Descending from Larkye La, Nepal

Manaslu Lodge Circuit

18 days
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Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Walking & Trekking
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A lesser-known circular trek around one of the world's highest mountains

This spectacular and isolated circular trek skirts around the eighth highest mountain in the world, the formidable Mount Manaslu (8,163m). We follow the mighty Buri Gandaki River as it narrows into a spectacular gorge, passing through tiny villages perched on the valley sides. Eventually the gorge opens out into alpine meadows which are inhabited by a cluster of Tibetan communities below Manaslu's north face. Crossing the Larkya Pass (5,130m) we see the snow-capped peaks of Himalchuli, Manaslu, Cheo Himal and Himlung Himal, before descending through forest to join the main Annapurna Circuit route.


  • Magnificent off-the-beaten-track circular trek around Manaslu
  • Cross the remote Larkya La 
  • Rare views of Manaslu 
  • Trek through picturesque traditional Tibetan villages

Key information

  • 3 nights standard hotels, 13 nights teahouses and 1-night fixed tent
  • 13 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader and local staff (staff to client ratio of 1:4 on trek). Min. age 16 yrs.
  • Altitude maximum 5130m, average 2700m
  • Between 5 and 8 hours walking per day; the Larkya La day is approx. 11hrs walking
  • Staff carry oxygen and a first aid kit on trek
  • 13 November 2019 Ex London departure to be led by Valerie Parkinson
  • Countries visited: Nepal

What's included

  • All breakfasts included
  • Morning bed-tea on trek
  • Welcome drink at each overnight lodge
  • 3 nights standard hotels, 13 nights teahouses and 1 night fixed tent
  • 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 
  • Trekking map (provided locally)
  • Trekking permit and national park fees

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - Kathmandu only)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Sleeping bag (hire in advance from £45*)
  • Down jacket (hire in advance from £45*)
  • *Hire package incl. sleeping bag & down jacket from £63
Call for general departures:
074 340 4587
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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.


Days of Walking & Trekking

Approximately 5-8 hours walking per day with the occasional longer day; the Larkya La day is approx. 11hrs walking


High altitude; including steep, rocky and uneven terrain. Some narrow sections and bridges. One high pass involving walking on rocky glacial moraine and a very steep descent. Snow and ice may be encountered on the pass.

Day by day breakdown
Day 320.0km/12.0miles
Day 418.0km/11.0miles
Day 517.0km/10.0miles
Day 613.0km/8.0miles
Day 713.0km/8.0miles
Day 817.0km/11.0miles
Day 99.0km/6.0miles
Day 108.0km/5.0miles
Day 117.0km/4.0miles
Day 1215.0km/9.0miles
Day 136.0km/4.0miles
Day 1418.0km/11.0miles
Day 1524.0km/15.0miles

Responsible Travel

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 Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… and follow the link to Himalayan Community Support.


  • Day 1

    Start Kathmandu.

    The tour starts at our hotel in Kathmandu. The group flights are scheduled to arrive in the afternoon and those travelling on them will be met and transferred to the hotel. Free arrival transfers are available for any flight, provided you have supplied Exodus with your flight details in advance and have requested a transfer. There are no planned activities today so if making your own travel arrangements you may arrive at any time - however bear in mind that tomorrow is a long drive so it's better not to arrive too late.

    Upon arrival to the hotel please look out for an Exodus noticeboard with details of where and when the welcome/trek briefing will be held this evening. 

    Hotel Royal Singi (or similar) 

  • Day 2

    Drive to Arughat Bazaar.

    After breakfast we have a long drive to Arughat Bazaar (8-10 hours). We drive out of the Kathmandu Valley and head west following the Trisuli River towards Pokhara. At Dading we turn off the main road and drive to Dading Besi, where we have lunch. After lunch the road condition deteriorates and it is a bumpy and dusty drive north to Arughat in the Buri Gandaki Valley. (Occasionally the road to Arughat is blocked so we may have to drive via Gorkha).


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Trek through forest and fields to Lapu Besi.

    The first three days of this trek are quite long in terms of hours walked due to the availability of decent lodges. It can be hot especially in spring season due to the very low altitude. Our route begins by following the Buri Gandaki Valley north. We pass several small villages and cultivated fields. There is a road being blasted out of the hillsides and we follow a jeep track to Soti Khola, where we have lunch. We then descend to the river and cross to the other side of the valley to avoid the road. The afternoon trail climbs up for a while and then undulates through farmland and finally drops to cross the river again and we end the day with an ascent to Lapu Besi. Although we do not gain much height today the walk can be hot and humid.

    Sleeping altitude: 880m


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Follow the Buri Gandaki River up to Dovan.

    Another quite long day as throughout the day the rocky trail undulates, sometimes by the river and sometimes high above the river, passing several small hamlets and farms. The valley narrows and there are some spectacular waterfalls. We start off on the new road track and then descend to the river at Nyauli (please note the trails in this section may change due to a road track being built). Passing through Khanibesi, as the trail continues to undulate, we get glimpses of the Shringi Himal ahead. We have a tea break at Machha Khola (fish river), which is a tributary running into the Buri Gandaki. Continuing up the valley, a short climb followed by a descent brings us to Khorla Besi for lunch. From here a rocky trail climbs up through the forest to Tatopani (which means 'hot water'). The water from the natural hot springs here is funnelled through a few taps in the centre of the village. Crossing the river by bridge the trail wiggles its way to Dovan, where there are a few lodges

    Sleeping altitude: 1000m


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Ascend through bamboo and rhododendron forest to Jagat and on to Philim (1,565m).

