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Chitwan National Park vs. Bardia National Park

Chitwan National Park vs. Bardia National Park
  • Angie Ong
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  • April 2, 2020
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Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park are two major national parks located in the southern Terai region of Nepal. Chitwan National Park lies directly south of Kathmandu whilst Bardia is in the far southwest corner, separated by almost 200km distance. A lot of tourists are comparing Chitwan National Park vs. Bardia National Park.

group of deers in Bardia National Park

Caption: Group of deer in Bardia National Park

‘Which one of the two national parks is better for jungle/wildlife Safari?’ is a question travelers often have hard time finding answer to. One is likely find a host of similarities and differences between the two national parks.

Having instituted in 1973 as Nepal’s first national park, Chitwan comes only third in popularity as a tourist destination in Nepal and has been declared a world heritage site. Obviously Chitwan is more developed than Bardia and provides much more choices for tourists in terms of hotel facilities and access at least. Tourists can easily find a range of hotels of their choice, from budget to luxury which is certainly not the case with Bardia National Park that was opened recently.

tiger in bardia national park

Caption: Tiger easily can be spotted by the riverbank in Bardia National Park

Comparison – Chitwan National Park vs. Bardia National Park

  1. It takes only 5 hours overland drive to reach Chitwan as opposed to 15 hours long journey required to reach Bardia National Park.
  2. Daily flight operates from Kathmandu and Pokhara to Bharatpur and Meghuali, which is 30 minutes drive away from Chitwan National Park. However, to get to Bardia National Park, you will have to take a 45 minutes flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj followed by 2 and a half hours drive further to reach the park.
  3. Chitwan is more crowded and popular which may not be a good environment for those want a peaceful and quiet vacation. In comparison Bardia is much more peaceful due to less frequency of tourists. Also Bardia National Park offers all jungle activities inside the park whereas such activities are mostly restricted within community forest in Chitwan. Bardia wildlife and biodiversity is much more pristine whereas Chitwan is highly commercialized.

Although natural guides are easily available in Chitwan in comparison to Bardia, there is a slim possibility of seeing tigers in Chitwan national park. In Chitwan, jungle safari is possible by privately owned elephants while in Bardia elephants used in wild safari are owned by parks. Chitwan also hosts the country’s only Elephant Breeding Center. Since rhinos of Bardia were relocated from Chitwan, the chances of seeing rhino are higher in Chitwan than Bardia.

Dug-out canoe ride, which is available in Chitwan only, is the best way for bird watching. On the other hand Machhan overnight experience is available only in Bardia.

rhino in bardia

Caption: Easily you can spot a rhino in Bardia National Park

My personal advice when it comes to choosing one of two national parks for wildlife safari entirely corresponds to one’s interests.

If I was looking for more relaxation time and family vacation then I would choose Chitwan National Park over Bardia National Park.

If I want to avoid crowds and spend time amidst peaceful, natural wilderness Bardia would obviously be my first priority. If your desire is to see tigers, then Bardia can rightly fulfill it.

Bardia National Park is of course better if you love adventure and travels. 

We have some packages here:

  1. Chitwan National Park 3 days 2 nights Package 
  2. Chitwan Day Tour
  3. Bardia National Park 3 days 2 nights Package by Flight
  4. Bardia National Park 5 days 4 nights Package by Bus
  5. Bardia National Park Tour | 3 days 2 nights

And we wrote a blog years back – you can read to know more about Bardia National Park –Paradise or hell? Visited Bardia National Park, Nepal 

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