tiger

Places to See Tiger in Nepal

Wildlife

Nepal is a county with rich wildlife and nature. Despite this, as per the estimates in 2009, there were only 120 tigers. Since then, Nepal has succeeded in doubling the number to 235 just in a decade. Nepal is also the first country to double its number by 2022.

But how can you know that Nepal has a tiger population? It’s simple! You can take a tiger safari in Nepal and view them in their natural habitats.

In Nepal, tigers roam in the Terai Arc Landscape and cross across small patches of tiger habitats. That extends from the Bagmati River in the east to the Yamuna River of India to the west. The following parks are famous for Tigers in Nepal.

1. Chitwan National Park

Chitwan national park for tiger encounter

This is the first national park in Nepal. It was established in 1973 and gained the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. It is located in the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands in Nawalpur, Parsa, Chitwan, and Makwanpur.

Chitwan National Park is home to around 68 species of Mannals. Among these, the Bengal tiger considered being the “king of the jungle.” The Terai region is one of the best tiger habitats worldwide because of the lush jungle and abundant prey. During the establishment of Chitwan National Park, the population of Tigers was about 25, which increased to 70–110 in 1980.

There was a massive decline during the early 20s due to unusual floods and enormous poaching. Fortunately, with the proper concern and management, the number doubled within a decade. If you want to take a visiting tiger safari here, you might have a chance of seeing a tiger in Nepal. Chitwan National Park is the best place to spot tigers and a wide range of bird species in Nepal. This is one of the few tiger reserves in Nepal where you can take a long walk safari.

2. Parsa National Park

Parsa National Park is a protected area and a conservation project covering the Parsa, Makwanpur, and Bara districts of the south-central part of Nepal. It was initially established as a wildlife reserve in 1984. Later declared as a buffer zone in 2005 and has had the status of a National Park since 2017.

In 2008, a survey combined with extensive camera-trapping reported four adult Bengal tigers residing in reserve. Later in 2017, a camera-trapping study conducted for three months revealed. The presence of 19 Bengal Tigers indicates the population of Tiger by three times in 3 years. If someone needs a reason to make a trip to Nepal, this national park might be the perfect reason. Not only can you spot tigers, but also many bird species and other elusive animals.

3. Bardiya National Park

spot tigers at royal bardiya national park
Image source: Nepal Mangolian

Bardia National Park was established in 1988 as a protected area in Nepal and was named Royal Bardia National Park. It is the largest and most undisturbed national park and conservation project in the Terai region. This national park is located beside the eastern bank of the Karnali River and is bisected by the Babai River in the Bardiya District. However, the Nepalgunj-Surkhet highway partly forms the southern boundary, sadly disrupting the protected area.

The Bardia National Park is home to 53 mammals, including rhinoceros, wild elephants, Bengal tiger, swamp deer, and Gangetic dolphin. Therefore this is not just a tiger crossing but a big conservation project. A tiger monitoring study conducted in Bardia National Park estimated 56 wild tigers, an increase of six from 2013. The survey has found a high presence of breeding tigers and cubs in the protected area. Although the chance of seeing a tiger is decent here, you still need some aspect of luck.

4. Banke National Park

Banke National Park is Nepal’s tenth National park, established in 2010 in the Mid-Western Region. It is known as the youngest National Park of Nepal. A buffer zone surrounds the park in Banke, Salyan, and Dang districts.

The protected area mainly holds tigers and four-horned antelope. Collaborating with the neighboring Bardia National Park, the coherent protected area represents the Tiger crossing and Tiger Conservation Unit (TCU) Bardia-Banke. A camera trapping survey conducted has found that the Tigers population. Banke National Park rose from 4 to 21 in five years from 2013 to 2018.

5. Suklaphanta National Park

shuklaphanta national park to see tiger
Image Source: Tiger Encounter

Shuklaphanta National Park is situated in the Terai region of the Far-Western part of Nepal. It covers open grassland, forests, riverbeds, and tropical wetlands and is perfect for taking a safari in Nepal. They established it in 1976 as the Royal Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve. And got its status as a National park in 2016.

Suklaphanta National Park is the home to 46 mammal species, of which 18 are protected under CITES.You can find the Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, sloth bear, swamp deer, elephant, and hispid hare. Shuklaphanta eight Royal Bengal tigers in total. Nepal officially pledged to double its tiger population to 250 by 2022 during an international conference held in Petersburg, Russia. This was already achieved by 2019, when the number increased to 16.

But unfortunately, the population has not grown since 2014 due to the prevailing gender imbalance. A Survey study found out that only 6 out of 16 tigers are female and for effective reproduction. This is not a good ratio as there needs to be more females than male to have a healthy tiger population. Due to this, the total number of tigers is estimated to decline in the coming years.

The conclusion

Although tigers are not rare species/endangered species of creatures, they are elusive big cats. As big as they are, it can be hard to spot tigers and sometimes visiting tiger reserve might be the only way. The spots we mentioned here are some of the best tiger reserves in Nepal and some of the best places to spot tigers as well.

We hope that you found this interesting, And as always, thank you for reading till the end.

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