1. What time should I visit Nepal?
The main/primary season for trekking in Nepal is from October to mid-May additionally while daytime temperatures at maximum altitudes are usually comfortable for walking, the sky is clear much of the time and rain and snow are occasional occurrences. During the day time temperatures will vary from 15ºC to 30ºC inside the Kathmandu Valley to around 10ºC at 3,600m and progressively lower the higher we go. Specific seasons provide distinct advantages for trekking. There may be snow in Annapurna Base Camp at any time of 9 months.
Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November
This the high trekking season in Nepal. Day temperatures in Kathmandu are approximately above 20ºC. Skies are typically clean and days on trek are sunny and slight with clear mountain perspectives. Nights will be chillier with temperatures dropping as low as to minus fiveºC on the higher altitudes.
Winter: December to end February
Regardless of the colder conditions, this is a perfect time to trek in Nepal. Skies are usually clear especially in December and the mountain views are at their satisfactory. Nights can be very cold with temperatures all the way down to -5ºC at Annapurna Base Camp, however, days are pleasant and sunny. The paths are also an awful lot much less busy at the time of 12 months. In Kathmandu, most daylight hours temperatures are 19ºC.
Pre-monsoon/spring: March to May
Each day and night temperatures might be warmer in widespread, however, the haze will often increase in the afternoons and there can be a few drops of rain. It’s far particularly warm inside the lowlands and temperatures rise to 30ºC in Kathmandu. Flowers bloom in this on this season and this is one of the main reason people chose to trek in spring. The Annapurna region is famous for the rhododendrons in spring. Snow can be expected in spring on the way to and at the Base Camp.
Please note that in any mountain region the weather is never wholly predictable, and you should be prepared and equipped to deal with any differences in climate beyond the situations defined above.
2. What kind of meal do I expect during the trekking?
Breakfast is included during the trip. On the trek, the breakfast will be a set menu generally which include porridge or muesli, with either toast, chapatti or pancake, plus an egg or omelet and a cup of tea/coffee. Any additional items that are not included in the package programme should be ordered and paid for separately. Lunch will be taken at en route sometimes one of your guide or porter will go ahead with the group’s order to make it more expedient. Dinner will be in the same teahouse where you sleep at (this is custom in Nepal as teahouses base their room rate on it).
The menus in the mountains are nearly identical to one another but provide a varied choice, starting from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Dal bhat is the staple diet in Nepal and comes in many unique forms but normally comprise some curried lentil dhal & meat or vegetables, some rice, and a pickle/chutney. Another popular snack is momos; a type of Nepalese dumpling, fried or steamed, filled with meat or veggies.
If you have a gluten-free diet, then we strongly recommend you bring some extra food and snacks with you to supplement the food on the trek as there will be little variety available for you, particularly for breakfast. Even many of the soups are from powder/packets and contain gluten.
3. What about Passport & Visa?
All foreigners except Indian nationals must have a valid visa to enter into Nepal. Visa is available on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport upon entry in Kathmandu, Nepal and at Nepal borders of India and Tibet.
Visa can be easily extended at the central immigration office. www.immigration.gov.np; Visa application requires a passport with at least 6 months until expiration and one passport -size photo. The current cost of the visa for 30 days is US$40 (to be paid in cash) for 30 days that is required to make in cash. Other currencies are also accepted although rates may differ. Other nationalities should check entry requirements. visitors are requested to specify return flight tickets, a time intended to stay in Nepal. We recommended you schedule at least 1-2 day extra at the end of the trip just in case there is a delay. If no delay occurs we can arrange an additional activity for your time in Nepal. To help calculate the exact dates of these crossings we have found the website www.timeanddate.com to be very useful. The children under the age of 10 will get a free visa. Please be advised to check the current regulation. Visa regulation can change without prior notice. Citizens of China, as well as citizens of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), get a free visa.
Countries not entitled to get a visa upon arrival are Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan If you are a citizen of one of these countries, please contact your local Nepalese embassy.
