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ANU Project Nepal 33 Days - $3430

Building a 21st Century Library at Batase Village, then Everest Base Camp Trek.

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Overview

This project is the brain child of Christina Lee, a student at the Australian National University (ANU). Her goal is to build a 21st century library for Batase Village and stop human trafficking. To help achieve this, she is gathering a group of 16 ANU students, who will travel to Nepal and build the library during their time volunteering at Batase Village. They will also hold human trafficking awareness workshops in the village. On completion, they will trek to Everest Base Camp. A truly life changing experience, for the participants and the villagers. Christina is being supported by Take on Nepal, who are proudly partnering with her for this project, and Libraries Without Borders. This amazing experience is fully guided and supported. Please note, although you are volunteering, there is still a cost to the villagers to host your stay, that is why there is a charge for this component of the trip. Your fee is mostly contributed directly back to the village, to facilitate improvements (less administrative costs). The price includes most meals, accommodation, tours and park entry fees.

Click here for more information. Or to support this amazing expedition, please visit the Go Fund Me page.

Highlights

  • Kathmandu
  • Buddhist Temples
  • Himalayan Mountains
  • Volunteering at Batase Village
  • Helping to build a 21st Century Library
  • Hosting awareness programs about human trafficking
  • Scenic flight to Lukla
  • Rhododendron Forests
  • Namche Bazaar
  • Sunrise over Mt Everest
  • Everest Base Camp
  • Suspension Bridges
  • Day 1: Kathmandu Arrival Day (1400m)
  • Day 2: Kathmandu Introduction & Exploration
  • Day 3: Kathmandu to Chisopani (2100m)
  • Day 4: Chisopani to Batase Village
  • Day 5: Batase Village – Your New Base
  • Day 6 -15: Batase Village Project, Let’s Go!
  • Day 16: Official Opening Ceremony of Batase Library
  • Day 17: Last Days in Batase – Time for Farewells
  • Day 18 - 19: Kathmandu, Free Days
  • Day 20: Kathmandu to Bhaktpaur
  • Day 21: Kathmandu fly to Lukla (2800m), Trek to Phakding (2655m)
  • Day 22: Phakding (2655m) to Namche Bazaar (3446m)
  • Day 23: Acclimatisation Day. Namche to Khumjung (3550m)
  • Day 24: Namche to Tengboche (3865m)
  • Day 25: Tengboche to Pheriche (4250m)
  • Day 26: Acclimatisation Day. Pheriche to Dingboche (Short walk) (4410m)
  • Day 27: Dingboche to Lobuje (4940m)
  • Day 28: Lobuje to GorakShep (5160m) to Kala Patthar (5545m)
  • Day 29: Gorakshep to Everest Base Camp (5360m) to Lobuche
  • Day 30: Lobuje to Somare
  • Day 31: Somare to Namche
  • Day 32: Namche to Lukla
  • Day 33: Lukla to Kathmandu
  • Day 1: Kathmandu Arrival Day (1400m)
  • Day 2: Kathmandu Introduction & Exploration
  • Day 3: Kathmandu to Chisopani (2100m)
  • Day 4: Chisopani to Batase Village
  • Day 5: Batase Village – Your New Base
  • Day 6 -15: Batase Village Project, Let’s Go!
  • Day 16: Official Opening Ceremony of Batase Library
  • Day 17: Last Days in Batase – Time for Farewells
  • Day 18 - 19: Kathmandu, Free Days
  • Day 20: Kathmandu to Bhaktpaur
  • Day 21: Kathmandu fly to Lukla (2800m), Trek to Phakding (2655m)
  • Day 22: Phakding (2655m) to Namche Bazaar (3446m)
  • Day 23: Acclimatisation Day. Namche to Khumjung (3550m)
  • Day 24: Namche to Tengboche (3865m)
  • Day 25: Tengboche to Pheriche (4250m)
  • Day 26: Acclimatisation Day. Pheriche to Dingboche (Short walk) (4410m)
  • Day 27: Dingboche to Lobuje (4940m)
  • Day 28: Lobuje to GorakShep (5160m) to Kala Patthar (5545m)
  • Day 29: Gorakshep to Everest Base Camp (5360m) to Lobuche
  • Day 30: Lobuje to Somare
  • Day 31: Somare to Namche
  • Day 32: Namche to Lukla
  • Day 33: Lukla to Kathmandu

Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu Arrival Day (1400m)

Day 1: Kathmandu Arrival Day (1400m)

We arrive into Kathmandu on the United Nations Human Rights Day. A friendly Take on Nepal team member will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. All volunteers will initially be housed in the same hotel, giving you the opportunity to get to know everyone from the very beginning. The excitement builds: your adventure begins.

Day 2: Kathmandu Introduction & Exploration

Day 2: Kathmandu Introduction & Exploration

After breakfast at your hotel, A Take on Nepal team member will provide orientation and information about the following day’s trek. You will be reminded of everything that is needed for your time in Batase village and shown shops to stock up for the trip ahead. As Kathmandu is the starting point for all Himalayan trekkers, many shops do exist to cater to Western tastes, though they are quite basic. Any luxuries you cannot do without, should be brought with you from home. It’s also a good idea to carry a stock of energy bars (or chocolate), as these can be difficult to get hold of once you reach the village. These bars could prove a life line if you find the local village food difficult to eat.

As well as chocolate bars, we recommend you purchase toilet paper and any other essential items that you may have forgotten. You will also be able to hire/purchase a sleeping bag from a shop in Kathmandu.