    We continue heading north and after an hour we pass through Shyauli from where there are more ups and downs (some quite steep sections), until we drop to the river at Yaruphant. The trail levels out for a while and then we cross a suspension bridge after which the trail undulates to lunch at Jagat, a well-kept paved village. From Jagat the trail continues up the valley to Sirdabas, offering great views of the Shringi Himal ahead. We then drop down to the river, cross a long suspension bridge and climb steeply up to Philim.

    Sleeping altitude: 1565m


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Trek through terraced hillsides to the Gurung village of Deng (1,870m).

    An easier day today and a wonderful walk. The trail starts today by undulating spectacularly with impressive waterfalls on either side of the valley. Passing the small settlements of Chisapani and Eklabatti we descend a little and cross the river by bridge. At the bridge the trail splits, the trail on the right-hand side of the valley leads to the remote Tsum Valley. We cross to the left and continue following the Buri Gandaki, climbing up at first as the trail rounds the valley, which becomes narrower. We cross the river twice more as we undulate up the valley through forest to Phewa, and further on to the small village of Deng.

    Sleeping altitude: 1870m


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Cross the river and ascend via a magnificent valley to Ghap (2,110m).

    Another shorter day today. From Deng we descend to the river and cross by bridge. After the river our route climbs, steeply in places, up onto a spectacular trail. We pass through some small settlements as we ascend the impressive valley. We will see mani stones (prayer stones) carved into wayside rocks, a sign that we are now in a Buddhist area. We pass through the small settlements of Rana and Bihi Phedi. The trail continues ascending (sometimes steeply) but at one point descends to cross the river. We will get to Ghap by lunchtime and in the afternoon, there is an optional walk up the hill behind the lodge for spectacular views across to Prok and of the whole valley.

    Sleeping altitude: 2110m


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Continue to Lho (3,170m), offering fantastic views of Manaslu North.

    Today is quite a strenuous day with a lot of ascent. The valley now becomes wider and there is extensive farmland all around where we may see the occasional look-out platform, built to ward off bears. From Ghap we cross the river three times and have a long steady climb through the forest (look out for langur monkeys), to Namrung. A short descent followed by another climb brings us to Lihi, where we will have lunch. Another descent to the river and climb brings us to Sho, after which we climb further to Lho. We are now passing through Tibetan style villages and we start to see the magnificent mountain views all around. From Lho we get our first view of Manaslu, Naike and Larkya Peak.

    Sleeping altitude: 3170m


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Climb to Samagaon (3,530m).

    A short but magnificent walk as we continue up the valley and gain altitude. The trail climbs out of Lho to the monastery, which we can visit. We then follow the valley with great views of Manaslu ahead. The trail climbs for a couple of hours to Shyaula village, from where we are surrounded by amazing views. Manaslu is ahead and we can also see Himalchuli, Peak 29, Maike and Larkya Peaks. Soon we reach the fields and stone houses of Samagaon (3,530m), where we stay for the night. From the lodge there are magnificent views of Manaslu. We should arrive at Samagaon by lunchtime so there will be time to explore the village and visit the monastery in the afternoon.

    Sleeping altitude: 3530m


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Trek to Samdo (3,860m).

    The trail crosses grazing areas and gradually climbs the valley. We have fantastic views of the mountains especially Himalchuli behind us. We can also see Baudha and Ngaddi Peaks and as we reach our destination Samdo Peak rears up behind us. It’s an easy half day walk to Samdo, the last permanent settlement in the valley. This remote village is only a day's walk from the Tibetan border. In the afternoon, there will be time for an acclimatisation walk and time to explore the village. (Please note the lodges in Samdo are basic).

    Sleeping altitude: 3860m


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Ascend to Dharamsala (4,480m).

    Leaving the village, we cross a stream (the last time we see the Buri Gandaki) and climb steadily to the deserted Larkya Bazaar. Years ago, this village thrived off trade with Tibet. Behind we can see Samdo Peak and as we climb Manaslu comes into view to our left and we can see the whole spectacular climbing route to the summit. Climbing all the time with a few steep sections, we reach a very basic lodge at Dharamsala at 4,480m, which is the last place to stay before the pass. Look out for Blue Sheep which often come down to the small stream near the lodge. In the afternoon, the energetic can climb a hill behind the lodge for even better views of the surrounding mountains.

    (Please note there is only one very basic lodge at Dharamsala and most of the sleeping accommodation is in fixed tents with mattresses).

    Sleeping altitude: 4480m


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Cross the Larkya La (5,130m); descend to Bimthang (3,700m).

    An early start (usually in the dark). Today is a long day and if there is any snow it can take us a long time to cross the pass, especially the descent. The trail leaves Dharamsala and climbs steeply at first but then more gradually by the side of the moraine of the glacier with great views of Larkya Peak. The ascent is gradual most of the way and is easy if there is no snow (if there is snow or ice it will take us much longer). As dawn nears Hindu Peak glows orange with the first rays of the sun. It’s a long and rocky ascent on the moraine with some short steeper sections all the way to the top of the Larkya Pass (5,130m). The first area of prayer flags at 5,130m is the official Larkya La from where the views are outstanding - a wonderful panorama of peaks including Larkya Peak, Cheo Himal and Hindu Peak and in the distance, we can see the tip of Annapurna 2. From the top there is a 10 minute almost level walk to the second summit (which is a little higher and is also marked with a few prayer flags). From here the long very steep descent starts. We need to take care as the path is steep and narrow. It is a sandy scree trail when there is no snow but if there is snow and ice we need to take care on the descent. There is a landslide which we must cross carefully. The steep part of the trail eventually eases off onto a path which takes us down to the glacial moraine. The views are superb as we descend, and we can just spot Pongkar Lake, a brilliant blue glacial lake amidst the three glaciers below us. We stop for a well-deserved rest at the bottom of the steep part of the descent surrounded by immense snow-capped peaks. The descent now becomes a bit easier, but no less spectacular, as we descend the valley to Bimthang, where we stay tonight at 3,700m. If it’s clear, we can just see the summit of Manaslu high above.

