Makalu Basecamp Trek

Trekking holiday to the basecamp of the world`s 5th highest peak




From $2,740 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Trek across the Shipton La to the south side of Makalu
  • Rare mountain views of Everest`s hidden Kangshung Face
  • Remote area of the Nepal Himalaya with few other trekkers
  • While in Kathmandu, stay at the prestigious Yak & Yeti Hotel

Makalu (8481m), the world's fifth highest summit, is normally climbed from a basecamp at Sherson (4700m), a lovely high grazing area close to the tip of the Barun Glacier and surrounded by an awe-inspiring array of Himalayan peaks. The return trek into this remote alpine world is one of the finest in Nepal and is accessed by way of a short flight to the airstrip at Tumlingtar above the Arun River. From here, our trekking route takes us through pretty terraced farmland and a number of delightful villages, before climbing to cross the Shipton La (4229m). At the high points of this classic trekking holiday, the views extend from Makalu to distant Kangchenjunga. We have a full day to explore above Sherson, gaining surprising views of the Kangshung (east) Face of Everest as well as close-up perspectives of the impressive Chamlang and of Makalu's towering South Face. It is important to note that this is a holiday for the connoisseur of Nepal trekking, using lodge accommodation of a generally more basic standard than that found in the popular trekking areas, such as the Khumbu. If you are not prepared to ‘rough it' in this way, we would suggest that this trip may not be for you. Please call our office if you have any concerns about this.

For some fantastic ideas to extend your holiday in Nepal, from riding elephants in Chitwan to tours in Bhutan or Tibet - check out our extensions

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Is this holiday for you?

The range of conditions encountered on this Nepal trekking holiday will include well trodden village trails through terraced farmland, sub-tropical jungle at low altitudes, cloud forest, alpine valleys and high mountain passes. The holiday has been given a fairly high grade on account of the remoteness of the area and for its relatively sustained trekking. On average, we will walk for 6 hours each day. Despite the fact that relatively few trekkers visit this area, the paths are reasonably good throughout and we will stay in simple lodges each night. We will encounter slippery forest trails, steep sections of stone steps and, whilst exploring above Sherson, loose scree and boulders. It should be noted that trekking at elevations above 3000 metres is of itself physically demanding. However, this trek should be well within the capabilities of any regular hiker or hill-walker.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.
  • Fly to Tumlingtar and drive on a jeep track to the spectacularly located village of Num (1500m).
  • Trek down to the Arun River. Cross it and ascend via Runruma to the village of Sedua (1493m).
  • A shorter day, trekking through terraced fields and contouring around to Tashigaon (2057m).
  • Trek through cloud forest and more open country to the ridge-top pasture at Kauma Kharka (3500m).
  • Cross the Shipton La (4229m) with views of Kangchenjunga and Makalu. Trek down to Dobato (3700m).
  • Descend to the Barun River and follow this upstream to the grazing area at Yangri Kharka (3620m).
  • Continue up the valley of the upper Barun River to the grazing area of Lengmale Kharka (4400m).
  • A short final approach to Sherson (4500m) the basecamp area for Makalu.
  • A day for exploring above Sherson, with the option to hike up to one of two excellent viewpoints.
  • Trek out to Yangri Kharka. An opportunity to spot things missed on the walk-in to the mountain.
  • Descend beside the Barun Khola, then trek up to cross the Shipton La. Overnight at Kauma Kharka.
  • Trek through forest to Tashigaon and continue to an overnight stop at Sedua.
  • Descend to the Arun River and trek steeply back up to Num. A veritable ‘sting in the tail’.
  • A long and scenic day of driving back along the ridge via Chichila to Tumlingtar.
  • Fly to Kathmandu. Free time in the afternoon and celebratory dinner at a local restaurant.
  • In Kathmandu. Half-day sightseeing tour included. Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Departure day. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided.
Wed 05 Oct - Sat 22 Oct Code MAK /02/16/ Adult$2,740 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Makalu Basecamp Trek
  • The departure reference for this tour is MAK /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Wed 05 Oct and departs on Sat 22 Oct
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $195 - Group hotel nights in Kathmandu
Wed 02 Nov - Sat 19 Nov Code MAK /03/16/ Adult$2,740 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Makalu Basecamp Trek
  • The departure reference for this tour is MAK /03/16/
  • This tour begins on Wed 02 Nov and departs on Sat 19 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $195 - Group hotel nights in Kathmandu
Wed 19 Apr - Sat 06 May Code MAK /01/17/ Adult$2,740 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Makalu Basecamp Trek
  • The departure reference for this tour is MAK /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Wed 19 Apr and departs on Sat 06 May
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $195 - Group hotel nights in Kathmandu
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Kathmandu on the dates shown above. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Kathmandu Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and this trip is showing the 'Guaranteed to Run or Limited' symbol. If your trip is still showing 'Spaces', we will contact you as soon as it has reached the guaranteed status.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • airport
  • peaks
  • pass
  • trip direction
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided. Depending on your arrival time, you may have the opportunity to explore the immediate vicinity of the hotel and get acclimatised to this bustling city. Alternatively, you may prefer to recover from your journey by relaxing beside the hotel pool. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal. Your guide will take dinner with you and will provide an informal briefing about the days ahead.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals d

