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Here are 9 reasons to visit Nepal…
Things to do in Nepal
1. FCO Has Given the All Clear
It’s official: the Foreign and Commonwealth Office lifted their restrictions on travel in Nepal, declaring it safe for travel in all main tourist and trekking areas. You can come here with their blessing – and along with it the security it promises.
2. High Season, Low Numbers
September to April is the most popular time to trek these trails. Autumn in the Himalaya is nothing short of pleasure – the days are warm, the monsoon has passed and the skies are clear, perfect for trekking and photographing these evocative mountains in all their glory.
But it’s still quieter than normal. Fewer people are taking to these mountains – despite the fact that they’re perfectly safe to trek. For those who do go, the rewards are quieter trails, less busy teahouses, and an even warmer welcome than usual.
Now is the time to steal a little slice of tranquility on these usually bustling routes, a rare (if not almost impossible) opportunity on an iconic trek like Everest Base Camp. As Chris Haslam said in his piece in the Sunday Times, “In past years, hundreds of trekkers would have been jostling for that view [of Everest]. Last Tuesday, there were only seven of us.” [Sunday Times Travel, 18.10.2015] Go now, and you could have it essentially to yourself.
3. It’s Easy
For all its majesty, it is incredibly easy to reach the Himalaya. Easy visas (just buy your ‘visa on arrival’ at the border) mean you don’t need weeks to plan. Arrive in Kathmandu and you’re just a few hours from the foothills that mark the start point of the most iconic treks in the world: the scenic flight to Lukla takes just half an hour to start Everest Base Camp, and the Annapurna Circuit is only a few hours’ drive. You don’t need to plan months in advance, you can just grab your boots and go.
4. Incredible Heritage
Nepal has eight world heritage sites, of which only three were damaged during the quake. Those three sites have since re-opened, having been restored and checked for safety. The sites are as stunning and as safe as they’ve ever been. You won’t miss out by travelling now.
5. See the Annapurnas in Bloom
The Annapurna region: named after the 10th highest mountain in the world, this exquisite massif is at its prettiest during the autumn months.
The biodiversity here gives the trails a seasonal edge: less stark than the rocky Everest region, here you traverse from ancient forests of oak and rhododendron to high plateaux, thundering rivers, Alpine scrub and semi-desert akin to Tibet. Autumn is the perfect time for new blooms, watered by the just-finished monsoon rains.
6. Clear Skies
Though cold at night, December and January offer some of the best times to trek the Everest region. Clear skies – likely the clearest all year – and bright sunshine, especially above the cloud line, really show the Himalaya at its best. Keen photographers will be in their element, without waiting for that pesky trekker up ahead to get out of shot.
7. Be a part of the solution
Nepal suffered greatly in the earthquakes of 2015, from the huge loss of life to the damage caused to buildings and homes. The tenacity and stoic determination of the Nepali people to rebuild their lives has been a testament to them. They have worked tirelessly to get back on their feet. Now what they need is long-term, sustainable income to recover fully.
That’s where we come in. Tourism can often be an immense force for good, bringing employment and opportunities to areas that wouldn’t otherwise receive attention. This is one of those moments when you can really make a difference with where you chose to spend your holiday, and your money, this year.
The mere presence of travellers in Nepal is a tangible sign to the people here that things are going to be okay.
8. ‘We need the trekkers back, so the country can get back on its feet.’
With tourism representing over 10% of the nation’s GDP it is no wonder that Karma, our partner in Nepal, says: “We need the trekkers back, so the country can get back on its feet.” Many of our leaders, guides and assistant guides were severely affected by the earthquake.
Some lost their homes or the people they loved. With fewer people coming to Nepal in the aftermath it also meant less work for them over the trekking season. “They are desperate to work to earn money again,” Karma explains. We believe our friends in Nepal when they say that what they need most right now is a way to get back on track.
9. Because it’s there!
Any trekker worth their salt cannot fail to be excited by mountains this beautiful, trails this varied, and people this kind. It’s no accident that the Himalaya top bucket lists and top 10 roundups year in, year out. There is never a bad time to visit this incredible place.
If you want to go to Nepal, we offer 17 adventures, ranging from leisurely through to tough. If you don’t want to join one of our small group adventures, get your own group of friends or family together and head off on a tailormade adventure. A perfect option for walking clubs who want to take the next step.
For more details, browse our Nepal trips below.