15 Best Things To Do in Bardia National Park
Most famous for the endangered and protected tigers, Bardia National Park has an array of things that can be done here. Keep on reading to find out what it is.
Established in 1976 AD, Bardia National Park is the largest national park in the lowland of Nepal. More specifically it is situated in Nepal’s Western Terai that covers an area of 968 sq. kms. It is divided in two equal parts by the Babai River in the Bardiya district and is next to the eastern bank of Karnali river.
Bardia National Park was previously called the ‘Karnali Wildlife Reserve’ on its establishment and was renamed as ‘Bardiya Wildlife Reserve’ in 1982 AD. Later in 1988, the Wildlife Reserve was changed into the National Park.
As a national park, Bardia is abundant in flora, fauna and birds, but it is the most famous for tigers - Royal Bengal tiger. The 70% of the forests is covered with sal trees along a combination of grassland and riverine forests. There are more than 30 different mammals, more than 230 species of birds and many species of snakes, fishes and lizards.
Other than tigers, there are endangered animals like the one-horned rhinoceros, gharial and marsh mugger crocodiles, spotted deer, wild elephant, black buck, swamp deer, gangetic dolphins.
With so much wildlife and nature present, here is a list of things you need to do in Bardia National Park to make the best out of your trip.
Things to do in Bardia National Park
- A Walk Into The Jungle
- Go On A Jeep Safari
- Enjoy Elephant Safari
- Adventure In Karnali River
- Camping In Lalmati
- Fish And Release
- Bird Watching
- Visit The Elephant Breeding Center
- Visit The Crocodile Breeding Center
- Explore The Tharu Museum
- Rest In The Tharu Homestay
- Help Save Illegal Tiger Hunting
- Donate To The Tharu Community
- Wildlife Photography
- Dolphin Watching
A Walk Into The Jungle
The jungle view is observed best when you walk around or hop on to a trek here. In this jungle safari, you will be able to see the Royal Bengal Tigers, rare flora and fauna, and into the dense woods. Since you’ll be walking into a jungle, you will hear the sounds of the animals and birds here. You can take your time to look at the riverbanks, waterholes, or animals hanging around the river.
Go On A Jeep Safari
If walking feels tedious, then go on a jeep safari to experience Bardia National Park. Heading into the dense jungle, you can fully direct your attention to the luscious nature you are surrounded with. You will be in closer contact yet at a safe enough distance from the wildlife. There is a guide or a naturalist beside you to tell you what the animals and birds are.
Enjoy Elephant Safari
Elephant safari is a beloved activity to do in Bardia National Park. You will be riding on an elephant’s back and slowly get to look around your surroundings. Since you will be up high, there are low chances of scaring away the animals below the height you’ll be in. Animal lovers and naturalists always notify beforehand to try to not do this so the elephants do not struggle. However, if people still want to try this out, it is quite possible.
Adventure In Karnali River
Karnali river is not a sharp flowing river. So, it is a great place to go boating and rafting. You won’t only be floating in the lower current river, but will also see the gharials around the banks of the river. You will be under the noise that birds make. Not just that, the Karnali river is also very popular to look at the sunset. As the sun sets, the entire atmosphere around the river is going to be very amusing.
Camping In Lalmati
Lalmati is the most recommended place for camping since it lies on the banks of the Karnali river. The distance is close enough to see the wild animals across the river but safe enough to enjoy camping. So, you have the option to be in-between nature and take a break as you eat simultaneously.
Fish And Release
Having rivers this close gives you the chance to go fishing. Yet it doesn’t compromise on the preservation aspect of the national park. For that reason, you can enjoy fishing in the Babai River and Karnali River. But then you’d have to release them again. You cannot take away these fishes or even think of eating them. This way, you can experience fishing without causing them permanent damage.
Bardia National Park is a great place for bird watching. You will be seeing a wide range of birds like egrets, black ibis, hornbills, kingfishers, and more. Some of the birds are present here all year round and some seasonal birds migrated from various places like Siberia. If you are interested to know about the bird more specifically, a professional watching guide will help you out.
Visit The Elephant Breeding Center
As you head to the small Elephant Breeding Center, you will see elephants brought here to be protected. There will be baby elephants and some aged ones as well who have a safe space to live in and breed. Some of these elephants are placed on anti-poaching patrols. So, you can witness the habitat of these giant-yet-gentle creatures.
Visit The Crocodile Breeding Center
The Crocodile Breeding Center is also small, but it inhibits the rare marsh huggers and gharial crocodiles. Here, the crocodiles have a healthy space to breed and are protected. It means that their hatching eggs, monitoring their health, and keeping the environment safe for them are taken care of here. All of these activities are managed here.
Explore The Tharu Museum
The Tharus are the dominant residents of Bardia. If you’ve experienced the wildlife and the jungle life here in the national park, you should extend it to the Tharu lifestyle here. For that, you should explore the Tharu museum that lies inside the main gate of Bardia National Park. You will be witnessing everything about Thru culture, be it their lifestyle, the equipment they use, and the cultural belongings used on display.
Rest In The Tharu Homestay
Now that you’ve experienced it all, you can also experience village life by resting in the Tharu homestays. Here, you will be dining the authentic Tharu cuisine and will be introduced to the Tharu cultural programs as well. This creates the ambiance of the entire travel as well as allows you to see how these people have lived in this scenario.
Help Save Illegal Tiger Hunting
Bardia National Park is the land of tigers, endangered and preserved. For this, the more help they receive, the better. For that, you can donate some amount so these tigers can be given better facilities to live and so that the illegal tiger hunters won’t be able to hunt them down.
Donate To The Tharu Community
The donation can be given to the Tharu community too. This community lives simply but it still requires the backbone of better infrastructures and facilities to live a better life. So, if you can, donate some sum to the Tharu community that can support their better health facilities or better education infrastructure.
This national park is a great place to capture in film these gharial crocodiles on the river banks or look at the wilderness flying in the sky. A naturalist can guide you here, and you are going to require a permit to film here. But, for wildlife lovers, this national park is abundant in flora and fauna and a great place to take pictures and won’t be disappointed.
Some dolphins are found in the Karnali river only. Dolphins are one of the most unique mammals in the entire national park. So, you can head to the Karnali river to see these dolphins. Try your shot to see these rare Gangetic dolphins at their best, but if not, you can see some dolphins here.
Bardia National Park protects the wildlife of the lowland of Terai. So, it is an incredible park to visit to explore the protected wildlife, flora, fauna, and the great jungle to be in touch with nature and its habitants.