Nepal is best known for its high snow mountains, diverse landscapes,
rich ancient cultural heritages, and wide range of biodiversity. Furthermore,
these attributes are key features of protected areas of Nepal including the 12
Nepal's geographical features can be divided into thee
types stretching from east to west: the southern plains, green hills in the
middle, and High Himalayas in the north. Where the plains of Terai serve as a
source of food grains, green hills as fertilizers, and the northern Himalayas
as a source for irrigation.
Nepal a land of geographical variations with the
lowest point of 60m (Kechana, Jhapa) to the highest point of 8848m (Everest)
creates diverse climatic zones allowing for a wide range of ecosystems and
biodiversity to flourish within.
These diverse geo-climatic features make up Nepal's 12
National parks, comprising towering mountains, sloppy valleys, and lush green
forests. Making them a perfect habitat for exotic flora and fauna including
some rare and endangered species to explore.
In a world where concerns about climate change and
loss of biodiversity are a major issue worldwide, a climate action plan and the
urgency of preserving biodiversity are vital.
Hence, the role of protected areas like National
Parks, Conservation Areas, and Wildlife reserves in order to help solve the
issues with depletion of biodiversity along with climatic issues becomes
After the endorsement, not the of National Park and Wildlife
Conservation Act in 1973 AD, the Government of Nepal has been empowered to act
accordingly to establish protected areas for the conservation of native
Since then Nepal has been prosperous in establishing a fair network of
protected areas, covering around 23.39% of the total land area.
Here are 12 Beautiful National parks to Explore
in Nepal Detail Information
- Khaptad National Park
Khaptad National park, established
in 1984 covers an area of 225 sq km of Bajhang, Bajura, Achham, and Doti districts
of Far Western Nepal, with an additional area of 216 sq km as a buffer zone.
The elevation of KNP ranges from 1400 - 3300 meters, whereas the buffer zone’s
altitude ranges from 900 – 2700 meters above sea level.
Consisting of 22 moorlands, steep slopes, and streams along with
green forested hills are the landscape feature of this National Park. Khaptad
Daha ( lake ) located in the northeastern part of the park is also an important
With six different ecosystems comprising Rhododendron, Fir, Oak, Chir
Pine, and Hemlock forests: 567 different species of flora including flowering
and non-flowering plants have been recorded from the Khaptad National Park.
mammals, 287 birds, and 23 Herpeto species including rare and endangered: Musk
Deer, Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Wild Dog, Impeyan Pheasant, Peregrine
Falcon, and White Rumped Vulture are symbolic wildlife of this national Park.
This national park is adorned with religious sites as well, especially
Khaptad Baba ashram, a renowned Hindu pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Shiva
that is visited by devotees during the fool moon of July- August and during the
Jestha Purnima (June-July).
Sahashra Linga located at an elevation of 3200 m, Ganesh Temple,
Nagdhunga(stone resembling snake ), and Kedhardhunga is significant religious
sites ideal for meditation and spiritual activities excluding animal sacrifice.
- Bardiya National Park
National park with an area of 968 sq km and a
buffer zone of 328 sq km is a protected area located in the Banke and Bardia,
and Surkhet districts of Nepal were established as a wildlife reserve in 1976 and
declared as a national park in 1988.
The elevation ranges from 152 m in the Terai plains to the highest peak
of Sukarmala at 1441 m
above the sea level, comprising landscapes of Karnali floodplains, Babai
river valley, and the Siwalik Hills with Upper and lower tropical bioclimatic
With 7 types of ecosystems, 839 species of flora are recorded in
this national park, with major vegetation being Chir Pine, Hill Sal, Lower
Tropical Sal, and mixed broad-leafed forests.
A total of 59 mammals, 407 birds, 52 amphibians/reptiles, and 124 fish
species have been identified in this protected area, out of which 13 mammals, 5
birds, and 3 reptile species are under the rare endangered list.
