Last Modified: 17 Feb 2015
Kathmandu to Mumbai
Trip code: HDOTC
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2015
Beginning in Nepal's atmospheric capital, we'll overland through the passes of the Himalaya and head for the jungle, where we'll go in search of tigers in Chitwan. Crossing the border into India, we travel to the incomparable city of Varanasi, then visit the temples of Khajuraho and Orchha, where we'll camp surrounded by deserted palaces. No trip to India would be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal and we'll also visit the beautiful city of Jaipur. Overlanding across Rajasthan, we take a camel trek into the Thar Desert, as well as exploring Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. Continuing our journey we'll make for the lakeside city of Udaipur before ending our trip in India's most colourful and cosmopolitan city, Mumbai.
This trip is operated by our experienced local partners Dragoman Overland. Dragoman shares Intrepid's ethos for adventure travel and has many years' expertise in overlanding.
Table of Contents
To save you money and the hassle of booking multiple trips, this journey is a combination of some of our most popular adventures so your leader and the composition of your group may change.
- The best value journeys on the planet! On a Basix trip you can expect amazing experiences, but none of the inclusions that you may not want. Which means budget (1-2 star) accommodation, plenty of free time, activities that are optional and the freedom to choose meals to suit your budget. On some trips you may be camping and required to set up your own tent. You'll also have access to a group leader to offer advice and help you uncover the region's hidden gems. On a Basix journey, the way you travel is all a part of the adventure. Depending on the destination and the itinerary, you could find yourself travelling on anything from a donkey to a bus or a private safari vehicle. These trips are ideal for first-time travellers seeking fun and independence with the support of a group leader. They're also ideal for independent travellers looking to make the most of their travel time with minimum hassle and maximum experiences.
Day 1 Kathmandu
Namaste! Welcome to Nepal.
Border Information: Welcome to Kathmandu! If you are joining the trip in Kathmandu, you will most likely enter Nepal at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport.
Wrapped around the Himalayan mountain range is the remarkable country of Nepal. It is the birthplace of the Buddha and is a land of legend and beauty. Within its narrow confines Nepal contains an utterly spectacular variety of culture and landscapes. Nepal has a stunning natural beauty and a simple charm.
There is an important group meeting at 6:00pm. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where and when this important meeting will take place.
Hotel for the night: Hotel Tibet
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 2-3 Chitwan National Park
On Day 2, we will leave Kathmandu after breakfast, we drive 200kms through stunning scenery down to the Terai grasslands. Our destination is Chitwan National Park, where we will stay for the next 2 nights.
Drive time - 7 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, borders and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
If we arrive in good time we will make a visit to Bis Hajaar Tal, also known as 20,000 Lakes, which is a wetland area near the Royal Chitwan National Park. Here we will get the opportunity to see peacocks, wild boars, deer and there is also a slim chance of seeing tigers and rhinos. If we cannot visit 20,000 lakes today we will make our visit tomorrow.
On Day 3 we'll spend the day exploring the national park by canoe and on foot, and there is the option to take a jeep safari! There will be an opportunity to see a traditional Nepali dance demonstration in the evening.
In Chitwan we will stay in a local guest lodge.
Chitwan NP - Jeep Safari
Guesthouse (2 nts)
Day 4 Gorokphur
Border Information: Exit Nepal at Belhiya, enter India at Sonauli.
Today we enter India. India has so much to offer: from the beautiful landscapes of the Himalayas, to the amazing temples and coastlines, rich culture, and of course the food!
This morning we have a fairly relaxed start to the day before packing up and driving to the border. We will cross the border to India and continue on a short drive to the town of Gorokphur.
We will stay in a local hotel in Gorokphur.
Drive time - 10 hours (including the border crossing).
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 5-6 Varanasi
On Day 5 we will continue driving and reach the holy city of Varanasi in the evening.
Drive time - 9-10 hours.
On Day 6 we will get up very early for a boat trip down the Ganges. This is a magical time of day to see the Ghats and watch the morning rituals of the thousands of people who come here to purify themselves in the holy river. We will have auto-rickshaws for the rest of he day to explore the rest of the city - we will have the opportunity to use them to visit a traditional silk workshop and the Mother India temple.
In Varanasi we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.
Varanasi - Ganges Boat Trip
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 7-8 Bandhavgarh National Park
Today we will spend most of the day travelling as we journey 350kms overland from Varanasi to Bandhavgarh National Park, famous for its tigers!
Drive time - 11-12 hours.
