Helicopter flights over the Everest Region are the ultimate day experience! With pick-ups in Kathmandu the helicopter flight will take you to lower Kala Patthar. Kalapathar provides perfect, scenic views of all the Himalayan giants, including Mount Everest. You will be at an altitude higher than Everest Base Camp. The helicopter skims alongside the mountains, allowing you to feel connected to your surroundings. This is an experience like no other. Obviously, when you’re flying at high altitude safety is paramount. You can rest assured the company we use for helicopter flights over the Everest Region, have a fleet of new helicopters and use only pilots with many years of experience of flying in and around the Everest region. The price includes hotel transfers and all essentials for the helicopter flight. This can be booked for a maximum of four people at a time, a minimum of one. Please note availability is only from October to May, due to weather.
Transfer to Helicopter Pad at Kathmandu Airport with your guide.
Discuss your ultimate experience, learn what to expect from your journey ahead. Your guide and pilot will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Enjoy the incredible birds eye view of busy and bustling Kathmandu valley, before gliding over the ridge of a mountain, where you begin to encounter breathtaking views of the mountains at the foothills of the Himalayan peaks. You will see small villages, mountain ridges, rivers, valleys and passes.
The first of many Sherpa villages you will see today. Upon arrival, the team at Lukla airport will quickly refuel the helicopter. During this time your details will be taken. This is for permission to enter the Everest region.
After settling back into the helicopter, your flight will take you over the famous Sherpa Buddhist villages of Namche, Tengboche, Dingboche, Gorakshep and the Khumbu Glacier, before you land at lower Kalapathar. Landing at Lower Kalapathar provides the best possible views of Mount Everest and the surrounding peaks. From this location you will be at an altitude higher than Everest Base Camp (5,450m).
After landing, you’re given 5 minutes at your chosen site. This time limitation is for your own safety, as you may be affected by high altitude sickness if you stay longer. Don’t panic, this is enough time for photos and to take in what’s guaranteed to be the most spectacular scenery you have ever seen.
Fly back over the area you covered, before landing approximately 400m above Namche (altitude 3880m) for breakfast at the world’s highest hotel, as listed in the Guinness Book of Records (Hotel Everest View). NB: Breakfast is not included in the tour price. On a clear day enjoy views of Mount Everest and other high peaks; the scenery from this hotel are awe inspiring
Your flight returns to Lukla for a quick refueling, before returning to Kathmandu. Upon landing in Kathmandu, your guide will arrange your transfer back to your hotel. This is certain to be the most exciting and exhilarating experience of your life. A must do!
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The months before the monsoon – February, March and April – are peak trekking months, as are the months after the monsoon – October and November. Most of our group treks occur in April and October, due to optimal weather conditions. At Take on Nepal we always want our clients to have the best possible experience, so to help you plan the best time for you trek, please read on.
Whatever time of the year you choose to trek, it’s important that you’re fully prepared for the adventure ahead of you. You will need to pack appropriately for the climate in which you will be 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.
The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee. While it is highly unlikely you will be able to transfer Australian Dollars into Nepalese Rupees, until you reach Nepal – major banks, hotels, and the exchange counters at Tribhuvan Airport* provide services for exchanging foreign currency. *You will find better exchange rates in Kathmandu than those outside the airport.
Kathmandu has modern banking facilities and there are ATM’s located conveniently close to your hotel. Additionally, some International Banks have their own offices in Kathmandu. Credit cards are accepted in Nepal at major hotels, shops and restaurants, but not on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
While your trekking fee covers most of your costs (including meals, accommodation, permits and the flight in and out of Lukla), the purchase of any “luxuries” along the way on the trek – such as coffee, chocolate, sweets, alcohol, hot showers, toilet paper, device charging and souvenirs – are not covered. We recommend you budget approximately $20-$30 Australian Dollars per day, to comfortably cover these types of expenses. You will need this in Nepalese Rupees, which can be withdrawn from an ATM on your arrival in Kathmandu.
In addition, we recommend you carry approx. $300 Australian Dollars with you when traveling to Nepal, which will cover your visa upon arrival and any tips.
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 for our female porters. Our recommneded load for male porters is 20kg unless they choose to carry more, we don’t encourage this but some of our porters are used to carrying heavier loads; we don’t allow any team members to carry more than 30kg’s. 10kg is plenty for your trek and you would also be carrying your personal daypack, which generally weighs 5kg.
On all our treks we choose to stay in tea houses, they are in fact small lodges but have been named by the local people as tea houses, as they are also used to serve trekkers tea and food. The tea houses are often compared favourably to Swiss Chalets, but it would be unfair to expect the same level of service and facilities in the remote Himalayan mountains. Some companies use tents along the way, when you see the tents and experience the cold climate, I can assure you that you’ll be very happy to be staying in tea houses. The trekking companies using tents do so to save money, we believe in supporting the local families who own and operate the tea houses. We love the interaction that happens between the local families and trekkers. The tea houses are an inviting sanctuary, a place to rest and reflect on the day that has just passed and to enjoy great company and a hearty meal before resting for the night. Read on for more information about what to expect of your accommodation during your Take on Nepal trek.