After breakfast, you’ll be guided to the famous Buddhist Swayambunath Temple in Kathmandu. This temple attracts Buddhists and tourists from around the world. The view of Kathmandu valley from the top of the temple is stunning. The group will then enjoy lunch at a typical, local Nepali restaurant. The time after lunch is allocated for purchasing items for your time in the village. The group will come together after shopping, to enjoy a traditional Nepali dinner, after which you will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns and will be briefed on the following day’s plans. [Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

Day 3: Kathmandu to Chisopani (2100m)

Day 3: Kathmandu to Chisopani (2100m)

Put on your walking boots, it’s time to hit the road. After a 7am breakfast at the hotel, a car/mini bus will take you on a 1-hour drive to Sundarijal, on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Your walk to Chisopani will begin in Sundarijal and take about six hours. The unpaved road from Kathmandu turns into a trail near a small hydroelectric plant. The trail enters through the Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve. The first settlement you will come across is Mulkharka, with Tamang inhabitants. The route heads down the ridge through a forest of oaks and rhododendron to Chisopani. This will be a long day, taking in some truly stunning scenery, and should provide you with some great memories. The pace will be slow, so you don’t need to be super-fit to enjoy the experience. [Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

Day 4: Chisopani to Batase Village

Day 4: Chisopani to Batase Village

Wake up early to enjoy sunrise over the Himalayan mountain range. This is an unforgettable experience. After breakfast, we walk downhill to Patybanjyang, where you’ll experience some great views of the Himalayas. After a short stop in Patybanjyang, we’ll walk uphill towards Batase Village. The surrounding scenery is breathtaking, taking you along the ridge of a mountain overlooking the other surrounding mountains. Look across a vast valley and see rice fields, villages and people going about their daily lives in rural Nepal. Past travellers have commented on it being a humbling experience. Upon arriving in Batase village, at approximately 3pm, you’ll meet Som’s family and enjoy your first meal in the village. [Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

Accommodation: Typically, you’ll stay in our purpose built volunteer home in the village, where you would prepare and eat your meals. The only transportation within the village and surrounding area is your own feet, so a pair of comfortable walking boots is a requirement. Though many of the villagers go barefoot, we don’t expect that from our volunteers.

Day 5: Batase Village – Your New Base

Day 5: Batase Village – Your New Base

The sounds and sights of the village, children chattering, cocks crowing and a sunrise over the Himalayas, is what will greet you this morning. Enjoy it with a hot cup of tea, in the shadow of snow topped mountains, followed by a group orientation session. After breakfast, you will be guided to the village school where you will be introduced to the principal, teachers and students. You will return to the hostel for lunch.

When the children return from school, we encourage you to assist them with their chores (collecting firewood, cutting grass, preparing dinner, etc.), or you have the option of playing and teaching some new games with the younger children and assisting with homework.

Dinner will be provided at approximately 6:30 pm. The evening is your free time to do with as you choose. Previous volunteers have loved spending time with the hostel children, teaching and learning through stories, dance and song around the fire. [Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

Day 6 -15: Batase Village Project, Let’s Go!

Day 6 -15: Batase Village Project, Let’s Go!

Library Project: Today is the day we begin work, building the first library of Batase. Work will include re-modelling the current shed, training the villagers on how to utilise the contents of the library and taking the students to the library. Every class will have the opportunity to use the library once a week, and each volunteer will be in charge of looking after the allocated class. The construction of the library is to be finished before the official opening ceremony. [Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

Day 16: Official Opening Ceremony of Batase Library

Day 16: Official Opening Ceremony of Batase Library

The whole community of Batase and surrounding villages are invited to the library for an official opening ceremony. The day will consist of officially opening the library to the community, speeches by the ANU students and villagers, music and dance performances as well as sharing the Christmas spirit. Human trafficking awareness workshops will also be held. This day will be very special and unforgettable (full program to be confirmed soon).

Day 17: Last Days in Batase – Time for Farewells

Day 17: Last Days in Batase – Time for Farewells

On your final morning in Batase, you will enjoy breakfast before commencing an adventurous Mini Bus/4WD journey back to Kathmandu. You’ll depart the village at approximately 10am and will stop in a small town for a local-style lunch, at approx 1pm. The Mini Bus/4WD trip in an incredible experience in itself. You’ll pass through small villages with spectacular mountain views. You’ll arrive in Kathmandu at approx 3pm, where you will dropped off at your hotel and given much needed time to relax and shower! [Breakfast & lunch included]

Day 18 - 19: Kathmandu, Free Days

Day 18 - 19: Kathmandu, Free Days

These are free days, for you to do as you choose. Many people take the time to shop (our local guide can advise you on the best shops in the area), others enjoy exploring the cultural side of the city or just relaxing and preparing for the next stage of your Take on Nepal adventure. [Breakfast included].

Day 20: Kathmandu to Bhaktpaur

Day 20: Kathmandu to Bhaktpaur

Today you’ll make the 1-hour journey by mini bus to Bhaktpaur. Bhaktapur is listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and you’ll see beautifully preserved courtyards and buildings in this old city centre. Bhaktapur is known for the beautiful artworks made from stone, metal and wood. When in Bhaktapur you must try the famous curd that the city is famous for, it is called JuJu Dhau and is served in traditional clay pots. You will never taste anything like it again! In the evening, you will enjoy a traditional Nepali meal with your group and say farewells to some of the Take on Nepal team members. Commence preparations for the next step of your adventure, the Everest Base Camp Trek. [Breakfast, lunch and dinner included]

Day 21: Kathmandu fly to Lukla (2800m), Trek to Phakding (2655m)

Day 21: Kathmandu fly to Lukla (2800m), Trek to Phakding (2655m)

In the morning, group members will take a spectacular forty-minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla; this will be the most exhilarating flight of your life! Lukla is located 2865m above sea level, in the Khumbu region of Eastern Nepal. You will have awe inspiring views of the terraced landscape and river valleys below. After you arrive, your trek begins straight away, with a lovely, short walk to Phakding. Words cannot describe the feeling you will have when you are there. Be prepared to be overwhelmed!

