Nepal: The Land of Shere Khan

12 Days


Guided by Liz Heck & Hasan Rahman

March 18 – 28, 2024



As I approach my 50th year guiding safaris in 2024 a lot of wonderful memories vie for attention. Among the most exciting were the early tiger safaris that I took in the Indian sub-continent.

“Good News” today is usually not without qualification, but the advances that Indian sub-continent researchers have made that began with Indira Ghandi’s promise “to save tigers” is impressive. So with the help of one of the key tiger researchers in that area, we’ve narrowed down the enormous choices for a sub-continent tiger safari to two of the nearly 70 tiger reserves. Both are in Nepal.

Nepal is less developed than India, so it’s quite possible in a very few years there will really be no difference between the wilderness and tigers of Nepal and India, but right now there is. The Nepal wilderness is much richer, with a biomass best evidenced by the number of larger mammal species in these national parks: twice to three times as many as in India.

But the real icing on the cake is who guides this tour: my daughter with all her energy and growing EWT fan club, and a celebrated, young tiger expert loaded with accomplishments and perfect for translating science into a campfire conversation. There’s not a single other tiger safari on the market with such perfect leaders. So top up your wildlife trips with the world’s apex cat predator, continuing the guarantees of optimum performance only achieved with an EWT safari!

Jim Heck


The main tour is to Nepal, but you also have the option to include a pre-tour in India or a post-tour in Bhutan.

2024 Costs per Person Sharing Single
March 11 – 18 Opulent Kingdoms: India  $ 5,750  $ 8,705
March 18 – 28 The Land of Shere Khan: Nepal  $ 7,265  $ 9,315
March 29 – Apr 3 Kingdom of Happiness: Bhutan  $ 4,280  $ 5,715


No better set of guides for EWT’s tiger safari than Liz Heck and Hasan Rahman! Anticipating this trip, they scoped out the itinerary in December and are looking forward to sharing it with you!

A PhD candidate at the University of Delaware featuring his current field work in Bangladesh’s Sundarbans, Hasan is completing 16 years studying big cats, wild dogs, and bears in several different Asian countries. Recipient of the prestigious CV Starr Award by the Wildlife Conservation Society, he’s a National Geographic Society Explorer and a grantee of the Discovery Channel and Explorer Club of New York. His explorations span the swampy mangroves in the Bay of Bengal to the Himalayan Mountains. Considered a leading expert on Asia’s tigers and leopards, Hasan holds a major seat on the IUCN Cat Specialist Group.

Liz is well known by many EWT travelers, leading tours not only to Africa but Alaska as well. She grew up traveling in many of the world’s last wildernesses. Currently an English teacher in Brooklyn, she has a literature degree from Bryn Mawr, a JD degree from Fordham and studied at the University of Cape Town.


Whenever you arrive you’ll be personally met and privately transferred to Dwarika’s Hotel, “a sanctuary for the architectural grandeur of the Newari civilization, an oasis in the middle of the bustling city.” Kindly note that check-in cannot be guaranteed before 2 p.m. unless you request pre-booking. Take some time to rest and settle in but you’re invited to join your guides, Liz Heck and Hasan Rahman, for dinner in the hotel’s award-winning restaurant.
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Many EWT travelers come at least a day early, and if you do Liz and Hasan will have extra sightseeing ready for anyone interested. We also want you completely rested and acclimated to this safari, most of which (including Kathmandu) occurs a mile-high!

Kathmandu is so old and so colorful that not even two full days of scheduled sightseeing can cover the highlights. Remember, too, that you can always begin with the sightseeing and leave early, or join later. An Uber is always just around the corner. Those who do come early will enjoy Monday sightseeing that includes a class in the traditional art of Thangka painting at an art studio run by generations of professional painters! Afterwards you'll visit a contemporary art museum to see how the rich, historic artistic tradition remains vibrant and alive in a modern context.

Kathmandu’s rich history dates back into ancient times, with evidence of settlements as early as 300 BCE. The city was initially known as Kantipur, which translates to "City of Glory," and served as the capital of its first major dynasty, the Malla in the 12th century. That was succeeded by the Shah dynasty that ruled over Nepal until the 21st century revolutions. The city witnessed significant cultural and architectural development during the mid-18th century reign of the Gorkha Kingdom which consolidated all the Kathmandu Valley and established the modern state of Nepal with Kathmandu as its capital. During that time the city enjoyed the architectural transformation with the constructions of many exquisite palaces, temples and shrines.

The great two-house dynasty began to crack with the first revolution in 1951, which led to historic democratic elections in 1959. Multiparty democracy was established in 1991, but a communist insurgency in 1997 now referred to as the country’s “civil war” continued on and off until 2008 when the People’s Parliament abolished the monarchy.

All sorts of coups and government changes have occurred since as the country sorts out its inclination towards Maoist communism with its vibrant democratic elections. Since 2008 civil disruption has been minimal and the greatest disruption to Nepalese society in the last decade was the 2015 earthquake.

Sightseeing begins at 10am in Durbar Square, with its absolute dizzying amount of historical and artistic riches. After visiting Swayambhunath Temple, also known as the Monkey Temple, continue to the Pashupatinath Temple, a sacred Hindu temple located on the banks of the Bagmati River dedicated to Lord Shiva. Here you have some free time to explore and shop in downtown Kathmandu. (Don't forget to visit the trekker's favorite, Pilgrim's Bookstore!). Dinner is independent, or please join Hasan and Liz at Hasan’s favorite local steakhouse, where the momo is also delicious! Overnight at Dwarika’s Hotel.
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The safari begins! Take a short flight to the southern part of the country near the Indian border. Unfortunately local airline scheduling isn’t very good so we won’t actually know specific times until much closer to departure. If we get in earlier rather than later, game viewing activities will be included in the afternoon.

