Koshi Tapu Wildlife Reserve

The smallest of the Terai’s national parks, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is a birdwatcher’s paradise. But you don't need to be a serious twitcher to enjoy it. Here you'll find a captivating walk that anyone will appreciate.

The park contains an ideal mix of river, ponds, wetlands and paddies, all of it cut by a long straight and paved trail, making navigation a breeze. Thin foliage further allows for long-distance viewing. In a single 90min, 6km walk you will see scores of different bird species. It's the terrestrial equivalent of spotting tropical fish on a coral reef.

An added bonus is branching off to the nearby Sapt Kosi River, where the endangered arna roam their last habitat. A kind of water buffalo, these black beasts are renowned for the enormous breadth of their horns, and move in herds.

The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is located in Saptari and Sunsari districsts in south-east Nepal, the land known as Terai. The Koshi Tappu Safari covers the vast expanse Koshi River with its blue waters and lush jungle areas on both sides. The 176 sq. km. reserve is Nepal’s smallest wildlife reserve. In 1976 the reserve was gazetted to preserve habitat for the only remaining population of wild buffalo, later in 1987, Koshi Tappu was declared a Ramsar site, a wetland of international significance. Government of Nepal has declared the buffer zone ( 173.5 sq. km ) surrounding the reserve in 2004. The vegetation is mainly composed of tall grasslands. Villagers are permitted to collect thatch grass once a year. These are used for roof thatching and building house walls.
The reserve has important habitat for a variety of wildlife. The last surviving population of wild buffalo is found here. The estimated population of wild buffalo is around 160. The reserve is also home to around 20 other animal species such as Hog deer, Wild boar, Spotted deer, Blue bull and Rock Python.

The Reserve is famous for many species of birds. Around 441 species of birds have been recorded here including 20 duck species, 2 Ibis species, white tailed stonechat, Striated marsh warbler, 30 shore birds, 114 water birds, the endangered swamp partridge and Bengal florican.
The Koshi Barrage is an extremely important resting place for many migratory birds, containing 87 winter and trans-Himalayan migratory species. The Koshi River is home to 80 species of fish. The endangered Gharial crocodile and Gangetic dolphin have been recorded in the river as well. During winter, many of the migratory birds can be seen on the Koshi Barrage and on the river channel. Migration usually peaks around mid March. Much wildlife visits these areas during dusk and dawn. The clear skies allow for beautiful sights of several Himalayan peaks including Makalu (8463m), the world’s fifth highest peak.You can explore the forest of Koshi Tappu safari riding on elephant back. Here you will see the hattisar (elephant stable) where elephant breed regularly and which is one of few such facilities in Asia.

The best time to visit this wonderful wildlife reserve is between October and March. Migration usually peaks around mid March. In these months many migratory and local birds can be sighted.

Trip Highlights

  • Scenic drive or fly to/from Biratnagar.
  • Sunset view from river bank.

  • Elephant ride

  • Cultural show program

At a glance

  • 3N/4 Days package tour.

  • Guided Tour.

  • Between 75 m.-8 m. elevation.

  • Boat trip in the river.