Day 22: Phakding (2655m) to Namche Bazaar (3446m)

Day 22: Phakding (2655m) to Namche Bazaar (3446m)

Today the real trekking begins. Walk through stunning forests filled with rhododendron, alongside a river named in Nepali as the “milky river”, due to its milky colour from the flow of melting of ice. The day’s trek ends at Namche Bazaar. Namche Bazaar is incredible! A trading town, the hub of the Everest region right there in the foothills of Mount Everest. It’s like something out of a movie!

Day 23: Acclimatisation Day. Namche to Khumjung (3550m)

Day 23: Acclimatisation Day. Namche to Khumjung (3550m)

Enjoy the beauty of Namche’s village as well as the friendliness and hospitality of its local Sherpa people who have the most wonderful smiles. There is much to see and enjoy in this remote traditional village. You will take a short trek up to a Sherpa village named Khumjung and from there you will stay 110m above Namche in a peaceful and beautiful village named Kyangjuma. From your accommodation, you will have uninterrupted views of Ama Dablam and the might Mount Everest.

Day 24: Namche to Tengboche (3865m)

Day 24: Namche to Tengboche (3865m)

It’s not a huge day of walking today, which allows for a sleep in, unless you want to wake up to see a spectacular sunrise over Ama Dablam and Mount Everest! (You really should!) You will begin your trek with breathtaking, unforgettable views of Mount Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Cholatse, Kantaiga, AmaDablam and Thamserku. The walk will end in beautiful and spiritual Tengboche.

Day 25: Tengboche to Pheriche (4250m)

Day 25: Tengboche to Pheriche (4250m)

If you haven’t already, it is likely that you will begin to feel the effects the high altitude. A short day’s journey to Pheriche consists of a trek downhill and a crossing of the Imja River, before climbing to Pheriche.

Day 26: Acclimatisation Day. Pheriche to Dingboche (Short walk) (4410m)

Day 26: Acclimatisation Day. Pheriche to Dingboche (Short walk) (4410m)

Spend the day acclimatising. Your guides will advise you of short walks that you can take to Dingboche and to Chhukung. These walks will allow you to experience incredible views of the world’s highest peaks and allow you to adapt to the higher altitude. After you settle into your accommodation you will be guided on a short walk to a nearby peak to assist with your acclimatisation.

Day 27: Dingboche to Lobuje (4940m)

Day 27: Dingboche to Lobuje (4940m)

The ascent will continue up to Khumbu Glacier, where you will pass a cemetery remembering the lives of the people who have died on Everest. It’s a very spiritual and traditional Buddhist place of respect.

Day 28: Lobuje to GorakShep (5160m) to Kala Patthar (5545m)

Day 28: Lobuje to GorakShep (5160m) to Kala Patthar (5545m)

You will undertake a challenging ascent to GorakShep where you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Mount Everest and Pumori . After checking into your room, you will have a rest before setting out to climb the rocky peak of Kala Patthar. It’s a difficult hike but well worth it, the views are spectacular! After, you will return to Gorakshep for an overnight stay.

Day 29: Gorakshep to Everest Base Camp (5360m) to Lobuche

Day 29: Gorakshep to Everest Base Camp (5360m) to Lobuche

Today’s the day! The day that you will succeed in reaching the base of the world’s highest peak! With excitement in your heart, you will walk along the famous Khumbu Glacier and up to Everest Base Camp (5380m). Here, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the Khumbu Icefall from Everest Base Camp before descending to Lobuche for the evening.

Day 30: Lobuje to Somare

Day 30: Lobuje to Somare

An easy descent down to Somare, filled with amazing views of the mighty Himalayas. You will never tire of your surrounds. You will feel so much at peace and at one with nature.

Day 31: Somare to Namche

Day 31: Somare to Namche

Today you will walk downhill to Namche Bazaar, you will be walking on the same track as you did on your way up to Everest Base Camp.

Day 32: Namche to Lukla

Day 32: Namche to Lukla

An easy walk down to Lukla for the final night’s stay in the Everest region. There’s time to explore Lukla and relax, before your flight the following morning.

Day 33: Lukla to Kathmandu

Day 33: Lukla to Kathmandu

Take a return flight from Lukla to Kathmandu, where you can relax and reflect on your incredible experiences and achievements. This evening, you will enjoy a final, farewell dinner with your guide and group members.

Dates

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Inclusions

What's Included

  • Hotel and airport transfers
  • Flight: Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu
  • All necessary paper work and permits (ACAP, TIMS)
  • An experienced English-speaking trek leader (trekking guide), porters to carry luggage
  • Meals: All breakfasts, welcome and farewell dinners, all meals in Batase village and on the trek. Full details on meals provided each day are outlined in the detailed itinerary above.
  • All accommodation
  • Entry into all cultural sites and National Parks
  • All transportation within Nepal
  • All government and local taxes
  • A comprehensive medical kit

What's Not Included

  • Nepalese visa fee
  • Cost of extra porters if required (In the event that you over-packed and are bringing more luggage than you can carry)
  • International airfare to and from Kathmandu
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Any meals not itemised in the itinerary
  • Deserts and entrees
  • Internet Access
  • Travel insurance and evacuation insurance
  • Phone Calls
  • Charging of your devices
  • Bar Bills
  • Tips for guides and porters

Checklists

Clothing and Equipment

A sleeping bag, a comfortable pair of boots that have been worn in before you get on the plane, a warm fleece jacket, any medications you might require, basic pain killers such as Panadol, toilet paper, some energy bars or chocolate for those times that you tire of the local food, your mobile phone (there is mobile reception in the village thanks to a new mast on a nearby peak). A head torch (Petzel or Black Diamond) is essential in the village as the electricity supply is unreliable. The head torch makes it easier to do washing, use the toilet, brushing teeth, reading, etc. at night.

