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Great news for Nepal!

  • 07 October 2015

FCO have just updated their advice for travel in Nepal - 7 October 2015.

 As we had anticipated, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice has recently (7 October 2015) changed. Popular trekking routes such as Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit, along with the areas of Dolpo to the west and Kanchenjunga to the east, that were largely unaffected by the earthquake, are now off the FCO proscribed list. The official advice is that "the FCO no longer advises against travel to the following districts : Humla, Mugu, Dolpa, Mustang, Manang, Lamjung, Dhading, Nuwakot, Kavrepalanchok, Ramechhap, Okhaldhunga, Solukhumbu, Sankhuwasabha and Taplejung ".

The new map from the FCO shows the areas safe to travel to as a green zone.

FCO advice Nepal Oct 2015

KE had already suspended treks in the 'orange zone' of the latest FCO map, including the Manaslu, Rolwalling and Langtang areas. However the rebuilding efforts of these local communities continues at a pace and we fully expect to resume operations to these areas in 2016.

Our first Nepal groups of this autumn season have already started their treks and they have received a warm welcome everywhere. In November, KE Director Glenn Rowley will be joining our Pokhara to Kathmandu mountain bike holiday and he will also be visiting the Annapurna and Everest regions.

>> View all Nepal autumn season adventures


Juniper Trust update

10 Schools to rebuild - $200,000 (£130,000) still required

The Juniper Trust, with voluntary supervision from Namgyal Sherpa and Abhishek Pande in Kathmandu, is embarking on an ambitious project to rebuild 10 schools in the most needy parts of Nepal which were devastated by the earthquake. Following the earthquake in April, life is getting back to normal throughout Nepal and most villages have been busy with the rice harvest to the end of September. It is only now, as we move into October and the monsoon rains ease, that rebuilding work can begin.

>> Read more from The Juniper Trust

Totally Tropical Trekking

Written by  Caroline Williams - Product Manager
  • 06 October 2015

Sitting in the airport in Antigua, waiting to board my flight, I turned to the tanned gentleman sitting next to me and enquired as to whether he had enjoyed his holiday. “It was great”, he replied. “Bar there” he said, indicating to his immediate left “beach there”, pointing to the right. “I didn’t go more that 100 yards from my hotel room ALL week, what more could you want?”

I began to ask myself the same question, “What more could you want from a Caribbean holiday?” I was on my way to the little visited island of Dominica, just 100 miles south, for some Totally Tropical Trekking, my first visit to a Caribbean island, and I was hoping for a very contrasting experience to that of my new acquaintance. Was there more to the Caribbean than just the bar and the beach? I was looking forward to finding out!

Beyond the bar… and the beaches

One thing is for sure, Dominica is an island best explored on foot. Driving on the tightly coiled mountain roads that snake across the island can be a hair-raising experience and, though only 29km wide, it can take hours to drive the breadth of the island. If you want to explore properly, you need to get your hiking boots on. Using a combination of old colonial estate tracks and ancient trails forged by the indigenous Kalinago Indians, you can spend days exploring the stunning, fruit laden, Caribbean and Atlantic coastlines, but we also venture inland deep into the lush green interior, dramatically shaped by years of volcanic activity and fed by the island’s 365 rivers. Hidden at the very centre of the island you’ll find the world’s second largest sulphur spring, the 60m wide, Boiling Lake. You can’t visit Dominica without completing the challenging trek to this unusual spectacle!

Boiling Lake Hike

Our day-long journey began on a rainforest trail of wooden steps and woven tree routes, the sides of the path decorated with colourful calla lilies and heliconia. Before long we found ourselves climbing out of the valley and high over the top of some of the tall green shards of the Morne Trois Pitons National park. After a short scramble down we eventually arrived at the marvellously monikered Valley of Desolation, the gateway to the lake. Here, amongst the vaporous mud pools and the potent pong of sulphur, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were on another planet entirely! A short distance on and we reach the lake itself (actually a flooded fumarole). While heavily enveloped in a thick cloud of steam, it is still possible to see the blue/green water furiously bubbling away in the centre of the lake. Though we’re all desperate to cool off after our hot trek, it is extremely clear that this is no place to take a refreshing dip; even at the edges of the lake the water can be up to 92 degrees! Returning back the way we came, we find a more welcome opportunity to swim back at the trailhead, in the cold clear waters of Titou Gorge; a great way to end a superb day of walking!

Dominican Philosophy

Besides the beautiful coastline and the great trekking opportunities, Dominica’s real magnetism lies simply in its laid back, Caribbean charm. “One day at a time, no rush” read the sticker on the back of our mini bus; you couldn’t sum up the atmosphere of the island better. Dominica has the largest percentage of centenarians per capita in the world. The oldest islander, Ma Pampo, is said to have died at the fine old age of 128 and her neighbour – a respectable 127! With plenty of sunshine, sea air and a diet of exotic fruit, home grown vegetables and freshly caught fish (all washed down with a reviving glass of coconut water or maybe a cheeky slug of rum punch!), it isn’t hard to see why. The forests are a veritable pharmacy of plants and herbs, which are regularly utilised in age-old holistic therapies, and the interior is dotted with natural hot springs, where you can soak away the worries of the day. Troubles should be left at the airport on arrival!