  • Fly to Tumlingtar and drive on a jeep track to the spectacularly located village of Num (1500m).

    In the morning we take the spectacular flight eastwards along the chain of the Himalaya to Tumlingtar. Situated on a broad flat plateau on the east bank of the Arun Khola, Tumlingtar lies at an altitude of only 457 metres so it will feel quite tropical. Given clear weather there are spectacular views of Makalu and Chamlang to the north. We set off in 4WD vehicles on a rough road through fields of rice, wheat, barley and potatoes. At the northern end of the Tumlingtar Plateau, we climb a ridge dividing the valleys of the Arun and Sabaya Kholas, to the bazaar town of Khandbari where we stop for lunch. There are shops and simple lodges here. There is also a police checkpost and it is the administrative headquarters of the Barun National Park. From Khandbari, the road continues due north ascending the ridge in a series of switch-backs to the small ridge-top village of Chichila. Continuing our drive, with improving views of Makalu and its satellite peaks, we finally descend to the spectacularly positioned village of Num (1500m), from where we have a good view of our route of the next couple of days. This is quite a long day of travel to get to this remote area. And sections of the road can become very muddy and difficult after rain. Opposite, across the Arun River, and tantalisingly close, is the village of Sedua, our halt for tomorrow. Overnight in a simple lodge.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

  • Trek down to the Arun River. Cross it and ascend via Runruma to the village of Sedua (1493m).

    It is good today to leave all mechanical contrivances behind and set off on foot. From Num, we set off down the incredibly steep and terraced slopes towards the Arun River, nearly 1000 metres below. The lower slopes of this narrow valley are densely forested and the paths are quite slippery, as this is a north-facing valley-side that never really dries out. It takes about an hour and a half to descend to the suspension bridge across the torrential Arun, at an elevation of only 670 metres. Carrying glacial melt-water, the Arun is an impressive river. We then start our climb away from the river, stopping off for lunch at Runruma. After lunch, a steep climb takes us up to Sedua (1493m) where we check into our basic lodge and have excellent views south and east to forested hills. Not a really long day, but steeply down and then up.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 880m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 790m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • A shorter day, trekking through terraced fields and contouring around to Tashigaon (2057m).

    A short day, as lodges are limited along the ridge leading to the Shipton La. After an initially steep ascent from Sedua, across open terraced fields, the angle of the trail eases off, and we contour around to the village of Tashigaon (2057m). This is the last village on the walk-in to Makalu Basecamp.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 690m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 180m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Trek through cloud forest and more open country to the ridge-top pasture at Kauma Kharka (3500m).

