The Kamzang Journeys Team
Kamzang Journeys is an experienced, mountain-based adventure travel company based in the Shangri La of Kathmandu, Nepal. We specialize in Himalayan trekking, hiking, bicycling, adventure travel, photography, mountain and nomadic cultures and exploring remote Himalayan regions.
At Kamzang Journeys, we run unique 'off the map' treks and travels across the Himalaya, from Nepal, Tibet, the Indian Himalaya and Bhutan to the emerging destinations of Myanmar (Burma), Rajasthan, Kashmir, Mongolia + Pakistan. We pride ourselves on our personalized approach to travel, with repeat clients and friends who come back year after year.
Kim Bannister, an American rarely in her home country, is a veteran Himalayan trekker and the founder of the Kamzang World (Kamzang Journeys, Kamzang World Design + the Kamzang Fund). She works closely with her business partner Lhakpa Dorji Sherpa, of Khumbu Adventures, who also lives in Kathmandu but grew up in the Solo Khumbu (Everest) region of the Nepal Himalaya.
Kim + Lhakpa lead their own treks and bicycle trips together with their amazing team.
Why Trek with Us?
Read about what sets Kamzang Journeys apart from almost all other trekking & travel companies!
All About Us!
Our Previous Treks, Bicycle Trips + Trekkers | 15 Years!
Kim is the founder of Kamzang Journeys & The Kamzang Group, and leads almost all of the 'FEATURED TREKS & TRAVELS', which included the occasional bicycle trip in Tibet or Bhutan. Kim grew up in the USA and completed her education while traveling the world for many years, many times!
Kim has been based in Kathmandu for the past 15 years and oversees everything about Kamzang Journeys, from shopping for local jam and cheese, making to muesli and decorating and setting up our signature yellow Kamzang dining tent to answering emails, writing and researching the itineraries, recce-ing new routes, taking the photographs and liaising with hotel and restaurant owners.
Perhaps a bit like being a wedding planner! So please excuse the occasional late response to your email ...
Kim also founded and runs the Kamzang Fund
Kim Bannister's Story
Kim has been looking for a spot to build the perfect bamboo hut since graduating from Colagate University in 1988. Her search has taken her on many years of travels throughout Asia, Africa, Australia & NZ, the South Pacific and cross-country in the States, but although she now has a basement (her parents') full of ‘curios’ to fill several houses, that idyllic dwelling still eludes her and her semi-nomadic lifestyle continues. She now spends most of her time in the Himalayas, often in her 'Kamzang Style' tent (gur) ...
Kim grew up in New Canaan, CO (New England, the east coast of the US) and lived afterwards in Hawaii, California and Colorado where she spent most of her time outdoors biking, hiking, windsurfing, surfing, skiing and, of course, collecting funds for further travels. After trying out the corporate world of marketing for Geographic Expeditions in San Francisco and briefly volunteer teaching in the Everest region of Nepal, she met the Project Himalaya team, Jamie & Joel, and has been creating and leading treks in Nepal, India, Tibet and Bhutan ever since.
The Kamzang World is her latest venture, a mélange of adventure travel, indigenous design and foreign cultures, dedicated to giving travelers a deeper insight into the Himalaya (and other parts of the planet) and its diverse, colorful and welcoming
Kim also designs and collects ‘tribal’ silver jewelry, antiques, textiles and other 'bazaar' curios under the name of Kamzang World Design and coordinates funding to sponsor children, schools and gompas and to give medical aid to locals and in the Himalaya, the Kamzang Fund.
But still, she often dreams of warm ocean breezes, margaritas and billowing palm trees ...
The Kamzang Journeys Team
Our Kamzang Journeys staff are some of the best staff in the Himalaya, intelligent, professional, energetic, caring, conscientious and proactive, each going the extra mile and adding his own particular qualities to the trek experience. All of the team work above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that the trekkers have the best possible Himalayan experience, and of course the safest one.
Our Kamzang Journeys staff enjoy each trek and appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of each region, passing on their enthusiasm to the trekkers and accumulating knowledge as they trek.
