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If you are on a visit to the Elephant breeding centre, be a little bit careful around the young elephants. The young ones are allowed to roam freely, so you are quite likely to come into direct contact with them as the fences around the stables are broken in several places.
Yes, they are adorable, and it's great to get up close to them as they are very curious little devils, but they can charge at you. While i was there i saw one of the 2 year old ones charge at some local people as they were on their way through the stables. Although they are nowhere near as large as the older elephants, they could still do some damage if you tripped and fell and they trampled on you.
They do push a bit at times too, but in a friendly way, but again could just knock you over if they catch you off guard.
Written Dec 15, 2008
While in Chitwan i got a couple of leeches on my legs. I was there in winter so there were not many around, but still one or two around the rivers.
Do not pull them off, use a bit of salt on them. They will soon drop off you if you sprinkle a bit of that on there back. I got the camp i was staying at to put a bit inside some folded up paper for me so i could carry it round in my pocket.
I think they are more of a problem in the damper months though around the monsoon weather.
Updated Dec 9, 2008
1) Forest fires are a seasonal hazard - don't get caught in grasslands/dry forests when a fire is raging nearby.
2) Malaria, dengue and kala-azaar: mosquito and sand-fly borne diseases that are really unpleasant. Take care to be dressed and oiled for the occasion.
3) Bears: There are two bear types in Chitwan, of which the sloth bear is by far the most bad-tempered and dangerous animal in Chitwan. The sloth bear might be encountered while hiking in the jungle, and orderly retreat is the only way out - the bear will not give way and if attacking will seek to claw its perceived opponent.
4) Tiger: compared to the tiger, the other cats are nothing in terms of danger potential. A tiger, if surprised or in a tight corner is positively deadly. Another aspect with tigers is that they may be man-eaters, actually stalking people as potential prey. Guides will know. Don't go at the jungle's edge in tiger land during dusk/dawn/darkness.
5) Crocodiles: The gharial will seek to escape after a mock attack, the mugger crocodile may chance to take a bite out of you if threatened. The bigger ones may be stalkers as well, but the muggers are now few and far between.
6) Snakes: there are a number of venoumous snakes in Chitwan, some of them actually thriving nearby humans where there are rats. The main dagnerous species are cobras and kraits, but also certain vipers are found. The reticulated python may bite in self-defence if surprised or threatened, but not really feast upon you, horror style. The good news is that snakes are largely in hiding during the tourist season due to the cold - monsoon time is snake time.
Written Jun 11, 2006
Keep to your guides' advice with regard to behavoir around rhinos. The pictures you see of rhinos around Sauraha's restaurant tables are of baby rhinos that have been captured as orphans by wildlife authorities and fed vegetable scraps by locals and tourists. As babies they are playful and curious if not gentle, as adolescents they become bulky and rowdy and will turn tables to get a bite out of your salad, as adults rhinos are positively dangerous and will charge on suspicion. They do not see very well and they do not have much of a brain. Pair this with a keen sense of hearing and a temper. Mix this again with the habit of knocking down trees for food. You have a locomotive on 4 feet that will charge in the direction of the sound of YOU, just to be sure that you will not cause any trouble in the continuation. During evenings rhinos have an uncanny tendency to come out of the jungle and into clearings to feed on grass, and do not get caught unawares when there are no trees around where you can hide/climb if it charges. Stay inside the hotel/resort compound during darkness. You will be told all this by your guides, too, and do not take it lightly.
Written Jun 11, 2006
February to April are among the best month to go to Chitwan NP. The grass is freshly cut and the weather nice and sunny (not to hot).
Moreover during the moonson you won't be able to go across the Rapti river on elephant's back are its level will be to high.
Written Mar 31, 2005
If you go out to the river be very careful. One of my groupmembers was washing her hands in the river, with three!! guides. They didn't warn us about anything. When suddenly she almost gets attacked by a crocodile! I was staring at the water the whole time and I didn't see it coming. So be careful at all times at places in the water were there isn't much going on. (crocodiles go to places were it's quiet)
Written Aug 27, 2004
Generally speaking, the Maoist insurgents are in control of most of Chitwan's countryside, and the army and police limit their activities to the areas of key roads and towns, other critical infrastructure hubs and some patrolling elsewhere.
This means that Chitwan National Park is rather infested with insurgents, but perhaps worse, bandits (dacoits) from the Indian side of the border have penetrated the southern reaches of the park (south of Rapti river and mainly southern slopes of the Churia Hills). There is now active poaching of wood and animal life in this part of the park, and dangerous for visitors, not to speak about the locals who are stuck here. I do not think the Maoists particularily favours this situation, but it helps support their territorial base and unhindered access to India for now. Indian dacoits in Bihar and UP do not operate in a vaccum, but with tacit political approval from thugs that pass for politicians.
The last year and a half new Chitwan NP bosses have accomplished a radical reduction of poaching of rhinos and tigers, but his may well pick up again as the supporting army is forced to withdraw.
The Lonely Planet guidebook for Nepal says that the telephone tower of Sauraha is defunct by Maoist action; that is no longer the case.
Don't let this info prevent you from going to Chitwan, tourists are not targeted or actively discouraged or hindered unless they do something stupid - see my other Maoist tips.
Updated May 21, 2004
When trail walking in the jungle, the group is normally issued with a guide and two guards, depending on the size of the group.
The guide and guards normally give a pre-departure briefing where they tell what to do if a wild animal gets agitated, and also what makes wild animals agitated.
As the guides are only issued with lathis (solid sticks) as weapons, this is frequently joked about. But they know their thing; they are trained to stop a charging rhino with that stick. They are putting themselves between the tour participants and the wild animal, whatever that may be.
It is sometimes disappointing to see the lack of respect they are shown - especially regarding such things that puts the group in an exposed situation: undiciplined behaviour on the trail, getting lost behind, wearing shiny, bright, colorful clothing, talking loudly etc.
I have even seen parents bringing protesting and screaming 2-3-year olds along the bush trail despite the guide's blunt warning: "tiger bait!".
So, listen to the guides for a safer trip through an exhilerating part of Nepal....
Updated May 21, 2004
bright clothings should always be avoided when visiting places like Chitwan N.P. Some animals like rhinos are agitated by the bright colours, so for personal safety, it is best to avoid these clothings.
Written Dec 30, 2002