On Day 8 we will go on a half-day jeep safari in search of tigers and other wildlife. There will also be some time to relax around the lodge campsite. Please note that the jeep safari could be morning or afternoon.
In Bandhavgarh National Park we will camp in the grounds of a forest lodge.
(NB - Trips travelling in India before 1st October will not be able to visit Bandhavgarh NP due to the park being closed. Instead, the itinerary will spend longer in Chitwan NP in Nepal and spend time at the Royal Beach Camp activity centre in the Himalayas. We will also visit the deserted palaces and temples in Orchha).
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 9-10 Khajuraho
Today we will drive 210kms from Bandhavgarh to Khajuraho. In the afternoon we will have a guided visit of the erotic temples followed by a very short drive to our treehouse campsite.
Drive time - 9-10 hours.
On Day 10 there is the option to head into Panna National Park in search of wildlife on a jeep safari, or you might prefer to explore the local area or just relax on the banks of the river at our campsite.
We will stay on a camp site in Khajuraho.
Khajuraho - Temples
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 11-12 Agra
After breakfast we leave our campsite and head 400kms to Agra. Most of today will be spent travelling and we will arrive in the evening.
Drive time - 11-12 hours.
On Day 12 we spend the day exploring Agra by rickshaw, starting with sunrise at the Taj Mahal, followed by a visit to the Agra Fort.
We will stay in a local hotel in Agra.
Agra - Taj Mahal
Agra - Agra Fort
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 13-14 Jaipur
We leave Agra today and head 230kms overland to the pink city of Jaipur, stopping en route at Fatehpur Sikri (the old capital of the Mughal Empire).
Drive time - 6-8 hours (depending on the time spent at Fatehpur Sikri).
On Day 14 we will have a full day exploring the sites of Jaipur on the truck with our local guide. Whilst in Jaipur there will also be the option for an early morning or late afternoon hot air balloon ride over the city.
In Jaipur we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 15-16 Delhi
Today we leave Jaipur and travel 245kms to arrive in Delhi in the afternoon.
Drive time - 7 hours.
Whilst in Delhi we stay in a friendly local hotel.
Border Information: If joining the trip in Delhi, you will likely enter India at Delhi Indira Ghandi International Airport.
Today is a free day to explore Delhi. There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm - please look for a note from your tour leader when you arrive at the hotel giving more details about this meeting.
In Delhi we will stay in a local hotel.
Hotel for the night: Florence Inn
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 17 Bikaner
Today we start our journey with a 400km drive to Bikaner. The drive will take us most of the day, stopping en route for lunch.
In Bikaner we will either stay in a local hotel or camp at an eco-lodge a short distance outside the city.
Drive time - 10 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, borders and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
Bikaner - Karni Mata Temple
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 18-20 Jaisalmer/Camel Safari
Today we continue our journey with a drive of 385kms to ancient Rajasthani city of Jaisalmer, stopping at the Karni Mata (Rat Temple) en-route.
We base ourselves in Jaisalmer for the next 3 nights, staying in a comfortable local hotel.
Drive time - 5-7 hours, depending on the length of the visit to Karmi Mata.
This morning is free time to to explore more of Jaisalmer. In the late afternoon we wil head out on an included camel safari into the Thar Desert - exploring the desert with local Rajasthani camel drivers is the most authentic way to experience the area!
Tonight we camp out in the desert, sleeping under the stars.
This morning we will return from the our camel safari. The rest of the day if free to relax or explore more of Jaisalmer and the surrounding area.
Tonight we return to our hotel in Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer - Overnight Camel Safari
Hotel (2 nts), Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Days 21-22 Jodhpur
This morning we will drive 285kms from Jaisalmer to another famous Rajasthani city, Jodphur. En route to Jodphur we will make our visit to the Sambhali Trust project (a charitable project that works for the empowerment of women and girls in Rajasthan), where we will learn about the efforts of the project and make a group donation from the kitty.
After our visit we will make our way to our local guest house in Jodphur where will spend the night.
Drive time - 5-7 hours, depending on the length of the visit to the Sambhali Trust.
On Day 7 we will be in and around Jodphur. In the morning we will visit the Meherangarh Fort and Palace, before splitting up into 2 or 3 small groups for our homestays.
The second night here will be spent in accommodation that has been set up by local families in their own homes for visitors.
Jodhpur - Meherangarh Fort
Jodhpur - Sambhali Trust visit
Hotel (1 nt), Homestay (1 nt)
Days 23-25 Udaipur
After breakfast we set off for a 260km drive to Udaipur, visiting the Jain Temple at Ranakpur en route. We will have 3 nights in Udaipur, giving us plenty of time to discover this amazing, romantic Rajasthani city.
