What are the peaks that you recommend for beginning climbers.
MeraPeak (6,461m 21,190 ft.) and Island Peak (that you be proficient in crossing ladders, using a harness,using a Jumar device, and abseiling. It requires some prior climbing experience,Mera Peak does not.
Do I need to be an experienced climber to try climbing in Nepal
No. We offer two climbing peaks for beginning alpine-style climbers. These are not direct-aid technical climbs. However, you need to be in good to excellent physical shape to attempt these climbs
Is it possible do a trek/cultural tour that will give us a better understanding of Tamang life and culture?
Given that the owner of Zambuling Trekking and many of its employees are Tamang and love to share their traditions with others, the answer is a resounding “yes.” We can arrange treks to and homestays in predominantly Tamang villages in in the higher Himalayas of Eastern Nepal.
Can you arrange cultural tours off the beaten track in addition to Kathmandu and Pokhara?
We are happy to take individuals or small groups off the usual trekking routes to other areas of Nepal. This will depend on your cultural adaptability and comfort level, but we can work with you to give you a more authentic less touristic experience with Nepal.
Is it possible to arrange a village homestay?
It is possible to arrange homestays as a part of or in addition to trekking and cultural tours. We will fully discuss the cultural etiquette, food, and other differences that you may encounter in advance of your homestay. In some instancesit may be appropriate for one our cultural guides to stay in the home to serve as translator.
Is it possible to organize a tour and trekking that focuses on Buddhism in Nepal
We specialize in organizing custom treks for those who are practicing Buddhists or are interested in learning more about Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. These tour/treks can include guided visits to stupas and monasteries around Kathmandu Valley as well as Namo Buddha just outside of the valleyand Pharping where Guru Padmasambhava (often referred to as the second Buddha) meditated and achieved enlightenment. Pilgrimages to Lumbini, the birthplace of Shakyamuni Buddha, Kapilavastu where Buddha left his father’s kingdom is recommended. Treks in Upper Mustang, Manang, Humla, or Solokhumbu in the Everest region will introduce you to monasteries and Buddhist practices in the high Himalayas sharing a border with Tibet.
Is it possible to arrange a private visit to a Buddhist Monastery?
It is possible to arrange visits to monasteries in Kathmandu, Namo Buddha, Pharping, Mustang, Solukhumbu, and elsewhere in Nepal for small groups of our clients. These are not “tourist stops” and are functioning monasteries, so we will explain the etiquette and tradition of respect involved in visiting a monastery in advance of your visit.
Who will pick me up at the airport on arrival?
A Zambuling Trekking representative will be waiting for you at the international airport in Kathmandu with a sign with your name on it. We will then escort you to one of our company vehicles which will take you directly to your hotel. You will need to provide us with your flight arrival details no later than 2 days before your departure from home.
How do I get a visa for Nepal?
Visa requirements are always dependent on the countries you will be visiting and the country you came from. Countries such as those in the European Union, Australia, America, Canada, Japan, Britain and some countries in Asia are able to get their visa on arrival in Nepal after applying on-line in advance of your trip at online.nepalimmigration.gov.np Generally you may apply for either a 30, 60 or 90-day visa. You should contact your country’s embassy for the latest information. Citizens ofChina, Pakistani, Nigerian, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan must collect their visas ahead of time from their country’sNepal embassy. Those with Indian passports do not need to obtain a Nepal visa.
How do I arrange an airline ticket to Nepal?
A number of airlines fly directly to Kathmandu from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Singapore, Bombay, New Delhi,Doha, Bahrain, Sharjah, Lhasa, Chengdu and a number of other cities. Some of the more convenient and reliable flights are with Thai Airways, Qatar Airways,Singapore Airlines, Dragon Air, and Korean Airlines. Often times if flying from the U.S. you should expect to have a connecting flight in the Middle East. For example, Qatar Airways has flights from a number of major American cities direct to Doha, then a second flight direct to Kathmandu. It also flies out of many major European and Asian cities to Doha. Tofind competitive airfare try different on-line portals such as expedia.com, orbitz.com, or travelocity.com. Our partner, Satori Adventure,can help you to book a ticketif you require our assistance.
What are the different regions of Nepal?
Nepal is topographically divided into three regions that run from East to West: the Himalaya to the North, the middle hills consisting of the Mahabharat range and the Churia Hills, and the Terai to the South which is part of the Gangetic Plain. Each region has its own topography ranging from high alpine, to hills, to relatively flat jungle. The Northern regions is predominantly Buddhist and has closer cultural ties to Tibet, whereas the South is predominantly Hindu and Muslim and has closer cultural ties with India.
What are sanitary conditions like in Nepal?
As with many South and Central Asian countries, dust can be a concern in a large city such as Kathmandu. Fortunately, Nepal is largely rural! Having said that, we advise our clients to wear dust masks when traveling in some areas of Kathmandu. We also advised our clients to drink only water that has been boiled for at least 10 minutes, use a micropore backpackers filter for water, or purchase mineral water. Mineral water is quite readily available in both cities and along trekking routes. Given that you will be visiting us for a relatively short time we will do our best to help you keep healthy!
What are the major religions of Nepal?
Lumbini in the Terai (Southern Nepal) is the birthplace of Shakyamuni Buddha. However, at the time of Buddha’s birth Nepal did not exist as a unified entity, but rather was a series of independent kingdoms. Based on a descending order of size, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Kirant, Christianity, and Bon are currently the principal religions of Nepal. Once a Hindu kingdom in which the King was considered to be an emanation of Vishnu, today the government of Nepal is officially secular.
Briefly, what is the history of Nepal?
Nepal has a long and complex history, both because of its economic and cultural position between South and Central Asia, and because of the relative discreteness and isolation of its many valleys and mountainsides. From being a series of independent kingdoms at the time that the Buddha was born, to being united into a single oligarchyin the middle of the 1800s, to a kingdom in the middle of the 1900s, to the current democratic federal republic is a complicated story. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Nepal offers a reasonable version of that history.
What languages are spoken in Nepal?
Nepali, which is a Sanskrit-based language like Hindi, is the national language of Nepal. English is also understood by many in the larger cities and increasing numbers of young people in the rural areas as well. Many Nepalis speak several languages such as Nepali, English, and their mother language which may be Sherpa, Tamang, Magar, Gurung, etc. In total there are 123 languages spoken as mother tongues in Nepal. For example, Mingmar Tamang, the owner of Zambuling Trekking , speaks Nepali, English, Tamang (his mother tongue), and Hindi.
What is the normal diet in Nepal?
The national meal is dal bhat (literally lentils and rice), but also includes one or more vegetables, a pickled item, and if requested, a small plate of meat. In the higher altitude areas where rice does not grow, barley or millet may be the substitute for rice. Chapaati or roti (a flat unleavened bread) is also often served with the meal. Momo (meat or vegetable dumplings) are often served as a snack. Raksi (rice whiskey), thumba (millet beer), and chang (rice beer) are traditional alcoholic drinks. Nepali food is generally not as spicy as many Indian cuisines, nor does it use as much oil. This is what is eaten in most Nepali homes in the cities and in the villages. Having said that, large cities such as Kathmandu and Pokhara offer a wide variety of international cuisines in their restaurants.
What happens if there is an emergency?
Zambuling Trekking trekking guides are trained in basic first aid and can deal with many of the simple ailments that occur during a trek. For more serious medical emergencies every client should obtain medical and evacuation insurance for Nepal. We can advise you in this if you like. Zambuling Trekking will facilitate any medically necessary evacuation which may include evacuation through carrying, jeep, or helicopter to an appropriate medical facility depending on the location and the severity of the medical condition. It is important to keep in mind that some insurance companies operate on a reimbursement basis, and that the upfront costs of a medical evacuation may initially need to be borne by the client.
How long will I hike each day?
he length of time you will hike each days depends on a number of factors including weather conditions, difficulty of the terrain, altitude, distance between stopping places, and the fitness of our clients. Generally on the less challenging treks we will hike for 4-5 hours a day. On some of the more difficult and challenging treks we may hike for 8-9 hours a day, though the actual distance covered may be the same as on the easier treks.
Who will carry my baggage during the trek and what will I carry?
Zambuling Trekking always uses trekking porters: usually in a ratio of two porters for each client, with each porter carrying 12-15 kilos. On camping treks more equipment and food will need to be carried, so the ratio will be greater. We occasionally use mule or yak as well, depending on conditions and altitude. The client usually carries a light day pack with a water bottle, a change of outerwear depending on conditions, camera, sunglasses, and the like.
What types of meals should I expect on trek, and are the meals included?
In major cities such as Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Lumbini lunches and dinners are not included. This gives you the opportunity to try different food in different restaurants of your choice and we are happy to offer suggestions. You breakfast will be included as a part of your hotel accommodation. On the trail, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided by our company at teahouses. For full board teahouse or camping treks the meals are included in the cost of the package. Vegetarian and vegan options are usually available. In the tea houses it is possible to order your meal from a menu. Most tea houses can provide noodles, pasta, rice, potatoes, vegetables, soup, and of course dal bhat (the national dish consisting of rice lentils, a vegetable, a pickle), and a small plate of curried meat if you like). Some also offer Nepali versions of Western dishes such as pizza and French fries. During camp trekking our chef will cook and provide food for you. Normally our chefs can accommodate a variety of food preferences including vegetarian, vegan, continental, European, Chinese, Indian, and of course Nepali. Due to the nature of preparing food in the high mountains the meals are hearty, but are not fine dining cuisine such as that available in the cities
What kind of hotel accommodations should I expect in the cities, and during trekking
Three- to five-star hotel accommodations are available in Kathmandu and Pokhara. The choice will depend on your preference and on your budget. Trekking accommodations vary greatly depending on the area. In the Everest and Annapurna areas there are many comfortable lodges. Away from these areas the lodges are much more basic and you are expected to bring your own sleeping bag, though blankets and pillows may be provided as a supplement in some cases. For camping treks your accommodation is the tent that we provide.
Is it possible to arrange a private custom trek?
In addition to our regular trekking programs we would be happy to work with you to design a small group custom trek for you and your families or friends. By doing this it is possible to travel to truly to-of-the-waydestinations tailored to your particular interests and abilities, and at your pace. Please contact us if you are interested in a private custom trek.
Can you organize treks in Tibet too?
The short answer is yes. Treks to the Tibetan side of Everest and pilgrimages to Mount Kailash (sacred to Buddhist, Hindu, Bön, and Jain religions)., either via Lhasa from Kathmandu, or via Simikot in North-Western Nepal are the most frequently organized Tibetan explorations. Please contact us directly if you would like more details about our Tibet treks, or are interested in combining an adventure in Tibet with a trek in Nepal. It is important to be aware that occasionally the Chinese government closes the border or areas of Tibet to foreigners with little advance notice. We therefore work with our clients to develop a “Plan B” in advance of any trip that includes a Tibetan trek.
What is camping trekking?
Camping trekking involves bringing all trekking gear plus food and shelter with us during the trek. Meals are cooked in a kitchen tent, meals are served in a dinning tent, and clients sleep in personal tents. Camping treks are organized in the same manner as exploratory or mountaineering expeditions. Camping trekking is generally done when the trek is through areas where there is not sufficient local accommodations and food. We provide a full team that includes a guide, a chef, sherpa (note this does not necessarily mean someone who is ethnically Sherpa, but rather a person in the role of team leader), sirdar (head of the porters), and porters. Porters carry all the trekking equipment, food, fuel, and personalbelongings. The chef and possibly a kitchen assistant prepare hygienic and tasty meals. At the end of each day the staff sets up a dining tent, sleeping tent, and toilet tents, and does take-down each morning. Some of the camping treks that we offer are Dhaulagiri
circuit, Manaslu Circuit, Upper Dolpo, and Kanchanjungha.
What is tea house trekking?
Teahouse style trekking is the most popular form of trekking in Nepal. Many of the better-established trails in the Himalayas and their foothills have locally owned teahouses or small lodges that provide both accommodations and meals for trekkers and Nepali travelers. They are great places to meet and interact with locals and to experience local hospitality and culture. Teahouse trekking is a relatively cheap and comfortable form of trekking with meals and accommodation provided by the teahouses rather than having to carry tents and food. These types of treks are found in some of the more famous trekking regions such as Annapurna, Everest and Langtang.
What kind of weather can we expect during trekking and what are the best trekking seasons?
Mountains weather is difficult to predict, but it depends largely on altitude, season, and whether you are on the North or the South side of the Himalayas. The North side of the Himalayas are generally in the rain shadow and are protected from monsoon rains. In Nepal there are six two-month seasons. High altitude treks are generally not possible in the winter season.
Spring (BasantaRitu) runs from mid-March to mid-May. As this is one of the peak seasons for visitors, it is advisable to book with us well in advance of your visit.
The average rainfall jumps from 84mm in May, to 351mm in July, 311mm for August, and 197mm in September. The rains are critical to the success of agriculture throughout Nepal. The valleys and hillsides planted in rice turn a brilliant green. Temperatures cool considerably when the humidity spikes.
Autumn (Sharad Ritu) is from mid-September until mid-November.The monsoon rains ease off significantly and it is a time of several major holidays including Dashain and Tihar. The planting of crops is done during the monsoon season, which allows those working in agriculture–one of the main sources of employment in Nepal--time to celebrate and be with their families during the festival season. If you’re hoping to visit Nepal during Dashain, as many do – September-November are busy months for trekkers heading to Everest Base Camp and doing the Annapurna Sanctuary trek. However, you can expect the streets of Kathmandu to be quieter than usual. All government offices, schools, and many private businesses are closed during the festivals so some services are disrupted. As this is one of the peak seasons for visitors, it is advisable to book with us well in advance of your visit. Though Autumn is slightly less busy than spring trekking the trails of the Himalayas, you can still expect to see lots of folks out there in the comfortable trekking temperatures of this season. You can expect beautifully clear skies and fertile valleys following the recent monsoons. .
Pre-Winter (HemantaRitu) runs from mid-November to mid-January. The major festivities are over, and this period sees the agricultural sector--around 65% of Nepal’s population--really cranking to harvest crops before the true cold of winter arrives.
For many, trekking in Nepal in the winter is out of the question due to the low temperatures of the higher, most sought-after altitudes. We though are of the opinion that, as long as you pack correctly and have the right gear, the early part of pre-winter can still be a great time of year to climb high to Base Campsin the Khumbu and Annapurna regions.There are also many accessible treks in the low-lying regions of Nepal where the temperatures are more tolerable and the landscapes equally dramatic. The Langtang National Park boundary is a stone’s throw from Kathmandu, and borders Tibet. Most walks in the park don’t climb to more than 3000 metres (9842 feet) which means temperatures are more comfortable than, say, Namche Bazaar.
The early part of the winter months means there is still significant risk of avalanches due to heavy snowfalls and changing temperatures up high - we’ll tend to avoid the trails in the Khumbu and Annapurna regions until later in the season when the temperatures begin to climb. Chitwan National Park in the Southern Teraiis a great place to explore during Nepali winter as wildlife is fairly active and temperatures are comfortable. The Chitwan National Park is home to rhinos, monkeys, tigers, and a myriad of birdlife. Park is home to rhinos, monkeys, crocodiles, and a myriad of bird life. This trip can be combined with a trip to Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini.
Can I change the duration of the trek and/or the activities I want to do?
Our short answer is yes. Our trips are largely customizable and you can add or subtract activities, preferably at the time of your booking.If you decide to extend your trip after yourarrival in Kathmandu we will do our best to make any additions, albeit there may be additional charges. If something comes up and you need to reduce your trip duration and/or activities we will do our best to accommodate those changes as well.
Are there toilets available during trekking?
There are very few trekking trails and routes that have available Western bathroom facilities. Most of the trekking trail tea houses have very simple toilet facilities with squat toilets over a hole in the ground. Be prepared to have your own toilet paper with you which we, of course, can provide. When tent camping we can provide our own sheltered hole in the ground. It is important that you use toilets when they are available, and that all waste and toilet paper go in the toilet. As you might imagine not doing so can create sanitation and health issues along the major trekking routes.
Is trekking suitable for a solo hiker?
Nepal is one of the safest countries for trekking and climbing, physical and altitude challenges aside. However, risks are greater for those who hike alone with a guide or a porter because there may be no one to assist you if you become lost, ill, or injured. Language may also be an issue in some of the more isolated regions. Being female, transgendered, gay, or lesbian is not cause for harassment in Nepal. In addition to safety, logistics, navigation, and communication, your guide will introduce you to many of the cultural nuances of life in high Himalayan villages. Zambuling Trekking has both male and female guides. Whether you chose Zambuling Trekking or another agency, we strongly advise you to work with a government-registered agency and trek with a guide.
What are the differences between easy, moderate, difficult, and challenging trekking grades?
There is a grading system that classifies the difficulty of trekking trails. There are four classifications Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Challenging. Easy trekking is suitable for all people while difficult and challenging treks are meant only for those who have previous experience. The reason we have categories is to help our clients choose a trek or climb in the Himalaya that is suitable for them.
This is for the trekkers who do not have previous experience, or are not looking for a difficult physical challenge. These treks usually vary from 2-5 days and can reach up to an altitude of 3000m. These treks are usually on well-maintained paths and passes. They typically involve
walking up to 5 hours a day. Easy trekking is located around 2000m (6500 ft.) to 3000m (9800 ft). These treks allow for very scenic vista points including excellent locations to view sunrise’s over the hHmalayan range. Recommend trekking at this grade includes: Ghorepani
Poonhill, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, DampushSarangkot, and Shivapuri.
Moderate grade trekking is suitable for those trekkers who have time and want to spend between 1-2 weeks in the mountain areas. Clients are encouraged to have a good level of physical fitness and adequate physical training.This grade is recommended
for any trekker looking for something a little more demanding than a walk. These trekking areas are mostly base camp treks, which will include panoramic views of the Himalaya. Some of the trekking trails at this grade are Annapurna Base Camp, Gokyo Lake, Langtang Helambu, Tamang Heritage trekking, and Panchase.
We recommend that you have previous moderate trekking experience prior to doing this level of trek. We also encourage clients to have a highlevel of physical fitness and knowledge about trekking systems that includes proper clothing systems, proper body care etc. Difficult treks
include walking through rough trails for 6-7 hours each day and crossing high passes. There are difficult treks that include trekkingto advance base camps as high as 5200m (17000ft.). At the difficult trekking grade you may also experience glacier crossings on snow or ice.You will be facing high altitude issues and continuous walking over long stretches of Himalayan valleys and high points.Annapurna Circuit, Chola pass, ThreePass trekking, Manaslu circuit trekking, Kanchanjungha Base camp trek, and Makalu base camp are all rated at the difficult level.
Peaks and high passes above 5500m-6200m (18000-20,000 ft.)are graded as challenging treks. The main differences between difficult and challenging is that theterrain is greater in height andthe distance covered is greater relative to the altitude. There is often greater exposure with some technical sections requiring a “steady head” andoccasional use of rope as a safeguard. There is also a greater feeling of remoteness and isolation in addition to greater difficulty of rescue. These aregenuine expeditions where climbing skills, experience, and hjigh levels of fitness are necessary. Dhaulagiri Circuit, some Three Pass trekking, Sherpani
Col pass, AmphuLapcha pass, and some other great Himalayan trail are all at the challenging grade of trekking.
How difficult is trekking in Nepal?
Depending on how prepared you are, your trip can be a vacation or a challenge, a revelation or an ordeal. Many Zambuling Trekking trekkers are in Nepal for the first time, and though many are avid hikers, they find trekking in Nepal is quite different than in other countries. There are hundreds of trekking trails in Nepal, and many other trails not regularly used by trekkers. Each 8000m mountain has a base camp, trekking options to reach that base camp, and incredible views, to put it mildly. Other treks run across passes and ridges, or lead through jungles of rhododendron and pine to villages that have changed slowly relative to the rest of the world. Your trekking experience will depend on your fitness, adaptability, preparation, experience, and the length of time you want to spend on the trail. We will do our best to understand your abilities and interests in order to make sure there is a good fit with treks that you are considering. Or we will design one for you. Senior citizens, those with disabilities, and families with younger children can trek in Nepal and Zambuling Trekking is experienced with considering the necessary accommodations.
Am I a trekker or a climber?
This depends on your preference, but also on your physical fitness level, previous experience, and what your acceptable level of risk may be. Easy to moderate trekking is mostly flat or rolling hills and some rock, but is not technical and no ropes are required. More challenging trekking means that you may have to navigate a high altitude pass that may or may not require the use of ropes and/or crampons. Climbers are expected to traverse steep rock, ice, and glaciated terrain with the use of specialized techniques and equipment including direct technical aid.
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