4. What is the difference between Easy, Moderate, Tough & Challenging Trekking?
There is a grading system that classifies the difficulty of trekking trails. There are four categories: Easy, moderate, difficult and strenuous-. The challenge both technicality and geographically increases as you move higher through the scale. Easy trekking could be suitable for all people while strenuous and difficult treks are meant only for those who have previous experience. The reason we have categories is to help our clients choose a trek or climb in the Himalaya that is suitable for their level.
This is for the trekkers who do not have previous experience or are not looking for a difficult physical challenge. These treks usually vary from 2-5 days and can reach up to an altitude of 3000m. These treks are usually on well-maintained paths and pass. They typically involve walking up to 5 hours a day. Easy trekking is always located around 2000m (6500ft) to 4000m (13000ft). These treks allow for very scenic vista points including excellent locations to view sunrise’s over the Himalayan range. Recommend trekking at this grade includes; Ghorepani Poonhill, Nagarkot Dhulikhel, Dampush Sarangkot, Shivapuri.
Moderate grade trekking is suitable for those trekkers who have time and want to spend between 1-2 weeks in mountain areas. Clients are encouraged to have a good level of physical fitness and adequate physical training ahead of time is necessary. This grade is recommended for any trekker looking for something a little more challenging than just a simple walk. These trekking areas are mostly base camp treks, which will include panoramic views of the Himalaya. Some trekking trails at this grade include: Annapurna Base Camp trekking, Gokyo Lake trekking, Langtang Helambu trekking, Tamang Heritage trekking, Panchase trekking are the selected trekking trails at this grade.
We recommend to our clients that you have previous easy and moderate trekking experience. We also encourage clients to have a high level of physical fitness and knowledge about trekking systems that includes proper clothing systems, proper body care etc. Tough treks include walking through rough trails for 6-7 hours each day and crossing high passes. There are difficult treks that include trekking to advanced base camps as high as 5200m/17000ft. In the tough trekking grade, you may also experience glacier crossings on snow/ice. You will be facing high altitude air and continuous walking over huge stretches of Himalayan valleys. Annapurna Circuit, Chola pass, Three Pass trekking, Manaslu circuit trekking, Kanchanjungha Base camp trek, and Makalu base camp are all in the difficult grade of trekking.
Above 5500m-6200m peaks, high passes are included in this grade. The biggest difference between difficult and challenging is that the terrain is greater in height and length. There is often greater exposure with some technical sections requiring a ‘steady head’ and occasional use of rope for safeguarding. There is also a greater feeling of remoteness, isolation, and a lack of rescue assistance. These are genuine expeditions where climbing skills, experience, and fitness are necessary. Dhaulagiri Circuit trekking, Three Pass trekking, Sherpani Col Pass trekking, Amphu Lapcha pass, and some great Himalayan trail are all in the difficult grade of trekking.
5. What equipment and clothing shall I carry?
Depending on the season you wish to go trekking you may have to make adjustments to clothing and equipment however these are the necessities list we prepared to keep your comfort and utility in mind.
We never recommend our clients to bring over equipment which is not necessary for the trek.
- Sun hat or scarf
- Winter hat or insulating hat or Wide-brimmed hat
- Headlight with extra batteries
- Sunglass with UV protection
- Face/body wipes
- Lightweight gloves
- Heavyweight winter gloves
- Hiking shirts
- Long sleeved shirt made of synthetic fiber
- Hooded rain jacket
- Fleece jacket
- Lightweight cotton pants
- T-shirts (bring Lightweight wool)
- Polypropylene underwear
- down jacket (available in rent in Kathmandu)
- Waterproof jacket and pants
- Hiking Boots that been worn in (available in rent in Kathmandu)
- Thick wool socks (Take an extra pair of thick light socks)
- Backpack or daypack (Size depends on whether you take porter or not).
