• Address
    G21b, The Pier, Pier Point Road, Cairns QLD 4870 Australia

Your flights to Lukla from Kathmandu may be diverted to Ramechhap Airport. Here’s Why!

Your flights to Lukla from Kathmandu may be diverted to Ramechhap Airport. Here’s Why!

Student Volunteer Program 21 Days

Student volunteering in Nepal is very popular and we have a 21-day program, designed specifically for this market.

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Take on Nepal has developed a special 21-day student volunteer program. It is geared towards Australian university students but can be tailored to younger students and/or adults. The three-week itinerary takes in your arrival in Kathmandu, trip to Batase village in the Lower Himalayas, work in and around the village, as well as the return trip to Kathmandu and a visit to Nagarkort where you may catch a glimpse of Mount Everest, you will then visit the old city of Bhaktapur. The itinerary is not fixed and can change depending on circumstances on the ground, such as local events and time of year. Additional side trips might be made, if something worthy presents itself. The price includes most meals, accommodation, tours and park entry fees. 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. The Student Volunteer Program can be booked for a maximum of 15 participants and a minimum of 4.


  • Kathmandu
  • Buddhist Temples
  • Bhaktpaur
  • Himalayan Mountains
  • Volunteering at local school
  • Batase Village
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included – pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.
View Essential Information


Day 1: Kathmandu Arrival Day (1400m)

Day 1:  Kathmandu Arrival Day (1400m)

Your arrival in Kathmandu. You’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the city, by a friendly Take on Nepal team member. All volunteers in your group, regardless of where they come from or when they arrive, will be housed initially in the same hotel, giving you the opportunity to get to know each other from Day 1.

Day 2: Kathmandu Introduction & Exploration

Day 2:  Kathmandu Introduction & Exploration

Begin the day with breakfast at your hotel. A Take on Nepal Team Member will provide orientation and information about the following day’s trek, to Chisopani. You will be reminded of everything that is needed for your time in the 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, although 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 lifeline, if you find the local village food difficult to eat. As well as chocolate bars, we recommend that 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 and the introduction, 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 a local lunch at a typical Nepali restaurant. The time after lunch is allocated for purchasing items for your time in the village.

The group will come together in the evening, 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

Day 3: Kathmandu to Chisopani

Time to hit the road, so put on your walking boots. The day starts early, with a 7am breakfast at you hotel, after which a car/mini bus will take you on a one hour drive to Sundarijal, on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Your walk to Chisopani will begin in Sundarijal. The trek from Sundarijal to Chisopani takes 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 (2300m.) 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 the sunrise over the Himalayan mountain range. We strongly encourage everyone to wake up to this unforgettable experience. After breakfast, we will commence our downhill walk to Patybanjyang, where you will experience some great views of the Himalayas. After a short stop in Patybanjyang, we will walk uphill towards Batase Village. The surrounding scenery is breathtaking, looking across a vast valley to see rice fields, villages and people going about their daily lives in rural Nepal. This section of the walk will take you along the ridge of a mountain overlooking the other surrounding mountains. Many travellers have commented on it being a humbling experience. Upon arriving in Batase village at approximately 3pm, you will meet Som’s family and enjoy your first meal in the village.

[Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

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 with your group leader. 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. Many 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: Batase Village – The Real Work Begins

Day 6:  Batase Village – The Real Work Begins

After breakfast, you’ll go to the local school and be provided with orientation about your placement in the classroom. The local students have encountered Western volunteers before, and always find the experience enjoyable. You will return to the hostel at 1pm for lunch, after which you’ll be given the option of returning to the school to continue teaching the students, or carrying out light duties within the village, such as farm work, painting or dinner preparations.

[Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

Days 7-14: Batase Village - Eat, Sleep and Repeat

Days 7-14:  Batase Village - Eat, Sleep and Repeat

On these days your work at the school and in the village will continue as outlined in Day 6. During the week, you’ll be given choices of activities to participate in. Though the first day teaching in the school and working with the villagers can be a little daunting, you’ll find that you quickly get used to the experience.

[Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

Day 15: Batase Village – Day Off

Day 15: Batase Village – Day Off

Time for some R&R! Enjoy a relaxing day with your group. Your local guide will take you to the highest mountain top in the village, where the views of the surrounding mountains are spectacular. Here you will enjoy a picnic lunch and some relaxing time, before walking back down to the village for dinner. This day will also be an opportunity for you to share your experiences and thoughts with your group members and leader.

[Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

Day 16: Batase Village – Final Day of Volunteering

Day 16: Batase Village – Final Day of Volunteering

On this, your last day of volunteer work, you will spend the morning teaching classes. You will enjoy your last lunch in the village, with the school teachers. After lunch, you’ll say your goodbyes to the teachers and the students, before returning to the hostel.

[Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

Day 17: Batase Village – Last Day, Prepare to Leave

Day 17: Batase Village – Last Day, Prepare to Leave

Today is a rest day in the village, before your departure for Kathmandu. This is also a good time to catch up on your washing, drying and packing, in preparation for your departure the following morning.

[Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

Day 18: Batase Village to Nagarkot

Day 18: Batase Village to Nagarkot

After breakfast you will say your goodbyes to your new friends in Batase, and begin the beautiful hike to the famous village of Nagarkot. It will be a lovely day of walking alongside mountain ridges. Nagarkot is a popular spot, due to its spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges and of the Kathmandu valley. After settling into your hotel, you will have a rest before enjoying a nice dinner with your team.

[Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

Day 19: Nagarkot to Bhaktpaur

Day 19: Nagarkot to Bhaktpaur

Wake up at sunrise to view the spectacular and famous sunrise in Nagarkort. This morning you are in with a good chance of seeing the mighty Mount Everest! After breakfast, you will make the short journey down to Bhaktpaur. Bhaktapur is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, you will 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 curd the city is famous for, it is called JuJu Dhau and is served in traditional clay pots. You’ll never taste anything like it again. Spend a night in a hotel in Bhaktapur.

(Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included)

Day 20: Bhaktpaur to Kathmandu

Day 20: Bhaktpaur to Kathmandu

After breakfast, you’ll be driven back to our hotel in Kathmandu. The journey through the busy, bustling streets of Kathmandu will take approximately 1 hour. Once you settle back into your hotel, you will have the rest of the day 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. In the evening, you’ll enjoy a final traditional Nepali meal with your group. This is a time to reflect on the incredible journey that you have been on, and to say farewells to some of the Take on Nepal team members.

[Breakfast & farewell dinner included]

Day 21: Farewell

Day 21: Farewell

Final farewells! A local guide will assist you to get to the airport. We hope that you will have fond memories of your Take on Nepal trip and we look forward to seeing you in Nepal again. NB: Anyone departing after this day, will need to pay for their own accommodation from this point onwards, and will be responsible for their own transport to the airport.

[Breakfast included]

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included – pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.
View Essential Information


Dates Available Inclusive Cost
25 November 2024 - 15 December 2024 Available $1790
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included – pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.
View Essential Information


What's Included

  • All accommodation.
  • All meals during your time in Batase village and all breakfasts in Kathmandu.
  • All food and accommodation on the two day trek to Batase village.
  • A professional English speaking tour guide.
  • Entry into all cultural sites and National Parks.
  • All transportation within Nepal.
  • All government and local taxes.
  • A comprehensive medical kit.
  • All tips to guides, cooks, drivers, etc.

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
  • Additional hot drinks
  • Deserts and entrees
  • Hot shower
  • Internet Access
  • Travel insurance and evacuation insurance
  • Phone Calls
  • Charging of your devices
  • Bottled or boiled water
  • Laundry
  • Tips for guides and porters


Clothing and Equipment

The mistake many people make, is having too much stuff. There is nothing worse than carting clothing and equipment (at altitude) in Nepal and ultimately not having needed it. The below list outlines the standard clothing we recommend you take for trekking in the mountains and living in the Village. Most can be purchased in Kathmandu before departing for the village. Please note: bring a backpack, not a suitcase. Suitcases are too difficult for your porters to carry to the village.


  • Clothes* – You will (most likely) be hand washing and line drying your clothes, so don’t bring heavy clothing.
  • Shoes – You will be walking a lot on unpaved roads. Joggers are perfect for your walk to the village, bring a spare pair of sandals or canvas shoes.
  • Hat/cap (can be purchased in Kathmandu).