Don’t weigh yourself down with too many electronic devices. While we all love our Kindles, there’s no Wi-Fi in the village, so you won’t have the opportunity to watch any YouTube videos—but isn’t that the whole point of the trip, to experience real life in rural Nepal?

There isn’t much to spend money on in the village, so lots of cash is not a requirement. Your food and lodgings are all taken care of by Take On Nepal. If you bring travellers cheques, you won’t have anywhere to cash them. They’ll only be of use to you if you plan to spend time in Kathmandu independently after your stay in the village.

Please note: If you do not already own these items, we highly recommend that you purchase or hire these items in Kathmandu. They are made to a high quality and it’s always great to support the local economy. Another option is to hire a sleeping bag and jacket at a cost of approximately AUD$50 for each item for a period of 14 days.

Clothing

The mistake many people make, is having too much stuff. There is nothing worse than carting clothing and equipment with you and ultimately not having needed it. The below list outlines the standard clothing we recommend you take for trekking.

  • Heavy fleece long sleeve top
  • Mid weight long sleeve top
  • Zip-off full leg hiking pants and additional pair of hiking shorts
  • Stretch/lycra type full leg pants
  • Thermal fleece style long pants
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket with hood (Gore-Tex or equivalent) or Down Jacket
  • Thermal long sleeve tops (2)
  • Thermal long johns (1)
  • 2 T-shirts for hiking (polyester or equivalent with good wicking properties –cotton is not recommended)
  • 2 T-shirts for ‘after hiking’ (cotton is okay)
  • Heavyweight gloves or mittens with waterproof outer shell
  • Lightweight gloves (synthetic or poly-prop)
  • Warm hat / beanie and neck-warmer
  • Underwear (3 – 4 pairs)
  • Additional set of thermal underwear (can double up as pyjamas)
  • 3 – 4 pairs heavy weight woolen hiking socks
  • 2 pairs lightweight / thin comfortable socks
  • 1 pair of sturdy hiking boots with spare laces
  • Joggers or sandals for the end of the day when your trek has finished.

Equipment and Other

Your Everest Base Camp packing list should include the following equipment:

  • Light weight head torch (LED)
  • Digital camera
  • Backpack (30 – 40 litres)
  • Sleeping bag inner sheet (optional but nice to have)
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Water bottle, buy in Kathmandu (1 litre capacity)
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Waterproof leucoplast tape or similar for preventing blisters (available at chemists)
  • Small personal towel
  • Personal toiletries (include soap for washing clothes)
  • Wet Wipes (100 plus)
  • First aid kit (Optional)
  • Sweets / chocolate (buy in Kathmandu)
  • Tissues
  • Lip Balm

If you do not already own these items, we highly recommend that you purchase or hire these items in Kathmandu. They are made to a high quality and it’s always great to support the local economy. Another option is to hire a sleeping bag and jacket at a cost of approximately AUD$50 for each item for a period of 14 days.

FAQ's

About Nepal

Is it safe to travel in Nepal?

The short answer is yes. Nepal is safer than most countries around the world, possibly due to the religious nature of the people and their natural kindness. Over the past 10 years Nepal has enjoyed a growth in visitors, from all over the world. The people are very hospitable. The Nepalese accept that tourism is a mainstay of the economy and are very welcoming.

Will I need a visa?

Yes. You can obtain your visa prior to departure through the General Consulate of Nepal. Please visit their website to download the details and relevant form Nepal Australian Consulute

Alternatively, you can obtain the visa upon arrival at the airport in Kathmandu. You will be applying for a tourist visa. If you choose this option, we advise you should have 4 passport sized photos ready and AUD or US dollars in cash to pay for the visa. The cost for a 30-day visa is between $30 and $50. There is an EFTPOS facility at the airport, but this is unreliable and we recommend you have cash ready to avoid any issues that could arise. The process at the airport is straightforward and easy. Please download the visa application form, fill it in and take it with you in your hand luggage, this will save you some time at the airport.

Please see attached a scanned copy of the visa application form, this form gives you an idea of the information they require upon arrival. We recommend that when you disembark from the airplane that you don’t dilly dally, head straight for the visa applications, fill it out and get in line! Sometimes there can be quite a line up (I’ve been caught out a few times!) but that may not be the case as you are travelling in the off season.

Do I need insurance or vaccinations?

Travel Insurance is compulsory if you wish to participate in the program. We will require a copy of the insurance certificate and you must also bring a hard copy of your insurance certificate with you to Nepal. Nepal does not require any vaccinations in order to enter the country. However, we strongly recommend that participants consult with a doctor before departing for Nepal for information about immunisations and advice on how to stay healthy while traveling.

What will the weather be like?

Nepal has four distinct seasons. Spring lasts from March to May and is warm with rain showers; temperatures around 22°C. Summer, from June to August, is the monsoon season when the hills turn lush and green. Temperatures can get quite warm, up to 30°C. Autumn, from September to November, is cool with clear skies and is the most popular season for trekking. Temperatures are not too warm, with daily maximum about 25°C and cool nights with minimum of 10°C. It usually does not rain for more than one or two days during the autumn and the winter season. In winter, from December to February, it is cold at night with temperatures sometimes below zero. However, the maximum temperatures can still reach up to 20°C. Then the mountains are covered with snow.

