Chitwan, one of Nepal’s most popular tourist destinations after Kathmandu and Pokhara, offers top things to do in Chitwan, Nepal, including wildlife safaris, jungle adventures, birdwatching, etc.
Located in the Terai region, this area is a haven for adventure seekers, who can fully engage themselves in various activities during their days or weeks here.
Whether you are looking for relaxation or an exciting adventure, Chitwan is the best place to visit in Nepal which is not far away from Kathmandu.
21 Best Things to Do in Chitwan
Elephant Ride and Safari
Take an exciting adventure in Chitwan by riding an elephant and exploring the jungle. You’ll get a special view of the wildlife in their natural home, and you might even see rare animals like tigers.
The elephant safari lets you get close to animals like rhinos, deer, monkeys, and more. It’s a fun and environmentally friendly way to discover the wilderness of Chitwan and make unforgettable memories of your wildlife experience.
Bathing with Elephant
If you’re interested in interacting with elephants and having a playful experience, then bathing with an elephant is one of the best things to do in Chitwan.
All you need to do is express your interest to the elephant rider, and they will arrange for you to have this unique opportunity.
It’s a special way to form a personal connection with these magnificent animals and make lasting memories of the special bond between humans and elephants.
Go Jeep Drive Safari
One of the top attractions in Chitwan is going on a Jeep Safari, which is a popular choice among tourists to explore the wildlife in the area.
During the safari, visitors have the opportunity to see Royal Bengal Tigers, One-horned Rhinoceros, deer, various bird species, and more.
If you’re visiting Chitwan and choose not to go on a safari ride, you may miss out on experiencing the best of Chitwan National Park and its diverse wildlife.
Bish Hajari Taal (20,000 Lakes)
Bish Hajari Taal is a vast wetland in Chitwan, Nepal. It’s called “20,000 Lakes” but it doesn’t have 20,000 individual lakes. It’s a network of many interconnected lakes, ponds, and marshes.
This unique ecosystem is rich in flora and fauna. You can see many different birds, such as herons, storks, ducks, and eagles. You can also take a boat ride and explore the lakes and marshes.
It’s a must-visit destination for those who love nature and wildlife. You can enjoy birdwatching, boat rides, and exploring the diverse biodiversity.
Jungle / Nature Walk (Short Hiking)
Going for a walk in the jungle or nature is a great way to see the beauty of Chitwan. You’ll walk through the forest and maybe see animals, birds, and plants in their natural homes.
It’s a good way to relax and learn about the environment. If you like nature or just want to calm down, this is a great option.
Visiting Elephant Breeding Center
If you are in Chitwan then visiting Elephant Breeding Center is a great place to learn about Elephant conservation in Nepal. Here, you can see baby elephants playing with their mothers and also how the local center is protecting these endangered animals.
Here you will learn valuable lessons about conservation and efforts being made for elephants it’s habitants. So, visiting this place is a must while visiting Chitwan.
Exploring Great One-Horned Rhinoceros
If you want to see the majestic one-horned rhinoceros, Chitwan is a great place to visit. You can go on guided safaris in the park to search for these incredible creatures and learn about their habits and habitat.
The one-horned rhinoceros is a magnificent animal, and seeing it up close is sure to be a highlight of your trip.
With a little luck, you may even catch a glimpse of one of these magnificent beasts in its natural setting. So, pack your binoculars and camera, and get ready for an exciting adventure in Chitwan!
Canoeing at Rapti River
Canoeing on the Rapti River is a popular activity in Chitwan National Park. The river is teeming with wildlife, including crocodiles, rhinos, and various bird species.
During the 45 minutes to one-hour-long canoe ride, a knowledgeable guide will help the way and point out different animals along the route.
If you are in Chitwan than Canoeing is a must thing to do and I am sure that you are going to love it.
Visting Devghat Dham
Devghat is a sacred place located on the banks of the Narayani River. It is believed to be one of the holiest places in Nepal, and it is a popular destination for pilgrims from all over the world.
There are many temples and shrines in Devghat, and it is also a popular place for meditation and spiritual practice.
If you’re visiting Chitwan for birdwatching, it’s worth the trip. Chitwan National Park is home to an impressive variety of bird species, with over 544 recorded in their survey.
You can spot different birds throughout the year, including various seasonal species, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts.
Tharu Village Tour (Enjoy Tharu Cultural Programs)
If you are interested in learning about the Tharu culture and experiencing some traditional programs, consider taking a Tharu village tour in Chitwan.
