Date printed: 16 September 2014
A carefully designed trip suitable for families with children of all ages which allows you to experience the very best of Nepal. You’ll have ample time to see the sights of Kathmandu; medieval market squares, busy market stalls and scores of ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples. After a night in a traditional Newari home converted into a guesthouse, you'll travel to the lakeside town of Begnas. Then you’ll embark on a fantastic camping trek into the foothills of the Himalayas. Here you’ll walk through remote hill villages against a backdrop of 8000m summits whose icy peaks pierce the blue skies. After visiting Pokhara, the gateway to the Annapurnas, you travel to one of Asia’s greatest wildlife reserves, Chitwan, and spend a couple of days on jungle safari. Travelling by canoe and on foot, you’ll be looking out for exotic birdlife and the famous Indian one-horned rhino!
Itinerary (Without Flights)
Following your flight, you transfer to your first night’s accommodation and check in. You have time to freshen up before your Group Leader meets the group to run through the days ahead. Please meet your Group Leader in the hotel reception at 20.00 for the tour briefing.
Hotel Manaslu (AAAA) - 1 night (Swimming Pool)
Kathmandu/ Drive to Nuwakot
After breakfast you’ll see the spectacular sights of Kathmandu during a half-day guided city tour. You’ll visit Swayambunath, a 2000-year-old stupa (shrine) set on a hill. The eyes on the stupa follow you as you walk around it, turning the prayer wheels as you go. You’ll also visit Durbar Square, ‘the original Kathmandu’ opposite the old royal palace that is filled with temples. There’s plenty of time to do your own thing too, or to buy any last-minute items for the trek. Kathmandu itself is a labyrinth of streets and markets, crowded with exotic produce and a bewildering mix of people. You’re likely to see Gurkhas from the area east of Pokhara, proud Tibetan women in their striped aprons, traders from India and sadhus - Hindu holy men - who are, perhaps, on a pilgrimage to one of the countless ‘power places’ (shrines or temples) of the valley.
Later, you’ll drive to the secluded rural village of Nuwakot (approx. 3 hrs) for a delightful stay in a converted farm-house. There you’ll spend a few hours in the late afternoon exploring the village and the surrounding area on foot.
The Famous Farm Guesthouse (AA) - 1 night (BD)
Bandipur Village Stay
This morning you set off west on your four-hour journey to the small village of Bandipur, breaking the journey en route at the Trisuli Centre - the riverside community village. Here, you may meet members of the Trisuli Young Leaders Club - a youth group of children between 5-18 who may end up being the next generation of trip leaders. The foothills of the Himalayas are in themselves impressive enough, but as you get closer to Bandipur you get now familiar views of the high peaks. After you arrive in the thriving community of Dumre you turn south, off the main highway, and continue to a ridge set at an altitude of 1050m; here lies the delightful village of Bandipur. Winding its way up and down hills, Bandipur’s main street has many three or four storey brick buildings with carved wooden windows. The small temples in the town add to the atmosphere in what is a traditional Nepali hill village, still relatively untouched by modern tourism; few foreigners find their way up here. You can sit and relax or stretch your legs with a walk through the village and out into the surrounding countryside for superb views up the Marsyangdi river valley, to the Himalaya beyond. Many of the range’s giants can be seen: Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu and the distant Annapurnas amongst them.
The Old Inn Guesthouse (AA) - 1 night (B,D)
Please note that single rooms may be unavailable here during the peak season due to the limited number of rooms.
After spending a morning walking around Bandipur, you’ll pause for lunch before heading west to Begnas Lake driving through terraced hillsides and to the south of the great Himalayas themselves. Bordered by precisely maintained rice terraces on either side, Begnas Lake is a great place to relax before your trek. Take a pleasant stroll or simply sit and watch the tranquil waters of the lake itself. This evening, your Group Leader will brief you about arrangements for your Himalayan trek.
