Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

16 days
from
£2,179
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Trip code: 
TNSA
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Point-to-point Trips
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

This classic trek in the Annapurna's is one of the best for acclimatisation in Nepal

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. The trek starts through forested hillsides before arriving into the Sanctuary with its panoramic views of the Annapurna. At higher altitudes the close-up mountain views are perhaps the finest in the world. There is a day to explore this breathtaking mountain eden before returning to Pokhara via a different route.

Highlights

  • Stay overnight at Annapurna Base Camp surrounded by mountains
  • Explore the Annapurna Sanctuary, a huge amphitheatre ringed by glistening peaks
  • Enjoy sunrise views of Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhare and the Annapurnas from Poon Hill 
  • Trek through magnificent forests, terraced fields and pretty villages
  • Time in historic Kathmandu and lakeside Pokhara

Key information

  • 4 nights standard hotels and 10 nights teahouses
  • 11 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 4130m, average 2440m
  • Travel by private bus and one internal flight
  • Between 5 and 8 hours walking per day
  • Numerous stone steps

What's included

  • All breakfasts 
  • Morning bed-tea on trek
  • Welcome drink at each overnight lodge
  • 4 nights standard hotels and 10 nights teahouses
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout, plus local staff (staff to client ratio of 1:4 on trek)
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Full porterage throughout trek
  • Exodus kitbag (UK and Eire addresses)
  • Trekking map (provided locally)
  • Trekking permit and national park fees

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request, Kathmandu and Pokhara only)
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Sleeping bag (hire in advance from £35*)
  • Down jacket (hire in advance from £35*) 
  • *Hire package incl. down jacket and sleeping bag from £49
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

11

Pace:

Approximately 6hrs walking per day

Terrain:

Moderate altitude; good paths with some steep ascents; numerous stone steps

Day by day breakdown
Day 32.0km/1.0miles
Day 412.0km/7.0miles
Day 510.0km/6.0miles
Day 620.0km/12.0miles
Day 78.0km/4.0miles
Day 810.0km/6.0miles
Day 99.0km/5.0miles
Day 103.0km/1.0miles
Day 1114.0km/8.0miles
Day 129.0km/5.0miles
Day 1315.0km/9.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    The group flights depart London this evening.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Kathmandu.

    The group flights arrrive into Kathmandu this afternoon. There will be a full trek briefing this evening.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 3

    Drive to Pokhara and on to Naya Pul; short walk to Birethanthi.

    We leave early and drive westwards to Pokhara. This town is set in a beautiful valley and is overlooked by the Annapurnas and Machhapuchhare, one of the most distinctive of the Himalayan peaks. We continue through Pokhara to Naya Pul and from there have a 30-minute walk to the village of Birethanthi, where we stay overnight. Birethanthi is a riverside village at the confluence of the Modi Khola and the Burungdi Khola. If there is time we can bathe in the clear but cold pools of the Burungdi Khola.
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Climb to the top of Ulleri/Banthanti.

    We start our trek by following the Burungdi Khola upstream. After a lunch stop in Tirkhedunga (renowned for its variety of local beer called chang) we start the long steep climb up a stone staircase through the neatly terraced hillsides to the top of Ulleri / lower Banthanti.

    Trek Profile: 5 hours walking / 12km / sleeping altitude 2,210m
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Ascend through rhododendron forests to Ghorepani/Deurali.

    The trail winds its way onwards and enters rhododendron forest. In spring the forest is ablaze of colour. Trains of mules provide colourful and noisy interludes to the continuous ascent today (there are many stone staircases). Carrying rice and other supplies north to the kingdom of Mustang the trail resounds with the sound of their bells. Finally we emerge from the forests at Ghorepani and suddenly a splendid mountain vista appears before us - Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhare, Lamjung and other Himalayan giants. We continue up through Ghorepani to our lodge in Deurali (2858m), usually arriving by lunch time.

    Trek Profile: 4.5 hours walking / 10km / sleeping altitude 2,858m
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Optional early morning ascent of Poon Hill for incredible views of the Annapurnas, Machhapuchhare and Dhaulagiri at sunrise. After breakfast head through rhododendron forests to Chuili.

