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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!

Village Experience Trekking and Tour 5 Days

The perfect tour for anyone who would like to experience the real Nepal. You choose whether you would like to trek to the village or take a 4WD, the price stays the same!

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Overview

This tour has been designed for those who want to experience, engage and connect with the real Nepal. Experience life in a remote village and enjoy spectacular views of the Langtang Himalayan range, this experience will change your life. Your time in remote Batase village will be spent meeting the children, assisting them with their homework, visiting the local school and being guided around a traditional village. You will be amazed by the beauty of this village, and its people.

Highlights

  • Trekking to Batase
  • Buddhist villages
  • Himalayan Mountains peaks
  • Visiting local school
  • Batase Village
  • Nepal village life
  • community
  • Farming culture
  • Meeting locals
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

Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu to Chisopani

Day 1: Kathmandu to Chisopani

Elevation: 1,400 – 2,100 m

Distance: 11.5 km

 

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 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 takes you up to 2500m and heads down the ridge through a forest of oaks and rhododendron to Chisopani (2200m.) 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.

[Lunch & evening meal included]

Day 2: Chisopani to Batase Village

Day 2: Chisopani to Batase Village

 Elevation: 2,100 – 1,800 m

Distance: 8 km

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]

Accommodation: 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 or runners is a requirement. Though many of the villagers go barefoot, we don’t expect that from our visitors.

Day 3: Welcome to Batase Village – Your New Experence

Day 3: Welcome to Batase Village – Your New Experence

Elevation: 1,800 m

Distance: 5km – 10km  Village tour

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. After breakfast, you will be guided to the village and to the community school where you will be introduced to the principal, teachers and students.

[Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

Day 4: The Real Village experience

Day 4: The Real Village experience

Elevation: 1,800 m

Distance: 5km – 10km  Village tour

Today is a special day, where you will spend time with the village school community again or go for hike up to Batase View Point. You will gain an understanding of the challenges faced by students in the Nepalese education system and we’re certain you will respect the commitment shown by the students to gain a good education. The staff and students will be very happy to meet you and to learn about you and your culture.

 

[Breakfast, lunch & evening meal included]

Day 5: Batase Village to Kathmandu

Day 5: Batase Village to Kathmandu

Elevation: 1,800 m

Distance: 40km, 4WD Drive back to Kathmandu

On your final morning you will enjoy breakfast, before commencing the 2 – 3 hour downhill walk to catch your transport back to Kathmandu. You’ll depart Batase village at approximately 8am. The walk is an incredible experience in itself; you’ll pass through small villages with spectacular mountain views. Arriving in Kathmandu at approx. 3pm, you’ll be dropped off at your hotel and given much needed time to relax and shower.

[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

Dates Available Inclusive Cost
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

Inclusions

What's Included

What’s Included

  • All accommodation
  • A professional English speaking guide/porter
  • All meal in Batase Village
  • Entry into all cultural sites and National Parks
  • Food and accommodation on 2 day trek to Batase Village
  • All transportation to start and at the end of the trek
  • All government and local taxes
  • A comprehensive medical kit in Batase

What's Not Included

What’s Not Included

  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Deserts and entrees
  • Internet Access
  • Travel insurance and evacuation insurance
  • Phone Calls
  • Tips for guides and porters

Checklists

Clothing and Equipment

Clothing and Equipment

A sleeping bag, a comfortable pair of boots or runners that have been worn in before you start this adventure, 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 trekking.

Clothing

Equipment and Other

FAQ's - Essential trip information

About Take on Nepal

Who is the Take on Nepal team leader?

Our leader is Nepali born and raised and now an Australian citizen, Som Tamang. Som spent many years working as a guide in Nepal and has much experience guiding groups to the Everest and Annapurna Regions of Nepal. Som has all the local knowledge required to ensure you get to know the “Real Nepal”.

Som is passionate about providing help and support for the people of Nepal and believes that real change can happen through the skills of volunteers. Som is friendly, happy and has strong leadership skills.

Som is the founder and president of the charity “Friends of Himalayan Children” and has been awarded a Pride of Australia Medal for the outstanding charity work that he has undertaken in Nepal and in Australia. The team leader and guides are all qualified in First Aid.

When do I pay for my trip?

Payment of a nonrefundable deposit of $400 is required to secure your place. The easiest way is through PayPal or directly into our back account. Final payment is due 10 weeks prior to departure.

I have special dietary requirements, can you cater for that?

Not a problem! Please inform us of your dietary requirements prior to departure and we will ensure that you are provided with suitable food options. During your time in the village, you will be eating as the villagers do, which is mainly vegetarian. Meat is a luxury the majority of Nepali people only enjoy on a rare occasion.

What if there is an emergency?

You will always be in the company of someone who is trained in first aid. In the case of serious health concerns, you will be transported back to Kathmandu, where you will be treated in a Western Hospital. During your time in the village, there is the option of 4WD or helicopter back to Kathmandu in the case of an emergency. All medical costs incurred should be covered by your health insurance. When booking your travel insurance it is important to enquire about the extent of your coverage, ensure that travel from remote areas is covered. We also encourage you to seek advice from your doctor prior to departure about the vaccinations required for visiting Nepal.