Begnas Lake Resort (AAAA) - 1 night (Swimming Pool) (BLD)
Trekking in Nepal is one of the most rewarding parts of a visit to this mountainous kingdom. However some visitors are put off by the thought that all trekking requires the skills of a mountaineer, and specialist equipment to match. This is not true for the majority of routes, including the one you walk! Most people – even children – will find the pace, distance and duration of each day’s walk within their capability as long as they are realistic about their fitness and abilities. (rough distances and duration of walks are indicated below).
One should, however, remember that all trekking is more difficult than just a ramble - there is little if any flat ground in Nepal’s hills but you don’t reach very high altitudes. You’ll be walking on well-graded paths that link small farming communities. Steep stone staircases and occasional suspension bridges dot your route. Few nationalities provide a camping experience as well as the Nepalese; their hospitality and organisational skills are legendary, as will become clear on your trek! Tents and mattresses are provided, camp staff cook your meals, providing tasty and nutritious food, whilst porters carry your main bags, leaving you with only your daypacks to carry!
A short boat ride across Begnas Lake signals the start of the trek. The first day’s walk will take you to the village of Chisapani, (‘cold water’ in Nepali). Walking at a leisurely pace you first pass through rice fields indicating that you are still at a relatively low altitude. From here the trail now climbs through villages offering superb panoramic views along the way of Annapurna 2, Manaslu, Lamjung Himal and Himalchuli. You’ll head into the renowned Annapurna Region and after approximately six hours’ trekking you arrive at the small village of Chisapani, your night stop and camp, at an altitude of around 1260m.
Camp (CS) – 1 night (Bx1, Lx1, Dx1)
End of trek
Today, continue to walk for approximately 3.5hrs/7km. En route you can pause to admire the views, take photos or have a drink in one of the many wayside village teahouses. All around these villages the terraced fields are a testament to the ingenuity of the Nepalese people who have turned the steep hills into productive fields, growing rice, wheat and maize. People you pass are incredibly friendly and kids will often walk alongside, practicing their English skills. In the village centres, old men sit beneath banyan trees on stone benches smoking and gossiping. Women and children come up from the fields carrying huge loads effortlessly, and giggle as you greet them with a namaste, the Nepali word for ‘hello’.
When you arrive, your vehicle will be waiting to drive you back to Pokhara. This evening, you'll visit the Pokhara Base Camp which will be set up for an end of trek party with trekkers and staff alike.
Hotel Barahi (AAA) - 2 nights (swimming pool) (B,D)
Pokhara, standing at 884m above sea level, is warmer and more humid than Kathmandu. The vegetation is lush, reflecting the sub-tropical climate. Sited on Phewa Lake, beneath the great Annapurna massif and dominated by the ‘Fish-tail’ mountain, Machhapuchhare, Pokhara is surrounded by verdant green hills. Today is free for you to explore or relax as you please, Pokhara has a wide variety of activities that you can enjoy around the town.
You may visit the World Peace Pagoda (built in 1994 and sitting on a ridge overlooking Phewa Lake), Devi’s Falls and Mahendra Cave - a good torch is useful here! Or perhaps make time for a visit to one of the Tibetan villages that dot the area, where superb carpets and other handicrafts can be haggled over. (B)
Chitwan National Park
This morning, you'll retrace part of the route that brought you to Bandipur, only this time bearing south at Mugling. This long road journey brings you into the low lying terai jungle region, and the world-famous Chitwan Reserve, which covers 932 square kilometres of floodplain. The park is home to varied wildlife and birdlife, including the famed symbol of Chitwan, the one-horned rhino, and the elusive royal Bengal tiger, of which there are believed to be around 80 roaming in the park. An experienced jungle guide will accompany you on your excursions, perhaps the most exciting of which is your safari on elephant-back, penetrating deep into the jungle. Rhino, bison, wild boar, monkeys, and a wide array of birds (over 400 species on record) are a common sight, and with luck on your side even the royal Bengal tiger, bear and leopard are a possibility, albeit a slim one.
