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Nationals Park in Nepal
Royal Chitwan National Park
Royal Chitwan National Park stands today as a successful testimony of nature conservation in South Asia. This is the first national park of Nepal established in 1973 to preserve a unique ecosystem significantly valuable to the whole world. The park covering a pristine area of 932 sq. km is situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of southern central part of Nepal. The park has gained much wider recognition in the world when UNESCO included this area on the list of World Heritage Site in 1984.
Formerly, the Chitwan valley was well known for big game and was exclusively managed as a hunting reserve for the Rana Prime Ministers and their guests until 1950. In 1963, the area south of Rapti was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. In 1970, His late Majesty King Mahendra had approved in principle the creation of Royal Chitwan National Park.
The park consists of churia hills, ox-bow lakes, flood plains of Rapti, Reu and Narayani rivers. The Churia hill rises gradually towards the east from 150 m to over 800 m. The lower but most rugged Someshwor hills occupy most of the western portion of the park. The flood plains of Chitwan are rich alluvial. The park boundaries have been delineated by the Narayani and Rapti rivers in the north and west, and the Reu river and Someshwor hills in the south and south-west. It shares its eastern border with Parsa Wildlife Reserve.
Bardia National Park
Covering an area of 968 sq. km, Royal Bardia National Park is situated in the mid-Far Western Terai, east of the Karnali River. Originally set aside in 1968 as a Royal Hunting Reserve, the area was gazetted in 1967 as Royal Karnali Wildlife Reserve with an area of 368 sq. km. It was renamed as Royal Bardia Wildlife Reserve in 1982 and extended to include the Babai River valley in 1984. National Park status was gazetted in 1988. The main objectives of the park are to conserve a representative ecosystem of the mid-Western Terai, particularly the tiger ad its prey species.
Langtang National Park
Situated in the Central Himalaya, Langtang National Park is the nearest park to Kathmandu. The area extends from 32 km north of Kathmandu to the Nepal-China (Tibet) border. Langtang was designated as the first Himalayan National Park in 1970-71, and was gazetted in March 1976. While the main reason for the park is to preserve the natural environment, an equally important goal is to allow local people to follow traditional land use practices that are compatible with resource protection.
Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park
Sagarmatha National Park covers an area of 1148 square kilometers in the Khumbu region of Nepal. The Park includes the highest peak in the world. Mt. Sagarmatha (Everest 8848 m.) and several other well known peaks such as Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Pumori, Ama Dablam, Thamerku, Kwangde, Kangtaiga and Gyachyung Kang.
As Mt. Sagarmatha and the surrounding area is of major significance not only to Nepal but to the rest of the world, its status as a national park since 1976 is intended to safeguard its unique cultural, physical and scientific values through positive management based on sound conservation principles.
Rara National Park
Rara National Park is located in northwest Nepal about 371 km air distance from Kathmandu. The park headquarters is about 32 km north to Jumla. Most of the park including Lake Rara lies in Mugu District, with a small area in Jumla District of Karnali Zone. This is the smallest park in Nepal (106 sq. km) with the country’s biggest lake (10.8 sq. km) at an elevation of 2990 m. The lake is oval shaped with an eastwest axis and has a maximum length of 5 km and a width of 3 km. The maximum depth of the lake is 167 m. The park was gazetted in 1967 to conserve the unique beauty of Lake Rara and to protect a representative sample of flora and fauna of the Humla-Jumla region.
The elevation of the park ranges from 1800 m to 4048 m, Chuchemara Lekh is the highest point. The lake is in a deep basin, the northern and eastern rims which form part of the park boundary. The lake drains to Mugu Karnali River via Nija Khola. The lakeside pasture in the south gives way to the steep slopes of Gurchi Lekh, its crest culminating at Chuchemara in a horse-shoe shaped opening to the south drained by the Jiun River. On the west, river valleys cut through a ridge which form the natural boundary to the park.
