Chitwan Journals

Wildlife encounters

An October 2002 trip to Chitwan by stevepage

Gaida Tented Camp Photo, Chitwan, Nepal More Photos
Quote: A visit to the Chitwan National Park in South central Nepal, based at the remote Gaida Wildlife Camp

Wildlife encounters

Overview

Chitwan national Park Photo, Chitwan, Nepal
Quote:
There are a few methods of wildlife viewing, most commonly on the back of an elephant, but if you get the chance, take a canoe trip on the main river or do walking trips rather than using jeeps.Quick Tips: There are many camps in the Chitwan area - make sure yours has all the facilities itself; otherwise they subcontract the activities and some of your time could easily be wasted as you wait about. Also check out what their normal operations involve and what's included in the price. At Gaida all food is included, but this wasn't the case at other camps nearer the towns.Best Way To Get Around: Apart from wildlife viewing, you will have to arrange your own transport, you can get bu...Read More

Gaida Wildlife Camp

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Hotel

Gaida Wildlife Camp Photo, Chitwan, Nepal
Quote:
Note the camp itself has no phone service - all bookings and arrangements are made in Kathmandu, email gaida@mos.com.np The Gaida camp is one of the few wildlife camps to be thriving whilst others in the area are struggling to survive with the lack of tourists in the country. This is hardly a surprise as the quality of the staff and its facilities are excellent. The camp is popular with both tourist groups and smaller bands of independent travellers, but is relatively inaccessible so confirm transport arrangements before booking. (I took a group there so we had the use of our own bus!) The Gaida staff will bring their jeeps up to the roadside to meet transport arriving, but if you have your o...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 28, 2002

Gaida Wildlife Camp
PO Box 2056, Durbarmarg, Kathmandu, Nepal
Chitwan, Nepal
00977 - 5621757

Gaida Tented Camp

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Hotel

Gaida Tented Camp Photo, Chitwan, Nepal
Quote:
One of the reasons for choosing the Gaida Camp is that it has a tented camp deep in the wildlife reserve, easily the most southern location of any of the camp operators. Because of its location things are somewhat more basic than the main camp but the rewards are well worth a night's visit. The journey in itself is an adventure - where possible they will take you to the camp in jeeps, but often this option is impossible due to the height of the river, so you have to canoe the river for a few hours then walk in - walks of this kind are done in the centre of the day so reducing the risk of animal encounters as this is when they are least active. The walk in takes about an hour and a half. When I sai...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 28, 2002

Gaida Tented Camp

Chitwan, Nepal

Elephant Safari

Attraction | "Chitwan - Elephant Safari"

Elephant Safari Photo, Chitwan, Nepal
Quote:
All of the wildlife camp operator offer elephant safaris - they are easily the safest way of exploring the dense forest, and because you are on an animal that can normally be seen in the forest anyway they are less likely to scare off the other wildlife. Gaida has its own "fleet" of eight elephants so it’s a regular highlight of the camps daily activities. Every safari starts with a wade over the river where the elephants generally stop for a quick drink. Even though you are in a wooden box like saddle you can still feel the vibrations as they suck up the water - a bit weird really. Once into the forest we spotted Rhinos on every trip, usually about two at a time but on one occasion we were for...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 28, 2002

Elephant Safari
Gaida Wildlife Camp
Chitwan, Nepal

Canoe Trips

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Attraction

Canoe Trips Photo, Chitwan, Nepal
Quote:
Once the novelty of riding on elephants has waned a bit you should take on a canoe trip for a more relaxing break. There are no lifejackets but the water is never really deep. The canoes are large, dug out affairs capable of taking four or five people each. We had two of the camp's wildlife guides with us and paddled our way along, close to the banks of the river and spotted a great many birds but also a few crocodiles - specifically the Garial crocodile with its long snout. And thoughts over the rather shallow water came back rather quickly. The canoe trips are generally one way affairs on the Narayani river as although shallow, the current's fairly fast flowing in places so they couldn’t hope to ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 28, 2002

Canoe Trips
Gaida Wildlife Camp
Chitwan, Nepal

Walking Safari

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Attraction | "Walking Safari & village visits"

Quote:
Perhaps a little risky in certain parts of the park, walking safaris are again part of the package and take various forms. We only did one early morning walk and it was a waste of time as the mist was in so far that we didn’t see anything but did manage to make ourselves easy targets for leeches which were waiting in the grasses - on the subject of leeches, don’t pull them off - if they’ve bitten you sprinkle them with salt and they'll fall off straight away - if you pull them off they’ll leave their teeth in you and the bleeding will last much longer. The mist stayed with us every morning of our visit so no more walks were offered at that time. One of the best walks we did though was towards the e...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 28, 2002

Walking Safari
Gaida Wildlife & tented camps
Chitwan, Nepal

Royal Chitwan National Park

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Attraction | "What to see, do, bring and wear"

Royal Chitwan National Park Photo, Chitwan, Nepal
Quote:
Chitwan National Park is probably the best known park in Nepal and is listed as a World Heritage Site - it's all in the ownership of the government and covers about 100,000 hectares on the border with India. The main reason for Chitwan's status as a haven for wildlife is that it's one of the few places in Nepal that isn't mountainous - actually it's almost totally flat, with much of the area around the Gaida Camp being an extremely large flood plain (miles wide) - just before our visit the monsoon had caused the river levels to rise by over four metres - big rises are expected and housing is built with this in mind - either on stilts, on high ground, or from easily replaced materials such as mud ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 29, 2002

Royal Chitwan National Park
Chitwan District of the Narayani
Chitwan, Nepal