Another highlight of the trip is the canoe ride on Rapti River, which drapes the national park, the banks of which are home to sun-bathing 'mugger' crocodiles and the unique long-nosed 'gharial' crocodiles. Afterwards you walk to the elephant breeding centre. Elephants at the breeding centre are well attended to and are taken out by their mahouts (elephant drivers, whose commands they’re used to and follow) on a daily basis between the hours of 10:30am and 3pm, where they go into jungle for collecting fodder, safaris and bathing. However, please remember that elephants are naturally wild animals and their behaviour can at times be erratic and highly unpredictable, especially in the absence of their trainer and controller. Therefore in the interests of visitor safety, please be advised that elephants are chained during the centre’s opening hours. Please also keep your distance from elephants while embarking and disembarking on safari.
Keeping you engrossed and buoyed over the span of your stay will be a ride on an age-old mode of transportation (an ox cart to a ‘Tharu’ village), bird-watching walk on the periphery of the national park, dancing to the tunes and moves of the ‘Tharu’ artistes and an informative slide show on the rich flora and fauna of the jungles of Chitwan.
Royal Park Hotel or Narayani Safari Lodge (AAA) - 2 nights (Bx2, Lx2, Dx2)
A short transfer is followed by a flight to Kathmandu. Aiming to arrive by lunchtime the afternoon is free for you to wander the little streets around Durbar Square and of course to do some shopping; there are plenty of bargains, but friendly haggling is essential. The following day, you’ll be taken sightseeing to the medieval town of Bhaktapur and the temple complex of Pashupatinath – regarded as the holiest place in Nepal and the site of the Pashupatinath Temple, which is the most important Hindu shrine in Nepal. Switching religions, the tour will also take you visit the Buddhist stupa of Bodhnath.
Hotel Manaslu (AAAA) - 2 nights (Swimming Pool) (Bx2, L)
Trip ends Kathmandu
The trip ends at your hotel in Kathmandu. (B)
This trip is considered ‘easy to moderate’ - anyone in good health can take part. Kids who enjoy walking will be able to manage the trek (daily max. 9km, +/-6hours, lots of hills and steps but not designed to be exhausting!). Nepal is a developing country and as such standards are very different to those found at home. Delays to travel plans can occasionally occur. Accommodation at Bandipur, whilst comfortable, is basic; multi-share accommodation with separate toilet and shower. Minimum age: 5 years.
The decision to partake in any activity not listed as an optional activity is entirely at your own discretion and risk. If you do have any complaint about or problem with, any such optional activity your claim should be directed to the activity provider and not to The Adventure Company.
Family First Accommodation As the leader in providing Family Adventure holidays, we fully understand the importance to you of clean, comfortable, family friendly accommodation. Our families team hand-pick all of our accommodation to provide you with the best value and best experience possible
We are so confident in our accommodation selections, that we name every property that you will stay in on all our Family Adventures, so that you can be fully confident in your holiday choice. Accommodation Ratings We use a variety of accommodation around the world. Wherever possible we try to ensure that this is in keeping with the itinerary and the region that you are visiting. To give you a feel for the standard, we have provided an accommodation grading for each night. However please bear in mind that these are intended as a guide and are not based on 'star' ratings, so there will be variations within each grade: AA - Hotels, lodges or guesthouses, usually with en suite facilities. These are generally simple hotels with adequate amenities. Whilst comfort levels are perfectly acceptable, there are generally no added facilities Rooming in Hotels When arranging rooming for our trips, we try to meet the needs of all families. As families come in all sizes, we do not offer a set formula regarding rooming arrangements, and we ask you to be as flexible as possible. Our trips are based on a twin share basis, but we try to accommodate families in triple or family rooms if available. Full details of our rooming procedure can be found here. Very occasionally rooming is in communal or dorm style rooms where you'll share with other families. Where relevant this is indicated in the itinerary. On occasion late hotel changes are unavoidable and you will get final confirmation of the particular hotels for your trip when you receive your joining instructions.