For a comprehensive list, please see our FAQs.

Equipment and Other

  • Day backpack.
  • A towel (travel towels are brilliant)
  • Sleeping Bag. Depending on season you should think about the minimum degree.
  • Head torch. Petzl or Black Diamond are recommended. This is a must have in Nepal!
  • Toiletries. You can buy most things in Kathmandu such as shampoo, soap, razors, etc.
  • Soap to wash your clothes in the village
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Baby wipes. Just a good all-purpose way to clean up spills and dirt.
  • Toilet paper. You can buy TP at the grocery stores in Kathmandu, please bring enough for 10 days in the village.
  • Painkillers (cold and flu nurofen, panadol). This should be purchased in Australia.
  • Insect Repellent
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • Copies of passport and other important documents
  • Passport Photos. You will need at least 4.
  • Women should bring tampons as they are difficult to find in Nepal.
  • Money. Bring some cash with you that you can exchange for rupees to last you for a few days. You need to pay for your visa in Australian or US dollars at the airport when you arrive in Nepal. Bring a couple of ways to get cash. Ex: ATM card, credit card, travelers cheques.

Not Essential, but Nice to Have

  • Phone. You can buy a pretty cheap SIM card and minutes to use while you are here.
  • USB drive. Nice to keep your files and transfer between internet cafes.
  • A good book to read
  • Marshmallows to enjoy around the campfire in the evenings!
  • A Nepali language book, they can be bought in Kathmandu
  • A few pictures of your family and friends to show around.
  • Light rain jacket and/or small umbrella to use for sun/rain cover
  • Binoculars to view Himalayas and wildlife.
  • Items that may be useful in the village school such as pens, pencils and books.

FAQ's - Essential trip information


What’s the best time of year to go trekking in Nepal?

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.

  • January is traditionally the ‘off season’ for trekking in Nepal, due mainly to the cold overnight temperatures (more on this below). However, for those who enjoy a quieter trekking experience with great views, then January is a fantastic month for trekking. Clear skies and spectacular views of Mount Everest are just about guaranteed. Daytime temperatures are comfortable, but overnight it drops to below freezing and unlike the Everest Base Camp trek, the lodges on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek do not have any fireplaces, this means you will be relying solely on your gear to stay warm.
  • February, March and April are Nepal’s popular trekking months. The weather is warmer and you’ll enjoy great views during the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Most of our group treks occur in April (and October), due to optimal weather conditions. The trails are lodges are busy with happy trekkers.
  • May is a good month to trek to Annapurna Base Camp, but we suggest trekking at the start of the month to avoid any early monsoon rains.
  • June, July and August are the monsoon months. The team at Take on Nepal have decided not to continue offering treks to Annapurna Base Camp during these months, as we feel the risk of landslides at this time of the year is too high.
  • September is another good month to trek to Annapurna Base Camp, but we suggest trekking at the end of the month to avoid any late monsoon rains.
  • October and November are also popular trekking months in Nepal and you’ll enjoy great views during the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Most of our group treks occur in October (and April), due to optimal weather conditions. The trails are lodges are busy with happy trekkers.
  • December (like January) is traditionally the ‘off season’ for trekking in Nepal, due mainly to the cold nighttime temperatures. However, for those who enjoy a quieter trekking experience with great views, then December is a fantastic month to trek to Annapurna Base Camp. Clear skies and spectacular views of Mount Everest are just about guaranteed. The daytime temperatures are comfortable, but overnight it drops to below freezing. See additional notes regarding this in the January text.

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.

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.

What is the currency of Nepal and how much do I need for my trek?

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.

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 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.

What type of accommodation will I be staying in during the trek?

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.

