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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!

Women Only Trek to Everest Base Camp 15 Days

Empowering women. A unique women’s only expedition to Everest Base Camp.

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Overview

We believe that when women come together, great things can happen. Groups of women supporting each other through challenges and celebrations can be an incredibly powerful experience. That’s what our women only Everest Base Camp Trek is all about.

Our women only groups are a coming together of women both here and in Nepal. It’s an opportunity to inspire and create real change. Through this trek, you will share experiences and make friendships that will change the way you view the world and yourself.

Take on Nepal have been leading the way for many years in the area of training and hiring female guides. We understand the importance of and of the need to support women who are often forced into early marriages or trafficked into brothels in India and the middle east. The women guides of Take on Nepal all come from remote villages where to break free of cultural expectation is very difficult.

Take on Nepal changed this and offered dozens of young women well paid work, training and an education. We would love for you to join one of our treks to Everest Base Camp, you will not only have the most incredible experience imaginable, you will also be supporting the young and very brave women who are choosing a different path, our team of females guides work alongside their male counterparts. Book your spot on one of our Women Only Treks to Everest Base Camp.

Highlights

  • Kathmandu
  • Rhododendron Forests
  • Sunrise over Mt Everest
  • Scenic flight to Lukla
  • Namche Bazaar
  • Everest Base Camp
  • Women Only Groups
  • Female Guides and Porters
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, NEPAL (1400m)

Day 1: KATHMANDU, NEPAL (1400m)

You’ll be greeted with a warm Nepalese welcome at the Kathmandu Airport (KTM) by a local Take on Nepal member who will bring you to our hotel in the heart of the city. In the evening, we’ll gather for a traditional Nepalese welcome dinner where we’ll meet one another and get briefed on the magnificent trek that lies before us!

Included: Welcome Dinner

DAY 2: LUKLA to PHAKDING

DAY 2: LUKLA to PHAKDING

Elevation: 2,800 – 2,655 m

Distance: 9 km

Early in the morning you’ll take an exhilarating flight to Lukla airport, this flight will provide you with awe inspiring views of the terraced landscape and river valleys below, also of the Himalayan peaks which will become your constant companions over the coming days. After you arrive, your trek begins straight away with a lovely, gentle walk to Phakding. Words cannot describe the feeling you will have when you are there, be prepared to be overwhelmed!

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: PHAKDING to NAMCHE

DAY 3: PHAKDING to NAMCHE

Elevation: 2,655 – 3,445 m

Distance: 12 km

Today the real trekking begins as you walk through stunning forests filled with rhododendron, you will also be waking alongside a river named in Nepali as the “milky river” due to its milky colour from the flow of melting of the ice. A highlight of your day will be crossing the famous “yak bridge”, the highest suspension bridge in the world, this is an experience to remember! The days trek ends at Namche Bazaar, Namche Bazaar is incredible, a trading town, the hub of the Everest region right there in the foothills of Mount Everest. It’s like something out of a movie!

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: TIME TO ACCLIMATIZE in NAMCHE

DAY 4: TIME TO ACCLIMATIZE in NAMCHE

Elevation: 3,445 – 3,880 – 3,445 m

Distance: 4 km

Today is all about acclimatizing! After breakfast, we’ll take a short but relatively steep hike up to the Everest View Hotel for a well earned cup of tea, the Everest View Hotel made it to the Guinness Book of Records for being the highest hotel in the world! On a clear day you will have spectacular views of Ama Dablam or Mother’s Necklace, and the mighty Mount Everest! You’ll have the rest of afternoon free to enjoy the beauty of the traditional mountain village of Namche and the hospitality of the local Sherpa people!

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: NAMCHE to PHORTSE

DAY 5: NAMCHE to PHORTSE

Elevation: 3,445 – 3,840 m

Distance: 12 km

Today is a special day as you’ll veer off the beaten track and away from the hustle and bustle of the trails as we make our way to the beautiful, traditional village of Phortse. On your way to Phortse you will walk through pine forests, past stupas, and give us breathtaking views of some of the Himalaya’s highest peaks. In Phorste you can learn about the lives of the Sherpa people, many Everest summiteers live in Phortse and it is also home to the oldest monastery in the Khumbu region and to the remains of a yeti.

