Our time in Royal Chitwan National Park has been marked by rain. On arrival on Wednesday it was not so bad and we managed to visit an elephant breeding centre, where little Dombo got out of the enclosure to play with us tourists. Really cool, especially when dumbfounded French tourists were videotaping the elephants in the enclosure, while a small elephant was walking towards them, pushing them aside.
Thursday morning we went downriver in a hollow tree (very unstable) to go for a walk in the jungle. Unfortunately we didn’t see any rhinos in the rain, and – more unfortunately – the thick bushes were sprawling with leeches. I had to pull 2 off me that had already been drinking a lot of my blood. At least salt kills them quite effectively. The elephant ride in the afternoon was cancelled because of heavy rain. But at least I did get a chance to start and almost finish the book ‘Olifantenpolo’ by the Dutch consul-general of Nepal.
Today the weather cleared up a little bit and we went for a 3-hour elephant ride in the jungle, finally spotting 1 rhino. In the afternoon we made a 4WD tour through the 20.000 lakes community forest. At first I thought it wasn’t possible to fit 10 people in and on a small size trooper-style 4WD, but we managed, alalthough it was pretty cramped. Getting back was the funniest part, since the car repeatedly wouldn’t start after shutting down (no clue why they did that in the first place) and on the way back the car made the weirdest noises.