Some or all of the excursions detailed below may be available. Approximate costs are given for guidance only and may depend on the number of participants. Your Group Leader should be able to assist you in arranging them.Everest Overflight US$191 (subject to change with increment in fuel prices) + NRs.190 airport tax.White water rafting (subject to min. 4 participants) US$60Please note: The minimum age for anyone wishing to go white water rafting is 12 years.
Below is a suggestion of what you might find useful to take on this trip. It is not an exhaustive packing list. If you need further advice, please call us or consult your nearest specialist outdoor clothing and equipment store. Please remember that Nepal is a conservative country, and local sensibilities should be respected - halter neck or sleeveless tops or brief shorts are not acceptable for adults. 3/4 season sleeping bagTorch or headtorchWaterbottle (1 litre minimum)SunglassesSunscreen and lipsalveInsect / mosquito repellent Anti-bacterial washing gelPersonal first aid kit MoneybeltWater purification tabletsTravel pillowWarm mid-layer (i.e. fleece) SwimsuitWarm long trousers (not jeans) Sun-hatWoollen hat, gloves and scarf TrainersWaterproof jacket and trousersLightweight clothing for Chitwan. Hiking boots (well worn in)Brightly-coloured clothing is not appropriate for Chitwan as it is easily seen by animals and may disturb them; wear muted tones in natural colours (beige, khaki, etc but not army-style camouflage clothing). Warm clothing will still be needed for early morning game viewing in Chitwan for those departing between October and March.For women, shorts are acceptable, but shoulders are best covered (i.e. vest tops are not appropriate)A laundry service may be available in some places, but we recommend you take biodegradable travel detergent so that you can wash clothes as you chooseNB: Some of the above items can be easily rented in Kathmandu / Pokhara (sleeping bags, down jackets etc.). Whilst quality does vary and you must choose carefully, the cost is usually reasonable. Renting avoids having to purchase equipment and carry it when it’s not needed. Your Group Leader will assist you in arranging equipment should you need it.
For your comfort we recommend you travel as light as possible; many airlines impose a maximum weight limit of 20kg – we advise you to take 10kg as you will be on the move a good deal! For domestic flights using light aircraft the usual weight limit is 15 kg.One main piece (a soft bag or rucksack, not a hard suitcase). A daypack (25-30 litres), large enough to carry what you need for the day including camera, water, etc. It will also be useful to use this bag to pack what you will need for the overnight camping trek too.
Together with our local agent in Nepal we have built a community / sports facility that can be used by schools and villagers in surrounding areas. This consists of a football pitch and centre, with the primary aim of creating a club around sports activities and teaching practical skills that will help communities operate as just that
The first stage of the project was to level the lnd to create the sports pitch, an access road has been created and an area excavated, which forms the ground for the community centre / clubhouse. The next stage was to irrigate the land as the soil is very dry (water also helps local farmers). We hope the $5 pp contribution The Adventure Company makes for every person travelling with us to Nepal will help to maintain this facility, assist with the development of the Trisuli Young Leaders Club & fund facilities for the school in Nuwakot.We support the International Porter Protection Group (http://ippg.net/) to limit the load each porter carries to 25kg, to pay a fair wage so porters can equip themselves properly and to use the same pool of porters offering them further training opportunities to become guides and more if they wish.