  • Dining Room: The central meeting point of the tea house is the dining room. The dining room is where trekkers hang out after a days trekking, this is where you will have your dinner and breakfast, it’s also where you will debrief and be briefed by your guides about the following day. Many of your fondest memories of the trek will be created in these dining rooms. All of the dining rooms follow a similar style throughout the entire trek.
  • Rooms: Be prepared for the most basic rooms you are ever likely to encounter! Always keep in mind that the bedrooms are just for sleeping, the rest of your time will be spent on the trails and in the dining rooms. The rooms are small, just big enough for 2 single beds, some larger rooms accommodate up to 6 people in one room. The beds will have sheets on them, a pillow and a blanket. Be warned that the bedding is not changed every day, we recommend having a little slip to go over the pillows. You will have your own down sleeping bag for the trek, and this is all you will need in the way of bedding.
  • Toilets: There are no bathrooms as such in the tea lodges, there are toilets and then a communal sink or two outside of the toilets. For the first few days of the trek you will have flush toilets but as you gain altitude the toilet situation worsens, you may have to use squat toilets or if Western style toilets are available you will be flushing using a jug of placed in a big barrel of water next to the toilet. For trekkers trekking in the colder months, this barrel of water may freeze leaving it impossible to flush the toilet. In the interest of keeping it real, we are giving you worst case scenarios! Toilet paper is not provided in the teahouses, you will need to bring this with you. Toilet paper cannot be flushed down the toilet, you will need to place your used toilet paper in a bin next to the toilet.
  • Food: The food provided by the lodge owners is amazing! You will be well fed and satisfied by the large choice of food on offer. Go to our blog on meals during the Annapurna Base Camp Trek for more indepth information on this. Pay close attention to the information on food we recommend avoiding during the trek.
  • Extra’s that aren’t covered but are worth paying the extra money for! The tea house won’t provide you with hot water, before rolling your eyes remember that you will be high in the Himalayas, they boil water by either using gas bottles which have to be carried up by a porter to the lodge. However, paying approximately $4 for hot water in your bottle is well worth it. For the exact same reason you need to pay extra for a hot shower, most trekkers during the trek will take on average 2 hot showers, some people will go without for the duration, the showers are often in outhouses and in the cold climate it can become too much of a chore. After this trek you will have a whole new appreciation of hot showers. The tea houses also charge for phone and camera charging and most offer the option to purchase wi-fi. The costs of luxury items for sale in the tea houses are higher that what we are used to paying in Australia, but we always recommend not to deny yourself something that will bring you happiness, Pringles taste amazing above 3,000 metres!
  • Spectacular Views: Imagine yourself waking up to the early morning noises of trekkers waking up, dishes clanging, people preparing for their day ahead. You wiggle out of your sleeping bag, reach over to the window to wipe away the condensation and you are met with the most breathtaking view you could ever imagine, day after day! This is what will happen during this trek. Most days the clouds start to come in at around 2-3pm, which means that you may not get a sense of what the views are going to be like the following morning. Awakening to the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring views every morning is sure to guarantee you a special day ahead. Gratitude is a word we often hear during the trek, it’s these very views that give us that feeling. A cup of tea, breakfast, lunch or dinner in a cosy dining room with mind blowing views of the Himalayas will never become tiresome. After all, that’s what most people are there for these unbelievable views.

Are there any customs or cultural sensitivities that I need to be aware of?

  • Affection between men and women, even married, is seldom expressed. Public kissing, hugging, and hand-holding are offensive to most Nepalese.
  • But it is acceptable and normal for two men to walk hand in hand.
  • Clothing is conservative. Men should not go bare-chested and shorts should be conservative. Ties and suits are not necessary except for special occasions. Women should avoid bare shoulders, halter tops and shorts.
  • Conversations may have ‘dead’ patches. Nepalese are not uncomfortable with silence.
  • Cows are sacred. They go and sleep where they want.
  • Never step over anyone and always move your feet, let people avoid stepping over you.
  • Gifts are rarely given and seldom opened in front of the person who has given it.
  • Do not sit with the soles of your feet or shoes facing another person. Tuck your legs under or beside your body so the soles face behind you.
  • Your left hand is never used to pass or accept things, whether food at the table or money with a shopkeeper.
  • Once you’ve touched something to your lips, it’s polluted (jutho) for everyone else. When drinking from a water bottle, try not to let it touch your lips, and never eat off someone else’s plate or offer anyone food you’ve taken a bite of.
  • Swearing is a big NO in Nepal, your porters and guides will be offended if they hear you swearing as it is not a common practice in Nepal and is seen as a sign of disrespect.
  • When hiking in the Himalayas always approach any obstacles from the left-hand side, it is considered unlucky to walk around something in an anti-clockwise manner. This is derived from the Buddhist belief that we must always move forward and not move in an anti-clockwise way.

