Lake Phewa, Pokhara, Nepal

Annapurna & Chitwan in Luxury with Valerie Parkinson Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Premium Adventures, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Nepal
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TNXZ
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

14 Days Flight Inclusive
13 Days Land only
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview

From a city tour of ancient Kathmandu to game viewing in Chitwan, this trip showcases the best of Nepal. The highlight is a short trek in the Annapurna foothills, surrounded by magnificent Himalayan mountain views and passing through traditional villages. Using luxury lodges, we offer a higher standard of comfort than is normally available on trek, and this premium tour also includes upgraded accommodation in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan. With comfort in mind, we fly back from Chitwan to Kathmandu.

Valerie Parkinson

Valerie Parkinson

Valerie was born by the seaside in Blackpool and spent much of her younger days walking with her parents in the Lake District. After finishing her studies, Valerie worked in Germany and Switzerland, until 1984 when she took a break that would change her life forever. She travelled to India for a three-week trek through Kashmir and Ladakh and found her spiritual home in the high Himalaya and developed her passion for this part of the world. Valerie has spent the rest of her life leading treks (and bike trips) in the Himalayan Region and her knowledge of the culture, religion, art and wildlife of the area is second to none. Her enthusiasm for trekking developed into climbing and in 2008 Valerie became the first British woman to summit Mount Manaslu at 8,163m, without the use of supplementary oxygen, and in 2009 she attempted Everest. Over the years Valerie has been instrumental in setting up and running Himalayan Community Projects which now operate through the Exodus Travels Foundation. She will share some of her mountaineering stories as well as cultural insights into Nepal and its people along the way.

At a Glance

  • 5 nights premium hotels, 5 nights luxury Ker & Downey mountain lodges and 2 nights premium jungle lodge
  • 6 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Small group size (max. 12 clients)
  • Min. age 16 yrs
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Good introductory Himalayan walking 

Trip Highlights

  • An excellent introduction to Himalayan trekking
  • Luxury Ker & Downey lodges with suberb mountain views
  • Dugout canoe ride down Chitwan's Rapti River in search of crocodiles 
  • Chance to spot rhinoceros and birdlife on a jeep safari and bird-watching walks in Chitwan
  • Kathmandu's historic sites, including Boudhanath Stupa with its huge mandala
  • Pokhara, nestled on the shore of Lake Phewa in the shadow of the Annapurna Range

Is This Trip for You?

The lodges used on this premium tour offer the highest level of comfort available in the Himalaya and are luxurious in comparison to the teahouses in the area. The trekking is a good introduction to Himalayan trekking and has been graded moderate (level 3), with 6 days point-to-point walking and full porterage throughout, so you need only carry a daypack.

In the Annapurna Region many of the trails consist of stone steps and a fairly decent level of fitness is still required, as there are a few steep uphill walks and some quite long descents. Altitude is not a factor on this trip as the maximum height you will reach is 1955m with an average of 1300m. There are 2-5 hours of walking on most days.

You may find our Walking & Trekking Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

Exodus has over 30 years' experience of organising treks in Nepal and our experienced English-speaking local leaders receive regular training and are qualified in first aid.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

The group will generally be between 4 and 12 people. 

Valerie Parkinson will lead the TNXZ departure starting in Kathmandu on 6th December 2022, and will be assisted by a knowledgeable local trekking guide who is often a retired Gurkha soldier from the area. All Exodus leaders are highly experienced and as well as Exodus leader training courses they are all trained in wilderness first aid. 

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
12

Itinerary

TNX Trip Map

Land Only

Start City:
Kathmandu
End City:
Kathmandu

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Kathmandu.

    The tour starts at our hotel in Kathmandu this afternoon. Free arrival transfers are available for any flight, provided you have supplied Exodus with your flight details in advance and have requested one. The group flights are scheduled to arrive in the mid-afternoon. This evening there will be a full trip briefing.