The flight to Bharatpur is over the last bits of the lower Himalayas and replaces what would otherwise be a 4½ hour drive. At Bharatpur Tiger Tops’ vehicles collect us for the 70-90 minute drive to the lodge along the fringes of Chitwan National Park. You might catch your first glimpses of wildlife over these grasslands and jungles such as elephants or one-horned rhinos.

Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge is a charming and peaceful retreat nestled in the midst of lush forests. It has a long history of welcoming visitors anxious to see Nepal’s tigers, having first opened in 1964. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
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Two more full days in Chitwan! The lodge offers a range of activities and the experienced guides help you decide which activities to join. Options include boat safaris, jeep safaris, jungle walks, bird watching, elephant safaris, and cultural tours.

All meals, comprehensive activities and overnights at Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge.

Chitwan National Park boasts among the very most diverse biosystems of all the tiger reserves in the sub-continent, with an estimated population of 120 tigers plus nearly 70 other larger mammal species. Leopard and clouded leopard are also found in the park. It’s home to one of the largest populations of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros in the world, with over 600 individuals. Visitors also see wild elephants, crocodiles, and various species of deer, including the spotted deer and the barking deer. The park is a bird watcher's paradise, with over 500 species of birds, including the Bengal florican and the giant hornbill.

All meals, comprehensive activities and overnights at Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge.

A long, sometimes congested highway journey today through what is nevertheless some of the most incomparable scenery on earth. Leave Chitwan as early as possible and head into the very beginning of the Annapurna Range through the hills of central Nepal to Pokhara, the starting point for almost all the trekking and some serious ascents of the great mountains.

The “highway” is an important conduit to the south of the country, but it’s narrow, and twists and turns along a mountainous terrain. You’ll pass through numerous small towns and villages, and past many streams and rivers including the great Trishuli river, one of the major tributaries of the Ganges. You’ll see many classic Himalayan farms, beautifully terraced fields of rice, maize and wheat fields under the world’s tallest mountains!

Towards the end of the journey, the road descends into the Pokhara valley famously distinguished by its large, serene Phewa Lake. Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge was opened in 1998 by Sir Edmund Hillary. Perched 1,000 feet above the Pokhara Valley its spectacular Himalayan backdrop is the best of any resort in the area. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Wake up this morning to breathtaking views of the Annapurna Range from your private balcony or terrace. The Annapurna span more than 55 kilometers and consist of several peaks that reach an altitude above 7,000m with Annapurna I being the highest at 8,091m (26,545'). Not just a destination for adventure seekers, this is also a place of spiritual significance for the people of Nepal. The mountains are considered sacred and have a special place in the hearts of the Nepalese people.

Today, you can choose from a range of activities including hiking, bird watching or cultural tours, or you can simply relax by the outdoor pool or in the peaceful garden. The lodge also features a spa and wellness center with a range of treatments using locally sourced natural ingredients.

Meals and overnight at Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge.

Today we take another short flight to Nepalgunj and then about an hour’s drive to Bardyia National Park, a protected area located in the southwestern part of Nepal. As with all Nepal flights, we’re never quite sure of the schedule but if we do get in earlier rather than later game viewing activities will be available.

At 374 sq. miles Bardyia is Nepal’s largest protected wilderness. Established in 1988 along the Indian border it’s home to a diverse range of flora and fauna including the Royal Bengal Tiger, the one-horned rhinoceros, Asian elephants, sloth bears and leopards, plus several species of deer including spotted, hog and barking. There are more than 400 species of birds, making it one of the favorite spots for bird watchers. Meals and overnight at Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge.

Located in an area of extraordinary beauty and abundant wildlife, veteran African safari travelers will begin to feel something akin to their past experiences, here. There are far fewer visitors in Bardyia than Chitwan. The wide range of activities includes guided jungle walks, bird watching, tiger tracking and jeep safaris.

Meals and overnights at Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge.

Another day in the Bardyia National Park. For the more adventuresome there is river rafting or caching on the Karnali River, which is known for its diverse wildlife and scenic views. Those interested in learning about the local culture can take a guided trip into nearby Tharu villages. The lodge even offers cooking classes where guests can learn to cook Nepal dishes using locally sourced ingredients!

Meals and overnights at Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge.

After breakfast the group returns to Kathmandu on a short flight from Nepalgunj. The group will be met and transferred back to Dwarika’s Hotel. EWT services include a full night here, but some flights via Europe will leave this afternoon or evening.
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Hotel check-out is 10 a.m. The trip ends with your transfer to the airport.
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Cost Includes

  • Accommodations, meals, private transfers, organized sightseeing and gameviewing plus other activities as described in the day-by-day description.
  • All taxes and fees and local, professional guides joining the trip at each venue (city).
  • Guiding by tiger expert, Hasan Rahman, and hosting by EWT’s Elizabeth Heck throughout the entire Napal trip.

Additional Expenses Not Included

  • All air fare, including air fare that is needed for pre- and posttour, which is dynamic and is only guaranteed when purchased. As of May 10, 2023, the air fare for Nepal was $435 per person in economy and in India, $360 in economy. Air fare needed between India, Nepal and Bhutan can likely be bundled into your international air fare.
  • Anything not specifically mentioned in the itinerary is not included. Such items include but are not limited to some meals and most beverages.
  • Tipping
  • The costs of obtaining requisite inoculations and documentation.
  • Any items of a personal nature like souvenirs and gear