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National Parks of Nepal

Surrounded by the Himalayan foothills, Nepal’s national parks offer a wide variety of attractions that are sure to astound tourists. Picture exotic creatures bounding around you in the midst of high mountains, sloping valleys, lush grass, and blue skies. Nepal has all of this and much more.

Nepal is a country with an array of breathtaking natural characteristics, from the beautiful Himalayas to the tropical jungles of the Terai region. The several national parks in the country provide chances for ecotourism while protecting its rich ecosystem.  This article will thoroughly discuss the national parks of Nepal, along with their flora and wildlife, hiking opportunities, activities, lodging, permits, fees, responsible tourist practices, security concerns, and the best times to visit.

The Importance of National Parks

National parks greatly protect a nation’s natural heritage and biodiversity. They save threatened species, preserve natural harmony, and offer areas for leisure and academic study. In Nepal, the national parks cover 23,620 square kilometers or roughly 19.7% of the total land area of the nation. These parks are home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including some rare and endangered species.

Overview of National Parks in Nepal

Nepal has ten national parks, three wildlife reserves, and one conservation area. And, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation has the authority to manage and conserve these parks. These parks are mentioned below:

Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park is located in the Terai region of Nepal. It was established in 1973 and covered an area of 932 square kilometers. Since then, it has become one of Nepal’s most popular national parks.

The park is home to over 700 species of wildlife. It is well-known for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which brings in numerous visitors all year round. While visiting, you can engage in various activities such as jungle safaris, birdwatching, elephant rides, and canoeing.

Sagarmatha National Park

Located in the majestic Himalayas, Sagarmatha National Park was founded in 1976, covering a sprawling 1,148 square kilometers of land. It is a natural abode to Mount Everest, the highest mountain peak globally, standing tall and proud. Besides, the park boasts a diverse range of rare and endangered species like the elusive snow leopard, the cuddly red panda, and the ferocious Himalayan black bear.

For adventure seekers, trekking and mountaineering opportunities abound in Sagarmatha National Park, and the experience is nothing short of breathtaking. One can immerse themselves in the unique Sherpa culture and witness their way of life firsthand.

Bardia National Park

Situated in the remote western region of Nepal, the Bardia National Park spans across a vast area of 968 square kilometers. This natural treasure was founded in 1988 with the aim to conserve and protect the wildlife that calls it home, including rare species such as the majestic Bengal tiger, the one-horned rhinoceros, and the mighty wild elephant.

For wildlife enthusiasts, the park offers an array of exciting activities such as thrilling wildlife safaris that give visitors a chance to observe these creatures in their natural habitat. The park is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with an incredible diversity of bird species to spot and admire. For those seeking a more adrenaline-fueled adventure, the park’s rapids offer the perfect setting for an unforgettable white water rafting experience.

By visiting Bardia National Park, visitors not only get to witness the beauty of these incredible animals and landscapes but also contribute to the conservation efforts that ensure the preservation of these precious habitats.

Shey Phoksundo National Park

Shey Phoksundo National Park is situated in the Dolpa district of Nepal and was established in 1984. The park is a sanctuary for many endangered species such as the snow leopard, Tibetan wolf, and musk deer. The park covers an area of 3,555 square kilometers and boasts the beautiful Shey Phoksundo Lake, the deepest lake in Nepal. 

Langtang National Park

Nestled in the heart of Nepal lies the breathtaking Langtang region, spanning over 1,710 square kilometers. Established in 1976, this region is a sanctuary to a plethora of endangered and rare species.

Aside from being a safe haven for these magnificent creatures, the Langtang region is also a paradise for adventure-seekers. Trekking enthusiasts can explore the region’s rugged terrain, lush valleys, and snow-capped peaks while immersing themselves in the unique Tamang culture.

With its awe-inspiring natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, the Langtang region is a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Don’t miss the chance to witness the magic of Langtang for yourself.

Makalu Barun National Park

Situated in the eastern region of Nepal, the Makalu Barun National Park spans over 1,500 square kilometers of pristine wilderness. Established back in 1992, this protected area is renowned for its awe-inspiring landscape, which includes Mount Makalu, the world’s fifth-highest peak. However, the park’s allure goes far beyond its towering mountain ranges.

Makalu Barun National Park is a biodiversity hotspot, with a unique ecosystem that supports many rare and endangered species. Among its most notable inhabitants are the elusive snow leopard, the charming red panda, and the majestic Himalayan black bear. These creatures are just a few of the many mammals, birds, and plants that call this park home.

Rara National Park

Nestled in the Mugu and Jumla districts of Nepal, the Rara National Park spans over an expanse of 106 square kilometers. Its origins date back to 1976 when it was established to protect the area’s natural resources and habitats. The crown jewel of the park is undoubtedly the majestic Rara Lake, the largest lake in Nepal, and a sight to behold.

Aside from the lake, the park boasts an array of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species. For those with a taste for adventure, the park offers various trekking options, which provide an excellent opportunity to explore the region’s natural wonders. 

