After leaving our stuff in the room, we went out to explore a bit the small town and to try to book a safari for the following day. As we had not booked anything, we could go around and compare prices. We talked to a lot of guides and agencies before deciding that everywhere they offered the same thing, so we decided to just book the safari in our hotel.
The thing was paying an entrance fee to the park valid for two days and then hiring a guide for the walking tour. We opted for a 7-hour walking tour in the jungle together with a couple staying at the same hotel.
What we liked, though, was the landscape we could see from the shore of the river. The town is right next to a it and on the other side is where the Park starts. And guess what: from right there we could see the first crocodile! Yes, a crocodile lying by the shore right in front of us. The thing looked promising for the following day!
After a bit of looking around and taking some piuctures, it was getting dark, so we decided to slowly go back home, this time instead of following the road, following the river, so we walked along the shore and we could enjoy a really beautiful landscape, although no more animals that day (they told us sometimes rhinos can be spotted from there but we had no luck).
But the fun part started when we got off the boat. It was somewhere in the middle of the jungle and Krishna gave us some instructions, like how to behave if a rhino is charging, if we see some animal and so on. Actually it was a bit scary to be there walking with the only protection of a bamboo stick Krishna was carrying, but ok, if this is the Nepali style, we'll follow it.
After the rhino hid himself into the high grass we continued the walk. On the way we saw a lot of birds, monkeys, deers, buffalos, peacocks, wild boars and even one more rhino, this one from further. What we didn't see, though, was any tiger. There are tigers in Chitwan, but they are quite difficult to see and we were not the lucky ones. The closest we were to a tiger was when we saw a tiger footprint, but not the author of it.
The jungle safari was good. It was not the best experience of my life and neither the best safari but anyway it is something I would recommend to anyone visiting Nepal. You will probably not see big things (if you're lucky to see a rhino it will be a highlight) but you will enjoy the landscape, the wildlife and the thrill of being walking in the middle of a jungle where you know there are wild animals. In addition, you are almost alone there, no crowds and everything is enjoyable. Just don't go expecting to see a lot of tigers and rhinos, you may see them, but I would have it as a bonus, not as a must.
That day, after the safari there was not much more to do, just another walk along the river (no rhinos again but a few water buffalos) and we also decided to book an elephant ride for the next day. That was not something very enjoyable and willing to do as I could imagine the experience, but as the entrance ticket to the park was valid for two days, the elephant thing was the only activity you could do.
The activities in Chitwan came to an end after the elephant circus, and the rest of the day was just devoted to walk around town, visit a nearby village and having a beer by the river. There was not much more to do there, just waiting for the following morning to go back to Kathmandu. However, there was still some time to go and see the daily Tharu festival in the local theatre.
It takes place every night and during one hour you see a representation of the traditional Tharu dances. Note that the Tharu are the people living in the area. The experience was... well, nothing you will always remember, but still good to spend some time.
You can check now all the Nepal and Chitwan picture gallery as well as the Chitwan National Park Travel Guide, with all details you need to know if you're planning a trip there!