Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015
Himalayan Teenage Adventure
Trip code: HNFP
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Welcome to your Family Holiday trip notes. These provide the detailed day to day itinerary information for your holiday.
The trip notes are ‘Land Only’ which means they provide detail from the arrival/start point in your destination.
Please talk to one of our Sales Consultants if you have any queries regarding the flights for your holiday. These can be booked through us. Intrepid has joined forces with the family adventure holiday experts … The Family Adventure Company to deliver the ultimate family holiday. With over 20 years of experience in delighting family customers, the Family Adventure Company is the perfect partner to Intrepid Travel.
Our Intrepid Family Adventures are designed specifically for the spirited family. We understand that travelling with kids sometimes requires a slightly different perspective. Keeping this in mind, we travel at a slower speed - recognising that showing your family around our exotic destinations can take time. By travelling at a relaxed pace, while still offering plenty of optional activities along the way, we're providing your family with the ultimate travel experience together.
Accommodation is chosen carefully to ensure your family gets the best of both worlds, with some of the creature comforts of home as well as experiencing accommodation unique to the region you are travelling through. Wherever possible you will stay in hotels with small comforts to make your stay more enjoyable - such as restaurants nearby, or accommodation with a pool. On some trips you may even find your family being rocked to sleep on an overnight sleeper train or drifting off while camped out under a canopy of stars - and we reckon it'll be these experiences the kids will love and remember the most.
Best of all, we find trips with children are so successful because kids have such a special ability to break down barriers with their natural curiosity, and because delighted locals always greet them with much affection. For all these reasons and more, you'll discover that Intrepid Family Adventures are an amazing experience for all.
A carefully designed trip suitable for families with children of all ages which allows you to experience the very best of Nepal. You’ll have ample time to see the sights of Kathmandu; medieval market squares, busy market stalls and scores of ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples. After a night in a traditional Newari home converted into a guesthouse, you'll travel to the lakeside town of Begnas. Then you’ll embark on a fantastic camping trek into the foothills of the Himalayas. Here you’ll walk through remote hill villages against a backdrop of 8000m summits whose icy peaks pierce the blue skies. After visiting Pokhara, the gateway to the Annapurnas, you travel to one of Asia’s greatest wildlife reserves, Chitwan, and spend a couple of days on jungle safari. Travelling by elephant, canoe and on foot, you’ll be looking out for exotic birdlife and the famous Indian one-horned rhino!
RETURNING TO NEPAL
Thank you for choosing to visit Nepal. It is a decision you can be proud of because by visiting you are helping Nepal get back on its feet after the devastating earthquake of April this year. The following trip notes reflect our itineraries before the earthquake occurred. As Nepal rebuilds, there are likely to be changes. We may not be able to visit some destinations and sights, some accommodation may be closed and some activities may not be available. We are working closely with our operations team in Nepal to finalise as much as we can.
We will be able to let you know about some of these changes in advance before you travel. Others may need to be communicated to you by your tour leader once you are already in the country. We ask all our travellers to be flexible, patient and understanding both as you prepare for your travels and while on your trip in Nepal.
Table of Contents
- Our Original style trips have a great balance of included activities with your group and free time to explore independently.
Where we stay ensures we keep our travellers firmly entrenched in a region’s people and culture, and provides them with unique local experiences that benefits the community too. In most locations we stay in simple tourist-class hotels (i.e. 2-3 stars), plus on many trips you'll also get to experience a night with a local family on a homestay or something a little different like a Bedouin camp in the Sahara.
Original style trips come with all manner of transport modes and use a mixture of local and private transport. You might find yourself sailing in a dhow in Zanzibar, jumping on a rickshaw in Sri Lanka or sailing on a yacht through the Galapagos. No matter the mode, it's all about minimising our environmental impact and making getting around part of the adventure.
Family, Walking & Trekking
Day 1 Kathmandu
Namaste! Welcome to Nepal.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on day 1.
You can arrive at any time today as there are no activities planned until a group meeting this evening.This gives you time to relax or explore this bustling city.
Kathmandu is a mixture of ancient architecture and modern development and, with its rich artistic and cultural heritage, it remains the legendary destination it has been for decades. Crowded markets and bazaars are the centre of Nepali life and the narrow streets are home to holy men, monks, bicycles, incense, goats and sacred cows.
Hotel Manaslu (1 nt)
Day 2 Nuwakot
After breakfast we'll visit the Swoyambhunath (a.k.a The Monkey Temple), perched on a pedestal high on the hilltop, it is acclaimed to be the oldest stupa in the world and is influenced by both Nepalese and Tibetan forms of Buddhism.
