Welcome to Nepal!
Kamzang Journeys has put together a specially crafted luxury journey to visit some of Nepal's most incredible sights. Explore historic Kathmandu, its World Heritage sites and ancient capitals, and wander through its fascinating back alleyways, where timeless crafts exist side by side with some of Asia's best hotels and restaurants. Embark on a low altitude Annapurna foothills trek in luxury, staying at Ker & Downey lodges. Hike through traditional Nepali villages while being treated to sublime Himalayan panoramas.
Pokhara's sub-tropical, relaxed environment invites massage and spa treatments, casual strolls, boating on Phewa Lake, a hike to Shanti Stupa and of course a bit of shopping for local crafts! Or you can opt for the adventurous option and try paragliding, zip lining, trekking or bicycling. Chitwan National Park is home to the Bengal tiger and Asian one-horned rhino as well as a large variety of rare bird and wildlife. Nepal's most popular national park is populated by the Tharu ethnic group, and is a serene and beautiful get away. Ride an elephant and spot Kingfishers through the morning mist on a private canoe tour. Enjoy charming, traditional Bandipur village, a Newari village half way between Pokhara and Chitwan, and The Old Inn a relaxing place to experience Nepali village life with Himalayan views.
Annapurna Foothills Luxury Trek
This wonderful luxury Annapurna Foothills trek is the perfect introduction to the diversity and excitement of trekking. The sub-tropical forests come alive with an immense variety of bird life, waterfalls thunder down from steep cliff sides and monkeys chatter from the tree tops. Trekking higher into the green, terraced hills we wander through ancient, mossy rhododendron forests to reach the cooler Buddhist and animistic middle hills, where Buddhist chortens and prayer flags send prayers out to the gods and the Gurung and Magar inhabitants are more Tibetan than Nepali. Terraced fields and tropical fruit trees surround the neat, white washed Gurung villages of the higher regions, leading the eye to vistas dominated by some of the Himalaya's most majestic peaks. The Annapurna region is truly the heart of the Nepal Himalaya. Accompanied by views of Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre, Hiunchuli and Lamjung Himal, we trek through the heart of the Annapurnas.
We stay at the wonderful Ker & Downey lodges, the premiere luxury lodges in the Annapurna region. The collection of lodges is spread out within the Annapurna Conservation Area, separated by picturesque terrain and a moderate half-day hike. Each lodge offers a unique view and new perspective on the region, overlooking its hidden villages and shadowed by its towering peaks. Private baths with hot running water come standard in all of the guest rooms, with cozy blankets and down bedding warmed nightly by a hot water bottle.
Chitwan National Park | Maruni Sanctuary Wildlife Safari
Chitwan National Park is home to the Bengal Tiger and Asian one-horned Rhino as well as a large variety of rare bird and wildlife, and a lovely national park surrounded by traditional Tharu villages. With an extra day, relax on the breezy deck with a book, rent bikes to explore the traditional thatched hut Tharu villages, where water buffaloes laze under tropical skies, or continue with the river paddles, spotting more varieties of Kingfishers!
NOTE: Kamzang Journeys doesn't encourage elephant safaris or elephant rids in Nepal National Parks.
Royal Treatment | Pokhara + Kathmandu
Treat yourself to a truly luxurious holiday, staying at Temple Tree Resort + Spa or the Himalayan Front Resort in Pokhara, where you can spend the day at the infinity pool, having massages or indulging in various spa treatments. The Himalayan Front Resort is situated in Sarankot, and features some of the best Himalayan panoramas from the windows of your room. Temple Tree Resort + Spa is on Lakeside in town, close to shopping, paddling and restaurants, bars and cafes. Top of your trip in true style and luxury at Dwarika's heritage hotel in Kathmandu, with options to spend additional days at Dwarika's incredible Dhulikhel Resort.
Customize Your Journey
We are happy to customize your journey to include more days in Kathmandu, Chitwan National Park or Pokhara.
Incredible Nepal! The perfect journey through magical Nepal ....
Incredible Nepal | Annapurna Foothills Luxury + Chitwan Wildlife Safari + More!
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu | Dwarika's
Day 2 - Kathmandu | Dwarika's | Optional World Heritage Sightseeing
Day 3 - Fly Pokhara | Temple Tree Resort + Spa or Himalayan Front Resort
Day 4 - Drive Naya Pul. Trek Birethanti | Sanctuary Lodge
Day 5 - Trek Gandruk | Himalayan Lodge
Day 6 - Gandruk | Himalayan Lodge
Day 7 - Trek Landruk | Bee Lodge
Day 8 - Trek Majgaun | Gurung Lodge
Day 9 - Trek Dhampus | Basanta Lodge
Day 10 - Trek Pokhara | Temple Tree Resort + Spa
Day 11 - Drive Bandipur | The Old Inn
Day 12 - Drive Chitwan National Park | Maruni Sanctuary Lodge | Wildlife Safari
Day 13 - Chitwan National Park | Wildlife Safari
Day 14 - Chitwan Morning Safari + Fly Kathmandu | Swayambunath Sunset
Day 15 - Trip Ends
Chitwan National Park | Maruni Sanctuary Lodge
Chitwan + Tharu Villages Wildlife Safari
Add Ons (Per Person)
Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Pashupatinath, Boudhanath + Swayambunath (+$75)
Kathmandu Durbar Square Walking Tour | Durbar Square (+$50)
Bhaktapur Heritage Sightseeing Tour (+$100)
Patan Heritage Sightseeing Tour (+$50)
Extra Trek Day Gandruk (+105)
Extra Day Chitwan (+$125)
Everest Sightseeing Flight (+$250)
Extension Shivapuri Heights Cottage (+75 Night Depending on Room)
Cycling Trip in Kathmandu Valley (+Trip Price)
Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip!
Trip Advisor 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 (Honeymoon Trip)
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. I recommend Kamzang Journeys without reservation and I'll be using them when I return to Nepal in September 2014!