You will have reliable Internet access in most places. Many lodges on our trekking routes 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.
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!
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.
We constantly hear people telling us they are not fit enough to trek to any of the base camps, and on the other side of the coin, we sometimes have people join our groups who don’t believe it necessary to train for this trek, and that’s a mistake. Preparing for this trek is crucial to your success and is also important to the success of the group as a whole. You don’t need to be as fit as an athlete to undertake this trek, but you do need to dedicate up to 6 hours a week to training in the 3 months leading up to the trek. Below is a guide to training for the multi-day, base camp 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.
You are at the lowest possible altitude when you are at sea level, the higher you go the less oxygen there is in the air and when you’re hiking at a high altitude such as the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, the body can react to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. This is altitude sickness.
You can take a few very important steps that will drastically reduce your risk of getting altitude sickness, these are:
The steps you need to take if you get altitude sickness include:
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.
Nepal is one of the world’s more crime-free countries, but it would be unwise not to take a few simple precautions. The main concern is petty theft. Store valuables in your hotel safe, close windows or grilles at night in cities to deter “fishing” and use a money belt or pouch around your neck. Some public bus routes have reputations for baggage theft. Pickpockets (often street children) operate in crowded urban areas, especially during festivals; be vigilant.
If you’re robbed, report it as soon as possible to the police headquarters of the district in which the robbery occurred. Policemen are apt to be friendly, if not much help. For insurance purposes, go to the Interpol Section of the police headquarters in Durbar Square, Kathmandu, to fill in a report; you’ll need a copy of it to claim from your insurer once back home.
The worst trouble you’re likely to run into is one of Nepal’s all-too-common civil disturbances. Political parties, student organizations and anyone else with a ‘gripe’ may call a chakka jam (traffic halt) or bandh (general strike). In either case, most shops pull down their shutters as well and vehicles stay off the roads to avoid having their windows smashed. Demonstrations sometimes involve rock-throwing, tear gas and lathis (Asian-style police batons), but nobody is interested in you: leave the area if you anticipate political agitation.
Indian-style hustle is on the rise in Kathmandu. You’ll get a dose of it at the airport or any major bus station, where hotel touts lie in wait to accost arriving tourists. They also cruise the tourist strips of Kathmandu, offering drugs, treks, and increasingly, sex. For the most part though, Nepali touts are less aggressive than their Indian brethren, and if you’re entering Nepal from North India, where aggressive touts have to be dealt with firmly, you should prepare to adjust your attitude. Ignore them entirely and they’re likely to ignore you. If that doesn’t work, most touts will leave you alone if asked nicely, whereas they’ll take a rude brush-off personally.
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.
No Vaccinations are required for entry into Nepal. Many doctors recommend hepatitis A, typhoid and meningitis inoculations. You should already have immunity to tetanus, polio, mumps and measles. Malaria tablets and injections for Japanese B encephalitis are recommended if you are planning to spend a longer period below 1,000 metres during the monsoon. Medicines are sold in small pharmacies everywhere. You will not need a prescription, but it helps if you know what you need! Rabies is a problem in Nepal. Steer clear of dogs and monkeys. If you are bitten, immediately seek treatment.
Flu is no more prevalent in Nepal than elsewhere, but you might consider getting a flu jab before you leave just to reduce the risk of spending several days sick during your holiday.
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.
Your packing list should include the following equipment:
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.
Jeans, Jumpers / Sweaters, Dress Shirts, Dress Shoes, Dresses or Hair Dryers.
There are two elements to this, what type of bags you need for your trek and what to pack in those bags. We understand that when packing to come to Nepal, you may be doing activities other than our trek. As such, it does not matter what type of bag you travel to Nepal with, use what is comfortable and easy for you. For the trek itself, our team will provide you with a Take on Nepal duffel bag, when you arrive in Kathmandu. We ask that you pack everything you need for your trek into that duffel bag, which will be carried by your porter during the trek. Please note we allow 15kg limit for this bag. It may not sound like a lot, but it is more than enough. We don’t allow our porters to carry more than 15kg. If you have overpacked, you will need to pay an additional amount of money directly to your porter.
During the trek you will also be carrying your own daypack, which you will bring with you and/or purchase in Kathmandu. This will contain any items you may need during the day, such as phone, water bottles, sunscreen and snacks. Please note you must take your passport with you on the trek, it’s required for your national park permits. You will not be able to access your duffel bag during the day, as the porters walk ahead of you, so please make sure you have everything you need in your daypack.
