Mountains, Culture & Wildlife - 13d/12n

Kathmandu, Begnas Lake, Lumbini – Bardia National Park & Dhulikhel.

Tour Introduction:

This private tour offers the perfect balance for those wanting a good mix of culture (incl Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini) along with the hidden delight of Begnas Lake (near Pokhara) and the superb wildlife of the remote Bardia National Park in south-western Nepal.

It is ideally suited for those keen to experience the best of Nepal’s wildlife opportunities and travel can be undertaken any time of the year except the wet summer monsoon season from mid-June to mid-September.

Private Tour Inclusions:

  • 3 nights hotel Himalaya or Shambala (4*) Kathmandu.
  • 3 nights Begnas Lake Resort (4*) near Pokhara.
  • 1 night Hotel Kasai (3*) in Lumbini.
  • 3 nts Bardia National Park at Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge.
  • Breakfasts daily except full board at Bardia NP.
  • Full board at Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge at Bardia NP.
  • Elephant, jeep, raft & walking safari tours in Bardia NP.
  • 2 nights in Dhulikhel Mountain Resort (3+*).
  • Airport transfers.
  • Sightseeing with prof local guides exc Tansen & Lumbini.
  • Private road transfers in an a/c vehicle.
  • Domestic flight between Nepalgunj & Kathmandu.

Land Package Exclusions:

  • Nepal Visa  – issued on arrival US$30 pp. (valid 15 days)
  • Lunches & Dinners exc Bardia NP all meals included.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Entrance Fees to Museums.
  • Domestic dep tax of US$2.50 pp per flight.
  • Personal items-drinks, tips. tel calls, laundry etc.

Mountains Culture & Wildlife Costs.  Price On Application:

OR CALL THE BHUTAN & NEPAL TRAVEL EXPERTS ON
AUS Toll freeJames – 0412 416 111Nicola – 0413 598 669

Day 01:  

Arrival in Kathmandu

Meet and greet at the airport with a traditional flower garland welcome and a private transfer to your hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure.

Overnight at Hotel Himalaya or Hotel Shambala

Day 02: 

Tour Kathmandu, Swoyambhunath & Patan (B)

After breakfast visit old Kathmandu city with its stone paved lanes, colorful bazaars & the Temple of the Living Goddess – Kumari who is considered to be the incarnation of the “Virgin Goddess”. The old Durbar Square consists of the old palace and innumerable temples of different architecture. Further visit the Hanuman Dhoka Palace and its museum which has now been opened to the public. The temples, shrines and different sections of the palace are contributions of various dynasties over centuries and epitomize the religious and cultural life of the people.

Continue to Swoyambhunath stupa situated west of Kathmandu. It is a 2500 years old Buddhist stupa located at a top of green hillock with the eyes of Buddha painted on its pinnacle overlooking righteous behaviour of the valley inhabitants. Around the stupa are hung multi-colored prayer flags whose every flutter releases holy prayers to heaven.

This afternoon visit Patan city, also known as Lalitpur or the “city of beauty”. Patan, the oldest city of the valley, is the cradle of arts and architecture and is well known for its intricately carved temples, narrow lanes and quaint shops. See the intricately stone-carved Krishna Mandir (temple), Patan Durbar Square and Hiranyavarna Mahavihar (golden temple).

 Overnight at Hotel Himalaya or Hotel Shambala

Day 03:

Tour of Dakshinkali, Chovar, Kirtipur, Bungamati & Khokana (B)

This morning drive 1+ hours south of Kathmandu to Dakshinkali. Located in a dark valley, at the confluence of two streams, the shrine of Dakshinkali is the most spectacular of all Kali temples and where animal sacrifices are conducted on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Also visit Chovar gorge carved out of a hill side for the outlet of the valley’s water. Drive further to the village of Kirtipur, perched on twin hillocks and clinging to a saddle on the ridge, where the villagers dressed in traditional costumes work on ancient looms.

This afternoon visit the old Newari twin villages of Bungamati and Khokana, which date from the 16th century and are located south of Kathmandu, via a rutted road dotted with Chaityas. Bungamati is the winter home of lord Rato Machhendranath, the protector  deity of Patan city. The shrine of Karya Binayak is located between the two villages and at Khokana ancient wooden oil presses can be seen at work in village homes.

Overnight at Hotel Himalaya

Day 04:

Drive Kathmandu / Pokhara (6 hrs) (B)

After breakfast check out of the hotel and drive along the scenic mountain highway to the picturesque Pokhara valley. On reaching Begnas Bazaar transfer to this delightful and remote resort by boat.

Overnight at Begnas Lake Resort

Day 05:

Morning tour of Pokhara city. Afternoon is free (B)

After breakfast a 45 min drive for a sightseeing tour of Pokhara city and its colorful bazaars. Visit includes Bindabasini temple and Devi’s falls. Take a walk along the Phewa lakeside with its rows of restaurants, bars, bookshops and fruit stalls.

After the visit, transfer back to Begnas lake Resort and the rest of the day is free to relax, hike or for optional Ayurveda massages. Do consider a fascinating hike along the nearby ridge through local villages where you can interact with the locals who are simple farmers and have lived in the regions for hundreds of years.