Symbolic mammals of Bardia National Park include Royal Bengal Tiger,
Asiatic Elephant, One-horned Rhinoceros, Black Buck antelope whereas bird
species are Bengal florican, White-backed Vulture, peacock, and the
BNP has played a key role in multiplying the numbers of Blackbuck,
whereas the number of Rhinoceros have adapted to the new habitat after they
were translocated from Chitwan National Park in 1986.
Besides research on Nilgai, Gharial, Freshwater dolphin, and fisheries
are being conducted timely. The unique flora and fauna combination of the park
has been able to attract significant numbers of internal and external tourists
seeking wildlife safaris and elephant safaris.
- Rara National Park
Rara National park the smallest national
park in Nepal with an area of 106 sq km along with a 198 sq a km buffer zone
was established as a protected area in 1976 and is located in the districts of
Mugu and Jumla.
Topographically, its elevation ranges from 1800 meters to
4039(Chuchemara Peak) meters above sea level, along with two other major peaks
Ruma Kand(3731m) and Malika Kand(3444m).
The National park is comprised of green forested hills with beautiful
mountain vistas reflecting on the biggest lake of Nepal: Rara (2990m) with an
area of 10.8 sq km and 167 m deep, which drains into the Mugu-Karnali
As a protected area, Rara National Park encompasses 11 types of
ecosystem and 10 vegetation types ranging from Upper Tropical to Upper Alpine
bioclimatic zones: including Chir Pine, Walnut, Maple, Alder, Oak, Cypress,
Spruce, Blue Pine, Fir, Birch, Rhododendron, Exotic Himalayan flowers, and
The Park is rich in biodiversity, with 51 mammals, 241 birds, 2 hereto
(amphibians/reptiles), and 3 endemic species of fish. Rare and endangered
species of Snow leopard and Red Panda along with Musk deer and Himalayan Black
Bear, Impeyan Pheasant, Kalij Pheasant, Cheer Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant,
White-crested pheasant, and Chukar Partridge are symbolic species.
Rara National Park is gaining popularity as a tourist destination, as
the development of infrastructures for food and accommodation commodities are
to Rara lake A scenic flight to Talcha Airstrip
(2735m), followed by hiking of around 3 hours amidst the forested trail is the
best way to reach the Lake.
Journey to Rara lake Jeep tours directly from Kathmandu is a more
popular method of reaching this wonderful holiday destination, however, a
direct Helicopter tour is also an alternative for travelers seeking a luxury
plan. Major tourist activities include boating on the lake, a pony ride, and
hiking to the Murma Hilltop (3630) with panoramic views of mountain peaks and
4. Shey Phoksundo National
Shey Phoksundo National park is
a protected area in Nepal with an area of 3555 sq. km and a buffer zone (1349
sq. km), located in the Mugu and Dolpa districts of the far western region was
established in 1984. Topography ranges from Aankhe(2130 m) to Kanjirowa
Peak(6883 m), and encompasses seven bioclimatic zones of temperate, alpine, and
Nival forming 21 ecosystems and 10 vegetation types.
The largest national park of Nepal comprises Trans Himalayan Landscape,
glaciers, Phoksundo Lake (3589m), diverse forests, rivers, and alpine meadows.
The turquoise colored deepest lake of Nepal, Shey Phoksundo (136.20 m), and the
country’s highest waterfall (167m) along with tributaries of Thuli Bheri and
Langu rivers drain from the Dolpo
The biodiversity features of this protected area are also significant,
as this national park serves as a habitat for 1579 flora species including 30
endemic (native) flowering and rare medicinal plants along with 35 mammals, 208
birds, and three herpeto species of wildlife, out of which 19 mammals and 2
birds’ species are classified as rare and endangered.
Snow Leopard, Tibetan Wolf, Wild Dog, Blue Sheep, and Musk Deer are
symbolic mammals: whereas Himalayan Griffon, White Breasted Deeper, Chir
Pheasant, and Monal Pheasant are symbolic birds in this protected area.