    Hotel Yak & Yeti, or similar

  • Day 2

    Kathmandu sightseeing tour including Durbar Square and Boudhanath Stupa.

    For those who wish, there is the chance to do an optional Everest sightseeing flight early this morning; this can be booked locally through your leader on day 1.

    We will leave the hotel late morning for our Kathmandu sightseeing tour. First, we drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Boudhanath to see the famous Buddhist stupa with its huge mandala; one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal and indeed in the world.  We have lunch nearby and then continue to Kathmandu Durbar Square (which also has UNESCO status), one of three royal palace squares in the Kathmandu Valley.  Although the Kathmandu Durbar Square was heavily damaged in the 2015 earthquake the many palaces, temples and courtyards in the Newari style are interesting. There will be a full trip briefing today.

    Hotel Yak & Yeti, or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Drive to Pokhara; orientation walk

    We leave Kathmandu early this morning and drive to Pokhara - traffic leaving Kathmandu can prolong the journey but once out of Kathmandu city, the journey usually takes around 6 hours depending on the road and traffic conditions. In the afternoon your leader will take you for an orientation walk along the shore of Phewa Lake. Pokhara is a pretty lakeside resort at the foot of the Annapurna range. 

    Temple Tree Resort & Spa, Pokhara

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Walk through farmland and forest down to the Modi River Valley to Sanctuary Lodge, offering fine views of the sacred 'Fishtail' Mountain

    We have a short drive to our trek start point, from where we follow a ridgeline in the lower foothills of the Annapurnas with surrounding views of the Pokhara Valley. This route then drops to the Modi River Valley, where Ker & Downey's Sanctuary Lodge is located. The lodge has magnificent views of the sacred and unclimbed Fishtail Mountain, or Machhapuchhare, as it is locally known. A picnic lunch is provided today.  

    Ker and Downey Lodge (Sanctuary Lodge, 1,025m)

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 7 km / 4.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    3-4
  • Day 5

    Picturesque trek through villages, padi rice fields and forest to Himalaya Lodge in Ghandruk.

    After breakfast, you will leave the lodge to start the trek through the scattered small farms. Following the Modi Khola and with constant views of Mt. Machhapuchhre ahead, you will soon climb the valley towards the mountains. It is quite a long climb up stone steps passing through the rice fields and forest, but we take plenty of stops. Finally, we arrive at Himalaya Lodge in Ghandruk in the early afternoon to a late lunch that is served on arrival as you enjoy the spectacular views of Annapurna Massif.

    Ker and Downey Lodge (Himalaya Lodge, 2,012m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 11 km / 7 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 6

    Descend to cross the river by suspension bridge, then climb to La Bee Lodge in Landruk.

    Although we can see Landruk across the valley we have to descend to the river and climb up the other side to get there! Leaving the Ghandruk village, the trek descends steeply to the banks of Modi River. Crossing the suspension bridge, we trek up a stone staircase to Landruk village, enjoying the views of the Annapurna Range and passing under the cliffs where honey hunters climb up on the ropes to harvest the wild bee honey. Lunch will be ready as we arrive at our lodge. After lunch, you may either rest and enjoy the spectacular views of the mountains, or go on a sightseeing tour in the village with your guide.

    Ker and Downey Lodge (La Bee Lodge, 1,565m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 6 km / 4 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 7

    Gentle walk to Gurung or Mala Lodge at Majgaon; afternoon free to relax in the garden or explore the village.

    You will start your trek passing through the village and farmlands with views of the Annapurnas behind. Today is an easier walk to Majgaon with no steep up or downhills. We will arrive at the lodge by lunchtime and in the afternoon you can enjoy the views of the mountains from your room itself or spend time in the garden. There is also the option of a guided village walk.

    Ker and Downey Lodge (Gurung / Mala Lodge, 1,400m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 6 km / 4 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 8

    Trek through sub-tropical forests to Basanta Lodge at Dhampus, with spectacular views of the entire Annapurna Range.

