This tour gives you a taste of all that Nepal has to offer, with time spent exploring the ancient city of Kathmandu, a short trek in the foothills of the majestic Annapurna mountain range, some easy white-water rafting on the Trisuli river, and a range of wildlife safaris in Chitwan National Park. Taken together, you enjoy a comprehensive introduction to the history & culture, natural beauty, and adventure that Nepal has to offer. Read more
We meet you at Kathmnadu airport and transfer you from airport to your hotel. Our rep will give you an introduction to the local area and help you settle in.
We start our tour today with a guided walk from our hotel, through the tourist disctrict of Thamel and on through busy winding streets past numerous tiny shops and workshops, corner temples and stupas to the temples and palaces of Durbar Square. After lunch we visit the important Hindu and Buddhist pilgramage sites of Pasupatinath temple and Boudhanath stupa. We then leave the city and drive up to the small village of Nagarkot on the rim of the Kathmandu valley.
Nagarkot has possibly the best mountain views in the Kathmandu Valley, and we rise early to see the sun rising over the Himalaya. We then take an easy ridge walk downhil through the Tilkot Forest Reserve and tiny Chettri villages to the crumbling Changu Narayan temple. In the afternoon we tour the ancient centre of Bhaktapur, with its numerous old wooden carved temples and buildings. Exploring the back streets of Bhaktapur is a great way to see how some parts of Nepalese city life have remained almost unchanged for centuries.
We leave Kathmandu early this morning and drive to our put in point on the Trisuli river, ready for 2 days of exciting white water rafting. We'll have some initial skills training, and learn how to work as a team on the raft, ready for the bigger rapids to come. In the evening we camp on the banks of the river, surrounded by forest and the Himalayan foothills. Note: If you don't want to do the white-water rafting, you can transfer directly to Chitwan National Park and enjoy an extra day of safaris there (a small price supplement will apply).
After a hearty breakfast we enjoy more rafting today, until we get to our put in point not far from Chitwan National Park. We take a fun ride of about an hour on a local bus (possibly sharing with chickens and other livestock!), before our park lodge picks us up for the final drive to the park boundary and our lodge in the village of Sauraha. This evening we have time for a village walk to learn about the life of the Tharu people in the lowland 'Terai' plains of Nepal.
We have a full day of safari activities in the park today, including a dug out canoe trip on the Rapti River, a jungle walk, and either a jeep safari or elephant ride in the afternoon (the jeep safaris are not available all year round). You have a good chance of seeing the endanged Asian one-horned rhinocerous, as well as numerous other animals including monkeys, deer, crocodiles and numerous birdlife. If you're very lucky you may even see a leopard, sloth bear or a majestic Bengal tiger.
We do a final safari this morning, either a birdwatching walk on the outskirts of the park, or an elephant safari if you didn't get to do one yesterday. We then drive out of the Terai and back up into the mountains to the lakeside town of Pokhara, which nestles at the foot of the Annapurna mountain range. Pokhara is a great place to spend some time, and there is a great social scene in the Lakeside area, with many people using the town as a gateway to trekking and rafting trips in the Annapurnas.
We have a guided tour of some sites close to Pokhara today, including the Peace Pagoda, Tibetan refugee camp, and the Jangchub Choeling Gompa. In the afternoon you can hire bikes, or take a boat out onto the lake.
We leave Pokhara this morning ready to start our Himalayan foothills trek. After driving to our start point at the village of Naya Pul, we start trekking to Birethanti
(1,000m), a relatively large and prosperous mountain town. From Birethanti, the trail is
fairly flat, following the Modi Khola river, before you start a long ascent
from Shauli Bazaar (1,140m) to Gandruck (1,950m). We spend the night in a simple but comfortable trekking lodge.
Ghandruk is one of the largest Gurung settlements in Nepal, and this area is one of the main recruiting areas for Gurkhas joining the British Army. There is an interesting ACAP visitor centre (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) which is well worth a visit. The walk to Tadapani passes through several different types of forest, some with trails of mosses hanging down from the tree branches. On arriving in Tadapani, you enjoy spectacular views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and Machhapuchharek.
The trail from Tadapani crosses several river valleys and winds through rhododendron forests where there are often monkeys to be seen. You leave the wet high mountain forests and get some clearer views before arriving at Bantanthi (2,650m) where you can rest in the shelter of a high rock face. You climb up from Bantanthi through more forest, and then follow a grassy and pine covered ridge with good views to either side before arriving at Ghorepani (2,750m).
An early start allows you to make the mandatory (and well worth while!) hour long trek up Poon Hill to watch the sunrise from the summit (3,210m). The steep ascent offers excellent views of the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri and the unobstructed sunrise from the summit is rightly considered one of the best viewpoints in the Himalaya. After the sun has risen you head back down to Ghorapani for breakfast before you start the descent to Tirkhedunga.
A short final trek this morning takes us back to the road, where we are picked up and driven back to Pokhara. Here you have a welcome free afternoon to relax and reflect on the last few days of trekking.
We leave Pokhara this morning, and drive back to Kathmandu (approx. 6-7 hours). We may see some rafters on the Trisuli on the way, bringing back memories of the start of your own tour. Your last evening is free to explore and go out in Kathmandu, and celebrate completing what will have felt a challenging but immensely rewarding trip.
Your time is free today until we transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.
From UK£849 per person
We use a range of carefully selected hotels on our group departures. If you have specific requests for hotels, please ask for a private or tailor-made tour.
"Ram was always on hand and available to sort out any problems or queries very efficiently and promptly."
Derek Entwistle (Everest Base Camp)
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