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: PHORTSE to DINGBOCHE

DAY 6: PHORTSE to DINGBOCHE

Elevation: 3,840 – 4,440 m

Distance: 11 km

Today you will notice the landscape change dramatically around us as we trek through mossy forests, cross the Imja River, past more intricate Buddhist Mani stones, and climb upwards to Dingboche. You will feel so close to the Himalayas here with Ama Dablam looking down upon you as you trekThis is around the time in our journey where you might begin to feel the effects of the altitude but that’s normal and our guides will be looking out for you, making sure that you are staying hydrated.

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: MORE TIME TO ACCLIMATIZE IN DINGBOCHE

DAY 7: MORE TIME TO ACCLIMATIZE IN DINGBOCHE

Elevation: 4,440 – 4,730 m – 4,440m

Distance: 3 km

Today we’ll help up our bodies further acclimatize to the altitude by hiking high and sleeping low an important part of being a safe and smart trekker! We’ll walk up the mountain ridge that towers over Dingboche with the option of continuing your upward ascent to climb a small peak, taking breaks along the way at stupas with a view, before descending back into Dingboche for a relaxing afternoon.

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: DINGBOCHE to LOBUCHE

DAY 8: DINGBOCHE to LOBUCHE

Elevation: 4,440 – 4,900 m

Distance: 12 km

After breakfast, we’ll continue our ascent towards the world’s highest glacier, Khumbu, and the village of Lobuche. It’s a difficult day as you will be ascending and feeling the altitude. A memorable part of your day will be the our stop at Khagan Chorten, a beautiful cemetery and spiritual Buddhist site that remembers those who have lost their lives on Everest. Today it is important to walk slow, take plenty of rests and drink a lot of water.

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: LOBUCHE to EVEREST BASE CAMP to GORAK SHEP

DAY 9: LOBUCHE to EVEREST BASE CAMP to GORAK SHEP

Elevation: 4,900 – 5,380 – 5,125 m

Distance: 15 km

We’ll start the day heading upwards with a challenging ascent to the village of Gorak Shep for lunch and breathtaking views of the magnificent Mount Pumori. After lunch, we’ll walk along the famous Khumbu Glacier to Everest Base Camp (5380m), where climbers spend over a month acclimatizing and preparing for their summit attempt of the one and only Mount Everest! From Base Camp, we’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the Khumbu Icefall, the seasonal tent village that is Base Camp before descending back down to Gorak Shep for the evening. It was be diffiicult for you to sleep tonight but things will become easier tomorrow as we head down.

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: GORAK SHEP to KALA PATHAR to PHERICHE

DAY 10: GORAK SHEP to KALA PATHAR to PHERICHE

Elevation: 5,160 – 5,555 – 4,370 m

Distance: 13 km

The high altitude and cold temperatures make this early morning one of the toughest parts of our trek but this mornings trek really is worth getting up for! We’ll trek up to the highest point of our journey, Kala Pathar (5555m), for stunning, unobstructed, 360 views of the highest Himalayan peaks in the morning light. Afterwards you will return for breakfast in Gorak Shep before beginning the decent through the valley, past yaks and rivers to the village of Pheriche. Pheriche is home to the medical medical post used by the Himalayan peak climbers.

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: PHERICHE to NAMCHE

DAY 11: PHERICHE to NAMCHE

Elevation: 4,370 – 3,445 m

Distance: 23 km

Today we’ll start our big day of trekking early, compared to what you have been though the day will feel relatively easy as you descend all the way down to Namche to Deboche. It’s interesting to be getting the reverse views of trails we took from Lukla days ago, many people find it more enjoyable as you don’t have to contend with the uphill and adjustment to altitude. You’ll find that even on day 10 of our trek, you’ll never tire of the surroundings, and will still be awestruck and surprised by the beauty that is the Himalayas!

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: NAMCHE to PHAKDING

DAY 12: NAMCHE to PHAKDING

Elevation: 3,735 – 2,655 m

Distance: 12 km

It’s a relatively easy day today which means that you can enjoy explore the village of Namche before we set off on the trail to Phakding. We’ll arrive early enough which will allow you the afternoon free to relax, do some shopping in the village, or grab a beer a well deserved beer at your lodge or in the village! It’s time to relax and unwind now as you have only 1 short day of trekking left!

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: PHAKDING to LUKLA

DAY 13: PHAKDING to LUKLA

Elevation: 2,655 – 2,800 m

Distance: 12 km

Today we’ll continue making our way up and down to Lukla for our final night (tear) in the Everest region. In the evening we’ll have our celebratory dinner to reflect and toast to the incredible experience and achievements we shared with your Take on Nepal team and your group members!

