Bardia national park
Bardia National Park - A true wildlife gem

Best Time to Visit Bardia National Park

The continued existence of wildlife and wilderness is important to the quality of life of humans.

Anjala Bhatta
Author | Anjala Bhatta Date Published:
Bardia national park

The best time to visit Bardia national park is from Late September to November and late February to early June. As it is obvious good timing is everything, you need to catch the perfect time before visiting the Bardia national park. It's not like in bad timing some mishaps, or some accidents may occur but you will not get what you are expecting in those durations. So, through this article, we are trying to guide you through the best possible seasonal visits to this national park. Stay tuned to learn more!

Nepal is a country rich in every aspect whether it be geography, nature and resource, culture and tradition or the flora and fauna. Bearing diverse flora and fauna is not only a big deal here, their protection and perseverance are what needs to be done. And this exactly is what Nepal has been doing for a longer period now which makes Nepal a suitable and secure shelter for these wild beings. 

There are 12 national parks in Nepal in total. Among these, Chitwan national park and Bardia national park are the two national parks residing in the lowlands of Terai. Not only did its location in the terai make it well known but because of the good availability of preserved biodiversity. In these two also, Bardia national park embarks as the national park with unvexed wilderness occupying an area of 968 sq km.

Bardia national park is one eminent national park in western Nepal known for the abundant availability of the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger. Not only the Bengal tiger is its only fauna, there are many such as one-horned rhinos, bull elephants, deers, blackbucks, jackals, boars, gharials and crocodiles and several species of birds. Also, 61 species of mammals, 513 species of birds, 42 species of herpetofauna and 120 species of fish have been recorded till day in this national park. This national park is one of the largest national parks in the region of Terai. 

Visitors from all over the world visit this national park in almost all seasons but the extreme winter and summer season is not the idle time to visit this diversely rich national park. Only an exploration at the right time can make your tour worthy and satisfactory. So, if you are making up your mind about passing through this national park, pay full attention to the below-mentioned piece of work. This will escort you with all the necessary information regarding the weather around this national park in various seasons.

Table Of Content

    Bardia National Park Facts

    National Park

    Bardia national park

    Park Headquarter

    Thakurdwara

    National Park Declared

    1988

    Location

    Bardiya district, Lumbini province

    Area occupied

    968 sq km

    Buffer Zone

    327 sq km

    Buffer Zone Declaration

    1997

    Idle Time to Visit

    • Late February to early June

    • Late September to November

    Major Attractions

    • Wildlife

    • Flora and Fauna

    • Tharu culture and tradition

    • Karnali and Babai river

    Endangered Species

    • Royal Bengal Tiger

    • One-horned Rhinoceros

    • Asian bull Elephant

    • Swamp Deer

    • Blackbuck

    • Gharial

    • Freshwater Dolphin

    Permit Required

    National Park Entry Permit

    Climate

    Sub Tropical Monsoon Climate

    Where is Bardia National Park?

    Bardia national park lies in the Bardiya district of Lumbini province. However, it gets united with the Banke national park sharing a zone of 1437 sq km as a tiger conservation unit. Besides this, this national park is bisected by the Babai river which forms a beautiful valley where you can spot the endangered species prominent in this national park.

    It is a national park nestled on the western terai of Nepal. It spreads through an area of 968 sq km joining up to the eastern bank of Karnali river and delineated by the crest of Siwalik hills on the north. The park headquarters is in Thakurdwara, a small Tharu settlement with unique culture, customs and practices.

    This national park is unspoilt till now as less number of visitors pass by. It's not because it is unworthy, but because it is a little far from others. If you are planning on exploring Nepal don't forget to add it to your list. It can be your only chance to expect the distinct yet vicious Royal Bengal tiger, an endangered species in northeast Asia. Also, the Tharu culture and tradition around here are quite perplexing. So, you can get the authentic bite of this too during your national park visit. 

    Best Time to Visit Bardia National Park

    The best time to visit this national park is in the season of Spring, Autumn and early Winter. The summer follows the rainfall soon so this time is not advisable, as no one roams getting all wet. So, the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November are idle time to go around this national park.