- Nick A (UK), Private Everest Trek 2013
Tsering Sherpa is marvelous, extremely responsible, serious, devoted, very thoughtful, discreet and very pleasant to trek with. He is very helpful, well travelled, speaks good English, is well-mannered and has a good experience as a mountaineer and a climber. He is very powerful, strong and quick, and smiles a lot! He seems to know everybody on the trail, is active in his community and is respected by other Sherpas. On trek he was a good counsellor on food, and of course respectful of tradition and of the Tibetan Buddhist faith. With him we felt very secure as he knows the trail and all the short cuts.
- Nan & Odette (France), Private Everest Base Camp Trek 2014
Viney 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), Private Everest High Passes Trek 2014
Last May I spent almost three weeks hiking with Mingma 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), Private Gokyo Lakes Trek 2014
Tashi 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 (UK), Private Everest Base Camp Trek 2013
Thanks for looking after my friends Ian & Adam so well! They were really pleased and very impressed with the arrangements made by Kamzang Journeys and particularly pleased with the guide, Karma, who did a wonderful job of looking after them on their trek. 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, Private Annapurna Peaks & Villages, Helambu Trek 2014
I have traveled the world and I have never been as cared for as I was in my trek in Nepal. Karma was beyond attentive and professional. He has become family. The very best of Nepal and mankind can be found in this young man.
- Dave M, Annapurna Peaks & Villages 2013
Read More Testimonials
- Kathmandu World Heritage Sites
- Dwarika's Hotel
- Annapurna Foothills Trek
- Spectacular Himalayan Panoramas + Traditional Villages
- Kerr & Downey Luxury Lodges
- Private En-suite Bath Facilities
- Hot Showers + Hot Water Bottles
- Family Style Dining + Delicious Meals
- Chitwan National Park + Wildlife Safaris
- Chitwan Maruni Sanctuary Lodge
- Pokhara + Phewa Lake
- Temple Tree Resort + Spa or Himalayan Front Hotel
- Spa + Massage
- The Old Inn at Bandipur
- Optional Everest Sightseeing Flight
Kim Bannister Photo Gallery | Trip + Trek Photos
Kim Bannister Photography
Kamzang Journeys | Country + Regional Photos
Kamzang Journeys Photos
Kamzang Journeys Group Photos
Himalayan Wildlife Photos
Market + Street Food Photos
Asian Markets + Street Food
Travel Reading | Enhance Your Trip!
+ Based on Double Occupancy
+ Single Supplement Hotels - $725
+ Single Supplement Trek - $650
+ Single Supplement Chitwan - $150
- Dwarika's Hotel (Breakfast)
- Temple Tree Resort + Spa or Himalayan Front Resort (Breakfast)
- Kerr & Downey Lodges
- Chitwan Maruni Sanctuary Lodge
- Chitwan Wildlife Safaris + Meals
- Domestic Flights on Yeti Airlines + Departure Taxes
- Airport Transfers
- ACAP Permit + TIMS Card
- Private Vehicles
- Kamzang Lodge Trekking: All meals from Kerr & Downey lodge menus, filtered drinking water, double en suite rooms at lodges, hot showers, hot water bottle at night, porters + qualified Nepali guide. Back up in Kathmandu in case of emergency
- International Flights
- Travel or Travel Medical Insurance
- Nepal Visa
- Meals in Kathmandu (Lunch + Dinner)
- Helicopter rescue cost
- Equipment rRntal
- Alcohol, Bottled Water & Soft Drinks
- Showers & hot water bottles
- Laundry Services
Tips & Extra Cash
Allow approx $250 for meals (while not on trek), drinks (on trek) and tips. We recommend $100 per trekker thrown into the tips pool for the trekking team, an individual tips for drivers + guides.
Nepali or Sherpa Guide
Office: +(977) 01 4488352
Lhakpa Dorji Sherpa Mobile: +(977) 9841 235461, 9813 371542
Doma Sherpa Mobile: +(977) 9841 510833, 9803 675361
Kathmandu Heritage + Happenings
Photo Gallery | Trip + Trek Photos
Kim Bannister Photography
You can get your Nepal visa either at the airport (or any land border) when you arrive in Nepal, or before you leave home.
Nepal Health Information
Arrival in Kathmandu
You will be met at the airport by a representative from Dwarika's or Kamzang Journeys and transferred to Dwarika's where your Heritage Room has been booked for you. Enjoy your welcome drink while we collect your insurance details, a visa sized photo and a copy of your passport from you.
You can get your Nepal visa either at the airport (or any land border) when you arrive in Nepal, or before you leave home.
Temperatures + Clothing
Kathmandu during trekking season, in the spring and autumn, is usually warm (t-shirt, sandals, light pants or skirts) during the day, and gets chilly (light fleece or windproof top) in the afternoon. Nights can be cold enough for a sweater or light jacket, or warm enough for t-shirts. Summer is hotter and wetter; you’ll need a rain jacket and umbrella. The winter months (November – March) are chilly in the mornings and evenings, cold enough that you might start the day in a down jacket, but often warms up enough to wear a t-shirt by mid-day. Nights get cold enough for a down jacket if you’re sitting outside in the spring and autumn, and much colder in the winter when you won’t leave the hotel without your down jacket. It never snows in Kathmandu, leave your snow boots behind. Keens or lightweight sandals great for wandering around Kathmandu, and for trekking in lower altitudes.
Trekking is a mixed bag of temperatures. LAYERS are the key as hot can change quickly to freezing crossing the passes and snowfalls are common. We often have some rain below 3000 meters in the spring and early autumn, and it can rain hard in the summer. Have a wide range of layer-able trekking clothes for summer to winter temperatures. Keep a lightweight down jacket or synthetic jacket with you at all times, available inexpensively in Kathmandu. A lightweight rain poncho and umbrella for trekking recommended spring and summer. Be prepared! See our GEAR LIST for full details on gear, shoes, clothing, electronics and meds for the trek.
