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Discover Nepal: Sukhla Phanta to Karnali[ Print this itinerary Print this itinerary ]

This exciting 9-day tour takes you through the amazing wilderness of Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve, Bardia National Park and the Karnali River area. Marvel at Nepal's rich wildlife, go rafting down the river, discover the region's culture and enjoy elephant safaris as well. You'll even get to help out with bathing the elephants!
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Cost Per Person
Starting at $ 4,370
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  • Game drives in Sukla Phanta
  • Bardia National Park
  • Elephant ride in Bardia
  • Help out with bathing Elephants!
  • Camping at Chisapani
  • Rafting down the Karnali River
  • Village tour - Tharus tribe
  • Jeep Safari, Fishing (optional)
  • Nepalgunj
Day 1 - Kathmandu

You will be met by our representative on arrival at Kathmandu airport, who will help you get to your hotel. Be sure to get a good night’s rest, as tomorrow we embark on an exciting journey into the wilderness of Nepal!

  • Meals: No Meals
  • Accommodation: Hotel Shanker
  • Optional: City Tour
Day 2 - Kathmandu to Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve

After breakfast we catch a flight from Kathmandu airport to Dhangadi, a western lowland town. From Dhangadi we drive to Royal Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve, aiming to reach in time for lunch. The next two nights will be spent here. After lunch, we venture into the reserve, on our first game drive of the tour.

Located in the extreme southwestern belt of the Terai, Royal Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve, although small in area, is an amazing place for game viewing and jungle safaris.

The reserve is home to a large number of Swamp Deer, the Royal Bengal Tiger, Asian Wild Elephant, Greater One-horned Rhinoceros, Sambar Deer, Spotted Deer, Hog Deer, Barking Deer, Common Langur and Wild Boar. The vegetation of Sukla Phanta is a combination of Sal forests, savannah type grasslands, marshlands and deciduous riverine forests. The bird population in the reserve includes the Bengal Florican, Great Slaty Woodpecker, White-naped Woodpecker, Jerdon’s Babbler, Finn’s Weaver, Swamp Francolin, Sarus Crane and Great Pied Hornbill.

We return to our camp at dusk and end the day with a hearty meal!

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Jungle Camp
  • Route: Kathmandu to Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve
  • Travel time: Flight,±1 hr; Drive,±2 hrs
Day 3 - Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve

Early in the morning, we will drive deep into the jungles of the reserve in search of wildlife. With the help of a four-wheel drive vehicle and a guided walk, we can explore various sections of the reserve, especially the far flung areas. This increases your chances of sighting the Tiger, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Deer, Langur or Wild Boar!

We come back to our camp for breakfast and to relax. After lunch, we continue our exploration of Sukla Phanta. We will return to the camp at dusk and end the day with dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Jungle Camp
Day 4 - Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve to Bardia National Park

On the fourth day, after breakfast we drive to Karnaili Lodge, located near Bardia National Park. We will be spending the next two nights here. Most of the afternoon including lunch time may be spent relaxing at the lodge.

Bardia National Park has the second highest density of Royal Bengal Tigers in Nepal after Chitwan National Park. It is also home to 19 of Nepal’s 39 legally protected species. These include the endangered One-horned Rhinoceros, Asian Elephant, Swamp Deer, Jungle Cat, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Blue Bull, Common Leopard, Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Mongoose, Common Langur, Rhesus Macaque, Gangetic Dolphin and Gharial Crocodile. The park provides shelter to about 255 species of birds, including the threatened Bengal Florican, Lesser Florican, Lesser Adjutant and Sarus Crane.

Later, in the afternoon we take an Elephant ride into the National Park (2 hours) in search of wildlife. We return to the lodge at dusk. An interesting slide show will be arranged for us in the evening by an experienced naturalist. We will get to know more about the landscape, vegetation and wildlife of Bardia. We will also get to know what to look out for in the park!

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Tiger Tops Karnaili Lodge
  • Route: Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve to Bardia National Park
  • Travel time: ±4 hrs (East-West Highway)
Day 5 - Bardia National Park

We start our day with an early morning nature walk in the forest. Later, at about twelve, we head out to meet the Elephants. Not only will we get to learn about these amazing animals, but will get to help their keepers out with bathing them (about an hour) as well!

We return to the lodge for lunch and go for a jeep safari inside the park later in the afternoon. Our exploration of Bardia ends at dusk and we round off our day with dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Tiger Tops Karnaili Lodge
Day 6 - Bardia National Park

Today we hit the East-West highway once more and drive to Karnali bridge at Chisapani. We then travel down the Karnali (or Ghaghara) river. If we are lucky, we might spot Gangetic Dolphins here! Our drift down Karnali River stops at Karnali tented camp. We will stay at this camp for the next two nights.

