Exploring jungles in Southern Nepal.
After spending three days in the bustling streets of Kathmandu & around, we hopped on a plane down to the mid-south of Nepal to enjoy a bit of downtime by the pool and hunt for some tigers (figuratively speaking, of course).
Arriving to Kathmandu domestic airport was a bit of a cultural shock, I admit, and I was pretty glad I had just gone to the ladies’ room before leaving the hotel. Trust me, you do not want to use those under any circumstances. The departure times and gates are presented in a powerpoint-document on one screen, and flight delays up to 5 hours are absolutely normal. I’m never complaining about modern, clean and organized Swiss transportation ever again! In any case, we eventually made it to Bharatpur airport in a 1990’s propeller machine managed by Buddha Air (the other choice was Yeti Air, so my husband decided that Buddha Air sounded more reliable) and enjoyed some magnificent Himalayan views on the way. Arriving to Bharatpur airport was a whole other level of airport experience, considering we literally received our luggage on the runway and simply walked out the gate to meet our driver. Well, works for us!
The road to Chitwan is a little bumpy, but it was the best experience to look out the window for an hour and see rural, Nepali life pass by. Once the gate to our resort opened, we entered a whole other world…for the next three days, we were pampered to bits and pieces with great food, lots of attention from the staff (sometimes a bit too much even) and a variety of wildlife experiences. Like on most safaris, the days start bright and early at 6am, and after a quick coffee we were headed into the jungle. Due to a recent flood, we weren’t able to enter Chitwan by vehicle, but entering on foot made for a thrilling experience that we’d recommend to anyone. If you’ve been on an African safari before (and especially if you’ve been to Singita Sabi Sands), you’ll be disappointed by the amount and variety of animals you see here, but experiencing the jungle so close kind of made up for it. The resort offers walking safaris, elephant safaris and (normally) jeep safaris every morning and afternoon, so you can pick whatever suits you best – or try them all. Also, we did a sunset boat trip down the river, which ended with watching the sun set while enjoying a chilled glass of wine and playing the tiger game. Last but not least, elephant bathing is offered during the day, so you can hop on their two ellies and have them shower you, after which you can massage them with stones. They seem to love it! If you’re up for a massage yourself, there’s a spa, too.
Scroll down to see some impressions of Southern Nepal and our stay at the Taj Safaris Meghauli Serai – and stay tuned for the third and last post on our trip to Nepal!
After those three days in the hot, humid South, we were excited to head back North for a closer look at the mountain ranges in the far distance. Read more on our stay in Dhulikhel in the next post!