National Parks of Nepal

Published on: January 12, 2024
National parks of Nepal

Located in lap of Himalaya and home to 8 of highest peak among 10 in the world. Nepal is a land lock country bordering two giants of Asia China and India, Nepal has a diverse geography filled with fertile Terai plains to alpine and sun alpine forest followed by highest peak in the world. The country offers beautiful landscapes and various hiking, trekking and even biking trails that is perfect for adventures. Apart from adventures the place is also enriched with variety of wild life including flora and faunas. Home to countless migrating and non-migrating bird the place has it all in different part of country. The numbers of conservation areas as well as national parks that supports the preservation and protection of various endangered spices like one horned rhino, Bengal Tiger, Snow Leopard to variety of other wild life.

Usually National Park refers to protect area where special spices of wildlife and plants are protected in their natural habitat. In Nepal there are many national parks helping to conserve the floras and faunas in their natural habitat. With an increased issue of global warming necessary steps are taken in order to conserve and preserve such magnificent creatures in pristine area of Nepal. There are 12 national parks in Nepal and following are some of them.

Shey Phoksundo National Park

Location: Trans-Himalayan region of Dolpa
Elevation: 2,130m/6988ft. (Ankhe) to 6,883m/28582ft. (Kanjiroba Himal.)
Area: 3555 sq.km.
Established Date: 1984 AD

Located in Trans-Himalayan region of northwest Nepal, this is the largest national park of Nepal. It was established in order to conserve a unique ecosystem offering various floras and faunas. The variation of altitude of the park supports diverse range wildlife to plants as well as seasonal wild flower. This National Park provides diversity of magnificent landscapes. Larger area of the park lies on north of Himalayan ridge where Nepal’s deepest lake Phoksundo rests in beautiful turquoise color and breathtaking scenery. The Tibetan influenced village of Ringmo is in the area and have many Gompa (monastery) and beautiful glaciers. It is said that Thashung Gompa near Phoksundo Lake was built 900 years ago.

Snow leopard

The park have ethno botanical importance and has been conserving the habitat of endangered spices like Snow leopard, Jackal, Himalayan black bear and others. Himalayan Tahr, Great Tibetan sheep, Himalayan blue sheep, Musk deer, Grey wolf and many other wildlife can be witnessed in park. Coming to flora, the valley of Suligad consist of Blue Pine, Spruce, Hemlock, Cedar, Silver Fir, Rhododendron, Bamboo and many others. The park is also home to Tibetan Partridge, Wood Snipe, Crimson-eared Rose finch and many others.

The best seasons are spring (march-may) and autumn (October- November). The monsoon begins on June and is very slippery and muddy and the winters (December-February) brings snow and harsh weather conditions.

Khaptad National Park

Location: Far-western region surrounded by Doti, Bajura, Bajhang, and Achham districts
Elevation: 1,400 m (4,600 ft.) to 3,300 m (10,800 ft.)
Area: 225 sq.km.
Established Date: 1984 AD

Covering an area of 225 sq.km this park is only mid mountain national park of Nepal. The parks also holds high religious value as many pilgrims visit the ashram and temple of lord Shiva. There are few place for meditation and often provides the energy of peace and tranquility. Tobacco product, alcoholic product and sacrifice of animals are strictly prohibited.
The park’s forest mostly consist of Sal, Pines, and others whereas ever green species of Spruce, Fir, and Maple etc. are also found. The grassland flower consist of primulas, buttercups and wild berries as well. The park is reported to have 266 spices of birds and some of them are Impeyan Pheasant, type of flycatchers, bulbuls, eagles as well. The park is also habitat to wide variety of fluttering butterfly and insects. The wild boars, gorals, Himalayan black bear, wild dogs, musk deer and many others are the wildlife of Khaptad national park.

The best seasons are spring (march-may) and autumn (October- November). The monsoon begins on June and is very slippery and muddy and the winters (December-February) brings snow and harsh weather conditions.

Langtang National Park

Location: parts of Nuwakot, Rasuwa, and Sindhupalchok district
Elevation: 2000m/ 6561 ft. to 3600m/
Area: 1710 sq. km
Established Date: 1976 AD

The variation of altitude of the park supports diverse range wildlife to plants as well as seasonal wild flower. This National Park provides diversity of magnificent landscapes. The place also has holy as well as clear lakes like Gosaikunda, Suryakunda, and Bhairav Kunda. The place is enriched with beautiful Tamang heritage and Buddhist faith, Langtang National Park host several natural and cultural wonders of Himalayas in Nepal. The region is mostly dominated by Langtang range, Yala peak, Langtang Ri, Langtang Lirung (7246) is the highest among all.

Forest of this park is filled with Sal, colorful Rhododendron Nepalese alder, oak, hemlock in sub alpine region of the park. The park is also well known for endangered red panda as well. The bamboo forest is perfect habitat for red panda. The meadows are perfect habitat for Himalayan tahr, musk deer, wild dog, and many others. The park is also reported for having 250 species of birds including both migrating and non-migrating birds.