Overnight at Begnas Lake Resort

Day 06:

Hike to Begnaskote (B)

For the fit & active this will be a highlight of your stay at Begnas Lake. After an early breakfast hike steadily north gaining altitude through Begnas village – a spread out spectacle of clean mud houses and terraced fields. Higher up is Begnas Maidan, an open meadow perched on a hilltop, from where one can have the most spectacular mountain views sweeping from east to west in a vast snowy expanse; Manaslu (8156 m) the entire Annapurna massif with such prominent peaks as Annapurna II (7937 m), Annapurna III & IV as well as Mt. Macchapuchare (6993 m) and weather permitting, the distant Dhaulagiri (8167 m) in the far west.

Further visit Deurali temple where villagers come to have their wishes fulfilled. Higher up along this trail is Begnaskote – an old military lookout dating back a couple of centuries when local Rajahs needed to defend their small kingdoms. Hike  along a different route down the hill along stone steps back to Begnas Lake Resort and a well deserved late lunch.

This afternoon, relax by the poolside or enjoy an Ayurvedic massage (optional). Yoga is often offered morning and evening at the resort.

Overnight at Begnas Lake Resort

Day 07:

Drive Begnas Lake / Lumbini (6 hrs)
visiting Tansen en route (B)

After breakfast check out and drive to Tansen, a colorful hill town which is situated at an altitude of 1,450 m. It is the most popular summer resort in western Nepal on account of its location and climate. It has the most extensive views of the country’s chief attraction – the Himalayas; from Dhaulagiri in the west to Gaurishankar in the north east. Make a short visit through Tansen bazaar.

Continue your drive to Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, and visit the Lumbini Garden plus selected main attractions including the Mayadevi temple, the Ashoka’s pillar, water pond and various monasteries & stupas built by different Buddhist nations.

Overnight at Hotel Kasai

 

Day 08:

Drive Lumbini / Bardia (6-7 hrs) (B, D)

After early breakfast commence your journey to Bardia National Park, the largest and most undisturbed wilderness area in Nepal’s Terai, adjoining the eastern bank of the Karnali river. It was established in 1988 and covers an area of 968 square km

Upon arrival in Bardia, check in at the resort.

Later this afternoon, time permitting visit a local Tharu tribe village.

Dinner and Overnight at Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge

Days 09 and 10:

Jungle Activities (B, L, D)

Two full days of jungle activities including elephant back safari, village walk, jungle walk, jeep safari, bird watching tour and a river raft trip.

Please note Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge is the best accommodation available in this region however,being a jungle lodge it has limited facilities, and therefore cannot be star rated in the usual way.

Lunches, Dinners & Overnights at Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge

Day 11:

Drive to Nepalgunj Airport (2 hrs).
Fly Nepalgunj / Kathmandu (55 mins).
Drive to Dhulikhel via Thimi & Bhaktapur (1 hr drive) (B)

After breakfast, check out of your resort and drive to Nepalgunj, the closest airport serving Bardia, and fly back to Kathmandu.

Upon arrival in Kathmandu, continue to Thimi, a name derived from the word  “Chhemi” meaning “Capable people”, well known for its colourful painted masks, dolls and terracotta work including delightful peacock and elephant flower pots, moulded candle stands and ashtrays.

Continue further to an old Bhaktapur town. Entering the Durbar Square through the Royal Gate, the sparseness of the temple is immediately apparent, compared to the profusion in the Durbar Squares of Kathmandu and Patan. Visit the main square which contains innumerable temples and architectural show pieces: the Lion Gate, the statue of Bhupatendra Malla, the Palace of 55 windows, the Bell of the barking dogs, the Batsala temple, the Nyatapola temple and the replica of Pashupatinath.

After the visit, continue to  Dhulikhel, set on a hill ridge, and enveloped in copper soiled terraces with magnificent views of the central Himalayan peaks. Old temples and Newari style houses are the main attraction of Dhulikhel. It’s a good way to get a glimpse of Nepalese village life

Overnight at Dhulikhel Mountain Resort

Day 12:

Hike to Namobuddha.
Walk down to Panauti (B, packed lunch)

Weather permitting enjoy a sensational sunrise view of the Himalayan peaks from your hotel. After breakfast hike to Namobuddha carrying a packed lunch. Namobuddha meaning “hail to the Buddha” a sacred site, where according to legend Buddha sacrificed parts of his own body in compassion to feed a starving tigress and her cubs. A carved stone slab at the main stupa depicts the moving story.

Later, walk through scattered hutments and farms to Panauti, located at the confluence of the Punyamati & Roshi Khola rivers. It was once an important staging post on the Tibet trade route. The banks of the river are crowded with temples, shrines and cremation ghats. Across the river lie the Brahmayani temple and the biggest Shivalingam in Nepal. Drive back to Dhulikhel for an overnight stay.

Overnight at Dhulikhel Mountain Resort

Day 13:

Departure transfer (B)

Check out of the hotel and transfer to Kathmandu airport in time to connect your outbound flight.

Goodbye & Namaste!