In Nepal, there are 12 national parks along with hunting and wildlife reserves, which are the most diverse in the world, offering a lifelong experience. Nepal is home to various flora and fauna species, several landscapes, and natural ecosystems ranging from the Terai region to the high Himalayan region. These parks and reserves are playing a major role in the conservation and management of wildlife and biodiversity of the nation. The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) was established in 2037 BS. Conservation efforts have ensured that the Nepalese landscape remained largely untouched and that wildlife populations continue to flourish. In the lowlands lay lush forests, incredible wildlife encountering opportunities, and much rich flora and fauna. Many tribes and villages are situated within the boundaries of the parks and the local people are so happy to share their diverse history with visitors.
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park, established in 1973, was Nepal's first national park. This beautiful National Park is located in the Southern Central Terai of Nepal, which covers an area of 952.63 sq. km. and extends over four districts: Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Parsa, and Makwanpur. This national park is popularly known for its unique ecosystems of worldwide significance. The park is surrounded by the Narayani and Rapti Rivers in the north, Parsa Wildlife Reserve in the east, and the Indian border and beautiful Madi settlements in the south. The park was marked as a World Heritage Site in 1984. Here you can encounter astonishing birdlife, elephants, Royal Bengal Tiger, gharial crocodiles, and the one-horned rhinoceros. On foot, jeep, or bullock cart safari you can visit rhino breeding centers there and if you're lucky, you may even encounter a Royal Bengal Tiger. Here, 20% of the land is covered by grasslands. This park is also home to 700+ species of Wildlife. The top things to encounter while in Chitwan National Park are Cultural Dance and food, Bird Watching, Crocodile and Elephant Breeding Centres, Elephant Safari, and Jungle Safari. October to December and May to July is the perfect time to explore this beautiful National Park.
- Established in 1973
- Area 952.63 sq. km
- 525 + species of Birds likeGrey-headed Woodkeeper, Common Hope, Indian Cuckoo, Kalij Pheasant, Himalayan Flamebac,k, etc.
- 50 + species of Mammal like Nilgai, Indian Bison, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Bengal Fox, Wild Boar, etc.
- 55 species of Reptiles and Amphibians.
- 113 species of Fish and Crocodiles.
- 17 species of Reptiles
Sagarmatha National Park
Dominated by Mount Everest, this national park is an astonishing woodland in the Himalayas of Eastern Nepal. It was established in 1976 AD and conserves its endangered wildlife, rich Sherpa Culture along with the Everest ecosystem. The national park was marked on the World Heritage Site list in 1979. With its eye-catching natural beauty and unique culture, this park covers an area of 1,148 sq km and it is also home to more than 130 species of flora and fauna. You can get to this wonderland by air: Kathmandu-Lukla and trek for two days. This park not only offers incredible flora and fauna but also includes fascinating Sherpa culture, remote monasteries, rare wildlife such as the Danphe(national bird of Nepal) along with the famous Everest Base Camp trek and several other peaks above 6,000 m such as Nuptse, Amadablam, Pumori, Lhotse, and Cho Oyu. October-December and May-July are the most recommended season to visit this beautiful national park. The entry fee for this national park is NPR 3,000 for SAARC nationals, NPR 1,500 for visitors outside SAARC, and NPR 150 for Nepali citizens. Top things to explore in Sagarmatha National Park include Peak climbing, Helicopter Tours, Bird Watching, Expedition to high mountains, treks like Gokyo Valley Trek, Three Passes Trek, Everest Base Camp trek, etc.
- Established in 1976 AD
- Total Area: 1,148 sq km
- This national park consists of 69% barren land, 28% grazing land, and 3% forested land.
- 6 vegetation zones are characterized as lower sub-alpine above 3,000m, Upper sub-alpine above 3,600m, and Upper alpine 4,500m, sub-nival zone about 5,750 6,000m, shrub layer up to 5,000m, and a permanent snow line about 5,750m.
- Protected Animals here are Musk Deer, Wild Yak, Snow Leopard, Red Panda, etc.
- 152 species of birds including Wood Snipe, Yellow-billed Chough, Robin Accentor, Blood Pheasant, etc.
- 6 amphibians and 7 species of reptiles.
- 28 species of mammals such as Himalayan black bear, wooly hare, snow leopard, jackal, red panda, etc.
- 26 species of butterflies.