Lhakpa Dorji Sherpa
Lhakpa Dorji Sherpa hails from Thame in the Khumbu (Everest) region and now lives in Kathmandu with his wife Doma and son Nuru, soon to be our technical advisor. Lhakpa and Kim have led treks together for seven or eight years, and are a nearly perfect team, the right and left hands of Kim's Project Himalaya treks. Lhakpa Dorji and his wife Doma have their own Kathmandu-based trekking company called Khumbu Adventures, and organize the logistics, permits and flights for many of Kim's treks. They also organize their own treks, and work on such community projects as the Yeti Magic Library in Thame.
Lhakpa has been guiding treks in Nepal, India and Tibet for over ten years, and has been working in the trekking industry for even longer, so knows all the ins and outs of the trekking world. His passion for life and trekking is infectious, and he has friends from all over the world. He has lived and worked at different times in Jackson Hole, CO and in Chamonix, France (where his brother lives and where he acquired his love of wine). Lhakpa is a diverse and modern Nepali in some ways, and a traditional Sherpa in others. He celebrates Losar, the Sherpa New Year, playing cards, eating dal baht and drinking with other Sherpas, visits his mother and sister in their traditional Sherpa dwellings in Thame and Mende, has pujas at Buddhist gompas and goes for blessings from the high Tibetan Buddhist lamas. He also designed his Khumbu Adventures website and helps Kim with the Kamzang website and the Kamzang Fund.
Lhakpa loves photography, and never leaves camp without his camera bag strapped around his waist. He also has a passion for all things electronic, which often gets him in trouble with his wife and endears him to his son! Lhakpa has been working with Kim for a decade and is an extremely qualified guide and logistical coordinator, full of enthusiasm, expertise, fun and a love for the Himalaya. Lhakpa is a great and professional trek guide and like Kipling's Kim, a friend to all ...
Junar is truly a chef par excellence, with nearly ten years of experience cooking with Kim and Lhakpa, and he also puts up tents once the kitchen tent is put up, loads and unloads the horses and is a great river-crosser. Junar also acts as a 'sherpa' on some of our other treks, such as in the Everest region.
Junar also has his guiding license and leads private treks. His English is great, he's very intuitive in the mountains, and is a wonderful guide to trek with in Nepal!
Junar has two daughters and a son, and lives in Kathmandu when not trekking.
Our all-star campsite director, Suresh also has his guiding license and leads some private treks. Suresh is a jack-of-all-trades, taking care of everyone in our 'Kamzang Style' dining tent, carrying the packs of weary trekkers when most needed, full of laughter. He is an incredibly caring and intuitive individual who does anything that needs to be done, an invaluable member of our team. There are few better people to look after you on a trek than Suresh.
Suresh has two daughters and lives in Kathmandu with his wife when not trekking.
Yam, or Yamo is he is known, is the second cook, and as all of our staff also works as the assistant camp manager and a 'sherpa' helping with clients. Yamo is knows for his big smile which endears him to almost everyone, always happy to practice his English while helping trekkers up a peak or pass. Yam also leads the occasional private trek for us, and his knowledge of the mountains, memory of trails, is incredible.
Yam has one son, and lives in Kathmandu when not trekking.
Maile, Chittre + Uttam
Kitchen staff extraordinaire, plus more! These guys, the first two younger brothers of Junar and Yam, are the most versatile, happy and hard-working staff we've ever had. Drop into the kitchen or have a chat on the trail with them! Uttam (left), Junar (center) + Maile (right).
All three live in the Solu region of Solu Khumbu (Everest region), Nepal, when not trekking, and they have several children between them.
Lhakpa Doma Sherpa
Doma Sherpa is the co-owner of Khumbu Adventures, a qualified Sherpa guide who leads treks in her home region, the Everest region. She knows everyone in the region it seems, so you'll be in good hands! Doma takes care of many of our trek logistics back in Kathmandu, takes care of trekkers who have returned early as well as leading Everst treks for us. She comes from a big family in Pangboche, the Khumbu region. Their son Nuru will soon be on board as our computer tech and designer. Pictured with co-guide Ann McCollum during an Everest Base Camp trek ...
Tshering Sherpa has worked in the trekking industry for decades, and with his ready smile, good English, local knowledge, care and experience in the mountains is one of the best guides in his home region of Khumbu.
Phu Tashi Sherpa
Phu Tashi is one of our best, and most loved Sherpa guides in the Everest region, a great and experienced mountain guide from Pangboche in the Khumbu (Everest region). Phu Tashi guides with great care and attention, is a wonderful companion, has many local contacts and is a favorite amongst our private trekkers.
