Located in the Taplejung district in the northeast corner of Nepal, Kanchanjunga Conservation Area is spread over 2,035 sq. km. The region houses the third highest mountain in the world, Mt. Kanchenjunga, and the name of this conservation area is also taken by it. Kanchenjunga Conservation Area has a unique mountain ecosystem and all together involves three nations peace park with Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China to the north and Sikkim, India, in the east. Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim joins Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. Likewise, the extension of the Qomolangma Nature Reserve in TAR, to cover the land bordering Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, is in progress.
In 1997 April, the government of Nepal has declared the Kanchenjunga region as a gift to the Earth as part of WWF’s Living Planet Campaign 2000. Later, in 1998 March, the Kanchenjunga region was declared as a conservation area. The region houses numerous wildlife and rare species. It is home to animals like Himalaya black bear, blue sheep, snow-leopard, goral, musk deer, serow, leopard, etc. Likewise, as the region stretches out to the high elevation, different ecosystem and vegetation are also seen under the conservation area.
Among all the forests, the Himalayan larch and extensive juniper forests are the most unique ones to be found here. Flora like Dhupisalo, Gobresallo, Himali larch, rhododendron, Thigresallo, and numerous others are found here. As per the data, Kanchenjunga Conservation Area has 28 widespread flowering plants, 30 kinds of rhododendron, 20 native gymnosperms, and 69 varieties of orchids. Likewise, Kanchenjunga Conservation Area is home to 202 types of birds like shy drongo, impeyan pheasant, red-billed blue magpie, etc.
Apart from its natural diversity, Kanchenjunga Conservation Area includes three famous river valleys; Simbuwa Khola Valley, Ghunsa River Valley, and Tamur River Valley. People from many different communities reside in this part of Nepal. You can see Chettri, Bhutia, Rai, Sherpa, Gurung, Limbu, Tamang, Tibetan, Walangpa, etc. Similarly, there are many prayer wheels, monasteries, temples, chortens, and stupas all over the region that showcases the cultural richness of the region.
Similarly, the spectacular landscape views and stunning Himalayan mountains have made this region one of the most exotic and pristine places to travel to. To go on a trip to this region, you need to get special permission from the government of Nepal, and that can cost you a fortune. Therefore, only a handful of travels get to experience the breath-taking venture in this region making the trails less crowded and unspoiled.
You can access this region through a bus from Kathmandu to Dharan. From Dharan, you have to hike to Kunsa which leads to the conservation area. Or, you also have the option to take a from Kathmandu to Biratnagar and then to Sukhetar. There are also a few direct flights from Kathmandu to Sukhetar run by private airlines. There is one more way to the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, and that is from Birtamod, Jhapa. Take a local bus to Taplejung Bazar, however the road is only seasonable.
Things to do in Kanchenjunga Conservation Area
- Kanchenjunga Trekking