BNP to add two elephants
The Banke National Park is set to add two tamed elephants targeting the Visit Nepal Year, 2020. Preparations are underway in this regard, said Pramod Bhattarai, chief conservation officer at the park. With this, the national park will have altogether six domesticated elephants.
Additional elephants are required as the national park is developing as a tourist area and has started an elephant safari, said Bhattarai, adding that a 65 kilometers route has been constructed for the expedition. “It takes around three and a half years to cover the distance. Tourists embarking on the expedition leading to Agaiya can catch views of activities of wild animals and birds,” he said. The expedition was inaugurated recently by Chief Minister of State 5 Shankar Pokharel.
Entrance fee for the national park is Rs 100 each for Nepalis, and Rs 500 is charged each Nepali to enjoy the expedition for more than two hours. Likewise, Rs 750 is charged each for SAARC tourists for the same, and Rs 1,500 each for other countries’ tourists. The national park and Bageshwori Temple are main attractions to tourists visiting Nepal and they are also put on the priority list of the state government. Homestay facility offered by local communities in and around the park has added to its attraction.
The park attracted 160 tourists in the fiscal year, 2075/76, a vertical increment from only four two years ago. “The park is being developed as a tourist transit. Tourists can visit the park at low expenditure and in a short period of time,” said Bhattarai. The park has a total of 21 tigers, hundreds of wild animals and more than 300 types of bird species.