    Sleeping altitude: 3700m


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Daywalk to Pongkar Lake or spare day as required.

    A spare day to be used as and when required - if the weather is good and everything runs to schedule then we will spend the day exploring the area around Bimthang and resting after the pass. There is a daywalk to a beautiful glacial lake, Pongkar Lake, which we can do in the morning, then return to the lodge for lunch and have a free afternoon to rest. 

    If, however there has been a delay earlier in the trek, the group needs more acclimatisation or rest before the pass, or if there is poor weather, your leader may decide to use the spare day earlier in the trek. This is at the leader's discretion.


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Spectacular walk to Tilje (2,240m).

    From Bimthang we cross high pasture land and have a magnificent walk down into the valley of the Burdin Khola. The walk from Bimthang is one of the most spectacular of the trek as a wall of mountains lies behind us and in front of us. We pass the terminal moraine of the Cheo Himal and cross a small wooden bridge. Ahead we have our last magnificent views of Manaslu. We now descend into rhododendron forest and follow a trail through a narrow valley to Karche and the Soti Khola. A short climb past terraced fields brings us to the Karche La from where we will be in sight of the Marsyangdi River below. Descending through forest we come to Tilje, where we spend the night.


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Join the main Annapurna Circuit trail at Dharapani; on to Jagat.

    A long day today but easier walking and spectacular views. From Tilje we have an easy descent, and cross two bridges to Dharapani, where we join the main Annapurna Circuit trail and the Marsyangdi River. We descend the valley to Tal for lunch. A short climb out of Tal brings us to a long descent to cross the Marsyangdi by bridge followed by a short climb to Chamje and then a last short walk along the new jeep track to Jagat and the end of our trek.

    Sleeping altitude: 1300m


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Jeep to Besisahar; transfer by bus to Kathmandu.

    A log day today as we return to Kathmandu. Leaving early use local jeeps for the drive to Besisahar. Although the distance is not great, the road is very rough and bumpy and will take about 2.5hrs. From Besisahar we continue by private bus to Kathmandu (approx. 7/8hrs). We will arrive at our hotel in the evening.

    Hotel Royal Singi (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 17

    Free day in Kathmandu.

    Today is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Boudhanath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. We offer a full range of sightseeing tours, which can be booked and paid for locally. Please see the Optional Excursions section of the Trip Notes or the Exodus notice board in the hotel in Kathmandu.

    Hotel Royal Singi (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 18

    End Kathmandu.

    The trip ends after breakfast. The group flight is a daytime flight, scheduled to depart in the morning and arrive into London in the evening - a group departure transfer to Kathmandu airport is included for flight inclusive passengers. Free departure transfers are available for any flight, provided you have supplied Exodus with your flight details in advance and have requested a transfer.

    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



Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry. 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).



There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

There is low to no risk of malaria throughout Nepal and antimalarial tablets are not usually advised although may be considered for certain higher risk groups; you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. The risk is highest in the low lying southern ‘terai’ districts bordering India.

A yellow fever certificate is only required if travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission or for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through a country with risk of transmission.

Dengue fever is a known risk in Nepal. 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. As of August 2019, there has been a recent outbreak of Dengue fever in southeast Nepal and we therefore recommend you take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites (such as wearing full length trousers, long sleeves and applying insect repellent during the day as well as at dawn and dusk).

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 Altitude Warning within the Trip Notes for further advice on AMS.

Eating and Drinking

Breakfast is included throughout the trip.

In the teahouses breakfast will comprise of a choice of bread (a slice of toast, chapatti or Tibetan bread), a choice of egg (boiled, fried or omelette), and a choice between either muesli or porridge each day. Hot tea/coffee will also be served. On specific days, there will not be a choice for breakfast and either a trekkers breakfast (egg, hash brown, baked beans and toast) or a pancake with jam/honey will be served - these options are not available in all teahouses and so we have only included them in locations where they can be guaranteed.

Lunch will be taken at a teahouse en route - sometimes one of your guides will go ahead with the group's order to make it more expedient. Dinner will be in the same teahouse that you sleep at (this is custom in Nepal as teahouses base their room rate on it).

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. 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.

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 have a gluten free diet, then we strongly recommend you bring some extra food and snacks with you to supplement the food on trek as there will be little variety available for you, particularly for breakfast. Even many of the soups are powdered and contain gluten. Gluten free breakfast options will be limited to vegetable fried rice and a choice of egg, and on specific days only, a trekkers breakfast (without the toast / with an extra egg) will be served. Breakfast options for vegans will be limited to a choice of muesli/porridge with water each day, and on specific days only, a trekkers breakfast (without the egg), or vegetable fried rice will be served. If you are lactose intolerant as opposed to vegan then the same will apply although you will also have a choice of egg each day. 

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.

The teahouses 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.