Bardiya National Park
This national park is considered one of the most beautiful national parks in Terai which is home to the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger and the famous one-horned rhinoceros. It was established in 1976 and is located in the far western district of Bardiya, surrounded to the West by the Karnali River and to the North by the Churiya Range. This national park covers a total area of 868 sq km. More than 310 species of flora and fauna can be found here. Activities such as white water rafting in the Karnali river, jungle safari, cultural shows, and dolphin activities are the major attractions of this national park. Due to its location in the lower Terai belt, you can explore this park from September-December and February-May. You can visit this beautiful national park by air, bus, or by private vehicle. For SAARC nationals the entry fee is NPR 500+13% VAT/day. For foreigners outside SAARC NPR 1,000+13%VAT/day and NPR 50+13%VAT/day for Nepali citizens.
- Establishment Date: 1976 AD
- Total Area: 968 sq km
- Vegetation includes reverie forest and Savannah-type grassland.
- 839 species of plants(173 of them are vascular plants).
- 250 species of birds (Bengal Florican, Sarus Crane, etc)
- 30 species of mammals including rare Dolphins.
- 150 species of reptiles.
- 125 species of fish.
- Endangered animals such as the royal Bengal tiger, swamp deer, Gangetic dolphins, blackbuck, etc.
Langtang National Park
This beautiful national park is the nearest national park to the capital of the country, Kathmandu. It was established in 1976 to conserve the diversity of flora and fauna. The park's rich vegetation is characterized by Sal forest in the southern part of the park which is gradually taken over by hills consisting of Rhododendrons, Chirpine, and Nepalese alder. The park covers parts of the Rasuwa, Nuwakot, and Sindhupalchowk districts in the southern part of the Nepal-China border Attractions of this national park include Langtang Valley Trek, Langtang Range, blooming rhododendron forests in the spring, Tamang culture, and the high-altitude Gosaikunda lake, which is a pilgrimage site. You can visit Langtang National Park by bus, jeep, or private vehicle from Kathmandu to Syafrubeshi (Rasuwa). October-December and May-July are the most recommended seasons to visit this national park. For SAARC nationals the entry fee is NPR 1,500+13%VAT/day and NPR 3,000+13%VAT/day for visitors outside SAARC.
- Establishment Date: 1976 AD
- Total Area: 1,710 sq km
- Home to 1,043 species of vascular plants 18 different ecosystems
- 30 species of fish
- Endangered species such as red pandas and snow leopards
- 46 species of mammals including Himalayan Thar, Clouded Leopard, Red Panda, etc.
- 70 species of butterflies.
- 34 species of birds including Snow Porridge, Ibis Bill, Impeyan Pheasant, etc.
Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park
Full of beautiful flora and fauna, sacred sites, and streams gurgling about, this park is the only national park that lies in the capital city of Kathmandu. This national park was established in 2002 AD and covers an area of 159 sq km. This national park spreads over the parts of Kathmandu, Nuwakot, Sindupalchowk, and some parts of Dhading Districts. This park is responsible for providing 40% of drinking water to Kathmandu valley. You can experience various activities such as Trekking, Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking, Bird Watching, and a day hike in this wonderful national park. March-June and September-December are the perfect seasons to visit this wonderful park. Besides that, you can visit this national park any time of the year. For SAARC nationals the entry fee is NPR 500+13%VAT/day. NPR 1000+13%VAT/day for visitors outside SAARC and NPR 50+13%VAT/day for Nepali citizens.
- Establishment Date: 2002 AD
- Total Area: 159 sq km
- The park houses 318 species of birds, including the barred cuckoo-dove, the golden-throated barbet, the Eurasian eagle-owl, etc.
- The vegetation includes pine-oak, laurels, firs, and rhododendron.
- 129 species of mushrooms.
- 150 species of butterflies
- 19 species of mammals including the Rhesus monkey, Himalayan black bear, etc
- Endangered species such as Leopard cat, Assamese monkey, Pangolin, etc.
Rara National Park
Nestled in the Himalayas, this astonishing national park is popular for its heavy population of migratory birds in the winter months. Established in 1976 AD, this park is known as the smallest national park in Nepal which covers an area of 106 sq km. This national park is well known to everyone because of Rara Lake which is also the biggest lake in Nepal. Talking about activities to explore in this national park, you can camp by the lakeside or watch birds all year long. Bird watching is a favorite activity here. During summer, there is a carpet of colorful flowers in the valley which is a must-watch. You can also enjoy horse riding and hiking in this national park. April-May is the recommended month to visit the magical Rara Lake. However, wildflowers will catch your eyes if you visit during the rainy season. During the winter, snowy landscapes will be at their peak to experience in Rara National Park. For SAARC nationals the entry charge will be NPR 1,500+13%VAT/day and NPR 3,000+13%VAT/day for visitors outside SAARC.