    A longish day today. The first 2 to 3 hours of the day is spent walking through cloud forest. By lunchtime we have reached more open country above the tree line and continue, largely on stone steps and through rocky outcrops, up to the ridge and the first level area since Tashigaon. This is the pasture area known as Kauma Kharka (3500m) which is complete with a basic lodge and tea-shop, selling coca cola. The 1400 metre ascent to this lodge takes 5 hours or so. Ten minutes above the lodge, there is a viewpoint for Makalu.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 1420m

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 hrs trekking

  • Cross the Shipton La (4229m) with views of Kangchenjunga and Makalu. Trek down to Dobato (3700m).

    From Kauma Kharka, the path climbs through rhododendron forest with views east to Jannu and Kanchenjunga, then suddenly arrives on the ridge at 3700 metres with superb views of Chamlang, Makalu and Peaks 6 and 7. This is the best viewpoint on the day’s walk. The rocky path continues to the wonderfully situated tarn of Kala Pokhari, above which steep rocky slopes lead to the Shipton Pass at 4229 metres. From here, we can look across a wide basin to the Tutu La, beyond which the descent to the valley of the Barun River starts. Some 300 metres below the Tutu La is the lodge at Dobato, surrounded by rhododendron forest. There are views from camp across the deep Barun Valley to snowy peaks, the south-eastern end of the Makalu range.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 1170m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 980m

    • Time 6 hrs trekking

  • Descend to the Barun River and follow this upstream to the grazing area at Yangri Kharka (3620m).

    The 400 metre descent to the Barun and then 450 metre ascent beside the river to the lodge at Yangri Kharka (3620m) takes approximately 6 hours. The very steep and rocky path below Dobato drops into magnificent silver fir forest and passes the old and overgrown camping place at Mumbuk, before reaching the raging white waters of the Barun River. Up the valley, Peak 7 and Makalu can be seen at times. The route crosses a series of big landslides where there is much boulder-hopping and the line of the trail is unclear in places. On either side of the river there are big cliffs and two prominent caves high up on the valley side are known as ‘Lord Vishnu’s Washing Rooms’. After traversing a long scree slope, the trail climbs gently and the valley begins to open out. The scenery is superb, with small patches of flower-bedecked alpine pasture, interspersed with lichen-hung spruce trees and rocky crags. The mountain views become increasingly spectacular, especially of the north-east side of the peaks around Peak 6. We stay at the simple lodge at Yangri Kharka beside the thundering river.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 420m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 670m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Continue up the valley of the upper Barun River to the grazing area of Lengmale Kharka (4400m).

    A short day as we need to gain altitude gradually on our final approach to Makalu. After an initial section, amongst dark stands of silver fir, we find ourselves walking on a trail lined by bilberry, juniper and small rhododendrons. There are many streams to cross and the walk is dominated by the views of the steep pyramid of Peak 7. Also visible are Chamlang, Hongku Chuli and the unnamed 6662 metre peak that lies at the south-eastern end of the ridge running down from Peak 4. Below the snowy peaks are huge cliffs with caves and overhangs and long thin waterfalls running down them. Our night’s halt is at another summer grazing area, known as Lengmale, where there is a basic lodge. At an altitude of 4400 metres, we are quite high now and the nights are fairly cold.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 970m

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 hrs trekking

  • A short final approach to Sherson (4500m) the basecamp area for Makalu.

    This is a lovely morning’s walk, through a high alpine environment, and with the warm colours of autumn enriching the foliage of the trees and shrubs. There is a large prayer wall (mani wall) at Ramara, an hour’s walk from Lengmale. We have now left the forest behind, although the rhododendron, berberis, cotoneaster and juniper persist for some time. Rounding a corner, in sight of the Lower Barun Glacier, we reach the grassy outwash plain at the place called Sherson. This is the lower part of the basecamp area for Makalu, at an altitude of 4500 metres. There are a number of basic lodges at this high grazing ground, and there are also outstanding views of a host of peaks, including the upper part of Makalu’s south face. We take lunch at our lodge.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 hrs trekking

  • A day for exploring above Sherson, with the option to hike up to one of two excellent viewpoints.