    Starting your trek today, you continue trekking towards Patlekhet, a small village on the way towards Pothana. Pothana is used by Tibetan traders to sell their souvenirs and gifts to the tourist trekking up and down the trails to Annapurna Base Camp. As you reach your lodge in Dhampus, you get the spectacular views of the entire Annapurna range. Once at the lodge you will be served hot lunch after which you can take a short walk into Dhampus village.

    On the Christmas departure (18 December 2021) a cultural performance at Basanta Lodge is included to celebrate.

    Ker and Downey Lodge (Basanta Lodge, 1,525m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 11 km / 7 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 9

    Short descent through wooded hillside to Phedi; transfer to Pokhara; free afternoon (optional boat trip on Lake Phewa).

    After breakfast, we depart along the ridge & descend on a stone staircase through the wooded hillside and terraced farmland to the valley floor. Trek time 1.5-2hrs hours. We then transfer by vehicle to the hotel in Pokhara (1hr). The afternoon is free to explore Pokhara. You may want to visit the interesting mountain museum or you can go for a boat ride on Phewa Lake or hire a bike for a cycle along the lakeshore. Or you may simply want to relax by the hotel pool or wander along the lakeside browsing in the shops. Your leader will brief you on the various options available.

    Temple Tree Resort & Spa, Pokhara

    On the Christmas departure (17 December 2020) a special dinner is included in Pokhara to celebrate.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 3 km / 2 miles
    Activity (hours):
    2
  • Day 10

    Drive to Chitwan; take an ox-cart ride around Tharu village and witness a traditional Tharu dance.

    We drive from Pokhara to Chitwan, which will take about 4 hours. On a clear day look to the left as we leave Pokhara for the magnificent panoramic views of the Annapurna Range. The road takes us back to Mugling, from where we turn south to the lowlands of Nepal and our jungle lodge in Chitwan. We should arrive by lunchtime and after lunch we’ll meet our naturalist guide who will go over the programme of activities. In the late afternoon we take an ox-cart ride around Tharu village and witness a traditional Tharu dance. 

    The knowledgeable staff from the lodge will accompany us on all the excursions. 

    Kasara Lodge

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 11

    Explore the jungle on a bird-watching walk, take a dugout canoe ride down the Rapti River in search of crocodiles and try to spot rhinoceroses on a jeep safari.

    Activities may be offered in a different order but usually, the programme will include an early morning bird watching walk before breakfast. Before lunch there will be another activity, normally a trip along the Rapti River in a dugout canoe, looking for crocodile and observing the many birds. Then before dinner, we set out on a jeep safari. If we are lucky we may encounter the Indian one-horned rhinoceros or some of the several species of deer found here. 

    Kasara Lodge     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 12

    Morning flight to Kathmandu; free time.

    For those who wish, there is a bird-watching walk early this morning. We then transfer to Bharatpur airport and catch a flight to Kathmandu.

    Hotel Yak & Yeti, or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 13

    End Kathmandu

    The trip finishes after breakfast. Those travelling on the group flights to London will transfer to the airport for their flight back to the UK.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
Altitude charts
TNX altitude chart

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Premium lodges & hotels

Temple Tree Resort & Spa, Pokhara, Nepal

This tour is classified as 'premium' and all accommodation is of a high standard with en suite facilities throughout.

Three nights are spent at the Hotel Yak & Yeti (5-star local rating) in Kathmandu, a heritage hotel which has a large outdoor swimming pool set amidst gardens as well as a fitness centre, spa and two restaurants. In Pokhara we usually stay at Temple Tree Resort & Spa, a boutique hotel nestled close to Lake Phewa in an area called Gaurighat. Accommodation here is in two-storey individual cottages, finished in hand-cut stone and featuring beautifully-decorated timber struts and pillars. Each room has a private balcony with pergola looking onto a lush garden. There's also an outdoor swimming pool and a spa. The two nights in Chitwan are at a comfortable jungle lodge, Kasara Resort. Rooms here are minimalist and contemporary in design and natural materials help it to blend into the natural environment. The lodge has a restaurant, swimming pool and spa.

