Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve

  • Mon-Aug-2019

Although Nepal’s prime attraction might be the mountains, once you have been here, the wide range of natural diversity is another part that can really amaze you. There are numerous protected sites in Nepal which are rich in biodiversity and will let you witness the sight of some rare and endangered flora and fauna. Currently, there are eleven national parks, four wildlife reserve, numerous conservation areas, and one hunting reserve.

And that one is Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, where conservation goes side by side with hunting. Not just the wildlife, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, is also known for activities like trekking and observing unique vegetations.

About Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve

It might intrigue you, how a hunting reserve can be in a successful quest of conserving wildlife, quite an irony, yes? It's not like people can come at this hunting reserve and start hunting randomly. Dhoropatan Hunting Reserve provides a limited number of hunt for a season. Also, every year, agencies are selected for providing a license to individual hunters, and per hunt, you have to pay the charge excluding permission fee. With all the strict regulations, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve has been doing excellent so far.

Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve was established in 1987 that covers a total area of 1,325 km2 in the Dhaulagiri Himal of western Nepal in Rukum, Myagdi and Baglung district. The elevation of this hunting reserve ranges forms 2,850 meters to 5,500 meters. The reserve is under the protection of Department of the National Park and Wildlife Conservation.

Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve Animals and Plants

The Hunting Reserve homes a wide variety of flora and fauna. The prime habitat and most sought-after animal by hunters is Himalayan blue sheep. The recorded number of wildlife in Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve are 18 species of mammals, 137 species of birds and two species of reptiles. Himalayan tahr, Himalayan black bear, wild boar, barking deer, mouse hare, rhesus macaque, Snow leopard, leopard, goral, serow are some of the wildlife in hunting reserve. Likewise, pheasants, partridge, and danphe are some birds found in Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve.

You can witness different types of vegetation depending on the altitude range like alpine, subalpine, and temperate vegetation. There 58 different species of vascular plants, 36 flowering plants, and many more. In the lower region of Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, there is a well-developed mixed-hardwood forest. About 50% of the reserve’s area is occupied by pastureland at higher altitude region. Rhododendron, hemlock, oak, pine, birch, juniper, spruce are some of the vegetation that can be found in this reserve.

Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve has several villages and settlements inhabited by hill tribes and people belonging to Tibetan background who are involved in farming, trade and animal husbandry.

Dhortapan Hunting Reserve Weather

During winter, even in the day time, the temperature in Khaptad National Park gets extremely low because of strong winds. Snows covers the higher regions with thick fogs in morning, and in lower elevation snow surrounds the area until April. Talking about the monsoon, it exists up until November.

Does Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve remains open throughout the year?

No, it doesn’t. Being the only hunting reserve in the country, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve is very popular. It is mainly popular among the citizens of the USA, Russia, Denmark, Spain, and Hungary. But despite its large fan-base, the reserve doesn’t open for all the year. Every year it opens for only two seasons from September to November and February to April.

If you are willing to visit Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, you will require a special permit that can be obtained for Kathmandu or paid through a trekking agency. You will also need to pay entry fee at the entrance of the reserve.

What are the wildlife available for hunting?

The vast area of Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve has seven hunting blocks; four blocks are in Southern part, three are in Northern part, and each of them is given with separate names. This way, hunting is more structural, easy, and effective.

Mainly Himalayan tahr and blue sheep are put on for hunting; however other wildlifes for hunting are wild boar, spotted deers, and barking deer. Likewise, pheasants and partridge are also popular for bird hunting. Let us look into the seven different blocks of Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve.

Southern Hunting Block

-Falguna: Himalayan tahr and blue sheep

-Barse: Blue Sheep

-Gutsang: Himalayan tahr and blue sheep

-Surtibang: Himalayan Tahr

Northern Hunting Block

-Seng: Blue sheep and Himalayan Tahr

-Dodagi: Blue sheep and Himalayan Tahr

-Sundaha: Blue sheep and Himalayan Tahr

Is Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve Trek possible?

Yes, it is very possible and one of the most loved activity by visitors of Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve. Also known as Dhorpatan Trek, only about 100 trekkers per years makes their way through this trail. There will be no better adventure than walking in this virgin and barely touched part of Nepal. The trek is an incredible journey to unravel the practically untouched and serene part of Nepal and it is the very reason why, this place has maintained its idiosyncratic lifestyle and authenticity.

Dhorpatan was once a remote beauty, that was accessible only with a helicopter and long terk. However, now with the avaiability of roadways, its access has got become quite easy.

Apart fromthe pool of wildlife and vegetation, Dhorpatan Trek lets you immerse in the beauty of Himalayas; Dhaulagiri (8,167 meters), Putha Hiunchuli (7,246 meters),  Churen Himal (7,385 meters) and Gurja Himal (7,193 meters) appears all along while you gradually pave you way. Another delightful part of this trek is the settlement of Magar ethnic group, who prefers simple and quanit lifestyle in this distant region.

Walking in the off-the-beaten-path trail, witnessing the abundance of wildlife in the forested route of rhododendron, oaks, and pine among others, with the backdrop of mountains beyond the landscape of green hills, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve trek is easily the best yet, an underrated trek of Nepal.

What are different routes to Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve Trek?

Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve Trek is a long trek that usually takes around ten days. As the trek is very least sought-after, the route isn’t so versatile, and trekkers usually follow the safe path. To make things more easy for you, the trek isn’t so challenging, and it doesn’t possess any altitude risk.

The trek can start either from Kathmandu or Pokhara depending on your preference. Then while making our way towards the hunting reserve, we pass by rural villages like Dharapani, Lamsung, and Jalajala.

From Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, we scale towards Phagune Phedi, which is located at an elevation of 4,493 meters and is the highest point of this trek. From on, we start descending while passing through the settlement of Gurjaghat, Patichaur, Darbang, Beni and finally arriving at Pokhara.