Thanks to Nepal's extensive and effective parks and reserve system, the country has managed to preserve more endangered species of flora and fauna than any other country in Asia. Now, the protected areas in Nepal include 10 national parks, 3 wildlife reserves, one hunting reserve and 6 conservation areas and 11 buffer zones covering an area of 34,186.62 sq. km, that is, 23.23 percent of the total area of the country. National Parks in Nepal

Chitwan National Park:

Activities:Jungle safari on elephant back, jungle walk, canoe ride, jeep drive, experience of Tharu culture

Accommodation:Resort hotels and lodges

Access:The park headquarters at Kasara is a 21-km drive from Bharatpur which is 20 minutes by air or 146 km by road from Kathmandu

Wildlife:56 species of mammals that include one-horned rhinoceros, Royal Bengal tiger, rhesus monkey, langur, deer, leopard, gaur, wild boar, wild dog and wild cat; 49 species of amphibians and reptiles that include the endangered long snouted gharial, marsh mugger crocodile and python.

Birds:539 species of birds that include summer migrant birds like paradise flycatcher, Indian pitta and parakeets etc. during, while winter birds include waterfowl, Brahminy ducks, pintails, bar-headed geese, cormorants and migratory birds from Siberia

Vegetation:Deciduous forest with 600 plant species

Best Season:October-March (average temperature 25 degrees Celsius); April- June (hot, up to 43 degrees Celsius), July-September (rainy)

Park Headquarters:Kasara

Added Attraction:Devghat, Padavnagar, Balmiki Ashram, Kabilaspur, Chepang Hills Trail

 

Sagarmatha National Park:

Activities:Trekking, mountaineering, experience of Sherpa culture

Accommodation:Resort hotels, lodges, tea houses, camping

Access:Fly to Lukla which is 30 minutes by air from Kathmandu and then trek onward

Wildlife: Himalayan thar, ghoral, musk deer, pika (mouse hare), weasel, jackal, black bear, wolf, lynx and snow leopard

Birds:193 species of birds including impeyan pheasant (Danphe), blood pheasant, red-billed chough, yellow-billed chough, snow cock, snow pigeon, Himalayan griffon and lammergeier

Vegetation:Pine and hemlock forests at lower altitudes, while above 3,500m. forests are dominated by silver fir, birch, rhododendron and juniper trees

BestSeason:October-November and March-May; During December-February,it gets snowing and even at day time temperature will be below 5 degrees Celsius. It will be raining between June-September

Park Headquarters: Mendalphu, Namche Bazaar

 

Shey-Phoksunda National Park:

Activities:Trekking, mountaineering

Accommodation:Camping

Access: Fly to Dolpa's Jufal Airport from Nepalgunj (20 minutes) and then a three-day walk

Wildlife: Sheep, ghoral, musk deer, leopard, wild dog, marmot, weasel, mouse hare, rhesus and langur monkeys, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan black bear and jackals; 6 species of reptiles

Birds: Over 200 species of birds including yellow throated marten, Tibetan partridge, wood snipe, white-throated tit, wood accentor and crimson-eared rose finch, impeyan pheasant, cheer pheasant, chough, raven, Tibetan snow cock, Tibetan twit, Himalayan griffon and lammergeier

Butterflies:29 species of butterflies

Vegetation:286 floral species of botanical importance: pine, walnut, willow, oak, cypress in the lower altitude and pine, spruce, juniper and birch at higher regions; berberis, wild rose and caragana are seen in alpine areas while the regions higher up are mostly arid with grass alpine meadows with barely any trees

Best Season: March-May and September-October

Park Headquarter: Sumduwa

Added Attractions: Lake Phoksundo, Dho village (one of the highest settlements in the world)

 

Bardiya National Park:

Activities: Jungle safari on elephant back, jungle walk, boat ride, jeep drive

Accommodation: Jungle lodges

Access: Three hours' drive (95 km) from Nepalgunj, which is 1 hour by air or 516 km by road from Kathmandu

Wildlife: 53 mammals that include the Royal Bengal tiger, one-horned rhinoceros, elephant, swamp deer, black buck; reptiles include gharial crocodile, marsh mugger crocodile; fresh-water Gangetic dolphin is commonly seen in the Karnali River

Birds: 400 species of birds include Bengal florican, lesser florican, silver-eared mesia and sarus crane