Will I need to speak the local language?

You do not need to learn Nepali. Prior to departure, we will provide you with a document of key words and phrases in Nepali, in order for you to be prepared. On your first day in the village, you will be given a lesson in Basic Nepali. We are encouraging the village children to learn English, as this is the key to better opportunities for them in the future. The children are keen to learn and to practice their English with you.

Will I be able to phone home?

You will have access to the internet and telephones in Kathmandu and in Chitwan. We encourage you to open a Skype account, to reduce the costs of calling from Nepal to Australia.

In the village your team leader will have a reliable phone connection, you will be provided with his number prior to departure, to leave with family members who may wish to contact you during your time in the village. We encourage volunteers to distance themselves from internet and technology, as this allows for a more authentic village experience.

How do I book my flight?

You will need to book your own flight and travel insurance. You’ll be met at the airport and transported from there to your accommodation in Kathmandu.

What should I bring?

Upon acceptance into the program you will be sent a comprehensive Preparation Pack, this will outline all that is required to be fully prepared for your exciting experience. It will include a list of items that we encourage you to take with you to Nepal.

Will I have clean drinking water?

The water in Kathmandu and Chitwan is unsafe to drink, we will provide you with free bottled water. In the village, the water is clean and safe to drink but it will be treated to ensure your protection against any water borne issues.

Trekking and Volunteering

How do I book or reserve a place on one of your treks?

You can make a booking by clicking this link.

When do your treks depart?

Treks depart each month, throughout the year. Dates vary depending on the arrival date of a particular group. We can accommodate different departure dates in the same month if required.

When trekking, do we have to travel as part of a group?

No. If you are a couple or small group, and you wish to travel alone, we can accommodate you. We try to bring trekkers together into groups as we find it’s a more enjoyable experience for all, but if you wish a more individual trek for yourself or your companions, we’d be happy to arrange this.

Everest Base Camp Trek Questions

Is it scary?

This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on personality. Some people love the thrill of flying into Lukla and crossing high suspension bridges, but others have to overcome many fears to make this experience a reality.

From my own personal experiences, I tend to be the latter. I’m not a risk taker and I worry a lot. Having flown into Lukla airport and trekked the Everest Base Camp Trail, I can say my fears were unfounded. I enjoyed the flight and found the trek to be the most incredible experience of my life. After crossing the first suspension bridge the rest did not bother me, in fact, I started to look forward to them!

Whenever you trek with us, you will be surrounded by a team of professionals who know what to look out for and will constantly be keeping your wellbeing at the forefront of their minds. Our guides will always put your mind at ease and will act quickly in a situation where you may be feeling uncertain. You’re in safe hands!

Will I be giving back to the people of Nepal?

When you trek with us, you are most definitely helping the people of Nepal. As one of the only companies hiring young women, you will be supporting our very important work of ending early marriages and human trafficking. We pay above award wages and treat all our team members as family members, we want a happy and productive team and we believe we have achieved that.

Our team will share the culture and traditions of Nepal with you, leaving you feeling connected to not only the spectacular mountains, but also to the people of Nepal, who will leave an imprint on your heart. Take on Nepal co-founder Som Tamang, is the founder and president of the not for profit organisation, Friends of Himalayan Children Inc. (FHC). FHC works in remote villages to provide educational opportunities to thousands of children and a safe and nurturing home to 50 young children. Take on Nepal is committed to giving back to Nepal on many different levels. By choosing us as your preferred trekking company, you will be too.

What cultural traditions should I be aware of?

The most important one to be aware of, when trekking to Everest Base Camp, is the many Stupa’s. A Stupa is a Buddhist shrine. Your guide will point them out to you. You must always walk on the right side of the Stupas; in Buddhism it’s considered important to go clockwise, this relates to always moving forward in life, not having regrets or going backwards (anti-clockwise).

Nepal is a developing country, many people live in poverty. It is considered polite to finish all the food on your plate. If you are simply too full to finish your meal, please offer the food to a friend or guide.

It is considered disrespectful to shout in the mountains of the Everest region. Always use a normal speaking voice and refrain from yelling out, unless you absolutely must!

Your guide will make you aware of any other cultural traditions you need to know, during your trek. Please do not hesitate to ask your guide lots of questions. Our guides appreciate you showing an interest in their country and you will leave Nepal full of interesting information.

What training do my guides have?

All our leading guides undergo a training course to receive their license. We do not allow our clients to trek without an experienced, licensed guide leading the way. Our guides also do first aid training and will be offered every opportunity to attend mountaineering, hiking and biking courses wherever possible.

Take on Nepal believe that a well-trained team of professionals, will guarantee positive outcomes. We are also one of the only companies that fly our young trainee guides into Lukla, to begin their journey as trainee guides/porters. Most companies hire their team at Lukla as it reduces their flight expenses.

Lukla has been described as the “most dangerous airport in the world”, is this really the case?

We feel this is an unfair title. When researching statistics related to the airport, it’s easy to see why this is an exaggeration. Over the past 40 years, there has been only one fatal plane crash. During peak season, up to 30 flights take off and land to/from Lukla, on a daily basis. The airlines are very careful not to fly, unless the conditions are perfect. For this reason, we recommend you always allow a minimum of 2 days free at the end of your trek, before returning to your home country. This will ensure you do not miss your return flight.

The title “most dangerous airport” was given due to the altitude at which the planes land, the surrounding mountains and also because of the length of the runway. It is a short runway, with a steep gradient to allow for flights to land safely. We are sure that you will find it to be an exciting and exhilarating experience!