    There are several options for exploration in this area. (1). North of the camp is a ridge which runs up towards Peak 3, becoming its south ridge higher up. The ridge is steep and rocky at first but the levels out to a wide plateau at around 5100 metres with superb views. Makalu dominates the scene, rising straight ahead and looking huge and forbidding. From the west side of the plateau there are views up the rough valley of the Barun Glacier to Everest and Lhotse. Far below Makalu Basecamp can be seen along with the grey waters of the Barun Pokhari Lake. From the east side of the plateau we can look down to a glacial lake and across to Peak 5, with spiky glaciers running down from it. (2). Another option is to trek up the south-west side of the Barun Valley, climbing to a point high on the valley side at about 5200 metres that gives excellent views of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and the Barun Glacier. The summit of Baruntse is also visible from here. The walking is mostly on the rubble and rocks of ancient moraines. En route to the best viewpoint, this excursion leads past various camp sites including the upper Makalu Basecamp which now boasts a tea-house. A narrow rickety bridge crosses the Barun River to access this site. The choice of walk today will be determined by the trip leader and will depend on the prevailing conditions.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

  • Trek out to Yangri Kharka. An opportunity to spot things missed on the walk-in to the mountain.

    We begin the walk out, first returning to Yangri Kharka.Although we are returning on the same trail, the views in front of us are quite different and it is amazing how much we didn't see on our walk in just because we didn't turn around!

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 1300m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 140m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Descend beside the Barun Khola, then trek up to cross the Shipton La. Overnight at Kauma Kharka.

    Today, is a long one, as we descend beside the Barun Khola, before making the steep hour and a half ascent on stone steps to the clearing at Dobato. We then head up to cross the Shipton La, which will seem easier than on our walk-in, as we are now fitter and well acclimatised. We finish today’s undulating walk at the lodge in Kauma Kharka.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Trek through forest to Tashigaon and continue to an overnight stop at Sedua.

    Our trek today starts out with a descent of around 3 hours through the cloud forest to Tashigaon and then a further 3 hours to Sedua, where perhaps we might celebrate with some Tungba – a Tibetan wine brewed from millet.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Descend to the Arun River and trek steeply back up to Num. A veritable ‘sting in the tail’.

    We start the day with a descent to the hot and steamy Arun River Valley. Crossing the khola we then begin a climb of just under 1000 metres up the ridge on the other side to Num - a real 'sting in the tail' of this trek to Makalu Basecamp.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • A long and scenic day of driving back along the ridge via Chichila to Tumlingtar.

    An early start for the long drive along the ridge via Chichila to Tumlingtar. If the weather has been dry this will be a straightforward and highly scenic journey. After heavy rain the track can become very muddy and we may even opt to walk sections, in which case we will have a fairly late arrival back into Tumlingtar. We will say goodbye to our trek crew in Tumlingtar.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

  • Fly to Kathmandu. Free time in the afternoon and celebratory dinner at a local restaurant.

    We fly from Tumlingtar, to Kathmandu. This is normally in the morning to take advantage of the clear weather, but there is no fixed schedule for these flights and it is not possible to say exactly when we might fly. Once in Kathmandu we check in to our hotel and the rest of the day is free. On this first night after our trek we will certainly have a celebration dinner at one of Kathmandu’s excellent restaurants.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • In Kathmandu. Half-day sightseeing tour included. Rest of the day at leisure.