The best seasons are spring (march-may) and autumn (October- November). The monsoon begins on June and is very slippery and muddy and the winters (December-February) brings snow and harsh weather conditions in highlands of Langtang National parks.

Sagarmatha National Park

Location: Solukhumbu District
Elevation: Starting from Monjo 2,845m/9333 ft. and above
Area: 1148 sq.km
Established Date: 1976 AD

Listed in world heritage site of UNESCO the place is filled with amazing picturesque mountains, deep valleys and glaciers. The presence of Sherpa culture adds more beauty to this site. The Sherpa people who lives in this region is intertwined with the teaching of Buddhism and the renowned monasteries like Tengboche and few others are place to celebrate and share festivals and prayers.

Safarmatha national park
The forest of Pine, Hemlock, Fir, Juniper and other vegetation are available in alpine and sub-alpine region of National park. It is also said that the park is home to Red panda, Musk deer, Blue Sheep, Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan mouse and many others. Including birds like Snow cock, Blood Pheasant, Red Billed Cough, Impeyan Pheasant etc. over 188 species of birds are reported to the National Park.

The best seasons for visiting the Everest region are spring (march-may) and autumn (October- November). The monsoon begins on June and is very slippery and muddy and the winters (December-February) brings snow and harsh weather conditions.

Makalu Barun National Park

Location: Sankhuwasabha and Solukhumbu districts
Elevation: Starts from 435 m and above 8000m
Area: 1500 sq.km
Established Date: 1992

Worlds only National Park that lies above 8000m and has an innovative conservation model that incorporates management and community as local people are actively involved in protecting the environment. The management of park also encourage locals to take part actively in protecting and preserving the natural resources, forests on which their lively hood depends and encourage them to preserve their rich culture. The local community controlled grazing and forest guardianship and being strong in order to conserve, preserve and grow the forest.

From tropical forest to Arun River followed by mountains the skyline panorama is filled with Himalayan mountains like Mt. Makalu (8,463m) fifth highest mountain in the world and fourth highest in Nepal. Mt. Chamlang (7,319m), Mt. Baruntse (7,129m). Mera Peak (6,654m) and Nepal known as peak hill. Well known for remarkable diversity of flora and fauna the area has reported to found 56 rare plants. Snow leopard, red panda, musk deer, wild boar, and they are among the wildlife found here.
The best seasons are spring (march-may) and autumn (October- November). The monsoon begins on June and is very slippery and muddy and the winters (December-February) brings snow and harsh weather conditions.

Rara National Park

Location: Jumla and Mugu districts
Elevation: 2800 m/9186 ft. to 4039 m/13251 ft.
Area: 106 sq.km
Established Date: 1976 AD

The smallest Protect area of Nepal with an area of 106 sq. km. there are two village in the park and they are Rara and Chhapru village. The famous lake Rara is at the elevation of 2990m and the highest point of the peak is Chuchemara peak (4039m). Glowing lake of blue water is home to snow trout, the only fish recorded in lake. The place is home to different migrating and non-migrating birds. During winter people can enjoy migrating birds. Blooming Himalayan flowers surrounding the lake creates colorful and picturesque landscapes.

This national park is characterized by sub-alpine and high temperature vegetation. Pine, Fir, Rhododendron, Hemlock, oak, Juniper are some common plants in that area. Musk Deer, Himalayan Black bear, Otter, Himalayan Tahr, Red panda are some mammals available in the area. The park has recorded around 214 species of birds and some important species includes coots, snow cock, red crested pochard, gulls and others.

The best seasons are September- October and April- May. The monsoon begins on June and is very slippery and muddy and the winters brings snow and harsh weather conditions. The dropping temperatures below freezing, and heavy snowfalls occur up to one meter, closing high passes. Winters are harsh.

Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park

Location: Kathmandu
Elevation: 2732m/8963ft.
Area: 159 sq.km
Established Date: 2002 AD

Just 12 km away from the center of capital on the northern periphery of Kathmandu it is the ninth national park of Nepal. Firstly it was managed by Shivapuri Watershed Development but later it is declared as National Park.
The variety of vegetation includes pine, oak, rhododendron etc. depending on altitude and aspect. Recorded wildlife in the park includes mammalian species such as Himalayan Black bear, leopard, jungle cat, and rhesus monkey. The park is also home to 177 species of birds, including at least 9 threatened species, 102 species of butterflies with a number of rare and endangered species, and 129 species of mushroom.

All seasons are good in Kathmandu except for monsoons as roads will be in bad condition during monsoon. The general climate for rest of the year for is neither too hot nor too cold.