Mingma is our yak driver on our Everest High Passes treks, a former Everest climber (3 times) as well as having summited many other 8000 meter peaks. He and his colorful yaks are some of the highlights of our Everest treks!
Pasang is one of our permanent staff from the Langtang region (his village was destroyed in the earthquakes, and he his Tamang team were trekking with us during that month of 2015 quakes) and does everything from walking with us to setting up the campsite, a great addition to our team.
Thinle Saldang (Dolpo pa)
Thinle is our amazing local Dolpo-pa guide on many of our years of running Upper Dolpo treks. His uncle is the famous chief from the movie 'Himalaya', known as Caravan Thinle in Dolpo. Thinle and his white horse have become an integral part of our signature Upper Dolpo to Mustang treks. He is beloved for his gentle manner, his genuine smile and his enduring strength and compassion.
Singge was our original 'Kamzang Kid', now nearly finished with his schooling and an imporant part of our Kamzang Journeys team in Ladakh & Zanskar, as well as being a local contact.
Vinyak is one of the best rock climbers in Kathmandu and leads treks and climbs for us in various regions of Nepal. His English is very good, and he's great company on a long trek as well as being well qualified in all ways ...
Gyurme is one of the Khumbu's best climing guides, and leads many of our Island Peak climbs in the Khumbu. He also owns and runs Sonam Lodge in Panboche where we stay on our Everest High Passes treks.
Babu leads our Manaslu treks for us, with his perfect English and friendly demeanor is a wonderful guide. He is a Tibetan from a refugee family, who now hail from the highest village in the Manaslu region, Samdo
Phuntsok Phale (Tibetan)
Phuntsok comes from a Tibetan refugee family now living in the Kanchenjunga, and is our local contact and one of our guides on all of our Kanchenjunga treks + others.
Sherap, Samphel Tandup + Tenzing
Sherap and Samhpel have been working with Kamzang Journeys for 15+ years, absolutely the best in the business in the Indian Himalaya. Sherpa owns his own team of horses, and manages all of our private and Kamzang Journeys trips in Ladakh and Zanskar. Samphel used to own his own team of horses, but now is an assistant guide for our treks in the Indian Himalaya. Sherap and Samphel lead our private treks, along with Singge and some of our Nepali staff, in the Indian Himalaya.
Our horsemen are truly amazing, invaluable to our treks in Ladakh and Zanskar. In addition to their work loading and unloading, grazing and shoeing the horses, Sherap, Sampal and Hari Dhel help put up the tents at camp, assist with river crossings and help out whenever there is a critical situation. We have been working with Sherap for 15+ years. Sherap and Samphel are Tibetans whos families migrated to India after 1959, and Hari Dhel (who has sadly now sold his horses and mules) is a mountain Himacheli, a great team. Pictured Sherap (top), Sampel (middle) & Hari Dhel (below).
Tenzin and his brother are our newest horsemen in the Indian Himalaya (photo coming).
Rakesh + Our Mustang + Dolpo Team
Rakesh started with us in Upper Mustang, and has transitioned into bringing his team of horses into Dolpo for our GHT | Upper Dolpo to Mustang treks. Without Rakesh, the horsemen + our strong and fearless horses we wouldn't have gotten nearly as far as we have!
Ang Chuk (Tibetan)
Ang Chuk (or Wang Chuk) is an intergral part of our staff in the Indian Himalaya, driving the group and staff to and from our remote trek destinations, and providing all transport logistics. He's rescued us from many tenuous situations on our Ladakh treks!
Ang Chuk drive (very safely) for our jeep safaris in the Indian Himalaya, and lives with his wife in Leh.
Tashi is our primary guide on all of our Tibet trips, from Kailash to Kharta Valley, always ready with good advice, a smile and a helping hand. He's one of Tibet's few good trekking guides, and we count on his wisdom and leadership on our Tibet trips.
Pemba works with us on the kitchen staff, and organizes porters from his Tamang village. Another one of our invaluable staff, Pemba is tireless, cheerful and useful in 1000 ways! Temba is on the left, with his brother center.
Kamzang Journeys All-Star Porters
Our porters are fantastic, too numerous to mention individually. No trekker forgets their cheerfulness, hard work or companionship, and many continue to work with us in other capacities. Below is a photo of Pema with two of our Tamang porters on our last GHT | Kanchenjunga to Makalu trek.
