About 160 km away from the Kathmandu is Chitwan National Park, which was established in 1973 and is the oldest national park and wildlife reserve in Nepal. The park covers an area of around 1000 square kilometers and supports a fragile ecosystem. As far as the flora is concerned, nearly 70% of Chitwan National Park vegetation comprises Sal forest. The remaining vegetation types include grassland (20%) and Pines (5%). The grasslands have a diverse composition comprising more than 50 species. According to a conservative estimate by the UNESCO, the park has at least 43 species of mammals, over 450 species of birds, and more than 45 species of amphibians and reptiles. Among animals, one-horned Rhinoceros, Tiger, and Crocodile are given special attention. The park also has a sizable population of Gaur, Wild Elephant, four-horned Antelope, Striped Hyena, Pangolin, Genetic Dolphin, Monitor Lizard, Python, Chital, Hog, Deer, Barking Deer, Sloth Deer, Common Leopard, Palm Civet and Rhesus Monkeys. A few sizeable of the common birds seen are Peafowl, Red Jungle Fowl, and different species of egrets, Herons, Kingfishers, Flycatchers and Woodpeckers.
The main tourists’ attractions here are the flora and fauna of the Park and local cultural shows. You can enjoy the Jungle Safari by riding elephant with opportunities to see tigers, rhinoceros and other tropical animals. Elephant riding and bathing in the river is very common among the visitors that make their day special and memorable. You can visit elephant breeding centre, Tharu (an ethnic people of the area) village, and watch the Tharu cultural shows in the evening that are really interesting.