In the afternoon we'll drive to the secluded rural village of Nuwakot (approx 4 hours) for a delightful stay in a converted farmhouse. This is a charming and ideally located farm where we will have a Nepalese dining experience.
At Nuwakot we can spend a few hours in the late afternoon exploring the village and surrounding area on foot including the Nuwakot Bazaar, a centre-piece of the Nepalese story, embellished by the rich history behind the 16th century fortress and royal palace.
- Kathmandu - Guided tour of Swayambhunath Temple
- Nuwakot - Village Walk
- Everest View Flight in early morning - USD220
The Famous Farm Guesthouse (1 nt)
Day 3 Bandipur
This morning we set off west for the four-hour journey to the small village of Bandipur.
Continuing on through the foothills of the Himalayas, as we approach Bandipur, keep an eye out for views of the high peaks. We arrive in Dumre, turn south off the main highway, and continue to a ridge set at an altitude of 1050 m, where lies the village of Bandipur.
Winding its way up and down hills, Bandipur's main street is lined with three or four storey brick buildings with carved wooden windows. The small temples in the town add to the atmosphere in what is a traditional Nepali hill village, still relatively untouched by modern tourism; few foreigners find their way up here. Sit and relax, or stretch your legs with a walk through the village and out into the surrounding countryside for superb views up the Marsyangdi River valley, to the Himalaya beyond. Many of the range's giants can be seen - Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu, and the distant Annapurnas.
Tonight we stay in a restored traditional house where we can play chess on a giant board and play local games in the late afternoon with the local kids on the traffic free street of Bandipur bazaar
The Old Inn (1 nt)
Day 4 Pokhara
This morning we drive to the lovely lake-side town of Pokhara. We have free time to explore here and will take to the lake for a boat trip. In the evening we have a movie-night and our accommodation for tonight has great grounds and a swimming pool to relax or play in.
Hotel Barahi or similar (1 nt)
Days 5-6 Annapurna Trek/Pokhara
Trekking in Nepal is one of the most rewarding parts of a visit to this mountainous kingdom. Some visitors are put off by the thought that all trekking requires the skills of a mountaineer, and specialist equipment to match. This is not true for the majority of routes, including the one we'll walk but it is important to remember that all trekking is more difficult than just a ramble and that there is little, if any, flat ground in Nepal's hills. On this trek however we do not reach very high altitudes. We walk on well-graded paths that link small farming communities. Steep stone staircases and occasional suspension bridges dot the route. Most people, including children, will find the pace, distance and duration of each day's walk within their capability as long as they are realistic about their fitness and abilities.
Few nationalities provide a camping experience as well as the Nepalese; their hospitality and organisational skills are legendary, as will become clear on the trek. Tents and mattresses are provided, camp staff cook your meals, providing tasty and nutritious food, whilst porters carry your main bags, leaving you with only your day pack to carry.
A drive to Begnas Lake (40mins approx) signals the start of the trek. The first day's walk will take you to the village of Chisapani ('cold water' in Nepali). Walking at a leisurely pace, we first pass through rice fields before climbing through villages offering superb panoramic views along the way. We head into the renowned Annapurna Region and after approximately four hours' trekking, we arrive at the small village of Chisapani where we camp for the night at an altitude of around 1260 m.
The following day we continue to walk for approximately 3.5 hours/7 km. En route we can pause to admire the views, take photos or have a drink in one of the many wayside village teahouses. All around these villages the terraced fields are a testament to the ingenuity of the Nepalese people who have turned the steep hills into productive fields, growing rice, wheat and maize. People you pass are incredibly friendly, and kids will often walk alongside, practising their English. In the village centres, old men sit beneath banyan trees on stone benches, smoking and gossiping. Women and children come up from the fields carrying huge loads effortlessly.
On arrival our vehicle will be waiting to take us to Pokhara. In the evening we will visit Pokhara Base Camp, which will be set up for an end of trek party with trekkers and staff alike.
The following afternoon is free for you to relax or explore as you please. Perhaps visit the World Peace Pagoda, Devi's Falls and Mahendra Cave. Or make time for a visit to a nearby Tibetan village settlement, where superb carpets and other handicrafts can be haggled over.
- Overnight trek in the Annapurnas
Camping (With Facilities) (1 nt), Hotel Barahi or similar (1 nt)
Days 7-9 Seti rafting/Chitwan
This morning after breakfast we drive to the start of our 2 day rafting Adventure on the Seti River. This is a great family exercise as you need to work together as a team to navigate through the chutes and channels. Its not just a rafting experience as the river lies in an isolated gorge surrounded by jungle. We pitch the tent at the end of the day by the river on the white sandy beach to spend the night.
The following morning our rafting concludes around lunch time. We say goodbye to the rafting crew and drive down to the lowlands and Chitwan National Park. We will stay here for 2 nights and we will enjoy a game drive, a float down the river in a dugout canoe and the opportunity to take birdwatching walks before settling down at night in our country villa. There will also be some great opportunity for cultural interaction here.
- Chitwan - Canoe safari, Bird Watching walk or Jeep safari
- Chitwan - Jeep safari
Machan Country Villa (2 nts), Camping (With Facilities) (1 nt)
Days 10-11 Kathmandu
We have the morning free to explore the jungle a little more before taking a short transfer followed by a flight to Kathmandu. If you wish, we can take you for a wander through the backstreets and vibrant local markets to Kathmandu Durbar Square. There are plenty of bargains to be had, but haggling is essential.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Hotel Manaslu (1 nt)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
- Himalayan Teenage Adventure - Single supplement (HNFP)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
- Northern India Family Holiday (HHFI)
- Comfort Northern India Family Holiday (HHFK)
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. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
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. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
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.
Nepal is a developing country and as such standards are very different to those found at home. Delays to travel plans can occasionally occur. Accommodation at Bandipur, whilst comfortable, is basic; multishare accommodation with separate toilet and shower.
Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
For the trek on this trip the general rule is you will need to be very fit and the more preparation you have done for it, the more you will enjoy it. You will be walking at very high altitudes and it will be demanding trekking. You will be walking with your day pack, with the possibility of extreme variations in temperature. We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long stair cases with a pack is good preparation (try putting a few bricks in your pack for real training). Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trek to its fullest.
This trip is considered ‘easy to moderate’ - anyone in good health can take part. Kids who enjoy walking will be able to manage the trek (daily max. 9km, +/-6hours, lots of hills and steps but not designed to be exhausting!).
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.
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 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.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Hotel porters: NPR50-100 is adequate for porters that assist you with bags to your room.
Restaurants: Please check the bill and if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise 5-10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$2-3 per person, per day for local guides. (Including city tour guides, jungle guides, rafting guides, assistant trek guides)
Porters: Throughout your trip you may at times have a porter in addition to your leader. We suggest US$2-3 per person, per day, per porter.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of US$2-3 per person, per day is generally appropriate.
Local transport: For a city tour we suggest US$2 per person, per day.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$3-5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
NOTE: Please don't tip with coins or notes of or less than NPR50, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.
All international departure taxes should be included in your flight ticket.
Kathmandu Valley-wide transport bandhs (strikes) can be called at very short notice. When these bandhs are in place the Nepal Tourism Board and the Nepal Tourist Police in conjunction with the Himalayan Rescue Association run Shuttle Bus Services between various hotels in Kathmandu and the domestic and international airports; this service costs 300 rupees person.
Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 5. Please note that anyone aged under 18 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or legal guardian.
Maximum of 16 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.
A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Camping (With Facilities) (2 nts), Hotel Manaslu (2 nts), Hotel Barahi or similar (2 nts), Machan Country Villa (2 nts), The Famous Farm Guesthouse (1 nt), The Old Inn (1 nt)
Accommodation is clean and simple. You'll mainly stay in small, locally-run, 2-3 star hotels and guesthouses, which reflect the character of the area,generally these will be a twin room with private facilities. Sometimes you'll stay in larger, more comfortable hotels or occasionally rustic accommodation with basic facilities. We use a variety of accommodation on most trips; chosen for their value for money, location and atmosphere. We also try and incorporate unique accommodation experiences, such as a night with a local tribe, or sleeping under the stars in the desert.
GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS:
Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room.
Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room.
Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.
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.
10 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners
Budget for meals not included:
Minibus, Boat, Plane
All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Joining point description
Hotel Manaslu lies in the heart of the city, what’s more a domain of embassies and commercial exchange. Our hotel is close to the hustle and bustle of the city crowd, yet away and sheltered for your relaxed stay. The tourist hub of Thamel is merely 20mins’ walk away. Convenient stores, multitude of restaurants, banks and ATMs are just a step away from the hotel.
Joining point instructions
The hotel is located in an expat enclave of Lazimpat (approx 6kms/ 20mins drive from Kathmandu international airport). Once on the main Lazimpat road, take a lane on the right towards Radisson Hotel. From the main gate of Radisson Hotel, turn right and then left to reach Hotel Manaslu.
For those who have pre-booked your airport arrival transfer your representative who will be waiting in the arrival hall holding a placard bearing our company logo.
A taxi from the airport to the hotel should cost about NRs. 600.
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.
Finish point description
Hotel Manaslu lies in the heart of the city, what’s more a domain of embassies and commercial exchange. Our hotel is close to the hustle and bustle of the city crowd, yet away and sheltered for your relaxed stay. The tourist hub of Thamel is merely 20mins’ walk away. Convenient stores, multitude of restaurants, banks and ATMs are just a step away from the hotel.
Finish point instructions
A taxi to the airport takes about 20mins and should cost between NRs. 600. Hotel reception or your leader can help you arrange a taxi.
A departure transfer from our hotel to the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trips start date.
Check-out time from the hotel is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. 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.
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.
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT:
Below is a suggestion of what you might find useful to take on this trip. Please remember that Nepal is a conservative country, and local sensibilities should be respected - halter neck or sleeveless tops or brief shorts are not acceptable for adults.
* Warm mid-layer (i.e. fleece)
* Warm long trousers (not jeans)
* Woollen hat, gloves and scarf
* Waterproof jacket and trousers
* Lightweight clothing for daytime wear in Chitwan jungle.
* Hiking boots (well worn in)
* 3/4 season sleeping bag
* Torch or headtorch
* Waterbottle (1 litre minimum)
* Sunglasses, sunscreen and lipsalve
* Insect / mosquito repellent is essential
* Anti-bacterial gel for ‘washing’ hands (available from most leading chemists)
* Personal first aid kit and sewing kit
* Water purification tablets
* Travel pillow
Brightly-coloured clothing is not appropriate for Chitwan as it is easily seen by animals and may disturb them; wear muted tones in natural colours (beige, khaki, etc but not army-style camouflage clothing). Warm clothing will still be needed for early morning game viewing in Chitwan for those departing between October and March. For women, shorts are acceptable, but shoulders are best covered (i.e. vest tops are not appropriate)
A laundry service may be available in some places, but we recommend you take biodegradable travel detergent so that you can wash clothes as you choose. NB: Some of the above items can be easily rented in Kathmandu / Pokhara (sleeping bags, down jackets etc.). Whilst quality does vary and you must choose carefully, the cost is usually reasonable. Renting avoids having to purchase equipment and carry it when it’s not needed. Your Group Leader will assist you in arranging equipment should you need it.
The size of baggage that can be brought on this tour is limited by the locker space on the truck. Different trucks have different sized lockers however to be safe we recommend that your bag be no larger than: length 15 inches, height 9.5 inches and depth 26.5 inches. You will need to bring your own lock for your locker. We recommend a 20-30mm sized padlock with a long shackle.The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is maximum 20kg. Backpacks shouldn't have an external frame unless it can be easily removed and stored separately to avoid damaging other people's luggage.
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:
Travelling during the Hindu festival Diwali (a lunar festival but generally held between mid October to mid November every year) can be dangerous. During this time there are many displays of fireworks in the streets. It can be very noisy for several days and there is also a lot of pollution caused by the fireworks. As there are no restrictions on buying fireworks in India there are often injuries caused by people exploding them inappropriately. During this festival your leader may be required to alter your itinerary to avoid any dangerous areas to avoid putting the group at risk.
Travelling in India and Nepal whilst the Holi festival is on (a lunar festival but generally held in March every year), can at times be dangerous - a lot of locals participate in consumption of intoxicating substances. The day has been associated with physical violence and danger. Your leader will be advising you and your group on what places to avoid on this day and it may even be necessary for us to alter your itinerary for the day to avoid putting you or our group leader in high risk situation.
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!
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.
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:
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 by wearing sleeves and long trousers. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in areas of predominantly hot climate. In many rural areas 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 has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
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$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). 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:
Responsible Travel projects
Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Nepal include:
just-one targets disadvantaged children living in dangerous and vulnerable situations on the streets and provides them with training and educational opportunities that bring greater economic security to themselves and their families. Your support through The Intrepid Foundation will assist them in developing their current facilities to include an activity centre and library at their rehab home, and help them build capacity to reach an even greater number of disadvantaged children.
*Seven Women works to economically and socially empower marginalised women in Nepal through literacy programs, skills training and income generation.
*The Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal (HRA) provides much needed medical and emergency evacuation assistance and treats many cases of severe mountain sickness.
For more information on our projects in Nepal, or to make a donation, visit: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/?projectcountry=nepal
Carbon Offset C02-e 298.00 kgs per pax.
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