This national park is also popular for Upper
Dolpo and Shey gompa trekking with villages like RIngmo within the
fluency of Tibetan Buddhist culture and is decorated with colorful Gompas (monastery)
and many other religious sites. Shey Gompa, established in the 11th century
and Thashung Gomba near the high altitude lake are major tourist
Trekking tours are a popular form of tourism activities; however, a
special, permit is required for international tourists due to its inclusion in
the Restricted Area category. A flight to Dunai Airport is a convenient way to
reach the national park followed by a trekking journey amidst the Trans
Himalayan landscape decorated by rural villages.
5. Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National park listed as the UNESCO
World Heritage Site covers an area of 952 sq. km with a buffer zone of 729 sq.
km, is located in the districts of Chitwan, Nawal Pur, Parsa, and Makwanpur in
theSouthern central plains of Nepal.
With two bioclimatic zones of lower and upper tropical, elevation ranges
from 110- 850 meters encompassing 7 ecosystems and two vegetation types. The
Churia hills, Ox-Bow lakes, flood plains of Rapti, Narayani, and Reu rivers
along with lakes of Lamictal, Devital, and Beeshazar wetlands are major
ecosystems in the park.
919 species of vegetation including endangered species of Tree fern,
Cycas, Screw, pine, and several other orchids are recorded in the park.
Wildlife is comprised of 43 mammals, 539 birds 56 amphibian/reptiles,
and 124 species of fish in the protected area, out of which 13 mammals, 6
birds, and 3 reptile species are listed as rare and endangered.
Rhinoceros, Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant,
Black-necked Stork, Grey-headed Eagle, Brahmini Duck, Gharial, and Maskey Frog
are symbolic wildlife species of Chitwan National Park.
This protected area has played a major role in raising the numbers of
Rhinoceros, allowing for translocation to other national parks and wildlife
reserves as well as a symbolic presentation of rhinos as gifts to various
It is a major tourist destination in Nepal included in major tours along
with Kathmandu and Pokhara, offering various wildlife activities like wildlife
safari, Elephant safari, Jeep safari, birdwatching, and jungle walks.
Elephant breeding center, Peacock Breeding center, and Gharial breeding
center are also popular sites in the park. Besides, Tharu local communities and
their unique culture are a significant attraction, as a walking tour into their
villages will provide a significant insight into Nepal’s diversity.
6. Langtang National Park
Langtang National park is the first
Himalayan Protected area of Nepal covers an area of 1710 sq. km with 420 sq. km
of a Buffer zone, stretches along with the north-central districts of Rasuwa,
Nuwakot, and Sindhupalchowk was established in 1976 with elevation ranging from
845 meters to 7245(Langtang Lirung) meters
With 11 Bioclimatic zones of upper tropical, temperate, alpine, and
Nival, landscape features of this park range from mid-hills to snowcapped
mountain peaks above 7000 meters coming of rivers, and a glacial lake
(Gosaikunda 4200m), rivers, valleys, glacier, and moraines.
18 types of ecosystems are present in the park housing 14 vegetation
types: estimated to be 3689 species of flora including Alpine scrubs, Alpine
meadows, Trans Himalayan Steppe, Birch, Rhododendron, Fir, Larch, Mountain Oak,
Blue Pine, Chir Pine, Laurel, and mixed broadleaf forests.
Known to be rich in biodiversity, Langtang National Park is inhabited by
46 mammals, 345 birds, 11 herpetofauna, and 2 fish species including some rare
and endangered. Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Red Panda, Impeyan Pheasant, Ibis Bill,
White Winged Redstart, and Snow Partridge are symbolic wildlife species in
Langtang National Park.
Valley trek, Gosaikunda trek, and the Tamang Heritage
Trek are popular trekking destinations in the Langtang National park, equipped
with natural and cultural delights. Breathtaking views of the Langtang mountain
range, diverse landscapes, green forested hills, trekking peaks (Kyanjin RI
&Tserko RI), and river valleys are the major highlights.
Himalayan Tibetan Buddhism influenced the village with the majority of
inhabitants sharing ancestry with Tibetan refugees. Several Buddhist monuments
like Gumba (Monastery), Mani Walls, Chhortens, Prayer Wheels, and colorful
Prayer flags adorn the Langtang region.