The six nights during the trek are spent in luxury Ker & Downey mountain lodges, which are the most luxurious in the region. All rooms are twin-bedded and are decorated in a traditional Nepalese Gurung-style, local to the region. All rooms have en suite bathrooms with solar showers, flush toilets and electricity. There is a restaurant in each lodge, typically with a cosy fireplace and a bar. Happy hour at the bar runs from 6 to 7 pm. During this time alcoholic beverages are served on a complimentary basis (please note happy hour is on trek only). In short, these lodges offer a far superior service and level of comfort compared to the teahouses used on other Himalayan treks.

Extra Accommodation

If you require any additional accommodation in Kathmandu either before or after the tour, we can book this for you (subject to availability), please enquire with your Sales Consultant.

Single Accommodation

The single supplement price shown below includes a single room for the seven nights in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan. Should you also wish to have a single room for the five nights in the Ker & Downey lodges, an additional supplement will be payable on top of the amount shown. Single rooms are subject to availability - please request this at the time of booking.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 dinners are included.

The Ker and Downey luxury lodges and Kasara Lodge in Chitwan are on a full board basis. There is a daily happy hour in the K&D lodges, serving complimentary drinks. Accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara is on a bed and breakfast basis. Please allow between £20 and £25 (approx. US$30-40) per day for meals not included in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

Dhal bhat is the staple diet in Nepal and comes in many different forms but generally comprises some curried lentil dhal and 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 vegetables.

Meals in the lodges range from traditional Nepalese food to Chinese and western dishes. The food served is of good quality and is usually buffet style. You will be provided with safe drinking water whilst on trek.

Transportation

A private minibus is used when driving. An internal flight from Chitwan to Kathmandu is included in the tour. Please note that all internal flights in Nepal are subject to weather conditions and that if the flight is cancelled due to fog or bad weather, for example, travelling by road will be unavoidable.

This point to point trekking holiday requires customers to walk between each overnight stay under their own steam. Other forms of transport may be available along the route (horses, jeeps etc) but Exodus is not able to take responsibility for the safety or the cost of any transport that customers choose to take even if provided with the assistance of our leader or staff.

Flying in Nepal

Many of our treks in Nepal use domestic flights to reach the trekking areas. The mountainous terrain is often subject to changeable weather which makes flying conditions complex. In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Nepal does not operate to the same standards as those of western nations. The EU has recently chosen to highlight the relatively poor safety record in Nepal, and as of December 2013, all Nepalese registered airlines have been included on the EU ‘Banned list’ preventing them from flying in EU airspace. While no Nepalese-registered airlines currently fly within the EU, the EU has instigated this ban to encourage the CAA of Nepal to tighten its systems governing Nepalese aviation. Flying within Nepal is, therefore, a known risk and the current travel advice issued by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides an overview which we encourage you to read.

In response to general concerns over this safety record, Exodus asked independent air safety experts to visit Nepal on our behalf to assess the suitability of the available carriers. Following these comprehensive audits, Exodus decided to restrict our use of airlines to only those approved as part of the most recent audit. It remains our firm policy to only use these approved carriers for our customers and further audits will take place regularly. For emergency situations, we also have an approved list of helicopter companies for our use.

Exodus is supportive of the EU’s move to put pressure on the CAA of Nepal in this way. We are hopeful that, alongside our own risk control measures, this will make a difference to all who fly in Nepal. Please consider the information above when deciding to book this holiday.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

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.

Different seasons offer different advantages for trekking.

Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November. This is the main trekking season in Nepal. Daytime temperatures will be up to 20ºC. Skies are usually clear and days on trek are sunny and mild with clear mountain views. Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping to about 5ºC.

