It is a landlocked country between China and India. It is a country of amazing extremes, the world's highest mountain, extends over a third or 800 kilometers traverses through Nepal. Among the 31 prominent Himalayan peaks, 11 are in Nepal including Sagarmatha at 8848 meters, Kanchenjunga at 8586 meters, LhoTse at 8516 meters, Makalu at 8463 meters, Cho Oyu at 8201 meters, Dhaulagiri at 8167 meters, Manaslu at 8163 meters and Annapurna at 8091 meters. The country is known for the majestic Himalayas, astonishing geographic diversity and beauty, pristine forests, crystal clear lakes, towering peaks and ancient cities. It is commonly is divided into three broad physiographic areas i.e. the Mountain Region, the Hill Region, and the Tarai Region. Nepal experiences five seasons - summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring and it is divided into 14 zones and 75 districts. Nepal is a dream destinations and hotspot of mountaineering and trekking, containing some of the highest and most challenging mountains in the world, including Mount Everest.Nepal has been divided into elevation zones, south to north. They are Outer Terai - Level plains, a cultural and linguistic extension of northern India. Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj, Bhairawa, Butwal, Birgunj, Janakpur and Biratnagar - are transportation hubs and border towns more than travel destinations. Siwalik Range or Churia Hills - the outermost and lowest range of foothills, about 600 meters i.e. 2,000 feet high. Extends across the country east to west but with significant gaps and many subranges. Forests are wild and the sparse population of primitive hunters and gatherers is unique. Inner Terai - large valleys between the Siwaliks and higher foothills to the north. The Dang and Deukhuri valleys in the Mid West are the largest, offering opportunities to experience Tharu art and culture. Forests broken by indefinite fields, lazy rivers, fascinating aboriginal peoples. Mahabharat Range - a prominent foothill range continuous across the country from east to west except for narrow transecting canyons, with elevations ascending up to 3,000 meters i.e. 10,000 feet. Steep southern slopes are a no-man's land between lowland and hills Middle Hills - Valleys north of the Mahabharat Range and hills up to about 2,000 meters i.e. 6,500 feet. are mainly inhabited by Hindus. Trekking through the hills is unremittingly scenic with streams and terraced fields, picturesque villages, a variety of ethnic groups with distinctive costumes, and views of the high Himalayas from high points. Valleys - Kathmandu and to the west Pokhara occupy large valleys in the hills. The Kathmandu Valley is one such major destination. Valleys offer excellent opportunities to experience Nepal without strenuous trekking. Narrower valleys along streams and rivers are important rice-growing centres in the hills. Lekhs - Snow occasionally falls and lasts days or weeks in the winter above 3,000 meters i.e. 10,000 feet, but melts away in summer below about 5,500meters i.e. 18,000 feet. Treeline is about 4,000 meters i.e. 13,000 feet. This zone is used for summer pasturage but not year-round habitation. Trans-Himalaya - Peaks in this region north of the highest Himalayas in central and western Nepal are lower and gentler, mostly around 6,000 meters i.e.20,000 feet. Valleys below 5,000 meters i.e. 17,000 feet are inhabited by people who are essentially Tibetan. River basins - They are also important geographic divisions. The Mahabharat Range is a major hydrologic barrier in Nepal and other parts of the Himalaya. South-flowing rivers converge in candelabra shapes to break through this range in a few narrow gorges. UNESCO identified World Heritage Sites as places that belong to all the peoples of the world, Nepal has four such properties inscribed on the World Heritage lists. Listed are two Cultural and two Natural Sites. They are Kathmandu Valley (Cultural) which includes Pashupati nath temple, Boudha Nath, Swayambhunath, Kathmandu Durbar square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Changu Narayan., Lumbini (Cultural), Chitwan Natioanl Park (Natural), Sagarmatha National Park (Everest / Natural).
