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walking in Nepal

Walking Holidays in Nepal

Walking and Trekking in Nepal: Why Choose Exodus?  

Experience: Trekking is embedded deep into our DNA, and Nepal is a country that’s close to our hearts as it was one of the first destinations we started trekking in back in the 1980s. With decades of experience under our belts, Exodus has been successfully operating Nepal trekking tours for over 40 years. What makes our Nepal walking holidays stand out, is that we’ve worked with our brilliant, family-run local operators for two generations now, who know the terrain, culture and trekking conditions better than anyone else.  

Safety: Your safety is paramount to us, which is why we offer one of the highest guide-to-client ratios of any Nepal trekking tour. So, you can expect at least one member of staff for every four clients. On our high-altitude treks, we carry medical oxygen tanks – to treat altitude sickness if needed. 

Quality: From start to finish, we ensure that our tours run seamlessly. We visit and stay at family-run teahouses, offer quality camping equipment and provide delicious hearty meals. These are just some of the reasons why each of our Nepal treks have a rating of a 4.5 stars or above. 

Responsible tourism: Exodus has a deep connection with Nepal and over the years has continued to support many innovative Himalayan community projects including the High Altitude Workers Welfare Association; the Kyanjin Gompa and Chautara Seniors Care Home; and the Freedom Kit Bag Project which involves the distribution of eco-friendly sanitary kits to women and girls in rural Nepalese villages. In the past, we’ve also worked closely with our local contacts and partners on the ground to provide disaster relief, during the 2015 Nepal earthquake and throughout the COVID pandemic.  

Expert local guides: We pride ourselves in working with some of the best expert guides in the business, and Nepal is no exception. Our leaders’ sheer dedication, unrivalled knowledge and skill go above and beyond what is required, so you get that once-in-a-lifetime experience trekking in Nepal. Some of our Nepal leaders have been guiding with Exodus for over 20 years.  

Map of Nepal

Nepal Map

Nepal Walking and Trekking FAQS

Where is the best place for trekking in Nepal? 

Nepal is blessed with some of the most beautiful and dramatic mountain scenery in the world and we have many incredible trekking holidays in Nepal to choose from. Some of the most rewarding treks with phenomenal views include Everest Basecamp, Annapurna, the Manaslu Circuit, Langtang and the sacred Gokyo Lakes. Explore wild Himalayan landscapes, discover diverse flora and fauna and learn about the Sherpa culture when you tackle some of the world’s most iconic peaks. Everest Base Camp is one of the more challenging yet most rewarding of our Nepal trekking tours and the feeling you experience when reaching the summit is unparalleled.  

How hard is trekking in Nepal?

Nepal is renowned for its awesome peaks – many of which make up the Himalayas – so you should expect moderate to challenging treks that require a high level of fitness. All our Nepal hiking tours provide you with a detailed description of the tour and are given activity gradings based on the distance, trail and weather conditions, level of support, altitude, comfort and access to services. While trekking in Nepal may be physically and mentally demanding, the rewards are incredible. Enduring high altitudes and navigating steep and rugged trails that wind among awe-inspiring views only enhance your experience and personal achievement.   

Which month is best for trekking in Nepal? 

High season: September to November and March to May. There are real advantages to trekking in Nepal during the high seasons. In particular, good temperatures and clearer skies present a better chance of witnessing those stunning mountain views. But there are also drawbacks. The trekking trails and teahouses are busier, and prices are higher throughout the high season. From September to November, skies are generally clear after the monsoon season, whereas April to May can see more wind and dust. 

Low season: December to February: During low season, particularly December, the skies are generally at their clearest — both in the cities and the mountainous areas because humidity is low. If you come prepared for cold weather up in the mountains, then trekking in the winter can be extremely rewarding. December has some of the clearest skies and views and the trails and lodges are much quieter. 

How fit do you need to be to trek in Nepal? 

There’s no denying, Nepal walking holidays require a good level of fitness to fully enjoy the experience and ensure your personal safety. Trekking in Nepal often involves traversing steep, rugged terrains, adjusting to high altitudes and withstanding severe weather conditions, all of which can be physically demanding. Because of the challenges you’ll face when trekking in Nepal, it’s recommended that you prepare by doing cardiovascular exercises to build endurance. Strengthening exercises can also help your legs, back and core muscles when navigating demanding trails and carrying a day pack. You may want to try some lower-altitude treks in Nepal or other European destinations before tackling more challenging heights. For more information about the activity level of the trip you intend on taking, look at the grades that have been given to the specific tour. 