Bardiya National Park

Location: Bardiya
Elevation: 152m at lowest and 1441m is highest
Area: 968 sq.km
Established Date: 1976 AD

Home to 53 spices of mammal, 25 species of reptile and 121 spices of fish and the river area of Karnali River and Ghaghara river area are which is a true paradise for Birdwatchers and attracts many migrating birds. Overlooking them in enormous part in the wilderness on Nepal’s most pristine and protected area. Located in mid-western part of Nepal province 5, with an area of 968 sq. km. Royal Bardiya National Park is the largest and most undisturbed wilderness in the terai plain. Almost three quarters of the park is covered with forest, grassland and riverine forest. The park is established in order to protect and conserve the ecosystem and conserving the habitat wildlife and their prey along with other vegetation. Compared to any other national parks the chances of seeing tigers are high in Bardiya national park.

leopard

Dense subtropical forests, grasslands and wetlands provide ideal habitats for the wildlife, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and fluttering butterflies which any person loves to see whether s/he is nature lover or not.

The park is not open throughout the year and the best time to visit is February to June and October- November. February to June have high chance to see Tigers as well. Monsoons are usually slippery and wet also many places inside the park is covered with bushes.

Chitwan National Park

Location: Chitwan
Elevation: 110m to 850m above
Area: 952.6 sq.km
Established Date: 1976 AD

The Natural and protected area and also listed in World Heritage site in 1984, as in Terai plain of Nepal takes you to the heart of nature where you will spot abundant and exotic wildlife and experience their nature and their natural habitat. Of course you can shoot them but only with cameras. The park is established in order to protect and conserve the ecosystem and conserving the habitat wildlife and their prey along with other vegetation.

Home to 68 species of mammals, 544 (and counting) species of birds, 126 marine species and 56 species of herpetofauna along with varied vegetation. The park is renowned for conservation and protection of One Horned Rhino, Royal Bengal Tiger and crocodiles. The park also includes 22 globally threatened species including critically endangered Bengal Florian, Slender-billed Vulture, White-rumped Vulture and Red-headed Vulture.

The park is not open throughout the year and the best time to visit is February to June and October- November. February to June have high chance to see Tigers as well. Monsoons are usually slippery and wet also many places inside the park is covered with bushes.

Parsa National Park

Location: Siwalik Hills.
Elevation: 435 m (1,427 ft.) to 950 m (3,120 ft.)
Area: 627.7 sq.km
Established Date: 1984 AD

Located in south central lowland of Nepal and sharing the parts of districts Parsa, Bara and Makwanpur. The place is connected with Chitwan National Park as well. Initially established as wildlife reserve later in July 2017 the reserve was changed into National park. The main motive of this establishment was to protect Asian Wild Elephant.

The vegetation mostly consist of tropical and sub-tropical Sal Forests almost 90% of reserve. The species like Khair and Silk, cotton are found too. Sabai grass is commercially important species and grows very well in southern face of Churia hills. Park holds good population of endangered species of Asian wild elephant, Royal Bengal Tiger, Blue bull, Hog Deer, Striped Hyena, and many others. The place holds 500 species of birds such as Golden Backed Woodpecker, Giant Hornbill, Paradise Fly Catcher, etc. and many others. Some of the different kinds of snakes like common cobra, banded karit, python and king cobra is reported in park.

The park is not open throughout the year and the best time to visit is February to June and October- November. February to June have high chance to see Tigers as well. Monsoons are usually slippery and wet also many places inside the park is covered with bushes.

Banke National Park

Location: Lumbini Province
Area: 550 sq.km
Established Date: 2010 AD

This is the newest protected area which reflect the government’s commitment in order to conserve biodiversity at landscape level. The park is linked with boundary joining Suhelwa Wildlife Sanctuary in India through community forest in southern region. The place also joins Bardiya National park as well.

Consisting of Sal forest, Riverine forest, savannahs and grasslands, the place is home to 124 variety of plants, 34 species of Mammal, more than 300 species of birds, 58 species of fish as well. Almost 90% of natural forest is covered with Sal, Khair and Sishoo. Some endangered living beings like Tigers, Striped Hyena, Four Horned Antelope, Giant Hornbill, Bengal Florian , Black Stork, Crocodiles and pythons are prime concern if the park in order to preserve them.

The park is not open throughout the year and the best time to visit is February to June and October- November. February to June have high chance to see Tigers as well. Monsoons are usually slippery and wet also many places inside the park is covered with bushes.

Shuklaphanta National Park

Location: Kanchanpur District
Area: 305 sq.km
Established Date: 1976 AD.

Firstly, the place was managed as a hunting reserve later as wildlife reserve and lastly as National Park. Located at extreme south- western part of Nepal. The reserve share common boundary with Indian state of Uttar Pradesh formed by Mahakali River, a major tributary of Ganges.

Around 24 species of mammals, 350 species of birds, 14 species of fish, 10 species of ectoparasite and biting flies. Despite of having small area, this national park supports a wide range of bio diversity which are important nationally and globally as well. The vegetation includes Sal forest, Sal savanna, and others that supports environment.

The spring (feb-april) is perfect time to visit as temperatures are moderate and humidity is low then other season. The blooming flowers and greenery make the environment lovely. Summer is generally not favorable as it is too hot and humid in this region during day time however morning and evenings are fair enough. September – December is a good time to visit and festive season add good experience in your tour as well.

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