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 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.

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.

Do I need to train to participate in a trek?

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.

  • Step 1: Mental Preparedness.You’ve paid your deposit, you’re definitely doing this. You will ideally have somewhere between 6-12 months to prepare, but at a minimum 3 months. This is something you have psyched yourself up to do, it’s been on your bucket list, you’ve seen photos of the Himalayas and you’re not putting it on hold any longer…you’re doing this!
  • Step 2: Self-Assess Your Fitness Level. Be realistic and honest with yourself. Can you easily run a half marathon or are you more of a couch potato? Don’t fool yourself into thinking you don’t need to prepare for this trek, you do, you owe it to yourself, your guides and porters and your fellow trekkers. Know that you need to be fit enough to walk approx. 13km a day, and do so at altitude. This is a challenge and you need to prepare for it with the belief that you’ve got this.
  • Step 3: Speak To Us. Everyone is different, there’s no one training plan that will work for everyone. We can discuss where you are at and where you need to be on your fitness journey. Our team can assist you in formulating the best training plan for you, and will always be on hand to provide advice or support. We’ve done this trek multiple times, we know exactly how hard it is and we’re not afraid to tell you what you need to do to be successful on this epic adventure.
  • Step 4: Uphill Training. Get started. To prepare your body for walking up to Annapurna Base Camp, you need to walk uphill as often as you can. Get your boots, find the closest uphill track or mountain and start going up that hill, this will allow leg muscles to strengthen. The more uphill trekking you can do the better. In the 3 months before your trek starts, we recommend that you plan to walk for distances over 10 kilometres at least 2-3 times a week. These 5-6 hour walking days will prepare you physically and mentally for the trek to Annapurna Base Camp. Although a porter will be carrying your main pack, you’ll need to carry a daypack and when you’re trekking at altitude, 5kg can feel like 10kg. For this reason, we recommend that during training you practice carrying packs with weights up to 10kg and start hiking uphill carrying this weight. This allows for resistance training and the building of muscle strength, all the while improving your overall fitness level. If you live in a city or area without hills or mountains, go to your closest gym and set the treadmill on an incline to provide you with training for uphill walking, this training won’t provide you with the practice of walking on rocky and unstable ground, but it will improve the strength of your leg muscles.
  • Step 5: Cardiovascular Training (Cardio). This training is not as fun as walking up mountains, but it is just as important. Cardio training is all about increasing and decreasing your heart rate; all the while you will be developing your lung capacity. Cardio training also increases your endurance. There are many different cardio training options available, choose one that you will enjoy as you should be enjoying your training regime for Annapurna Base Camp. 3-4 cardio workouts every week in the 3 months leading up to the trek will hold you in good stead. A 5-10km run is great, you could also choose activities such as bike riding, dancing, swimming or even skating. If you integrate cardio workouts into your training plan you won’t find yourself puffed out on the trek. Your body will be better able to cope with the altitude.
  • Step 6: Strength Training.If you incorporate some strength training into your training plan you will be very well prepared for the trek. Although you will need more lower body strength for the trek, upper body strength training will come in handy, as you will be carrying a daypack every day. Strength training also has the added benefit of improving your balance and coordination, as you trek closer to base camp you will be walking over very rocky terrain, having good balance and coordination will make this element of the trek easier for you. The great thing about strength training is that it can be done at home or out in the gym and doesn’t require the same time commitment as the other elements of training. Squatting will build your leg muscles, push ups and pull ups will build up your overall strength and allow you to push on in trek for longer. Weight lifting will improve your upper body strength. Incorporating strength training into your fitness plan 1-2 times a week will go a long way to improving your overall fitness level.