Alternatively, 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 you and use an effective form of water treatment. There are a wide range of products available these days which are more effective than the traditional purification tablets - we recommend talking to an outdoor retailer for the latest advice as technologies are improving all the time: make sure to check the product’s performance in cold/freezing conditions and consider battery life (lithium batteries are best in cold conditions).

Handheld UV filters such as a ‘SteriPEN’ are very effective, can treat 1 litre of water in a couple of minutes and the water is ready immediately – look for lightweight lithium battery models and remember that you will need to bring a wide-mouthed bottle (e.g. Nalgene) for use with these devices.

There are also an array of water filter and purifier bottles on the market, such as ‘The Grayl’ or ‘Water-to-Go’ but please note that these tend to have a small capacity and the filter systems will be less effective if they freeze.


The main trekking season in Nepal is from October to mid-May when daytime temperatures at most altitudes are generally comfortable for walking, the sky is clear much of the time and rain and snow are occasional occurrences. Daytime temperatures will vary from 15ºC to 35ºC in the Kathmandu Valley to around 10ºC at 3600m and progressively lower the higher we go. Different seasons offer different advantages for trekking:

Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November. This is the main trekking season in Nepal. Day temperatures in Kathmandu are approximately above 20ºC. For the first few days of the trek at the lower altitudes the temperatures can be very hot (up to 30ºC) and it can be very humid. Once you are over 2000m the temperatures are more pleasant. 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 or lower at the higher altitudes.

Pre-monsoon: March to May. Both day and night temperatures will be warmer in general but haze will often build up in the afternoons. It is very hot and humid at the start and end of the trek at the lower altitudes and temperatures rise to 30/35ºC in Kathmandu and the lower parts of the trek. Flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons people chose to trek in spring.

The crossing of the Larkya La is cold at any time of year. There is sometimes a high wind over the pass which makes the crossing extremely cold and you must have adequate protection for very low temperatures for this section. There is sometimes snow and ice on the pass. You need to be prepared for this. We recommend you carry yaktrax/microspikes in case of snow on the pass.

Snow can be expected on any departure, usually at the higher altitudes above Samdo.

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.

Is this trip for you?

This is a Challenging grade (activity level 5) lodge-based trek with 13 days point-to-point walking and full porterage throughout - you need only carry your daypack. A description of our activity levels can be found on our website.

The itinerary is very well staged for acclimatisation. There are some long days at the lower altitudes and as we get higher the days are shorter to allow for acclimatisation. The maximum altitude is 5,130m, and the average is approx. 2,700m. As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes.

Much of this trek is on established trails and is within the capabilities of a fit and experienced walker. The first half of the trek is at low altitude with approximately five to eight hours walking a day on reasonably well-maintained trails. However, it can be very hot, dusty and humid at the lower altitudes (especially in the spring) and there are some narrow and steep sections on the trails. The crossing of the Larkya La is over rough rocky glacial moraine and some of the descent is very steep. The day over the pass is approximately eleven/twelve hours. You should be a confident walker and be comfortable walking for five to eight hours a day, with an occasional longer day. The trails in the Manaslu region are less well used than those in the Everest and Annapurna regions and are often rocky and uneven, requiring steady-footing and concentration. This area was quite badly affected by the earthquake in 2015. Many of the trails have now been repaired but there are still some landslides to cross and there may be some changes to the descriptions below.

The trail crosses numerous modern suspension bridges over rivers and valleys; all have mesh sides, however, anyone with a strong fear of heights or vertigo may find them difficult.

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

Why Trek with Exodus?

  • Over 30 years’ experience of organising treks in Nepal.
  • 'Ask an expert' - talk to Exodus 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 and a first aid kit.
  • Self-assessment AMS cards used to monitor every client at altitude.

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.

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.

Call for general departures:
074 340 4587
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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.


Manaslu Lodge Circuit

Thirteen nights on trek are spent in lodges, one night in Dharamsala is usually a fixed tent, and there are three nights in a comfortable hotel in Kathmandu.

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 free Wi-Fi in the lobby and login codes for the rooms are available at reception. There is an Exodus desk in the hotel reception area and an Exodus representative will usually be available daily in the mornings and evenings.

The teahouses are basic (especially the ones in Samdo and Dharamsala) 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. In Dharamsala we often use the fixed tents rather than the rooms as they are warmer and more comfortable. The tents are twin A-frame tents and come with foam mattresses.

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 of the lodges use solar power so sometimes there is not enough electricity for charging. A few of the lodges on this trek have Wi-Fi these days – in some areas it works well but in others it is slow and temperamental.

The bedrooms are now almost all twin-share (although very occasionally during peak seasons you may be asked to share with three to a room for the odd night). Beds with foam mattresses, bedsheets and a pillow are provided. Bedrooms are 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 some 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 in 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, meal times and after handling money. As a rule, the higher altitude you go to, the more basic the lodges and the more expensive food and services become.

Extra accommodation

If you would like to extend your stay, Exodus can book extra nights before or after the tour for you in Kathmandu - please enquire at the time of booking.

Single Supplements

If you prefer your own room, we offer a single supplement for the three nights in Kathmandu only (subject to availability) - please request this at the time of booking. While in the tea-houses, single rooms cannot be guaranteed but if a single room is available that night, you can pay locally on a day by day basis.

Single supplement from £80.00

Call for general departures:
074 340 4587
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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.


Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
074 340 4587
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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

  • Reviewed November 2018
    Mark Smith

    Do it while you can

    This is a slightly tougher trek than say EBC or Annapurna Circuit, but you cover all the usual habitat zones via stunning valleys and incredible panoramas that I had no idea existed. I had a smile on my face every day from little children saying 'Namaste' to use as we walked by, and my mouth open at jaw-dropping views, particularly on the pass crossing and descent the following day. You cover quite some distance on a few days, but others are shorter as you get higher giving you plenty of time to admire the views, acclimatise and explore. It's a beautiful and quiet place, so if you're tempted, the I'd recommend doing it sooner rather than later before the road changes things too much.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Interestingly it was the day after the pass crossing. With the uphill sections behind us and the tiring pass crossing behind us, it was possible to fully relax on a long downhill day through stunning forests. The autumn colours were out, the sun was shining, the birds were tweeting, and the moneys were monkeying. All the while the white peaks of Manaslu, Peak 29 and Himal Chuli towered over us and could be seen between the tall trees or from clearings. We were so lucky with the weather, if it had been cloudy then it wouldn't have looked the same, but the yellows and reds of autumn, coupled with the blue sky and the white mountains meant it was a photographer's dream. My advice is spread out, find a gap for some quiet-time and stop from time to time to listen and look. I saw four langur monkey family groups because I was quiet. The birds were fast and harder to photograph, but the whole day was a treat for the senses,

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Keshar was outstanding. All the guides I've had in Nepal have been. As with most trips, there can be unexpected things to sort out and without going into detail, Keshar sorted them. We had snow for a couple of days before the pass crossing, and Keshar was planing our exit strategy and preparing us for that should it be needed, luckily the snow simply made things pretty. There are so many little (and big) things all the guides and support crew do make our treks a success, and this is why I've returned to Exodus again and again. We didn't need our spare day, and Keshar decided to use it to split the last long walking day onto 2 shorter days. This was an excellent idea, we had an intermediate night in Tal on the Annapurna Circuit, and the two shorter days meant we had time to relax rather than blasting out of the mountains as often seems to be the case when the main objective of the trek has been achieved.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Time is running out. The 'road' is encroaching at both ends. The first 3 days were long and mostly on the dusty road, there is very little traffic at the moment but it won't last. Landslides make the road turn into narrow ledge paths from time to time and at the moment it's hard to see how a permanent road could hope to exist in such a dynamic landscape, but you can see people working to repair damage and hacking away at the mountainside to further its progress. The road brings people/tourists and other developments like new lodges. There are new lodges springing up all over the place, so the Manaslu Circuit will soon be as commercial as the Annapurna or Everest areas, so I'm pleased I've seen it when I have. My advice is to do it now whilst it's still a more remote trekking route and before it gets too 'touristy' Take ear plugs for the lodges at night. Take one of those concentrated squash things to mix your own drink for lunch and dinner, no need to buy plastic fizzy drink bottles (or water bottles). Take a light-weight buff to breath through to keep dust out of your lungs. If you can spare the time, fly out a day or two early to get over the jet lag. I went with Qatar Airways this time and I have to say it was a much nicer experience than the usual Jet flights.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I've done many Nepal treks and this is one of the tougher ones. Mainly because of the pass crossing. The pass is a more gradual approach than say the Thorong La, so nothing too steep, but once on top it's a chaotic jumble of moraine to cross. There is a trampled path to follow, but there's a lot of slow up and down over the waves of rubble. We didn't have lying snow on the pass or down the other side, but I can see how this would slow you down further if the conditions were bad. A frozen lake provided a nice flat section, but the rest is tiring and cold. The rewards are the views, the panorama that greets you once you can see over the other side is out of this world. The lodges were all fine. Deng was draughty and the whole building moved, but still warm at night, and Dharamasala was a sort of pre-fab box with 4 people to a box on a mattress on the floor, but all quite acceptable given what you are doing. Our trip was made by the amazing crew and by the weather, so I suggest you do your homework and go when statistically the weather looks best. It's beautiful, the valleys, people, mountains, rivers, trees, wildlife, waterfalls, glaciers... the list goes on.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Dorian Moss

    Manaslu circuit: a little-visited gem away from the crowds

    The Manaslu trek takes one up a very remote valley through villages where life seems to have changed little for centuries, and gives the chance to see Buddhist people of Tibetan origins. This valley is now threatened by a road being built to the Tibetan border - go there soon before it is completed! The scenery in the upper valley is stunning. The Larkye La pass was very tough for me and I was most relieved to have completed it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking under clear blue skies between the towering snowy peaks (especially from Sama to Samdo). Seeing these peaks at sunrise from Lho and Sama. Feeling of achievement once the Larkye La pass was behind us!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    (Lakpa) Tsheten is a great leader, very caring, intelligent and informative about Nepal, the people and the mountains around us. He looked after me (the oldest in our group) especially well. I was glad he got us to complete a health-check sheet every day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to be ready for tea houses which are in remote locations and fall well below the standards you might be used to in European mountain refuges. Their standards vary, some are clean and comfortable but others are not. Dharamsala is as bad as the trip notes suggest, but is a necessary overnight stop to be able to cross the pass. It is well worth taking extra food such as energy bars to supplement the monotonous food and fill gaps during the days' walks.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The nine days spent approaching the pass paid off as nobody suffered from altitude sickness. I don't understand why there were only four of us while Annapurna treks were full. This is an excellent trek - go now before it changes.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Chris Durham

