The Bardiya National Park is a protected area in Nepal that was established in 1988 as Royal Bardia National Park. Covering an area of 968 km2 (374 sq mi) . It is the largest and most undisturbed national park in Nepal’s Terai, adjoining the eastern bank of the Karnali River and bisected by the Babai River in the Bardiya District. Its northern limits are demarcated by the crest of the Siwalik Hills. The Nepalgunj-Surkhet highway partly forms the southern boundary, but seriously disrupts the protected area. Natural boundaries to human settlements are formed in the west by the Geruwa, a branch of the Karnali River, and in the southeast by the Babai River.
Together with the neighboring Banke National Park, the coherent protected area of 1,437 km2 (555 sq mi) represents the Tiger Conservation Unit (TCU) Bardia-Banke that extends over 2,231 km2 (861 sq mi) of alluvial grasslands and subtropical moist deciduous forests.
Bardia National park is the largest national park and wilderness area in the Terai and has excellent wildlife-watching opportunities. Bardia is often described as what Chitwan was like 30 years ago, before being overrun by tourism. The park protects 968 sq km of sal forest and grassland, and together with the new 550 sq km Banke National Park it protects one of Asia’s largest stretches of tiger habitat. That’s a lot of habitat, but even though tiger numbers are increasing after their recent demise during the Maoist insurgency, you’ll still need exceptionally good luck to see one here.
There are also healthy populations of wild elephants and one-horned rhinos among the 30 species of mammals living here. Bardia also has more than 250 species of birds, including the endangered Bengal florican and sarus crane. Gharial and marsh mugger crocodiles and Gangetic dolphins are occasionally spotted on rafting and canoe trips along the Geruwa River, the eastern channel of the Karnali River.
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