There are lots of real gear shops (North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Sherpa Gear) and of course many fake ones in Kathmandu, so if you don't think you have the right gear starting the trip it will be easy to pick-up stuff once in Kathmandu. We have sleeping bags, duffel bags down jackets to rent.
Dress conservatively in Kathmandu and on the trail as a rule. Shorts are okay if they aren't too short, mini skirts aren’t recommended. Sleeveless t-shirts are absolutely fine, but perhaps avoid tank-tops on the trail. Super tight doesn't go over so well with the village elders. Many of the younger generation in Nepal wear modern Indian or Western-influenced clothes, but remember that you haven't signed up for a beach or surf vacation. Use your good judgment, be an ambassador for western tourists! Please ask Kim or your guide if unsure about appropriate clothing.
We have North Face style duffel bags with Kamzang Journeys logos for sale (XL, orange). They are (mostly) waterproof, mid to lightweight (lighter than North Face) and good quality. Price 4000 NRP (about $40)
Nepalis are very open and welcoming, but there are a few issues you should be aware of to make your stay in Nepal more fulfilling. Use your right hand to pass things, shake hands or do most anything. Left hands are somewhat taboo. Nepali's often place their left hand on the right forearm when passing things to others, a sign of respect. Best not to pat kids on heads, or point feet ahead of you at monasteries. Don't walk over someone's legs or feet, but put your hand down in front of you to signal them to pull their legs to the side. Take off shoes and hats when going into Buddhist monasteries and Hindu temples, don't use flashes inside monasteries or temples in general, be respectful of a puja (prayer ceremony) if attending one. You can talk, all religious are very tolerant, but be aware of your level of voice.
Nepalis don't anger quickly, so try not to raise your voice if exasperated or angry as it only will make a situation worse. Do bargain at shops, with taxis and rickshaws, but don't fleece them. They are poor and making a living, generally.
Give small donations on the streets if you choose, but try not to encourage begging too much. Be aware of who you are giving money to, and please only give small amounts. If you do want to donate to a cause, ask about our Kamzang Fund or other responsible organizations.
Pampering Yourself in Kathmandu
We’re happy to book your rooms before or after the trek (or upgrade during the trek) at other boutique or luxury hotels in Kathmandu. We recommend Dwarika’s, Shangri-La, Yak & Yeti or Hyatt. We can also direct you to wonderful spa & massage centers in Kathmandu.
Tips for Staff
We recommend at least $200 per person to go into the tip pool for the staff. Please bring Nepali Rupees (NRP) with you on the trek for the tips. It’s nice to buy the staff drinks on the last night. Or any other night that you feel like getting them a bottle of Kukure Rum!
Tips in General
Tips are always appreciated but they don’t need to be extravagant. 100 NRP to carry bags to/from your room is fine. The women who clean your room will be happy with 100-200 NRP when you leave, and 100 NRP is good for drivers to/from the airport. Round up taxi fares. A larger tip would be expected for a daytrip in a car, perhaps 500 NRP. 10% is included in most restaurant and hotel bills in Nepal, and if it’s not included it’s still expected. Check your bills, and still round up at restaurants. Feel free to give out small change to the beggars in the streets (5, 10, 20 NRP) but try not to give it out to the street kids who use it for glue to sniff.
Cash + ATMs
You’ll want some cash with you on the trek for drinks, snacks, beer, sodas, etc. There are often chances to during the trek, and usually local crafts to buy en route. (You’ll want your tip money in NRP as well). There are ATMs in KTM but they don’t dispense large amounts of cash (usually 10-20,000 NRP) so you’ll be best with currency or TCs to change.
International Medical Center Kathmandu
Kathmandu + Kathmandu Valley Information
Our personalized 'Insider' list of things to do, places to go, what to visit, the most happening restaurants + the best hotels in Kathmandu and the beautiful Kathmandu Valley.
Kathmandu Heritage + Happenings
Travel Photography Gear Guide
The Complete Guide to Gear for the Landscape Photographer
- Duffel Bag
- Day Pack (25-35 L) + Rain Cover
- Insulated Jacket
- Hiking Shoes
- Crocs (Evenings)
- Trekking Pants (1)
- T-Shirts (2)
- Long-sleeve Trekking Shirt (1)
- Lightweight Wind + Rain Jacket + Pants
- Thermal Top + Bottom (Evenings)
- Socks (2)
- Light Gloves + Hat
- Baseball Cap or Wide Brimmed Hat
- Small Camp Towel
- Water Bottles (2)
- Toiletries, Sunscreen + Lip Balm SPF
- Camera Batteries + Battery Chargers
- Head Lamp
- Hand Sanitizer
- Chargers for Electronics
- Rehydration | Electrolytes
- Personal Medical Supplies
- Trekking Poles (optional, recommended for steps)
- Umbrella (optional)
- Laundry Detergent or Bio-degradable Clothes Soap (optional)
We strongly suggest bringing Western meds with you as there are a lot of Indian fakes on the market!
Suggested: Diamox, Azithromyacin, Ciprofloxacin, Tinidazole or Flagyl & Augmentin. Bring COMPEED for covering blisters & good tasting electrolytes &/or rehydration salts (Emergen-C is a good American brand). The local versions aren’t very appealing.
We also recommend bringing strong knee & ankle supports & braces, ACE bandages for sprains & strains, Tegaderm &/or other would coverings. Duct tape is always useful. We're happy to take excess medical supplies off your hands when you leave if you won't need them and pass them on to others. We use lots of the large amount we have with us to treat locals we meet when trekking.
Comments on Gear
Layers are essential for trekking. Quality is more important than quantity. It’s worth investing in some new, warm, lightweight gear available in all gear shops or online. Nights are chilly to cold so a down jacket and sleeping bag are essential. Days range from steamy hot to cold with snow showers, or wind, if the weather changes. We recommend a down bag of 0F for lower altitude treks. Rentals available.