    A marvel, get it while you can

    Most first time trekkers go for Everest or Annapurna but Manaslu Circuit is a trek for the more discerning customer. It is a busy route, but not so much with tourists. It may take a little longer and is a little more challenging but the pay-off is huge. Sure, you trek around the 8th highest peak on the planet but if your interests extend beyond the magnificence of the mountains into the cultural heritage of the region then an education in remote living awaits. The route passes through many ancient Tibetan settlements where little has changed in hundreds of years. In contrast, the tea houses are nearly all recently built on this circuit so, apart from a couple of high altitude stops, they are more spacious and cleaner than those I’ve seen in the past. I wondered if a couple of the shorter days could be done in one but the longer approach provides excellent acclimatisation time which is much needed as Larke La is a significant challenge, especially in the unusually deep snow we had; it would certainly be easier in the Autumn season. This well planned trip has everything really, small monasteries to visit as well as is plenty for wild-life enthusiasts. Against all odds a road is being built to the Tibetan border which, as always, will bring many benefits but at a cost. Best to go in the next couple of years as I fear this route is changing forever.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Obviously there is great joy getting over Larke La but that's almost missing the point. For me, experiencing each medieval settlement and learning more about the remote life-style is utterly humbling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Tsheten Sherpa, never tired of looking after us, nothing was too much trouble. He had extensive local knowledge which he shared constantly. If you did this trek alone you would certainly miss a lot. I was particularly pleased to see how sensitive and caring he was to the villagers we passed en route. This man is a gem.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to learn, travel with an open mind and heart at all times.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Make every effort to socialise with your porters, these are excellent young men who are often very shy with few words of English. They have no idea what you are thinking otherwise and teaching them a little English is great for them and may well be very entertaining for you too.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Neil Bowman Carole Mahoney

    Trekking at its best

    As many of the other travellers who were on the same trek have said, this was one of the best. We've trekked many times in the Himalaya without visiting the Annapurna or Everest regions, so all our experiences have been in less visited and quite remote areas. With this in mind, this trip was still exceptional. We passed through a wide variety of environments, were rewarded with spectacular high peak scenery, and observed traditional life in villages which gradually evolved from Nepalese to Tibetan culture the higher we trekked. This part of our experience was enhanced by staying mainly in lodges in the villages rather than wild camping which is what we've mostly done previously. Even though the lodges were basic (and referring to them as 'lodges' may be rather misleading!), they were nevertheless adequate for our needs.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For us, a very personal example was, after getting up at 3am in the freezing cold, walking in the dark for three hours under the stars, seeing the sun rise over the mountains, reaching the hundreds of prayer flags on the Larkye La, then struggling in the buffeting cold wind and bright sunshine to add a string of our own. We did this for a very special reason - our prayer flags were for the well-being of a friend with whom we've previously trekked in the Himalaya but who at the time was suffering from cancer. Apart from the many moments that have been described by our fellow trekkers which we also shared, we were very aware of the liberated but seemingly responsible lives the young children in the traditional villages led. Some examples - being in charge of goats or cows/zhos on the hillsides, collecting firewood, helping with farm chores (even burning stubble in the fields using firebrands!), but also being free to play unsupervised. And not a high-vis vest to be seen!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We've trekked with Valerie many times and without a doubt, she's second to none. She also tells a good story or two!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, a Steripen is essential for this trek. Water off the mountains was in good supply and this is all you needed to keep your water bottles filled and treated. Don't take too much stuff - our experience has always been to wear the same clothes for days and not to be obsessed with cleanliness (ie take a leaf out of the locals' book!).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Big thanks to the support team who were always ready to lend a hand on dodgy paths, fulfil our needs in the lodges and of course carry all the 'stuff' many of us didn't need!
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Kris and Garth Brookes

    Manaslu Lodge Circuit

    One of the best treks that we have done in Nepal fulfilling all our expectations and more! A brilliant blend of valleys, gorges, forests and unforgettable surprise views of the Himalaya. Villages are relatively unspoilt as the area does not receive the volume of tourists as on the Circuit or Everest treks. If interested in nature the area abounds with birds and butterflies plus some mammals. Lodges, although basic, were perfectly adequate and the standard of food generally very good. However the lodge at Dharamsala was very basic. We stayed in a room as opposed to a tent but the fact that you get up at 3am it really does not matter. Food was fine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Possibly too many to list. Scenery above Samdo. Walk to Tilje - keep looking back! Not a moment but the variety of butterflies. Lammergeiers and Griffon Vultures.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    What can one say about Valerie that has not already been said! Amazing as always. Local leaders were excellent caring for us whilst walking and in the lodges.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go on this trek you will not regret it. There are numerous high bridges but if like me, Kris, you are not very keen they are best crossed on ones own to reduce any movement.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Definitely purchase a SteriPen.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Julia Stevenson