    Bardia wildlife

    Mostly from March to May, there is a high chance of spotting the Bengal tiger. This is the time of scorching sun in the sky resulting in heavy drought in most places. So to quench their thirst these beasts go to the river banks which can be a perfect chase for you. At this time, You can not only spot them but also observe their activities such as body movements and hunting. So, if you are planning for a national park tour, try to coincide with these months.

    Also talking about the weather and all, September to November is the best time to explore this national park. During this time the environment is warm and good with clear visibility. So, you can glance at all the beautiful grasslands and riverine forests with the scattered faunas relatively close in this time.

    Bardia National Park in the Winter Season

    In Nepal, the winter season starts in late November. This is the same for the Bardiya district too where this national park resides. December, January and February are the winter months here. In these months the environment is extremely cold and dry. There is no scorching sun during these times, Only mild ones. Sun rises later in the morning than usual and thick fog covers the early morning.

    The average maximum temperature in this region during these months can be up to 25℃ whereas the least can be up to 4℃. There is not that much rain with an average relative humidity of 63. Here, the nights and the mornings are pretty cold whereas the days are a little warm. Most of the days are just gloomy, surrounded by thick clouds all over with no sign of sunlight. So, we can say these periods are definitely not good ones. 

    bardia wildlife nepal

    The only benefit of paying a visit to this national park in these shivering months is that you can spot various species of migrating birds. This is because these birds only flew to this national park in these months. You can watch them playing nearby the river bank and soaring high in the sky which is quite a sight to see. Some of them are the Bengal florican, Sarus crane, Peafowl, white-rumped vulture, striated grassbird, chestnut capped babbler and Lesser florican.

    In Bardia national park, not many visits are done during this time as it is the period of hibernation for wildlife. So not many animals can be spotted at this time. Also because of the thick fog covering the entire trails, it's not quite safe to travel in these times as the hungry tigers are much found hiding nearby the trails waiting for their prey. So, this time is not that favourable for the Bardia national park visit. 

    Monthly Temperature

    Months

    Min temp 

    Max temp

    Average temp

    December

    8℃

    26℃

    17℃

    January

    4℃

    22℃

    13℃

    February

    6℃

    26℃

    16℃

     

    Rainfall

    Precipitation (Rainfall)

    Relative Humidity

    8mm

    71%

    36mm

    66%

    57mm

    52%

    Bardia National Park in the Spring Season

    The most favourable time for the overall Nepal visit is this season. And obviously, this is the perfect time for the Bardia national park visit too. March, April and May these three months are considered the spring months here in Nepal. Many like this season because this is the moment of the environment renewal. The flowers start to bloom and the old leaves get replaced by new ones providing a fresh bright look to the environment. The trails and the paths covered by the colourful flower petals make this season even more enchanting.

    Bardia National park in these vivid months sparks with a different glow. Green fresh leaves awaken the overall environment and the chirping of different insects and the singing of several birds arouse the surrounding. Also, you could spot many animal species at this time such as the Royal Bengal tiger, one-horned rhino, Asian bull elephant, swamp deer and blackbuck. Additionally to this, you could gaze at the gharials and marsh muggers muddling on the river shores. 

    Bardia nepal

    It is also believed that you could spot the Royal Bengal tiger in these months as the extreme heat in the environment drags them to crawl out of the woods on the river banks. To observe this most of the visitors run to this national park during these months. The only drawback of this season is that the temperature rises extremely in this period making it unbearably hot. Though it is hot, because of the peaceful tranquil environment around you, you will forget all the environmental hazards which include the burning sensation.

    Also, you could try different tharu cuisines during your visit, which definitely includes cool soothing drinks, which greatly relieve your thirsty throat. Rafting and boating in the Karnali river are open at this time. You can enjoy this too which is a must-try in this blazing sun. And because of this too, it is attracting a large number of visitors annually.

    The average maximum temperature around here during the daytime is normally 36℃ while 12℃ follows as the minimum. Light rainfall occurs occasionally, with the average surrounding humidity at 32. The charm the environment poses during these months is truly spectacular. Also, tiger tracking, one of the most appreciated adventure activities is performed here during this period of time.

