BOULDER, CO. – 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.
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 4×4 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.
For information on all of Nat Hab’s trips, descriptive itineraries, date availability and reservations, call 800.543.8917.