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.

About Volunteering

How do I apply to become a volunteer?

You can apply by clicking this link.

How much spending money will I need as a volunteer?

You will have access to ATMs in Kathmandu. We recommend that you carry a minimum of $100 cash with you, make sure this is in $10s and $20s, as you will be paying for your visa at the airport and it safeguards against any issues when you have the correct money.

Some people have asked how much extra money they should take with them. Most of your expenses are covered by the money you have paid, but if you enjoy shopping (and the shopping in Kathmandu is fantastic!), we recommend that you budget around $350 for your stay.

All volunteers should have access to an emergency fund, in the event they decide volunteer life is not for them, or they decide to take a break from village life for a few days. In circumstances such as these, the volunteer would need to cover the costs of transport when departing the village early, and the costs of any extra stays in hotels. For this reason, we recommend that volunteers carry an ATM card so that they can access emergency funds from home if required.

Where will I be staying during my volunteer program?

Your accommodation in Kathmandu and Chitwan will be in a hotel with ensuite facilities. You will share your room with someone of the same sex. In the village you will be housed in hostel type accommodation. You will share your room with a maximum of 3 other people and the facilities are shared. Village accommodation is basic but comfortable, and the rooms are clean.

I want to volunteer with my friends? Can we work and stay together?

We are very happy for you to share the experience with your friends and we will work with you to ensure that you can be accommodated together during your time in Nepal.

I’m only 17, can I still volunteer?

You must be 18 by the date of departure. We do provide the option for a parent/guardian to sign paperwork that grants permission for you to join the program if you are under 18. We would also encourage you to consider inviting an older family member to accompany you on the program to Nepal.

I’m not a university student. Can I still volunteer?

Yes! As long as you are willing to volunteer and improve the lives of the villagers in Nepal, we are more than happy for you to join the program.

I’m ready to go but my parents are worried!

We strongly encourage your parents to contact us, as we welcome parental involvement. We will answer any questions your parents may have through email or telephone contact.

What if I need to cancel?

Once we have accepted your application, we begin to incur costs for you, as we book accommodation, internal travel, reserve your spot in the game park and so on. So your deposit is non-refundable.

Practicalities

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.

Trekking In Nepal

What does an average day of trekking in Nepal look like?

You will trek for between 4 and 7 hours every day. Our treks are moderately paced, it is not a race. We want you to enjoy the experience and to learn about your surrounds from your guide.

What kind of accommodation is used?

Most accommodation during your treks will be in trekking lodges; the lodges provide basic sleeping facilities and tasty meals. Local families usually operate the lodges. Your evenings will be spent chatting to your guides, porters and fellow trekkers. Unless you have paid an additional charge for a single room, you will share your room with 1 or 2 other trekkers of the same gender. Couples will share a room of their own. Again, the lodges are basic; do not compare them in your mind to any accommodation you have stayed in in Western countries.

Where and what will we be eating during our trek?

Meals are included in our all inclusive base camp trek options, but we don’t choose your food, you will decide what to eat for your breakfast, lunch and dinner from the menu in each lodge. The food options along the way are healthy, nutritious, filling and most importantly tasty! Here’s a small sample of the meals that you will encounter along the way:

Breakfast

You will decide what to eat for breakfast the night before. This gives the kitchen time to be prepared for the morning rush; it also means you won’t have a long time before heading out for your big day of trekking.

  • Porridge: This is an option on all menus. A filling bowl of warm oats is a great way to start your day of trekking.
  • Tibetan Bread: This deep fried traditional bread is delicious, it is served with Jam or Honey, a sweet start to your day.
  • Omelette: Eggs are full of protein and make a wonderful breakfast.

Lunch and Dinner

The lunch and dinner menu is the same on all menus, but not to worry, you’ll have plenty to choose from!

  • MoMo’s: MoMo’s are the unofficial national dish of Nepal. MoMo’s are steamed dumplings available with or without meat.
  • Dahl Baht: This is the most popular dish in Nepal. The Nepalese people say “Dahl Baht Power, 24 hour!”, it’s impossible not to feel full and happy after eating Dahl Baht. This is a meal we recommend you eat once or twice a day. Dhal Baht consists of rice (as much as you can eat), lentil soup, vegetables and pickle. It’s filling, tasty and good for you. Exactly the type of food you need to get you to your next destination!
  • Chow Mein: This Chinese inspired dish is very popular throughout Nepal. Chow Mein is a stir fried noodle dish. With plenty of veggies mixed in, this dish is tasty and filling. A perfect lunch or dinner option.
  • Thukpa: Another traditional sherpa dish. This hearty soup is sure to warm and nourish your body after an active day trekking. Made with fresh noodles, vegetables and broth, this soup is truly delicious and a popular option on the trek.

