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Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Watch the sunrise on the Himalaya from four hilltop resort hotels
  • Nepal`s key Buddhist sites including Lumbini, birthplace of Buddha
  • Wildlife activities in Chitwan and lakeside relaxation in Pokhara
  • Comfortable hotels with breathtaking views and all meals included
Two thousand five hundred years ago, a Shakya prince was born in the foothills of the Himalaya in a region now part of Nepal. The prince who was called Siddhartha, was destined to change the world and every Nepalese schoolboy knows the story of how the young prince left the comforts of his palace and foreswore all worldly goods to search for enlightenment. Siddhartha became Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism one of the world's oldest religions which at one time or another influenced most of the continent of Asia.  This excellent new discovery-style holiday, exclusive to KE, explores many of the hidden highlights of Nepal as well as visits to its major cultural icons. In the course of this 2 week holiday we follow the Great Buddha Trail around some of the most important sites in the Buddhist and Hindu religions including a visit to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. As to be expected in the country where the Buddha was born, the two religions of Buddhism and Hinduism co-exist harmoniously in Nepal, often in a hybrid form sharing many significant pilgrimage sites. With the outstanding natural beauty of this Himalayan state on display and the interaction with its varied and friendly peoples, this is a holiday which will take your breath away. Starting with an exploration of the Kathmandu Valley and visits to its holy places including those away from the regular tourist trail, we then travel by private air-conditioned vehicle and stay in hand picked hotels, including four hilltop resorts with incredible Himalayan panoramas. The holiday also includes two days wildlife safari in Chitwan National Park and two days of easy walks or relaxation in Pokhara, Nepal's second city on Lake Phewa. For those interested in both the culture and scenery of Nepal, this holiday has it all.
free equipment

FREE equipment hire on all Nepal holidays!
Already booked on this holiday? Or looking to book on one of our departures in 2016? ALL clients will benefit from free hire of a sleeping bag and down jacket worth £70 - when booked in advance.

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Is this holiday for you?

This is a discovery holiday and no special level of fitness is required. However in the course of the holiday there will be a fair amount of walking done as we tour the various historical and cultural sites on the itinerary and this will amount to between 3 and 6 km walked on most days. During the stay in Chitwan it will be necessary to get in and out of boats and we will also have a wildlife safari on elephant back. There are optional short walks available during the stay in Pokhara. There is also a fair amount of driving necessary to visit all of the highlights. However, on a daily basis the drives are generally not overlong and the longest during the 2 weeks is 4 hours.

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary, joining in Kathmandu. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Kathmandu Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to Joining Arrangements and Transfers for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the departure is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure Travel is a fully ATOL licensed and bonded tour operator with ABTA and AITO.

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Itinerary

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English-speaking local leader
  • Kathmandu Airport transfers
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described
  • All meals
  • Guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu and various cultural sights mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to all sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • All jungle activities in Chitwan
  • All permits and park fees necessary to complete the itinerary
  • Travel Insurance
  • Nepalese Visa
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Optional activities
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

Nepal's cultural and climatic diversity means that you will encounter a variety of dishes on the holiday. The common dish encountered everywhere from the humblest kitchen to the best restaurants is dal-bhat-tarkari (literally lentils, rice and vegetable) although its make up and presentation varies considerably. Throughout this holiday there will be ample opportunity to sample local cuisine including regional variations. However, there will always be an option for more familiar international dishes. All the hotels and lodges on this holiday have first class chefs and food is prepared to the highest quality. In Kathmandu and in Pokhara, the cities' restaurants are internationally known and it is possible to see a restaurant or dish from almost every cuisine in the world.