Trekking poles are not required but strongly recommended, especially for going down passes which can be quite steep and are often icy. Bring gators if you tend to use them but they’re not required if you don't own a pair. Micro-spikes (mini-crampons) or YakTraks are almost always useful (or essential) for high pass crossings. It’s also good (possibly essential) to have a pair of plastic Crocs for washing and the evenings. Tevas take a long time to dry, not recommended. You can bring a pair of light sneakers or running shoes for the afternoons or easy days if you have room in your pack, or if you are used to hiking in them.
Good, polarized sunglasses are essential; please bring an extra pair if you tend to lose them! Don’t forget a sun hat or baseball cap and have plenty of sunscreen and lip balm with SPF! Bring extra large plastic bags or stuff-sacks in case of rain. You can pack electronics in them or stash your sleeping bag and clothes. The weather is very changeable in the Himalaya!
We recommend a 25-35 liter day pack (ask at your gear shop if you’re not sure of the capacity). Most have internal water bladders built in, which are good for ensuring that you stay hydrated. Make sure it fits and is comfortable before purchasing!
In your day pack you will carry your camera, water, snacks, lightweight wind & rain pants, hat, light gloves, sunscreen, electrolytes. hand sanitizer, a pack-cover and sometimes your lightweight down jacket. Recommended to carry your Crocs to give feet a break mid-day. Water purifying tablets, filter or SteriPen optional. Go as light as possible with your day pack.
We bring MSF water filters along on the trek for fresh drinking water, ecologically the best way to get water in the Himalaya’s fragile trekking regions. Bring your own filter pump, SteriPen or iodine tablets for fresh water while trekking. NOTE: To be extra safe with your drinking water, you can drop one purifying tablet into your water bottle after filling with our filtered water. Make sure you wait the required amount of time before drinking, and don’t add anything with Vitamin C as this negates the iodine.
Please bring at least TWO Nalgene, Sigg or other unbreakable plastic or metal water bottles. Camelbacks and other bladder systems are good for trekking but can leak, so as a back-up it’s best to also bring a Nalgene or water bottle.
NOTE: We do not provide boiled water for drinking on either our tea-house | lodge or camping treks although there is endless hot water for herbal, milk and green teas, hot chocolate and hot lemon.
You body needs snacks hiking at altitude, even if you don't generally snack between meals. We burn more calories at altitude, as well as in the cold, and you will crave certain foods at altitude. Energy or nutrition bars, ‘GU’ gels, chocolate, dried fruits, nuts and jerky work well for immediate energy. Emergen-C, Nuun and electrolytes are important for daily rehydration.
We have Western down jackets to rent for $1.50 per day. We also have good super-down sleeping bags to rent (0 to -10F) for $2.50 per day.
Packing & Storage
Packing and unpacking is easy from a duffel bag, and easy for a porter to carry.Inexpensive duffel bags are also available in Kathmandu. You can store extra gear in Kathmandu in your hotel's storage room free of charge. You can drop a bag for Pokhara at the hotel before setting off for the trek.
Almost all gear is now available in Kathmandu, from real (North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Sherpa Gear, Marmot - all in Thamel) to inexpensive knock-offs. The real gear shops take credit cards!
Royal Chitwan National Park
Royal Chitwan National Park has long been one of the country’s treasures of natural wonders. The park is situated in south central Nepal, covering 932 square kilometers in the subtropical lowlands of the inner Terai. The area comprising the Tikauli forest, from Rapti river to the foothills of the Mahabharat, extends for an area of 175 square kilometers and was declared Mahendra Mriga Kunj (Mahendra Deer Park) by the late King Mahendra in 1959. In 1963, the area south of Rapti River was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. The area was gazetted as the country’s first national park in 1973. Recognizing its unique ecosystems of international significance, UNESCO declared RCNP a World Heritage Site in 1984. In 1996, an area of 750 square kilometers surrounding the park was declared a buffer zone which consists of forests and private lands. The park and the local people jointly initiate community development activities and manage natural resources in the buffer zone. The government has made a provision of plowing back 30-50 percent of the park revenue for community development in the buffer zone.
The Chitwan valley consists of tropical and subtropical forests. Sal forests cover 70 percent of the park. Sal leaves are used locally for plates in festivals and religious offerings. Grasslands cover 20 percent of the park. There are more than 50 different types of grasses, including the elephant grass (Saccharum spp.), renowned for its immense height, growing up to 8 meters in height. The shorter grasses (imperata) are used for roof thatching as well as mats, rope and paper making.
A total of 68 species of mammals, 56 species of herpeto fauna and 126 species of fish have been recorded in the park. The park is especially renowned for its protection of one-horned rhinoceros, gaur, royal Bengal tiger, wild elephant, four-horned antelope, pangolin, gangetic dolphin, gharial crocodile, golden monitor lizard and python. The park harbors not only the world’s largest terrestrial mammal (wild elephant) but also the world’s smallest terrestrial mammal (pygmy shrew). A total of 544 species of birds has been recorded so far including 22 globally threatened species including critically endangered Bengal florican, slender-billed vulture, white rumped vulture and red headed vulture.
The park houses a diversity of ecosystems, including the Churia hills, ox-bow lakes, and the flood plains of the Rapti, Reu and Narayani Rivers. The Churia hills rise slowly towards the east from 150 meters to more than 800 meters. The western portion of the park is comprised of the lower but more rugged Someshwor hills. The park shares its eastern boundary with the Parsa Wildlife Reserve.