Do I need to be super fit to be reach Everest Base Camp?

No, you do not need to be super fit to undertake this trek. However, the fitter you are, the easier and more enjoyable the experience will be. To get prepared, we recommend you stick with the training plan we will provide to you, to ensure the best possible outcome for you for the trek.

We have seen people of all ages and sizes successfully reach Everest Base Camp, fitness is not dependent on size, it is strength that matters most. Strength of mind and self-belief is also another crucial factor, in achieving your goal to reach Everest Base Camp.

Are my porters treated well?

We go above and beyond to ensure our porters are treated with respect. We do not allow our male porters to carry more than 20kg and our female porters 15kg. This is much less than other companies. Our porters are paid fair wages and tips are divided evenly amongst guides and porters. We view our porters as an integral part of our team and treat them with the respect that is deserved.

How much money should I tip my guide and porter?

Although our team are paid wages for the work they do, tipping is a way of showing gratitude for a job well done. As a general rule, the average tips given to your team (guides and porters) are 10% of the cost of your trek. For example, if you paid $2,000 for your trekking experience, $200 would be a kind and respectful amount to pay to your team.

We also want to stress that in the unlikely event that you are unhappy with the level of service received from your team, you are not obligated to tip.

Keep in mind that tips make a big difference to the lives of our guides and porters, this money always goes to good use, generally towards caring for their families. Your generosity has a wonderful roll on effect in Nepal. Generous tips result in happiness all round. You will leave Nepal knowing you have rewarded the people who have made your experience what it was and your team will feel gratitude for your kindness.

I can only get time off to do the trek in December/January. This is off season, is it too cold to trek during this time?

We understand many trekkers can only get time off work during the Christmas period, this also happens to be the off season in Nepal. From my personal experience of trekking in Nepal, I must say this is my favourite time of year to trek. Although the temperatures are lower, especially once you reach an altitude of above 4,000m, the skies are always clear and blue and the views are second to none. The trails are much quieter and the trekking lodges are less busy, which raises the level of service you receive. Also, flights in and out of Lukla are more reliable, as the weather tends to be predictably clear. Finally, and most importantly, you’re just about guaranteed a great view of Mount Everest!

If you follow our packing list, you will be warm enough at night and cool enough during the day.

Am I guaranteed to see Mount Everest?

No, it is not guaranteed that you will see Mount Everest. In fact, it’s only during certain seasons that you will see the mighty mountain and when you do see it, your view will be between cloud coverage. For your best chance of seeing Mount Everest, we recommend you trek between September and February. During the Summer monsoon months (June, July and August), it is unlikely you will see Everest, but you will certainly know you’re amongst the giant mountains of the world, and will often be walking above the clouds, an incredible feeling!

Do I need to trek in a group? I would like to undertake the trek with my partner or on my own.

Our treks can be customised for large groups, small groups, couples and also individuals. The costs outlined on our website are based around groups. If you are trekking as an individual or couple, there may be a small additional cost.

What is the food like on the Everest Base Camp Trek?

When you trek with Take on Nepal, all main meals are included in the cost of the trek. At each tea house and trekking lodge, you’ll be provided with a menu to choose your meal from. Feedback in relation to the food on the trek is always positive, the menu caters for all tastes!

It is our strong recommendation that you order the traditional Nepalese meal of Dahl Baht for at least 1 or 2 of your daily meals. Dahl Baht consists of rice, vegetable curry and lentil soup. It is a meal that will meet most of your nutritional needs, whilst also being filling and tasty. The people of Nepal have a saying “Dahl Baht Power, 24 Hour!” meaning it provide the energy required for 24 hours.

What is the accommodation like on the Everest Base Camp Trek?

Accommodation is always on a twin share basis, in cozy lodges along the trekking route. The rooms are basic, they are small with two single beds. You’re provided with a blanket and pillow, but you need to have a sleeping bag to be comfortable and warm at night.

When staying in the lodges, most of your time (other than sleeping) will be spent in the dining room. These Tibetan-style timber dining rooms are an oasis after a day of trekking. They are warm, homely and filled with happy trekkers and guides chatting contently to one another.

Is the itinerary flexible?

Yes! We’re more than happy to adjust the itinerary to make your dream trek a reality. Some people choose to have additional days trekking, while other people are short on time and the itinerary needs to be adjusted to fit in with the time frame allowed. Our expert team can provide you with advice. If you have additional days to spare, we recommend that you join one of our city tours. Kathmandu has a lot to offer!

What should I bring with me?

This is itemized on each tour page. Please note, we highly recommend that you purchase as much as you can in Kathmandu, by purchasing quality goods in Nepal, you will be supporting the local economy.

Will I have internet and mobile phone reception during the trek?

This is your choice. You will have the option of purchasing internet (Everest Link).

Are there shops for me to buy essentials during the trek?

There are small tea houses and lodges along the trails, that sell some necessities. We highly recommend that you have everything you need, before commencing the trek, that way, everything you purchase along the trail will be additional luxuries (such as fruit, biscuits, pringles and soft drink). Prices along the trail are very high and this is out of necessity. We fully encourage you to buy luxury items along the way, in order to support the local economy.

Is it possible for me to have a woman guide?

Take on Nepal are very proud to be one of the only companies hiring and training a team of women. We work alongside some of the most vulnerable women in Nepal, providing them with opportunities that are unheard of within Nepal. Our young women guides are trailblazers, paving the way for other young women who wish to break free from the cycle of early marriage and poverty.