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: LUKLA to KATHMANDU

DAY 14: LUKLA to KATHMANDU

Elevation: 2,800 – 1,400 m

This morning, weather permitting, we’ll take our return flight from Lukla back to Kathmandu. It’s likely that you will be departing the region with mixed feelings, sadness to leave the mountains and your team but also excitement because of all that you have achieved. Once we’re back in Kathmandu, you’ll be able to use the rest of your time to shop, have a massage, eat cake and momos before you depart for home or continue on your journey!

Included: Breakfast

NOTE: Flight delays between Lukla to Kathmandu due to weather conditions are quite common and a real possibility. To be on the safe side, we highly recommend booking your departure flight in the late evening of day 15 or the morning of day 16.

DAY 15: Final Day in Kathmandu

DAY 15: Final Day in Kathmandu

Elevation: 1,400 m

Distance: 7km Drive to Kathmandu Airport.

This is officially your final day with Take on Nepal, boo hoo! If you are departing you will need to check out from your hotel at 12pm, if you have a later flight, your luggage can be stored safely at the hotel until your departure. Our team will be on hand to take you to the airport. We always recommend if you have time to stay on in Nepal after your trek, there’s so much to see and do! If you have some spare days our team will be happy to organise your activities. A city tour is a must do and if you have a longer period of time you are welcome to visit Batase village, home of our guides and porters. Another suggestion is spending time in Pokhara or Chitwan. Nepal really is an amazing country with plenty of things to see and do.

Included: Transport to the Airport

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 Base Cost
1 October 2024 - 15 October 2024 (Women Guide) Available $
$3490
1 December 2024 - 15 December 2024 (Women Guide) Available $
$3490
1 November 2024 - 15 November 2024 (Clementine) Full
31 January 2025 - 14 February 2025 Available $
-
21 March 2025 - 4 April 2025 Available $
-

What’s the difference between our base price trek and all-inclusive price trek?

The only difference between the two options are meals, the all-inclusive trek covers the cost of all meals during your trek. The meals included are your breakfast, lunch and dinner. You choose an option from the menu, it can be the most expensive meal or the cheapest meal but it will be covered in your trek cost, you also get a drink with each meal.

The budget option does not cover the cost of meals on your trek. You pay for this cost yourself. This option allows you to possibly save money by ordering cheaper meals.

What are the pros and cons of booking a budget trek?

Pros:

  • You can potentially save money by choosing cheaper options on the menu.

Cons:

  • You have to carry a larger amount of cash with you on the trek.
  • You will be responsible for ensuring you have the correct amount of money required to cover your meals.

What are the pros and cons of booking an all-inclusive trek?

Pros:

  • You don’t have to worry about having Nepalese rupees on hand 3 times a day for each of your meals. You have peace of mind in knowing all your meals are looked after and paid for.
  • You can order any item on the menu. You are waited on by our attentive staff who will help you to choose great options for your meal choices

Cons:

  • If you order cheap meals on the budget package you may save more money than on the all-inclusive trek.
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

  • Hotel and airport transfers
  • Domestic Transport
  • Flight: Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu
  • All necessary paper work and permits (ACAP, TIMS)
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu and teahouses during the trek
  • An experienced English-speaking trek leader (trekking guide), porters to carry luggage
  • Breakfasts in Kathmandu. All meals during the trek
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • Welcome and farewell dinners
  • All government and local taxes

What's Not Included

  • Nepalese visa fee
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • 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
  • Bar Bills
  • Tips for guides and porters

Checklists

Clothing and Equipment

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 below list outlines the standard clothing we recommend you take for trekking, 14 – 15 days in the mountains.

Clothing

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

Equipment and Other

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

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

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

FAQ's - Essential trip information

Everest Base Camp Trek Questions

Do I Need To Speak Nepali? Do The Porters / Guides Speak English?

All our team members speak English as do most people working within the tourism industry in Nepal. You will have no problems communicating in English and there is not 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. If you learn some of these common phrases in Nepali, your guides will be impressed!

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

Money In Nepal And On The Trek

The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee, it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to transfer Australian Dollars into Nepalese Rupees until you reach Nepal. Nepal has modern banking facilities and some of the International Banks have their own offices in Kathmandu. ATM’s are conveniently located close to your hotel in Kathmandu and credit cards are accepted in Nepal at major hotels, shops and restaurants but not on the Everest Base Camp Trek.  You will find better exchange rates in Kathmandu outside the airport. Major banks, hotels, and the exchange counters at Tribhuvan Airport provide services for exchanging foreign currency.

