Tiger travel in Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve takes wildlife enthusiasts to some of the most extensive and rich grasslands in Asia. Located in the remote far west of Nepal, in the lowlands near the border with India and near the Nepalese city of Dhangadhi (which can be reached by a flight from Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu), Suklaphanta is a special place. It is quiet and little visited by tourists, giving wildlife enthusiasts the opportunity to witness its diverse array of animals with no other people nearby – and that diversity is spectacular. Leaving the parks of India behind to experience Tiger travel in Nepal is truly unforgettable.
History of Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve
The development of the wildlife reserve dates to the area’s historical use as a favourite hunting ground by the ruling class of Nepal. In 1969 it was declared a Royal Hunting Reserve. Four years later, in 1973, it was turned into Royal Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve, encompassing an area of 155 square kilometres. It was extended to its current size of 305 square kilometres in the late 1980s. It takes its name from Sukla Phanta, a grassland inside the reserve: the largest continuous grassland in Nepal, approximately 16 square kilometres in size, and a thriving habitat for numerous bird and mammal species that can be observed on a Tiger travel tour.
History in the region of the park goes back further: the grasslands and forests hold remains of an ancient kingdom, such as the brick girdle 1,500 metres in circumference near the lake Rani Tal. Locals consider it to be what is left of the fort of Singpal, a king of the Tharu people.
Tiger travel in Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve
The reserve is home to an estimated 20 of the animals, a high population density found in few other places. The population in Suklaphanta is shyer than in the popular wildlife reserves in India, where tourists visit in high numbers, which means that a sighting is not guaranteed. However, a tour to Suklaphanta is a spectacular experience: the possibility of encountering a Tiger – or a Leopard – is joined by the certainty of seeing a wide array of wildlife in a stunning region of Asia.
Bird watchers will be excited by the possibility of seeing some rare grassland specialists, such as the resident Finn’s Weaver and the Bristled and Rufous-rumped Grassbirds, and winter visitors including the Hodgson’s Bushchat. Over 400 bird species have been recorded in Suklaphanta. These include half of Nepal’s globally threatened bird species. Mammal enthusiasts will delight in seeing Asian Elephant, Great Indian One-horned Rhino, Terai Langur, Golden Jackal and Swamp, Spotted and Hog Deer. Tiger travel in Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is truly rewarding for all wildlife enthusiasts.