    Monthly Temperature

    Months

    Min temp

    Max temp

    Avg temp

    March

    9℃

    33℃

    21℃

    April

    12℃

    36℃

    24℃

    May

    14℃

    39℃

    26.5℃

    Rainfall

    Precipitation (Rainfall)

    Relative Humidity

    32mm

    35%

    38mm

    27%

    92mm

    34%

    Bardia National Park in the Summer Season

    This is not quite a favourable time to make a visit to the Bardia national park. Earlier in this season, you will be haunted by the blazing bright sun while the latter follows with the heavy rain. So, it's definitely not the perfect time to stop by the national park.

    It is the time of monsoon here in Nepal, so you may have guessed already how good  the weather will be at this time. You got the humour right? Cause this time is not even close to good. Sudden rainfalls happen every time with a strong gush of air sometimes resulting in multiple floods, landslides and heavy debris. Also, the grasslands will be filled with hungry parasitic leeches, and you definitely don't want to be the host of those predators right? So, try your best to avoid these months.

    Bardia

    There is only one advantage of circling this national park in these months which is, the grasslands become lush and greenish which makes the surroundings bright and vibrant. The woodlands become denser and more tranquil. Also, the sky just after the rainfall is so clear, providing good visibility which grants you a chance to observe the large meadows with the scattered wild beasts.

    The months of June, July and August, are the monsoon months in Nepal. The precipitation rate during these periods goes up to a maximum of 700 mm. The rain pours continuously for a longer time resulting in the gradual rise of water levels in the rivers and springs. This takes a massive form of floods in the lower rivers in the Terai lands. Since this national park lies in the lowland of Terai there is also some threat of floods here. So, you are suggested not to make up your mind for these months.

    Monthly Temperature

    Months

    Min temp

    Max temp

    Avg temp

    June

    14℃

    38℃

    26℃

    July

    21℃

    32℃

    26.5℃

    August

    18℃

    32℃

    25℃

     

    Rainfall

    Precipitation (Rainfall)

    Relative Humidity

    246mm

    49%

    691mm

    80%

    583mm

    83%

    Bardia National Park in the Autumn Season

    The best among the best. This is that period in which you will not have to worry about the sun, rain or any kind of environmental hazards. The months of September, October and November fall under this season. There is some rainfall in early September but after that, it's a period of pure bliss with a fully glam environment.

    This is the festive time here in Nepal, so you can get into the hustle and bustle of the people around the streets making it extremely mesmeric. Those vibes are something you will never experience in any other region except in Nepal as the aura environment generates during this period is just phenomenal.

    Coming to the Bardia national park this season is more than perfect to grab a visit. The days are warm and the nights are pleasantly cool. There is no scorching sun outside, just the warm one so, most animals come out of their den for the sunlight and you could capture that moment to quench your craveful soul. The young rhinos roam freely, baby deer graze alongside their mother, elephants lurk into the woods and the gharials and crocodiles quarrel around. And you could catch all this momentous glory during this visit. Also, the trees are shaded with rusty golden leaves which lightens the surroundings and the early morning chill is an absolute pleasure. 

    Bardia wildlife nepal

    The temperature is moderate, neither too hot nor too cold and the environment is just warm. The chill cool nights give you the perfect shimmery mountainous vibes as Nepal is a blessed country safeguarded with towering peaks. Also, the air is humid with a decent earth temperature of 24℃. 

    Many people, almost everyone goes to Bardia national park around this time of year. Not just getting the view is the only asset here, you could enjoy your entire trip during these times. The overall journey can be much fun and memorable and this is what lures the visitors. Different species of birds are spotted in this period. The colourful wings swinging up in the high above are truly something to cherish. Also, the great tharu festival Chhath falls during this period, so you could get a closer look at the Tharu practice and customs too. In this festival, they worship the god Surya and you will be amazed by their worshipping patterns.

    So, not only the wildlife spectating is the only gain during this period as you will get the fresh unspoilt touch of the Tharu customs too. Also, you could join different activities such as jeep safari, Elephant safari, rafting, birdwatching and boating during this period. 