Without our porters, our treks wouldn't be possible. Huge kudos and thanks to all of them for their incredibly hard work.
Tashi Ghale, from Manang in the Annapurna region, is one of Nepal's most talented photographers and a sometime guide with us. He has led several private Mustang treks for us as well as leading treks in the Annapurna region and co-leading a trek with us in the Everest region. His English is perfect and his knowledge of the mountains and cultures unsurpassed.
See his photo gallery which features mountain photography and snow leaopards!
Tashi R Ghale
There is no better guide in Mustang or the Annapurnas than Karma Gurung, who also led a New York Times reporter, Edward Wong, to Upper Mustang. Karma used to be our horseman in Upper Mustang but always had ambitions to write a guidebook to Mustang which would include lots of the old stories which he has been collecting. He's now living in Kathmandu and leading many private treks for us.
The Kamzang Journeys Office Team
Nuru Wangdii Sherpa
He's a few years older than this photo, on an Everest High Passes trek with Kamzang Journeys! Nuru handles our back-end office while we're trekking, answering emails and corresponding with agents and trekkers.
He's also our chief website technician, a genius fixing the glitches of the website!
Liz Carr Murphy
Director of PR, Marketing + Promotions
Liz Carr Murphy is in charge of our Kamzang Journeys marketing, PR and SEO
Liz is based in Pleasanton, CA and studied at Thunderbird International Business School.
David E Bannister
Global Relations Director + Finances
David Bannister has been a part of our Kamzang Journeys team since the start, and is the director of our global relations as well as managing our US fiances and banking.
The Kamzang Journeys International Team
Shaheen | Pakistan
Shaheen is our Pakistan connection, a qualified mountain guide who runs his own company and often leads his own trips, treks & climbing expeditions. We look forward to working more with him in Pakistan!
Trekker's Reviews + Comments
Why Trek with Us?
Thanks again for another exceptional trek! I really enjoyed meeting your Ladakhi 'ebi' (grandmother) and grandfather. What special people they are - radiant kindness. And the tea party with the 'grey-haired' laughing, venerable women of Yulchung!! You give your all Kim, and I so appreciate it. The Jumlam - with all its adventurous passages - was amazing. And once again, your passion and compassion for the people, culture & wildlife shine through.
- Sue L, Ultimate Ladakh 2015
I had a minute to reflect on the past 9 weeks and I feel overwhelmed by how good the time has been. And in every memory, every achievement, every moment I feel a gratitude to both of you, Kim & Lhakpa, for making it possible and eternally memorable.
- Shiven M, Upper Dolpo to Jomsom & Everest High Passes 2012
Thank you for a GREAT TREK! You, Lhakpa and the guides really did us proud! The guides were excellent doing everything they could to make our holiday truly memorable. They were ready to help with an arm when needed and so patient and smiley when we were slow. Lhakpa was always working hard to ensure everything ran smoothly, so much so that it was easy not to notice all he did, which included using his contacts to secure us flights out of Lukla. But, Kim, you made the trek. Once you had had your morning coffee, you were always smiling, working hard, encouraging us and sorting out our various ailments!
Apart from the mountains and the views my lasting memory will be of you with your enthusiasm and SMILE!
- Martin S, Everest High Passes 2012
Private Trek Comments | Private Trek Guide Reviews
Thank you for everything you did to make our anniversary trip special. From the extras at our hotel rooms to the amazing quality, warmth and hospitality of every person who works with you – we were blown away by the trip you planned. We loved meeting you, Lhakpa, Doma and all the guides, drivers and porters who created such a hassle-free and seamless environment for us to explore beautiful Nepal. Thank you so much – you created a truly life changing and unforgettable trip for us.
- Kim + Bob (USA), Private Amazing Nepal Trek 2016
We went on 19 day trek through the Khumbu with PHU TASHI SHERPA of Kamzang Journeys. He is an excellent guide and a terrific person (and a pretty good card player). Tashi is very attentive and tuned into his clients from a health, acclimatization and safety standpoint as well as overall comfort and enjoyment of the trip. He is super knowledgeable about routes, peaks and wildlife, and we also appreciated that he is from the area and shared info with us about villages, customs, and the history of what we were seeing and experiencing. On top of this, he seems to know just about everyone. We didn't realize how important this is until we saw first hand some trekkers who weren't doing so well. A good network of contacts is vital in that situation! Beyond all of this, he is a kind and caring person with a great sense of humor. After spending almost 3 weeks with him, we truly miss him and hope to trek with him again.