During the tour, you will visit a Tharu village and learn about their customs and traditions.
You may even be able to participate in some of the cultural programs, such as traditional dances or music performances.
This is a great way to gain a deeper appreciation for the local culture and meet some of the friendly residents of the village.
Crocodile Hatching Farm
Visit a crocodile-hatching farm in Chitwan to learn about and see crocodiles up close. These farms breed and raise crocodiles, offering a unique opportunity to observe their development and behavior.
It’s an educational and fascinating experience to get a closer look at these remarkable creatures.
Ox Cart Riding
In Chitwan, you might have the chance to go for a ride on an ox cart. This is a special and unique activity that lets you see traditional rural life up close. It’s a peaceful and genuine way to explore the beautiful area around you.
It’s a lovely and unusual experience that adds a touch of old-fashioned charm and cultural heritage to your visit to Chitwan.
During your visit to Chitwan, you can have a unique and meaningful experience by going on a pilgrimage tour.
These tours will take you to sacred sites and religious places that hold great importance for the local community, allowing you to learn about their faith and traditions.
Devghat Dham, Bikram Baba, and Maulkalika Mandir are just a few of the pilgrimage tours that are available in Chitwan.
Elephant Games (Hatti Polo)
Elephant polo is a fun and traditional activity held annually in Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Instead of horses, the game is played on the backs of elephants, making it a unique and thrilling experience.
The elephants, guided by their handlers called mahouts, move gracefully across the field. Each team consists of four players, aiming to score by hitting the ball into the opponent’s goal.
The elephant polo season in Chitwan National Park takes place from the last week of November to the first week of December. Though this game is halted for now but may re-open anytime soon.
If you love taking pictures of wildlife, Chitwan is a great place to visit. There are many interesting animals like elephants, rhinos, tigers, and different types of birds living in their natural habitats.
Whether you’re a professional photographer or just someone who enjoys taking photos, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to capture amazing shots and remember your special experiences with wild animals.
The best time to go wildlife photography in Chitwan is during the dry season, from October to March. This is when the animals are more active and easier to spot.
There are a few different ways to do wildlife photography in Chitwan. You can go on a jeep safari, take a boat ride, or even go on foot.
No matter how you choose to go wildlife photography in Chitwan, you are sure to have an amazing experience.
Boat riding in the Narayani River
When you visit Chitwan, don’t miss out on the chance to go motorboating down the Narayani River. It’s a cool and scenic way to see the area, and you might even cool things!
Whether you’re looking for a chill ride or a fun adventure, motorboating on the Narayani River is a must-try activity that will make your trip to Chitwan even more amazing.
Cycling in Chitwan
Exploring Chitwan village is a great way to experience the local culture and way of life. This can be done using Cycling, a great alternative activity that allows you to explore the area at your own pace.
However, it is best to avoid doing this during the summer days, as the heat can be very uncomfortable.
Cooking Traditional Tharu Food
When visiting Tharu Village in Chitwan, you have the opportunity to savor traditional Tharu dishes such as Ghonghi, Dhikri, Bagiya, Bhakka, and Sidhara.
These unique and delicious foods may be unfamiliar to you, but you can try your hand at cooking them yourself and enjoy the authentic flavors.
It’s a special and enjoyable activity to engage in during your Chitwan visit, and you’ll undoubtedly appreciate the experience.
One of the least things to do in Chitwan is to go fishing, you can rent fishing rods from the local shops and go fishing including the Narayani River, and the Rapti River.
The best time to go fishing in Chitwan is during the dry season, from October to March. This is when the water levels are lower and the fish are more active.
Stay in Luxury Jungle Resorts
One of the activities that one can do in Chitwan is to experience the natural peace and calm of the jungle while staying at one of the many luxurious resorts in the area.
Visitors can book a resort for a day or a week and enjoy the peace of the jungle while also experiencing the wildlife that the park is home to.
Visitors can wake up to the sound of birds, and the call of monkeys, and they can go for a nature walk at their own pace, get a guided tour, etc.
Fun Facts about Chitwan
Here are some fun facts about Chitwan:
- Chitwan means “Heart of the Forest” in the local Tharu language.
- Chitwan National Park is Nepal’s first national park of Nepal and it’s also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The park is home to various wildlife like rhinos, tigers, elephants, and deer.