In Udaipur we will stay in a comfortable hotel.
Drive time - 6-7 hours, depending on the length of the visit to Ranakpur Temple
We will have 2 free days for exploration of the sites of Udaipur and relaxing on one of the many roof-top terraces in the city.
Hotel (3 nts)
Day 26 Mandu
Leaving Udaipur, we will be joined by a local cook who will accompany us during the next few days whilst we are wild camping.
Today will mostly be spent travelling the 220kms to Mandu, via the backroads of rural Rajasthan. We are well off the tourist trail here and tonight we will wildcamp, perhaps on the edge of a local village.
Drive time - 8 hours
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 27-28 Ajanta/Ellora
Today we will visit Mandu, an extensive and largely abandoned hill-top fort from the Mughal era. We will then spend the afternoon driving to our wild camp spot near Kharwand Dam, en route towards Ajanta.
Drive time - 5 hours.
The next day we complete the drive to Ajanta, arriving in the afternoon. We will visit the complex of 29 ancient Buddhist temples cut into the rock face, and then head to our camping spot in Ajanta (camping in the grounds of a local hotel).
Drive time - 5-6 hours.
Ajanta - Caves
Mandu - Ghost city
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt), Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 29 Ellora
Today we will drive a short distance to Ellora, where we will visit the ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves - a set of a small temples in the rock face dating from the 6th to 11th centuries.
In Ellora we will camp in the grounds of a local hotel.
Drive time - 2 hours.
Ellora - Rock temples
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 30-31 Mumbai
Setting off early, we will say goodbye to our local cook and drive 400kms to Mumbai, arriving late afternoon.
Tonight we stay in a comfortable hotel.
Drive time - 9 hours.
Border Information: If you are leaving in Mumbai, you will most likely exit India from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
Today is free to explore Mumbai at your leisure.
Please note that if you are leaving the trip in Mumbai, there is no accommodation included this night.
Hotel (1 nt)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
- Nepal & India Overland (HDOLC)
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
On this trip it's compulsory to contribute to a kitty. The kitty is an on-ground payment put into a central fund and overseen by travellers and the crew. It helps fund accommodation, camp meals and all included activities. Kitty amounts are subject to change to reflect local price increases.This Kitty price indicated on the trip notes below is indicative only. Please refer to the 'Check availability' page on the website for the up-to-date amount 48 hours prior to your trip commencement.
Your kitty will be collected when you arrive for your trip, either on day 1 or, if on a combination trip, in stages throughout your trip.
You may pay your kitty in a mixture of US Dollars cash and the rest in local currency (amount and type of currency to be agreed by the leader at the start of the trip). Most of our travellers chose to bring a cash passport with them for withdrawing local currency (you can visit www.cashpassport.com for further information on these). This is a very secure way of carrying your money whilst travelling. You treat them exactly like an ATM card and draw out local currency from an ATM to give to your leader within each country.
If you do choose to pay part in local currency your trip leader will confirm the current exchange rates with you so you will know exactly how much to hand over.
Travellers cheques have become increasingly difficult to change around the world with passengers and our leaders experiencing huge frustration and numerous hours spent trying to find a bank which will change travellers cheques. For this reason we no longer accept them on our trips.
Kitty does not cover food while staying in hotels and hostels.
We constantly monitor local price changes and exchange rate fluctuations that could affect kitty expenses. Final kitty contributions are likely to be different from those quoted in the brochure or at the time of booking so you must check the final amount just before departure.
As our kitty is flexible the indicated amount is indicative only. Follow the link below to view the kitty amount for your departure date.
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR).
The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM), which are readily available in most towns.
Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, so please bring clean bills, and small denominations are most useful.
While traveller's cheques have security advantages exchanging them can be a lengthy process, commissions can be high and they can be difficult to change in rural areas, on weekends and public holidays. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels/establishments.
The official currency of Nepal is the Nepali Rupee (NPR).
ATMs can only be found in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Bhaktapur. Money exchange facilities are available in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan (only outside the park) and Bhaktapur.
The Government of Nepal has banned the import, export and use of 500 and 1000 Indian rupee notes in Nepal. You should ensure you are not carrying these notes on arrival in Nepal as they will be confiscated and you may be fined.
