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Wildlife Resort & Wildlife Camp in Koshi-Tappu Wildlife Reserve
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The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is a 175 km≤ of wildlife refuge and wetlands habitat established in 1976 located in Eastern Nepal. It can be accessed from the Mahendra Highway.
The reserve currently has five elephants and is home to the water buffalo (called arna), deer, nilgai, mugger crocodile, Ganges River Dolphin (also called the Gangetic Dolphin), and more than 460 species of birds.
A study of the reserve was conducted between 1997 to 1998 by the Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. The study found serious conflicts between the reserve wildlife and the local people living adjacent to the reserve. The people suffered crop depredations and animal harassment while the reserve managers had the problems of illegal poaching, cattle grazing, and other other illegal activities in the reserve. The study has several recommendations, one of which is the promotion of tourism to the area with the reserve using local tourist guides trained by wildlife experts.In additional to wildlife, the Reserve also protects a substantial part of the Sapta Koshi, (a tributary of the Ganges River) flood plain. In 1987, it was declared a Ramsar site.
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve lies on the alluvial flood plain of Sapta Koshi River. This, the largest river in Nepal, flows through the reserve. The Sapta Koshi is one of the three main tributaries of the Ganga. Reverie and Sal forests and grasslands dominate the vegetation of the reserve. This combination of vegetation and wetland proves a special site for birds and animals. The main mammals here are the Wild Buffalo, Blue Bull and Gangetic Dolphin. Around 300 species of birds have been recorded in this reserve. These include waterfowl, birds of prey, waders, and other water birds. The globally threatened Swamp Partridge (Francolinus Gularis) is also a familiar sight. The nearby Koshi Barrage has created a vast expanse of water. This makes it the most important staging point for migrating birds. At the same time it is an all year playground for resident ones. Makalu, the world's fifth highest mountain (8,463m), can be glimpsed on a clear day. This enhances the beauty of the scenery dramatically.
This Wildlife Reserve was founded in 1976 to protect a small triangle of phanta (grassland) and tappu (small islands) in the floodplain of the Sapt Kosi River, the last habitat of the endangered arna (wild water buffalo). At the south end of the reserve, the Kosi Barrage funnels the floodwaters of the Sapt Kosi into a single channel to minimise flood damage in Bihar. It's a wonderfully serene spot and most travellers who visit are bird-watchers in search of rare species such as the Bengal florican and sarus crane. At least 439 species of birds have been recorded here and migratory species from Siberia and Tibet take up residence from November to February. Arna tend to hang out on the tappu and you may also spot deer, wild boars, pythons and crocodiles. There are thought to be a handful of Gangetic dolphins in the Sapt Kosi but they are very rarely seen. Most visitors come on organised tours from Kathmandu or Pokhara, which include bird-watching walks, elephant rides, boat trips, accommodation and meals at the tented camps inside the park and transfers from Biratnagar airport. There are few facilities for independent travellers.
The Sapta Koshi is one of the three main tributaries of the Ganges- Rapid and intense flooding of the reserve, occur during the rainy season. Embankments have been constructed parallel to the river to control the flooding.
The reserve experiences three distinct seasons. Summer (February through May) is intensely hot with minimum precipitation. Shade temperatures can reach 40 c. The monsoon starts in late May/early June and lasts until September bringing heavy frequent rainfalls. The rainfall is greatest during July but high humidity and temperatures are experienced throughout the season. Winter (October through January) is characterized by clear skies and moderate temperature, but can still get quite cold.
Flora and Fauna
The vegetation is mainly composed of tall grasslands. Local villagers are permitted to collect thatch grass once a year. These are used for roof thatching and building house walls. There are also small patches of Khair-sissoo scrub forest and deciduous mixed riverine forest.The reserve has important habitat for a variety of wildlife.
