Safari by Boat in Chitwan National Park
Beneath the Himalayas and nestled in the basin of a river valley, Chitwan National Park is an area of extraordinary beauty. Characterised by the dense verdant vegetation with the Himalayas as the backdrop and the ever-changing river landscapes, Chitwan has to be one of the most spectacular and attractive parts of Nepal’s lowlands. The flora and fauna is rich, diverse and exciting and the park is home to one of the last remaining populations of the one horned rhinoceros as well as the magnificent Bengal Tiger.
Explore the jungle how you wish, whether it is by jeep, on foot or on elephant back; each will provide you with something totally different. Whilst at Meghauli Serai on my most recent trip to Nepal, I spent an evening boating down the serene Rapti River with my talented guide to scan the riverbanks for various creatures whilst listening to the hum of the insects within the thick jungle – not another tourist in sight.
Having finished our refreshing cup of tea, I was taken down to the riverbank to start this incredible adventure. Accompanied by two oarsmen and my guide, we set off down the river in search for some more wildlife.
For bird lovers, a safari by boat in Chitwan is certainly the best way to spot the most exotic birdlife. I could not believe my guide’s impeccable eyesight as he was able to spot even the smallest of birds camouflaged amongst the thickets.
It is a long way to Meghauli Serai and I had never felt so far out in the wilderness. Being on this boat was one of the most relaxing experiences to have had but at the same time, it was incredibly exciting. I had never been so close to a rhino in my life – this was my fist sighting and we really did get up close and personal. As long as we remained silent, their terrible eyesight meant that we went unnoticed as the pre-historic looking creature continued his bathing ritual in the river. I wasn’t quite as excited to see the colossal croc and instead urged my oarsman to continue rowing before he could even register our presence…
Just in time for sundowners. As we approached the riverbank, we were greeted by the staff from Meghauli Serai as they were welcoming our arrival by singing the traditional Nepali folk song, ‘Ressem pee dee dee’. This was such a surprise – in front of me was a beautifully laid out table with comfortable ottomans, delicious Nepali canapes and a selection of various cocktails as we watched the sun set over the glorious national park.