While travellers' cheques have security advantages exchanging them can be a lengthy process, commissions can be high (up to 10%) and they can be difficult to change in rural areas, on weekends and public holidays. If you choose to bring travellers' cheques, make sure they are a major brand and major currency.
Please note that most establishments in Asia will not accept foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded and they can be very difficult to exchange or extra fees added when exchanging at banks. Please ensure that you have new, clean notes.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.
Tipping is entirely voluntary. The Dragoman crew may be travelling with you for many weeks and usually they become good friends with most members of the group. It is sometimes easy to forget that they do work hard to ensure that you do have a great trip. If you feel you would like to tip them, they certainly would appreciate it. On a number of our trips, we also use a local guide as well as our own Dragoman crew. These guides live and travel with you through their home country and it is usual to tip them when they leave. We recommend USD10 to USD15 per person.
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Please note this Intrepid trip is operated by our experienced local partners Dragoman Overland. Your departure will be run in a Dragoman vehicle with a Dragoman crew.
The minimum age for this trip is 18 years old and bookings for minors, even if accompanied by a parent, cannot be accepted.
Trips travelling in India before 1st October, will not be able to visit Bandhavgarh NP. Instead they will spend longer in Chitwan NP in Nepal and spend time at the Royal Beach Camp activity centre in the Himalayas. They will also visit the deserted palaces and temples Orchha.
Maximum of 21 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
Hotel (18 nts), Camping (with facilities) (7 nts), Guesthouse (2 nts), Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nts), Homestay (1 nt)
The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hotels.
In Asia it is not practical to camp when staying in towns and cities so we use hotel accommodation and eat out in local restaurants.
The frequency and regularity of hotel stops depends on the route and area. There may be the occasional night stop, when staying in the grounds of a hotel, or at a campsite which may also have cabins available, when there is a choice of camping or taking a room. This doesn't mean that every week is the same. Some areas demand longer stretches without hotels than others.
Standards of hotels will obviously be different to those of western countries and in Asia a 3 star hotel is more likely to be comparable with a European 1 star.
Nights spent camping can be in a recognised campsite, in the grounds of a hotel, or wild camping in the countryside. For these days, the duties rota system is adopted when all members share in general camp duties - cooking, shopping, washing up, collecting firewood, etc.
Campsites do have facilities, but are usually not to the same standard as you would find in western countries. Wild camps obviously have no facilities at all.
Whether we wild camp or stay in a campsite, again obviously depends on the area and there is no regularity to the choice.
You will need to bring some camping equipment with you - a sleeping mat, sleeping bag and pillow as these items are not provided.
While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
All meals when camping
Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
Overland vehicle, Camel
Roads in Asia can be very rough which makes for long, slow travel days. It is however all worth it for the spectacular scenery and novelty of truck travel!
The step up into the overland truck, while not overly high can become tiring and you need to judge yourself to be physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down at least 8-10 times a day, as can the constant setting and packing up of camp.
On all of our Dragoman-operated Overlanding trips you will be accompanied by two Western crew members who are responsible for the group and the overall organisation of the trip.
While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad knowledge of the places visited and to offer suggestions of things to do and see. In East and Southern Africa we will also have an African camp master/cook who is in charge of running the camp and organising all of the meals. Their knowledge of the local produce makes shopping at the markets great fun and you will learn how to prepare and cook some unusual dishes. In the rest of Africa, South America and the majority of Central Asia and China we use local guides who may stay with us for just a few hours or will actually travel with us for some or all of the journey. In these cases they become a third crew member and are able to offer their local knowledge as well as a real insight into the lives of the local people. Our crew are chosen for their leadership skills, and most importantly have a passion for the region and its people.
We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders
On any Overland trip, there are a number of tasks that need to be done. Our overland trip leaders will organise the group into smaller groups of two or three who will take turns in the daily shopping and cooking, vehicle cleaning, disposing of rubbish, etc. There are also a number of other jobs that need doing e.g. collecting water and firewood, luggage loading, supervising the kitty and food stores, which may be assigned to particular people or on a rota system according to group size, make-up, and so on. You must come prepared to 'pull your weight' and share in these duties; you will become very unpopular with other group members if they have to do your share. The more you put into a trip, the more you'll benefit.
Joining point description
Hotel Tibet is located close to the Royal Palace and walking distance to all major embassies, airline offices, banks, immigration office and the famous shopping centres of Thamel. It is only 8km from the Tribhuvan International Airport and has a panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding hills. Hotel Tibet is renowned for its hospitality and homey environment.