- It also houses endangered species like the Bengal tigers and one-horn rhinoceros.
- Chitwan is a famous tourist spot with activities like elephant safaris, jungle walks, and birdwatching.
- The villages near Chitwan National Park are famous for their rich history and cultural significance.
- It has a diverse ecosystem and it is located in Nepal’s Terai region.
- Chitwan spans over 2,238 square kilometers, featuring forests, grasslands, and riverine habitats.
- It boasts a diverse array of wildlife, including 525 bird species, 50 mammal species, and 55 reptile and amphibian species.
- Eco-tourism is popular in Chitwan, attracting visitors for various nature-based activities.
About Chitwan National Park
Out of 12 national parks, Chitwan National Park is the most popular and most visited national park in Nepal. Established in 1973, Chitwan national park is regarded as Nepal’s first national park.
Later, in 1984, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, which helped it become a renowned national park of Nepal. The Chitwan national park has been a major part of Nepal’s tourism ever since.
Located in the central Terai of Nepal, Chitwan national park is best known for the Chitwan jungle safari. Travelers from all around the world visit Chitwan national park to spy on one-horned rhinos and encounter fierce Bengal tigers.
It is said that the late King Mahendra, an avid hunter, used to go hunting in the jungle of Chitwan national park before it was declared a national park. Similarly, the late King Birendra is also said to have had his first hunt in the same forest.
Covering an area of 952.63 sq. km, it is divided by the Narayani-Rapti River from the human settlement. These villages have a thick settlement of Tharu communities.
During your trip to Chitwan national park, you can explore the Tharu culture and lifestyle with a closer glimpse. Tharu people are welcoming and kind in nature.
Homestay is also available where the local family allows you to have a first-hand experience of their culture.
Enjoy their traditional dance while savoring their distinct cuisines. You can even try their traditional dress, which is unique from any other culture.
While touring the Chitwan national park, you can have two options. You can either have an elephant ride or a jeep ride across the jungle.
The jungle safari elephant ride is popular among visitors who like to take a tour of the jungle with less noise and watch the animals from a height.
Likewise, the jeep ride is usually picked by those who want to cover more area in less time. Besides, riding the elephant, you can also bathe the elephant and have an elephant shower as a fun activity.
It is said that Chitwan national park is a natural habitat for around 50+ mammal species, over 55 amphibians and reptiles, and 544+ birds.
Rare animals like the Royal Bengal tiger, One-horned rhinos, crocodiles, alligators, deer, hippopotamus, Four-horned antelope, Pangolins, etc are sheltered at this national park.
Similarly, visiting Chitwan national park is suitable for bird-watching. October to March is considered not only the best time to visit Chitwan but also the best time for bird-watching.
The weather is neither too hot nor cold making it easy to travel in the Terai region. Travelers are also fond of the beautiful sunset view that is observable from Chitwan national park.
Things to do in Chitwan National Park
There are many things to do in Chitwan National Park and it offers exciting experiences like
- Elephant Safaris
- Jeep Tours
- Watching Cultural Performances
- Jungle Hiking
- Boat Rides
- Explore Wildlife
- Visiting Local Tharu Villages
- Enjoying the stunning Rapti River
- Healing with Nature.
How to get to Chitwan National Park from Kathmandu?
Here are three ways to get to Chitwan National Park from Kathmandu.
- By Air: Daily flights from Kathmandu to Bharatpur Airport are the nearest airport to Chitwan National Park. The total flight time is nearly 20 minutes and you can check Buddha Airlines for the ticket and latest cost. After landing at Bharatpur Airport, you can take a taxi or bus to Sauraha.
- By Tourist Bus: You can find plenty of buses that travel from Kathmandu to Chitwan Sauraha. The journey usually takes 5 to 7 hours to reach. The buses have WiFi services with air-conditioned and comfortable large seats.
- By Car: You can hire a private car or jeep and drive to Chitwan. The journey usually takes about 4 to 5 hours.
|Mode of transport
If you have a short time to travel then the best mode of transportation to reach Chitwan National Park is by taking a flight from Tribhuvan International Airport.
If you are on a limited budget then taking a tourist bus is also a good option.
If you are traveling with friends and family then hiring a car can be the best option for a hassle-free ride.
