Chitwan safari & rafting in Nepal

“At just over a week, this short, sharp overview of Nepal packs an almighty punch combining historical tours, local culture, river rafting and a jungle safari too.”

Highlights

Boudhanath | Pasupatinath Temple | Bhaktapur | Charudi | White water rafting | Royal Chitwan National Park | Full-day jungle excursion | Pokhara | Sarangkot | Kathmandu

Departure information

This trip can be tailormade at a time to suit you and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary. Up to 3 small group departures per month Sep-Apr
Our top tip:
Pack light: good walking boots essential.
Trip type:
Small group (min. 4 people)
Activity level:
Leisurely.
Accomm:
5 nights 3* hotel, 2 nights jungle lodge.
Solos:
Welcome. Single rooms available for a surcharge (hotels only).
Meals:
5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners.
Included:
Accomm., transport, entrance fees, listed activities, guide.
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Traveling with a local operator

This vacation is operated by a company based in the vacation destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your vacation to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Chitwan safari & rafting in Nepal

Our trekking company is wholly committed to responsible tourism. On our treks & tours, tourism helps improve the standard of living for the local people by generating income for the local community through purchasing of local products such as fresh fruits, handloom products, meat, drinks, and fresh vegetables and providing job opportunities.

We employ well-trained & experienced local tour guides. Our guides will give a briefing about responsible tourism e.g. rubbish disposal, giving food scraps to domestic animals, paying the porters to carry out trash, using a fire pit when camping, not picking flowers, using kerosene instead of firewood, avoiding bathing/washing clothes in streams, using local tea houses or camping sites. In addition the small group size of 4-10 people helps to minimise the impact on the environment.

On this tour, we stay at hotel / Jungle Resort operated by local communities such as 3* hotel or similar in city areas and Island Jungle Resort or similar in Chitwan Park. The resort manages garbage properly; minimize using fire-wood, arrangement comfort accommodation for visitors.

Our trekking company supports a local school & health post by financial donations and educational and medical materials.

We also support the Kvresthali Women society with financial donations which provides goat farming and adult literacy for women. On this trip, our guests will have the opportunity to give donations to these causes, and visit the Kavresthali Women Society to observe their activities.

Reviews of Chitwan safari & rafting in Nepal

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 12 Apr 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


It's too difficult to select a single moment or city. Nepali people are really terrific.
Exploring Chitwan was incredible - I felt very privileged to see so many rhinos and to pet an elephant and feed it bananas. Pokhara was so relaxing and beautiful - Achut and his staff were able to arrange paragliding for us the same day which was absolutely exhilarating and delightful.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't be shy about asking to modify or customize your trip! We had already explored Kathmandu and surrounding areas on a previous trip and Achut kindly modified and customized our vacation based on our interests, needs, and time frame. Also, even though it wasn't the rainy season, we still encountered quite a few leeches so be prepared!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I was very impressed with the Chitwan Riverside Resort and its staff. They were very knowledgeable about the city and its people, the environment and wildlife and all of our excursions benefited from their ability and willingness to educate us and ask challenging questions regarding the impact, both positive and negative, of travel and tourism. The staff was warm and welcoming and I wouldn't think of staying anywhere else in Chitwan on my next trip there.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was amazing! It was so relaxing to not have to worry about transportation (or the gas shortage), lodging, or arranging a single thing. They helped coordinate all the activities/excursions we wanted to do and everyone was accommodating, helpful and kind. I was able to truly relax and let go because I could trust Achut to handle all the arrangements and planning for me.

Reviewed on 06 Apr 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Pokhara, seeing the mountains on a clear day and the chance to go paragliding for the first time. This was extra but worthwhile!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for long car rides. Many of the roads are under construction (probably still damaged from the earthquake) so journeys can be long. Pokhara to Kathmandu was around 8 hours - also partly due to abysmal traffic jams on the road in the capital.

Kathmandu is very dry and dusty so you will get quite dirty - bring (or buy) a face mask

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Most of the trip was to well known tourist places so I guess we were giving the local community some much needed income after tourism numbers plummeted after the earthquake. We did try and eat locally where possible.

There is only the option of flying rather than car driving around the major tourist
towns - and Nepalese airlines don't have the best safety record!

I was concerned a bit by the elephant safari in Chitwan (even though Responsible Travel give the green light to it). Our mahout treated the elephant well but I saw other being hit quite hard. I love elephants so the visit to the elephant sanctuary left me a little disheartened. Many elephants chained by their legs restricting movement is quite painful to see.

The canoe safari, whitewater rafting, boat riding were all supporting local
businesses.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Despite the long journeys I did thoroughly enjoy Nepal and would like to go back to see more and do more trekking. The tour company were very good in communication and responsiveness when we got there. I felt that our safety and enjoyment was their main priority.

Read the operator's response here:

Responsible Travel has reluctantly taken the decision to make an exception to our “no rides” policy. In some national parks, particularly in India and Nepal, elephant back safaris allow visitors to observe highly endangered species including tiger and rhino

You can read more about this in our elephant conservation guided here:

http://www.responsibletravel.com/vacations/elephant-conservation/travel-guide/elephants-conservation

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We went on an 8-day Nepal trip that brought us from Kathmandu to Chitwan Park and to Pokhara. Everything about it was memorable! The operator was excellent! The guides and driver were good, the accomodation picked out were excellent, especially in Chitwan - most memorable experience like no other... Our vacation package was customised according to our needs and especially since we brought along our 10-yr old son, we were concerned if the activities were safe enough for him. At the end of it, my son truly enjoyed himself and especially love the paragliding experience. He commented that this was his best trip ever! The personal touch given by the operator was superb!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Invest in a reliable tour provider and if you are bringing kids around, make sure their needs are met.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I felt that the beautiful pictures I posted in Instagram and Facebook have given some insights into the beautiful places in Nepal and encouraged several others to want to go there, be it for a vacation, a mission trip or trekking adventures.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Superb! Nothing like it!

