One of the very best alpine treks to Annapurna Base Camp, the 'Sanctuary of the Gods'
The Annapurna Himal is a vast massif with several peaks above 7000m. Part of the range forms a natural amphitheatre known as the Annapurna Sanctuary, ringed by such giants as Annapurna 1, Glacier Dome, Gangapurna, Fang and Machhapuchhare. On this trek, one of our most popular Nepal trekking tours, we pass through forested hillsides to Ghorepani where we ascend Poon Hill for a magnificent panoramic sunrise of the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri. Entering a narrow valley we pass directly below Machhapuchhare before reaching the Sanctuary, a veritable home of the Gods. We have a day to explore this magnificent place before returning to Pokhara via a different route. This is a fairly strenuous alpine trek offering close-up mountain views equal to any in the Himalaya.
What makes this trip responsible?
Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment.
Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. Exodus trips are designed to allow a high degree of economic benefit to the local communities; we buy local produce, eat local food and use local services, thus ensuring that as much money as possible is retained within the local economies and the host communities. With our responsible tourism policy we are continually reassessing our holidays, trying at all times to ensure that they are socially, economically and environmentally sound.
Awards for our work on Responsible Tourism
2009. British Travel Awards: Highly Commended.
2006. British Travel Awards: Environmentally Responsible Tourism Company.
2004. Responsible Travel Awards: Best Tour Operator.
Please see our Responsible Tourism Policy page for full details
While on trek:
We advise against buying any mineral water whilst on trek as currently there are no provisions for disposing of the empty plastic bottles. Alternatively you can bring water treatment tablets for your drinking water or buy boiled water in the lodges.
We also ask you to consider only taking a shower at lodges where they have electricity or solar power to heat the water.
The use of biodegradable soaps and shampoos is recommended. If washing near a stream use a washing bowl and do not tip soapy water into a drinking water stream.
We recommend bringing a spare plastic bag for rubbish that cannot be burnt. Burnable rubbish can be left in the lodges. Non-burnable rubbish should be taken back to Kathmandu.
Some of the lodges now have electricity and charging facilities for batteries. The cost is approx GBP2 per hour to charge.
Click on the title below for more information about our projects in Nepal.
EXODUS HIMALAYAN COMMUNITY SUPPORT PROJECTS
Over the last few years we have set up many projects in Nepal. Details of all the projects can be found here on our website
Your leader will have up to date information in Kathmandu so please do ask him if you would like more information. We also have printed copies of our newsletter available in Kathmandu.
Some of our most important projects are:
Nava Kiran Orphanage Kathmandu
In March 2006 we opened a new home, which we built for the children. Since then we have been paying for the children's educational needs (school fees, books, uniforms etc). Although we will still continue to monitor the children's educational needs we are gradually reducing our involvement there, only providing extra support where needed. If you are travelling with Exodus to Nepal and would like to see the orphanage, please ask your leader who will be delighted to organise a visit.
Esther Benjamins Trust
The Esther Benjamins Trust focuses on improving the lives of Nepal's most vulnerable children and young people. The Trust provides full time care for children who are 'at risk' of being trafficked or of domestic or sexual abuse - an indispensable safety net. The facilities cater for 140 children (boys and girls) at three centres; Kathmandu, Hetauda and Bhairahawa, south Nepal. From 2010 we will be helping them raise money for the full time care and education of their children.
Solar Cookers and Smokeless Stoves
Our solar cooker project is now up and running in the Everest region. By spring 2010 we had installed 30 solar cookers in the Everest region in the lodges we use and have another 30 waiting to be installed in autumn 2010. If you are trekking in the Everest region you will see these in most of the lodges where you stay. Your leader will have details of how to sponsor a cooker.
In 2010 Exodus donated 28 smokeless stoves to Thulopatel village. These stoves use less wood but more importantly, they provide a safer and healthier alternative for the women to cook on. The smoke leaves the kitchen through a chimney thus preventing eye and lung problems caused by a smoky fire.
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Trekking group in the Annapurna Sanctuary