Chitwan National Park – SaurahaOctober 28, 2019 in Nepal ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C
Chitwan National Park is situated in a huge lowland area in central south Nepal and covers an area of 932 sq km. It was originally a hunting reserve in the 19th century inhabited by the local indigenous Tharu population, but an extensive malaria eradication program using DDT in 1954 meant that many other people could move into the area and the subsequent loss of natural habitat caused a reduction in the diversity and quantity of species. King Mahendra stopped this by making the area a royal reserve which eventually became a national park in 1973 and some 22,000 people were relocated outside of the park. With the Maoist insurgency from 1996-2006, however, the army was unable to protect against poaching and further reduction in species number and diversity followed. Now the army is back – and very much in evidence – and species number and diversity has increased; by 2017 there were in excess of 600 one-horned Indian rhino, characterised by their large plates, and approx 140 Royal Bengal tigers.
After lunch, it was an ox cart tour through Sauhara to Bhagmara to visit a local Tharu village to see their communal living style and houses; these are built with reed and have a mixture of mud and cow dung smoothed over the surface. They speak a different language to Nepali.Read more