Tharus are the main indigenous ethnic groups in Chitwan. They are well known for their resistance to malaria. Traditionally they are farmers and practice their own unique tribal culture. A stroll or a ride through the Tharu village will provide an opportunity to see their traditional farming and relics. Traditional Tharu stick dance gives an insight into their culture
Conditions are subtropical with a summer monsoon from mid-June to late-September, and a relatively dry winter. Mean annual rainfall is 2400mm with about 90% falling in the monsoon from June to September. Monsoon rains cause dramatic floods and changes in the character and courses of rivers. Temperatures are highest (maximum 38°C) during this season and drop to a minimum of 6°C in the post-monsoon period (October to January), when dry northerly winds from the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau are prevalent.
Chitwan National Park
Annapurna Foothills Trek
The beautiful Lower Annapurnas (Annapurna foothills) trek starts just 25 kilometers north of Pohara, and is often referred to as the Poon Hill trek because of the incredible sunrise Himalayan panoramas from this viewpoint above Ghorepani. Macchapuchare (Fish Tail Peak) is the most renown mountain in this region, an unmistakable peak which rises above the clouds. Views from Poon Hill are awe inspiring, and include the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges: Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Annapurna II, III, + IV, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung Himal, Gangapurna and Manaslu!
Our Annapurna Peaks & Villages Trek features terraced slopes, green rice paddies, rhododendron forests, local cultures and traditional Gurung and Magar villages, Ghorepani and Gandruk being two of the largest Gurung villages in the Annapurna region. It's a wonderful, shorter low altitude trek in the lower Annapurna region is the perfect introduction to the diversity and excitement of trekking in Nepal. We start the Nepal trek in steamy Hindu villages, where water buffaloes wallow in the rivers, colorful, sari-clad women sit and weave by thatched huts, and villagers perform ancient rituals to appease their local deities. The sub-tropical forests come alive with an immense variety of bird life, waterfalls thunder down from steep cliff sides and monkeys chatter from the tree-tops.
Trekking higher into the green, terraced hills we wander through ancient, mossy rhododendron forests to reach the cooler Buddhist and animistic middle hills, where chortens and prayer flags send prayers out to the gods and the Gurung and Magar inhabitants look more Tibetan than Nepali. Terraced fields and tropical fruit trees surround the neat, white-washed Gurung villages of the higher regions, leading the eye to vistas dominated by some of the Himalaya's most majestic peaks. The Annapurna region is truly the heart of the Nepal Himalaya.
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu 1340m | Dwarika's Hotel
You will be met at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu by a representative from Kamzang Journeys, please look for a sign with your name on it. Transfer to Dwarika's, one of Nepal's premier luxury hotels, a wonderful heritage hotel with a pool, lovely cafes in the shady courtyard, world class restaurants, and the truly luxurious Pancha Kosha Himalayan Spa.
"Dwarika's Hotel was registered in 1977, with the idea of reviving the architectural splendour of the valley. All the terracotta work was made in the valley, using local clay and skills. The couple also incorporated elements of Nepal's diverse cultural heritage, including those from beyond the valley, when designing the rooms. The furniture was crafted by families of traditional carpenters, and the linen, textiles and embroideries were hand woven and used Nepali patterns. In all purposes, Dwarika Das Shrestha took some of the finest elements of Nepali crafts, and presented them in a way that had not been done before. In explaining his vision, he once stated: "My project is to recreate a 15th-17th century environment where tourist and Nepali alike would have a sensation of the original. The hotel as a commercial enterprise is merely a vehicle to finance and carry my dream forward."
Dwarika's Today The hotel is still managed by the Shrestha family - Ambica, Sangita and Dwarika Das' grandson, Rene Vijay Shrestha Einhaus - and now makes up one of the largest private woodwork collections in the world. However, the family no longer buys old wood works unless they are significantly damaged and require restoration at the heritage workshop in the hotel. Where possible, the hotel instead encourages people to incorporate the pieces into their homes and appreciate their cultural heritage. The influence of Dwarika Das Shrestha's vision can be observed to clearly in the old cities of Patan and Bhaktapur, where public and private initiatives are gradually restoring the city to its past glory. The Dwarika's Hotel retains Dwarika Das Shrestha's guiding philosophy and remains a beacon on the importance of heritage conservation in Nepal."
Read the history of Newari culture in Kathmandu, inspiration for the beautiful heritage architecture of Dwarika's:
Newari History in Kathmandu
Read about the history of Dwarika's Hotel
NOTE: Your guide will collect a copy of your travel medical insurance, a copy of your passport and Nepali visa, and one visa-sized photo for your trek permits.
Day 2 - Kathmandu | Dwarika's Hotel
Enjoy a free day to explore Kathmandu's many World Heritage sites. Or just lunch and decompress at Dwarika's leafy cafes, relax in your wonderful heritage room, enjoy a luxurious treatment or unique massage at Dwarika's Pancha Kosha Himalayan Spa, or embark on a tour of the beautiful Kathmandu valley, surrounded by Himalayan snow peaks.
Kathmandu | Optional World Heritage Sightseeing
Kathmandu is filled with World Heritage sites and sacred destinations, crowded with traditional neighborhoods and colorful festivals. Spend a few days exploring Nepal's exotic capital and the history-laden Kathmandu valley. We can arrange sightseeing guide, vehicles and guides as required. See Kathmandu Heritage + Happenings for more details.
We recommend beginning with Pashupatinath in the early morning, and moving on to Boudhanath mid-morning. Hindu Pashupatinath on the sacred Bagmati river and its sacred temple complex is one of Nepal's most important sites, a powerful cremation site and Nepal's most important Hindu temple. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating, when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees. Local guides can explain the significance of the complicated ceremonies. Please be respectful when taking photos.
Boudhanath, in the midst of traditional monasteries (gompas) and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (koras) of the iconic stupa. The striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa watch over a lively and colorful Tibetan community and attract pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. There are wonderful spots for lunch at Boudhanath (Roadhouse Cafe has wood-oven pizzas and a breathtaking view of the stupa and colorful Nepals circling it), and it's a good place to learn the technique of thanka painting and purchase a thanka (Buddhist mural). See also Bhaktapur for more options for shopping for thankas.