    Since the flight from Tumlingtar is weather dependent it is important to have this contingency day. If we have flown the previous day this will be a free day in Kathmandu. There is an optional complimentary guided sightseeing tour of some of the the city’s main attractions, such as the Buddhist temple at Bodhnath and the principally Hindu temple complex at Pashupatinath. Alternatively, you may prefer to do your own thing, especially if you have visited Kathmandu before. One of the attractions of any visit to Nepal is the chance to walk the streets of Kathmandu, which presents a fascinating mosaic of shops, cafes and restaurants, food markets and street vendors, as well as a bewildering array of colourful temples and shrines of both the Buddhist and Hindu religions. In the evening the group will come together again for a farewell dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided. There are lots of extensions that can easily be added to your holiday in Nepal. Why not pre-book a simple day-tour in the Kathmandu Valley, or a multi-day excursion to one of the important wildlife reserves at Chitwan or Bardia. Extension packages are also available to include a visit to neighbouring Tibet or Bhutan. Contact our office for details.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional English-speaking local leader
  • Kathmandu Airport transfers
  • Internal flights and all land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals
  • Guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu
  • Full trekking service including all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Nepalese Visa
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

Breakfasts and dinners are provided at the lodges, where the proprietors will be assisted by an experienced trek cook who will accompany the group. Breakfast will usually be porridge, eggs, bread or pancakes, jam, honey and a hot drink. Dinner will be 3 courses consisting of soup, main meal and a simple pudding, often of fruit. Pasta, rice, potatoes, lentils, noodles and vegetables will form the basis of most dinners, with meat or fish only on occasion. We have a relatively long stop for lunch each day, at a lodge or on the trail. A simple meal is prepared at the lunch stop and during this time the porters also eat their main meal of the day. Boiled drinking water will be provided at breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is limited opportunity to buy snacks or drinks at the lodges that we use on this trek. In Kathmandu we take our meals in the hotel and local restaurants.

All meals are included in the holiday price from day dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on Day 18.
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 booking confirmation.
While in Kathmandu the group will stay at the prestigious Yak & Yeti Hotel, situated in the heart of the city close to the former Royal Palace. Kathmandu's oldest and most famous hotel provides a touch of history combined with luxury and is an excellent place to relax pre and post trek. Whilst on trek there are 14 nights in basic lodges. It is important to be aware that many of these lodges are of a much lower standard than those in more popular regions, such as the Khumbu. There is usually a common room on the ground floor where the cooking is carried out and where you will eat your meals. This is usually heated by a wood-burning stove. There are simple, shared washing and toilet facilities and usually no shower. Accommodation at these lodges is in simple, unheated dormitory rooms with wooden beds and foam mattresses and no segregation between the sexes. Electricity is not dependable and there is often no possibility of charging batteries. You will need a sleeping bag. Accommodation in hotels is twin-sharing. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. For the 3 hotel nights in Kathmandu single rooms are available at supplementary cost and additional nights can be booked. Single room occupancy in lodges is not an option. For hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

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

A typical day starts with breakfast at our overnight lodge. After breakfast, porters will be given their loads and the group will set off walking in the pleasant cool of the morning. Lunch usually takes an hour or two and again this is normally a cooked meal. Porters usually catch up with the group during lunch and are well on their way to our next evening's stopping place as we start the afternoon's walk, which is normally shorter than the morning. On arrival at our next lodge, we will be able to get a hot drink. Dinner is ready at around 6 or 7 and this is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising. After dark, the temperature quickly falls and everyone will soon be tucked up in their sleeping bags.

Access to the high and remote areas of the Himalaya where our treks start is often only possible using internal flights. The changeable nature of mountain weather makes flying conditions complex. In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal does not operate to the same standards as those of western nations and all airlines in Nepal appear on the European Commission’s list of airlines that are banned from flying into EU member states. Flying in Nepal is an acknowledged risk, and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice provides further details which you can read on their website at: KE is mindful of its duty of care to clients travelling with us in Nepal and we were stakeholders in an independent air audit of Nepal airlines undertaken by UK tour operators during 2015. KE uses only three airlines in Nepal which were approved by this audit as safe carriers. These airlines are: Yeti Airlines, Tara Air, Buddha Air and and Simrik Airlines. In addition to this both Tara Air and Yeti Airlines have fulfilled the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) - a new global safety standard for commercial airlines operating smaller aircraft We continue to cooperate with other tour operators to monitor aviation safety in Nepal and will ensure we remain a stakeholder in any further air safety audits. While we have taken appropriate action to try to minimise the risks of flying in Nepal, you should be aware that flying in mountainous terrain is not without any risk.