The last surviving population of Wild buffalo is found here. The estimated population of wild buffalo is around 159 individuals is dwindling. They are distinguished from domestic buffalo by their much bigger horns. The reserve is also home to around 20 other animal species such as Hog deer ,Wild boar , Spotted deer, Blue bull, and Rock Python.
Around 441 species of birds-many seen now here else in Nepal (14 endemic species)- have been recorded, including 20 duck species , 2 Ibis species, white tailed stonechat , Striated marsh warbler, 30 shore birds, 114 water birds, and the endangered swamp partridge and Bengal florican. The Koshi Barrage is an extremely important resting place for many migratory birds, containing 87 winter and trans-Himalayan migratory species. The Koshi River is home to 80 species of fish. The endangered Gharial crocodile and Gangetic dolphin have been recorded in the river as well.
During winter, many of the migratory birds can be seen on the Koshi Barrage and on the river channel. Migration usually peaks around mid March. Much wildlife visits these areas during dusk and dawn. The clear skies allow for beautiful sights of several Himalayan peaks including Makalu (8463m), the world's fifth highest peak.Visitors can arrange elephant ride from Reserve Headquarters
How to get there
Daily bus (Day and Night) service is available from Kathmandu to Kakarbhitta and Biratnagar. Visitors should get off the bus at Jamuha, 4 km from Laukhi, and walk 2.5 km to the Reserve Headquarter. The road to Kusaha is marked by a signboard on the main Highway. There are also daily flights to Biratnagar, visitors flying to Biratnagar will have to take a bus and should stop at Jamuha.
Kathmandu to Biratnagar. Here there are panoramic views of the Eastern Himalayas, including Mt. Everest. A drive of 1 3/4 hours from Biratnagar brings visitors to the deluxe wildlife camp.
A 500 km drive (about 10 hrs.) from Kathmandu to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. It is beautiful drive and a great way of seeing the countryside and country.
For white water enthusiasts the 9-10 days exciting trip down the Sunkoshi River will end at the very [welcoming and] comfortable camp. There are a few lodges and teashop near the Reserve Headquarter. Visitors are advised to carry first-aid kit including medicines for intestinal problems. There is a phone at the Headquarters.
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Camp - Activities
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Camp offers multiple ways of viewing wildlife. Trained local naturalists lead these ways.
Morning / Evening Jungle Walk
The Koshi River flows through part of the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. The jungle along the belts of this river is rich in birds and other animals. The river lagoons and wetlands draw deer and water buffaloes as well as birds.
Gentle Wildlife Rafting
Rafting down the Koshi River is another way of exploring the reserve. View water birds or animals attending to their daily needs. Kingfishers dive into the river looking for food, marsh muggers or Ghariyal crocodiles sunbathe. Even rare Wild Buffaloes and Gangetic River Dolphins can be spotted.
Viewing life in the reserve on foot is equally interesting. Tharus live here. They, the early inhabitants of the region, have their unique way of living. It is untouched by the western world. Their beautifully decorated homes and cultural style are delightful. With the help of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Camp, this Tharu village is plastic-free. It is one of the few environmentally aware and clean villages in the country.
The best time to visit this wonderful wildlife reserve is between October and March. In these months many migratory and local birds can be sighted. They are to be seen at the barrage and many river channels. Himalayan peaks, including Makalu I (8,463m), are a dazzling sight.
The best birds in Koshi are: Swamp Francolin, Black-necked Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Comb Duck, Falcated Duck, Spot-billed Duck, Cotton Pigmy Goose, Baer's Pochard, Bailon's Crake, Ruddy Crake, Greater Painted Snipe, Pheasant-tailed jacana, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Indian Courser, Black-bellied Tern, Imperial Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Bristle Grassbird, Striated Grassbird etc.
Village Development Committees VDC's & Towns of Morang District:
|Pokhariya||Rajghat||Ramite Khola||Rangeli||Sanischare||Sidharaha||Sijuwa||Sinhadevi Sombare|