Wander through the many temples, pagodas, courtyards and the museum at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a timeless gathering spot and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kathmandu Durbar Square, including the old royal palace, is Kathmandu's 'Palace Square', a showcase for the world renown artisans and craftsmen of Kathmandu and a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist palaces, temples, stupas and statues. The Malla and Shah kings ruled over the Kathmandu Valley during the centuries of the building of the layers of this Durbar Square. Along with their opulent palaces, the square surrounds numerous courtyards and temples, all works of art with intricate and often erotic carvings. Kathmandu Durbar Square is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a name derived from a statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the entrance of the palace. The social, religious and urban focal point of the city, Durbar Square is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies such as Teej. Some important structures are Hanuman Dhoka Palace, Kumari Ghar (Abode of the Living Goddess), Taleju Temple, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages.
In the evening (take the interesting back streets from Durbar Square) climb the many steps to the gilded Swayambhunath stupa (known as the monkey temple) which rises from the Kathmandu valley floor at 1420 meters and is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal. . Swayambunath, the 'self created’ stupa, was founded over 2000 years ago at a time when the Kathmandu valley was filled by a large lake, with a single lotus in the center. Mythology says that Manjusri, a bodhisvatti, drained the lake with one cut of his sword and the lotus flower was transformed into the stupa. From its commanding views of Kathmandu, circumambulate Swayambunath's white-washed stupa, painted with distinctive Buddha eyes, the complex a unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. Another interesting time to visit Swayambunath is in the mornings, when Nepalis visit the temple dedicated to the God of Smallpox to with colorful offerings for the goddess.
Stop to photograph reflections in Kathmandu's many pokhari's, or ponds, including the beautiful Rani Pokhari (queen's bath) near New Road, and the Naga Pokhari (pond of the snake gods of the underworld) just beyond the palace gates. The many bathing ghats, square enclosures with steps leading down to water spouts, often decorated with naga heads, are also interesting and colorful gathering spots.
+ Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Pashupatinath, Boudhanath + Swayambunath (+$75)
+ Kathmandu Durbar Square Walking Tour | Durbar Square (+$50)
+ Entrance Fees not Included for Single Person
Day 3 - Fly Pokhara 830m | Temple Tree Resort + Spa or Himalayan Front Resort
Transfer to the domestic airport for the scenic flight to beautiful Pokhara, Nepal's second largest city 198 kilometers west of Kathmandu. En route, look down on rivers flowing towards the Terai from the Himalaya and Tibet, over a patchwork of terraced villages and green hills with the Ganesh, Langtang, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges in the distance, to balmy, sub-tropical Pokhara.
One in Pokhara you will be met by a representative of Temple Tree Resort + Spa or the Himalayan Front Resort and transferred to your hotel. There is endless opportunity to spend extra time in Pokhara, so at least one day in this balmy town is a must. Options including a stroll part-way around Phewa Lake, paragliding or zip-lining from Sarankot, paddling on the lake, a morning hike up to Shanti Stupa via a short canoe trip or a day of shopping for the creative locally-produced crafts along Lakeside.
Day 4 - Drive Naya Pul. Trek Birethanti 1150m | Sanctuary Lodge
A private vehicle will transfer you, with your guide and porter, to Naya Pul, from where you will start the trek into the wonderful, green central Annapurna region. Naya Pul lies at the confluence of the Modi Khola and the Bhurungdi Khola, where you wil check into the Annapurna Conservation Area. Your walk will follow a ridge line in the lower foothills of the Annapurnas with surrounding views of the green Pokhara valley. The trail then drops to the Modi River Valley, where Ker & Downey's beautiful Sanctuary Lodge is located.
From its vantage overlooking the Modi River, the Sanctuary Lodge is also afforded stunning views of the sacred Fishtail Mountain in the distance. This stylish lodge was handcrafted by local artisans and enjoys a prime location on a promontory with half a mile of river front views. Travel to the nearby village of Birethanti to visit the local school and to watch mule trains journey across the river via suspension bridge. Hearty meals are served family-style in the lodge's traditional dining rooms, inviting spaces to relax and recall the sights of the day’s trek. Spacious terraces plus a large fireplace and lounge area complete the shared spaces in the lodges, with Sanctuary Lodge also including a cozy library. A picnic lunch is provided with a late afternoon arrival at the lodge. (1 hr driving, 3 hrs trekking)
Day 5 - Trek Gandruk | Himalayan Lodge 2015m
After breakfast, you will start trekking from the lodge, hiking through the outlying farms following the Modi River Valley. You will hike straight up stone steps through a dense forest first thing in the morning, afterwards contouring less steeply along paddy fields, past slate roof houses and a few small tea-houses. Soon you begin to climb out of the valley and up towards the Himalayan peaks ahead. The trail passes through small hamlets, terraced rice fields and forests with spectacular views of the surrounding valley. A short descent brings you to Tolka (1750m), another large and scenic Gurung village. The grassy trail lined with ferns and sub-tropical trees ascends after the village, and after crossing a few small streams and contouring around terraced hillsides we reach the hillside village of Gandruk. Lunch will be served on arrival at Himalayan Lodge, in the early afternoon.