Please note that poor weather can cause delays on internal flights. If at the start of your holiday internal flights are cancelled for the day, you will spend an extra night near the airport and this may be at a hotel other than the group hotel. On the majority of trips there is enough flexibility in the trekking itinerary to make up 1 or possibly 2 lost days, but alternative arrangements must be made if internal flights are cancelled for a subsequent day. For trips that end with an internal flight out of the mountains with no alternative road access, we have included 2 nights in Kathmandu as a contingency against delay. Helicopters can sometimes fly when the scheduled fixed wing aircraft cannot. If your group is offered the opportunity to use a chartered helicopter, either flying up from or back to Kathmandu, the cost will be shared between those choosing to take this option. In the extremely unlikely event that flight cancellations cause you to miss your homeward international flight, KE will render all assistance, but cannot be held liable for any extra costs incurred. We advise you to take out suitable insurance and to keep your receipts, as you may subsequently be able to make a claim.

The group will be accompanied by a professional English-speaking local leader throughout the trip. Whilst on trek there will also be a trek crew, including a cook, several Sherpas and a team of porters.

Approximately £250 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc.) changed into local currency, should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including tips for your porters and trek crew. It is not necessary to obtain local currency (Nepal rupees) 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. During the trek it may be possible in only a few locations to buy snacks, chocolate, soft drinks or beer. Any such items become scarcer and more expensive as you gain altitude.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying thank you for good service. Tips do not form part of the wages of your guides, porters and trek crew but they are very much appreciated. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. Normally the tips are given at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Most groups will give the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the trip. How much to tip is entirely up to you but we recognise you will need some guidance and we suggest a contribution of £50 - 60 (in rupees) from each group member will provide a sufficient pot to share among your guides and crew. At the end of a trek many people also like to donate various items of their equipment to the porters and trek staff who work so hard to make the trip a success. Boots, gloves, hats, scarves and even socks (clean of course) are always warmly received by the porters. Technical clothing and equipment such as head-torches and trekking poles are highly prized by the Sherpa crews. If you think you would like to donate equipment at the end of your trip, your local trip leader will make arrangements for a fair distribution among the trek crew.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by porters or pack animals. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15kg (33 pounds). For all flights to and from STOL airstrips in Nepal, the maximum allowance for hold baggage AND hand baggage combined, is 15kg. It is essential you keep the total weight of your baggage within this limit. This weight allowance is normally strictly enforced and excess baggage will be charged. Please be aware that you will have to pay for this at check-in. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

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.

This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your trek bag while trekking should be no more than 15 kgs. For all flights to STOL airstrips in Nepal, the maximum allowance for hold baggage AND hand baggage combined, is 15 kg. It is essential you keep the total weight of your baggage within this limit. Paying for transportation of excess baggage is not normally an option on these flights. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Baselayer shirts

  • Casual shirt and/or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Thermal gloves

  • Warm and waterproof gloves or mittens

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

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

  • Water bottles 1 Litre x2

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Toilet paper (you can also buy this in the lodges if necessary)

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Travel towel

  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)

  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

  • Daypack 30 litres

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated –20ºC)*

  • Warm jacket (down)*

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

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles

  • Trainers or similar for camp use

  • Spare laces

  • Shorts

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings

  • Gaiters

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Scarf or buff

  • Swimwear (for the hotel pool in Kathmandu)

  • Ear plugs (particularly if you are not the one snoring)

  • Travel clothes

  • Camera

  • Pen-knife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)


*Available for hire/rental through KE Adventure Travel
Please make all requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date. Please note all hire / rental equipment is issued in Kathmandu. Please remember to allow room in your trek bag for these items.

