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Even if you’re not going on a trek, hiring a guide is a great way to get under the skin of Nepal. Most people only think of hiring a guide for a trek, but they’re even more essential when tracking wildlife in the Terai parks. If you find a good guide, stick with him (guides are usually male); a day guide in Chitwan, for instance, might well be willing to accompany you to Bardia National Park. In town, would-be guides, often masquerading as friendly students, position themselves strategically at temples and palaces, but you’ll probably do better to find one through a hotel or travel agent. An inexperienced guide hired informally will usually charge about Rs800–1000 a day; paying around double that for an experienced and knowledgeable guide would be fair. Generally, you get what you pay for.

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