Khaptad National Park

Khaptad National Park is situated in the far-western region of Nepal and spans over an area of 225 square kilometers. It was established in the year 1984 and is known for its rich biodiversity, housing many rare and endangered species like the leopard, barking deer, and Himalayan black bear. Tourists can go trekking in the park and also immerse themselves in the unique cultural experiences that the region offers.

Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park

The Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park sprawls across 159 square kilometers of land. This protected area was established in 2002 with the noble aim of preserving the region’s natural heritage, and it has since become home to an array of rare and endangered species. Among the park’s most notable inhabitants are the Himalayan black bear, the elusive leopard, and the majestic barking deer.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual stroller, you’re sure to be mesmerized by the park’s breathtaking scenery, which boasts verdant forests, gushing streams, and sweeping vistas of the surrounding hills.

In addition to its natural wonders, the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park also offers a glimpse into Nepal’s rich cultural heritage, with several important religious sites located within its boundaries. 

Banke National Park

Located in the Terai region of Nepal, Banke National Park covers an expanse of 550 square kilometers, much like the nearby Chitwan and Bardia National Parks. The park was founded in 2010 and provides a natural habitat for many rare and endangered species, including the Bengal tiger, one-horned rhinoceros, and Asian elephant.

Aside from admiring the exotic wildlife, visitors can engage in various exciting activities during their visit to Banke National Park. Jungle safaris offer an exhilarating way to explore the park’s diverse terrain, while birdwatching is a favorite pastime among many visitors. For those seeking a unique experience, elephant rides are also available.

Wildlife and Flora

National parks in Nepal harbor a diverse array of flora and fauna. It includes numerous rare and endangered species. These parks provide sanctuary to these animals against illegal hunting, habitat devastation, and other potential hazards, which was quite common a decade ago. Among the fauna found in the parks are:

  • Bengal tiger
  • One-horned rhinoceros
  • Snow leopard
  • Red panda
  • Himalayan black bear
  • Asian elephant
  • Gharial crocodile
  • Musk deer
  • Tibetan wolf
  • Wild elephant

Moreover, the national parks are a habitat to a plethora of avian, reptilian, and insect species. The vegetation present in the parks varies depending on the altitude and climatic conditions. The parks accommodate various types of trees, shrubs, and flowers, including Nepal’s national flower, the rhododendron.

Trekking Opportunities

Nepal’s national parks provide a phenomenal opportunity for trekkers seeking a one-of-a-kind experience in the world. Not only does trekking in Nepal allow visitors to fully engage with the country’s diverse culture and traditions, but it also immerses them in its natural beauty. You can engage in the following:

  • Everest Base Camp Trek
  • Annapurna Circuit Trek
  • Langtang Valley Trek
  • Manaslu Circuit Trek
  • Upper Mustang Trek
  • Rara Lake Trek
  • Makalu Base Camp Trek
  • Kanchenjunga Trek
  • Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek

Trekking in Nepal’s national parks is a remarkable experience that offers awe-inspiring views of the Himalayas, untouched forests, and authentic cultural encounters. With numerous trekking trails available, varying in difficulty levels, visitors of all ages and fitness levels can indulge in the thrill of trekking in Nepal.


Do I need a permit to visit the national parks of Nepal?

To gain entry into Nepal’s national parks, it is mandatory for visitors to acquire a permit. These permits are available for purchase either from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation or authorized travel agencies.

Obtaining permits is a crucial part of the process for visiting Nepal’s national parks. Without them, entry into these protected areas is not permitted. It is, therefore, essential to obtain permits before embarking on any trip to these parks.

What is the best time to visit the national parks of Nepal?

The optimal period to explore the breathtaking national parks of Nepal is from October to November and from March to May. These months offer delightful weather conditions and provide an excellent opportunity to witness the flourishing wildlife in its full glory.

What is the accommodation like in the national parks of Nepal?

Nepal’s renowned national parks present an array of lodging alternatives that cater to the diverse needs and budget of its visitors. The accommodation options span from modest lodges to extravagant resorts, providing guests with ample choices to select according to their preferences.

The park visitors have the liberty to handpick the accommodation that best matches their budgetary constraints and specific requirements. The lodging alternatives are tailored to offer a comfortable and memorable stay in the midst of the scenic wilderness.

What is the dress code for visiting the national parks of Nepal?

When it comes to exploring the mesmerizing national parks of Nepal, there is no stringent dress code that visitors must adhere to. Nevertheless, it’s highly recommended that visitors dress modestly and wear comfortable clothing that’s appropriate for outdoor activities, such as trekking. It’s essential to keep in mind that the weather in Nepal can be unpredictable, so it’s always wise to bring appropriate layers and footwear that can handle different terrains.

While there may not be a specific dress code, visitors should still show respect for the local culture by avoiding overly revealing or inappropriate attire. It’s also worth noting that some religious sites within the national parks may require visitors to cover their shoulders and legs.

Can I engage in activities such as trekking and jungle safaris on my own?

Nepal’s renowned national parks present an array of lodging alternatives that cater to the diverse needs and budgets of its visitors. The accommodation options span from modest lodges to extravagant resorts, providing guests with ample choices to select according to their preferences.