Reviewed on 25 Jan 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing a Rhino in Royal Chitwan National Park

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be aware the accommodation is basic, but the trip is well worth it

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Nepali people obviously were employed and the tour was run locally. Our only concern was regarding the use of the elephants in the safaris (which is discussed on your website)

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


8/10. Nepal is a wonderful place which obviously has severe poverty issues. The people were uniformly friendly and helpful

Reviewed on 17 Nov 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Nepalese culture, religion, Himalayas.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Avoid elephants-related attractions in Chitwan national park (if you don't like cruel conditions for elephants).

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We were using services of local guides, visiting only local restaurants so hopefully - yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Beautiful country that will stay in our hearts forever.

Reviewed on 21 Mar 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


In terms of excitement (and having never done it before) the White Water Rafting was excellent and potentially a new hobby. The stay at Sarangkot was most peaceful and the view of the mountain range at 5.30am in the morning was quite breath taking. Pokhara was a lovely place to stay with an abundance of bars and restaurants. Sunsets at Chitwan was another highlight.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for the electricity to go off at regular intervals during the day.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I do not believe that the tour impacted the environment in a negative way at all, other than the long drive between towns (Pokhara and Kathmandu took a while). Through fairly generous and well deserved tipping I think that local people benefitted from our stay and maybe learnt a little from our own culture.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Lubbly Jubbly. Nothing was too much trouble for anyone we came into contact with. Achut who we booked the tour with was a top gent and our guides both at Chitwan (Krishna) and in Pokhara were fine men. The taxi driver was a good egg also. Everything about the vacation was organised very well, especially as our group consisted of only 2 people.
Nepal is a magical place.

Reviewed on 07 Mar 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Without a doubt Chitwan National Park! Our guides Krishna and Prakash were amazing! With their careful guiding we were able to see rhinos, crocodiles, deer, wild boar, bison, monkies and many species of birds! Sunset over the river was spectacular and without the light pollution of the city we were able to see hundreds of stars.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Fly don't drive! We managed to gain an extra day in Pokhara by choosing to fly and not drive! We booked our own accommodation on the final day and flew to Kathmandu to catch our departing flight on day 8!

Laundry washing services are cheap so pack light as your moving around!
A good pair of walking shoes is essential as there is lots of trekking and hiking!
For Chitwan, colours that blend into nature are better!
Tipping is customary so bring a little extra cash for tipping!

We were caught unawares by the entry costs on the Kathmandu city tour! The total for all three sites comes to just over $25 per person!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The entry fees on the Kathmandu tour are all used to support the UNESCO world heritage sites! There are opportunities to buy from local craftsman on the tour and see the items being made! Chitwan National Park is a conservation animal dedicated to the preservation of animal species! Through the soldiers presence poaching has stopped and the numbers of animals have increased significantly!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A fantastic experience, all the guides were very knowledgable local people! Everyone is very friendly and willing to help with any problems! We had a noise issue in our final hotel that prevented us from sleeping and the timing for Sarangkot was muddled up meaning we didn't make sunrise at the summit but these issues were rectified by the staff! We also found that on the city tour it was
too rushed and we were steered towards "certain" stalls and encouraged to make a purchase!

Reviewed on 27 Oct 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The whole trip was amazing. We covered a range of environments within Nepal -bustling Kathmandu, the exotic Chitwan jungle resort, Pokhara and the beautiful (and sometimes scary) mountain roads in between.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


It was a lot hotter than we had expected. Although we weren't doing any mountain trekking, we had anticipated chilly nights. We were wrong, it was hot every day and you rarely needed more than a t-shirt even outside at night. (This was mid October.)

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, I thought the tour was very well constructed and local people seemed genuinely pleased to see us (not just the ones selling 'singing bowls')!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


First class; we really enjoyed ourselves and all agreed it couldn't have been better. Thanks to an excellent tour with a local company, run by the wonderful Achut. He and his team went beyond our expectations.

Reviewed on 13 Apr 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


All of it!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Definitely use this operator as they were superb. Thoroughly organised. We were very well looked after. They gave us lots of local information. They were brilliant.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes I do.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Absolutely brilliant we can't wait to go back.

Reviewed on 06 Nov 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


There were too many! Staying in Chitwan National Park, going on the elephant back safaris and being a part of the elephant bathing there were definitely highlights of the trip. Seeing the rhinos, crocodile and monkeys were a lot of fun, and so was seeing Mt. Everest (we did the 1 hour flight). Our nature guide at the Island Jungle Resort--Bhatta--really knew about Chitwan and everything there and taught us a lot. Keshave--our main tour guide for the rest of the trip--was wonderful, showed us around Kathmandu and Pokhara and really made us feel at home in Nepal. He and Achut (our other guide) really made our trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience and gave us fantastic one-on-one service. We will be using the tour operator when we return someday because they really made this trip unforgettable!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


We only had 8 days in Nepal, and I really wish we'd had more time. Don't miss Pokhara or Chitwan because they are absolutely stunning places to see. Try and stay there longer and do some trekking. Everyone we met over there had done one of the too-numerous-to-count treks and we're going to have to go back to do one in the future.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I do. Wherever we stayed, and the activities we participated in, were all through local people and companies. We tried to conserve where we could and minimize the impact we had while on our vacation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A once-in-a-lifetime experience. We haven't travelled to many places in our lives yet, but this experience is one that we will never forget, and will never have again (even when we do return). We're telling everyone we know they need to visit Nepal!

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