I have always disliked the zoo or any animals in captivity. I believe that every living creature in this world should be left free and allowed to be where they belong unless they are prone to near extinction. Preservation is important but keeping them imprisoned in captivity for one’s hobby or pleasure is a henious crime. Just imagine if you are locked up in a cage and every day people objectify you as a source of entertainment and start to watch you , poke at you, you would feel nothing but in pain and hell.
I am against such behaviour and rather love seeing animals in their natural habitant where they belong free and unthreatened. in that pursue, I recently made a trip to Bardia National park with my partner who shares the same view as mine.
In recognition of the magnitude of biodiversity, the Government of Nepal has established a network of 20 protected areas since 1973, consisting of ten national parks, three wildlife reserves, six conservation areas, and one hunting reserve. Bardia National Park is one of them.
Bardia National Park
Bardia national park is the biggest untouched wilderness in the Terai. It covers an area of 968 km of Sal forest and grassland and protects one of Asia’s largest stretches of tiger habitat. Back in 2013, the total population recorded was 50 tigers, a record high. Now it is much more, but you still need good luck to see a tiger.
Bardia National Park is home to at least 30 other mammal species including one-horned rhino, wild elephant, swamp deer, and Ganges river dolphin. The dolphins are near to extinction. Additionally, more than 407 bird species, among them Bengal florican, white-rumped vulture, pefowl,bar-headed goose, and Sarus crane can be found in the park
Then there is a crocodile breeding center which offers a closer look at the park’s reptiles like turtles, marsh mugger, and gharial crocodiles at the south of the park headquarters. Also, there is an Elephant breeding center, the elephant breeding center is best visited in the afternoon when the elephants have come back from grazing in the park. Finally, you can explore the village where you can explore the customs and rituals of the Tharu people. They are very hospitable and treat the visitors with love and respect.
Walk in the park
Normally everyone who goes to Bardia National Park has one reason to see the tiger in the wild. But seeing it is luck and the timing that you have. Normally hotels charge rates above 5000 for the whole day trip as you are not allowed to visit the park on your own. A guide is a must, the walk in the forest can be a whole day or half-day and there are many local guides found in the area. Having the right guide can enhance your experience and learn about many things in the park. They are the guiding light for your whole trip inside the park.
Luckily, I and my partner were viewing the sunset from Hattisar, which was a walkable distance from our homestay. There we met Sushila, she has been guiding us around for nearly a decade and had lots of knowledge. I was very much surprised about her knowledge of mammals, birds, and even flora and fauna. So we booked her for the whole day and our experience started. It was not about seeing the tiger but being in the wilderness felt so euphoric that I cannot explain it in words. It can be felt not described, although we didn’t see the tiger instead we did manage to see the other species including the one-horned rhino and many types of birds.
- Respect nature, leave only footprints not your waste.
- Do not go against the rules, listen to the guide and follow their instructions.
- If you are carrying any plastic bottles or any kind of materials which is harmful to nature please return them back with you and dispose of them in the right place.
- You are in the wild, hence anytime danger will lurk. Be prepared for that.
- Carry enough food for the day as you will be spending the whole day inside the wild.
- If you smoke, it is respectful if you dispose of it in the right place outside the park or else make sure you have switched it off completely.
All the pictures are courtesy of Sushila and we especially thank her for the day she guided us and the knowledge she has given us. If you ever wish to visit Bardia National park we highly recommend her.
Sushila and her contact details are 986-3151003, calling her prior would be best as the guides are sometimes already booked in advance.