Phayo, Franche-Compte, Elounda, Jum

Bardia and Back (hopefully)

I bet nobody visits Bardia National Park on a whim- the logistics need serious attention! To opt for a 17+ hour bus ride- or a pricey 360$ flight? Fall back on the painless version- a smooth four hour ride to heavily touristed but accessible Chitwan National Park- or book a car? Or go for a package tour??
After trawling the travel agencies in Pokhara for a few days and crunching some numbers, we chose Bardia and put together our very own custom tailored National Park package. Great decision! The western Terai and Bardia National Park are worth every dollar and every effort it takes to get there
The western Terai

If wheels are your transportation of choice from Pokhara, be prepared for a long *long* and winding road. Up into the hills
Mountains to cross

(there are a few perks)
Highway rest stop Nepal

then down into the hot flatlands of the Terai.
Brick and concrete houses gradually make way for softly rounded clay huts with thatched roofs
Terai House

as the road finally straightens, but doesn’t improve much, and slow-paced local life unfolds around you
Being Uman

At the latest when your rental car or your jeep pickup bulldozes bravely across a wide and rocky riverbed at sundown, you’ll realize, you’re in for an adventure….

A few words about accommodation at the park: You are generally expected to eat meals at your guesthouse and you’re expected to explore the wilderness with guides from there too. So it’s worth doing some research beforehand. We couldn’t have made a better choice than the Bardia Adventure Resort: The location is ideal, right at the edge of the park buffer zone. Their lofty watchtower overlooks the forest
View into the forest

and is an inviting perch for safari style wildlife spotting with early morning coffee, or a cold one. But it was the wilderness-savvy, unshakably cheerful staff who made our stay so special and memorable
Staff Bardia Adventure Resort

(It wasn’t their fault that we stumbled across scary animals at every turn- even though I’d specifically asked to stick with deer, birds and the like, thank you very much!)
Take me to the deer!
Deer

Aaaah….
Deer

Later, deep in the forest, all senses on high alert- bittersweet leaf smells, myriad bird calls. A sudden hush- shhhhhh…. Have we just gone and disturbed two tigers during their morning tête a tête?? Yup.
Tiger disturbed

Click click click click click…. In one powerful movement the male rears up on his haunches, his long-drawn-out roar vibrates through the forest and deep into the marrow of my bones, and a pungent musky odor fills my throat. For a few long seconds not a single camera clicks- a timeless moment of awe
Tiger

OK, gotta go…
Rhino

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