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Insider’s Guide: Trekking Nepal

What makes Nepal unique?

From the wildlife rich grasslands of the Terai to the soaring summits of the world’s highest mountains, Nepal offers a landscape like no other. With gentle hikes in the verdant foothills, classic treks amidst the iconic peaks of Everest and the Annapurnas and remote Himalayan regions to discover, Nepal has some of the best and most varied walking on the planet. But trekking isn’t the only activity that draws visitors as Nepal also offers superb rafting and cycling opportunities for the keen adventurer. Add to this the national parks of Chitwan and Bardia and the myriad cultural attractions of Kathmandu and you’ll find there’s enough variety to satisfy even the most seasoned traveller. But even without the epic scenery and cultural interest, the open-hearted generosity and friendly nature of the Nepali people mean you are never far from a warm welcome and smiling face in this most special of places.

Everest Panorama

When is the best time/season to visit and why?

For trekkers, the spring and autumn months (pre and post monsoon) are the premium time to visit Nepal. During March and April the days are warm and the trails are lined with colourful flowers especially in the foothills. Late October and November are considered by many the best time to enjoy the magnificent Himalayan views due to extended periods of good weather with clear skies and good visibility.

During these peak trekking months the most popular trails in the Annapurnas and Everest region can be very busy so, if you want to escape the crowds, the more off-the-beaten track routes such as those in Dolpo, Ganesh Himal, Kangchenjunga and Manaslu offer superb trekking alternatives. And, if you want to trek in Nepal in the summer months, head to the spectacular Mustang area famed for its dramatic high desert scenery and unique cultural identity.

If you want to see the wildlife at the Chitwan National Park, then anytime from October to April offers excellent viewing opportunities and warm average temperatures particularly from November to February.

Trek Annapurnas

What is the ‘hot spot’ for 2017?

The Manaslu Circuit is staking a claim for the new classic trek of Nepal. A more remote alternative to the neighbouring circuit of the Annapurnas it has spectacular Himalayan scenery, big mountain views and varied terrain without the roads that have encroached on sections of the Annapurna Circuit. Tea houses provide simple accommodation en route and there’s strong cultural interest as the Tibetan culture of the region has been preserved in villages seemingly untouched by the outside world. With the 5,000m Larkya La pass to cross and two weeks of remote trekking, there’s a tremendous sense of achievement to be gained in completing a circuit of one of the ten highest mountains on the planet.

Manaslu Circuit

3 Highlights for the first time visitor

Every visitor to Nepal should try Dahl Baht at least once. The national dish is made from a combination of rice, soupy lentils and lightly spiced vegetables that is both cheap and satisfying. Add fiery pickles to liven it up and wash it down with a mug of sweet chai tea or a refreshing bottle of Everest beer.

At the foot of the world’s highest mountain, Everest Base Camp rightly remains at the top of many trekkers’ wish lists. Base Camp can be reached on a thrilling two week trek that follows a well-trodden trail from the mountain airstrip at Lukla through the thin air and epic Himalayan scenery of the breathtaking Khumbu, to finally step foot on one of the most iconic places on the planet. Having taken a once-in-a-lifetime selfie, trek to the top of nearby Kala Patar for unforgettable, panoramic views of both Everest and Base Camp itself.

To really appreciate Nepal’s natural splendours you’ve just got to get out on the trail and do some trekking. But don’t worry if you’re a first-time trekker for Nepal has something to offer all abilities and experience. For novices there are gentle paths to explore in the foothills, for the enthusiast there are classic treks to complete and for the hardened trekker there are rugged, remote routes or even a trekking peak for the ultimate challenge.

Did you know that…?

Eight of the 8,000m high mountains in the world are in Nepal including Kangchenjunga, Manaslu and, of course, Mount Everest (8,848m) – the tallest of them all. There are also over 30 peaks standing over 7,000m high which is why Nepal is such a magnet for trekkers, climbers and mountaineers.

But Nepal is not just about mountains, it’s also one of the very few places on earth where you can see both the rare Royal Bengal tiger and the One-horned rhinoceros in the wild. This is at Chitwan National Park - one of Asia’s premier wildlife reserves and a World Heritage site that is home to over 700 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and insects. With a range of lodges and wildlife viewing activities, Chitwan is definitely a place not to miss on a visit to Nepal.

Chitwan Tiger

What is your personal favourite place/location to visit/stay?

With its chaotic charm and fascinating cultural attractions, Kathmandu is one of our favourite places to spend time and there’s no better place to stay than at Dwarika’s hotel. Incorporating intricately carved windows and doors salvaged from ancient buildings, this unique heritage property not only preserves and revives Newari culture and Nepali craftsmanship but is an oasis of calm and style in Nepal’s frenetic capital city.

Dwarika’s is also perfectly located to explore central Kathmandu – here are some of our favourite things to do: wander around the medieval palaces and temples of Durbar Square, watch the sunset over the city from Swayambhunath Temple, chill out in the Garden of Dreams, go bargain hunting amidst the hustle and bustle of the Thamel district and add your own yeti footprint to the wall of the Rum Doodle Bar!

Copy and Images provided by Mountain Kingdoms. Visit them on stand AA92 at the Destinations Show.