The park visitors have the liberty to handpick the accommodation that best matches their budgetary constraints and specific requirements. The lodging alternatives are tailored to offer a comfortable and memorable stay in the midst of the scenic wilderness.

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A Guide to Everest Park

If you’re an adventure enthusiast, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of exploring Sagarmatha National Park. You may know it as Everest Park if you’re not from Nepal. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a heaven for nature lovers, mountaineers, and culture enthusiasts alike.

Everest Park offers breathtaking landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and fascinating cultural and spiritual sites. If you’re interested in Everest, nature in Nepal or the geography of the region, Sagarmatha National park is a must-see for you. In this blog, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of Everest Park and provide you with all the practical information you need to plan your trip.

History and Geography of Everest Park

First, let’s dive into the history and geography of Sagarmatha National Park. Located in northeastern Nepal, the park covers an area of 1,148 square kilometers. This massive land area is focused on the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest. 

The park is named after the Nepali name for Mount Everest, which translates to “Goddess of the Sky.” 

In 1979, Sagarmatha National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its unique natural and cultural significance.

The topography of the park is dominated by the Himalayan mountain range. The Khumbu Valley, situated within the park, is a popular trekking destination and home to the Sherpa community.  The region includes four of the six highest peaks in the world. 

The valley is surrounded by rugged terrain, including glaciers, deep valleys, and rocky cliffs. The park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. You’ll really appreciate the plants before heading to the mountainous region of the park. Flora and fauna there include over 118 species of birds, 26 species of butterflies, and 20 species of mammals. So, there’s a lot for animal lovers.

The park is also home to rare and endangered species, such as the snow leopard, red panda, and musk deer.

Trekking and Mountaineering in Everest Park

One of the main attractions of Sagarmatha National Park is trekking and mountaineering. This is common knowledge for many. This is because the park offers a range of trekking routes, from the classic Everest Base Camp trek to the more challenging Three Passes trek. 

Trekking in Everest Park

Each route offers a unique experience. The landscape if this national park is covered with stunning views of the mountains, valleys, and glaciers.

Planning for the trek

Trekking in Everest Park requires careful planning and preparation. The high altitude and rugged terrain can be challenging. There are a lot of health hazards that can occur if you’re not careful. So, it’s essential to acclimatize properly and bring appropriate gear. 

You always need to have permits to enter the park. The fees here vary on the length of your stay. Generally, it is Rs. 1500 or $10-$15. If you choose Pokhara Info as your trip planner, we’ll sort all this out without any hassles for you.

Bring your essentials 

Some of the essential items to bring include a warm sleeping bag, sturdy hiking boots, and warm clothing. Altitude sickness is a real danger in the park. It’s important to take adequate precautions, such as staying hydrated and taking it slow.

Mountaineering in Everest Park

Mountaineering is another popular activity in the national park. There are many climbers who attempt to summit Mount Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam each year. 

Climbing in the park requires a high level of physical fitness, technical climbing skills, and extensive training. It is not something you can have a go at in an instant. Even trekking in this region is difficult. As mentioned earlier, there are a few permits and fees that you need to acquire to climb in the park. Climbers must also follow strict guidelines to minimize their impact on the environment.

Cultural Significance of Sagarmatha National Park

The region is home to a lot of the Sherpa community. Sagarmatha National Park is not only a natural wonder but also a cultural and spiritual site of significance to the Sherpa community. 

The park is home to several religious and cultural landmarks. Some of them are quite popular as well. This includes the Tengboche Monastery, one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries in Nepal. 

The monastery hosts an annual festival that celebrates the victory of Buddhism over the Bon religion, the Mani Rimdu festival. The festival includes traditional dances, prayers, and music. If you’re a foreigner or even Nepali from another part of the country, the festival is a fascinating cultural experience.

The park’s significance extends beyond the Sherpa community. As you may know, the park serves as a symbol of Nepal’s natural and cultural heritage. The park is a popular destination for tourists and researchers. Many visitors come to learn about the unique culture, history, and ecology of the region. Many experts on history and botany, zoology or environment visit as well.

The park is also an important source of livelihood for local communities. Many people work as guides, porters, and hospitality staff in the region. The name “Sherpa” is popular worldwide due to this.

Preservation and Conservation Efforts

Given the unique ecological and cultural significance of Sagarmatha National Park, preservation and conservation efforts are essential. The world is changing, and so is nature within it. As with any popular destination, the park faces numerous challenges, including climate change, over-tourism, and environmental degradation. 

In recent years, the park authorities and the local government have implemented various measures to address these challenges. There has been a limitation on the number of visitors. The authority also has strict waste management policies in the plan.

Local communities, Sherpas and Magars, are also involved in conservation efforts. These people have started many initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable tourism and preserving cultural heritage. For example, the Khumbu Climbing Center, founded by Sherpa climber Ang Tshering Sherpa, provides training and education to local mountain guides and climbers. The center helps promote safe and responsible mountaineering practices.