- Establishment Date: 1976 AD
- Total Area: 106 sq km
- Rara houses 20 species of mammals like Himalayan Thar, jackal, otter, leopard, etc
- Vegetation like blue pine, black juniper, birch, oak, and Himalayan cypress
- Records of more than 210 species of birds including Mallards, common teal, coot,s and gulls
- The great crested grebe, red-crested pochard, black-necked grebe, and the common teal migrate to the lake in the winters.
Khaptad National Park
Established in 1984 AD and situated at an altitude of 1,400m from sea level, this national park is considered a gem of the Far-West region of Nepal. It covers an area of 225 sq km which spreads over Bajura, Bajhang, Doti, and Achham districts, This national park is famous because of the ascetic baba called 'Khaptad Baba' whose temple and the statue you can witness while visiting the national park. Here, 3 vegetation zones are divided into the sub-tropical, temperate, and alpine zone. Cultural tours, hunting trips, jeep tours, camping, hiking, trekking, and birdwatching are the major things to perform here in Khaptad National Park. You can get to this national park by Air: Kathmandu- Dhangadhi 1hr20min and jeep/bus to Bajhang 20mins and 2 days walking. In terms of scenery, October-December, and May- July is the much recommended season to explore this wonderland. The entry fees for SAARC nationals are NPR 1,500+13%VAT/day and for visitors outside SAARC is NPR 3,000+13%VAT/day.
- Establishment date: 1984 AD
- Total Area: 225 sq km
- 224 species of medicinal make a place a botanist’s delight
- The park houses exotic flora, with beautiful forests of pines, sal, and alders
- 135 species of flowering plants, which bloom in summer
- 23 species of mammals which includes the Himalayan black bear, wild dog, wild boar, etc
- 287 species of birds including the white-rumped vulture, flycatchers, partridges, bulbuls, etc
- 23 species of amphibians
Makalu Barun National Park
This magnificent national park is at the foothills of the Makalu range and guards the raging Barun River. It was previously known as Makalu Conservation Area. Established in 1992 AD, it covers an area of 1,500 sq km. It is the only protected area in the world with an elevation gain of more than 8,000 meters including tropical forests as well as breathtaking snow-capped mountains including the fifth tallest mountain in the world 'Mount Makalu 8,463 m. There are 3,128 species of flowering plants in the park. Trekking to Makalu Base Camp and Barun Valley, Religious tours in Shiva Dhara, mountain and wildlife photography, Expedition to Mount Makalu, Snow leopard tracks, and bird watching, are the major things to explore and experience here. June-September and December-January are the perfect seasons to visit this beautiful national park. Autumn is the best season for the good weather and eye-catching views of mountains.For SAARC nationals entry fee is NPR 1,500+ 13%VAT/day and for visitors outside SAARC is NPR 3,000+ 13%VAT/day. You can visit this national park by air via Kathmandu-Tumlingtar Airport for 20 min or by bus/private vehicle.
- Establishment Date: 1992 AD
- Total Area: 1,500 sq km
- The vegetation of the park includes juniper, aromatic herbs, dwarf rhododendron, and other variants and so on
- 315 species of butterflies
- 25 species of rhododendron
- 56 species of rare plants
- 27 types of forest
- 88 species of mammals including black bear, flying squirrel, snow leopard, Himalayan wolf, etc
- 433 species of birds including pale blue flycatcher, blue napped pitta, rose-ringed parakeet, etc
- 16 species of amphibians
- 43 species of reptiles
- 78 species of fish
Parsa National Park
This national park is one of the pristine conservation areas located in the south-central lowland of Nepal in the Parsa, Bara, and Makwanpur districts. It was first established as Parsa Wildlife Reserve in 1984 and later the status was changed to National Park in 2017. The forests here are mainly composed of tropical and sub-tropical species. This park now houses more than 20 Bengal Tigers and is a former hunting ground for the royal family. Jungle safari at Parsa is a must. A view tower also offers panoramic views of the valley. The park also houses a guest house within its premises. Besides that, nature walks, elephant safari, cultural sightseeing, bird watching, etc are other major things to experience. You can visit the national park by air via Kathmandu-Simara for 15 min or by bus or private vehicle. Post-monsoon to early autumn would be the best season for Parsa National Park. The entry fee for SAARC nationals is NPR 500+ 13%VAT/day. For foreigners outside SAARC is NPR 1,000+13+VAT/day and for Nepali citizens NPR 50+13%VAT/day.