    Manaslu Circuit

    This is a highly recommended adventure. The Manaslu Circuit is all it says it will be and much more. It is a truly spectacular, isolated circuit around the world's eighth highest mountain but weaves through sub-tropical settlements, before climbing into bamboo and rhododendron forest and ultimately, opens out into moraine, glacial lakes and majestic panoramic views of Manaslu, Naike, Peak 29 et al. If you like your treks remote and rugged, this is for you but don't leave it too long because the Manaslu circuit is already beginning to attract attention and in a few years may be as popular as its neighbour, the Annapurna Circuit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were far too many high points to pick out a single moment. Reaching a Tibetan style village for tea and for the first time, seeing the whole of Manaslu and neighbouring peaks before us. Rapidly escaping the chaotic urgency of a yak on a mission and then, from the safety of a wall, watching it break into a stone courtyard to raid the meal of other young life stock. Fleeing for a second time, as the yak was rudely evicted. Witnessing an elderly woman carefully light and attend to butter lamps in gloom of a monastery. Watching shooting stars from the lofty perch of the camp site at Dharamsala. Getting up at 3am for the climb over Larkya La. Stumbling along into freezing driving sleet, head torch carefully trained on the ankles of the the trekker in front of me, aware of the silent brooding peaks unseen in the darkness. The windy euphoria of reaching the long awaited summit prayer flags and the sublime views looking across and down. The glorious walk to the beautiful glacial Pongkar Lake. The unparalleled views walking down the valley to Burdin Khola.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Unlike others in the group, I had never been on a trek with Valerie Parkinson but found her to be extremely knowledgeable and very passionate about all things Nepali. As noted elsewhere, Valerie was the first British woman to climb Manaslu and has also reached the south summit of Everest. She was encouraged to talk about her experiences over a mug of tea post dinner one evening. This too, was a highlight.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do buy a Steripen. I too was sceptical and drank my first two litres of Steripened water with some trepidation but I survived. Don't eat the spaghetti in tomato (?) sauce at the lodge in Samdo. I did and for some days rather wished I hadn't.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my third Himalayan trek and the one I have enjoyed the most. Thank you to my fellow trekkers for their humour, warmth and camaraderie but the biggest thanks goes to Exodus, Valerie and the boys for a well organised, very memorable adventure.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Jayne Potter

    Manasulu Trek

    I have just returned from this trek and after many years of travelling with Exodus I have to say that this trip is second to none and is far better than the Everest region, or Nanda Devi. Being a circular trip you are able to have an amphitheatre of high peaks over 7,000m+ nearly every day, once out of the initial valley. The daily walks were very varied with steep ravines, village life and extraordinary mountain ranges in front and behind you. The days are long in the beginning but you always have something to look at that makes you smile. Some of the tea houses are very basic the higher you go and make sure you have warm gear for the evenings. Gaining altitude is gradual with half days and afternoon walks to acclimatise you. The very early start to get over the pass was very cold and a tough day but if the weather is good the scenery is superb. Be sure to have a good working head torch with lithium batteries. If you area seasoned trekker do this one. You will not be disappointed. Do not lave it too long as the Nepalese are likely to get the road built and this valley will become like Annapurna and possible spoilt for those that like remoteness with beauty.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Beginning to descend after the Larkye La pass and looking across at the Annapurna mountain range.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Valley was, as usual brilliant in all aspects.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Have very warm gear for the tea houses over 2,000m and the high pass. Ensure you bring Lithium batteries with spare ones and a good head torch. You will need quite a lot of cash as you buy everything including hot water.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think Exodus need to take a little more care in choosing the airlines they work with. Some of the budget airlines are not performing well and problems can detract from the good holiday experience. In the past two years I have got caught in Argentina for nearly three days and recently I took 39 hours to get back from Nepal. Both due to local airlines being extremely poor at coping with problems. Passengers are dealt with very badly by the cheaper companies.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Dave Tyas

    Manaslu Circuit

    I came on to write a review of the trip I have just returned from and found that two other group members, Irene Neilson & Steve Terry have already submitted reviews. What they have written is almost exactly what I intended to write so there is no point in simply duplicating. I travelled with my wife & son. We have travelled & trekked extensively for many years but consider this particular trek to be one of the very special ones. It was truly superb, with every day a new experience. Manaslu isn't as well recognised as the Everest or Annapurna regions and is all the better for it. We travelled towards the end of the trekking season and on some days only saw two other trekkers. Near the high pass where routes & itineraries converged we saw more people, but then only around 20-30 trekkers per day. Most of the time we felt we had the trail to ourselves except for the occasional mule train carrying goods to outlying villages. We were particularly pleased to pass through many villages which seemed to have changed little since medieval times, with weaving, spinning, winnowing & haymaking abundantly evident. We also saw several monasteries and many chortens, stupas & prayer wheels. Several villages had tea shops & lodges, suggesting the route had capacity for many trekkers, but we certainly didn't see large numbers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Almost every day was superb, but perhaps the morning walk on the rest day to Ponkar lake was the best. It is one of those walks where the views are largely hidden until you are almost there, but when they reveal themselves they are truly breathtaking. Glacial valleys, moraines, seracs, ice fields, frozen lakes, soaring mountains literally surround you.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our trip was lead by Valerie Parkinson who has worked in the Himalaya for Exodus for over 31 years. Most people in our group had chosen this departure because they had already trekked with her before. We had too, but 30 years ago! Valerie is an absolutely outstanding person to lead group in this region as her knowledge is unparalleled. She is also extremely friendly and sociable both to trekkers and the guides and porters.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a remote area and as such, conditions can be fairly basic at times. The term "lodge" could be misinterpreted by some. There is no element of luxury here and some can be extremely basic. Although a more comfortable option than camping expect no more than a flat bed with a foam mattress (which might be rather thin) and a shared squat toilet which might be frozen. The menus at all the lodges are virtually identical with generally bland hi-carb dishes based on potato, pasta or rice. Standards of cooking can be extremely variable. We found pizzas to be constently the best option. On two days the food was exrtremely poor and on one day so overcooked it was inedible. This isn't the fault of Exodus, just a consequence of the area you are travelling in. Take plenty of chewy bars to compensate and keep several handy for the long day over the pass. This is not a strenuous trek, but the timings on the trip notes are accurate. Several days involve many hours walking and there are no opt-outs. A reasonable degree of preparation is essential in order to properly enjoy the trip. Also, be aware that the journeys between Kathmandu and the start/finish points are quite long an arduous.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Annapurna Circuit route has suffered a lot from encroaching "roads". The neighbouring Manaslu route is not nearly so affected and, according to Valerie, resembles the how the Annapurna route was 20 years ago. However, there are new roads already under construction which will ultimately have a detrimental effect on the route, but they will take many years to complete. There is still a chance to visit a relatively unspoilt part of Nepal, but don't leave it too long or the opportunity will be lost.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Irene Neilson

