Wildlife in Nepal

Does a wildlife safari always interest you? Well, in that case, Nepal will not disappoint you. You are mistaken if you thought the country was only about trekking and hiking. Besides the hilly terrain, which attracts several tourists, Nepal boasts an abundance of wildlife, and on your visit to the country, you’ll be amazed to see the diverse fauna present here. 

Nepal has several reserves and national parks to conserve its fauna. According to the latest records, Nepal has twelve national parks and around four wildlife reserves where you’ll see magnificent animals and birds. So, do you wish to know more about the wildlife in Nepal? That’s what we will discuss here. Let’s get started. 

List of Wildlife Found in Nepal

Nepal has diverse animal species, including around 208 species of mammals, reptiles, birds, invertebrates, and more.

Some mammals that Nepal is noted for include: 

  • Bengal tiger
  • Bengal fox
  • Corsac fox
  • Clouded leopard
  • Greater one-horned rhino
  • Bengal Tiger 
  • Marbled cat
  • Asiatic elephant
  • Asiatic lion
  • Tibetan wolf
  • Tibetan fox
  • Snow leopard
  • Red panda
  • Chinese pangolin
  • Indian pangolin
  • Wild yak (became regionally extinct but was rediscovered in 2014)
  • Smooth-coated otter, Asian small-clawed otter, Eurasian otter (their numbers are threatened due to increasing river pollution) 

The reptiles that you are likely to find in Nepal include: 

  • Pit vipers
  • Monitor lizards
  • Bengal monitor 
  • Elongated tortoise
  • Yellow monitor
  • Geckos
  • Annapurna ground skink
  • Tibetan pit viper
  • Shah’s bamboo pit viper 
  • Nepal ground skink

There are over  900 bird species in Nepal, of which more than 40 are threatened globally. While humans have introduced one of them, one bird species is considered endemic. Here are some of the many bird species you can spot while visiting Nepal’s national parks and reserves.

  • Himalayan Monal (Nepal’s national bird)
  • Kalij Pheasant 
  • Scarlet Minivet
  • Long-tailed Minivet
  • Grey-chinned Minivet
  • Short-billed Minivet
  • Indian Cuckoo
  • Asian Emerald Cuckoo
  • Common-hawk Cuckoo
  • Green-billed Malkoha 
  • Leaf Warbler 
  • Yellow-browed Warbler 
  • Spiny Babbler (endemic to Nepal) 

In addition to the list mentioned above, you’ll find many other species here, including invertebrates such as ground beetles, dung beetles, mole crickets, goblin spiders, and bees. There is also aquatic fauna like Nepalese minnow, pharping catfish, and Nepalese snowtrout. 

Where Can You See Wildlife in Nepal?

If you have an immense desire for a safari, Nepal has umpteen places to offer where you can see the unique fauna the country boasts of. The Chitwan National Park tops the list. There are also other spots, like the Seti River Gourge, Nagarjuna Forest Reserve, Elephant Breeding Center, etc. 

Chitwan National Park

The Chitwan National Park is one of the most popular destinations in Nepal for a perfect jungle safari. Chitwan was located in Nepal’s south-central region and attained the World Heritage Site status in 1984. If you are in Kathmandu and wish to visit Chitwan National Park, there are several commutation modes, such as microbus, private bus, jeep, public bus, etc. It takes about six hours to reach Chitwan from Kathmandu. However, the fastest and most convenient way is to fly from Kathmandu to Chitwan, which might be a little expensive but will take no more than 25 minutes. If you are in Pokhara, you could get to Chitwan National Park by bus, which may take seven hours, or by taxi, which is a four-hour ride on average. You could fly to Chitwan from Pokhara. There isn’t a direct flight, though, and you’ll have to travel via Kathmandu. 

What to See?

Chitwan houses around 68 mammal species. If you are fortunate, you can see the Bengal Tiger, which makes rare appearances. The results of a national survey in 2022 deduced that the park alone is home to approximately 128 Royal Bengal tigers. 

The possibilities of sighting a tiger are high in April and May. These are off-seasons, but if you visit Chitwan during that time, you could catch glimpses of the tiger and other animals visiting the waterholes. 

Besides the tiger, you can even see the one-horned rhino at the Chitwan National Park. There is an average of 3500 rhinos here. But they aren’t commonly seen. When visiting Chitwan in summer, you might see a rhino bathing in the nearby river if you are lucky. The park even has about a hundred Asian Elephants. The other animals to see here include the sloth bear, leopard, gharial, deer, etc. 

If bird watching is your passion, you’ll be delighted that Chitwan is home to around 65% of Nepal’s bird species. Besides the resident birds, around 160 migratory birds come to Chitwan during autumn. They stay in Chitwan throughout the winter before they fly to their native lands. Some migratory birds spotted here include the eastern imperial eagle, Pallas’ fish eagle, etc. You’ll have some summer visitors like the cuckoos, while during monsoon season, you will see sunbird species and colorful pittas in Chitwan. 

When you tour Chitwan National Park, you can engage in canoeing, bird-watching, wild safaris, and more. A three-night, four-day trip to Chitwan will be enough to enjoy this fabulous place. 

How Much Does It Cost to Tour Chitwan National Park? 

The entry fee for foreign nationals is NPR 2000 (Nepalese Rupee), or $14.96. For SAARC nationals, it is NPR 1000, or $7.48. For Nepali citizens, the entry fee is NPR 150, or $1.12. If you wish for a jeep safari that will take you deep into the jungle, it will cost around $25 – $210, including meals and accommodation. Most jeep safaris start as early as 6:30 or 7:30 am. That’s when you are likely to see several wildlife. 

