Day 4: Chitwan National Park Jeep Safari and River Boat Sunset Cruise

Up early to catch the Jeep safari into the Chitwan National Park. A quick coffee (making sure not to consume too much liquid because I was told it was four hours in the bush with no toilet. Yikes!) Sunrise was stunning this morning, granted I missed actual sunrise, but what I did catch was beautiful!

To get to the jeep tour you take a small wooden boat across the river and board the jeep. The jeep safari was amazing. I was hoping to see big cats, wild elephants and basically all of the crazy shit you see on discovery. While I didn't see that, I did see an endless amount of rhinos, which is a gift because they are on the endangered species list. I was able to see many mamas with babies too, which is nice for that very reason, hopefully reproduction and their existence in a nature preserve will ultimately protect them from poachers and extinction. One can only hope.

At one point during the jeep safari we were attacked by horse flies, I'm not talking a couple of horse flies, I'm talking like the movie birds but with horse flies. I had to put one of the seat blankets over my head and wear it like a burka. We all ended up jumping out of the jeep while the guide took the cover off of it to hopefully give air and an escape for the flies, it helped only moderately.

After a couple of hours of amazing nature sightings we pulled off to a water source and the guide set up a breakfast buffet on the hood of the jeep, it was really lovely. Thankfully the horse flies stayed away just long enough to eat!

After breakfast in the jungle it was off to more exploring. Right before exiting the jungle we were able to have an up close and personal encounter with a mama rhino and her baby crossing the road to get to a water source, it was really nice.

We returned back to the hotel for a short rest before taking off on the sunset river cruise. I wasn't sure what to expect from this, but it was so peaceful and stunning. I also learned that the waters were infested with crocodiles, something I didn't previously know. Not that I intended on swimming in said waters, but I certainly had no intentions of getting in now. I also learned that a certain species of these crocs with a long snout are extremely endangered and Nepal has a breeding program where they have reintroduced 1000 of them into the National Park, only 85 survived. Without this program though, there would be none. The guide indicated that he wouldn't be surprised if we all came back next year there would be none.

I was eaten alive by some creature on the river, mosquito? Here's to hoping I don't get malaria or some other mosquito carried illness!

The river cruise took us to a point where the rivers meet, also the perfect spot for catching the sunset. It was beautiful! Our guide was great about helping catch some good photos too (he insisted on "holding the sun", "kissing the sun", etc, it was cute).

From the sunset picnic spot we took vehicles back to the hotel (he indicated taking the wooden boats back upstream would be 3 hours, and dangerous as it would be dark and that's when tigers can be out. I want to see a tiger, but not in the dark!

We got back to the hotel and went down to where they were having a candle lit bbq dinner cooked by the water, we were able to see a hippo no more than 30 feet away right in front of the hotel on the very ground we walked on to board the boat just a little earlier!

Here is my Quik video of the day, I couldn't add all of my photos and videos for today because I took too many (it cuts you off at 200!)

Today was a truly amazing day filled with once in a lifetime experiences that I will never ever forget! Seeing animals on the endangered species list, roaming free in the wild, isn't something that you always get to do.


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