We recommend you carry approx. $300 Australian Dollars with you when traveling to Nepal, this will cover your visa upon arrival and tips (our team love receiving tips in Dollars!).

When you arrive in Kathmandu we recommend you go to an ATM to withdraw Nepalese Rupees, for the trek we suggest you budget approx. $20-$30 per day for additional expenses such as chocolate, toilet paper, hot showers and device charging.

Tipping Guides And Porters

We consider our guides and porters to be the backbone of our company and go above and beyond to ensure they are treated with respect. All of our staff members are paid higher wages than is the industry minimum and our team members are all provided with training and educational opportunities. We view our porters as being an integral part of our team and know our consistently good feedback is because of the great work our team do.

Tipping is a way of showing gratitude for a job well done, it is not their salary, it is a bonus on top of what the team have already earned. We also want to stress that in the unlikely event that you are unhappy with the level of service received from your team, you are not obligated to tip.

As a general rule of thumb, the average tips given to your team (guides and porters) are 10% of the cost of your trek. For example, if you paid $2,000 for your trekking experience, $200 would be a kind and respectful amount to pay to your team. 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 you guide and porter.

How to Tip

We like to make the tipping fun and easy, we don’t want you to feel uncomfortable about how to tip or how much you should tip, we like to be transparent about this. If you are 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 then go on to divide the money into envelopes to be handed out on the very last day of your trek in Lukla. The last night is always a celebration, everyone is happy and relaxed. The envelopes with the pooled tip money is 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 Lukla, 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.

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.

Tipping before the Trek

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 hours wage for you as a generous tip, this for most people is approx $20-$30. Keep in mind that tips make a big difference to the lives of our guides and porters, this money always goes to good use, generally towards caring for their families. Your generosity has a wonderful roll on effect in Nepal. Generous tips result in happiness all round. You will leave Nepal knowing you have rewarded the people who have made your experience what it was and your team will feel gratitude for your kindness.

Customs And Cultural Sensitives

  • The most important one to be aware of, when trekking to Everest Base Camp, is the many Stupa’s. A Stupa is a Buddhist shrine. Your guide will point them out to you. You must always walk on the right side of the Stupas; in Buddhism it’s considered important to go clockwise, this relates to always moving forward in life, not having regrets or going backwards (anti-clockwise).
  • 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. Women should avoid bare shoulders, halter tops, and shorts. Ties and suits are not necessary except for special occasions.
  • Conversations may have ‘dead’ patches. Nepalese are not uncomfortable with silence.
  • Cows are sacred. They go and sleep where they want. Watch out for them if you must stretch them out while sitting on the floor. 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.
  • It is considered disrespectful to shout in the mountains of the Everest region. Always use a normal speaking voice and refrain from yelling out, unless you absolutely must!

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

Power Adapter

In Nepal the standard voltage is 230 V. The standard frequency is 50 Hz. The power sockets that are used are of type C / D / M. Below you find pictures of these power sockets and corresponding plugs.

Bring your phone chargers. Although Australian plugs are not exactly the right size or shape, they will fit in most sockets.

It would be handy to have an adapter for Kathmandu, 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, they is a cost of approx. $3-$5 for a device to be charged.

Altitude Sickness

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 Everest 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 struggle 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?

The main symptoms of altitude sickness are:

  • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Drinking water: You must drink a minimum of 4-5 litres of water a day.
  3. Eat plenty of food high in carbohydrates, our guides will advise you on the best meal choices.
  4. Plenty of Rest: Attempt to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night.
  5. Stay positive and strong: In both physical and mental capacity.
  6. Keep a slow and steady pace: even if you’re full of energy it’s still better to maintain a steady pace.
  7. We strongly advise you not to drink alcohol during your ascent up to Everest Base Camp, save the drinking until you get to the Irish bar in Namche on the way down!

Acclimatisation Days

Your trek to Everest Base Camp should have a couple of acclimatisation days built into the itinerary. On these days you will trek to a higher alitutde and then go back down again, this helps the body adjust to the altitude. 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, get some rest and 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.

Vaccinations

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.

Health Precautions And Problems

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.

The pollution in Kathmandu is a surprise, and gives some people, especially asthmatics, respiratory infections within a few days of arrival. Many people wear disposable filter masks, or scarfs that cover their mouth and nose, although 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.

What Is The Food Like On The Everest Base Camp Trek?

The feedback provided to us regarding the food is always positive. Meals are included in our all inclusive trek option, but we don’t choose your food, you will decide what to eat for your breakfast, lunch and dinner from the menus provided in each lodge. The food options along the way are healthy, nutritious, filling and most importantly tasty!

