Know Before You Come

Know Before You Come

About Nepal

 

Known as the land of snowy peaks, incredible landscapes, and impressive mountains, Nepal is a country that has culture, adventure, and adrenaline rolled into one. Beyond the mighty Himalayan mountains, Nepal is incredibly diverse and lush. Offering tourists a wide array of things to do, Nepal is a country that will not disappoint.

 

With the mountain range stretching the full length of the country there are a countless number of locations for Himalayan treks and climbs. It's most well-known ethnic group are the legendary Sherpa, but there are also many other mountain and lowland communities and a richly diverse cultural fabric to absorb.

 

Nepal has a treasure chest of natural wonders and is a paradise for nature lovers, travelers, and trekkers. One can ascend the magnificent Mount Everest and circuit around trekking trails of Everest, Annapurna, Manaslu Tsum Valley, and many more mountainous regions of the north.

 

Then, disembarking down the southern plains of Terai region opens gateways towards cities of historical importance. To name the famous places of the region; Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, Chitwan National Park of Chitwan, and Janaki Temple of Janakpur.

 

 

Currency

 

Nepalese Rupee

 

 

Electricity Socket

 

220v/50Hz electricity. Power outlets are compatible with European plugs (three round prong). Be sure to pack a universal travel adaptor so you can still use all your electronic gadgets.

 

 

Visa

 

Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry. Currently, Nepal has multiple entry visas valid for 15, 30, or 90 daysIf you wish to apply before departure the current visa cost is £20 for a 15 day visa and £35 for a 30 day visa for UK passport holders. The current cost of a visa on arrival is US $25 for 15 days, US $40 for 30 days or if extending your stay $100 for 90 days. All are multiple entry. The visa on arrival fee can be paid for in cash in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Euros.  Citizens of select countries are required to apply for a visa beforehand so make sure you double check prior to your trip.

 

You will also need a valid passport and a passport sized photo. Application forms are available in the immigration hall (or for electronic passports there are visa registration machines which, after inserting your passport, automatically fill out a form for you). You must firstly join the queue to pay the visa fee, and then go to the relevant immigration desk to obtain your 15, 30 or 90 day visa stamp. There can be long queues for visas on arrival.

 

Non-UK nationals should check requirements with their nearest embassy (a few nationalities are not permitted visas on arrival).

 

 

Safety

 

Nepal is a fairly safe place to go to for adventure. The majority of the accidents  that happen are related to unforeseen natural disasters. For solo female travelers, we advice you to trek in groups when possible and avoid trekking alone with a male guide if it makes you feel queasy.

 

As a general rule, here are a few safety precautions we advise you remember before you take off for trekking:

 

   Register with your local embassy while in Kathmandu, Capital of Nepal.

   Have photocopies of all your important documents (passports, flights, trekking permits) and store them separately from the originals.

 

 

Language

 

With over 120 different variations, Nepali is the main language in Nepal. You do not have to worry about the language barrier because English is widely spoken in the main cities. As the tourism and trekking industry is thriving in Nepal, English is spoken and understood by most people that you will encounter during your trek.

 

 

Vaccinations

 

Nepal doesn't have any mandatory vaccination requirements. However,  our recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

 

The risk of malaria and Dengue Fever is a known risk present in certain terai regions such as Chitwan. It is advised to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a tropical viral disease spread by mosquitoes which are active during the daytime. If you get bitten, there is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue. Therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites such as use mosquito repellents and nets while you are sleeping

 

Most of our trekking trips go to high altitudes areas where there is a likely risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness.

 

 

Eating & Drinking

 

Eating

    

Breakfast is included throughout the trip and all meals are provided while camping (all breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners).

 

Breakfast is included throughout the trip and all meals are provided while camping. On trek the breakfast will be a set menu usually consisting of porridge and toast. Any additional items that are not included in the set menu should be ordered and paid for separately. We do not include lunch and dinner in the tea-houses, allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. Although most lodges have almost identical menus, they are reasonably extensive and offer a varied selection, ranging from traditional Nepalese dal bhat to pizza and apple pie.

 

Although meat is available in the tea houses, we advise against eating it on trek. The meat has often been carried in the heat from lower altitudes for several days before reaching the lodges, and can cause stomach upsets or illness. Germs can spread by handling dirty money - we recommend using hand sanitizer.

 

If you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the suggested amount.

 

 

Drinking Water

 

We strongly encourage staying hydrated when undertaking any physical activity. Particularly at altitude high altitude we generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 liters per day.

 

Please buy bottled water while trekking as this contributes to plastic pollution the trekking areas without proper garbage disposal. Always carry a refillable water bottle with you.

 

All tea houses will provide tap water free of charge, if requested. Although this should not be drunk untreated, we recommend that you bring a reusable bottle with a wide opening (Nalgene or similar) with you and use a SteriPEN to treat it with. A SteriPEN is a handheld UV water purifier – small, lightweight and battery powered so easy to pack for a trek. In Nepal’s trekking regions most of the bottled water isn’t strictly ‘mineral water’ anyway but is UV treated, so it’s exactly the same technology. It’s quick to use, far more effective than purification tablets, and the water is ready immediately. It’s fine to use a SteriPEN on non-boiled water so long as it isn’t cloudy or full of sediment (which is uncommon in these regions).

 

SteriPENs are widely stocked on Amazon, outdoor shops and other online retailers; look for the latest models but avoid USB charging ones. Better still, a SteriPEN will pay for itself over the course of the trek and you won’t leave behind a single plastic bottle – you will end up spending the same or even less than you would on bottled water, plus you can keep it for future trips.

 

If you prefer not to invest in a SteriPEN, the tea houses also sell boiled water (the price increases the higher you trek) which should not require treating. This is also perfect for a bedtime refill as it can double up as a hot water bottle.

 

 

Weather

 

The main trekking season in Nepal is from October to mid-May when daytime temperatures at most altitudes are generally comfortable for walking, the sky is clear much of the time and rain and snow are occasional occurrences. Daytime temperatures will vary from 15ºC to 35ºC in the Kathmandu Valley to around 10ºC at 3,600m and progressively lower the higher we go.

 

Different seasons offer different advantages for trekking.

 

Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November. This is the main trekking season in Nepal. Day temperatures in Kathmandu are approximately above 20ºC. Skies are usually clear and days on trek are sunny and mild with clear mountain views. At the highest altitudes although the days can be nice and sunny the temperatures can drop to 10ºC and much lower. Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as minus 10ºC and lower at the highest altitudes.

 

Pre-monsoon/spring: March to May. Both day and night temperatures will be warmer in general but haze will often build up in the afternoons. It is very hot in the lowlands and temperatures rise to 35ºC in Kathmandu. Flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons people chose to trek in spring.

 

Snow can be expected on any departure, usually at the higher altitudes. Summit day will be a very early start (usually about 2am) and will be extremely cold. Although mostly it is calm and clear on summit day the mountain does occasionally get high winds. You need to be equipped for temperatures as low as minus 25ºC plus wind chill on summit day.

 

Please remember that in any mountain area the weather is never wholly predictable and you should be prepared and equipped to deal with any differences in weather beyond the conditions described above.