Vegetation: Sal, savannah forests and grasslands

Best Season: October-March, April-June (hot, up to 42 degrees Celsius), July-September (rainy)

Park Headquarters: Thakurdwara

 

Khaptad national Park:

Activities:Trekking

Accommodation: Camping

Access: Fly from Kathmandu-Nepalgunj (60 min.), then fly to Chainpur (Bajhang)20 min. and then a three-day walk; or fly Kathamndu-Dhangadi (1 hr 10 min.) 670 km by drive, then 10 hurs drive to Silgadi and then 1 day trek

Wildlife: Wildlife include barking deer, wild boar, ghoral, Himalayan black bear, yellow-throated marten, rhesus monkey and langur monkey

Birds: 270 species of birds, the common ones being different varieties of impheyan pheasant, partridges, flycatchers, bulbuls, cuckoos and eagles

Vegetation: Grasslands and forests of subtropical, temperate and sub alpine vegetation; 224 species of medicinal herbs

Best Season: March-May and October-November (10-20 degrees Celsius); June-September (rainy), December-February (snow)

Park Headquarters: Khaptad

Added Attraction: Ashram of Khaptad Swami, Khaptad Lake, Tribeni, Sahashra Linga (at 3,200 m, the highest point of the park), Ganesh Temple, Nagdhunga and Kedardhunga.

 

 Langtang National Park:

Activities:Trekking, mountaineering, experience of Tamang culture

Accommodation: Lodges, camping

Access: From Dhunche, which is 117 km by road from Kathmandu

Wildlife: Wild dog, red panda, pika, muntjac, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan tahr, ghoral, serow, rhesus monkey, langur monkey, snow leopard

Birds: 373 species of birds including tragopan and impeyan pheasant

Vegetation: Sub-tropical forests below 1,000 m giving way to alpine shrubs and grasslands

Best Season: October-November and March-May (cold at higher elevation); June-September (monsoon), December-February (snow)

Park Headquarters: Dhunche

Added Attraction: Holy Lake Gosainkunda.

 

Makalu Barun National Park:

Activities: Trekking, mountaineering

Accommodation: Camping

Access: Fly to Tumlingtar from Kathmandu (40 minutes) and then a six-day walk

Wildlife: Endangered red panda and snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, clouded leopard, ghoral, Himalayan tahr, wild boar, barking deer, Himalayan marmot, weasel, langur monkey and serow; Arun River has 84 varieties of fish including salmon

Birds: 400 species of birds including wren babbler, olive ground warbler

Vegetation: Sub-tropical forests to sub-alpine and alpine vegetation as the altitude increases; 48 species of orchids, 87 species of medicinal herbs, 25 of 30 varieties of rhododendrons found in Nepal, 48 species of primroses and 86 species of fodder trees

Best Season: October-November and March-April; April-May (hot at lower elevations), June-September (monsoon)

Park Headquarters: Seduwa

 

Rara National Park:

Activities: Trekking

Accommodation: Camping, lodge

Access: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (1 hour); Nepalgunj to Talcha Airport (35 minutes) then 2-hour trek to Rara Lake

Wildlife: Endangered red panda and musk deer, Himalayan black bear, leopard, jackal, Himalayan tahr, wild yellow-throated martin, wild dog, wild boar, common langur, rhesus macaque and common otter; three species of snow trout can be seen in the lake

Birds: During winter 272 species of birds are seen here including coots, great-crested grebe, black-necked grebe, red crested pochard, mallard, common teal, merganser and gulls; migrant water fowls and gallinaceous birds can also be seen during certain seasons

Vegetation: Coniferous forests and blue pine dominate the park and the lake area respectively; rhododendron, juniper, spruce, oak and cypress are found around 3,000 m while at higher altitude, pine, spruce and fir are more common

Best Season: February-April and October-November

Park Headquarters:  Hutu

 

Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park:

Activities: Trekking, bird watching

Access: Drive from Kathmandu city center to Budhanilkantha (11 km) then trek

Wildlife: 19 species of mammals including Himalayan black bear, leopard, barking deer, wild boar, wild cat, rhesus monkey and langur monkey

Birds: 177 species of birds

Butterflies: 102 species of butterflies

Vegetation: 129 varieties of mushrooms

Best Season: September-May; June-August (rainy)

Park Headquarters: Shivapuri