When choosing your daypack, it’s important that it is very good quality as you will be carrying it for up to 6 hours a day. It needs to be a 25L to 35L day pack with good padding on the shoulders. If you choose one that clips around the waist, that will help to take some weight off your shoulders. You’ll carry up to 5kg in your day pack, so make sure it fits you properly and you have trained with it on. At a high altitude and 5kg can sometimes feel like 10kg!
Any additional items you have brought to Nepal that are not needed during the trek, can be safely kept in the bags you travelled to Nepal with. They will be stored at your hotel in Kathmandu: they will not come on the Annapurna Trek with you. All of the hotels we use have safe storage facilities.
In Nepal the standard voltage is 230V. The standard frequency is 50Hz. The power sockets that are used are of type C / D / M. You can bring your phone chargers and although Australian plugs are not exactly the right size or shape, they will fit in most sockets.
It would be handy to have a power adapter for Kathmandu and they can be easily purchased for a couple of dollars in the shops surrounding your hotel. You won’t require an adapter for the trek, as your devices will be charged at the trekking lodge. The cost to charge a device is $3-$5 per device.
We organise all this for you. All the costs are included in the cost of your 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.
Your first view of Nepal will be from the airplane window as you land at Kathmandu airport, and it’s a view not to be missed. It takes in the mountains that surround the Kathmandu valley, the terraces used for farming that cover the hills, small villages and isolated farms, as well as the smog covered chaos that is Kathmandu.
Unfortunately, this view is only visible from one side of the aircraft, and which side depends on the approach the aircraft takes when landing. Flying in from Europe, the view was visible from the left-hand side of the plane, flying in from Australia it was visible from the right. But don’t take this as gospel — the pilot may decide to change landing direction for one reason or another. The only advice I can give regarding the view is to ensure you have a Window seat, and to hope for the best regarding the landing direction. You will have views of the Langtang Himalayan Range, Gangala Himal and the Mount Everest region.
Where you sit on the plane is important for more than just the view. Passport control at Kathmandu airport is antiquated, like something from a black and white movie from the 1950s. The staff are old, the facilities are ancient, and the pace is glacial. Only a small number of international flights arrive each day, and it takes them a good 1.5 hours to process the visitors from each one.
Sit as close to the front of the aircraft as possible, so you are one of the first off the plane. And when you disembark, do not stop for a toilet visit until you clear passport control. That early toilet break could easily add an hour to your time standing in line.
Most airlines allow online check-in 24 hours prior to departure. You should avail of this to book a Window seat as close to the front as possible.
You will need a visa for Nepal, but this can be purchased on the ground as you approach passport control. The official link below will provide you with information on your arrival at the airport: https://www.immigration.gov.np/page/arrival-departure-information-1
Make a note of the hotel you’ll be staying at in Kathmandu, as this will be required for both forms — your Take on Nepal information pack should have provided you with this.
As you disembark the aircraft, make sure you keep your boarding card, and the associated luggage sticker that is usually attached to it. Passport control often ask for your boarding card, and after you collect your baggage and head for the exit, another official may stop you to compare your luggage number/bar code with the one attached to your boarding card. Kathmandu airport is the only airport where I’ve encountered this final check.
There is a currency exchange booth to the left as you leave the baggage reclaim area. You may wish to change a small amount here, just to have some local currency in your pocket. I’d recommend changing no more than $50, as they are generally more expensive than money changers in the city.
The airport is small — tiny by international standards — smaller than a mid sized train station in many countries. This means that before you know it you’ll be outside, in the open air. In most airports, those waiting for passengers do so inside the airport — not so in Kathmandu, where they are forced to wait behind a railing immediately outside the arrivals exit.
You walk out the door and in front of you will see a line of people waiting. Some will be holding up hotel signs, some will have people’s names, others will be taxi drivers looking for fares. Ignore them all and look for the Take on Nepal sign, complete with the colourful logo you’ve seen on the website. At least two Take on Nepal guides will be there to meet you and your flight. It doesn’t matter if you arrive late, or what time of the day or night it might be — your guides will be there waiting.
As soon as you see them, head in their direction, but DO NOT allow anyone to help with your bags. It’s common at Kathmandu airport for ‘helpers’ to approach tourists, pretend to be one of their party, and help with their bags in the expectation of a tip. Your Take on Nepal guides never ask for or expect tips. If anyone asks you for a tip or stands around you waiting for one at the airport, they are not Take on Nepal staff. Ignore them and keep moving towards whoever is holding the Take on Nepal sign.
Once you’ve reached the Take on Nepal guides, they will load your baggage into a waiting vehicle for the trip to your hotel. They may wait for another passenger or two, as it’s common for more than one trekker to arrive on the same flight. The trip to the hotel is all covered as part of your package, so you should never have to pay anyone or tip anyone from when you step off the plane to when you reach your hotel room.
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.
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.
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.
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.
© Take on Nepal 2023