Ker & Downey’s Himalaya Lodge overlooks the slate-roofed village of Gandruk, once a popular recruitment location for the Gurkha soldier regiments. Villagers today craft traditional hand-woven rugs as they have for generations, and also participate in ecological endeavors via the Annapurna Conservation Area Project. Spend the afternoon exploring this fascinating and bustling Gurung village, a labyrinth of narrow alleyways, white-washed, slate-roofed houses with porches and traditionally-carved windows, water buffaloes in thatched huts and open slate patios. Enjoy the magnificent views of the Annapurnas from the lodge, or hike up a bit along the cobbled steps for sunset views in the evening. Annapurna South and Hiunchuli dominate the horizon while Macchupucchre resembles a fish tail. Annapurna I and Gangapurna are just visible in the distance if the weather is clear. (5 - 6 hrs)
Day 6 - Gandruk | Himalayan Lodge
Enjoy a full day of spectacular mountain panoramas (Machhapuchhre, or Fish Tail peak), experiencing the unique Gurung culture and cuisine of Gandruk and visiting some of the local Hindu temples above the village. There is lots to keep one busy in this picturesque village, and the villagers are friendly, always ready for a laugh or a chat. Gandruk is perhaps largest and most prosperous village in the Annapurna foothills region, with two interesting museums, local restaurants featuring their unique Gurung cuisine and many guest houses. Wander through Gandruk’s stone paths, returning to the Himalayan Lodge for a traditional lunch, and enjoy a rosy Himalayan sunset in the late afternoon, pure heaven!
Day 7 - Trek Landruk 1565m | Bee Lodge
After enjoying a relaxing breakfast and the glorious views from the Himalaya Lodge, you start our trek to to Lhandruk, a classic Himalayan day of trekking through green, textured fields along wonderful village-lined trails ahead. Leaving the village of Ghandruk, the trail descends steeply to the banks of the Modi River. Here, you’ll be at the base of the cliffs where the famed honey hunters of Nepal climb on ropes to collect the honey. Cross a suspension bridge to the opposite banks of the Modi, from where it's about a hour’s trek up switch backs and steps to reach the village of Landruk, where you stay in Ker & Downey’s Bee Lodge. Take advantage of the 'chautara' or stone resting spots, along the way. Landruk is a hillside and sprawling Gurung village painted in pastels, worth a bit of exploration through its narrow, slate alleys. The lodge offers more wonderful views of the Annapurna range.
You will arrive in Gandruk in time for lunch, and afterwards your guide will take you on a exploration hike of this mountain village. Watch the local Gurung women weaving with their wooden looms, drying vegetables to make a spicy 'achar', sorting lentils for dal or involved in the morning's washing at the village taps. (4 hrs)
Day 8 - Trek Majgaun 1400m| Gurung Lodge
Wake to a misty morning of Himalayan peaks, with Machhapuchhre and Annapurna South rising majestically out of the shrouded valley, an awesome sight. Another wonderful day of trekking, starting with a gentle wander through the extensive village of Landruk, endlessly interesting. Today’s trek contours the side of the hill, with small ups and downs, passing through villages and farmland. You’ll reach Kerr & Downey's Gurung Lodge in time for lunch with optional afternoon hikes to the surrounding villages. Tribal-style houses and manicured gardens comprise Gurung Lodge on the edge of the village of Majgaun with incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys and wonderful photographic opportunities. Enjoy the vivid colors at sunset over the Annapurna peaks at sunset. (4 hrs)
Day 9 - Trek Dhampus 1525 m| Basanta Lodge
This morning we start out trekking through the unspoiled village of Patlekhet. Our walk takes us through sub-tropical forests that include tree orchids, rhododendrons and magnolias. Along the way, we will stop at the village of Pothana where many Tibetan traders live and sell their souvenirs. Continue to climb through lovely rhododendron forests and you soon reach the small hamlet of Pothana, a possible stopping point for the night. The wonderful views continue at Deurali, with quaint, Himalayan villages opening up below us. Soon we reach Dhampus and Kerr & Downey’s Basanta Lodge, from where we’ll enjoy sweeping views of the entire Annapurna Range, including the Phedi and Mardi Valleys. After lunch at the lodge there will be an optional walk through the old village of Dhampus. Afternoon activities include nature walks through thick forests of bamboo, conifer and rhododendron, as well as farming demonstrations on the steep hillside terraces. (3 1/2 hrs)
Day 10 - Trek + Drive Pokhara 830m | Temple Tree Resort + Spa or Himalayan Front Hotel
After breakfast, we depart along the ridge and descend through the wooded hillside and terraced farmland to the valley floor. We then transfer by vehicle to the Temple Tree Resort + Spa or Himalayan Front Hotel in Pokhara (depending on whether you want to be in town, or up on a ridge with Himalayan views). On the way back to Pokhara, the vehicle can stop on request at the Tibetan refugee camp where you will have time to explore the temple complex. We’ll arrive at the centrally located Temple Tree Resort in time for lunch. The rooms at the Temple Tree are filled with ethnic touches. Surrounding the rooms are landscaped gardens, water features, a swimming pool and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. You’ll have a chance to enjoy lunch and dinner at local restaurants. The afternoon is free to explore the lakeside where most of Nepal’s Tibetan shops are located. (1 1/2 hrs trekking, 1/2 hour drive
Day 11 - Drive Bandipur 1030m | The Old Inn
Leaving Pokhara in a private vehicle, we set off on a lovely drive to the traditional Newari village of Bandipur, a showcase of one of Nepal’s oldest cultures, beautifully preserved high on a ridge above the road connecting Pokhara and Kathmandu. Bandipur was once ruled by Tansen (Palpa) on the main trade route with Tibet, and is now a timeless yet vibrant town with lovely guest houses and cafes. We'll arrive via the steep 8 kilometer road which winds up from the highway, far above the Marsyandi River.
We stay at The Old Inn in Bandipur, a boutique inn surrounded by old shops, houses, temples and community centers, and if the weather is clear are treated to snow-capped Himalayan panoramas. (Heritage Rooms +$25)
Day 12 - Drive Chitwan National Park World Heritage Site | Maruni Sanctuary Resort | Afternoon Wildlife Safari
Another few hours of scenic driving to Chitwan National Park, where you check into the wonderful Maruni Sanctuary Lodge and your wildlife safari begins.
Experience the Chitwan World Heritage Site in the comfort of the Maruni Sanctuary Lodge, located in a pristine natural environment on the edge of the Chitwan National Park. Maruni Sanctuary Lodge offers you an excellent opportunity to view rare and endangered species in their rich natural habitat. The park is home to the endangered one-horned rhinoceros, tigers and the narrow-snouted gharial crocodile. Maruni is located between two villages of the Rana Tharu Community, who traditionally consider themselves people of the forest. You’ll have a chance to meet with them and see how they live. Maruni wildlife guides are attentive and have good English skills, and are truly interested to share their culture, their knowledge of the wildlife and its fascinating habitat with you. Maruni’s rooms are large, clean and well furnished and bathrooms have modern plumbing and hot water to ensure you can relax comfortably after jungle and cultural explorations.
After lunch at the lodge, you will have time to visit some of the local Rana Tharu villages and the elephant dung paper factory in the nearby village, followed by an afternoon walking wildlife safari and dinner at the restaurant.
+ NOTE: Kamzang Journeys doesn't encourage elephant safaris or elephant rids in Nepal National Parks. Your Chitwan Wildlife Safari will be customized for you, and you are free to choose which activities you would like to do.
Day 13 - Chitwan Wildlife Safari
A full day of activity today, starting with a breakfast of fresh produce followed by a bird watching dug-out canoe trip down the river in the morning mist, with Kingfisher on every tree top. You will visit the elephant breeding sanctuary and after lunch head out on elephants for some rhino and wildlife spotting, good fun and a great way to view the wildlife up close. At sunset, tired and happy, you'll head back to your rooms for a shower and dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Bird Watching Safari
Elephant Breeding Center
Ox Cart Ride
Tharu Cultural Dance Program
Village Walk Museum Visit
Gharial Conservation Trip
Option | Extra Day in Chitwan
Continue your wildlife safaris, or relax for a day and rent a bike. (+$125 Per Person)
Day 14 - Chitwan Morning Wildlife Safari | Fly Kathmandu
Another magical morning of bird watching, a walking safari or tracking a rhino followed by a transfer to the Bharatpur Airport for your flight back to the hotel in Kathmandu. Your wonderful boutique-style rooms will be much appreciated, enjoy a warm shower and dinner.
Option | Extra Days in Kathmandu
See our list of World Heritage sightseeing tours + more (below), and enjoy an extra few days in magical Kathmandu!
Day 15 - Depart
Transfer to the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) for your flight home. Namaste!
Kathmandu | Optional Sightseeing Tour Bhaktapur
One more day in Kathmandu, with an optional sightseeing excursion by private vehicle to Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur which translates as 'Place of Devotees’ and is also known as Bhadgaon, is an ancient Newar city approximately 15 kilometers east of the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur is one of three ancient capitals of the Kathmandu valley, the capital of the Newar Kingdom and a city of artisans and craftspeople famous for its art and architecture: intricate carvings, sculptures, paintings, thankas, pottery, statues and temples, or pagodas. Bhaktapur has a well-preserved ‘durbar square’, or palace square, and has been named a World Heritage site by UNESCO because of its incredible temples, pagodas, wood carvings, stone carvings and metalwork. Bhaktapur is also famous for its yogurt, called curd in Asia, a taste which hasn’t been duplicated anywhere.
Spend a full day exploring Bhaktapur and its rich cultural heritage, where a majority of enthnic Newaris live in traditional ways, and life seems to stand still. There are many great restaurants and cafes to rejuvenate, and it's possibly the best spot in Kathmandu for purchasing a thanka after watching the technique, as well as shopping for endless other locally produced crafts. Bhaktapur is home to countless local festivals, so if you are lucky and arrive on a festival day, enjoy the timeless and colorful events unfold.
+ Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Bhaktapur (+$100)
+ Entrance Fees not Included for Single Person
Kathmandu | Optional Sightseeing Tour Patan
Visit the third of Kathmandu's ancient capitals, known as 'The City of Fine Arts', best if you have an extra day in hand as Patan is also rich in cultural heritage, has many lovely roof-top cafes for lunch and world-class museums. Some of the highlights of Patan are its Durbar Square, the Krishna Temple within the palace complex of Patan (entirely made of stone, with 21 distinctive spires), and Hiranya Varna Mahavir, or the Golden Buddha Temple.
+ Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Patan (+$50)
+ Entrance Fees not Included for Single Person
Kathmandu | Optional Everest Sightseeing Flight
An hour long extravaganza of the world's 8000 meter peaks, including airport transfers. (+$270)
Kathmandu | Optional Extra Days at Shivapuri Heights Cottages
A wonderful get away 20 km north of Kathmandu, Shivapuri Heights Cottages are stylishly designed and personal cottages built around a 'common house', where you can breakfast overlooking the stunningly beautiful Kathmandu valley. Massages available on request. (+Inquire for Price)
Kathmandu | Optional Cycling Trip in Kathmandu Valley
Many options for day trips, or extended trips, in the Kathmandu Valley. We can customize a cycling trip for you in partnership with one of our knowledgeable partners in Kathmandu. (+Inquire for Price)
Extra Days in Kathmandu | Customize your Journey!
We have plenty of great suggestions for extra days, or weeks, in Nepal! See our Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip! to put together the perfect journey.
Mountain biking, rafting, vespa tours or yoga retreats around the Kathmandu valley or Pokhara, trips to Bhaktapur or Patan (Kathmandu Valley's other historic capital cities), a visit to the Newari temple of Changu Narayan and a night at the Fort Hotel in Nagarkot for sublime Himalayan panoramas, an Everest sightseeing flight, a luxurious stay at Temple Tree Resort & Spa, paragliding, hiking or zip-lining in Pokhara, a spa & wellness getaway at Dwarikas Resort in Dhulikhel, a relaxing excursion to Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages (staying at Maruni Sanctuary Lodge) or Bardia National Park, a weekend of adventure, sauna and pampering at The Last Resort or five-star treatment in historic Dwarika's in Kathmandu.
Kamzang Journeys can customize any of these excursions for you, just inquire!
Namaste & Tashi Delek!
© Kim Bannister