Great Himalayan Drive Day 21: Those wonderful flying foxes in Koshi Tappu in Nepal

Flying Foxes, one of the largest species of bats, at Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in Nepal
Flying Foxes, one of the largest species of bats, at Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in Nepal

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When my guide at the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve promised to show me the Flying Foxes, I had no idea what to expect. He did not even give me a chance to ask what species they were. Unlike other birds and wildlife, he guaranteed I will spot them.

And spot them I did. By the hundreds and thousands. All flying around or roosting upside down from trees. After all, they are bats. They are so called because their heads look like foxes with reddish-brown fur. One of the largest of bats, their wing spans from 4-5 feet. They may have a vampirish look, but they are completely harmless. They are also called Fruit Bats sometimes.

It was not easy clicking them though; they were flying or roosting at great heights – almost causing my neck to stiffen looking upwards. And at the speed they were flying around, it was a challenge focusing on them; in fact, over half the snaps I took were no good.

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve was established in 1976 covering an area of 175 square kilometers, and named after the biggest river of Nepal, Koshi. The river and the adjacent areas support more than 465 species of birds; during the peak season from October – April one can expect to view more than 100 species in a single day according to the park authorities.

This trip was sponsored by and

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  1. WOW again! This is the first time I’m seeing flying foxes…and like Niyeti, with no clue that these animals actually fly….weren’t you scared?? How far were you from these?

    • These are bats… wouldn’t get far if they couldn’t fly :)

      Not scared… I was standing on the ground and had to look vertically up to catch them on high tree tops and flying around.

  2. Wow, these are amazing Ajay! Looks like you’re having a great time. Really enjoy seeing the pictures you post everyday!

  3. hey Ajay…seems like you had a good time, How was koshi tapu? did you stay at the camp within… how was the camp? a few of us were planning to go… is it worth going…?? what other places in nepal have u explored? send me an email if you can..

  4. Hi Nistha, Koshi Tappu was great. The camp was also very good. Comfortable and clean. The bathrooms were shared though. They have a very good guide also for the birds. When you are negotiating rates, here is a tip: they usually sell you a full package which is about Rs. 6,500 for a couple per day and includes safaris etc. But we negotiated Rs. 2,000 for the accommodation only, paid for food extra, and they did not charge extra for the guides. Park fee is extra. We had our own car – I don’t know if you will have yours. But you can walk to most of the places worth seeing.

    If you read my other posts on Nepal, you will get an idea of what is great there. My personal favourites are Pokhara, Chitwan, Kathmandu and Lumbini. And gems like Bandipur, Tansen and Gorkha.

  5. Thanx a ton….. for the reply Ajay.
    Just 1 more question If you had to pick between Chitwan and Koshi Tappu which one would you pick.

    • Koshi Tappu has only birds. For a long distance around there is nothing else to do, no major attractions.

      Chitwan has wildlife and birds. And it is very central: in a few hours you can be in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Lumbini, Bardia and others. Chitwan is also more accessible by road or air.

      I would choose Chitwan. :)


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