Winter: December to end February. Despite the cooler 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. Early mornings and evenings are cold with temperatures down about freezing but once the sun is out days are pleasant and sunny with temperatures up to 19ºC. The trails are much less busy at the time of year. Chitwan will be cold in the early mornings and evenings but pleasantly warm in the daytime.

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 rain. It is very hot in Chitwan and temperatures rise to 30ºC and above in Chitwan and in Kathmandu. On trek the days will be hot (up to 25ºC). Nights will be a bit cooler. Flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons people chose to trek in spring. The Annapurna region is famous for its rhododendrons in spring.

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.

Weather Charts

Kathmandu

Kathmandu

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 14 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Turkish Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Internal flights during the trip are with a local airline.

Travelling land only: 13 days starting and ending in Kathmandu

Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Kathmandu in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Free Transfers

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients. Unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end (or post-tour) hotel, and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance. 

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

The cost of a taxi is likely to be about £6/US$10 should you decide to make your way independently.

Location start:
Kathmandu
Location end:
Kathmandu

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Below is a suggestion of what you might find useful on this trip. It is not an exhaustive list.

Many Nepalis are still traditional in the way they dress. You should, therefore, dress conservatively. Tight, revealing clothing is not advised and T-shirts are preferable to sleeveless tops. Long knee-length shorts are acceptable. Trousers or a long skirt are preferable for women.

For the trekking part of this trip, you will have use of a Trek Pack provided by the luxury lodges. This will include a daypack, walking stick and rain poncho. A sun hat and cotton scarf which you can keep are also included. If you need any of these items please make sure you inform your leader at the trek briefing in Kathmandu BEFORE the trek. Down jackets, warm hats and gloves are provided in each trek lodge bedroom.

You do not require a sleeping bag, sleeping mat or towel for this trip.

There is a left luggage store (free of charge) in the hotel we use in Kathmandu. You can also leave luggage in Pokhara whilst on the trek. Your leader will brief you in Kathmandu as to what is needed for each activity and where luggage can be left during the various activities on this trip. Many people find it easiest to pack the Exodus kit bag inside a wheelie case which can be left in Kathmandu or Pokhara with anything not needed for the trek, whilst the kitbag will be carried by your porter on trek.

In addition to your 'normal' daily clothes, you will need:

2 passport photos for your trekking permit (plus an additional 1 if getting a visa on arrival in case the electronic machines are out of order)
Lightweight walking boots (worn in)
Daypack
Sunhat, sunglasses, sun cream
Several pairs of walking socks
Tracksuit or thermals for the evening
Mid-layer (fleece)
T-shirts/shirts/base layers
Lightweight trousers 
Light cotton clothes in dull colours for Chitwan
Shorts or skirt for women
Water bottle
Hand washing gel
Dry bags to line daypack and for packing clothing in the kitbag

Small personal first-aid lit
Rain jacket and trousers. The rain ponchos on offer at the trek lodges are only shower-proof so you may wish to bring your own waterproofs.
Umbrella
Trekking pole(s)
Biodegradable soap and shampoo

Donations for porters, children and the elderly

If while packing, you find a spare bit of space in your bag then you may be interested in donating to one of Exodus' projects. Exodus supports a Porter Clothing Bank in Kathmandu, as well as children in local schools in Kathmandu and various villages, and an old people's home in Kyanjin Gompa in the upper part of the Langtang Valley. If you have any old walking gear this can be donated to porters, and similarly any warm clothing or blankets would be appreciated by the old people's home - please leave these items with your leader or at the Exodus desk at the Royal Singi Hotel. Books, stationery, games, warm clothes/underwear etc. suitable for children aged 5-18 years should be taken to the Ambassador Garden Home in Thamel and given to Prakash Lammichanne. Contact No: +977 1 4700724.