7. Shivapuri Nagarjun National
Shivapuri Nagarjun National park is
a protected area of Nepal, covers an area of 159 sq. km & buffer zone of
118.61 sq. km located in Kathmandu, Nuwakot, and Sindhupalchowk districts: was
established as a wildlife and watershed reserve and in 2002 gazetted as a
Its elevation ranges from 1000 m to 3732 meters encompassing 6
bioclimatic zones, 5 ecosystem types, and 4 vegetation types. Landscape
features are comprised of Mountain slopes, green forests, and streams that flow
into Bagmati and Bishnumati rivers in the capital city Kathmandu.
Likewise, the biodiversity of Shivapuri National Pak is comprised of
2122 flora including Mountain Oak, Laurel, Chir Pine, Schima Castanopsis
(Chilaune,) and other broadleaf forests. Wildlife is comprised of 19 mammals,
311 birds, and 3 herpeto species.
Out of which Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Wild Boar, Golden Throated
Barbet, Slender Billed Babbler, White Gorgetted Flycatcher, and Barred Cuckoo
Dove are symbolic of the protected area.
Day hiking is popular tourist activity in the National park, with
options for short
Shivapuri Day hiking trips from Budhanilkantha or Sundarijal,
exploring through the green forested trails followed by a view of Kathmandu
valley and mountains on the northern horizon.
Nagarkot, Shivapuri, and Chisapani hike along with trekking trails
to Gosaikunda, Langtang, and Helambu across this national Park. Budhanilkantha
Temple and Sundarijal serve as major pilgrimage sites as well as entry points
to the National Park.
8. Sagarmatha National Park,
Sagarmatha National park was established
in 1976 as the world’s highest elevated protected area SNP covers an area of
1148 sq. km with a buffer zone of 275 sq. km, with elevations ranging from 2800
to 8848.86 meters, park is comprised of 6 bioclimatic zones encompassing 8
ecosystem and 8 vegetation types.
Enlisted on the UNESCO
World Heritage Site list in 1979 this national park is
located in the Solukhumbu district of the mid-eastern Himalayan region of
Nepal. The landscape is comprised of the world’s highest mountain peaks
(Everest, Lhotse), glaciers, lateral moraines, rugged terrain, high altitude
wetlands (Gokyo lake system), rivers, alpine pastures, rivers, and green
Around 1074 species of flora are estimated in the Park including Alpine
meadows, Alpine scrubs, Rhododendron, Birch, Fir, Chir Pine, Blue Pine, and
Mountain Oak. 33 mammals, 208 birds, 5 Herpeto, and 1 fish species of wildlife
inhabit this protected area.
Out of which six mammals and two bird species are considered rare
and endangered. Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Red Panda, Blue Sheep, Impeyan
Pheasant, Bearded Vulture, Tibetan Snow Cock, and the Yellow-Billed Chough are
some symbolic wildlife species in Sagarmatha National Park.
Everest Base Camp trek and Everest
Three Passes Trek are the most popular tourist
destinations in the park along with Gokyo Valley and other side hikes offering
the best view of the world’s highest mountain peaks, along with Mountaineering
and peak climbing activities.
Besides adventure activities, the cultural significance of Sagarmatha
National Park is also important, where it is dominated by Sherpa culture and
villages like Namche Bazaar and Khumjung. Tibetan Himalayan Buddhism is
prevalent in the region, with Tengboche and Pangboche Monasteries decorated
with prayer wheels, flags, Mani walls, Chhortens, and stupas.
9. Makalu Barun National Park,
Makalu Barun National park with an area of
1500 sq. km with a buffer zone of 830 sq. km, is located in the districts of
Solukhumbu and Sankhuwasabha districts ranges in altitude from 450 m to 8463
meters above sea level with 10 bioclimatic zones, 20 ecosystem types and 12
This protected area is home to the world’s 5th highest peak Mt.Makalu
(8463m) along with Mt.Chamling (7319 m), Mt.Baruntse (7129m), and Mera Peak
(6445m). Besides towering peaks, the landscape feature comprises glaciers,
high-altitude lakes, alpine pastures, forests, and river valleys.
Makalu Barun National Park’s biodiversity comprises 3037 flora with 8
species of native flowering plants including Alpine Scrub, Alpine Meadow,
Birch, Rhododendron, Fir, Mountain Oak, Maple, Magnolia, Chir Pine, and Hill
With 81 mammals, 421 birds, 14 herpeto, and 13 fish species, this Park’s
wildlife is comprised of Snow leopard, Musk Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Spiny
Babbler, Impeyan Pheasant, and Slety Bellied Tesia are symbolic wildlife
species of this protected area.
Base camp Trekking and Mera Peak climbing is popular
tourist activity in the Makalu Barun National park along with chances of
encountering some wildlife species. As the trails are recently opened for
tourists, camping equipment is a must.
However, Homestay treks in the form of ecotourism offer tourists an
opportunity to explore the rural farming villages of Rai, Magar, Sherpa,
Gurung, Limbu, Brahmin, and Chhetri ethnic communities with Hinduism and
Buddhist traditional cultures.
10. Shuklaphanta National Park
National park was formerly a Hunting Reserve
(1969) then declared a Wildlife Reserve in 1976 and finally Gazetted as a
National Park in 2017. Located in far west Nepal of Kanchanpur, covers an area
of 305 sq. km with a buffer zone of 243.5 sq. km with elevations ranging from
174 m to 1386 meters above sea level.
Landscape features comparison lower Siwalik Hills, open grassland, green
lush forests, river beds, and tropical wetlands: forming 3 bioclimatic zones, 3
ecosystem types, and 3 vegetation types.
Biodiversity in this protected area is comprised of 700 flora, 56
mammals, 450 birds, 56 Reptiles, 15 Amphibians, and 24 fish species along with
some rare and endangered wildlife species.
Chir Pine, Hill Sal, Tropical Sal, and Mixed Broadleaf forests are major
vegetation in the national park: inhabiting Swamp Deer, Bengal Tiger, Asiatic
Elephant, Hispid Hare, Bengal Florican, Back Capped Kingfisher, and Finns
Weaver as symbolic wildlife.
Successful translocation of GreateOne-Horned Rhinoceros from Chitwan
National Park and conservation of near-extinct Swamp Deer has been a major
achievement of this protected area.
Bound by the Mahakali River in the west and south, Shuklaphanta
National Park serves as a corridor for the seasonal migration of wildlife
species. As the latter part of the name” Phanta” translates to grassland, it is
the largest continuous grassland in Nepal.
Elephant Safari, Jungle walks, and Bird watching are major activities in
this protected area however, people interested in wildlife photography and
studies will find this park intriguing.
11. Banke National Park
National park was established as a protected area in
2010 covering an area of 550 sq. km and a buffer zone of 343 sq. km: stretching
in the Banke, Salyan, and Dang districts of western Nepal. Located within the
Terai Arc Landscape, this park’s landscape is mostly floodplains of Rapti and
Babai River including foothills of the Chure range.
Banke National Park is comprised of 8 ecosystem types Sal, Deciduous
Riverine forests, mixed hardwood forests, and grasslands. Biodiversity in this
protected area comprises 124 flora, 34 mammals, 300 birds, 24 reptiles, 7
amphibians, and 58 fish species.
Vegetation symbolic to this park is Sal, Karma, Khair, and Sisau:
whereas wildlife species of Asiatic Elephant, Bengal Tiger, Striped Hyena m
Four Horned Antelope, Giant Hornbill, Black Stork, Bengal Florican, Gharial
Crocodile and Python are under the protection of this national park.
Within the buffer zone are settlements of diverse ethnic groups such as
Indigenous Tharu, Brahmins, Chhetri, Magar, Majhi, Tamang, and Gurung: with
agriculture as their major source of livelihood. Facilities for health,
communication, and lodging are well established in the southern part of the
Major tourist activities in the national park include Elephant safari,
Jungle Walk, and Bird Watching. However, if you are a student seeking research,
or seeking for wildlife photography destination: then Banke National Park can
be an ideal destination.
12. Parsa National Park