Pringles, desserts, soft drinks, alcohol, chocolate and fruit are available to purchase along the way. This food is not included in your package, 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, in particular Namche where you can enjoy a Guinness in the worlds highest Irish pub!

Small Sample Of The Meals That You Will Encounter Along The Way

BREAKFAST
You will be deciding what to eat for breakfast the night before. This allows the kitchen to be prepared for the morning rush and it also means that you won’t have a long wait 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 in with or without meat. Momo’s are a traditional Sherpa dish, the Sherpa people own the lodges along the Everest Base Camp route and their traditional dishes such as Momos appear on most menus.
  • 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.

Dangers And Annoyances

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.

Training For The Everest Base Camp Trek

We constantly hear people telling us that they are not fit enough to trek to Everest Base Camp, 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, that is 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 10 hours a week to training in the 3 months leading up to the trek. The fitter you are, the easier and more enjoyable the experience will be. To get prepared, we recommend you stick with the training plan we will provide to you, to ensure the best possible outcome for you for the trek.

Below is a guide to training for this multiday, 130km, mostly uphill trek to Everest Base Camp.

Step 1: Mental preparedness

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! Strength of mind and self-belief is a crucial factor in achieving your goal to reach Everest Base Camp. Once you’ve paid your deposit and locked it in, it’s time to start preparing. Ideally, you will have somewhere between 6-12 months to prepare, with 3 months at a minimum.

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. 13 km a day, 20km a couple of days and do so at altitude. The 2 acclimatisation days are not rest days, on these days you will need to walk up hill and then return down to a lower altitude. This is a challenge; you need to prepare for it with the belief that ‘you’ve got this’.

Step 3: Speak to us

We have seen people of all ages and sizes successfully reach Everest Base Camp, fitness is not dependent on size, it is strength that matters most. We know 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 are 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 Everest 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 start date we recommend that you plan to walk for distances over 15 kilometres at least 2-3 times a week, these 5-6 hour walking days will prepare you physically and mentally for the trek to Everest Base Camp. Although a porter will be carrying your main pack, you will need to carry a daypack, when you are trekking at altitude, 5kg can feel like 10kg, for this reason we recommend that you load a pack up to weights above 10kg and start hiking uphill carrying this weight. This allows for resistance training, the building of muscle strength, all the while improving your overall fitness level. If you live in a city or in an 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 Everest 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 everyday. 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 4-5 litres of water a day, this is what you will need to do on the trek to Everest 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 Everest 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 your 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.

Arriving At 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 hour and a half to process the visitors from each one. Sit as close to the front of the aircraft as possible so that 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.

Accommodation On The Everest Base Camp Trek

On all of our treks we choose to stay in tea houses, they are in fact small lodges but have been named by the Sherpa 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 Sherpa 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 Everest Base Camp Trek.

Dining Rooms

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, their interiors are lined with wood panels, they have a pot bellied style fire in the centre of the room (fueled using Yak poo!) and photos of expeditions or images of the mountains.

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. The beds will have sheets on them, a pillow and a blanket. Be warned that the bedding is not changed every day, we recommend have 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.

Food

The food provided by the Sherpa 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 Everest Base Camp Trek for more in depth 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 helicoptered into Lukla and then carried up by a porter to the lodge, the other means of boiling water is by burning wood or Yak Poo, again this requires physical labour. 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 4000 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.

Is It Scary?

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

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

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

Will I Be Giving Back To The People Of Nepal?

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

We enrol and fund the costs of training for our team members, we also provide our team with accommodation in Kathmandu in order for them to continue their education, we constantly encourage and support our young team to continually advance forwards in life. Our porters are all guides in training, we want them to strive for better and we do our best to assist our team to reach their goals. This is not done by any other trekking company in Nepal.

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

What Training Do My Guides Have?

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

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

Lukla Has Been Described As The “Most Dangerous Airport In The World”, Is This Really The Case?

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

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

Do I Need To Trek In A Group? I Would Like To Undertake The Trek With My Partner Or On My Own.

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

Is The Itinerary Flexible?

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

Are There Shops For Me To Buy Essentials During The Trek?

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

Is It Possible For Me To Have A Woman Guide?

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

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

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

Practicalities

What’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$4490AUD

Base Cost

from$3490AUD

View Rates & Dates

Currency Converter AUD/USD: Wed, 24 Jul.

Next Available Tours

1 October 2024 - 15 October 2024
1 December 2024 - 15 December 2024

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