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
Please also make sure have a copy of the local operator's emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
4, Panday Road,Opp. President Hotel,Cuffe Parade, Colaba
Phone: +91 2222185608
Finish point description
Located in the Colaba near to Gateway of India, Hotel Supreme offers handsomely appointed superior rooms, deluxe rooms and standard rooms with all modern amenities – air-conditioning, refrigerator, colour television with CCTV, direct dialing, 24 hrs hot & cold water, and much more.
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
Australia: Yes - on arrival
Belgium: Yes - on arrival
Canada: Yes - on arrival
Germany: Yes - on arrival
Ireland: Yes - on arrival
Netherlands: Yes - on arrival
New Zealand: Yes - on arrival
South Africa: Yes - on arrival
Switzerland: Yes - on arrival
United Kingdom: Yes - on arrival
USA: Yes - on arrival
Most nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival from land borders or at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, or in advance from a Nepalese Consulate. If getting the visa at the airport be prepared for long queues. There have been instances when passengers were asked to show return flight tickets. You will also need to provide two passport photos and the following fees in US dollars cash only: multi entry visa valid for 15 days - US$25, multi entry visa valid for 30 days - US$40, multi entry visa valid for 90 days - US$100.
***Please note if you are staying in Nepal for less than 24 hours while in transit a transit visa can be issued on presentation of your international flight ticket, there is a nominal charge of US$5 and two photos are required.
Australia: On arrival with online e-Tourist Visa and in advance (please read conditions below)
Belgium: Yes - in advance
Canada: On arrival with online e-Tourist Visa and in advance (please read conditions below)
Germany: On arrival with online e-Tourist Visa and in advance (please read conditions below)
Ireland: Yes - in advance
Netherlands: Yes - in advance
New Zealand: On arrival with online e-Tourist Visa and in advance (please read conditions below)
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: Yes - in advance
United Kingdom: Yes - in advance (please see new information regarding changes for travellers with UK passports)
USA: On arrival with online e-Tourist Visa and in advance (please read conditions below)
IMPORTANT NEW INFORMATION FOR UK PASSPORT HOLDERS TRAVELLING TO INDIA
With affect from 14 March 2015, all UK passport holders will be required to book an appointment online to submit their applications at a VFS application centre. Please see VFS website for full details on how to apply for an Indian visa at: http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk/index.html
Visa on arrival is available for select nationalities
Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, German and USA passport holders please note - The Indian Government has advised that passport holders from these countries can now apply for an e-Tourist Visa to have their visa issued upon arrival at 9 major airports in India.
Please follow the instructions at - https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html to complete the application for your e-Tourist Visa. Please be aware of strict conditions regarding application and travel.
Please note that travellers entering India overland from Nepal will still need to apply for a visa in their home country.
Visas will not be issued on the Nepal/Indian border. The e-Tourist Visa does not apply to travellers entering India overland.
Indian visas CANNOT be obtained in Nepal. Tourist visas are available in Single and Multiple Entry. Be sure to check the date you require a visa from and the length of time you will need to cover, especially if you change countries during your trip.
DETAILS OF TWO REFERENCES:
25/3 East Patel Nagar
New Delhi 110008
Phone: +91 11 4500 6400
*Important note* - if you are joining a trip in Chennai, please do NOT plan to obtain your e-Tourist Visa at Chennai airport. Dragoman require a scan of your India visa well in advance for obtaining permits to the Odisha Region; if you enter India on an e-Tourist Visa in Chennai Dragoman will not have enough time to purchase permits. You will not be able to visit the Odisha Region.
If you are joining the trip in Chennai, please always obtain your visa in advance and send a scan to Dragoman at least 21 days before departure.
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
Please bring a sleeping bag (4-season is recommended - check that the weather will be like over the dates you are travelling), sleeping mat and a pillow as these items are not provided.
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
It comes as a surprise to many travellers that India can be cold (ie. below zero!) during winter (particularly Dec/Jan), even in some cities and even when not at high altitudes. Make sure you are prepared for the weather during these months by bringing adequately warm clothes with you, including thermal underclothes and an appropriate jacket. Many hotels in India do not have central heating, so a warmer set of clothes to sleep in has also been recommended by our past travellers.
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
Where we use a local partner to fully operate one of our itineraries, we use the travel advisory of the country where that operator is based rather than the Australian DFAT advisory. This itinerary is operated by our local partners Dragoman, and as such will follow the British Government (FCO) Travel Advice. To view these travel advisories please log on to:
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Carbon Offset C02-e 949.00 kgs per pax.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.