June 29, 2023: Chitwan National Park (CNP) authorities have recently announced a temporary ban on commercial jungle drives (safaris) inside the park, effective from July 1 until further notice. The decision comes as a precautionary measure to mitigate potential damages to the forest tracks, flooding of small streams within the jungle, road obstructions caused by fallen trees, and the risk of human casualties during the monsoon season.
An official notice released by the CNP Administration highlighted the suspension of jungle drives and the restriction of other tourism activities, including boating, within the park premises. These measures aim to ensure the safety of both visitors and the natural environment.
Ganesh Prasad Tiwari, the Information Officer of the CNP, revealed that a total of 65 jeeps had obtained permission from the CNP to operate jungle drives in the park. Among them, 32 jeeps were authorized to conduct drives from Sauraha, 15 from Kasara, nine from Meghauli, two from Ujauli, five from Amaltari, and one from Madi.
As the monsoon season begins, all tourism activities conducted within the park and along the river have been temporarily halted. Tiwari emphasized that the management committee responsible for the buffer zone would determine the permitted activities to be carried out within the buffer zone community forest.
While the ban on commercial jungle drives may cause disappointment among tourists, the decision reflects the CNP’s commitment to preserving the park’s ecosystem and ensuring the safety of visitors during the challenging monsoon period. Authorities will continue to monitor the situation and assess when it is appropriate to lift the restrictions and resume normal operations, taking into consideration the welfare of both wildlife and tourists alike.