Chitwan National Park
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Chitwan National Park Sauraha Reviews
Threatened, held us hostage, and extorted us, and lousy accomodations too Apr 26, 2008
Two of us booked a jungle safari tour for 3 days with accomodations at tiger Camp in Sauraha at Chitwan National Park in Nepal. The package was supose to include hotel, food, transportation from Pokhara and to Kathmandu, elephant ride/bathing/breeding center, canoe ride, crocodile breeding center, and an ALL DAY jeep safari deep into the park to do photography. The cost was several hundered dollars per person, mostly for the customized and private jeep tour. The tour was confimed by email the day before leaving Pokhara.
We arrived with two other Americans we met who had the same package minus the custom jeep tour. I invited them along to share the jeep as Adam also did photography and I thought it would be a fun time. Unfortunately we had to buy our own tickets to Chitwan, which they never reimbursed. adam and Shawn had rats in their place and the ceiling fell down on htem and the pipes broke, no refund given (at $25 a night that is EXPENSIVE for Nepal).
The next morning we awoke, got in a jeep, drove to the park, and were instructed to get out and start walking. We then had to get into a little canoe with our collective $15,000 photo gear not protected from water and go across the river. It took only a minute, and that was our "canoe ride." We then were told the jeep portion was over and we were walking the rest the way. I had more than 40 pounds photo gear with me, I didn't think I was walking! None of us were prepared.
We walked about 6 hours and never want more than a quarter mile into the park. We attempted to discuss the situation but were told jeeps weren't allowed in the park, but minutes later jeeps went by full of photo snapping tourists. It was grass cutting season and we never saw anything except the "Nepali wood cutter and grass cutter." Upon return we tried to negotiate the cost. They refused, said they would solve it in the morning with the main office. We were never woken for our elephant ride or breakfast, and we were never given a bus ticket to leave. That morning, when I tried to discuss the situation, 6-7 guys circled me and told me I would pay "or there would be big trouble." I paid them hundreds of dollars each, and then they followed me around all day, stood outside our hotel room while we packed and wouldn't allow us to leave or go anywhere, and tried to keep us from leaving or getting onto the bus (which we had to hire a taxi to get to). They said, this is busines as normal in Nepal, which coudn't be farther from the truth. Avoid them at all costs, despite their prime location near the river.
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