Unique Itinerary Marries Nature and Culture On Small-Group Exploration of Himalayan Heights and Jungle Lowlands
In 2018 Natural Habitat Adventures returns to Nepal and Bhutan for an immersive journey embracing nature and culture in these two ancient Himalayan kingdoms. Following a devastating 2015 earthquake, Nepal’s recovery has been strong. Nat Hab is committed to bringing travelers and their critical tourist dollars back to the country, honing a focus on the wildlife-rich jungle lowlands of Chitwan National Park.
On this 13-day expedition to explore the Natural Jewels of Bhutan and Nepal, a group of no more than 10 travelers will search for sloth bears, Asian elephants, one-horned rhinoceros and Bengal tigers in Nepal’s lowlands, then journey among towering peaks, ancient monasteries, glacial rivers and peaceful villages in Bhutan.
During four nights in Chitwan National Park, guests explore the subtropical jungle of the Terai plains. Chitwan is Nepal’s first national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to rhinos, wild elephants and sloth bears, the park is home to 50 different mammal species including wild boars, sambar deer, monkeys and gharial. Crocodiles also lurk in rivers that lace the park. Guests are immersed in wild terrain via 4x4 game drives, guided nature walks and river safaris, and will join a local guide on a tracking expedition in search of the elusive Bengal tiger.
At Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge, guests enjoy an up-close visit with retired elephants that live chain-free and may even help feed the elephants and walk with them and their mahouts, or caretakers, in the jungle. Both Nepal and Bhutan are rich in birdlife, exemplified by the 500 species that dwell in the vicinity of Nat Hab’s expedition base in Chitwan.
Among glaciated peaks and colorful Buddhist culture in Bhutan, Motithang Takin Wildlife Reserve is a highlight. Here, Bhutan’s national animal, the takin, a shaggy ungulate related to the muskox, roams the grassy slopes. Guests also visit Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan's famous “Tiger’s Nest,” perched high on a sheer mountain cliff.
From Kathmandu, Nepal, to Paro, Bhutan, rich Hindu and Buddhist heritage is redolent in architecture and religious sites. Bhutan, a kingdom that measures quality of life in terms of Gross National Happiness, remained in splendid isolation until relatively recently; as a result the country as preserved deep traditions and pristine landscapes.
This small-group expedition is led by a Nat Hab Expedition Leader with a breadth of scientific knowledge and cultural insight. In Bhutan Nat Hab’s Expedition Leader is paired with an outstanding local Bhutanese guide, ensuring the ideal complement of insider insight and attentive personal service. Departures are offered from February through April 2018. The per-person rate, based on double occupancy, is from $10,595. See: http://www.nathab.com/asia-adventure-travel/natural-jewels-of-bhutan-nepal/
For information on all of Nat Hab’s trips, descriptive itineraries, date availability and reservations, call 800.543.8917 or visit http://www.nathab.com/. Click HERE to order a copy of the 2017 catalog.
About Natural Habitat Adventures
Natural Habitat Adventures is a world leader in responsible adventure travel and nature-based ecotourism. Since its founding in 1985, the company has offered eco-conscious expeditions and wildlife-focused small-group tours to the planet’s most remarkable nature destinations. Inspired and created from years of scouring the planet for the singular and extraordinary, Nat Hab’s itineraries are artfully crafted experiences that are far from “typical.” Trips are guided by professional naturalist Expedition Leaders, and Nat Hab enjoys a longstanding reputation for hiring some of the world’s best guides. Conservation is at the forefront of everything NHA does, and its philosophy is simple: tourism must work with and benefit local communities, which will in turn find value in protecting natural resources and wildlife. NHA is proud to be the travel partner of World Wildlife Fund, sharing a mutual commitment to travel as a means of helping to protect the world’s wondrous natural places. Nat Hab has donated more than $2 million to WWF and will continue to donate 1 percent of gross sales plus $100,000 annual through 2018 in support of WWF’s mission.