The Nepalese are still traditional and conservative in the way they dress. Therefore to avoid embarrassment on both sides we recommend that you respect this and do not wear revealing clothing or sleeveless tops while visiting Nepal. Shorts are acceptable, but they should reach to just above the knee and be modest and for women it is preferable to wear trousers or a long skirt.

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.

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.

The unit of currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee.

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

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this trip you need to be aerobically fit and also comfortable with walking up to 7 or 8 hours each day. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Regular walking in hill or back country is the best preparation for a trip like this but if this is not possible, running and swimming are good for developing better stamina. Regardless of your exercise regime, before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

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: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: 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.

October through to May is the best time for trekking in Nepal. These months outside of the summer monsoon season offer the best conditions for trekking. Pre-monsoon from March to May is the time to see the colourful blooms of the rhododendron at lower elevations. The post-monsoon months usually offer the clearest skies and the most settled weather. You will encounter a wide range of daytime temperatures during your holiday from approximately 25ºC in Kathmandu to approximately 14ºC at 3000 metres, and approximately 3ºC at 5000 metres although the 'real feel' temperature in the middle of the day will be much warmer. At night in the rarefied air the temperatures plummet. You can expect to experience overnight temperatures below freezing once above approximately 4200 metres and at our highest overnight stops, outside temperatures may drop as low as minus 15ºC. Extended periods of rain or snow are very unlikely outside of the monsoon period but short-lived storms can and do occur.

  • Guide to Nepal. Lonely Planet

  • Rough Guide to Nepal. Rough Guides

  • Trekking and Climbing in Nepal. Steve Razzetti.

  • Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya. Stan Armington

  • No Place to Fall. Victor Saunders

  • Sherpas & Himalayan Mountaineering. Sherry B. Ortner

  • A History of Nepal. John Whelpton

  • Field Guide to Birds of the Himalayas. Bikram Grewal

  • Photographic Portraits of People: Nepal Himalayas. Eric Valli

  • Nepal: Lonely Planet Pictorial. Richard I'Anson

  • The High Himalaya. Art Wolfe

Makalu Basecamp. 1: 80,000 Himalayan Maphouse

Clear colour trekking map of the area north from Tumlingtar to Makalu and extending west to Mera. Trekking routes are shown, and contours at 40 metre intervals. Latitude and longitude are shown by margin ticks at intervals of 5'. Indexed for towns, villages, peaks, passes & lakes.

Extend Your Holiday

Chitwan Jungle Extension

The jungles of southern Nepal are an interesting counterpoint to trekking in the foothills or the high Himalaya. Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge provides a relaxing and comfortable base for a wildlife safari and cultural village experience. During two days of wildlife viewing in the Chitwan National Park 'buffer zone' - the interface area between visitors and the animals that live at Chitwan – you will be accompanied by expert guides on safaris by jeep, boat, on foot and by elephant back.

Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge Chitwan

From $1000 per person

More info

Kathmandu Tour - Nagarkot and Bhaktapur

The Kathmandu Valley contains the cities of Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu itself, all of which were once independent kingdoms. An exploration of the valley’s historic and cultural sights is an excellent way to begin or end your adventure in Nepal. Highlights of this tour includes a very early drive up to Nagarkot on the Kathmandu Valley rim, the perfect place to watch a Himalayan sunrise. This is followed by a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur, renowned for its temples and traditional buildings. 


Nagarkot and Bhaktaphur Tour

From $135 per person

More info

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge (join Kathmandu)

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge sets the standard for comfortable and luxurious mountain lodge accommodation with its relaxed atmosphere, tranquil setting, eco-tourism and conservation ethos. Located on a spectacular hilltop ridge, it has panoramic views of ‘Fishtail Mountain and Himalayan giants, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu. It has won several prestigious awards including the PATA Heritage and Culture Gold Award and the Conde Nast Traveler magazine Ecotourism Award.

Tiger Mountain, exit KTM

From $950 per person

More info

Malla Hotel

From $100 per room per night

Gokarna Forest Resort Kathmandu

From $138 per room per night

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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