When Is the Best Time
The National Park is open year round although most hotels close during the monsoon season from late June to the end of September. Best time for a visit is the dry season and especially the end of the dry season when Bengal tigers, elephants and other wildlife gather around the waterholes.
The boiling hot season lasts from March/April to May with temps above 40°C which gets even worse due to the high humidity. Monsoons can occur from June to end of September which makes safaris in Chitwan almost impossible. Rivers are flooded. More stable weather during the winter months from October to March although showers can occur. Pleasant day temps and freezing cold nights from mid-October until February.
Highlights - Wildlife
Wildlife spotting is outstanding late January and February when the towering grass, several meters high gets annually cut by the villagers for their own use. October to December is also an excellent time because of the increased chance to spot tigers, elephants, and other wildlife as they gather around the waterholes. Sloth bears are rare to spot.
The Bengal Tigers population is increasing due to the enormous efforts of the rangers to prevent poaching. There are an estimated 235 tigers in entire Nepal nowadays.
Spotting One-Horned Rhino
Very popular is elephant riding which generally lasts 1 1/2 hours to spot rhinos. The best time for it is early morning, the second tour and late afternoon. The advantage of the second tour they already may know where they are grazing.
Best Time for Birding - Migration (almost 550 species of birds occur in Chitwan)
- September to November
- February to April
Where and Tips
The Chitwan National Park was established in 1973 and became a World Heritage Site in 1984. It's an approximate bus ride of 5-6 hours from Kathmandu as well as from Pokhara although far below 200 km. Chitwan is famous for Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinos, gharial crocodiles, sloth bears, and elephants. Around 68 mammals live in the park, and more than 540 species of birds occur like the giant hornbill and the paradise flycatcher. Higher chance to spot a rhino or even Bengal tiger on full day jungle walks even better with an overnight stay. Another good opportunity is a jeep safari deep into the jungle.
Entrances in Chitwan
- Sauhara in the east
- Thara settlement of the Meghauli Village in the west
Accommodations close to Chitwan
The small town Sauraha outside of the National Park offers a huge variety of accommodations and tour agencies.
Top Tip (Warning)
Expect mosquito the whole year. An outbreak of Dengue Fever is possible, and Malaria can occur. Bring a strong DEET repellent and wear lightweight clothes that cover your limbs especially at dusk and night.