    This morning there is an optional ascent of Poon Hill (3,210m - about an hour's walk uphill) to see the spectacular sunrise over the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Himals. As the sun emerges from behind the mountains the sky glows red and pink in the first rays of the sun and the panorama is surely one of the world's great mountain vistas. Best seen at dawn, the climb is well worth the effort. After breakfast we head east, following a ridge to cross a pass at 3,193m. We pass through more open country then descend again through jungle to a few lodges in a clearing called Ban Thanti at 2,620m. Climbing back to 2,745m, we reach another small pass at Tadapani where we have a superb view of Annapurna South and the peak of Machhapuchhare. From here we descend for a short while to our lodge at Chuili, where we have great views of the mountains from the lovely garden.

    Trek Profile: 7 hours walking / 20km / sleeping altitude 2,245m
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Descend to the Kyumnu Khola and climb up into the Modi Khola valley to Chhomrong.

    The trail descends through the forest to the Kyumnu Khola, a tributary of the Modi Khola. From here a steep ascent brings us to Chhomrong, at 2,170m, another Gurung village and the last permanent settlement in the valley. Beyond here we shall see yersas, the shelters used by herdsmen in the summer months. From Chhomrong we have good views again of Annapurna South and from this point onwards the twin-peaked mountain Machhapuchhare ('fishtail') which gives the mountain its name.

    Trek Profile: 4.5-5 hours walking / 8km / sleeping altitude 2,170m
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Trek up the Modi Khola valley towards the Annapurna Sanctuary; overnight in Dobhan.

    The trail from Chhomrong descends first on a stone staircase to cross the Chhomrong Khola and then climbs on another stone staircase out of this side valley to re-enter the main Modi Khola Valley. We pass through jungle of oak, hemlock and rhododendron trees to Kuldi Ghar (2,540m), previously the site of a sheep breeding project. Beyond here our route undulates through dense bamboo thickets. These are cut extensively to make 'dokos' - the carrying baskets as used by our porters - and woven mats for floors and roofing. We climb up through the bamboo, and then through forests of rhododendrons. In early spring we may encounter snow on the trail from this point onwards. At 2,505m we reach Dobhan, a clearing in the forest where there are several teahouses.

    Trek Profile: 5-6 hours walking / 10km / sleeping altitude 2,505m
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Continue up the valley to Machhapuchhare Base Camp (3700m).

    We continue up through the forest, passing the lodges at Himalaya Hotel and then further on past Hinko Cave, where the first expeditions to the Base Camp used to camp. Crossing a ravine the trail climbs steeply among boulders, leaving the trees behind us. The valley broadens out and the scenery becomes wilder as we approach the gates of the sanctuary. Passing between the heights of Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhare, we reach Machhapuchhare Base Camp (3,700m), where we spend the night. The views are stupendous and the panorama includes Huinchuli, Annapurna 1, Annapurna 3, Gangapurna and Machhapuchhare.

    Trek Profile: 6 hours walking / 9km / sleeping altitude 3,700m
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Explore the high alpine wilderness of the Annapurna Sanctuary. Stay at Annapurna Base Camp.

    In the early morning we walk for 2 hours up to Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m), surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of some of the highest mountains in the world. Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna Fang, Annapurna 1 and 3, Gangapurna and Machhapuchhare all encircle us with unbroken soaring ramparts but for the route by which we entered. The sunset and sunrise are truly magnificent in this mountain arena. We spend the day in this special place with a chance to watch the sun rise the following morning. There should be time to make an excursion to the ridge overlooking the base camp from which Sir Chris Bonington led the ascent of Annapurna's South Face. (Occasionally there is too much snow to stay at Annapurna Base Camp. In this case we would walk back down to Machhapuchhare Base Camp in the late afternoon).

    Trek Profile: 1.5-2 hours walking / 3km / sleeping altitude 4,130m
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Descend back down the valley to Bamboo.

    We leave the Sanctuary today and begin a long descent (around 1800m), past Hinko, through the rhododendron jungle and bamboo thickets to Bamboo Lodge.

    Trek Profile: 6-6.5 hours walking / 14km / sleeping altitude 2,310m
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Ascend and descend stone steps to Chhomrong. Descend steeply through terraces to Jhinnudanda.

    We return down the Modi Khola Valley, leaving it to cross the Chomrong Khola. We are back in inhabited country again as we climb the stone steps back up to Chomrong. We then descend very steeply on stone steps through terraces to Jhinnudanda. Close to Jhinnudanda there are some hotsprings that you can visit if you wish; getting there involves descending for twenty minutes or so down to the river, and the climb back up takes a little longer (around 30 mins).

    Trek Profile: 5 hours walking / 9km / sleeping altitude 1,780m
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Trek to Birethanti; transfer from Naya Pul to Pokhara.

