Khaptad, Nepal's newest park area,
is in the middle hills of the Far-West of the
country. The 225 sq kms. area of the park is
situated where the districts of Bajhang, Bajura,
Doti and Achham meet. Khaptad is plateau of
grassland and forest cover at an elevation of about
3,000 meters. The mixed conifer and broad-leaf
forests are an excellent example of the vegetation
that once covered much of west Nepal's middle hills.
The forest consists of a mixture of tall fir, yew,
rhododendron, oak, dense strands of bamboo and
smaller shrubs. This habitat provides good cover for
bear, leopard, barking and musk deer, as well as
birds like the Impeyan, koklas and kalij pheasants.
This park is special because it represents one of
the few remaining mid-mountain ecosystems in Nepal
Himalaya. At the north-eastern corner of the park, a
small serene lake and swampy area called Khapted
Daha is religious site where Hindu pilgrims come to
worship Shiva on the full moon of July?August each
year. Here lived the ascetic, the Khaptad Baba, who
was known and revered throughout Nepal.
Access: The easiest access is to fly to Dipayal or
Chainpur or Sanfebagar or Kolti from where it is a
few days hike to the national park. It is also
possible to drive to Silgadi from Dhangadi. The best
time to visit Khaptad is in March and April and in
October and November.
Travellers should hike with camping equipment, food
and guides, arranged through trekking agents in