© Corinne and Noel Fenech 2019

Shots and Tales - Enabling Independent and Responsible Travel

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    Bijay Giri, from Wildlife Adventure Tours, was our guide to the Chitwan Adventure.  He is a true nature lover and lucky enough that his daily job puts him in contact with what he loves best – wildlife.

    Bijay lives in Chitwan, Nepal.  He is a truly responsible Nature Guide who works at his own travel agency named Wildlife Adventure Tours (which is one of the most recommended agencies around).

    Based in Sauraha, the Tourist town just across the Rapti river from Chitwan National Park, Bijay’s pleasure and honour is to take his guests across the river and into the jungle.  Even though Chitwan Natural Park is his back yard, you can see that Bijay truly gets excited at the sight of animals and birds.   He never tires of the next and the next rhino, a sight a tourist gets to see once in a while, but which he sees every day.  He listens attentively and looks for clues to the next animal sighting with a sort of second sense. 

    Bijay is also a birdwatcher and birds are his true passion.  We can still remember how he got excited at the sight of a very rare bird – the Giant Hornbill (Toucan), which we saw during our full day jeep safari.  Bijay is an authority in the field and is the secretary of the Bird Education Society, as well as joint secretary of the Nature Guide Association in Sauraha.

    Totally in tune with our ethos and one of the reasons why we truly admire people like Bijay, is the fact that he makes sure that 10% of his business is set apart for CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).  In this way, he invests money to make sure that Chitwan national park remains intact and unspoilt for the generations to come.  In shoulder seasons, when there are fewer tourists, Bijay helps children’s orphanages in the vicinity and participates in national park clean-up activities with great enthusiasm.  He is also totally against animal cruelty and through his own financial commitment he was a pioneer in stopping elephant, horse and camel rides, a step that many in Sauraha and Chitwan are now following.

    One of Bijay’s stories that we’ll never forget is when with a broad smile on his face, he asked us whether we liked the colour of the walls he had freshly painted in his office.  He explained how Sauraha got hit by a flood the year before and it penetrated his office, ruining his equipment, furniture and the bicycles he used to rent to tourists.  There was no commiseration in his words and he never looked back.  Instead, he cleaned up, gave a fresh paint to the walls, and restarted afresh, and he continues to be one of the most recommended travel guides in Sauraha and Chitwan!

    Get to know more about Bijay through his webpage: https://wildlifeadventuretours.com/

    Chitwan is one of 77 districts in Nepal.  Bhartapur is the capital of the region and it is a centre for higher education, health care and transportation

    The name Chitwan is derived from Sanskirt “Chit” meaning heart and “Vana” meaning jungle, making Chitwan the Heart of the Jungle

    Chitwan used to be ruled by the Tharu God – Chitrasen Baba, who used to worship in the deep forest.  Up to this day, people believe that he is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and is worshiped during HariBodhini Ekadashi in Chitrasari

    If you have the opportunity to visit a Tharu home, you will see beautiful art  and religious drawings showing different phases of history, culture and environment through time

    Farmers around Chitwan region cultivate mostly: rice (if you have the opportunity to plant some yourself, like we did, don’t skip the occasion!); maize; wheat; beans; lentils; mustard; and vegetables

    If you love birds, don’t miss Bish Hajar Taal (20,000 lakes) where you will be mesmerised with the variety of birds you will see!

    Did you know? Here’s what Bijay shared about his home town