The great tracts of natural grassland (phanta) in Nepal’s extreme southwest could almost be mistaken – albeit on a smaller scale – for the savannas of East Africa. SUKLA PHANTA WILDLIFE RESERVE, south of Mahendra Nagar, is dotted with them, and touring the reserve is, for once, really like being on safari. Always hard to reach, Sukla Phanta was even more cut off during the civil war, and as a result attracts barely a trickle of visitors. The park is home to one of the world’s largest populations of swamp deer – sightings of a thousand at a time are common – as well as a number of wild elephants and several rhinos. The tiger population has declined dramatically from 20–50 in 2005 to an estimated 6–14 in 2008 as a result of poaching; a sad turn of events for a park that once boasted one of the highest densities of the species in Asia. Sukla Phanta remains astonishingly rich in birds, with 470 species having been counted. Rare species include the Bengal florican and the giant hornbill.

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Stunning documentary on Nepal shows restoration of the country's sites

Stunning documentary on Nepal shows restoration of the country's sites

"The only thing you could focus on was the fact that the earth was moving from side to side by about eight to ten metres." These are the words of Kathmandu resi…

07 Jun 2016 • Lottie Gross videocam Video
Painting the town red, pink, green and yellow: Holi Festival 2016 in pictures

Painting the town red, pink, green and yellow: Holi Festival 2016 in pictures

Every year, Hindus around the world celebrate Holi Festival: the festival of colours. The event attracts many non-Hindus to take part, too, with hundreds of p…

24 Mar 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
Going it alone on the Annapurna Base Camp trek

Going it alone on the Annapurna Base Camp trek

Rough Guides writer Helen Abramson discovers the ups and downs of the Annapurna Base Camp trek in Nepal – all without the help of a porter or guide.  Someth…

13 Mar 2015 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
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