All meals are included in the trip price from Dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 14.
All clients travelling to Kathmandu will be met at the airport by a KE representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Clients MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your joining instructions 3 to 4 weeks prior to departure.
Accommodation for this tour of Nepal's major Buddhist and other cultural sights has been carefully selected on the basis of location and providing a comfortable touring experience. Four of the hotels we use on this holiday are located on ridge tops, affording spectacular panorama of the Himalayan chain stretching from Dhaulagiri in the west to Everest in the east. Several of the hotels have pool or spa facilities. In Chitwan we stay in a safari lodge consisting of modern well appointed bungalows set in green gardens with views to the Rapti River. There are a total of 13 nights in hotels and lodges where accommodation is on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Single rooms are available for a supplementary cost on request. Additional hotel nights in Kathmandu are also available. For additional nights and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Single rooms and additional nights are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

The group will be accompanied by an experienced English-speaking local leader throughout the holiday. The group will also have the services of an experienced driver.

Approximately £150 - £200 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including tips for your porters and local staff . It is not necessary to obtain local currency prior to departure. Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange in Nepal. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival in Kathmandu. If you prefer not to carry all of your spending money in cash, it is possible to withdraw money from ATMs in Kathmandu and in Pokhara using your debit or credit card. During most days of the holiday it is possible to buy snacks, chocolate, soft drinks and beer or wine.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ for good service. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. Tipping is best done as a group and your trip leader can advise you on what to tip drivers and hotel porters. The overall level of tipping is up to the group but a contribution of around £30 - £40 (in equivalent rupees) from each group member should provide sufficient funds.

Your luggage will travel with you in or on the tour vehicle. Please restrict your baggage to one main bag (your KE bag) and a small daysack.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

The altitudes attained on this holiday are not extreme and the maximum altitude is no more than the equivalent of a pressurised cabin on an international flight. You may ‘feel’ the altitude the first time you go above 1500 metres but all that is required is a slower pace to compensate.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your luggage to a minimum as this makes for the most comfortable travel experience.

You must bring the following items:

  • Comfortable walking boots or shoes

  • Sandals / Training shoes

  • Socks

  • Lightweight trousers

  • Underwear

  • Casual shirts and T-shirts, long and short sleeved

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Sunhat

  • Sunglasses

  • Small daypack

  • Headtorch and spare batteries(there can be power cuts)

  • Sun protection (including bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottle

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets.

The following items are optional

  • Swimwear (for hotel pools and saunas)

  • Travel clothes

  • Camera

Notes

During the course of this holiday we will visit several sites that are considered sacred to people of Buddhist and Hindu faiths. Please be respectful of local norms and customs in these places and pay attention to the advice given by your trip leader on how to dress and act. The Nepali people are amongst the most polite in the world and are unlikely to let us know if anything we do offends but this does not mean they are not offended. We recommend that you always have a long sleeved shirt and trousers or full length skirt handy to put on when appropriate. In some places it will be necessary to remove your shoes or sandals and you should also consider bringing a pair of socks that can be quickly slipped on and off.

 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport for each country that you visit.

Visa Nepal

All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is $25 for 15 days, $40 for 30 days, $100 for 90 days and is obtainable on arrival. Payment must be made in cash and USD, GBP or Euros are accepted. You will require 2 passport photos.

For all the regions of Nepal that we visit an additional permit is required. This is included in the holiday price and KE will apply for it, with your full passport details and 1 passport photo (sent by post or emailed). You must supply this to us at least 4 weeks prior to departure.

For the following holidays, in addition to the above, we will also require you to supply a copy of the information page of your passport (sent by post or emailed).

These trips are: Kanchenjunga (KAN), Mustang (MUS), Dolpo (DOL), Manaslu (MAN), Hidden Valleys of Naar and Phu (NAP), Naar to Mustang (NTM), Humla and Limi Circuit Trek (HUM), Naya Kanga and the Ganja La (NKG), Yala Peak and the Ganja La (YPGL), Tent Peak (TPK), Ramdung and Parchemo (RAM), Mera Peak, Island Peak and the Amphu Labsta (MIP), Island Peak Climber (IPC), Peaks and Passes on Nepal (MTR); Mera Peak Climb (MER); and Chulu Far East & the Tilicho La (CTL); Tabsar Peak and the Tsum Valley (TVC), Mukot Peak (MKP).