Internal Flights Weight Limit

Please note that on the internal flight from Bharatpur (Chitwan) to Kathmandu you will be allowed 15kg checked-in baggage and 5kg of hand baggage. 

Exodus Kitbag

If you book this trip, we provide an Exodus kitbag to pack your luggage in whilst on trek. Once you have booked you will be sent instructions on how to claim your free bag (they will not be sent out automatically). There are also details on how to claim for another item from the Exodus shop should you already have one of these. If you book via an agent, it is at the agent’s discretion and you should speak directly to them to arrange delivery. Please note that if you book less than three weeks before the departure date we cannot guarantee that your kitbag will arrive before your trip starts, so if this is the case please contact us on [email protected] to let us know. For full T&Cs see www.exodus.co.uk/kitbags.

Practical Information

Passport

Nepal

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Nepal

Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry (at present, the Immigration Department of Nepal have suspended  'visas on arrival' for certain nationalities - please check if this applies to you). All Nepal tourist visas are multiple entry. We recommend that you apply in advance as queues on arrival can be very long – applications can be made directly through the Nepal Embassy (by post or in person) or through our recommended visa agency, Travcour. The current cost for a visa in advance is GB£20 for a 15-day visa and GB£35 for a 30-day visa for UK passport holders (plus processing and postage fees if applying through Travcour).

The current cost for a visa on arrival is US$30 for 15 days, US$50 for 30 days, or US$125 for 90 days for UK passport holders. The fee can be paid for in any major currency at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. On arrival in the immigration hall there are 3 queues (if you have obtained a visa in advance go straight to (3) - immigration):

(Step 1) Fill in a 'Tourist Visa' form: either online before travel (recommended) via the Department of Immigration website - print the submission receipt with barcode (valid for 15 days) and bring it with you, or use the electronic kiosk machines on arrival at the airport. If using the kiosks, after inserting your passport the machine will automatically fill out an application form, take an electronic photograph of you and print a paper slip. If the machine won’t read your passport you can complete the details manually using the touch screen. We recommend taking 1 passport photo with you just in case. (Step 2) Proceed to the visa fees collection counter and pay the visa fee (we advise to take some cash) – make sure to keep the receipt. (Step 3) Lastly, go to the relevant immigration desk and present your tourist visa form, payment receipt and passport to obtain your 15, 30 or 90-day visa stamp. Please check you have been given the correct visa duration.

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

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Ticks are known to be present in this region and can carry Lyme disease, Tick-Borne Encephalitis and other diseases. Please take care to protect yourself. You can read more about ticks here.

Vaccination

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. Altitude is not a factor of consideration on this trip as all activities take place below 2000m.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Nepal's Timezone:
Asia/Kathmandu +0545 (GMT +05:45)

Electricity

Nepal's Electricity:

230V, 50Hz. Three different plug socket types are used in Nepal (types C, D and M) so it is advisable to bring a universal plug adaptor with you. On teahouse treks, almost all lodges now have electricity and charging facilities (usually for a fee) but power cuts are not uncommon. Battery life can be affected by cold - lithium batteries are best. 

During the trek, the luxury lodges all have electricity and charging facilities in the rooms.

Money

Nepal's Currency

The national currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 141 to the UK£ and 113 to the US$.

It is a closed currency, meaning it is illegal to import or export Nepalese Rupees so you won’t be able to get local currency outside of Nepal but foreign currency is not limited, provided it is declared on arrival.

Keep your change receipts, as you will need them if you want to change any leftover Rupees back into hard currency at Kathmandu airport before you depart. They may not always have all international currencies in stock but will generally have either GBP or EUR or USD.

ATM Availability

There are ATM machines in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other major towns. 

Please do not rely wholly on ATM machines as many are broken or run out of money. Often there are “ATM lounges” (a small room with numerous different ATMs). Some banks have a withdrawal limit equivalent to only GBP100 per time but as there is usually a transaction fee, if you need to withdraw more money than this you should look for another ATM with a higher limit (others have a maximum withdrawal limit equivalent to about GBP300 per time). 

