Bardia National Park is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Nepal. It’s a popular destination among wildlife lovers to closely observe the beauty of the jungle.
Even if you are not into jungle safari, the areas near the national park are worth a visit to actively explore the Tharu culture. It’s also a quiet and relaxing place far away from other parts of Nepal like Pokhara or Kathmandu.
There are a number of different home stays, lodges or similar places for accommodation near Bardia National Park. I decided to stay at Bardia Wildlife Resort for a week after receiving an email from them confirming the availability.
So how was my stay at Bardia Wildlife Resort? Was it pleasant? Was it awful? Worth spending your time and money at? Well, here is my detailed review.
Bardia Wildlife Resort aka Paradise is ideally located near Bardia National Park – about 10 minutes on foot to be precise.
While it is located near the national park, it can be quite a job to reach here. Whether you are coming from Kathmandu, Pokhara, Bhimdutta, Lumbini or any other location in Nepal, you will have to reach Ambassa first.
From Ambassa, the national park and almost all places to stay are located about 12kms deep inside. You can either take a bus from Ambassa to reach Bardia Wildlife Resort or ask them to pick you up.
The bus charges you 50rs and will drop you at a bus station far away from the place. So it’s better to call and confirm your arrival to Ambassa beforehand so someone will pick you up from there.
Once you reach the village, you will fall in love with the beauty around you. Bardia Wildlife Resort is located right in front of the Girwa River. You can observe all the scenery around the place by just walking outside of the resort.
Bardia Wildlife Resort itself is a beautiful place. You enter the place while looking at the beautiful garden. During the season, all those blooming flowers create a pleasant atmosphere.
The garden in the front and the back is nicely maintained. I could see the staff working carefully to maintain the beauty of the place.
There are many trees including mango, litchi and peach trees and colourful flowers all over the place. There was a litchi tree right in front of my room and I could enjoy fresh litchis anytime.
Different birds call Bardia Wildlife Resort and surrounding areas a home and it’s common to spot different creatures around. I even found a giant spider in my room and I was told that it was not poisonous. This spider kept me company for a night before it disappeared.
Room and Services
There are three different type of rooms available at Bardia Wildlife Resort. None of these rooms have AC but they are planning to add it in some rooms. The fan works depending on the available voltage and sometimes it would run at full speed while sometimes it would be painfully slow.
I was provided with a standard room which included a bed with mosquito net (trust me, you’ll need it) and a second smaller bed. An attached bathroom and a wooden cabinet to put my stuff were also present.
The electricity problem in this part of Nepal is a real pain. The power keeps going on and off throughout the day and sometimes it will not come back for hours. To tackle this at some level, they have put solar powered lights around the place and in the rooms.
The attached bathroom had a shower, a western-style toilet, and a washbasin. Basic toiletry kits like a soap and shampoo were present in the bathroom. A towel was also available.
You can either ask for a mineral water bottle or fill your bottle from a filter. They will cook you food according to your order and you can choose to enjoy local food items at reasonable rates.
Other services provided by Bardia Wildlife Resort include pickup and drop from Ambassa. They can also drop you to other cities like Pokhara or Kathmandu and you can discuss the rates with them.
They organize jungle safari at Bardia National Park. You can either go for a full-day walking safari or a jeep safari to explore the jungle.
During tourist season and festivals, they can arrange a cultural tour around the village where you can experience the Tharu culture. You can also take a walk around the village to meet some friendly locals.
The WiFi connection was a bit of a problem for me. The internet is slow in this area of Nepal, so you might face some connectivity issues sometimes. If the power is gone, they will connect the WiFi to solar power if you have an urgent work.
If you prefer to do your own laundry like me, there’s a place to wash and dry your clothes at.
So, basically, they provide everything you may need during your stay – making your stay hassle-free.
The first thing I noticed right after entering the place was cleanliness. The staff puts great effort to keep the Bardia Wildlife Resort properly cleaned and maintained.
The whole area from the entrance to the end of the property at the back is cleaned every day. You can see almost all staff members busy with cleaning early in the morning.
All the rooms and bathrooms are properly cleaned. The one things that spoil the cleanliness sometimes is lizard poop. During my stay, I had a lizard or two in my room and they would keep messing around the place – especially in the bathroom. There’s nothing you can do as they are common everywhere and you can not permanently get rid of them.
You can also spot some creatures crawling around as there are many trees around the place. This too, can not be avoided completely.
The staff works hard to maintain the neatness of the place and I admire them for their work.
If I had to choose one best thing about Bardia Wildlife Resort, I would love to choose its staff.