Please note: Pringles, desserts, soft drinks, alcohol, chocolate and fruit are available to purchase along the way. This is not included in your package and you will have to pay for these items yourself. The prices are expensive. Due to the remoteness of the region, a tube of Pringles could set you back $10. There are some villages along the trek where you will find bakeries and little coffee shops.

Can I take my children trekking in Nepal?

It is becoming quite common for families to trek together. Children aged 9 and upwards have trekked comfortably to Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp, and why not take your parents too! Age should not be a barrier to undertake trekking in Nepal, 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.

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.

Do I need to be able to speak Nepali to communicate during my trek?

All of the Take on Nepal team members speak English, as do most people working within Nepal’s tourism industry. You will have no problems communicating in English and there is no expectation that you learn any Nepali before joining the trek. However, it’s always a sign of respect when you learn a few phrases of the language of the country you’re visiting and your guides will be impressed! Some of the most common phrases in Nepali are as follows.

  • Namaste/Namaskar > Hello
  • Subha Bihani > Good Morning
  • Shuva Ratri > Good Night
  • Tapailai Kasto Chha? > How are you?
  • Malai Thik Chha > I am fine
  • Dhanyabad > Thank you
  • Malai maaf garnuhos/gara > I’m sorry
  • Pheri bhetaulaa > See you again
  • Pachhi bhetaula > See you later
  • Malai thaha chaina > I don’t know
  • Maile bujhna sakina > I don’t understand
  • Yesko kati rupaiyan parchha? > How much does it cost?
  • Ma yo kinchhu > I will buy it

Do I need to tip my trekking guide or porter?

All our staff members are provided with training and educational opportunities and are paid higher than the industry minimum. We know our guides and porters are the backbone of our company and our consistently good feedback is because of the great work they do. Tipping them is a way of showing gratitude for a job well done. Please note your tip is not their salary, it is a bonus on top of what they have already earned.

As a general rule of thumb the average tip given to your team (guides and porters) is 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 tip your team (and our team love receiving tips in Australian Dollars!). If you are trekking in a group, this money is divided among all of the guides and porters. If you are trekking privately, the tips can be given directly to your guide and porter.

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

Our Guide On Tipping

We like to make tipping fun and easy. We don’t want you to feel uncomfortable about how to tip or how much you should tip and that’s why we like to be transparent about this. If you’re in a group, it’s normal for the tips to be pooled together on the first night at the end of your briefing dinner, the tips are handed to your lead guide who will divide the money into envelopes to be distributed on the very last day of your trek in Jinhu Dhanda.

The last night is always a celebration, everyone is happy and relaxed. The envelopes with the tips are given to a nominated person in your group, who then presents each of the tips to the porters and guides. It’s a gorgeous way to end the trek, it brings joy to both the givers and receivers.

If trekking privately, it is normal for the tipping to happen on the last day of the trek when you are in Jinhu Dhanda. On that evening you will celebrate your trek with the team that supported you and hand the tip money directly to your team members. Many people choose to be prepared before they start the trek by ensuring they have the money ready before they leave Kathmandu.

If Our Guide Has Shown Us Around Kathmandu, Do I Tip Them For This

Many of our trekkers have a day or two in Kathmandu before they head to the mountains. Our wonderful guides will always offer to take you on a tour of the city, this is often 4-5 hours of their time. If you choose to do this, we recommend you pay for their lunch and also what would be the equivalent of one hour’s wage for you as a generous tip, this for most people is approx $20-$30 Australian Dollars. Keep in mind that your 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.

When not to tip

At the airport! When you are leaving the airport, look out for our staff holding the “Take on Nepal” sign, 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.

What precautions do I need to take in relation to drinking water?

You will be able to purchase bottled water all along your trekking route. As a general rule, the cost increases the more isolated you are. We highly recommend you take water-purifying tablets with you, or a water-purifying pen. These can also be purchased in Kathmandu. During your trek, it is crucial that you drink plenty of water, if you don’t, the risk of becoming unwell is much higher.

Are there any specific health problems or precautions I need to know about?

More people get sick in Kathmandu than anywhere else in Nepal. Nepali food is usually fine, and you can probably trust anything that’s been boiled or fried in your presence, although some people are more susceptible to meat dishes than others. All but the cheapest tourist restaurants usually have acceptable salads, fruit juices and lassis these days. Bananas are small but available everywhere. Even the poorest Nepalese attend carefully to hygiene because they cannot afford to be sick.

Many people find the pollution in Kathmandu a surprise and some people, especially asthmatics, can suffer respiratory infections within a few days of arrival. While many people wear disposable filter masks, or scarfs that cover their mouth and nose, most people are just fine for the time they are in Kathmandu. If you are experiencing depressed respiratory function, get out of the Kathmandu valley to the pristine air of the rest of the country.

Bring a pair of thongs for showering, being comfortable in shared bathrooms and bedrooms, and avoiding scabies and hookworm. Never drink water from the shower or bathroom, and always brush your teeth with filtered water.

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.

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.

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.

All Inclusive Cost

from$650AUD

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