The Shivapuri National Park is the closest national park to Kathmandu, in fact it's "next door" and will appeal to wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers or those who just simply want to get away from it all.
If ever the phrase "far from the madding crowd" was applicable, then without doubt it applies to the beautiful Shivapuri Hills. The forested hills and the Shivapuri National Park form part of the Kathmandu Valley rim and lie at around 2000m, so they are above the Kathmandu smog, and considering their proximity to Kathmandu, they are surprisingly overlooked by the masses. That's not a bad thing, as up here in the tranquil hills, you can enjoy a much more relaxed and authentically natural environment.
Staying up in the Shivapuri Hills and the Shivapuri National Park is a great way to avoid the hustle and bustle, immerse yourself in nature, soak up the peace and quiet, breathe in the fresh air, and do absolutely nothing if you like. Note: To enter the National Park itself, you will need to pay entry fees.
If you're staying up here (and we highly recommend that you do), located approximately 30 minutes walk from Shivapuri Heights Cottage is NAMKHA KHYUNG DZONG RIGDIN CHOLING MONASTERY. This lovely Monastery is well worth a visit, and the walk itself passes through a few quaint traditional Tamang Village houses.
Considering its proximity to Kathmandu, the wildlife found in Shivapuri National Park is astounding (see species list further below). Mammals include the Common Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Jungle Cat, and Himalayan Serow.
However, Shivapuri is perhaps best known for its birds, of which 318 different species have been recorded among the densely forested, steep mountain slopes by ornithologists.
102 species of butterflies and 129 species of mushrooms!
For Snow Cat Travel clients visiting Shivapuri with wildlife in mind, we can provide a specialist guide from Bird Conservancy Nepal, but you'll need your hiking boots as well as binoculars. We did mention steep mountain slopes just back there, and thus, on foot, wildlife watching in Shivapuri is not without its physical challenges either.