Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve Travel Guide

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Nepal has 12 national parks, 6 conservation areas and one wild life reserve. Koshi Tappu is a wild life reserve in Nepal.
The smallest of the Terai’s national parks, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is a birdwatcher’s paradise. But you don’t need to be a serious twitcher to enjoy it. Here you’ll find a captivating walk that anyone will appreciate.

The park contains an ideal mix of river, ponds, wetlands and paddies, all of it cut by a long straight and paved trail, making navigation a breeze. Thin foliage further allows for long-distance viewing. In a single 90min, 6km walk you will see scores of different bird species. It’s the terrestrial equivalent of spotting tropical fish on a coral reef.

An added bonus is branching off to the nearby Sapt Kosi River, where the endangered arna roam their last habitat. A kind of water buffalo, these black beasts are renowned for the enormous breadth of their horns, and move in herds.
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve activities
Bird watching in Koshi Tappu
The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is a protected area in the Terai of eastern Nepal covering 175 km2 (68 sq mi) of wetlands in the Sunsari, Saptari and Udayapur Districts. It comprises extensive mudflats, reed beds, and freshwater marshes in the floodplain of the Sapta Kosi River, and ranges in altitude from 75 to 81 m (246 to 266 ft). It was established in 1976 and designated as a Ramsar site in December 1987.
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Area
175 km2 (68 sq mi)
Established
1976
Ramsar Designated
17 December 1987

During 1997 to 1998, an interview survey was conducted in the Paschim Kasuha VDC adjacent to the east of the reserve to investigate the extent of park–people conflict. The findings showed that wild water buffalo and wild boar were major crop raiders between September and February. Large numbers of cattle were found grazing freely inside the reserve. Local people are responsible for illegal utilization of forest products, poaching and river fishing inside the reserve.

In 2005, the reserve together with the Koshi Barrage was identified as one of 27 Important Bird Areas of Nepal.
Vegetation

The vegetation of the reserve is mainly characterised by mixed deciduous riverine forest, grasslands and marshy vegetation. The coverage of grasslands is 68%, compared to only about 6% of forest, which is predominated by Indian rosewood. Patches of catechu forest are more prevalent towards the northwestern part. The grasslands near the running water bodies are maintained by the annual flooding and grazing by wildlife. The Sapta Koshi River, a tributary of the Ganges, causes rapid and intense flooding during the rainy season. In the extensive wetlands, 514 plant species are found including kapok, sugarcane, reed, cattail, Imperata cylindrica, eel grass, and species of Eichhornia, Hydrilla, Azolla and lotus.
Fauna

A wide range of animals inhabit the protected area. In its water courses and ponds, 200 species of fish have been recorded, most of which are resident. Two toad species, nine frog species, six lizard species, five snake species and eleven turtle species are recorded.[2] Gharial and mugger crocodile occur as well.
Mammals

The 31 species of mammals recorded include the Asian elephant, spotted deer, hog deer, wild boar, smooth-coated otter and golden jackal. The Ganges river dolphin has been sighted in the Koshi River. Gaur and blue bull have declined in numbers.[2] Nepal’s last remaining population of about 150 wild water buffalo inhabit the area. This population has now grown to a total of 432 individuals with an annual growth rate of 7.27 percent, according to the latest census carried out in 2016. With this upsurge in the population, authorities are planning a possible transfer of some wild water buffaloes to the flood plains of Chitwan National Park where they have been extirpated around 1950’s. If the proposed translocation happens, this will present a natural Predator-Prey scenario since wild water buffaloes in Koshi Tappu has been lacking their natural predators in the form of tiger, leopard and dhole for quite a long time.
Birds

Notable among the 485 bird species are watercock, Indian nightjar, dusky eagleowl, black-headed cuckooshrike, whitetailed stonechat, striated grassbird, large adjutant stork, Pallas’s fish eagle, common golden-eye, and gullbilled tern.[2] Swamp francolin and rufous-vented grass babbler occur as well.

In spring 2011, 17 Bengal floricans were recorded from nine different sites along a 39 km (24 mi) north-south stretch of the Koshi River. Seven were males and 10 were females. Only five individuals were recorded outside the reserve, two pairs north of Koshi Tappu, and one female seen twice near the Koshi Barrage area.

The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is a protected area in the Terai of eastern Nepal covering 175 km2 (68 sq mi) of wetlands in the Sunsari, Saptari and Udayapur Districts. In altitude it ranges from 75 to 81 meters (246 to 266 ft) and consists of extensive mudflats, reed beds, and freshwater marshes in the floodplain of the Sapta Kosi River. Koshi Tappu Jungle Safari was established in 1976 and designated as a Ramsar site in December 1987.
Brief Itinerary Detail Itinerary Cost Details Photos
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve / 04 Days – Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Transfer to airport for flight Kathmandu to Biratnagar Airport. Drive to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Camp.

Day 02: Full day activities Koshi Tappu.

Day 03: Bird watching activities Koshi Tappu.

Day 04: Morning activities of Koshi Tappu and fly out from Biratnagar.

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve / 04 Days – Detail Itinerary

Day 01: Transfer to airport for flight Kathmandu to Biratnagar Airport. Drive to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Camp.
our representative receive you and transfer to jungle camp resort welcome drinks and introduction to your room, freshen up and briefing session, lunch, nature walk for bird watching, evening cultural program, dinner and briefing about next day program.

Day 02: Full day activities Koshi Tappu.
Wake up call, breakfast set out for full day excursion on boat and jeep safari, packed lunch, and see waders, waterfowl, birds of prey, marsh crocodile, otters, wild water buffalo and genetic dolphins including a visit to pink tower, dinner and briefing about next day program.

Day 03: Bird watching activities Koshi Tappu.
Wake up call, breakfast, bird watching nature walk, pack lunch, swamp partridge, black necked stork, buntings, and Bulbuls watching; elephant back safari, dinner and briefing about next day program.

Day 04: Morning activities of Koshi Tappu and fly out from Biratnagar.
Wake up call, tea/ coffee, bird watching, breakfast departure to Kathmandu.

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve which stand today as successful testimony of nature conservation in South Asia. This is the first National Park of Nepal established in 1973 to preserve a unique eco system significantly valuable to the whole world. The Park covering the protected area of 932 Sq. Km. is situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of southern central part of Nepal. The Park gained much wider recognition in the world when UNESCO included this area on the list of World Heritage Site in 1984. It should also be emphasized that only a very small part of the national park is used for tourism.

The great majority of the land, particularly in the hills, remains unvisited and therefore undisturbed. This is ideal for wildlife, and also preserves an element of mystery for humans; because large areas are still unexplored, our knowledge of what birds and animals the park contains is by no means finalized, and there is always the possibility of making new discoveries.

Background
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is one of the finest birding sites in Asia. It was established as a wildlife reserve in 1976 with an aim to protect the last remaining population of Asiatic Wild Buffaloes in Nepal. The reserve has a total area of 175 sq. km. The principal habitats in the reserve include: wetlands, grasslands and small patches of riverine forest.

To date this is the only Ramsar Site (a wetland of international significance) in Nepal. More than half of Nepal’s birds are recorded from Koshi Tappu! Among the mammals, besides Wild Water Buffaloes, the elusive Gangetic Dolphin and Fishing Cat are occasionally seen here.

Many small marshlands, pools and grasslands are formed which provide a haven for birds and birdwatchers alike. The vegetation near these banks holds many passerines. In addition, large agricultural fields that lie adjacent to the reserve make fine habitat for many birds. The finest birding sites in and outside the reserves are located between Koshi Camp and down south all the way to the barrage. Within this stretch many birds and mammals are found that offer the experience of a lifetime.

Excursion
At Koshi Camp you will meet our knowledgeable, helpful and enthusiastic naturalists who will give you company throughout your stay at the camp. Your tour will be guided by these friendly lads whose knowledge about the birdlife of the area is extravagant. We operate nature walks, boat rides, bicycle trips, and safaris in 4-wheel drives.

For guests staying for longer periods we explore the nearby Sal forests north of the reserve at Patnali and Dharan. For those who would like to combine their holidays with a short raft journey, trek or wildlife tour of the eastern Himalayas, we offer our help and guidance.

At Koshi Camp you will meet our knowledgeable, helpful and enthusiastic naturalists who will give you company throughout your stay at the camp. Your tour will be guided by these friendly lads whose knowledge about the birdlife of the area is extravagant. We operate nature walks, boat rides, bicycle trips, and safaris in 4-wheel drives.

For guests staying for longer periods we explore the nearby Sal forests north of the reserve at Patnali and Dharan. For those who would like to combine their holidays with a short raft journey, trek or wildlife tour of the eastern Himalayas, we offer our help and guidance.

Things to Bring
There is no big fuss about what to bring with you. The main thing is not to forget a pair of binoculars ! You may bring a day-pack, water bottle, hiking boots, sun cream, sun hat and glasses, medical supplies (although we keep a general medical kit box at camp, you may wish to bring some medicines specific to you), reading books, flashlight and batteries, camera film and batteries, pocket knife, insect repellent and natural coloured clothes.

Time to Visit
From October onwards till May are the months that most people visit Nepal. This is a good period also to watch the many winter migrants that abound at Koshi Tappu. Between May till the end of September, during the onset of the monsoon things are wetter because of rain.

However, for special cases we may be able to run during the wetter months also. Please notify us in advance. To see Koshi at its best, we recommended a minimum of 3 nights and 4 days stay at our camp. This should give you a quick tour of major sites in the area.

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