Although this is definitely not a sun, sea and sand holiday, why not take a ball or a frisbee with you. As well as being handy for games around camp with the other families and probably your trekking crew, they’re a great way of encouraging interaction with local children.SOME INTERESTING READING:Your Child’s Health Abroad - Matthew Ellis and Jane Wilson-Howarth, (Bradt publications)
Travel with Children – Maureen Wheeler (Lonely Planet)Himalaya – Michael PalinA Season in Heaven - David TomoryLiving in the Clouds – Eva KippShopping for Buddhas - Jeff GreenwaldThe Snow Leopard – Peter MatthiessenFOR YOUNGER READERS:Within Reach: My Everest Story – Mark PfetzerFolk Tales of Nepal - Nagendra SharmaSOME USEFUL PHRASES:Namaste – Hello, GreetingsDhanybhad – Thank youHajur – Excuse me, pardonTapainko naam ke ho? – What is your name?Mero naam George ho – my name is George
For most trips prices are based on sharing a twin room. Therefore, if you’re a solo traveller you’ll be paired with someone from the group of the same sex, unless you decide to pay a single room supplement. Details of this supplement can be found on the Extensions & Extras tab on our website. Occasionally we use multiple-share or dormitory accommodation – particularly when stating in remote places.
Rooming arrangements – Family trips
If you’re a family of 2 you’ll be accommodated in a twin room. If you’re a family of three you will usually be accommodated in a triple room. If you’re a family of four you’ll probably be accommodated in two twin rooms and we’ll do our best to ensure they’re as near as possible. We cannot always guarantee a triple room. If a triple room is not available, an adult from your family will automatically be roomed with a fellow adult member of the group of the same sex. If you prefer to have a room of your own we can sometimes offer a single room for the entire trip or on selected nights within a trip. However a single room supplement applies, ask our Travel Consultants for details.
Currency - Nepal
The currency in Nepal is the Nepalese rupee.
If you are taking cash with you to exchange in Nepal, major international currencies, including the US dollar, euro and pounds sterling, are readily accepted. A certain amount of cash is always useful to have with you, particularly small denomination notes that are clean and untorn.
Credit cards are becoming accepted more widely in hotels and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are most widely accepted. Though ATMs (cashpoint machines) exist in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Pokhara, they cannot always be relied upon.
Official exchange rates are set by the government's Nepal Rastra Bank. Rates at private banks vary, but are generally not far from the official rate. In addition to this, there are licensed moneychangers in Kathmandu and Pokhara. The rates here may be lower, but there are usually no commissions and their opening hours are normally longer.
Local Costs - Nepal
Whilst on trek you are likely to spend £12-15 per day on meals not included. In Kathmandu and Pokhara you will probably spend around £12 for meals, drinks, etc. Approximate costs are given for guidance only, and may vary widely according to location and type of establishment.
Soft drink £0.40
Medium beer £1.50
Local snack lunch £3.50
3-course dinner* £7.00
*reasonable mid-range tourist class restaurant
Visas & Permits - Nepal
Holders of UK & IRL passports do require a visa. A Nepalese visa can easily be acquired on arrival at Kathmandu airport or at the border from the immigration office. You will be required to fill in a form, submit 1 passport size photo and can be paid in GBP or US$ cash (£20 for a 15 day visa or £30 for a 30 day visa).
Nationals of all other countries should contact their local embassy or consulate. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the end date of the trip.
For the most up-to-date information and to purchase a Visa via our partner Visa Machine visit www.adventurecompany.co.uk/visa
This information is given in good faith, but may be subject to change without warning. Please note that, where appropriate, obtaining a valid visa is ultimately your responsibility. Please consult a visa agency or the consular authorities 4-6 weeks before departure for the most up-to-date information.
Vaccinations - Nepal
The following are recommended:
NB: Yellow Fever vaccination is required if travelling via an infected country.
For detailed information and advice concerning vaccinations go to:www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk
Vaccination requirements change periodically so we advise that you check with your nearest specialist travel clinic 4-6 weeks before departure to get up-to-date information.
International rules for carrying medicines vary. Some countries do not allow certain medicines to be imported, or require official documents, such as a doctor’s letter, to prove drugs have been prescribed by a doctor and obtained legally. It is sensible to contact the relevant embassy or high commission of your destination to check what their drug transportation rules are before you travel.
The Adventure Company,Cross & Pillory House,Cross & Pillory Lane, Alton Hampshire, GU34 1HL