Credit cards are accepted in many of the larger shops and restaurants in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You can either bring your spending money to Nepal in cash to exchange or use a combination of cash and card withdrawals from ATMs. Most major currencies (including Pounds Sterling, Dollars and Euros) can be exchanged in Nepal but notes must be in good condition – torn, tatty or marked notes will not be accepted. However, Scottish or Irish Currency cannot be changed in Nepal and nor can travellers' cheques.

There are money change facilities at Kathmandu airport both before and after immigration – whilst exchange rates are generally good here, it’s worthwhile checking the fees. You sometimes get a better rate for changing larger denomination notes. Most large hotels also offer a currency exchange service and there are also countless money changers in the Thamel area of Kathmandu. Remember to keep your exchange receipts in case you want to change any Rupees back into hard currency when you leave Nepal. 

Your trek and stay in Chitwan are both on a full board basis so you will only need a small amount of cash for incidentals. There are local lodges/teahouses along the trekking route where it is possible to buy things like beer, cold drinks and snacks. If you buy these you should expect to spend a few pounds extra each day.

Optional Excursions

A number of optional tours and activities are available from Kathmandu.

Prices for a half-day sightseeing tour start from GBP25 (approx. USD40) per person, based on a group of 6 and above. For all trips, return transport and a qualified sightseeing guide are included. The price does not include lunch or entry fees. Please inquire with your leader in Kathmandu, who will be able to provide further information.

An optional Everest sightseeing flight is available on your free day (weather permitting) from around GBP165 (USD215) per person (the price may be subject to change). Anyone taking an internal sightseeing flight in Nepal should pay attention to the statement 'Flying in Nepal'.

Tipping

Tipping is very much part of the culture in Nepal and although entirely at your discretion, it is usually expected. Often people would like to tip in recognition of good service but are unsure how much would be appropriate in a foreign country - for this reason, we have listed guideline amounts below (these are intended as a guideline only and you may see fit to give more or less depending on the service that you have received).

We recommend budgeting approximately Rs8,000 (approx. GBP55/USD70) per person in total for tips for your trekking crew, excluding a tip for your leader. Regardless of the number of clients on a trek, there is a minimum number of staff required for the trek and for this reason, the recommended tipping amounts per person for groups of 7 people or less are a little higher: Rs10,000 (approx. GBP70/USD90) per person. Your leader will explain further and may suggest running a group tipping kitty for ease. 

Tour leaders usually receive in the region of  Rs30,000 - 35,000 in total from the group as a whole (usually done on the last night in Kathmandu). For the tipping of your tour leader, we suggest passing an envelope for each staff member around the group so that everyone can put in what they feel comfortable with anonymously. 

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Exodus has a longstanding relationship with our local partner in Nepal, having worked with the family business for over 30 years. We employ local leaders, guides and staff throughout and work with family-run hotels wherever possible, such as the Hotel Royal Singi.

Exodus has set up and supported many projects in Nepal over the decades, from installing solar cookers and donating smokeless stoves, to supporting a tree nursery in Braga (Annapurna’s) and helping supply water and hydro-electric power to several villages.

Following the 2015 Nepal earthquake, Exodus’ emergency fundraising appeal raised over a quarter of a million pounds. This enabled us to provide immediate and longer-term emergency support in the necessary areas. Exodus worked with volunteers from Nepal Medical College to run a medical camp in the remote village of Thulopatel in 2016, and sponsored Health Partnership Nepal to run a medical camp in Charikot in 2017. We are also proud to support Freedom Kit Bags (providing sanitary wear) for women in Nepal..

To learn more about what Sustainable Travel means to Exodus and the projects we support through the Exodus Travels Foundation click here... your contributions really do make a huge difference to the communities we aim to help – if you’d like to donate to our Himalayan Community Projects you can do so here.

 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.