Extra Tips

  • Start getting used to drinking 3-4 litres of water a day, this is what you will need to do on the trek to Annapurna Base Camp, if you don’t drink enough water you are at a high risk of getting altitude sickness.
  • Don’t forget to stretch before and after your training session! We also recommend you do stretches on the trek to Annapurna Base Camp.
  • During the trek you need to consume a lot of carbohydrates, the food options on the trek are full of carb rich options and we recommend that you eat as many carbs as possible! You will lose weight on this trek, your body is burning more energy that you can consume, this is happening even when you’re resting. Be prepared and willing to eat rice, potatoes and pasta, carbs provide you with the energy you need to trek for long distances every day.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself, it’s ok to miss out on a week of training, your body also needs to rest. Preparing for this trek should be fun and rewarding. If it starts to feel more like a job you need to reassess your training plan and make changes.
  • If possible train with friends, accountability works well and it’s great to be able to motivate and support others while also receiving support.
  • Don’t train the week before the trek, you need to taper off to ensure your body is rested and ready for the challenge ahead.
  • Pace yourself when trekking. It’s not a race, there’s absolutely no reason to be pushing and rushing on the trek. Your guides will always remind you to take it slowly, enjoy your surroundings every day. Stop, rest, have a drink and move forward at a slow and steady pace.

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?

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.

There Are 3 Different Types Of Altitude Sickness

  • Acute Mountain Sickness: This is the most common form of altitude sickness that we see people struggling with on the Himalayan mountain trails. This is also the mildest form of altitude sickness and recovery happens very quickly, once the person returns to a lower altitude.
  • High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE): This is not common at all and is an emergency situation. It is more common for mountaineers to experience this form of altitude sickness.
  • High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE): This is a very dangerous type of altitude sickness which requires emergency evacuation to a hospital. It occurs when fluid starts filling the lungs. It is uncommon among hikers and tends to mostly affect mountaineers.

What Are The Symptoms Of Altitude Sickness?

  • Headache
  • Feeling light headed and dizzy. You may act and look like you’re drunk when suffering from altitude sickness.
  • Loss of appetite and nausea.
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling exhausted and unable to push on.
  • Having difficulty sleeping at night.

How Can I Prevent Getting Altitude Sickness?

You can take a few very important steps that will drastically reduce your risk of getting altitude sickness, these are:

  • Diamox: You must visit your doctor and request a prescription for Diamox, this medication is a preventative not a cure. It must be taken on the first day of your trek until you complete the trek. It won’t cure altitude sickness if you already have it.
  • Drinking water: You must drink a minimum of 4-5 litres of water a day.
  • Eat plenty of food high in carbohydrates, our guides will advise you on the best meal choices.
  • Attempt to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night.
  • Stay positive and strong both in a physical and mental capacity.
  • Keep a slow and steady pace, even if you’re full of energy it’s still better to maintain a steady pace.
  • Garlic Soup: The Himalayan people swear by Garlic soup, it’s served at all tea houses!

What Should I Do If I Get Altitude Sickness?

The steps you need to take if you get altitude sickness include:

  • Hiking down to a lower altitude and get some rest to see if you feel any better. Often our trekkers will feel better and then continue on with their trek the following day.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • If symptoms persist you may need to be evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Kathmandu, our experienced team will manage all the logistics, you just must focus on getting well.

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.

Are there any dangers or annoyances in Nepal that I need to be aware of?

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.

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.

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.

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 type of bags should I use on my trip and trek?

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.

Do I need to bring a power adaptor to charge my phone and batteries?

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.

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.

Do I need to know anything about flying into and arriving into Kathmandu Airport?

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.

  • Once the plane has landed, make your way to the transfer bus, it’s a good idea to try and disembark the airplane as soon as possible as the transfer buses fill up and there can be a bit of a wait until the next one.
  • When you get off the bus walk straight to the visa application computers and complete your form.
  • Go to the visa counter with your receipt where your visa will then be issued.
  • Once you obtain your visa you make your way down an elevator and through a security check, the lines here can sometimes be long, patience is required!
  • Once you’ve cleared security you will be in the baggage claim area, this space can be busy and unorganised. There are trolleys available for your use and there’s also a toilet in this area. Staff members offering to take your bags off the carousel and push your trolley will approach you, there’s no obligation to use this service, and if you do there is an expectation to tip that person.
  • Once you get your bag make sure you have your baggage tag, which you would have received in your country of departure. You may be requested to show your baggage tags as you depart the airport.
  • Once you exit look out for our friendly team member holding up a “Take on Nepal” sign, our team member will then travel with you to your hotel.


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.

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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