Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge, Chitwan National Park
Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge is quietly nestled within Chitwan National Park’s western buffer zone, standing close by the Narayani River. What was established in 1973 as Nepal’s first national park, Chitwan today is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and overlooking this primitive and wild jungle lies Tharu Lodge, the perfect base to unwind and connect with nature.
Slightly smaller than its sister Karnali Lodge, but still with sustainable tourism at the heart of its eco-commitments, Tharu Lodge focusses on a more intimate and prioritised personal experience, encouraging guests to fully relax and relish the home from home comforts. The 12 fan-cooled traditional rooms are built using local materials, imitating original Tharu building techniques, and for the more adventurous guests who wish to be lapped up by the surrounding jungle, there are nine safari tents available. In keeping with its local surroundings but still prioritising comfort, the décor has been pared back and kept to a minimum, plastic is non-existent drinking water is supplied in reusable flasks and all the rooms and tents are equipped with en-suites, supplying solar heated hot water.
This really is a place where modern day complications and stresses are removed; the tranquil setting allows guests to gently unwind, have lazy lunches under the shade of a mango tree, take a refreshing dip in the pool before or after exhilarating game drives in the Nepalese jungle. All produce is home grown from the lodge’s own organic farm, introducing you to an array of Nepalese cuisines that are bound to excite your taste buds.
Once settled, take a leap into the jungle with locally experienced naturalists and see what lies beyond the doors of the comforts of the lodge. Guests can enjoy a wide range of wildlife experiences from daytime jeep safaris and bird watching to sunset boat journeys down the Narayani River. Follow the residential elephants as they head out on their daily pilgrimage, gracefully moving through the jungle trees until they eventually reach the river for their evening bath. Tharu Lodge also integrates with and supports the local communities around them, offering guided walks so guests can immerse themselves in the daily life of local villages too.
With only a 20-minute flight from Kathmandu to Bharatpur airport followed by a 70-minute scenic drive, a stay at Tharu Lodge is a closer alternative than the more remote Karnali Lodge in Bardia National Park, but the wildlife experience is just as unforgettable here and worth the journey for shorter trips to Nepal, or combined with Karnali Lodge for a richer wildlife experience.