With out newest group member, Henry arriving just the day before, we woke up bright and early Saturday morning to catch a tourist bus to Chitwan National Park. After 4 and a half hours we made it to our first stop…. WHITE WATER RAFTING! It was a blast! We swam in the river, rafted through some tricky rapids, and some of us cliff jumped from 15 metres up!! Once we were finished with our 4 hour rafting adventures, we crammed into the van to drive the final stretch to our hotel.
The next few days were filled with so many amazing experiences in the jungle! We started Sunday morning with a canoe trip in the river where we saw many crocodiles and some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. We arrived by canoe at the elephant breeding centre, this was our first close up encounter with the animals. Some of the baby elephants were very friendly and came right up to the gate where we were standing so we could feed and pet her.
Later in the day we set out for our first safari through the jungle. This would be by jeep. After a bit of slow start, we began to spot animals left and right. We saw numerous peacocks, deer, wild boat, monkeys and chickens. We were also very lucky because we came across two sloth bears, which are normally impossible to see due their nocturnal tendencies. There were also two rhinos spotted, except for Leslie who hallucinated seeing a third one.
The next morning we were able to bathe with ELEPHANTS! Which was my personal favourite experience from our time in Chitwan. We stepped into the river where we had previously seen crocs swimming around and climbed directly onto the back of the elephant. The elephant then proceeded to spray water from its trunk at us!!! Words annoy do this experience justice, so all I can say is that it was truly a once in a life time event that I am so happy to have been able to do.
Our last activity before leaving the jungle was another safari, but this time it was on the back of an elephant. We squeezed into a small box on the elephant and remained very close of the next two hours. While most of the animals that we spotted were similar to the jeep safari being able to ride on an elephant and watch it interact with it’s environment was the best part for me.
While our time in the jungle was not very long, I enjoyed every minute of it. Chitwan is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been and I hope to return in future.
Written by Mary Mcandrew