Chitwan National Park Entrance Fee
Chitwan national park’s entry fee varies according to nationality. You need to purchase a national park permit for each person entering the national park.
|Child (below 10 years)
For foreigners, the entry fee is NRs. 2000 per person. For SAARC countries, the entry cost is NRs. 1000 per head. Similarly, for Nepalese, the entry charge is NRs. 150 for each person. The cost of an elephant or jeep ride, and canyoning is an additional charge and not included in the entry fee.
The Chitwan National Park Entrance Fee for Child is free if the child is below 10 years old.
Best Time to Visit Chitwan National Park
Winter and spring, between October and March, are the ideal seasons to explore Chitwan National Park.
The weather is nice throughout this time, with temperatures between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius (50 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit).
As they are more active, it’s the best time to witness a variety of species, including the endangered Bengal tiger, one-horned rhinoceros, and leopards.
The park’s forests and grasslands are lush and vibrant during this time, adding to the overall experience.
However, it’s important to note that the summer months, from June to September, have heavy rainfall and increased humidity, which can make it more difficult to spot wildlife.
Therefore, visiting Chitwan National Park in the winter and spring ensures comfortable weather and better chances of encountering wildlife.
|October to March
|Mild and pleasant
|Lush and vibrant
|March to May
|Mild temperatures with occasional showers
|Blooming and green
|June to September
|Heavy rainfall and increased humidity
|Challenging for wildlife sightings
|Abundant but dense foliage
What two things are people keen to see at Chitwan?
The two main attractions that people are keen to see at Chitwan are the one-horned rhinoceros and the Royal Bengal tiger.
What is Chitwan National Park famous for?
Chitwan National Park is renowned for its one-horned rhinoceros, which is a significant attraction for visitors. While it is common to spot these rhinos on the road of Chitwan, it is important to note that touching them is strictly discouraged for safety reasons.
Are there tigers, elephants, and crocodiles in Chitwan?
Yes, Chitwan is home to tigers, elephants, and crocodiles, making it a prime wildlife destination in Nepal. Visitors have the opportunity to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat during safaris and jungle excursions.
How far is Chitwan from Kathmandu by the hour?
Chitwan is approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) away from Kathmandu. The travel time between the two cities by road is usually around 4 to 6 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions.
How far is Chitwan from Pokhara?
Chitwan is approximately 146 kilometers (91 miles) away from Pokhara. The travel time between the two cities is usually around 4 to 5 hours by road.
How many days is enough for Chitwan?
A stay of 2 to 3 days is generally considered sufficient to explore and enjoy the highlights of Chitwan. Usually, 2 Nights and 3 Days are enough to explore Chitwan.
What food is Chitwan famous for?
Chitwan’s fame lies in its Tharu cuisine, especially when visiting Tharu Village. Signature dishes like Mutton Tass and refreshing Lassi are highly recommended.
Is it worth going to Chitwan?
Yes, it is worth going to Chitwan if you are a wildlife lover and enjoy seeing wild animals up close. Chitwan, located in Nepal, offers a fantastic opportunity to explore its rich biodiversity and experience thrilling wildlife encounters.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this gem of a place while exploring Nepal. With its rich wildlife, cultural experiences, and natural beauty, Chitwan promises to be an unforgettable addition to your travel itinerary.
During my visit to Chitwan, I had a fantastic time exploring the dense jungles and going on safari experiences. The highlight of my trip was the Chitwan National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is home to various endangered species like the Bengal tiger, one-horned rhinoceros, and Asian elephants.
I had the chance to go on an exciting jungle safari, where I spotted these incredible animals in their natural habitats. The experience of seeing a majestic rhino grazing by the river or a tiger stealthily prowling through the dense foliage was genuinely unforgettable.
Apart from wildlife safaris, Chitwan also offers other activities like birdwatching, canoeing, and exploring the traditional Tharu culture.
Moreover, Chitwan provides comfortable accommodations and excellent hospitality. Several lodges and resorts offer guided tours and ensure your safety during wildlife encounters.
In conclusion, if you have a love for wildlife and want to witness the beauty of nature up close, visiting Chitwan is worth it. Based on my personal experience, I can assure you that it will be worth visiting and spending your quality time in Chitwan and Chitwan National Park.
Besides the above-listed things, there are many things to do in Chitwan, Nepal.
What do you plan to do while visiting Chitwan or Chitwan National Park?
Are you thinking of going on jungle safaris to see unique and fascinating wildlife up close?
Alternatively, you might be interested in taking a peaceful canoe ride along the calm Rapti River.
If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment or provide feedback in the comment section below.
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