In Nepal some of the places of interests includes Dolpa, Kapan Monastery, Bardiy, Namche Bazaar, Tehrathum - Sankhuwasabha, Tengboche, Syambhunath, Annapurna, Taplejung, Boudhanath, Janakpur, Boudha, Nuwakot, Langtang, Upper Mustang, Khaptad, Ila, Jomsom, Muktinath, Khunde & Khumjung, Budhanil kantha, Sagarmatha National Park, Kirtipur, Bandipur, Guhyeshwari Temple, Doleshwar Mahadev & Mount Everest Base Camp, etc. Trekking, Sky Diving, Bungee Jumping, Mountaineering, Rafting & Kayaking, Canoeing, Mountain Biking, Paragliding, Bird Watching, Mountain Flights, Butterfly Watching are some of the attractions in this region. Spirituality & Pilgrimage includes Pashupatinath Bagmati Arati, Full Moon Concerts at Kirateshwar, Yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda, Faith Healing, Astrology, and Pashupatinath Tour. Shopping of Traditional Crafts, Village Tours, Cultural Tours and food & Culinary are some of the pastimes of tourists.
Nepal has over 180 species of mammals found in various parts of the country. There are approximately 27 Important Bird Areas in the country and over 900 bird species known to exist in Nepal of which 30 species are globally threatened. In the Terai jungles are exotic animals like the Asiatic elephant, the one-horned rhinoceros, the Royal Bengal tiger among others. Wildlife of Nepal is officially classified into two main categories: common and protected. The common category lists such species as common leopard, spotted deer, Himalayan tahr, blue sheep and others. These species are commonly seen in the wild. The protected species include 26 mammals, nine birds and three reptiles. These rare animals are confined to their prime habitats. The country has more than 850 recorded species of birds. Amazingly, half of these birds can be seen in and around the Kathmandu valley alone. The most popular endemic plant which is also the national flower of Nepal is rhododendron (Arboreum) which in Nepali language is called Guras.
In recognition of the magnitude of biodiversity the Government of Nepal has established a network of twenty protected areas since 1973, consisting of ten national parks, three wildlife reserves, six conservation areas and one hunting reserve. The Shuklaphanta and Parsa Wildlife Reserves were upgraded to National Parks. National parks of Nepal are Chitwan National Park, Bardiya National Park, Sagarmatha National Park, Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, Langtang National Park, Rara National Park, Khaptad National Park, Shuklaphanta National Park, Sauraha, Banke National Park, Parsa National Park, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. Wildlife tourism is also a major source of tourism in Nepal. There are some animal species which are unique to the country, such as the spiny babbler. The country is also host to a large number of rhododendron species. Wildlife reserve is Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. Conservation areas are as follows Annapurna Conservation Area, Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, Manaslu Conservation Area, Blackbuck Conservation Area, Api Nampa Conservation Area, Gaurishankar Conservation Area. The only Hunting Reserve is Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve. Ramsar sites declared are as follows they are Bishazari Tal, Ghodaghodi Tal, Gokyo Lake Complex, Gosaikunda, Jagdishpur Reservoir, Kosi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Mai Pokhari, Phoksundo Lake, Rara Lake and Lake Cluster of Pokhara Valley.
Connectivity in Nepal is Either Airways or Roadways. International Airport, Kathmandu, Kakarvitta (Eastern border), Birgunj (South East border), Belhiya, Bhairahawa (Mid-South Border), Nepalgunj (South West border), Dhangadi (Far West border), Mahendra Nagar (Far west border) and Kodari in the Nepal Tibet border. Its base is Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. Nepal has the following domestic airlines namely Nepal Buddha Air, Kathmandu, Cosmic Air, Gorkha Airlines, Royal Nepal Airlines, Shangri - La Air, Skyline Airways, Yeti Airlines and a host of International carriers.Roadways are the only other alternatives. Roads are good and have developed in the last few years. Kathmandu is connected with India through roads. Buses ply regularly from all the border entry points to Kathmandu. Interior parts of the country are also linked by buses from Kathmandu. The points of entry and exit for tourists are Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Kakarvitta, Jhapa (Eastern Nepal), Birgunj, Parsa (Central Nepal), Kodari, Sindhupal chowk (Northern Border), Belahia, Bhairahawa (Rupandehi, Western Nepal), Jamunaha, Nepalgunj (Banke, Mid Western Nepal), Mohana, Dhangadhi (Kailali, Far Western Nepal), Gadda Chauki, Bhimdattanagar (Kanchanpur, Far Western Nepal). Visas are free for all tourists who come from a SAARC country.