- Thermal bottle
- Water purification
- Trekking pole
- Sleeping bag (-15 bag is best in the high altitude trek) available in rent in Kathmandu/ Pokhara
- Toiletries (toilet papers, toothpaste, toothbrush, )
- Medium size drying towel
- Deodorant/ floss
- Biodegradable bar soap
- Nail clippers
- Small mirror
- Cell phone
- Extra items
- First aid kit
- Extra passport photos and photocopies of passport
- Notebook and pen
- Binocular (optional)
6. What is Tea house trekking?
Teahouse trekking is a cheap & comfortable form of trekking with meal and accommodation provided by the local Teahouse. Tea house trekking is the most popular form of trekking in Nepal, those trails run along many established trails in the Himalaya and its foothills. Teahouses or Lodges are owned by Local people and offer accommodation and all meal facilities. Teahouse trekking is a great way to meet and engage with locals and enjoy local hospitality and tradition. These types of treks are found in famous trekking regions like Annapurna, Manaslu, Everest, some part of West Nepal and Langtang regions.
7. What is Camping Trekking?
Camping trekking is a form of trekking where trekkers bring all of the trekking gear & equipment and vital meals at some point of their trekking duration. They cook a meal in the kitchen tent, eating dining tent, and sleeping in the tents. Camping treks are prepared in the same way as exploratory or mountaineering expeditions. This trek is referred to as a fully organized supported trek. In a camping trek, we hired a crew which includes: A guide, chef, Sherpa, Sirdar, and porters. Our porters bring all the trekking equipment, food, gas, and personal belongings. We provide chef’s and assistant’s that prepare hygienic and tasty meals. At the end of the day, the workforce sets up a dining tent, sleeping tent, and restroom tents. Those type of treks is available where teahouse & homestay are not available. This consists of Dhaulagiri circuit, Manaslu Circuit, Upper Dolpo and Kanchanjungha are all of the trails that we advice and operate for camping trekking.
8. Can I extend or reduce the length of the Trekking/Tour?
Yes. Our trips are fully customizable and you can add more activity at the time of your booking. If you decide to extend your trip after your arrival in Nepal we are able to extend with extra charges. If something comes up and you want to reduce your length of the trip this is acceptable too.
9. Is Nepal safe/ suitable for solo trekkers or solo female trekkers?
Nepal is one of the safest lands of Himalaya for Travel and Trekking in the world. On all of our trip, your well-being is our first priority. We employ experienced staff, who monitor all aspects of the best trekking trip and are familiar with all aspects of travel in the remote part of Nepal. However, more risky for those people who hike alone without having a guide or porter. There will be no one to guide you in the mountain if you become lost, ill or injured. So we always advise travelers/ trekkers to book a trip through a government registered company and trek with guide or porter. We’ve both women and men trekking guides as required.
Most importantly, tipping is at travelers discretion and should be relied on good service that does not form the part of wages for your Guides, porters, and crew although they are very much appreciated. In Nepalese culture, a tip is an accepted and honored way to say thank you (Dhanyabada) for good service. Normally the tips are offered at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Most groups will give the trips in farewell dinner on the last evening or last day of the trek, to mark the end of the trip. The amount of the trip is entirely a personal preference that may be more or less depending upon your perception of service quality, length of trip, budget, and appreciation of their work. It is important to North Nepal Travel and Treks crews who professionally take care of you all the time during the trekking, inspire excellent service and offer enriching journey- a trip of once in a lifetime experience. We ensure that all of our crews including guides and porters are paid well and treated fairly with respect.
11. Can I use credits cards on the mountain while trekking?
Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities by Hotel, Shop, restaurant & airlines. There are ATM machines in Kathmandu and Pokhara. However, on the treks, you ought to pay cash for the services in local currency. So we advise you to carry cash in the local currency. There are lots of banks and money changers in particular cities for exchange.
12. Do I need travel insurances?
We advise our clients to secure travel insurance at least a week before departing from their country. Travel insurance is mandatory for all travelers in the Himalaya. We advise our guest to purchase complete travel insurances before traveling with us and provide details of your insurance to our office. Please make sure you know exactly what you are covered for, remembering that there are many adventure activities available during the tour which may not be covered by basic insurance. Make sure that your travel insurance covers general medical expenses, hospitalizations, and helicopter evacuations.