WHY IT’S HOT? EXPLORE A CONSERVATION SUCCESS STORY.
We say: With news that since 1970 humanity has wiped out 60% of animal life on the planet (WWF), we’re pleased to see Nepal is bucking the trend. As of late 2018, Bengal tiger numbers here have risen to around 235, up from an estimate of 120 individuals in 2009; there are only about 4,000 in the world. Coupled with the rise in one-horned rhino at Chitwan NP and the upgrade of Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve to national park status in 2017, Nepal is fast becoming a wildlife haven.
But since the 2015 earthquake, the number of visitors to Nepal is still down. It’s definitely time to head back. Head for Chitwan to spot gharials, elephants, sloth bears and tigers (some 120 roam here). Or seek out the overlooked gem of Bardia NP in the southern lowlands, visited by fewer than 20,000 people a year yet roamed by some 50 tigers.
Don’t miss: Chitwan’s Tiger Tops Elephant Camp outlawed elephant-back safaris in 2015, but you can now spend a day with a mahout, caring for these incredible animals instead.