Nature Walk from Hell – Chitwan, Nepal

Nature Walk from Hell - Chitwan, Nepal


Nature Walk from Hell – Chitwan, Nepal


This is Part II to my story: Boat Ride from Hell

Our guide’s safety briefing left me even more confused than if he hadn’t said anything at all regarding what to do if we see each of the deadly animals.

Climb a tree to get away from a tiger? Hug a bear? Stare down a rhino? I know my reaction to any of these animals is going to be instinctively screaming and running in the opposite direction, just like the time I encountered a rattlesnake at Joshua Tree National Park. All the safety talks in the world can’t help me when I’m surprised by an animal that can potentially kill me.

The best part is when he told us to avoid blinking our eyes when staring down a tiger. Are you kidding me?

“The tiger will attack the second you blink your eyes.”


“Most likely you won’t spot a tiger before it attacks though. They usually stalk their prey from behind.”

Well, that makes me feel better. At least now I don’t need to worry about whether or not I’m going to blink.

“If we spot a rhino and it begins to charge at us, throw something to distract the animal and run as fast as you can to the nearest tree to climb.”

I began scanning the trees around me and imagined myself digging my nails into the trunk in order to climb up since I couldn’t find one that looked easy to climb.

“If we see a sloth bear, we must gather as a group and stand our ground. Don’t run and don’t climb a tree because the bears are fast and they can climb trees.”

Just to give you an idea of what a sloth bear can do to a human, I’ll quote Wikipedia on this one. “The sloth bear is also more inclined to attack man unprovoked than almost any other animal, and casualties inflicted by it are unfortunately very common, the victim being often terribly disfigured even if not killed, as the bear strikes at the head and face. Sloth bears rarely killed their human victims outright, but would suck and chew on their limbs till they were reduced to bloody pulps.”

Nice visual, right?

Luckily, I didn’t know this before my nature walk from hell, but regardless, it was another animal that I needed to remember how to protect myself from, if necessary.

As we set off on our walk, all I could think about was how much I hoped we didn’t see any animals. Most people hope to see something cool on a walk like this, but not me. Thanks to my guide, I preferred to have an extremely boring walk.

We stop before a large clearing in the park. Our guide lifts his binoculars to his eyes and silently scans the clearing while the rest of us wait patiently.

Did he see a rhino?

I look at another person in the group and we both give each other the “huh?” look at the same time and start cracking up. I’m sure we are thinking the same thing. That our guide is leading us into the rhino pit.

We continue following our guide, who speedily walks ahead of the rest of the group, along the edge of a large swamp. He is searching for birds or something in the trees. All I am searching for is the camouflaged crocodile that I fear may be lurking near us in the mud.

I find the courage to ask our guide, “Have you seen crocodiles here on your previous tours?”

“Oh yes, all the time.”

I try to laugh it off that this nature walk just keeps getting more and more frightening.

“How much longer on this wonderful nature walk?” I sarcastically ask our guide, hoping he will say we are almost there.

“We are about halfway now,” he says.

I cringe at the thought that we still have halfway to go.

All of a sudden, the girl walking behind me tells me to stop immediately. I instantly figure out why and I wait impatiently as she finds the courage to brush the very large insect off my back. My imagination gets carried away and I wonder if it’s a huge spider like the one I found in my hotel room the night before or the one we encountered earlier on the trail.

Nope. It turns out it’s just a big weird bug.

Our guide then stops along the trail and crouches down to his knees to get a closer look at the ground. He turns to us and says,

“Fresh tiger tracks.”



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  1. Rease Kirchner says:

    I am thoroughly enjoying this series haha. Travel horror stories are always fun. Your guide sounds like the worst guide ever! Why doesn’t he just start handed out survival kits and tell you to fend for yourselves?!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      I have a feeling he would have left us to fend for ourselves if anything life threatening happened. lol

  2. Randy Kalp says:

    Yeah, that’s does sound kind of hellish, especially, after finding out what a sloth bear can do; I had no idea either.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      I’m really glad I didn’t know before hand. I can only imagine what sort of thoughts would have crept into my head during the walk.

  3. The Dropout says:

    This must be a new thing. I don’t remember any safety briefing when I went hiking through Chitwan National Park. That may have been because I had a raging case of Delhi Belly was spent the whole time trying to find trees to hide behind. (I was pretty confident no wild animal would want to come near me with the stink I was making.)

    1. Ha! Props to you. I think hiking has to be one of the worst activities to have to do when you have traveler’s unhappiness. The only worse place is on a bumpy bus with no toilet.

  4. Dina VagabondQuest says:

    I love this article 😀 OMG, what would you do if you see these animals interested at you!!!

  5. Lol, let’s face it, your guide’s briefing on how to stay alive, although
    necessary, might have spoiled your nature walk a little 😛

    1. I can see how that might ruin the hike. You wouldn’t want to hike with me. Two days ago I went on a hike where we had to cross a stream in the dark. I mentioned right before we started to walk in barefoot “I wonder if any water moccasins living in this stream?” Let’s just say I got a very angry retort 😮

  6. Jamie Davy says:

    WOW! death by sloth bear sounds like the worst way imaginable to move on from this world. didnt even know there was such an animal. loving it!

