Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve lies on the alluvial flood plain of Sapta Koshi River in southeastern lowland. Almost all eastern and western embankments of the river define the area. The reserve was officially gazetted in 1973 giving it a status of the wildlife reserve having an area of 175sq.km. The river Sapta Koshi (largest river of Nepal Kingdom) flows through the reserve that is one of the three main tributes of Ganges.

Black Hooded Oriole -Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
Black Hooded Oriole -Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

The mighty river Koshi calm in winter swells up largely in monsoon brining severe flood problems and often changes its course. The depth of the river fluctuates largely from season to season. Riverine forests dominate the vegetation of the reserve. Sal forest and grassland are also found to the west of the Koshi River. This diverse habitat of different vegetation type and wetland and scrub side makes the faunal wealth of this place incomparable to other protected area system of Nepal of which birds dominate the scenery.

Kosi Tapu is Nepal’s finest wetland and simply one of the best spots in all Asia for birds. Almost all of the country’s long list of wetland birds occur here, including Black-necked and Lesser Adjutant Storks, Black and Black-headed Ibises, Spot-billed and Falcated Ducks, Baer’s Pochard, the stunning Pied Harrier, Red-necked Falcon, Ruddy-breasted Crake and the rare Swamp Francolin. Handsome Black-bellied and River Terns fish the wide waters of the river, while the tree-lined bunds and swamps, choked with reed and water hyacinth, are full of exciting passerines like Verditer Flycatcher, Thick-billed, Dusky and Smoky Warblers, and the king-size Striated Grassbird.

In fact, it’s nothing unusual to see well over 100 species each day, as we explore the marshes on foot, inaccessible sandbanks and islands by rubber-raft, and the more remote corners of the reserve by 4-wheel drive vehicle. Large mammals of note include wild Water Buffalo (one of the world’s most endangered large mammals), Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat and Nilgai; we might even spot the rare Ganges River Dolphin on our voyage downstream. As a prelude to all this, we may be woken in the morning by the maniacal cries of the Common Hawk Cuckoo.

Arna of wild Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), Blue Bull (Bocelaphus tragocamelus) and Gangetic Dolphin (Platanista gangetic) are the main attraction of this reserve. The lesser mammalian species include varieties of deer, cats, otters, bats, boar etc.

Around 300 species of birds have been recorded in the reserve area that mostly includes waterfowls, birds of prey, waders and other water birds.

Globally threatened “Swamp partridge” (Francolinus gularis) becomes a familiar bird frequently coming on every day list here. Koshi barrage although not inside but close and south of the reserve has created a vast expanse of water – making this place by far the most important staging point for migrating birds and an all – the – year – round playground for residents. Lesser known reptiles, amphibians, fishes and arthropods are worth exploring here.

Besides these wealth of flora and fauna, natural scenery for sunrise add more life to a nature – lover while being at Koshi. On a clear day a glimpse of Makalu (8463 meters) the world’s fifth mountain, enhances the beauty of the area in an inexplicable way.

Tentative Program of Koshi Tappu Wildlife

Day Program
 01 Pick up from your hotel in Kathmandu and transfer to Kathmandu Domestic Airport for flight to Biratnagar

Arrive Biratnagar Airport. Meet and drive to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Camp ( approx 2 hrs drive by private vehicle)

Arrive Biratnagar Airport. Meet and drive to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Camp

1300  – Lunch

1500 –Birdwatching around Saptakoshi River on foot.

1900 –Dinner

Meals included: lunch and dinner

 02 0530 – Wake up call

0600 – Morning nature walk within near vicinity

0800 – Breakfast

0900 – 1800 hrs – Raft boat on the lower Sapta Koshi River with Naturalist to view some of the water birds, water buffaloes, dolphins and various water habitats. End boat trip by the bank of river and have picnic lunch. Short drive to the Koshi Barrage to view some bird-life and fresh water Dolphins. Late afternoon return to the camp. (*please note, Koshi Barrage and sourrounding area is wide and everyday guests will be taken in different area)

1900 – Dinner

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 03 0530 – Wake up call

0600 – Morning nature walk within near vicinity

0800 – Breakfast

0900-1800 – Birdwatching around on Saptakoshi River.

1900 – Dinner

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

04 0530 – Wake up call

0600 – More bird watching into the jungle near by.

0800 – Breakfast

0900 – Departure to Nepalgunj Airport for flight to Kathmandu

Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to Shangri-La Hotel or similar

Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu

Meals included: Breakfast

05 In Kathmandu

Optional : Face to Face with Everest Flight by Fixed Wings

Breakfast at Hotel Shangri-La

Visit Boudhnath Stupa ( Little Tibet) and Bhaktapur Durbar Square

11:00 hrs :- Visit Boudhanath Stupa, In Boudhanath our guest will be welcomed with Khada by Monks (Khada-In Tibetan Tradition, they  have a very special way of greetings by offering ceremonial scarf and hang it on our guest’s neck. The white scarf is suitable and lucky for every big event in Tibet to show respect and best wishes. This ceremonial scarf is called Khada in Tibetan Language. Tibetans use it as an offering to highly ranked Lamas, special guest and officials for greetings. Khada in Tibet will be mainly colored with white, which represents the purity of the heart.

Then, you drive about one hour to visit Bhaktapur, one of the three cities built in the Kathmandu valley by the Malla Kings. Bhaktapur is rather more laid back than Kathmandu City and neighboring Patan and still has quite a rural feel to it, being a town of farmers and craftsmen.

The Durbar Square area with its many temples and palaces has some magnificent examples of Newari architecture and craftsmanship, especially in its metalworking and woodcarving. This square and the adjoining side streets have a really medieval feel to them. Yet another smaller square is devoted to pottery making.

Overnight at Hotel Shangri-La

Meals included: Breakfast

 06 Depart Kathmandu

Breakfast at Shangri-La Hotel

Transfer to airport for final departure

Meals included: Breakfast

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