The staff includes the owner Shankar, his wife Hira, Keshab, Ranjit, Laxmi and Baje with some additional members. All the staff members are very friendly, well-behaved, and helpful. When I entered the place, everyone who met me welcomed me with a Namaste and a smile on their face.
All the staff members stay at the place as a family. With the guests as well, they behave like a family. It was overwhelming to experience a homely feeling there.
During my week-long stay, there was no one who didn’t talk to me. I asked them about the place, jungle, village and its culture, food etc. I also took their help to plan my trip and they told me about some places I should visit. They were happy to answer all my questions.
Shankar and his wife Hira looks after everyone with care. Throughout my stay, I enjoyed chatting with Shankar and Hira and learned many things about Nepal, the local culture and we shared our experiences with each other. Both Shankar and Hira takes great care of their business, guests, and staff members.
Keshab (also known as ‘Ketchup’ among those who face trouble pronouncing his name) was one of the most helpful people during my stay. He was courageous, friendly and he’s a good guide, too. I would sit with him anytime of the day, and he would help me with anything I needed.
Although most of the staff doesn’t hold too much knowledge of English, they make their best efforts to communicate and help their guests.
Another staff member Laxmi cooks some really good food. Be it the regular local daal-bhat-tarkari or some special dishes she made for me, all of them were awesome. Every day she would serve me food with a pleasant smile and made sure I always had nice food to enjoy.
If there was one person who was my favorite, it would be Baje. Probably a local villager, Baje always wore the traditional attire including the cap. He would always keep smiling and kept it to himself most of the time. And he’s a passionate dancer, too.
There were a few small, friendly dogs around the place including Moti. They would wander around the place and sometimes sat next to me while I would be working or eating.
Here comes my next favourite part about Bardia Wildlife Resort – food! Throughout my stay, I enjoyed some really pleasant food. The first dish served to me was the traditional Nepali dish which includes the rice, lentil, and other vegetable dishes (bhat, daal, and tarkari). It was well cooked and tasty.
In breakfast, I was offered coffee/tea, fruit juice, pancakes, eggs, oatmeal etc. on different days.
For lunch, I mostly had the traditional dish sometimes with a chicken item.
For dinner, I had the most amazing dishes served to me. I enjoyed vegetables, momo, noodles, chicken and what not. One night before my checkout, Hira made me one of the most delicious items I had there – Chicken with Fried Potatoes. It was plain awesome and I couldn’t thank Hira enough for it.
Every dish they made me was made from fresh items brought from the market. Hira told me that she made her own masalas and they use wood fire to cook food which adds additional flavour. The quality and taste of the food were superb and I thoroughly enjoyed everything I was served.
My Last Night: The Best Time of My Stay
On my last night at Bardia Wildlife Resort, I had dinner and sat with Shankar and Hira to have a chat. In between our chat, Shankar mentioned how amazing Baje was at dancing and suddenly everyone was in the mood of some dance.
We all went to the dining area where they turned on Nepali music and one by one, everyone started dancing. Shankar, Hira, Baje, Laxmi and one other young girl – everyone was grooving to the music.
It was great to see everyone enjoying the music and the dance so much. They were so happy, so energetic about the whole thing.
I don’t dance, so I was just standing and enjoying their lovely dance. Moti the dog was also present in the room and we were the only two not dancing.
Everyone danced and entertained me for about an hour till the electricity went off at about 23:00 and everyone went to sleep. Not to mention they usually went to sleep at around 21:00 after dinner. I had a memorable time that night and I couldn’t thank them enough for everything they did for me.
Seriously, there couldn’t be a better way to end my stay.
A Wonderful Stay at Bardia Wildlife Resort: Summing Up
After staying there for a week, I had become a part of their routine. Starting from the morning to the end of the day, everyone made sure I was having a great time.
From a lovely location to a clean place, from a friendly staff, delicious food to a memorable last night, everything was perfectly in place throughout my stay at Bardia Wildlife Resort.
All the hospitality, love, care, and help I was offered by everyone there gave me a place to call a home in Nepal. During my departure, I met everyone and waved a goodbye to them. I left with a heavy heart and ended my wonderful stay at Bardia Wildlife Resort aka Paradise.
Areas of improvement? Well, the rooms can be a little cleaner and they could charge a little less for the drop-off to Ambassa. The internet connection also needs some improvement if possible in the area.
Would I recommend Bardia Wildlife Resort for a stay? Well of course, yes! I had a wonderful time and I’m sure you will have a great time there, too. Head over to their page on Booking.com to book a room with Bardia Wildlife Resort.
Have you stayed at Paradise in Bardia? How was your experience? Share it with me! Need help planning your Nepal trip? I can help. Feel free to ask.