    A long day as we drop down to the Modi Khola River which we follow all the way back to Birethanthi. In Nayapul, shortly beyond Birethanti we pick up transport for the short drive to Pokhara (around 1.5hrs), arriving late afternoon.

    Trek Profile: 5.5 hours walking / 15km
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Free day in Pokhara.

    A full day to relax in Pokhara. There are plenty of café's and restaurants along the lakeshore where you can watch paragliders in flight. You may wish to take a rowing boat across Lake Phewa and walk up to the World Peace Pagoda, set on a hill overlooking the lake with fantastic views. There are aso plenty of shops and a traditional bazaar where you can pick up some souvenirs. Alternatively there are several museums to visit, including the International Mountain Museum and the Gurkha Museum.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Fly to Kathmandu.

    We fly to Kathmandu. Weather depending there should be good views of the western end of the Nepal on this flight.

    The afternoon is free for sightseeing. You may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambhunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. Various sightseeing tours can be booked and paid for locally. For more details of all of these optional activities please refer to the Optional Excursions section.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Fly to London.

    The trip ends after breakfast. Those on the group flight will be transferred to the airport for the flight back to London. Those not on the group flight will leave us after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Nepal

Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry. If 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. You will also need a passport 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).

Vaccinations

Nepal

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is present in certain regions only (such as Chitwan); you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Most of our trips to Nepal go to high altitudes where there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please refer to the TRIP NOTES for complete advice on AMS.

Eating and Drinking

Breakfast is included throughout the trip.

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 on trek 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 dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie.

Although meat is available in the teahouses, 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 also be spread by handling dirty money - we recommend using hand sanitiser.

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

Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day.

We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water on trek as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Nepal’s trekking areas.

A few villages along the Annapurna Sanctuary route have safe drinking water stations selling UV treated water for Rs40-50 per litre but these are not always open.

All teahouses will provide cold 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 teahouses also sell boiled water for approx. Rs150-300 per litre (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 30ºC in the Kathmandu Valley to around 10ºC at 3,600m and progressively lower the higher we go. Different seasons offer different advantages for trekking. There can be snow in Annapurna Base Camp at any time of year.

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. Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as to minus 5ºC at the higher altitudes.

Winter: December to end February. Despite the colder conditions this is an ideal time to trek in Nepal. Skies are usually very clear especially in December and the mountain views are at their best. Nights will be very cold with temperatures down to minus 10ºC at Annapurna Base Camp but days are pleasant and sunny. The trails are also much less busy at the time of year. In Kathmandu maximum daytime temperatures are 19ºC.

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 and there can be some rain. It is very hot in the lowlands and temperatures rise to 30ºC in Kathmandu. Flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons 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 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.

Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu, Nepal

Is this trip for you?

This trek is graded as moderate/challenging (level 4) and comprises 11 days point-to-point walking with full porterage throughout. The maximum altitude is 4,130m and the average is 2,440m - we ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes. This is one of the best paced trekking routes in Nepal for acclimatisation - the ascent is gradual, most nights are spent at low to medium altitudes (below 3000m) with only two nights spent at high altitude (over 3500m).

This is an ideal trek for those who are confident of their physical fitness, although most of the more challenging walking is on the last approach to the Sanctuary itself. Some previous trekking experience and physical preparation, such as hill walking, is recommended. You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: https//www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Most days we walk between five and seven hours a day, although there are some shorter and longer days. There are numerous stone staircases to be climbed and descended on this route and we would not recommend this trek to anyone with weak knees. There are prolonged ascents and descents on some days (in excess of 1000m). We highly recommend using trekking poles. The trail crosses approximately five modern suspension bridges; all have mesh sides and none are particularly long or high, however anyone with a strong fear of heights or vertigo may find them difficult.

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated exclude lunch stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Why Trek with Exodus?

• Over 30 years’ experience of organising treks in Nepal.
• 99% of clients who did this trek with Exodus in 2016 would recommend us.
• ‘Ask an expert’ – talk to Exodus office staff who have done the treks themselves.
• Experienced English-speaking local leaders who are qualified in first aid and trained in recognising and dealing with altitude sickness.
• One of the highest staff to client ratios on trek - 1 staff member: 4 clients.
• All staff (leaders, guides and porters) are fully insured and paid a fair wage.
• Carefully planned ascent rates and itineraries with built-in acclimatisation and contingency days.
• Staff carry oxygen, a Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC bag) and first aid kit.
• Self-assessment AMS cards used to monitor every client at high altitude.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Lodges

This tour spends two nights in a hotel in Kathmandu, two nights in a hotel in Pokhara and ten nights on trek in lodges (teahouses).