Can you still trek in Nepal without a guide? 

Trekking solo without a guide is not permitted in Nepal. Hiking with an expert guide ensures better health and safety in the mountains, while also boosting tourism, giving vital income to leaders, guides and local Nepalese businesses. At Exodus, your safety is of utmost importance to us, which is why we’d recommend travelling with our expert guides, who have years of experience guiding in Nepal. We provide one of the highest ratios of guides to clients on our Nepal walking holidays, so you can feel safe in the knowledge that there are medical supplies and professional assistance on hand if needed. Our Nepal guides are highly experienced and as well as providing vital support and resources, they also possess unparalleled knowledge about the culture and history, giving you invaluable local insights. 

What are the top packing tips when trekking in Nepal? 

All our trip notes have a kit list, which details the essential items required. Essential means ‘essential’ and is what you really should not travel without. Kit bags have a weight limit of 10kg as a porter will be carrying two bags so pack well but pack light. Here are some essential kit tips:  

  • Hiking boots—never buy these immediately before your trek! Wear them in first.  
  • Sleeping bag (essential on all treks using teahouses and homestays). If the trip notes say 4-season sleeping bag, it means you need a 4-season sleeping bag. Don’t skimp on the warmth. 
  • A daypack for your water bottle, small snacks, fleece, waterproofs and other daily essentials 
  • Warm jacket – the warmth depends on the time of year so check the trip notes. 
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers 
  • Good-quality base layer (merino wool is a good choice) 
  • Quick-dry shirts/t-shirts 
  • Comfortable walking socks 
  • Gloves 
  • Trekking pole(s) – test these before you go – they can save your joints on steep up/downhill sections. Practice with them before you go – they are useless and dangerous if you don’t know how to use them properly. 
  • Comfortable evening clothes, such as tracksuit bottoms 
  • Water purification tablets, which don’t weigh much or a steripen (you will need a wide-mouthed bottle if bringing a steripen) 
Is it better to hire equipment (sleeping bags/jackets etc) locally or bring my own?

It’s all down to personal preference but hiring the essentials and often bulky items saves on luggage space for your international travel and it also ensures you’re equipped with the right items to suit the trek (i.e. you won’t go cold with our local down jackets and sleeping bags). However, don’t forget, your hired items count as your trek kit bag weight allowance so don’t overpack on other items unnecessarily. 

What is the terrain like in different regions in Nepal? 

Nepal trekking tours in the Himalaya feature a diverse range of terrains to navigate, from the world’s highest peaks of Everest Base Camp to the tranquil lakes and dense forests of Gokyo. When trekking to Everest Basecamp, you’ll face rugged terrain with steep ascents and rocky paths, while Manaslu Circuit is home to forested slopes and high mountain passes. When walking the Annapurna Circuit, you’ll climb many stone staircases and five modern suspension bridges. Langtang is home to more remote and adventurous trails with lengthy ascents and descents along rocky paths. 

What can I expect when it comes to staying in local teahouses in Nepal? 

Teahouses are quite basic, but they are a welcome sight after a day of trekking in Nepal. The hub of the teahouse is the dining room, which is usually decorated with colourful, traditional rugs, sometimes with a stove or heater to gather around in the evenings. Most teahouses sell snacks and other essentials such as tissues, soap and toilet paper. On our trekking holidays in Nepal, you’ll stay in twin-share bedrooms, which come with foam mattresses, bedsheets and a pillow. Remember to bring (or hire) a sleeping bag as rooms are unheated so can get cold at night. There are common toilets and showers – most of which are now inside and western style (although some at the very high altitudes are still squat type). 

Tell me more about the internal domestic flights in Nepal 

Many of our treks in Nepal use domestic flights to reach the trekking areas. The flight times are generally short, between 20 – 40 minutes in the air depending on the route. In response to concerns over this safety record, Exodus arranges for independent air safety auditors to visit Nepal annually to assess the suitability of the available carriers. We then restrict our use to only those approved as part of this audit. In emergencies, we will need to use helicopters, so we also have a list of approved helicopter carriers. 