- Kay + Jamie (USA), Private Everest High Passes Trek 2016
Kamzang journeys was extremely helpful in every respect great info on what was needed answered ever question quickly and there people on the ground were lovely def recommend to anyone traveling to use them.
- Zack (Australia), Private Everest High Passes Trek 2016
Kim and her colleages at Khumbu Adventures arranged a solo trek for me at very short notice in November 2013, and did it even whilst most of them were leading another trek in Mustang! They made the complex easy. From a wonderful guide to helping me arrange evacuation when I got sick, I was always in knowledeable, kind, efficient hands with PHU TASHI SHERPA. I recommend Kamzang Journeys without reservation and I'll be using them when I return to Nepal in September 2014!
- Nick A (Swiss), Private Everest Trek 2013
Thanks for looking after my friends so well! They were really pleased and very impressed with the arrangements made by Doma and particularly pleased with the guide, KARMA MUSTANGI, who did a wonderful job of looking after them on their trek. Considering it was all arranged at short notice, Paul said that everything went to their satisfaction and it exceeded their expectations. He's now got a taste of Nepal and thinking about doing another trek there sometime ...
- Viv D (friend of Paul & Patrick, Australia), Private Annapurna Peaks & Valleys & Helambu Trek 2014
TSHERING SHERPA is a marvelous human being. Extremely responsible, serious, devoted to his duty, very thoughtful, discreet, very pleasant to live with, very helpful, well travelled, speaks good English, well mannered, has a good experience as a mountaineer and a climber. He is very powerfull, strong and quick, and smiles alot. He seems to know everybody on the trail. Very respected by other Sherpas. He is very well known in his community, and very active, and respectful of tradition and Buddhist faith.
- Nan + Odette (France), Private Everest Base Camp Trek 2014
PHU TASHI SHERPA was the perfect guide for me. I was going solo, and looking mostly for solitude; Tashi's temperament was the perfect match for mine. When he had something to say, it seemed eerily to come right when I was about to ask him a question about the very thing he started to speak about! He has a real passion for the natural world he lives in and for the Sherpa people and their traditions, too. I ended up falling ill with something and here again Tashi was the perfect guide - helpful but not smothering or overly-solicitous. I will be back, and with my family and I'm certain to request that Tashi accompanies us when we return.
- Nick A-H (Swiss), Private Everest High Passes Trek 2013
KARMA MUSTANGI was my guide on the Annapurna Peaks and Villages Trek. Even though I was traveling on my own I was never alone! Days were spent trekking at my pace, we would often stop and chat to locals or other trekkers. Karma found an interesting mix of tea houses to stay and I was always made to feel like one of the family. Karma was extremely attentive making sure I was comfortable, warm enough and fed with plenty of good food. Every time we stopped he would get out his special supply of tea and coffee - I had other trekkers telling me how lucky I was to have such a caring guide!
- Linda C (Australia), Annapurna Peaks & Villages 2013
VINEY (VINYAK) was my private guide to trek to Everest base camp in October 2013. I felt very secure with him the entire time. He was always attentive to my wellbeing from the time we started in x (kim pls fill in) where we ended up slogging through rainfall and mud due to the cyclone left over from India, all the way through to the end of our trip in Lukla. I could count on him without a doubt every day of the entire 3 weeks we spent together. Thanks to Viney for an excellent trek!
- Lori C (USA), Everest High Passes Trek 2014
Last May I spent almost three weeks hiking with MINGMA SHERPA in the Khumbu region of Nepal and we explored the Gokyo lakes, Gokyo valley and we climbed Gokyo Ri. Mingma is an experienced mountain-guide, knows all the summits in the region, the Sherpas and routes. He is responsive of the challenges, strong and kind, but he is very calm in case of difficult situations. While we walked together, he was attentive and he always tried to accommodate my phyisical condition and my spiritual eagerness. We spent wonderful time together and I immensely enjoyed every moment of the trek. I am planning to walk with him again in 2015!
- Kati K (Hungary), Everest Gokyo Lakes Trek 2014