In Kathmandu we usually stay at the Hotel Royal Singi, located within walking distance of the Thamel district. All rooms have en suite facilities and there is a restaurant, a bar and an outdoor courtyard. There is an Exodus desk in the hotel reception area and an Exodus representative will usually be available daily in the mornings and evenings.

In Pokhara we usually stay in Hotel Lakefront. All room are en suite and there is a pleasant restaurant and gardens.

The teahouses are basic but adequate; please be realistic about what to expect in the mountains. We ask that you read our Nepal Destination Guide for further details about the lodge facilities: https://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/travelink/Destination-Guides-Nepal.pdf

The hub of the teahouse is the dining room, usually decorated with colourful traditional rugs, sometimes with a stove or heater (some lodges charge a fee to put the heater on). Most teahouses sell snacks and other essentials such as tissues, soap and toilet paper. Almost all lodges have electricity but it is not wholly reliable and lighting may not be bright enough to read by – a torch is essential. Electrical charging facilities are generally available only in the dining room (charged at approx. Rs150-350 per hour per device). Many lodges have Wi-Fi these days but it is generally slow and temperamental and often cannot cope with more than a couple of people logging into it at once.

The bedrooms are now almost all twin share, except for nights 7 to 10, above Chhomrong where there is a limited choice of lodges and rooms are basic multi-share (usually 3 to 5 persons to a room). Beds with foam mattresses, bedsheets and a pillow are provided. Bedrooms are generally unheated and can get cold at night so you will need to bring or hire a sleeping bag.

Most lodges have only one or two basic toilets and sometimes these are located outside the main lodge building. Toilets are usually Asian ’squat’ style; although many lodges have now installed ‘western style’ seated ones. Toilet paper is not provided so you should bring your own or buy it locally (please dispose of it the bin provided – do not put it in the bowl). If there is not a flush handle, there should be a container of water to pour down – if it is empty (or frozen) please either refill it or ask the lodge to.

Some lodges now have hot 'showers' (charged at approx. Rs250-500 per shower). Sometimes a hot shower is simply a bucket of hot water and not a shower head.

Standards of cleanliness vary especially in the peak trekking season and in winter when the water freezes at night. Please report any problems to your leader or the lodge and be vigilant in your personal hygiene regime – use soap or hand sanitizer gel before and after toilet breaks, snacks and meal times.

As a general rule, the higher altitude you go to, the more basic the lodges and the more expensive food and services become.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

It’s hard to choose ten highlights in a land so full of wonders, but we did our best…

The mountains will always draw us back to this majestic country: and now, with the return of a very special trip, the

  • Reviewed December 2016
    Karen Wells-West

    Annapurna Sanctuary & back!

    11 days of wonderful walking through farmland, forests -the mountains were the bonus! Fantastic wildlife, views to die for, with a soundtrack of rushing water a constant companion.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having made it to Annapurna Base Camp, having quiet time alone to try to absorb the sheer beauty and unpredictable power of the landscape. Also following the river back down again - amazing waterfalls everywhere!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bikash was brilliant, helping this very novice trekker achieve her goal to make it to 4,000m, with lots of laughs and singing on the way. He never made you feel you were too slow - he encouraged everyone to walk at their own pace, but kept a quiet eye out for problems & difficulties, and calmly dealt with them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although I knew there were stone steps, I and others underestimated how many! There are times when you are walking up steps for several hours, so finding a good, comfortable pace is essential - not fast, but steady. We walked in November where the days were hot - T shirts & shorts, but the nights are down jacket & thermal time. I had packed loads of thermal gear, but not enough summer layers. Also, be warned that on the flight back the luggage allowance is 10kg hold and 5 kg cabin - not 15kg hold as most of us thought, which meant there was a frantic unpacking at the last minute, and I left things I needed on trek back in Kathmandu. Safe drinking water was plentiful, so I didn't need my purification tabs, but take some just in case...