- Establishment Date: 1984 AD
- Total Area: 627.39 sq km
- The park is home to Sissoo, silk-cotton, sal, Khari, and pine trees
- The park also nestles 527 species of birds, including giant hornbill, peafowl, paradise flycatcher, red jungle fowl, etc
- Reptiles like banded krait, rock python, and king cobra
- 289 species of vascular plants
- 919 species of flora
- Endangered species include wild Asian elephants, Royal Bengal Tiger, and Leopard.
- Mammals include chital, langur, jungle cat, sambar, blue bull, etc
Shey Phoksundo National Park
Covering an area of 3,555 sq km, Shey Phoksundo National Park is the largest national park in Nepal. Located in the western part of Nepal, this park was established in 1984 AD and spreads over Dolpa and Mugu districts. The park houses the beautiful Kanjirowa Himal (6,000m) and the magnificent Shey Monastery. Phoksundo lake and the Langu Gorge are other attractions you must visit. This is the only trans-Himalayan national park in Nepal. The park is 315 km from Kathmandu. The nearest airport is at Juphal, which leads to the southern entrance. The best season to visit this national park is from April to November. The entry fee for SAARC nationals is NPR 1,500+ 13%VAT/day and for visitors outside SAARC are NPR 3,000+13%VAT/day.
- Establishment Date: 1984 AD
- Total Area: 3,555 sq km
- Pines, birches, junipers, and other trees dominate the higher altitude.
- The park has a unique hill ecosystem, which houses animals like a weasel, langur, marmot, blue sheep, leopard, and snow leopard
- 286 species of ethnobotanical importance
- 200 species of birds including white-throat tit, wood accentor, wood snipe, etc
- 6 species of reptiles
- 29 species of butterflies including “Paralasa”, the highest-flying butterfly in the world.
Shuklaphanta National Park
This beautiful national park lies in the Terai region of the Far The western region of Nepal. Established as a Wildlife Reserve in 1976 and later declared a national park in 2017, this national park covers an area of 305 sq km and is situated in the Kanchanpur district of Terai. Due to less crowd, this park is more peaceful. This park has the single largest herd of Swamp Deers which are about 2000 in number. The vast grasslands and wetlands are fed by the Syali river. There are around 700 species of flora in this national park. Birdwatching, elephant safari, nature walk, cultural sightseeing, and jungle safari are the major things to do here. September-December and February-May are the perfect seasons to visit the national park. The guide charge could cost you NPR 1,000-2,000. The park is 720 km from Kathmandu and the nearest airport is Dhangadhi. A vehicle from Dhangadhi to Mahendranagar would take 4 hours to reach the Shuklaphanta National Park.
- Establishment Date: 1976 AD
- Total Area: 305 sq km
- The park has more than 400 species of birds with the highest number of Bengali Floricans in Nepal.
- This park has the single largest herd of Swamp Deers
- 700 species of plants
- 180 breeding species
- 14 species of fish
- 24 species of mammals
- Endangered animals like Royal Bengal Tiger, Indian Leopard, Sloth Bear, Swamp Deer, and one-horned rhinoceros
Banke National Park
This national park is one of the newest national parks to be established in Nepal, started mainly to conserve tigers, and to promote wildlife tourism in the nation. Established in 2010, Banke national park is in the Mid-Western region of Nepal. The park covers a total area of 550 sq km. This national park is home to four-horned antelope, ruddy mongoose, and tigers, including 113 species of trees, 107 species of herbal, and 85 shrubs and climbers species. Jungle Safari, cycling, nature walk, bird watching, boating, and wildlife photography are the major things to experience in this national park. The park is about 535 km away from Kathmandu. The nearest airport is at Nepalgunj, from where you can hire a bus or taxi to reach the park's headquarters. The park lies in the lower Terai belt, so September-December and February-March are the perfect seasons to visit this national park. The entry fee for SAARC nationals is NPR 200+ 13%VAT/day. For visitors outside SAARC, it costs NPR 500+13%VAT/day, and for Nepali citizens NPR 20+13%VAT/day.
- Establishment Date: 2010 AD
- Total Area: 550 sq km
- The park consists of 8 ecosystems, from deciduous to sal, savannahs, and floodplains
- Trees like Sal, Karma, Khair, and Sissoo
- 107 species of herbs
- 34 species of mammals including tiger, Asiatic elephant, four-horned antelope, and striped hyena
- 300 species of birds including Giant Hornbill, Bengal Florican, Lesser Florican, and black stark
- 7 species of amphibians
- 58 species of fish
- Endangered reptiles including Pythons and Gharial Crocodiles
Nepal is truly a vibrant country with its magnificent biodiversity. The beauty of nature, flora, and fauna in the National Parks in Nepal is massively authentic and breathtaking. Which park are you planning to visit? If there are queries about national parks in Nepal, Let us know.