Today we arrived at Koshi Tappu Bird Watching Camp. Now, I’m not too interested in birds. Don’t get me wrong, they are pretty and everything but they are just so hard to see! The wild water buffalo (above) are easier to spot and we saw plenty on our boat trip in this Ramsar-listed area. Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve covers 175 square kilometers of wetlands and is especially known for the wintering waterfowls, waders and birds of prey.
But before arriving at at KTBWC and meeting the owner mr Qurban we travelled for hours on end on the Mahendra Highway. At Koshi Barrage, a flood control sluice built in the late 1950’s, we halted for a while and watched the sun set over Koshi River. Sometimes you can see river dolphins from the barrage but we heard they had been tragically affected by pollution and didn’t see any. But the sunset was pretty!
Some pictures from KTWR. The boat trip on the river was a nice and mediatative and we saw water buffalo, plenty of birds and a baby crocodile. The air was fresh – a welcome change after dusty and dry Janakpur! A little note on the elephant: I have never been interested or fascinated by elephants – I think they are too big and quite scary too. But when one shows, you focus! This one male is actually wild even though it looks like he is behind a fence (that wouldn’t stop any elephant I dare say) – he came to visit the domestic females on the compound. Colossal animal!
I took no pictures of the camp and mr Qurban but it was a nice enough camp! 10 or 12 huts and tents and decent toilets. Me and my friend Lotta stayed in a safari-style tent and enjoyed two nights of good sleep. The mosquitos was a concern to us but mr Qurban assured us it was not malaria-season. At night we had a group of youngster from the village come dance for us – really pretty and fun to join them for the last tune!
The last afternoon in Koshi Tappu mr Qurban took us for a walk through his village. When on a trip like this, with so many contrasting experiences, you tend to feel like every new sight is “the best thing so far!”. The feeling from this walk stuck though – it is a highlight of this journey. The village was so clean, so authentic, so rural and the people genuinely curious and pleasant. The weaver caught my eye and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of her! She was so pretty and skilled.
If you are wondering about the smoke around the cows it is to keep mosquitos away. And perhaps flies too. And people – I don’t know what they put in the fires but my eyes were teary for the longest while!