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our guides Durga & Soraj were equally wonderful, but we were pushed off the bus into the hotel so quickly at Pokhara that I didn't have chance to thank them properly for all their help, entertainment, and knowledge. They were always smiling - even at 5am, and their singing at ABC was a special moment. Our porters were also smiling and cheerful - even after carrying our kit up a mountain!
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Peter Watkins

    Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

    Spectacular scenery! Blessed with very good weather which helped a lot. Trek was significantly harder than expected with much more daily ascending & descending. Local support staff; guides, porters, etc were excellent. (The rest of the group were a pleasure to be with). A very memorable trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Poon Hill! Sunrise over the Annapurna range I will never forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent! Always seemed to have everything under control - even when group members needed last minute changes. Unflustered and always smiling.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes are inconsistent. There are a LOT of steps to ascend and descend in a significant number of the days. This makes for some long and arduous days & is not indicated adequately in the trip notes. Although only a couple of the group failed to complete the complete trek, the general concensus was that it was harder than the rating indicated.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some of the TECHNICAL information provided by the UK headoffice was inadequate; need for poles, level of fitness required, etc.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Jamie Neggers

    Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

    This was by far the best trip I have taken in yet. Nepal was stunning and I only wish I knew how amazing it was before and I would have definitely spent even more time there. Exodus were great and made sure the trip lived up to my expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whole trip was amazing. Nepal is such a special place, when we saw a double rainbow in the morning at Annapurna Base Camp photos could not even come close to capturing the beauty.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tsheten was great, young guy who knew his stuff and has a great sense of humor. Looked after us very well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take more spending money than you think you will need, the price of things do go up as you go up the mountains and also when you are in Kathmandu it is very easy to pay for things with a credit card.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It went flawlessly and the organization made it so I could just show up and enjoy my trip rather than having to run around co-ordinating things. It was the first trip I did with Exodus but will definitely not be the last.
  • Reviewed April 2016
    James Appleton

    Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Feb-March 2016

    Very enjoyable trek to Poon Hill and ABC which must have some of the best panoramic views in the Himalayas. Interesting group of trekkers, Well organised with excellent leader, guides and porters.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spectacular early morning views of Annapurna range from ABC after heavy snowfall the previous afternoon. We were very fortunate to have beautifully clear days at both Poon Hill and ABC.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kumar did an excellent job leading the trek assisted by his three guides and seven porters. He managed the pace of the trek well to cope with trekkers who wanted to walk faster as well as those who wanted to spend more time taking photos and/or identifying birds. His approach was professional but he was always jovial and willing to provide information on the local culture and traditions as well as wildlife, trees, plants etc. He and his friendly team of guides helped to ensure that the trek was such an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I followed the Exodus 'get fit' program for the 6 or 7 weeks prior to the trek and found that this provided an adequate level of fitness even for a nearly 70 yr old who lives in a rather flat part of England and spends much more time playing golf, tennis and cycling than hill walking. Some of the days were quite demanding, especially the day climbing about 1300 m up to MBC. Take a good sleeping bag as it was cold at ABC (-10C).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would be helpful if the trip notes could be revised to include meters of ascent and descent for each day rather than just the sleeping altitude. Tea house accommodation is basic but adequate. Food was generally very good and lemon tea-breaks always very welcome.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    John Sampson

    Annapurna Sanctuary trek code TNS 151107

    This is a wonderful trek with beautiful and varied scenery and a good length- neither too short nor too long. We were fortunate in having good weather, a group that gelled really well and an excellent leader.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Annapurna Base Camp and standing in the Sanctuary surrounded by snow capped mountains on 3 sides.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Gele Bishokarma, was excellent. He ensured that everyone was looked after and that everything ran smoothly. We felt we could have complete confidence in him which helped us in turn relax and enjoy the trek to the full. His team ( assistant guides and porters ) were also really helpful and friendly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    While the trek is within the capabilities of most people it helps to be fit to enjoy it. Probably the most important bit of kit is your boots. Make sure they are well worn in and not too tight bearing in mind there is as much downhill as up.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I cannot fault the arrangements in Nepal but I think that more detailed and accurate information could and should have been easily available beforehand. To quote just 3 examples: the trip notes suggested the weight limit for the Pokhara to Kathmandu flight was 10 kg whereas it is 15 kg ; when I enquired as to the recommended size of day pack It would have been helpful 33 MPaif an approximate size had been indicated ( nearly everyone had a 32 litre rucksack which was just right) ; more information should have been readily visible on the website as to what spare clothes one could take to help people in Nepal. Both I and my stepdaughter had to chase up our kit bags shortly before departure which the notes said would come to us automatically some time earlier.
  • Reviewed November 2015
    Garry Bird

    Annapurna Sanctuary

    10 day trek via Poon Hill, night at MBC, overnight at Annapurna Base Camp

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walk up from ABC onto the ridge overlooking the glacier.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant. Every aspect of the trip was covered by him. Always one step ahead. Very sociable, amicable but most of all professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't pack too many clothes. Travel light but use good quality kit.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Good camera is a must. People with cheap cameras or ones they could not use did regret it as the scenery is breathtaking.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Michael Heaney

    Annapurna Sanctuary, the enjoyable way !