Khaptad National Park
Khaptad National Park is located in the mid-mountain region of Far-Western Nepal at an air distance of 446 km from Kathmandu. The core area is situated at the cross point of Bajhang, Bajura, Doti and Achham Districts of Seti Zone. The Park HQ. at Khaptad is about 50 km and 32 km walking distance respectively from Silgadhi town (Doti) and Chainpur town (Bajhang).
The park covers a unique ecosystem of the mid-mountain region of Western Nepal and is situated at around 3000 m elevation. The upland is a rolling plateau with grasslands intermixed with oak and coniferous forests.
The summer is cool and wet, whereas, the winter is cold and dry. The monsoon begins in June and ends in September with rainfall averaging less than 1000 mm. Occasional snowfall in winter with chilling wind is another characteristic.
Shey Phoksundo National Park
Shey Phoksundo National Park is situated in the mountain region of Western Nepal, covering parts of Dolpa and Mugu Districts. Gazetted in 1984, it is the largest national park in the country with an area of 3555 sq. km. The main objectives of the park are to preserve the unique trans-Himalayan ecosystem with its typical Tibetan type of flora and fauna and to protect endangered species such as the snow leopard and musk deer.
Much of the park lies north of the Great Himalayan Range. Kanjiroba Himal lies at the southern edge of the trans-Himalayan region of the Tibetan plateau. The high Dolpa plateau in the northeast of the park is drained by the Langu (Namlang) River. The southern catchment of the park is drained by the Jugdula and Suligad Rivers, which flow south and drain into the Bheri River. Nepal’s second largest lake, Phoksundo, lies at 3660 m in the upper reaches of Suligad.
Makalu-Barun National Park
Makalu Barun National Park is the eighth national park in the Himalayas of Nepal covering an area of 1,500km2 inSolukhumbu and Sankhuwasabhadistrict. It is the only protection area in the world that consists of tropical forest as well as snow-capped peaks.
Makalu Barun National Park and Conservation Area is rich in ecosystem with around 3, 128 species of flowering plants including 25 of Nepal’s 30 varieties of rhododendron, 48 primroses, 47 orchids, 19 bamboos, 15 oaks, 86 fodder trees and 67 economically valuable aromatic and medical plants are recorded. The area is also a habitat for number of faunal species including 315 species of butterflies, 43 species of reptiles, 16 species of amphibians and around 78 species of fish are found in the ponds, lakes and rivers here. It is a paradise of bird lovers as it accommodates 440 species of birds including eagles, raptors, white-necked storks, colorful sunbirds and also 16 rare bird species including rose-ringed parakeet, Blyth’s kingfisher, deep-blue kingfisher, paleblue, blue-naped pitta, Sultan ***, flycatcher, silver-eared mesia and the white-naped vuhina. There are 88 species of mammals including snow leopard, jungle cat, Himalayan wolf, red fox, red panda, Hanuman Langur, Assam macaque, barking deer, muntjak, otters, weasel and the serow.
Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park
Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park is the ninth national park in Nepal and was established in 2002. It is located in the country’s mid-hills on the northern fringe of the Kathmandu Valley and named after Shivapuri Peak of 2,732 m (8,963 ft) altitude. It covers an area of 159 km2 (61 sq mi) in the districts of Kathmandu, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchowk, adjoining 23 Village Development Committees. In the west, the protected area extends to the Dhading District.
Banke National Park
Banke National Park has been established in 2010, which has reflected Government’s commitment in Biodiversity conservation at the landscape level. In 1998, the area was recognized as gift to the earth. The Park is linked with Suhelwa Wildlife Sanctuary of India in the south through national and community forests and with Bardia National Park in the west. There are about 4,861 households with 35,712 populations residing in buffer zone area of the park. The major residents are from Tharu , Brahmin, Chhetri, Magar, Tamang, Majhi, and Gurung caste groups. 90% of the economy of people is depending on agriculture and rest 10% on trade and labor.
By Anil Blon