Nepal is, of course, synonymous with the greatest mountain range on earth. An adventure playground of awe-inspiring peaks and roaring white-water rivers, it is the ultimate destination for adventure and mountain lovers. But Nepal offers so much more: a surprisingly diverse array of landscapes and attractions and a melting pot of cultures. An amazing country to explore or perfect extension to any trip to Bhutan, particularly if you are flying via Kathmandu, you will experience two very different Himalayan cultures in one trip.
Tropical jungles in the southern lowland plains have an abundance of wildlife spotting opportunities. Dramatic rice paddies cut into the central mountains in Kathmandu valley and beyond, leading to charming villages with warm welcomes. Kathmandu with its medieval cities and numerous UNESCO world heritage sites is an intoxicating and chaotic mix of ancient alleyways, medieval architecture, colourful markets and golden stupas, tiny workshops and courtyards overflowing with drying rice. Nepal will transfix you with its multitude of colours, fragrances, sounds, and landscapes.
Many of our guests combine Nepal with Bhutan but naturally we can create a wonderful journey in Nepal alone; a country of such fascination and diversity deserves the time to explore.
There are direct flights into Nepal Tribhuvan Airport, Kathmandu from India, South East Asia and the Middle East. One of the most popular routes from Delhi and many of our travelers will connect that way however it is important to get a transit visa even if just passing through because you may need to recheck-in bags on the way. Other popular hubs are Dubai, Doha, Singapore and Bangkok.
We recommend that you discuss your overall fitness levels with us before booking your trip. You may be visiting sites with steep steps or trekking at high altitudes, and so a certain level of fitness would be needed.
There are no mandatory vaccinations for Nepal but we highly recommend that you consult your GP prior to travelling. Malaria is present in some areas so you should take mosquito repellent and talk to your GP about anti-malarials. Mosquitoes are most likely to bite at dusk so it is advisable to wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers.
It is possible to obtain your Nepalese visa on arrival in Kathmandu airport or at any of Nepal’s road borders however it can be very time consuming. We strongly recommend that you get your visa before you leave home.
Nepal has a large number of beggars and donating to the poor is part of the religious fabric of the country. In both Hinduism and Buddhism, the giving of alms to the poor is an important activity and hence beggars often gather around stupas and temples. It is worth discussing with your guide how you would like to deal with this, they may be able to advise you how to give to registered charities or foundations.
The temperatures in Nepal between October to March (high season) are normally cold in evenings and early morning, but comfortably warm with clear skies during the day. The south is much more humid than the north and the rains begin in June and continue until September in some areas. The monsoons are not a period of constant rain, although the sky may be overcast during this period. Monsoons bring swollen rivers, muddy trials, landslides and leeches. From the end of March to the onset of the rains in June/July, the temperatures increase dramatically, rising up to 40°C in the Terai region by the end of May.
Nepal can be divided up into three main geographical regions: the northern Himalayan, the mid-hill region and the lower Terai regions. Climatic conditions vary between these regions – in the north, summers are cold and winters severe, whilst in the south, summers are tropical and winters are mild. On average, temperatures drop by 6°C for every 1,000m you gain in altitude.
Unless you are trekking, there is no real seasonal constraint on travelling in Nepal. Even in December and January, when winter is at its severest, there is compensating bright sunshine and stunning views. Nevertheless, the best time to visit are during spring and autumn – spring is the time for rhododendrons, while the clearest skies and crisp mountain views are found in October and November after the monsoon season passes.