    Truly spectacular mountain scenery

    Wonderful trek that far exceeded our expectations. Our enjoyment of trekking comes from a love of the high mountains so while the walk up the valley was enjoyable albeit hot and a bit dusty, for us, day 8 onwards was truly fantastic - pristine mountain scenery set against azure blue skies, all enhanced by Tibetan stone houses, yaks and remote village life. The mountains- from Manaslu onwards - were breathtakingly beautiful and the weather excellent. The acclimatization walks from Samagaon/Samdo to monasteries and a lake were both enjoyable and interesting. The climb over the Larkya La pass began at 4am and was tough with high winds buffeting us but again the mountain scenery and the starry sky overhead was breathtaking. Fortunately, there wasn't much ice on the descent from the pass so, although long, the scree slopes weren't too bad and one was easily distracted by more wonderful mountain views. Bimthang proved a comfortable lodge for a two night stay. Our rest day incorporated a walk in the morning to Pongkar Lake, a lovely glacier lake set in an amphitheatre of mountains and a bonfire singsong in the afternoon. We were lucky to have several musicians in our group so we could match the porters’ renderings of Resham Firiri with UK favorites. The combination of surrounding mountains, fire and song made a slight feeling of deflation after crossing the pass disappear. The descent to Tilje continues to move through lovely mountain scenery then attractive forest. It's really only when you hit Dharapani and the dust tracks of the Annapurna roadworks that the mountain magic disappears a little. We were lucky with wildlife - Himalayan Tahr, blue sheep, pika, lammergeyer, griffin vultures, golden eagles, red monkey, langur monkeys, musk deer, barking deer were all spotted.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Day 8: wonderful weather made the mountains truly spectacular and we had our first glimpse of Manaslu. The mountain scenery at the heart of this trek is phenomenal and remains so over several days.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our trip was led by Valerie Parkinson. It was great to hear Valerie’s first hand account of climbing Manaslu and have her point out the ascent route from base camp. Her willingness to share her knowledge of Nepal and the changes in its culture over the last 30 yrs makes walking with her extremely enjoyable. Her account of climbing Everest and having to turn back after the South summit and suffering severe frostbite in her feet was also amazing. She is an extremely nice, kind person.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Beginning of the trek really is very hot and dusty but at altitude, particularly late November it can be very cold so a range of trekking clothes is needed. It certainly surprised us how cold it could be in the evenings. Some of the more basic high altitude lodges really were drafty. Curiously we found the fixed tent at Dharamsala warm. Lithium batteries coped best with the cold. Several people brought hot chocolate sachets that proved a rather nice treat. Some also had duck tape wrapped on their walking stick which proved handy. Excellent trail mix for snacks can be bought in the Supermarket opposite the Royal Singhi. If you stay in the Hotel Ambassador, as our group did, the hotel restaurant on the first floor -the Diplomat- serves excellent South Asian food- the homemade kulfi was fantastic. We bough the new Qantum steripen and bag as it does 4 liters of water at a time but found it was more convenient just to use the steripen with a Nalgene bottle. We forgot that hydration bladder tubes freeze in the cold and this was a problem on the Larkya La pass. Guess best bet is to have some form of insulation for the tube at altitude. Few lodges had functioning wifi and some had no electricity - power packs are useful. Ncell local sim does not work on the Manaslu circuit. Exodus have replaced elephant safaris with jeep based safaris in their bookings for the Chitwan extension. If you want to go to Chitwan and experience elephant safaris and bathing -which we personally would highly recommend- you may want to consider booking direct with Safari Narayani Hotel.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This really is a great trek taking you into remote mountain scenery and fascinating traditional village life. Do it now before roads and dams are built.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Steve Terry

    Manaslu from all sides

    I’m just back in Kathmandu having completed the Manaslu Lodge Circuit. 33 years ago my late wife and I trekked the Annapurna Circuit independently which was one of the loveliest experiences of our lives. So I was prepared to be very disappointed by the neighbouring Manaslu Circuit. But not one bit. The itinerary works really well - with 13 nights to get round the circuit. Starting in warmth and luxuriance and Hindu culture; moving steadily up to the colder more spacious places of Tibetan villages with the beautiful twin peaks of Manaslu and the surrounding Himal providing glorious vistas; the long hard day crossing the Larkya Pass with the unexpected revelation of the Annapurna massif in the distance; the descent through dappled forest back to the world of flowers, butterflies, monkeys and terraced fields. Just magic! More than I’d hoped for. All made even better by having Valerie Parkinson as our leader - who could tell us what it was actually like to be the first British woman to climb Manaslu (8163m) - without oxygen. I feel very spoilt. Thank you Valerie - and thank you Exodus for another well-organised, unforgettable experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first proper sighting of Manaslu and the surrounding himal and the transition to Tibetan culture.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See above. Inspirational and a wonderful human being.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely take a Steripen (see trip notes) - such a brilliant device.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my 7th trek in the Himalayas - and, with the exception of that first Annapurna trek all those years ago, this Manaslu one has been the best trek (although having three sightings of snow leopards in Ladakh a few years ago with Exodus is a close rival!).

Dates & Prices

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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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