    Monthly Temperature

    Months

    Min temp

    Max temp

    Avg temp

    September

    14℃

    32℃

    23℃

    October

    16℃

    31℃

    23.5℃

    November

    11℃

    29℃

    20℃

     

    Rainfall

    Precipitation (rainfall)

    Relative Humidity

    344mm

    83%

    71mm

    77%

    4mm

    75%

    Entry and Permits

    There are no specific permits required for the Bardia national park visit. But you need to get a national park pass before entering the national park gate. The pass is available from the Department of National life and Wildlife Conservation, Bhrikutimandap and also from the unit at the gate of the national park. Most of them get their pass from the national park gate as it is the easiest and most convenient one. 

    Nationals

    Cost

    Nepal

    NPR 100

    SAARC

    NPR 750

    Foreigners

    NPR 1500

     

    Though the pass is the same, the cost ranges by the nationals. They will charge NPR 100 for Nepalese citizens, NPR 750 for Saarc nationals and NPR 1500 for foreigners. The pass is a one-time purchase and it will be invalid if used more than once, which means you need to get another one in case you need to make a re-entry.

    Things to do in Bardia National Park

    There are multiple activities you could do during your visit to this national park. Some of them are Jungle safari, tiger tracking, Karnali river rafting, birds watching, fishing, exploring Tharu culture, and tradition, and visiting Elephant and crocodile breeding centres. A detailed description of these activities is cited below.

    Jungle Safari

    Jungle safari in Bardia national park can be done in three ways i.e Jeep safari, elephant safari and tiger tracking. Jeep safari is a much-preferred ride as it will take you slowly deep into the woodland. You will ride with a native guide compulsorily. He will guide you with the information regarding what to do and what not to do. Also, you need to be quiet and observe around you to spot wild beings. Mostly deer, wild boar, peacocks, monkeys, gharials and rhinos are seen during this ride. And You can get some snaps of these beings.

    Elephants in Bardia

    Similarly, the Elephant safari is something similar to the jeep safari except for the carrier. Here, You will be carried by the big bull Asian elephant. There is a master who controls the elephant and walks beside you so no need to get afraid of a beasty attack. You can get a more descriptive view of the national park and the wild beings during this ride. But nowadays because of the protection act of wildlife rights, this safari is not that much in practice, also not banned too. More likely the riders themselves choose the jeep safari over it.

    Tiger tracking is somehow different to both but comes under the juggle safari as you will roam through the national park exploring the flora and fauna on foot. An experienced mentor will lead you through the trails. On the basis of the scat, claw marks and scratches on the tree branches, he will guide you to some specific secure spot from where you could spot the tiger possibly. This is a thrilling activity as you will find yourself relatively closer to the beastly creature.

    Related trip: Nepal wildlife safari luxury tour.

    Visiting Elephant and Crocodile Breeding Centre

    As you may have guessed already what actually it's about as the name itself suggests everything. There is this breeding centre of elephants inside the park. It is obviously used for breeding purposes. Apart from this some of them are protected there from being hunted especially from Poaching. Here you will see different phases of the lifecycle of these creatures. You could see some giving birth, some getting nurtured, some playing around, and some growing up. This is indeed one fascinating thing you could see in this national park.

    Bardiya wildlife

    Nearer to the elephant breeding centre, there lies the crocodile breeding centre. The gharials and the marsh mugger are the two endangered species found in this breeding centre. You can see baby gharials and muggers in the muddy bank. You can watch them playing around, which is really adorable.

    Rafting in Karnali River

    One of the most adventurous activities that can be performed in this national park is rafting. This is done in the river of Karnali. Also, boating can be done here in a man-made boat. It will be quite memorable as you will get a hold of different animals nearby the river banks. During this adventure, you will not only enjoy yourselves in the white water but will also observe the profound aquatic beings. Alongside this, it will grant you an exquisite chance of observing the national park from different side views.

    Bardia wildlife

    Exploring Tharu Culture and Tradition

    The indigenous Tharu community is the one major inhabitant of this national park. Also, there is a museum inside the national park demonstrating the ancient life, culture, and livelihood of the Tharu community. You could spot some kitchen wares, ornaments, dresses, and different tools and instruments related to their culture here. Also, you could see some wall paintings with the description of their costumes, rituals and practices. In addition to this, you could watch the unique Tharu dance during your national park visit.

    Related read: Culture, customs and geography of Nepal.

