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Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Nepal

Geography

Nepalese Geography - Stones on a lake
Stones on a lake

Nepal is a landlocked country located in the Himalaya Mountains. It borders Tibet, a part of China to the north and India to the south.

Nepal is known worldwide as the home to Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain on the planet. Mt. Everest is a peak in the Himalaya Mountains, which cover Nepal's entire northern border. The name "Himalaya" comes from the Nepalese words meaning "where the snow lives." From these mountains there are dozens of valleys and rivers running to the south. Despite the towering heights at the country's north, at the country's southern border, the land flattens out substantially.

Weather

Nepalese Geography - Mt. Everest
Mt. Everest

Nepal has diverse weather due to both elevation and seasons. As home to the tallest mountain on earth, Nepal's Himalaya Mountains shift from cold to colder, but don't truly experience further seasonal variation. The rest of the country is defined by very distinct seasonal changes. At altitude the temperature may never get above the freezing point and snow can arrive during any season, although the east receives more snow than the west. The mid-level land has three season: the hot summer, which lasts from about March to June, the monsoon or rainy season from about July to September, and the cold season or dry season from about October to February. Regions in this middle ground, including Kathmandu, experience temperatures averaging 75° F (24° C) in the hot season, 75° F (24° C) during the monsoon, and 50° F (10° C) in the dry or cold months. At lower elevations the hot season is more pronounced as temperatures can reach 90° F (32° C) on a daily basis.

Wildlife

Nepalese Wildlife - Yak
Yak

Despite its small size, Nepal has a fairly diverse wildlife as it reaches from the alpine peaks down to the lowlands. The greatest variety comes in the mammal population as there are tigers, deer, leopards, rhinoceros, boars, pandas, bears, marmots, sheep, yak, and rodents like mice. The sea life though is just the opposite as there are many rivers in the country, but they flow fast and there are few places that are real suitable for a wide range of species to live other than in the flatlands near the Indian border. Despite this, there are many small fish and shellfish in these rivers.

The bird life, like the mammal population, is quite diverse, particularly due to migrating birds, although there are a significant number of local birds that remain year-round. Among the birds, peacocks, partridges, ducks, geese, pheasants, and eagles are common. There are only a few amphibians and reptiles in Nepal, the most fearsome being the crocodile, which makes its home along rivers in the country's south.

This page was last updated: April, 2013