Explore Kaptai National Park

Incorporating the largest manmade lake in the country, Kaptai National Park (KNP) was established in 1999 in the Rangamati Hill District of the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh. Covering an area of around 5,464 hectares, the terrain consists primarily of picturesque hills, valleys and forests, making it a popular leisure destination for locals and visitors alike. The scenery is superb, vegetation is diverse and lush, birds and animals are abundant, and the park has a number of activities to enjoy. Little wonder then that more than 50,000 people visit Kaptai National Park each year.

With its semi-evergreen vegetation, hilly terrain and deep valleys, Kaptai National Park is a treasure trove of biodiversity. The main tree species found in the park include the garjan (Dipterocarpus spp), the civit (Swintonia floribunda), and the chapalish (Artocarpus chaplasha) along with a variety of cane and bamboo species. Mammals to keep an eye out for while exploring the park include the sambar (Rusi unicolor), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) and orange-bellied Himalayan squirrel (Dremomys lokriah), as well as the striking, but very elusive, clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa). Reptiles in the park include the rock python (Python molurus) and the green cat snake (Boiga cyanea), while birdlife includes the black-backed forktail (Enicurus immaculatus), ashy bulbul (Hemixos flavala) and hill myna (Gracula religiosa).

Also a resident of Kaptai National Park, the Bengal slow loris (Nycticebus bengalensis) is a fascinating primate with big brown eyes, round flat head, small ears, wooly brown and beige fur and a vestigial tail. It measures between 26 and 38 cm from the top of its head to its tail and general weighs less than 2 kgs. Unfortunately, it is this cute-factor that makes them attractive as exotic pets, and they are often traded illegally. Moreover, parts of the animal are used in traditional medicine and it is hunted for food. This, along with environmental factors such as habitat loss, has led to a decline in population to the extent that the IUCN has listed the Bengal slow loris as ‘vulnerable’. As they are both nocturnal (awake at night) and arboreal (living in trees), they are not easy to see, but there is still a chance that visitors to the Kaptai National Park may spot a Bengal slow loris.