When we first started bringing young women along as trainee guides and porters, lodge owners and trekking guides were shocked, and would sometimes disapprove of what we were doing. Attitudes are slowly shifting and now if a woman guide/porter is not working with our group, we are asked about their whereabouts.

Nepal is a male dominated country. Female education is not valued and the expectation is early and more often than not, pre-arranged marriage. Our work with young women in Nepal begins in our co-founder Som Tamang’s home village of Batase. Through the humanitarian not for profit organisation “Friends of Himalayan Children Inc.” we ensure the girls in the village are given every opportunity to attend school. We break down barriers that stop young village girls from achieving their full potential. If the girls attend school and show motivation towards work opportunities, we support them to continue their education in Kathmandu, whilst also providing employment as trainee guides and porters with Take on Nepal. Hiring young village women is something that as a company we are most proud of.

Practicalities

What should I wear on my feet while trekking?

Make sure you wear an old, trusted pair of reliable and comfortable trekking boots or shoes. If purchasing a new pair, do so a minimum of 4 weeks prior to departure, to allow time to break them in properly. It is so important to avoid the possibility of getting blisters, something as simple as that could negatively impact on your trek. We recommend you wear woolen socks when trekking, as they keep your feet warm and dry.

How much money do you recommend I bring with me for my trek?

Your trekking fee covers most of your costs, including all of your meals, accommodation, permits and the flight in and out of Lukla (where this destination is included in your trek). However, the costs of “luxuries” are not covered (such as coffee, sweets, alcohol and other souvenirs you may wish to purchase along the way). We recommend you budget approximately $20 per day, to comfortably cover any additional expenses you may encounter.

What can I expect to happen if the flight in/out of Lukla is cancelled or delayed?

This can happen due to weather conditions. If your flight in or out of Lukla is delayed, you may end up having to wait 1-2 days for another flight. We recommend that you allow an extra couple of days, when booking your flight out of Nepal, to allow for such an occurrence. The additional time spent in Lukla or Kathmandu will be a personal expense to you, but we will be very happy to organise any logistics, such as your accommodation in Lukla or Kathmandu. Another option is to use a privately chartered helicopter. The cost for this is high, but it’s a guaranteed way to ensure you meet any deadlines you may have.

How much weight can my porter carry?

We’re different to most other trekking companies, in that our porters are often female (to empower and provide employment), and we set the limit at 15kg. Many other trekking companies use 1 porter for 2 clients, with an expectation they carry up to 40kg; we do not agree with this and do not want to place such hardships upon our team members. 10kg is plenty for your trek and you would also be carrying your personal daypack, which generally weighs 5kg.

Will I have access to the internet and other telecommunications during my trek?

You will have reliable Internet access in most places. Many lodges on the Everest Base Camp Trek have Internet access, but you must purchase usage. On other treks it varies, but overall, coverage in Nepal is reasonable but slow. Our team has access to satellite phones during treks, to call for support in the event of an emergency.

Can you provide me with more information on your terms and conditions and also information on your cancellation policy?

Yes, please famialise yourself with our detailed terms and conditions and our cancellation policy. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have. We’re always happy to help!

Health & Safety

How do I know if I’m physically strong enough for the trek?

If you’re in doubt about whether or not you would be able to undertake the trek, we recommend that you visit your doctor for a health check. Overall good health and determination, combined with good coordination and balance, will all work in your favour.

How will I be supported if I have an injury, or if I become sick during the trek?

Your safety is our number one priority. Our professional guides are skilled and experienced when responding to emergencies. Take on Nepal have a comprehensive risk management document, that ensures most possibilities have been carefully addressed and plans put in place. Our guides are all trained in First Aid and through their experience and knowledge, know when to call a helicopter for an emergency evacuation. With Take on Nepal, you are in safe hands.

How will I adjust to the change in altitude?

At altitude, sickness can set in at any time. We pace our treks to allow your body to adjust to the change in climate and our team monitoring your wellbeing, throughout the trek. The most common form of altitude sickness is actually called “Acute Mountain Sickness” (AMS). It’s the least dangerous form and symptoms include a light headache, nausea, loss of appetite, insomnia and fatigue. In most cases, it is treatable through rest and many people make it to their destination. If your condition worsens, you will be evacuated out of the region by helicopter, to receive medical treatment at a hospital.

I’m a female, is it safe for me to travel alone?

As a female, Nepal is generally very safe. Many of our team members are female and much of our work centres around empowering young women and girls. Most, if not all of our treks, will have a female staff member on board, who will give you strength and inspiration as you trek through the mountains of Nepal.

Getting Organised

Do I need insurance or vaccinations?

Travel Insurance is compulsory if you wish to participate in the program. We will require a copy of the insurance certificate and you must also bring a hard copy of your insurance certificate with you to Nepal. You need to ensure that the travel insurance purchased insures for helicopter evacuation above 5500m.

Nepal does not require any vaccinations in order to enter the country. However, we strongly recommend that participants consult with a doctor before departing for Nepal, for information about immunisations and advice on how to stay healthy while traveling.

What do you recommend that I take on my trip with me?

The mistake many people make is having too much stuff. There is nothing worse than carting clothing and equipment with you for 2 weeks (at altitude) in Nepal and ultimately not having needed it. The list below outlines the standard clothing we recommend, for trekking 14 – 15 days in the mountains.

