Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, where Tiger Tops staff will greet you and seamlessly arrange your transfer to Dwarikas Hotel - an exquisite 5 star oasis in the heart of the bustling city.
During the afternoon, Tiger Tops cars and guides will be on standby for those wanting to wander the city and discover the enthralling sight s of the capital. Kathmandu is known for the great temples of Pashupatinath, Swayambunath and Boudhanath that offer an interesting blend of Hindu and Buddhist architecture and rituals.
Today take the early morning flight to Bharatpur (approximately 20 minutes flight) and drive for 1 hour and 15 minutes to Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge. Arriving at the lodge you will be met by Tiger Tops staff with a welcome drink in the dining hall. Continue to the garden where lunch will be waiting for you. After lunch you will have a chance to settle in to your rooms and explore the lodge grounds - the swimming pool beckons temptingly and it is easy to while away a sunny afternoon swimming and reading with a cool drink in hand.
After tea and biscuits in the main area, we suggest you go on a walking safari through the jungle to the Narayani River with one of our naturalists to watch the family of elephants bathe and frolic while you enjoy your sun downers. Return to the lodge for hot showers and cold drinks before dinner.
Wake up early and strap on your walking boots, take a sturdy bamboo walking stick and prepare for a day of pure exploration and excitement! There will be a premade lunch ready along with refreshments to keep you going through the day. A Land Rover will take you down to the river, here you will board a local boat to ferry you across to Chitwan National Park. On the other side will be another Land Rover ready to pick you up and take you into the very heart of the jungle. Upon entering your day will be spent in the Land Rover scouting out the under growth for tiger and other wildlife.
On foot, striding down a jungle path enclosed by the Sal trees and the sounds of orioles and hornbills, we will take you to one of the many "hides" or camouflaged viewing points. Here is where patience is key, as you settle down with a cup of tea and lay in wait for any movement, maybe a rhino, maybe a jungle cat... maybe something else.
After the hide, jump back in the Land Rover and allow the guide to give you a tour of other parts of the jungle. You will see a varied range of the flora and fauna of Nepal’s riverine forest. Stop for a drink from the cool box and soak up the last of the rays bursting their way through the canopy as you head back to the river crossing via the scenic route. This is the last chance to scan for a glimpse of a sloth bear or wild boar. Head back over the river and then once back at the lodge, kick off the walking boots, and put your feet up before dinner is served!
After breakfast prepare for a river safari on the Narayani River. The outing commences with a nature walk or jeep drive through the riverine forest, followed by a scenic float down the river. Cruising on the wide expanse of the river, pockets of rapids propel the boats along as gentle waves lap at the sides. Sitting inside a hand-carved boat, keep your eyes peeled for a variety of birdlife and wildlife. Top of the list is the endangered fish-eating Gharial crocodile and its more sinister relative, the Marsh-Mugger.
A Nepali-style lunch will be served back at the Lodge, after which you might want to return to the pool for another early afternoon of sunbathing and relaxation.
Later in the afternoon meet with your naturalist for a jeep safari in the national park to get a taste of the jungle. Do not hesitate to ask questions and learn as much as you can - our naturalists are extremely knowledgeable on the animals and the history of Chitwan National Park. During the safari you will encounter wildlife such as different species deer, birds, monkeys, and the endangered one-horned rhinoceros, and hopefully the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger.
After breakfast embark on the 3 hour drive to Lumbini. No trip to the Terai would be complete without a visit to Lumbini, Buddha’s birthplace and the Lumbini Crane Sanctuary, for a chance to see the rare Sarus Crane. This place, abundant in culture and birdlife today, will add depth to your Nepal experience.
Take a guided tour around the Maya Devi Temple and the breathtaking World Peace Pagoda as well as the many temples built by pilgrims from around the world. There are temples built with Chinese, Thai and Burmese architecture, you’ll feel as if you’ve seen all of Asia in a day! Don your binoculars once more to watch Eurasian Wigeons, Eurasian Marsh Harriers and the Booted Eagles fly in the sky.
Today you drive across the southern flood plains of Nepal through Tharu villages and border towns. The trip takes approximately 7-8 hours. En route get a feel for life in the Terai passing through towns, fields and forests. Close to the Lodge you will cross the Babai River, where Marsh Mugger Crocodiles may be warming in the midday sun.
Once at Karnali Lodge you will be met by the staff with a cool welcome drink. Settle into your room and relax with a book, or explore the compound before dinner. The evening will be spent with cocktails a round an outdoor fireplace before moving into the Ghol Ghar (Nepalese dining room) for dinner. A good setting for late night chats, the stocked bar remains open until the last person goes to bed.
A more relaxed day, rise at your leisure and enjoy our hearty continental-style breakfast. Embark on a one hour drive to the Chisapani Bridge (largest in Nepal) and the starting point of your river safari. Float down the Karnali river spotting an abundance of aquatic birdlife, crocodiles and if you are lucky, the extremely rare Gangetic dolphin. Drift slowly past small islands as the river splits watching the deer and monkeys foraging on the river bank.
Following your safari, you will be picked up and driven to the lodge for a late lunch. In the late afternoon, when the weather is cooler and the animals become active, meet with our naturalist for a jeep safari in the national park. Explore nature in the comfort and convenience of one of our classic vintage Land Rovers. During the safari you will encounter wildlife such as different species of deer, birds, monkeys, and the endangered one-horned rhinoceros. Bardia National Park also offers good chances of spotting the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger.
This morning after a leisurely breakfast, your luggage will be loaded aboard one of our vehicles ready to take you on the two hours’ drive back to Nepalgunj airport in good time for your scheduled light aircraft flight back to Kathmandu. You may be lucky to spot another Gharial or Marsh Mugger Crocodile on the way when crossing the Babai river.
After the flight back to Kathmandu, spend another evening soaking up the beauty of Nepal at Dwarikas Hotel. The rest of the day may be spent with a Tiger Tops tour operator to continue your exploration of Kathmandu. Dinner can be arranged at the beautifully refurbished Royal Stables, home to boutique stores and the fine French restaurant, Chez Caroline.