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Study Trip

Wildlife Study Trip to Bardiya National Park, Nepal

Saturday 7 - Friday 13 October 2017
Leader: Mr. Peter Laverick, Life Member

 

Nepal has a number of national parks containing a wide variety of wildlife in the Terai region – the lowlands along the border with India.  The most accessible of these is the Chitwan National Park, but it has become a victim of its own success with a large number of visitors.

As a result, for this trip the Society has decided to visit the more remote but quieter Bardiya National Park.  We will spend four nights and three whole days at the park, during which time various activities will be organised to allow us to see a lot of the wildlife, such as rhinos, tigers, wild elephants and dolphins.  We will spend one night in Kathmandu at the start and the end of the trip.  All meals while we are in Nepal are included, and we will be accompanied by a local guide throughout the trip.

Bardiya National Park is situated in the Western Terai, and at 968 sq km is the largest national park in the lowland Terai.  It was established for protecting the representative ecosystems and conserving the habitats of tigers and prey species. Initially, a small area was gazetted as the Karnali Wildlife Reserve in 1976. At that time, 1500 households of the Babai valley were relocated outside the park allowing the vegetation and wildlife to flourish. In 1982, it was renamed as Bardiya Wildlife Reserve, and in 1984 it was extended to its current size. The reserve was given the status of a National Park in 1988. In 1977 an area of 327 sq km surrounding the park was declared as a buffer zone, which consists of forests and private lands.

The Karnali River flows through the park and is the home of the Gangetic Dolphin. The Babai River also flows through the park, and its valley is a majestic place to visit where rhino, tiger and elephant can be seen in the wilderness site.

When we visit in October the monsoon should be over and the weather should be dry, with warm days and cool nights.

The park offers a variety of experiences in its vast undisturbed wilderness. About 70% of the forest consists of sal trees (shorea robusta) with a mixture of grassland and riverine forests. Sal leaves are used as traditional plates in festivals and religious offerings.

The park is home to endangered animals such as the Royal Bengal Tiger, wild elephant, greater one-horned rhinoceros, swamp deer and black buck.  Other endangered species include Gharial and Marsh Mugger Crocodiles and Gangetic Dolphin. Endangered birds found in the park are Bengal Florican, Lesser Florican and Sarus Crane. More than 30 different mammals, over 230 species of birds and several species of snakes, lizards and fish have been recorded in the park area. In addition to the resident species, several migratory birds visit the park.

 

The tentative programme will be as follows:

Day 1: Saturday, 7 October – Bangkok to Kathmandu

We will meet at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport at 8:15 a.m. and take Thai Airways flight TG319 to Kathmandu, leaving at 10:15. A meal will be served on the plane, and on arrival at Kathmandu Airport (eta 12:45) we will transfer to Himalayan Hotel or similar for check in and briefing on the trip over a cup of tea. Then we will have an afternoon sightseeing trip to Durbar Square to see the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake, and return to the hotel for dinner.
 

Day 2: Sunday, 8 October – Kathmandu to Bardiya National Park

After breakfast we return to the airport to take the one hour flight to Nepalgunj. From there we will take a two hour drive to Bardiya National Park and check in at Rhino Lodge or similar. Upon arrival there will be refreshments and a short briefing on the programme. After the briefing we will visit a Tharu village to learn about the lifestyle and culture of the Tharu community. Dinner and overnight at the Lodge.

Day 3: Monday, 9 October –  Bardiya National Park

After breakfast we will take an elephant ride to explore the wildlife of the park for an hour. After that we will visit the Tharu Musuem and Crocodile Breeding Centre. After lunch at the resort we will take a jungle walk, giving us an excellent opportunity to see wild animals, small mammals, and birds. We will spend time in an observation tower accompanied by an experienced naturalist and wildlife trackers.
 

Day 4: Tuesday, 10 October –  Bardiya National Park

After breakfast we will go tiger tracking to see a Royal Bengal Tiger and bird watching to see various bird species found in Bardiya. After lunch we will have a Jeep drive in search of more wildlife.

Day 5: Wednesday, 11 October –  Bardiya National Park

After breakfast we will visit the Karnali River looking for Gangetic Dolphins. The afternoon is at leisure or we can take a short jungle walk.

Day 6: Thursday, 12 October – Bardiya National Park to Kathmandu

After an early breakfast we will drive to Nepalgunj Airport for our morning flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu we will transfer to Himalayan Hotel or similar for check in. After lunch we will have a trip to see the Swayambhunath and Boudhanath stupas. In the evening we will visit the downtown district of Thamel where we will have dinner at an authentic Nepali restaurant with a culture dance, and there will be an opportunity for people to shop for souvenirs.

Day 7: Friday, 13 October – Kathmandu to Bangkok

After breakfast, check out from hotel and transfer to the airport for our flight to Bangkok. Lunch will be served on the plane.  We will take flight TG320 which leaves Kathmandu at 13:30 and arrives at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 18:15.

Booking

Bt. 110,500 (Bt. 113,500 for non-members). Single room surcharge Bt. 12,500. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges.

A deposit of Bt. 30,000 and photocopy of passport must accompany the booking.

Payment in full is required one month before the start of the trip (i.e. by Thursday, 7 September). Please pay by cash or cheque payable to ‘The Siam Society’. Alternatively you can deposit/transfer the money to the Siam Society travel account at the Thai Military Bank, Asoke Branch saving account no. 053-2-18000-7. Please fax or e-mail the deposit or transfer docket to us.

In case the tour has to be cancelled due to insufficient participants, a full refund of the deposit will be made.

Includes/Excludes:

The contribution includes flights described in the itinerary, all meals from our arrival in Nepal to our departure, two nights' accommodation in Kathmandu and four nights in Bardiya for two persons per room, local guide, entrance fees, gratuities and other costs incurred to make this trip possible. It excludes visa fee, personal expenses, and any extra activities not included in the itinerary.

Cancellation charge:

60 days before the start of the trip:                         50% of the deposit
30 days before the start of the trip:                         100% of the deposit
14 days before the start of the trip:                         30% of the tour cost
13-10 days before the start of the trip:                    50% of the tour cost
Less than 10 days or cancellation without notice:      No refund

Your booking will be confirmed as soon as the deposit has been made.

The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary. Seats are limited. Please book your place as soon as possible. For further information and bookings please contact Khun Prasert or Khun Supanut.