Transit via India

If you are travelling via India (Delhi or Calcutta) to your destination you may also require a visa for India. This may apply even if you are not leaving the airport unless your baggage has been checked all the way through to your destination. Generally, if you use the same carrier for both legs of your journey, you will not need an India Visa. Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF India.

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on an active holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. Although there is no actual trekking on this holiday, in order to really see the country we do explore on foot and on some days you will be walking for 2 or 3 hours. Any regular exercise is good for developing cardio vascular fitness and stamina.We also recommend that you do some reading about the culture and traditions of Nepal before coming on the trip.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Whilst October to November and March to May have traditionally been considered to be the best times to visit Nepal, these seasons can comfortably be extended to include the period from December to February for holidays which do not travel to the really high altitudes. Nepal has a very pleasant climate throughout the foothills at this time. It is usually dry as the majority of the country's rain falls during the monsoon which occurs between June and September although given its mountainous nature, short lived storms can occur at any time of the year. Pre-monsoon (March to May), the best of Nepal’s colourful flora is in evidence, with plants such as rhododendron and magnolia in full flower. The post-monsoon months usually offer the clearest skies and the most settled weather. Temperatures during this holiday will vary greatly from the mid thirties Celsius on the plains and in Chitwan, through mid to high twenties in Pokhara and Kathmandu and low to middle twenties at some of the hill resorts. During December and January temperatures will be 3 or 4 degrees lower than this.

  • Lonely Planet guide to Nepal

  • Kathmandu and the Kingdom of Nepal. Prakash Raj.

  • Insight Guide to Nepal.

Nepa Maps - Himalayan MapHouse

Nepal on a large, indexed overview map at 1,500,000 scale from Himalayan Maphouse, the country’s leading publishers of trekking maps. Road network shows main highways, major and minor roads, gravel or dirt roads and trails. Map legend is in English.

Extend Your Holiday

Extensions

When booking your holiday, you will be able to 'add an extension option'.

Once we have received your booking we will contact you to discuss additional services required for the extension and to take any additional deposit.

Shanker Hotel

From $100 per room per night

Situated next to the grounds of the former Royal Palace and only a 10-minute walk from the popular Thamel district, this former Rana residence was converted into a hotel in 1964. The original architecture was based on a French palace and the hotel has a grand appearance. Set in a large and beautifully tended garden, it provides a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of city life and is an ideal base from which to explore Kathmandu. All its rooms which are en-suite have been recently refurbished and the hotel facilities include 2 restaurants, 2 bars and a swimming pool where you can also order drinks.

Shangri La

From $119 per room per night Another of Kathmandu’s original ‘luxury’ hotels. While the sophistication of its amenities may be upstaged by Kathmandu’s more modern concrete and glass hotels, the Shangri La maintains an old world charm that cannot be beaten. Located in the diplomatic enclave of Lazimpat, away from the hustle and bustle yet just 10 minutes walk from tourist centre of Thamel, the hotel is set in a pleasant garden and facilities include a pool, tennis court and massage therapist. The hotel has a speciality Indian restaurant and a garden café serving international cuisine as well as a bar.

Dwarikas Hotel

From $279 per room per night Dwarika’s is a heritage hotel modelled on the grandeur of the palaces of the Newar Kings. Consisting of several buildings arranged around a quiet courtyard, the hotel incorporates many original 15th – 17th century features in its architecture from the lifetime collection of its founder. The rooms are in the same Newari style and lavishly luxurious in their appointments. Its location close to Pashupathinath and Bouddhanath is perfect for exploring this side of Kathmandu. There are 3 restaurants serving Nepali, Japanese and international cuisine, a bar, spa and fitness centre, and a swimming pool.

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