    Fantastic trek with amazing contrasts in scenery; jungle and monkeys to the high mountains in only a few days. Nice pace to each day that ensured that the altitude increase was never a problem. Superb Exodus Leader and wonderful Guides and Porters made the trek a truly memorable experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching ABC , Annapurna Base Camp on a clear, crisp day with the panorama of the Sanctuary laid out before us was amazing. To achieve this in the company of a lovely group of like minded people made it all the more special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great Guy, so passionate about his country and the people. Always on hand to share his knowledge of the mountains, the animals , the plants and the culture and always looking out for the safety of the clients. Added to this was the humour and when encouraged some great singing !

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be put off by the situation in Nepal post Earthquake - get out there and have a great time but also help the country recover by spending some money.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Excellent organisation on the trek.
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Andrew Wilmot

    Annapurna Sanctuary

    My second time to Nepal after Everest Base Camp. I wanted to explore more of the country as it is stunningly beautiful so I chose Annapurna for the diversity of its landscapes, from rhododendron forests to snow capped 8,000m mountains and wasn't disappointed. Sadly, the earthquake shortened our trek and we had to turn back one day short of our ultimate goal of Annapurna Base Camp so missed out on the final Annapurna experience, but what we saw prior to that did not diminish the trip. Very sad to see Kathmandu and it's people in the aftermath of the earthquake, having experienced the city the year before at it's vibrant and busy best. I hope they can recover soon as I intend to return.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the sunrise over Annapurna I, Dhaulagiri and 'Fishtail' from Poon Hill and Tadopani The Nepali's; the friendliest and most welcoming people I've met and all in the face of the most extreme circumstances imaginable - truly humbling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lakpa was very friendly, knowledgeable, fun, and keen to share his country and its customs with us. However, he and his colleagues, Durga and Sonam, really shone through in the face of adversity. They remained calm in the minutes after the earthquake, gathering what little information was available to them at the time and taking decisive action to ensure the safety of the group and offering advice to others travelling without guides both immediately and over the next 4 days until we reached Pokhara; and all at a time when they were no doubt concerned about their own families and friends. I'm eternally grateful to them all and I hope we meet again one day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light; you won't need as much as you think - non-essential and spare items can be left in Kathmandu while trekking. A strong pair of worn-in walking boots are essential as the terrain is steep, but the views make it worthwhile. Embrace the country, it's cultures and it's people and you'll have an experience you'll never forget.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus were fantastic following the earthquake; our families were informed of our safety and kept up to date daily with our whereabouts and revised itinerary through the London and Kathmandu offices by email as our own communications were disrupted.
  • Reviewed May 2015
    Magdalena Maciejewska

    Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Nepal

    Very well organised, great team, good support and helpful advises before trip. Team based in Nepal absolutely brilliant. Everybody very cheerful and helpful. Bit more difficult email correspondence. Took ages to get any response. Country one of most beautiful on the planet. Unbelievable forests, great views and of course all in Nepali Flat :) I highly recommend that place and this company to everyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Suppose to be the Nepali Flat Trek but eventually it has become an earthquake.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very helpful, very patient, calm and with great sense of humor. Great companion. His huge experience and knowledge become essential and crucial during earthquake when nobody knew what to do.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't take too many stuff, make sure your kit bag is as light as possible otherwise you will feel bad knowing that somebody has to carry it for you. Invest in light gear and good sleeping bag. Make sure you have reliable trekking boots and blister plasters. Inform your relatives before trip where exactly you go, who with and give them contact details to your travel company. Be cheerful and enjoy every moment down there :)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Have fun :)
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Colin Bell

    Annapurna Sanctuary

    Great adventure with excellent local guides and porters. The Nepalese people are a delight - so friendly, honest and helpful, especially in the mountains.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    1. Walking up to ABC in the sunshine. 2. Walking along the terraces, through villages and talking to local people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gum, our leader was everything that a good expedition leader should be; knowledgeable, dependable, caring and resourceful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take microspikes in case the walk up/down to ABC is snowy, as in our case.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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