After lunch, we soak in the local culture with a short tour of a village inhabited by the local Tharus tribe. We end our day with dinner at the campsite.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Tiger Tops Karnaili Tented Camp
  • Route: Bardia National Park to Chispani
Day 7 - Bardia National Park

We start the day with an early morning Elephant Safari into the park (2 hours) and return to the campsite for breakfast. The rest of the day may be spent at leisure. You have a number of optional activities to choose from, such as jeep safaris or fishing. The day ends with dinner at the camp.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Tiger Tops Karnali Tented Camp
  • Optional Activities: Jeep Safari or Fishing
Day 8 - Bardia National Park to Kathmandu

After breakfast we drive to Nepalgunj, which is located on the Indo-Nepal border. From here we board our flight to Kathmandu. The rest of the day can be spent relaxing or exploring Nepal’s capital.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Hotel Shanker
  • Route: Chispani to Nepalgunj
  • Travel time: ±2 hrs
Day 9 - Kathmandu

The last day of the 9-day Nepal wildlife tour can be spent relaxing at the hotel. You will be driven to the airport to board your flight back home.

  • Meals: Breakfast

Please Note: Accommodation providers are subject to change without notice. The accommodations listed in this dossier are our preferred suppliers, but sometimes due to availability issues, we are unable to make use of the properties listed in this dossier. If we cannot use an accommodation provider as listed we will substitute another property of similar standards.

What's Included

  • Accommodation and meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Ground transportation with an English speaking driver/guide
  • Sightseeing as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Park or reserve entry fees
  • Game drives /activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Registered Guides
  • Trekking permit
  • Information Kit

What's Excluded

  • Gratuities and Tips
  • Visas and Insurance
  • Vaccinations
  • Optional activities (if any)
  • Souvenirs
  • All items of personal nature
Moderate - Requires a spirit of adventure and some degree of fitness, as the trip might consist of many activities or long journeys. These adventures involve walking, trekking, hiking, cycling, rafting, sea kayaking, or driving for long hours, at times for up to six to eight hours a day at a steady pace. The maximum altitude is 3000m, so it requires you to be reasonably physically fit. The trips are usually 6 to 12 days in duration.

The ‘Only Tigers’, a 11 day itinerary, is a perfect example of this activity level as it involves long journeys for up to eight hours a day and a bit of walking. Also, ‘Around Spitsbergen - Kvitøya and Beyond ’, a 10 day itinerary is another example of this trip activity level.

You should be reasonably fit because you will be travelling in extreme weather conditions.
Other Activity Levels
Basic - Designed for travellers who enjoy the outdoors, are in good health, and want an interesting yet relaxing wildlife experience. These trips may involve walking, trekking, hiking, cycling, rafting or sea kayaking at a very slow pace. Certain trips involve safari drives for a maximum of five hours a day. Most of these trips are usually a week long in duration.

The ‘Classic Yala Tour’, ‘Kenya Luxury’ and ‘Luxury in Botswana’ itineraries are the best examples of this activity level as you’ll have a relaxed holiday. These trips are mostly about culture and sightseeing. There will be exploring on foot and safaris drives involved as well. Most travellers will find themselves comfortable with the basic activity level trips.
High - Fitness is vital at this level, as the environment traversed may be remote and challenging. These rugged experiences include long walks, trekking, cycling or rafting in isolated areas through variable weather conditions for up to eight to ten hours a day. These trips are usually 13 to 19 days in duration.

The ‘Ultimate Nepal Trekker’, is a good example of this trip activity level as it involves hiking and trekking for up to eight hours a day. Maximum altitude will be 4000m and you need to be very fit in order to withstand the weather conditions. Also, ‘Kilimanjaro Trek- Rongai route’ is another example that applies to this this activity level. Good physical condition is essential and previous hill-walking experience or preparation is advisable.
Advanced - At this level, PlanetWildlife recommends previous experience of the activity involved. These are our most challenging and advanced expeditions. They include long walks, cycling, trekking, hiking or rafting in variable weather conditions for more than ten hours a day. These trips may often be over 3 weeks in duration.

The ‘South Atlantic Odyssey’, a 31-day itinerary, is a perfect example of this trip activity level as it involves sailing for long hours in extreme weather conditions. Also, the ‘Snow Leopard Experience’ itinerary is another example which best suits this activity level. Ascents and descents are over 1000m at altitudes up to 6000m and the climate can be rigorous and challenging. Excellent physical condition and previous mountain trekking experience or appropriate preparation is essential.
This trip can be tailor made to suit your travel dates and preferences. The itinerary is designed to give you an overview of what you can do in this destination and is only a recommendation. All aspects of the trip – such as accommodation, activities etc., can be altered as per your own requirements.

Please click the “Request your Quote” tab and give us the information and we will design this holiday specially for you.

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