A Question Answered

So, just 10 days after I began my journey, I found myself back in almost the same seat in Antigua airport, this time waiting for my flight back to the UK. Sitting munching on plantain chips and sipping on a ginger flavoured Kabuli beer, I flicked back through the photos on my digital camera and knew that I’d easily answered my own question.

Was there more to the Caribbean than just the bar and the beach?  Yes, so much more!


Caroline travelled on our Totally Tropical Trekking holiday on the Caribbean Island of Dominica.

>> Totally Tropical Trekking

Mountaineering in the Altai Tavan Bogd, Western Mongolia

Written by  Tom Richardson - KE Leader

For most people mention Mongolia, the home of the legendary Genghis Khan, and they imagine big skies, wide rolling plains, yurt type wool felt tents, marmots, horses and a nomadic way of life. For much of the country this is true but in the far western corner, where it joins with China and Russia and nearly connects with Kazakhstan, it is also very different. As Michael Kohn, the author of the Lonely Planet Guide to Mongolia said:

“Travelling to Mongolia’s westernmost province gives one the distinct feeling of reaching the end of the road, if not the end of the earth”

“Many peaks in the province are more than 4000m and permanently covered with glaciers and snow, while the valleys have a few green pastures that support livestock as well as bears, fox and wolves.”

He didn’t even mention the relatively frequent sightings of snow leopards, the nomads and their hunting eagles and the fact that there are more reported sightings and stories of yeti than anywhere else in the world here including the Himalaya.

Morocco's Secret Side - Trekking the Atlantic Coast

Written by  Lisa Spratling - Product Manager
  • 02 October 2015
“Off the beaten track” – we’ve all read those words, used to conjure up a romantic vision that you’re going to be the only group in a totally undiscovered area! But, what if it was true? What if you could spend 5 days walking and camping in an undiscovered corner of a country, allowing you to step back in time and experience a place before tourism arrived?


June saw my 3rd visit to one of my all-time favourite destinations, Morocco. In 2011, I explored the breath-taking Mediterranean Coast, the beautiful Rif Mountains, the pretty town of Chefchaouen and, fantastic Tangiers, whist in 2012 I climbed Toubkal and Ouanoukrim in the superb High Atlas, and discovered Marrakech. However, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at the promise of trekking and wild camping along the Atlantic Coast with dromedaries!

Tom Richardson leads the way to summit success - Again!

It's fantastic to hear that our group led by previous KE Leader of the Year, mountaineer and author, Tom Richardson has reached the summit of 'arguably' one of the most remote mountains in the world - Mount Khuiten in Mongolia. A fantastic 10 out of the 11 climbers summitted Khuiten and all the group summitted Malchin and Nairandal. Tom has now climbed Khuiten 8 times. He say's " It's beautiful, I love the country and the people, especially in the far west. This is a fantastic adventure amongst some great mountains. Don't let other KE leaders know though! It's mine..."
The climb takes you through wild heart of Mongolia's Altai Tavan Bogd (Five Holy Peaks) and lies on the border with both Russia and China. More than just a superb climbing expedition, this is also a fascinating travel experience in a rarely-visited corner of the world.

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Give us your feedback!

  • 08 September 2015
You've probably noticed that we've launched our BRAND NEW WEBSITE and we would love to hear what you think of it.
It's now mobile and iPad friendly and really easy to book your holidays, download trip notes and update your myKE account. We know that it's not perfect yet, but are working hard to make sure we keep you updated with the latest news, blogs and reviews, the latest offers and of course, our detailed holiday information.

If you would like to share your thoughts on our new site, please email

You're a mountaineer now!

Written by  Chloe Johnson - Product Manager
  • 03 September 2015
I worked in the sales team at KE for about two and a half years and a common question is how to transition from trekking to mountaineering; many people may want to climb Mont Blanc for example but don't know how to get the experience required - well here is your answer!
This amazing yet still challenging trip (along with several others that KE offer), can give you the skills and experience to feel confident aiming for those higher or more technical peaks or journeys. While still being enough of a challenge and stunning experience to keep those with prior experience very happy.
How do you pick a standout moment on a diverse journey that began with zip wiring through jungle canopies in Nicaragua, included standing up on a surf board for the first time in El Salvador, and concluded kayaking amongst mangroves at sunset in Honduras?
It might be exploring the cobbled streets of colourful Granada, chasing a turtle out of your hotel room, sampling delicious bean and cheese filled corn Pupusas (an El Salvdorian delicacy) at a simple ‘Pupuseria’, discovering ancient Mayan civilisations at Copan, ash boarding down the side of a volcano, or just relaxing in a hammock with a book and a fresh coconut! Perhaps it would be easier to pick a favourite day?....