Elephant Safari in Chitwan National Park

We decided to stop in Sauraha before our visit to Kathmandu since we would be so close coming from India. Sauraha is the town near Chitwan national park in Nepal. They have similar animals as India, but they also have one horned rhinoceros and elephant safaris. We wanted both of those things so we decided to go.

Chitwan Panoramic_01

We got an added surprise when we arrived in Sauraha-a food festival! The beginning of the food festival started the very day we arrived. They kicked the food festival off with a parade of elephants and local groups of people competing by performing traditional song and dance. We were in Nepal now and there are many differences we’ve seen compared to India. One that we noticed during this parade was being able to see the parade and not getting pushed out of the front. Granted, there were way less people for the food festival versus the new year parade, but still.

Nepal also included a lot more elephants versus one.

Nepal also included a lot more elephants versus one.

Decorated elephant.

Decorated elephant.

They played traditional music and dance.

They played traditional music and dance.

These women were dancing with pots on their head. Amazing.

These women were dancing with pots on their head. Amazing.

They couldn't compete with the dancing pot heads.

They couldn’t compete with the dancing pot heads.

There were only a few little ones.

There were only a few little ones.

IMG_2464 IMG_2469 IMG_2485

They had a lot of different local cuisine at the food festival. The very first place we went to had local dog meat for sale. We opted to try the egg. We also tried some grilled chicken marinated with nepali spice and a very tasty nepali potato salad. We then rested for awhile, watched the sunset and headed back for some more tasty food, Nepali beer, and live entertainment.

Dog meat was on the left, second from the bottom.

Dog meat was on the left, second from the bottom.

Yummy boiled, battered, then fried egg.

Yummy boiled, battered, then fried egg.

I don't know why Santa was there...it was February.

I don’t know why Santa was there…it was February.

Grilled chicken.

Grilled chicken.

Dug out canoe on the river at sunset.

Dug out canoe on the river at sunset.

We've seen so many beautiful sunsets on this trip.

We’ve seen so many beautiful sunsets on this trip.

IMG_2541

Hanging out listening to the local music

Hanging out listening to the local music

Gorkha beer and pakora.

Gorkha beer and pakora.

They also had traditional and not so traditional dance performances.

They also had traditional and not so traditional dance performances.

The next morning we woke up real early to catch the first elephant safari. We got up before the sun and headed toward the elephants in the fog. They have platforms the height of the average elephant and instruct the elephant to back up as close as he or she can to the platform. You step on the elephants back and then into the howdah (or passenger seat). There were four to a howdah so two other people joined us. We literally were the first elephant to start that morning. It was still foggy when we started and very cool to see the park-well, technically, it’s the buffer zone-in the morning with all the mist. Elephant riding isn’t the most comfortable ride, but it wasn’t uncomfortable either. It was more comfortable than the camel safari for sure, but maybe that was just because I didn’t have a camel sak in my face.

Anyway, we road around the park looking for animals, specifically a rhino, for about an hour and half. We saw many birds and deer just as we had in India. We must be very lucky when it comes to nature and animals in the wild because we came upon a rhino eating his breakfast-thankfully they only eat leaves. Because we were on an elephant we pulled up right next to the guy. He didn’t even know we were there until the other elephant came beside us. He went from calmly eating his breakfast to agitated very quickly once he realized we were there. So we left before he could charge. I’ll apologize for our pictures in advance. It’s hard to take pictures of moving animals. It’s even harder to take pictures of moving animals when you’re on a moving animal.

Early morning jeep ride to the elephants.

Early morning jeep ride to the elephants.

Elephant platform

Elephant platform

IMG_2563

Elephants in the mist.

Elephants in the mist.

Each elephant has his own driver for his whole life. They use a spiky metal rod and rope to keep the elephant in line.

Each elephant has his own driver for his whole life. They use a spiky metal rod and rope to keep the elephant in line.

He drove the elephant with his feet.

He drove the elephant with his feet.

IMG_2577

Unaware rhino

Unaware rhino

IMG_2601

Finally noticed two big elephants right next to him.

Finally noticed two big elephants right next to him.

IMG_2612 IMG_2618 IMG_2633

Check out the rack on this deer.

Check out the rack on this deer.

IMG_2660

Peacock.

Peacock.

IMG_2672

It was a short glimpse into the park, but it was all we could afford. We then headed to kathmandu and celebrated the rest of valentines day very romantically with chocolate and a beer.

Horse and cart ride to the bus.

Horse and cart ride to the bus.

Feeling the love on valentines day

Feeling the love on valentines day

Our second nepali beer, Nepal Ice.

Our second nepali beer, Nepal Ice.

Very romantic!

Very romantic!

IMG_2715

Advertisements
Categories: Nature, Nepal, Outdoors, Traveling | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: