Why Nepal?

Why visit Nepal?

Nepal regularly tops the charts in British travel magazines for the highest rating given on holiday satisfaction.

The most stunning aspect of this exotic landlocked country are the Himalayas; beautiful mountains, deep gorges, fast running streams, verdant mountain pastures, forest-clad hills, green valleys cultivated by mountain people, monasteries far from anywhere, isolated yak-herd peoples’ villages, valleys gouged out by glaciers, the glaciers themselves and mountain passes.

Nepal includes eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks.

Culturally Nepal reflects its position being a mixture of both Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The capital, Kathmandu, contains many temples dedicated to the Hindu pantheon and one major Buddhist site. The surrounding Newari Valley contains many picturesque medieval villages, which are ideal for strolling through.

The plains, or “terai” as they are known, contain the Chitwan National Park with elephants, rhinos, tigers, sloth bears and other wild beasties. This can be seen on a nice, safe organised tour with a very high chance of seeing rhinos, or on foot in a smaller group with experienced guides. For the latter it should be borne in mind that Chitwan and the more remote Bardiya are the world’s only national parks with dangerous animals that allow tourists on foot patrols. So be prepared.

The terai also contain the religious site of Lumbini, Buddha’s birthplace.

For more adventurous activities we recommend kayaking, paragliding, mountain-biking, mountaineering and, above all, the no frills, no experience required thrills of simply trekking through the foothills and up into the mountains themselves.

Trekking is the most popular adventure activity for most tourists. Trekking in Nepal most commonly involves a bus, or plane plus bus trip, into the foothills followed by a walk through the foothills, past terraced valleys, up through the verdant forests, across ridges, through passes and up to the sparsely or uninhabited valleys, glaciers and mountains of the higher regions.

Kayaking and Rafting Nepal contains some of the world’s best white water experiences, but it also contains some relatively easy runs that can be done by beginners. Kayaking courses can be done here, though we suggest lessons in advance would be of benefit.

Paragliding Nepal has some great thermals alongside beautiful scenery, many of the world’s top paragliders visit or work here. Yes, you can do courses in Nepal, and fun tandem trips can be done with experienced pilots.

Mountain-biking is a growing recreational sport and this is a great way to tour the Kathmandu Valley and Ridge.

Mountaineering, yes you need previous experience. Again bear in mind that some of Nepal’s high mountains are ‘Trekking Peaks’ — giant hills that, in the right season, can be walked up by almost anybody with a sense of adventure, effort and a bit of experience in both dealing with the cold and with the mountains.

The best times of year to visit are the post-monsoon months from late September to late November. The post-monsoon air is clearer and the climate dry. Alternatively March and April are good with more flowers, such as the rhododendron forests, in bloom, but with more haze and a higher chance of rain. The winter months, December to February, get cold and snowed up at higher altitudes. For some activities and some treks, such as in the Dolpo/Mustang/Rara Lake areas, the times are a little different, please read through the appropriate pages.

If you are serious about a trip please read the questionnaire/form top right and return it to us.

Flights; flight details and prices vary with time. Though we can do this, you could book your own flight to suit your travel needs — check out our Recent Cheapish Airfares page for a rough price guide.