    Bird Watching

    Different birds like crows, eagles, sparrows, doves, and ravens are the resident birds of this national park. You could see them anytime here but there are some distinct migratory birds in this national park which only flew here during the winter seasons. Reportedly 230 species of birds are discovered in this national park till now. So, this national park is well known for the bird variety and the visitors pass by just to watch them. The flocks of birds during the sunset near the river bank is something really captivating and Bardia national park grants you this. So, this national park is expecting to get a huge crowd in the upcoming days because of this too. 

    bardia birdlife

    Fishing

    The river Karnali flows through the national park while the Babai bisects the whole national park. For fishing Karnali and Babai river is given permission. It's not like random fishing is done here, more likely a managed one. Fishing with the nets, hooks and all, not with the explosion of some bombs. Golden mahseer, Silver mahseer, Asla and Catfish are the most popular fish species found in this river. And fishing of these species is done here. Also, the endangered species among these are freed even if they got caught in the trap. Mainly in the summer season, you could catch a handful of these as fishes come to the river banks most often because of the floods and debris. In addition to this freshwater gigantic dolphins are occasionally seen in this river. People come to watch it too while fishing of this species is strongly prohibited. 

    Fishing

    Travel Guide and Tips

    Some of the travel tips you should consider during your visit to this national park are mentioned below. Feel free to go through this.

    1. Always behave nicely with your guides.

    2. Try to stay as silent as possible during your jungle safari as you don't want to scare the little creatures.

    3. Follow the instructions passed by the guide during your entire trip.

    4. Don't give any food or anything to the wild beings.

    5. Adoring them is different but don't get too close to the wild beings as their nature is totally unpredictable.

    6. Don't throw the garbage inside the national park, and leave with what you take.

    7. Don't imitate and tease the wild beings.

    8. Stay humble, and decent and protect the flora and fauna around here.

    Related read: Nepal travel information

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • What is the best time to visit Bardia national park?

      Spring, Autumn and early winter are the ideal time to visit Bardia national park. So, the months of March, April, May, September, October and November are preferred  for this national park visit. Whereas the monsoon period which lasts from June to August is the one that is frequently avoided by visitors. 

    • Which animals can be seen in Bardia national park?

      Several animals can be seen in this national park. Some of them are one-horned rhinos, jackals, elephants, deer, black buck, gharials, marsh muggers and boars. Also, you may encounter the Royal Bengal tiger during your jungle safari. 

    • Is it true that it is the only habitat of Royal Bengal tigers here in Nepal?

      Not exactly. It is true that royal Bengal tigers are abundant in this national park but it is not the only habitat for these vicious creatures. They can also be found in Shuklaphanta, Banke,  Chitwan and many other national parks.

    • Are the one-horned rhinos being preserved in this national park?

      Yes, after their near extinction in the late 90s from this national park, a few numbers of them are translocated from Chitwan national park and for now, they are getting preserved here. Also, the main cause of their near extinction, poaching is taken under control as described by the local wildlife officer. 

    • Can we visit this national park during nighttime?

      No, visits to this national park during the nighttime are strictly prohibited. Since the beast royal Bengal tiger roams here during that period none of the visitors is allowed to sneak into the national park during that time.

    • Is it appropriate to make a visit in the summer months to this national park?

      It's your will to be exact. The months of June, July and August lie under the summer months and heavy rainfalls take place during this time. So, you are better advised not to go during this time. However, if you still want to, nobody is stopping you, you are all free to go. 

    • In which month there is the highest possibility of spotting the tigers?

      The highest possibility or chance of spotting the tiger is in the months of March, April and May. Since drought takes over this place during these periods, these beasts get out of their caves to quench their thirst on the nearby river banks. So, you could get a chance then.

    • How can we reach Bardia national park?

      You can reach Bardia national park via Nepalgunj. Either you have to take a flight or drive up to Nepalgunj. From there you could take the reserved vehicles or public buses up to the park headquarters, Thakurdwara.

    • Can we see Dolphins in Bardia national park?

      More likely yes. If you go to Bardia national park during the monsoon season you are likely to catch intelligent aquatic mammals, Dolphins in the Karnali river as they come here from the river of Ganges for the mating process. It's not always certain that they will be present here at this specific time as they are seen occasionally, so it relies on your luck also.

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