What kind of vaccinations and medications do I need for a Nepal walking holiday?

When trekking at altitude there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Some of our Nepal treks stay under 2,2000m, where altitude is not an issue, but the majority reach over 3500m where you can start to feel the effects. On all our treks above 3500m we carry emergency oxygen, and all our leaders are first-aid trained and carry a first-aid kit. 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. The drug Diamox (also known as acetazolamide and normally only available on prescription) has been shown to aid acclimatisation in some individuals and therefore may reduce the risk of AMS. Clients considering using Diamox should speak to their doctor about the drug, its side effects and a prescription. There are no required vaccinations, however, recommended vaccinations include tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, cholera, Japanese encephalitis, rabies and tuberculosis. 

What’s the food like on Nepal hiking trips? 

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 curried lentils and meat or vegetables, some rice and a pickle/chutney. Another popular snack is momos – a Nepalese dumpling (fried or steamed) that’s filled with meat or vegetables. Meat is available in the teahouses, but we advise against eating it on treks. Meat is often carried in the heat for several days before reaching the lodges and can cause stomach upsets or illness. Germs can also be spread by handling dirty money; therefore, we recommend using hand sanitiser. 

What is the access to water like on a Nepal trek? 

We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water on our treks as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Nepal. The teahouses sell boiled water, which should not require treatment. Alternatively, all teahouses provide free cold water. This should not be drunk untreated, so we recommend you bring a reusable bottle/water bladder/CamelBak (ideally two and wide mouth) and use an effective form of water treatment. There are a wide range of products available including Steripens or purification tablets, which are the quickest and easiest options to use on a trek – we also 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). 

What is the transport in Nepal like? 

Roads in Nepal are generally underdeveloped, windy and susceptible to heavy traffic of transit buses and trucks. Journeys can take anything from 5- 12 hours depending on the route. Some significant routes are undergoing major construction for new roads, but progress is slow, and you will often be driving off road, alongside the works for a good part of the journey. 

What should I budget for meals and extras not included in my trip? 

Prices of food and amenities in teahouses generally become more expensive the higher altitude/more remote you are and access to ATMs/money changes are extremely limited. Please allow 4,400-5,800 rupees (US$33-US$44) per day for lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks, showers, toilet roll and charging on trek, and for meals not included in Kathmandu. This amount is given as a rough guideline only. 

Everest Base Camp is a trip to remember. Starting in the bustling city of Kathmandu where you get the first impressions of Nepal. Hot and busy.
Followed by evening briefieng where you meet your group for the first time. Early morning start with the biggest adventure of getting on a small plane to Lukla 😀 Yes, the trails to Base camp can get busy. We were quite lucky that despite the busy season in April, we still had good amount of time walking alone as a group and passing others at the teahouses. The trek itself is not difficult. The pace is very slow to make sure you acclimatise well, but be prepared for long days of walking -albeit very slowly. We were so lucky to have clear skies coming up and the views were breathtaking. From the first time you get to see Mount Everest to being surrounded by the changing landscape of 6000+ metre giants. All of us made it to Base Camp together after 8 days of ups and downs. It really is an unforgettable trip and for me so much more about the journey itself, rather than stepping your foot in EBC. You get used to the life in the valley, locals, animals passing by, beautiful monasteries and everpresent prayer flags. Food is quite tasty and mostly carbs, which we all appreciated the colder it got. We were so well taken care of by our leader and guides and big thank you goes to them for making us safe and always well fed and happy 🙂
If you love mountains, I can only recommend this trip.

Anna Lastuvkova Everest Base Camp Trek

not only do you explore Bhutans hidden and unique culture on this trip…but you feel as though you travel back in time to our last shangri-la. Visiting one of the worlds only countries to boast being a carbon sink is truly insiring.

sophie moran Festivals of Bhutan

This was my first time walking in the Himalayas and it was a truly magical experience. The scenery was breath-taking. I am glad we chose the route taking in Gokyo and the Cho La pass which were both challenging and beautiful and made for quieter days on the trail than when we got back to the main base camp route, which was considerably busier. We had not stayed in teahouses before and they made a change from the experience in tents we had previously, but the lack of variety in food menus did mean we ate the same things many days.

Terry Saul Everest & Gokyo Lakes Circuit

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