  7. Hilarious. I am imagining you trekking for miles and trying not to blink…

    1. I know right. Believe me she would have just forgot all of the rules and started running around like a chicken with her head cut off.

  8. The Travel Chica says:

    This does not sound like a ‘nature walk.’  But I enjoy laughing at these posts only because I know you didn’t get eaten by a bear if you were able to write them.

    1. Yea it’s pretty hard to write a decent blog post from the inside of bear’s stomach from what I hear :p

  9. Seems to me that you had the guide from hell. How very brave of you that you followed him. What a story.

    1. She is one of the bravest isn’t she? 🙂

  10. Debbie Beardsley says:

    Enjoyed reading this very much.  I couldn’t help laugh through most of it because I kept seeing myself thinking, doing or reacting the same exact way!  Loved it and hope there is more to come.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Haha. I’m glad someone else can relate. I thought I was crazy for being so paranoid since I’m not usually like that.

  11. Danny and Jillian says:

    I can picture you on this walk, great article and glad you survived… unless of course you are writing from inside a rhino or sloth bear! 🙂

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Hehe.. I guess you guys will never know. 😉

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Apparently the excitement was all in my head.

  12. Cathy Sweeney says:

    I’m with you, Christy — I wouldn’t want to encounter any of these dangerous animals either. Boring is fine in some situations. Reminds me of being at Glacier Nat’l Park after finding out that they really do have a large bear population. I couldn’t relax on the hikes at all. Well, can’t wait to hear what’s next!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Funny you say that, Cathy. We are heading to Yellowstone and one of our friends told us she saw two bears there and one tore up the inside of their car! I may need to get full rental coverage.

  13. Rease Kirchner says:

    This post just cracked me up… sorry to find humor in your fear, but I was just laughing all the way through 🙂

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      No need to apologize. I found humor in my fear too. lol

  14. Technosyncratic says:

    How the hell do you avoid blinking if a tiger is looking at you?!  It’s not like you can just turn that reflex off, lol.  Scariest hike ever!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      I’m bound to lose a staring contest with a tiger every time.

  15. suzyguese says:

    Another cliff-hanger! That guide sounds like he enjoys scaring his customers. At least he didn’t quote Wikipedia on that sloth bear. What a horrible way to go!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      No kidding! I would have ran out of there and back into the boat! 🙂

  16. Haha! Glad to read the continuation of your wild nature hike through Nepal! You’re a very vivid narrator 🙂

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Thanks, Audrey. Glad you enjoyed it!

  17. Traveling Ted says:

    Sometimes you have to wonder why we do what we do.  Adventure travel is great, but when it gets extreme it can be a challenge.  That is why you are interesting to read about.  Because not many people want to boat with man eating crocodiles, hike with limb eating bears, and lodge with giant spiders.  However, people like to read about other boating with man eating crocodiles, hiking with limb eating bears, and lodging with giant spiders.  Look forward to the next installment.

  18. Jeremy Branham says:

    This is fun reading!  You definitely have me on edge.  Way to play it up in the beginning talking about all the ways you can die.  A little suspense is lost because you wrote this so I know you are perfectly fine but I look forward to part III anyways! 🙂

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Or maybe Scott is writing this post…. 🙂

  19. Great read! So did the guide advise you to take a change of pants?
    I just spent time in Botswana, and I’ll be blogging about rhino and elephant up close encounters. Oh and playing hide and seek with lions in the dark. Scary stuff? Can’t  wait to go back!
    Game walks are such thrilling experiences. You will never forget this.

  20. Well I’m going to assume that at least you survived the nature walk…. curious to know about the others hahaha

  21. I did this exact same tour and had an absolute ball our guides were very safety conscious especially when a big rhino decided to pop up in front of us no more than ten meters away or the bull elephant was feeling frisky at the breeding centre and decided to charge I’m going back in a few months just to spot that tiger everyone should see this part of the world

    1. Lisa Kelly says:

      I took my husband and 6 teenagers on this boat ride and hike and it was an adventure of a lifetime! Fascinating! It is funny isn’t it? How one persons advendure is another’s nightmare. I think your guide was just giving you a hard time, trying to add some suspense to the adventure. We saw crocodiles everywhere which were quite intimidating but they just hung out and unless we fell in the water weren’t interested. We saw lots of elephants and even a Rhino. Life is short! Way to go for putting yourself out there even though you were afraid!

  22. I have just come back from Chitwan national Park and I had exactly the same experience as you did. I was afraid in the unstabil canoe, specially with crocodiles. I was so tense during that ride and I wished that we would not see any crocodiles specially not big ones.
    Then the jungle walk, i didn’t even want to do the jungle walk because I read in the guidebook that tourists have been attacked. But I didn’t understand that this canoeride got me to the jungle walk.
    We saw a tree where the tigers had sharpened there claws.
    I asked the guide if it use to be tigers here and he says “yes there are everywhere here”.
    I just wanted to run to the breeding center but I have to walk slow because of the other people. I heard a crying deer and it use to be a sign of a predator.

    When I read your blog here, I was laughing a lot because I recognized everything.
    Thanks for sharing!