  • Heavy fleece long sleeve top
  • Mid weight long sleeve top
  • Zip-off full leg hiking pants and additional pair of hiking shorts
  • Stretch/lycra type full leg pants
  • Thermal fleece style long pants
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket with hood (Gore-Tex or equivalent) or Down Jacket
  • Thermal long sleeve tops (2)
  • Thermal long johns (1)
  • 2 T-shirts for hiking (polyester or equivalent with good wicking properties –cotton is not recommended)
  • 2 T-shirts for ‘after hiking’ (cotton is okay)
  • Heavyweight gloves or mittens with waterproof outer shell
  • Lightweight gloves (synthetic or poly-prop)
  • Warm hat / beanie and neck-warmer
  • Underwear (3 – 4 pairs)
  • Additional set of thermal underwear (can double up as pyjamas)
  • 3 – 4 pairs heavy weight woolen hiking socks
  • 2 pairs lightweight / thin comfortable socks
  • 1 pair of sturdy hiking boots with spare laces
  • Joggers or sandals for the end of the day when your trek has finished.

Your packing list should include the following equipment:

  • Light weight head torch (LED)
  • Digital camera
  • Backpack (30 – 40 litres)
  • Sleeping bag inner sheet (optional but nice to have)
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Water bottle, buy in Kathmandu (1 litre capacity)
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Waterproof leucoplast tape or similar for preventing blisters (available at chemists)
  • Small personal towel
  • Personal toiletries (include soap for washing clothes)
  • Wet Wipes (100 plus)
  • First aid kit (Optional)
  • Sweets / chocolate (buy in Kathmandu)
  • Tissues
  • Lip Balm

If you do not already own these items, we highly recommend that you purchase or hire these items in Kathmandu. They are made to a high quality and it’s always great to support the local economy. Another option is to hire a sleeping bag and jacket at a cost of approximately AUD$50 for each item for a period of 14 days.

What items should I NOT take with me for my trek?

Jeans, Jumpers / Sweaters, Dress Shirts, Dress Shoes, Dresses or Hair Dryers.

What about entry fees into national parks and trekking permits, do you organize that?

We organise all this for you. All the costs are included in the cost of your trek.

What time of year do you recommend I undertake my trek?

All seasons have their pros and cons, but as a general rule, the best time to trek in Nepal is from February to May, when the temperature has warmed after Winter. September through to December is also a fabulous time to trek, during these months the clouds start lifting after the Monsoon rains of June and July, which often leaves you with spectacular views of the Himalayas.

Essentials

Will I be able to do this?

Yes! If you are physically fit, if you love the outdoors and if you have a positive attitude, you will make it. Altitude sickness or injury can end your trek, but this only affects a small percentage of people who trek. Being amongst the tallest peaks in the world is a feeling that cannot be described in words and we recommend that you undertake some basic fitness training, prior to your departure, to ensure it is a positive experience for you.

Do I need to have a guide?

You can go it alone, but we can assure you it would be a vastly different experience. Our guides bring with them knowledge and experience; this becomes a bridge between the two cultures. You are guaranteed to learn so much more about Nepal and the terrain through which you are trekking, when you are guided. You are also providing employment to people who rely on tourism to survive, they are passionate about their work and we are sure your guide will soon become a friend to you.

I understand that my guide and porter may be female. Can you give me more information about this?

In the mountain villages of Nepal, opportunities for women are few. Many young girls have little or no education, and marriage at an early age is still common. Take on Nepal and Friends of Himalayan Children Charity have been working to change this, for many years.

As Take on Nepal has grown, we’ve begun hiring young women and girls from Batase, first to work as porters and then as guides, roles that up to now have been seen as exclusively male. For young village girls, early exposure to paid work as porters and the experience of interacting with Western women, is an eye opener. It provides them with a glimpse of other possible futures, futures far different from the lives their mothers lived and to the lives they may have thought they were going to live.

The trekking industry in Nepal is a male dominated environment. Women guides are unheard of, which is surprising when you consider that a huge proportion of Western trekkers visiting Nepal are women. Spend a few nights staying at various lodges on the trails and you will see that 60% of all trekkers are women, many coming from European countries. At Take on Nepal, we’re all about empowering women, giving the village girls the opportunities that their brothers have and opening their eyes to the possibilities of a larger world.

Can I take my children to Everest Base Camp?

It is becoming quite common for families to trek to Everest Base Camp together. Children aged 9 and upwards have trekked comfortably to Everest Base Camp and why not take your parents too! Age should not be a barrier to undertake this experience, as long as family members are fit, healthy and have a positive frame of mind, it is a possibility. We can tailor a trek specifically for the needs of your family, as we do recommend adding a few extra days on to the trek.

Do I need to undertake a training program to complete my trek?

This is highly recommended as the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the experience. We offer a helpful training program for you, once you have booked, and we’re always on hand to answer your questions. Our team will support and encourage you throughout your trek. Our treks are paced to allow plenty of time for you to reach your daily destination. However, if you choose to undertake the trek without prior training, you will be fine, as long as you have great willpower and plenty of stamina to get you through the tough times.

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Testimonials

My name is Christina Lee and I was born in South Korea. My family moved to Cairns when I was 12 years old. I completed my International Baccalaureate Diploma at Cairns State High school in 2016. Now I am studying Law and Arts (Human Rights) at the Australian National University in Canberra. And my dream is to become an international human rights lawyer. In November 2016, four days after graduating from high school, I went on a life-changing trip to Nepal because of my passion in human rights. I volunteered in Batase village, across from the Himalayas … It was an absolutely phenomenal experience to finally see the village and the people I met there were the most beautiful human beings. But behind their smiles, they had traumatic scars. The girls, their sisters and mothers are constantly human trafficked to India with the false promise of hope. From that moment on, I decided that I will give everything I have into anything I can to eliminate injustice, such as modern slavery, in our international communities through education. That’s what this expedition is all about. Click here to read more about my mission and this journey.

Christina Lee - Team Leader

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