Best time:

Bardia National Park is open year round with most wildlife visible. However it's at the end of the dry season and start of the hot season in February to July that there is a greater chance of seeing tigers as they come out to the waterholes. Local guides also mention November and December as being good times though it's not that hot and can be very hazy. Do note that from March to July it is very hot in Bardia so do come prepared and stay hydrated. The park may be inaccessible from May to September due to flooding.

Accommodation:

Understand that lodges are banned from operating inside the park so don't believe anyone who tells you that their accommodation is inside the park. Staying outside Bardia National park means you will be staying outside the main gates but also outside of Thakurdwara town (let's call it an accommodation buffer zone). Bardia has a wide selection of resorts that vary in price from $5 per night upward to $150+. Most travelers book ahead and arrange jungle treks or excursions from there.

Transportation:

How to fly to Bardia National Park from Kathmandu?
The nearest airport to Bardia National Park is Nepalganj Airport in Banke district of the Bheri zone in Nepal. The flight takes about 50 minutes. From here you have to take a bus of Jeep to Bardia which is 3 hours away (5,000 rupees). Plane tickets to Nepalganj are available from nearly all travel agencies in Kathmandu. Flights run daily depending on numbers. Off season flights are frequently postponed until the next day. Prices are approximately USD $200. 

How to take a bus from Kathmandu to Bardia National Park?
Bus travel to Bardia is by far the most preferred method. There are several options. The two most popular are to take a bus to Ambassa or direct to Thakurdwara. The direct bus to Thakurdwara leaves from Kathmandu's Gongabu bus park. Book the day before. Departures are usually around 4-5pm. Ticket prices are about 1700 rupees. This bus can be canceled on occasion. This bus has a little more seat room than the other types of bus. The more common type of bus leaves from Gongabu at more regular times from 1pm to late to Mahendranagar. So it's important you ask for a Mahendranagar but then tell them you will get off a Ambassa. The cost is about 1,200 rupees. Again, you need to book a seat the day before. Journey time to Bardia is about 13 hours in both cases. Both buses stop during the night for food and toilet breaks. They usually arrive between 4am-5am (so it helps to have someone waiting for you). 

Private Jeep to Bardia
You could hire a private jeep and driver to take you to Bardia. It will likely cost in excess of USD $250 give or take the odd fuel crises.

Description:

Bardia National Park is the largest national park in the Terai, a beautiful, unspoiled wilderness of sal forest, grassland and alluvial washes cut by the many fingers of the Karnali River. Largely unpopulated, it is often described as what Chitwan National Park was like 30 years ago, before its commercial development. One can raft through the park for hours on end and not encounter another person. 

The park suffered greatly during the Maoist insurgency of the 1990s. Tourism dried up, lodges were mothballed, and wildlife was hit hard by poaching, particularly the rhino population. The good news is that this damage is now being reversed, with 31 rhino being counted in 2014, and five more transferred from Chitwan in 2017.