For a better forest experience, you can even take a walking tour under a naturalist’s guidance to explore the jungle’s intricate details. An average half-day walking tour with two guides may cost $16. A full-day jungle walk in the company of two guides can cost $25. 

Note: Prices are subject to change. When planning a safari, it is advisable to contact the appropriate source and go by the most affordable prices. 

Timings: You can access the park from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The safari timings are the same but may vary according to season and vehicle availability. 

Which is the Best Time to Visit Chitwan National Park?

The ideal months are October-November and March-April when the weather is relatively cool and pleasant. The summer months start from late April to May. If you can withstand the heat, visiting Chitwan in summer is a bonus, as you can spot more animals as they gather around the waterholes. 

Parsa National Park 

Adjacent to the Chitwan National Park is the Parsa National Park which attained the status of a national park in 2017. 

What to See? 

In 2008, the park was said to be home to gaurs. In the same year, four Bengal tigers were recorded in the park. A camera-trapping survey in 2017 showed 19 Bengal tigers in the area, marking a rise in their population. Three rhinoceros were recorded in 2015 in Parsa. Other mammals here include golden jackal, Asian elephant, chital, Indian grey mongoose, wild boar, sloth boar, Sambar deer, northern red muntjac, Indian hog deer, Nepal gray langur, etc. You’ll find some reptiles like the monocled cobra, king cobra, mugger crocodile, elongated tortoise, Indian black turtle, Oriental garden lizard, etc. 

How Much Does It Cost to Visit Parsa National Park?

The entry fee is NPR 1000 ($7.49) for foreign nationals, NPR 750 ($5.61) for SAARC nationals, and NPR 100 ($0.75) for Nepalese visitors. A jungle safari may cost an average of $250-$270. 

Which is the Best Time to Visit the Parsa National Park?

Visiting Parsa National Park from October to December will encounter clear skies and pleasant weather. In spring, the temperature starts rising, while in summer, it gets hotter, making it less ideal for you to visit the place then. 

Elephant Breeding Center

It is in Sauraha, in the Chitwan district. The breeding center lies adjacent to the Chitwan National Park. You’ll be in for a treat on your visit to the Elephant Breeding Center. The package tours to the breeding center are affordable. The lush greenery and the elephant conservation efforts are indeed a delight to watch. Besides adults, you will see several baby elephants here, which is a delight to watch. The entry fee is NPR 50 (0.37$).

Read Also: Best Time to Visit Nepal

Besides the national parks mentioned above, there are other places in Nepal as well. 

  • Khaptad National Park—There are around 224 medicinal herb species alongside 270 bird species, such as cuckoos, flycatchers, and eagles. You can engage in other activities like trekking and camping. 
  • Langtang National Park—Amidst the scenic beauty surrounded by rugged valleys, serene lakes, and raging rivers, you will find red pandas, musk deer, Himalayan Tahr populations, etc. You can also take pleasure in adventurous activities like mountaineering and trekking in the national park. 
  • Sagarmatha National Park—In addition to witnessing some rare animals, like the snow leopard, lynx, Himalayan black bear, and wolf, you’ll see nature in its most magnificent form, dominated by the Himalayas and surrounded by deep valleys and fabulous glaciers. 
  • Nagarjuna Forest Reserve—Located on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nagarjuna Forest Reserve is a perfect spot for hikers due to its lush greenery and diverse landscape. The forest is home to an array of wild animals, such as leopards, deer, and pheasants. 

The list of national parks is endless, and when in Nepal, you ought to take advantage of the amazing flora and fauna the place offers.


Nepal is one of the perfect places for wildlife lovers. On your next trip to the country, you’ll get to see plenty of them in the wild and even in the national parks. Make sure that you choose the proper season so that you can witness Nepal’s diverse fauna to the fullest.

FAQs – Wildlife in Nepal

Which wildlife will you find in Nepal?

Nepal is home to abundant wildlife, including the Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, Bengal fox, clouded leopard, and Indian pangolin. You’ll also find many bird species, such as pheasants, storks, cuckoos, etc., alongside a variety of reptiles and invertebrates.

Which animal is endemic to Nepal?

The spiny babbler is the only endemic species of Nepal known for its spiny appearance, which is evident from its name. It mainly inhabits the scrublands and thorny forests of Nepal.

Which is Nepal’s biggest animal?

Elephants are Nepal’s biggest animals. The country has over 200 elephants, and when you go to some of the forest reserves or national parks, like the Chitwan National Park, you may encounter quite a number.

Name the big cats of Nepal.

On your visit to Nepal, you will encounter a host of big cats, including the snow leopard, leopard, and tiger. The tiger population in Nepal has been on the rise. In 2009, it was estimated that Nepal had more than 350 tigers living in the wild.

Can you find wild tigers in Nepal?

As mentioned above, tigers are not only found in Nepal’s national parks and forest reserves. There are quite a number roaming around in the wild. The latest census recorded that the country boasts around 355 tigers in the wild, which shows a tremendous rise in its population.

Does Nepal have cheetahs and leopards?

Yes, you will find leopards and cheetahs in Nepal. Leopards in the wild have an ill reputation for attacking livestock and humans.

Can you find pandas in Nepal?

Around a thousand red pandas are living in Nepal. They are endangered and mostly dwell inside national parks.

Do you find monkeys in Nepal?

Nepal has a considerable population of monkeys. You can find common langur species if you head to Chitwan National Park. Interestingly, Nepal’s Swayambhunath Stupa, also called the Monkey Temple, has several monkeys inhabiting the place. They have been known to be there for centuries. 

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