Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (175 sq km)
The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve first came about in 1976, when it became apparent that there was a great need to protect the beautiful but rare water buffalo, resident of the waters along the eastern border of Bangladesh. Later in 1987 it was declared a Ramsar site.
The Nepali reserve is positioned on 175 square kilometers of lavish wetland provided by the one-kilometer long barrage set along the Koshi River. An immense area of arable land surrounded by the many marshes, mudflats, lagoons and barrage contributes this vast amount of swampland to a great extent, resulting in one of the most beautiful bird sanctuaries in all of Asia. The best time to catch sightings of the immense collection of local and migratory birds along the barrage and the many river channels is during the months of October through to March.
It has to be said that one of the most exhilarating ways to explore the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is on one of the numerous nature ‘walks’. Nothing can prepare your senses for what they experience as you make your way through the thick fragrant grasslands, by passing the many tranquil waters of the vast array of river lagoons and its many remarkable wooded forests that surround the area. As you gaze about you it is evident that the reserve seems to be protected by the majestic Himalayan peaks, which range to the fifth highest mountain in the entire world, Makalu (8,463 meters).
The Koshi Tappu Reserve is an exciting alternative to the many other wildlife sanctuaries surrounding the area such as the Royal Bardiya National Park and the Royal Chitwan National Park. It is also ideal for breaking your journey especially for those adventurous mountaineers or trekkers who are making their way or returning home from their Kanchenjunga and Arun / Makalu region in Nepal. However, it is greatly recommended that you stay at least two nights to appreciate the many wonders of the reserve.
If you are seeking to find a place to relax and enjoy nature at its best Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is ideal. There are three main ways to access the Reserve. Arriving by air will take approximately 45 minutes from Kathmandu to Biratnagar, giving you a wonderful birds eye view of the Park. Pnce you have landed it will still take about another hours drive to the main camp site. If you should decide to go by road, you will be taken along an unusually windy road for about 500 km, from here you will have a splendid vantage point with scenic views lasting up to about 9 - 10 hours from the main point in Kathmandu. Lastly, you can choose to take an exciting 8 to 10 day trip down the Sun Koshi River, which will give you an unusual viewpoint and a direct route to Koshi Tappu Reserve
Activities: Game viewing, Bird watching
Access: Drive (40 km) from Biratnagar which is 50 minutes by air or 541 km by road from Kathmandu.
Accommodation: Resorts, Tented camp
Best Season: Oct-Mar;Apr-Jun(hot), Jul-Sep(rainy)