Enjoy the natural richness of Nepal while you traverse the country
The dynamic ever changing scenario of nature that one can witness while traveling in Nepal in a very short distance is what makes this country such an amazing travel destination. Although very small in geographic area, the natural wonders are in abundance in Nepal as the elevation ranges from 60 meters in Tarai to 8,848 meters in the Himalayas. Each place, each district here has natural beauty and scenery in plenty and each place offers a chance to immerse in the beauty of nature, whether it be lakes, rivers, jungles, forest, mountain, hills or wildlife.
Nepal is home to some of the most beautiful lakes in the world. These lakes are of different sizes and varying elevations, adding to the beautiful landscape. The Rara Lake located in Mugu district of Karnali Zone is the biggest and deepest lake of Nepal. Lying at an altitude of 3,200 meters above sea level, the lake offers views of magnificent peaks like Sisne and Kanjirowa in the backdrop. The Fewa Lake, with a temple island, located in the heart of Pokhara is one of the most popular attractions in the lake city. The Phoksundo Lake of Dolpa district, which is famous for its turquoise blue water, is one of the most beautiful lakes in the lap of mountains. The lake has been featured in the popular Caravan movie. The Tilicho Lake, at 4919 meters above sea level, is the highest freshwater lake in the world. It is one of the major attractions in the Annapurna Region – a popular trekking area in the country. Other picturesque lakes in Nepal are: Rupa, Begnas, Gosaikunda, Beeshazari, Tsho Rolpa, Jagdispur and Imja to name a few. (Main Photo, The famous Rara lake in the Mugu District of Mid-Western region of Nepal. Courtesy: TAAN)
Mountains are, without any doubt, an integral part of Nepal and even the identity of the country. There are hundreds of mountains along the countries northern frontiers, including Mt Everest (8,848 meters), the highest peak on earth. Eight of the 14 8000-meters peaks lie in Nepal. These mountains make Nepal the adventure capital of the world. Kanchenjunga in the eastern Nepal is the third highest mountain in the world, while Lhotse that flanks Mt Everest is the fourth highest. Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Annapurna are the other 8,000-meter peaks in Nepal. These mountains have ecosystems of their own with small beautiful pasturelands, meadows, pine forests, and animals like the yaks, snow leopards and Lophophorus Impejanus – the national bird of Nepal. Similarly, there are several mountain villages with their unique lifestyle. Tourists can get a taste of their unique lifestyle through homestays.
Many beautiful rivers originate in the mountains of Nepal. These rivers not only contribute to the livelihood of the people, but also provides numerous adventure activities like white water rafting and kayaking to name a few. Nepal is very rich in water resources and gushing rivers can be seen in each district here. The spectacular view of rivers can also be seen from major highways. Small rivulets also make beautiful waterfalls which are a beautiful sight to see during treks and hikes in the hills and mountains. Nepal has three major river systems Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali and all of these empty into the Ganges that flow into Bay of Bengal. Some of the major rivers of Nepal are Saptakoshi, Mechi, Narayani, Rapti, Trishuli, Arun, Tamor, Seti and Mahakali.
Forests are another integral part of the Nepali ecosystem. There are different types of forests in Nepal with their own unique wildlife component. The tropical forest covers the southern plains of the Tarai and the Churiya hills. Thanks to abundant rainfall and sunlight, these forests are evergreen and consist of tropical plants and trees and are home to different wildlife species like tigers, leopards, rhinos and elephants. The temperate forests covers 4,000 to 10000 ft in elevation. This type of forest is found in the Mahabharat range. This forest is full of pine, poplars, oaks, firs larches and is home to wild animals like bears and leopards. Similarly, the alpine forests lie above 10000 ft in elevation and consist of high mountains and Himalayan valleys. Rhododendron – the national flower of Nepal – is found in abundance in this forest. Blue sheep, musk deer and snow leopard are some of the wildlife species found in this forest. The wide varieties of forests found in Nepal are so diverse because of the altitudinal differences. Each of these forest types attract huge number of tourists each year, for hiking, trekking, sightseeing, bird watching, camping or even jungle safari. These beautiful stretches of forest across Nepal with their wide variety of flora and fauna is a must see for the tourists coming here.
Nepal’s diverse geography and rich forests provides some of the best habitats for wildlife species. Altogether 208 mammal species have been reported in Nepal among which the most notable ones are the Royal Bengal Tiger, Bengal fox, Marbled cat, snow leopard, Tibetan wolf, one-horned rhino, and Tibetan Fox to name a few. Reptiles are also found in abundance and many are even native to the country. Some of the reptiles found here are the elongated tortoise, Bengal monitor and Gloydius Himalayanus. Some of the reptiles unique to the country include Sitana Fusca, Cyrtodactylus Nepalensis, Sitana Sivalensis and Japalura Tricarinata. Similarly over 900 species of birds have been reported. Some of these are native to the country, while some are migratory that come to the wetlands every year. Nepal’s rich wildlife can be seen during jungle safaris in many national parks, notably Chitwan and Bardiya, in the southern plains of the country. The Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is famous for the one-horned rhinoceros.