Secret Everest - Sherpa Homeland
Nepal, Trek & Walk, 14 days - from £1,395 (land only) - from €1,675 (land only) - from $2,300 (land only)
By: Victoria Case, London,UK
Having a local Sherpa guide was good as his knowledge of the local area was great. The scenery was beautiful and the fact we frequently stopped to go to local sights of interest and in local tea shops added to the experience of the trek.
Perhaps only offer this holiday a bit later in the year, as weather conditions were not good for the first week. This should ensure that the monsoon is completely over. Also, the jeep journey we took due to the airport in Phaplu being closed was probably too much to attempt in one day. If the airport is shut for a long time you might want to look into spreading the journey out over two days rather than one.
A friend found the website and we all agreed to go on the trip after reading through the information on the KE website which was excellent. have never been trekking before, so it was tougher than I was expecting, but I enjoyed the challenge.Perhaps the difficulty rating could be increased? Some of the tracks we covered (before we changed our itinerary due to bad weather) were quite challenging and apparently would have been even more difficult had we continued on the same route. Once we got onto the main route from Jiri to Everest the tracks were much better/easier.
By: Iain Stewart, Sheffield, UK
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Solu Khumbu trails that were predominantly used by locals (compared to tourist trails) as it gave insight into normal life and matched the expectation of 'adventure travel'. I also found the English speaking trip leader highly knowledgeable about many aspects of the Himalayas, which meant i did not have to flick through a book to find the answers to my questions. I think the highlight to my trip was visiting the many monasteries, particularly the small ones, however our trip to Thumbuk Monastery during the no moon celebrations and chants was especially moving and spiritual.
It would be nice to have had a rest day in a suitable village during the trek, I believe that due to adverse weather conditions we lost our rest day in travelling (by jeep). I think due to the poor weather at the beginning of the trek, and the fact that one of our party became ill (asthma attack/chest infection), a rest day would have been appropriate. I also understand that time constraints may not permit it, but they should be kept as an important part of the trek and not just a day that can be used for trekking if pushed for time.
I had few expectations for this trip, other than a mountainous landscape in which I would get to meet locals and observe their way of life. This expectation was definitely met. My expectations were then exceeded by the quality of service and care by the leader and crew, the initiative of the trip leader in ensuring we had an enjoyable experience, and the breath-taking peace and beauty of the Solu Khumbu region.
I heard about KE adventure from simple internet searches. I picked KE adventure because it became obvious you are an independent travel provider, and thus your clients are individuals that you care about rather than just part of your income. I was also excited by the vast array of holidays available, along with a difficulty rating, that gives the feeling of a 'tailor-made' holiday without the need for the client to tailor it themselves. Ultimately, KE offered treks that were more suited to me (off the beaten track), and I was assured by their years of experience and the level of client based feedback/photos etc on the website.
I was particularly happy to hear our trip leader was actively involved in a Nepalese based charity. I may be missing it, but it would be nice to read about the projects KE support and how much has been raised for charities by KE so far. I would also particularly like the opportunity to get involved in a KE adventure that incorporated charity work, although I understand this may not be in the remit of KE adventure. However, often it's not easy to travel and do charity work with a trustworthy company if not doing a gap year or over 50. I don't believe many companies offer adventure/discovery travel along with charity (e.g. animal/teaching/healthcare/building) work for people between 20-50. I appreciate this is often due to time pressure, but an option would be nice - especially as you have options to extend trips.