Shooting Wildlife in Nepal

Posted by on January 27, 2012

Oh, calm down.  Shooting with a camera, of course.

Beyond being just a colorful chaotic embracing cultural destination for travelers, Nepal is also an excellent place to spend time looking for wildlife.  Some of these would have been difficult not to spot (Tibetan snow-cocks and black ravens seemed to follow me around for days at a time) while others kept themselves pretty elusive even when we knew they were somewhere nearby (I’m gonna have to come back to Nepal to find myself a wild Bengal Tiger).

No matter what the country, one of the greatest joys of being in nature is spending time looking for wild animals in their element.  Nepal was surprisingly good for this, considering the only national park I knew about before I came was Everest and surroundings.

Photobucket

I saw five rhinos in Chitwan National Park, and this was the first. Before we even entered the park proper, while waiting on the canoe to ferry us across this river, our guide Hup noticed this guy a little way downstream. Photos galore ensued.

Photobucket

A little taste of home, again just before entering the national park itself.

Photobucket

I actually walked right past this Himalayan Tahr while trekkers, seeing a bunch of hikers but unable to figure out what had their attention. Thankfully my lovely walking companion called me back to show me my mistake.

Photobucket

After seeing several Emphyean Pheasants who disappeared in a colorful blur as soon as I spotted them, this little guy outside of Phortse stuck around long enough for me to take exactly three pictures. His good will at an end, he quickly ran off as well.

Photobucket

Finally ascending pretty close to the top of Phortse's mountain on an impromptu summit attempt, I threw myself onto the rocks to rest my weary knees and lungs. I watched this eagle riding thermals for about ten minutes before it occurred to me to get a picture.

Photobucket

Tibetan snow-cocks are so unaffected bu human presence that even 20 feet away they squawk for a moment and then go back to eating. If they're not careful, I could easily see these going the way of the dodo bird. Conservationists take note.

Photobucket

On my last full day of hiking in the National Park, I had pretty given up on seeing one of the threatened but much celebrated Musk Deer. I finally found one, followed it as quietly as I could for ten minutes until it left the thick brush, and once it got into the clear snapped a picture. This blurry offering was the best I came out with. Ooph.

Photobucket

Spending the night in an elevated guesthouse just inside the Chitwan jungle, our guide threw the leftovers from dinner onto the ground two stories below. Bait, he said. Other than a mother/baby combo of rhinos that skirted the edge of the clearing in the moonlight of 2am, this wild pig was the only thing to show interest.

Photobucket

Ten minutes in on a full-day trek through the jungle, Hup noticed this tiger print and told us it was no more than a day or two old. Burning with anticipation, we walked the rest of the day on edge for a Bengal Tiger to saunter out of the trees but, sadly, he never came. Tiger Tracks were as close as we got to the king of the Chitwan jungle.

Photobucket

I know I've put this photo on here before, but come on! Wild rhino! Pregnant! Charging! Still one of my favorite moments from three months in Nepal.

Photobucket

Granted, calling this 'wildlife' is a bit of a stretch. I'm pretty fond of this photo, though, doubled with the fact that I saved this guy's life from the rampaging boot of the hiker following behind me. It was the narrowest of misses for him.

Be Sociable, Share!

4 Responses to Shooting Wildlife in Nepal

  1. Bama

    Oh wow! It’s relieving to know that rhinos are still easily found in Nepal, because here in Indonesia spotting a single rhino in the wild can be a hard thing to do (not only because Javanese rhinos are timid, but also they are on the verge of extinction). Nice shots by the way!

    • Stephen

      Thanks! I don’t know how the rest of the country holds up, but in Chitwan at least the rhinos seemed to be in pretty good shape. Apparently poaching was a big problem during the Maoist insurrection, but since then they’ve gotten a much better control over the situation and the population is rebounding healthily. I didn’t even think to look for rhinos in Java… where is there enough forest for them to hide in?!

      You’ve got some good pictures on your site, by the way, especially of Yangon.

  2. Fabio

    Great eagle shot mate!!!

    • Stephen

      Thanks! It was such a strong cap to an epic climb up a mountain that I’d only intended to hike to a short ridge of when I started up. It was one of those things, though, that each next plateau is just sooooo close that you may as well. By the time I got up to about level with this guy, I was pretty beat for the day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *