This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018
The treks on this trip don’t reach very high altitudes (i.e. above 2,000 metres), but they can still be quite difficult. You’ll walk on well-graded paths between rural farming communities, but there is little, if any, flat ground in Nepal's hills. You’ll find the pace, distance and duration of each day's walk within your capability – as long as you are realistic about your fitness and abilities.
Evenings can be cold, especially when camping by the river (this is the Himalayas of course), so be sure to bring warm clothing, and a warm hat too.
Nepali infrastructure is still returning to normal after 2015’s earthquake, so some delays are inevitable. Embracing the slow pace and meditative atmosphere will go a long way toward your enjoyment of this beautiful country.
2018 TRIP CHANGES: we will be changing this itinerary in 2018 please see Important notes for more details
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 may be walking at altitude 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!).
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.
For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local office in Kathmandu on
+977 980 112 3617
For further contact details please visit:
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.
Himalayan Encounters: +9779801123617
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.
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 Essential Trip Information 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. 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.
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.
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.
A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 17 years and under at time of travel.
Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.
Minimum age for children on this trip is 11 years old.
2018 TRIP CHANGES - In 2018 we will be adding in a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and adding in Nagarkot as a stop. We have also removed the camping on the trek and have replaced this with an overnight stay at a Eco Village.
The new itinerary is outlined below:
1 Kathmandu (arrival day)
4 Astam Village
8 Chtiwan National Park
9 Chtiwan National Park
11 Kathmandu (departure day)
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.
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.
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 Travel 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.
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.
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.
Roads in Nepal are usually very busy with an assortment of vehicles from the biggest trucks (who always have right of way) down to bikes (and chickens).
Overtaking on blind corners at speed is common as is the total use of the horn as a form of communication. Our leaders have complete authority to remove groups from local public transport if the driver is not driving safely. Drivers of our private vehicles are experienced well trained. If you are uncomfortable with your driver, please always let your tour leader know in the first instance. Please always wear your seatbelt
There are some long travel days in Nepal, the trip between Kathmandu and Pokhara is approx 200km's and takes approx 6 hours.
Flights between Kathmandu and Pokhara are approx 35 mins.
Flights between Kathmandu and Lukla are often delayed due to poor weather and there have been occasions when groups have had to have their treks rescheduled. Your local leader will give you the most up to date information regarding delays to flights.
Please note that domestic flights in Nepal have very strict weight limits.
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.
When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).
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:
Your Group Leader: You should consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$4-5 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.
Other Trekking crew ( Assistant Guides and Porters): Throughout your trip you may at times have a porter carrying your luggage and assistant guide/s in addition to your leader. We suggest US$4-5 each traveller per day which will be distributed among all porters and assistant guides. The Group leader is not responsible for distributing the tipping to the trekking crew but will assist you and make appropriate recommendations after the trek.
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)
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.
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.
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.
Budget for meals not included: 180.00
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.
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).
Many 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 also 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.
Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:
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.
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 run Shuttle Bus Services between various hotels in Kathmandu and the domestic and international airports; this service costs approx. 300 rupees person.
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.
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 during Holi can at times be unsafe - drinking and drug use is more widespread during this holiday. Your leader/guide will advise your group on what places to avoid on the day.
It may be necessary to alter your itinerary for the day.
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.
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 violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders, local operators or locals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Nepal include:
*Forget Me Not
Forget Me Not rescue and reintegrate ‘paper orphans’ to be thriving, vibrant and connected to family, community and opportunity. In Nepal, there are currently 16,886 children in orphanages and up to 80% could be raised by at least one of their parents if given support. Many of the children have been taken from their families, trafficked into orphanages and used to generate funds. Last year Forget Me Not received 27% of all children rescued from orphanages in Nepal. Rescued children are given complete medical care including psychological, physical and overall wellbeing assessments. Individual case plans are developed and missions determined to trace each child’s family and work towards reunification and reintegration.
*Seven Women works to economically and socially empower marginalised women in Nepal through literacy programs, skills training and income generation.
For more information on our projects in Nepal, or to make a donation, visit: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/?projectcountry=nepal