This trek approaches to the Eastern Nepal where the world’s third highest peak Kanchenjunga 8598m dominates the skyline. Mt. Kanchenjunga, one of the world’s most challenging peaks to climb, geographically lies on the Nepal-Sikkim (India) border. Treks in the eastern Nepal are fully organized camping based trek which includes 3 square meals per day cooked by our trained Sherpa cooks. The trek begins right after a flight to Biratnagar followed by the drive to Phidim.
As the trek begins we follow the glacial rivers; Tamur and Ghunsa and finally get to the origins of these rivers on the northwest side of Kanchenjunga. On arrival we know we are in a different world; beautiful and untamed. 3600 alpine magnificence where the peaks such as; Pyramid Peak, Jannu, The Twins and the mighty Kanchenjunga (8586m) offer eye feasting views. The latter half of the trek is dramatically enchanting as it traverses the southern side of the mountain via Mirgin La Pass (4663m). Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek also highlights the cultural encounter in the remote villages dominated by the ethnical tribes including Rai, Limbu and Sherpas. Kanchenjunga National Park, the home to elusive snow Leopard is paradise for wildlife lovers as well.
It is a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities..
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal Boudhanath and after that to the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva- Pashupatinath. We take a tour to Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. We walk through Patan Durbar Square, and delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square..
From Kathmandu we take a flight to Biratnagar. On reaching Biratnagar we will drive to Phidim, our trek starting point. 3-4 hours of drive will bring us to Phidim..
Today our trek begins and for the next three weeks we will be wondering in the places dominated by beautiful and wild nature. We head to Lali Kharka with the trekking crew. On the trail, we walk by rich pastures and pristine settlements. After several descents for 3-4 hours, we arrive at Lali Kharka. .
As we traverse along the steep route to Pokhara village, fascinating terraced farmland unfolds soon after crossing a suspension bridge above the Phawa Khola. The route further leads to Kunjari where we halt for lunch. After lunch, we continue following the trekking trail. We get to see dense forests and sometimes a small village located on a hill, as we progress along the trail. On skirting along a gently sloping mountain path, we reach Tambawa and later Bhanjyang, where we spot several teahouses. At this point, we can capture mesmerizing sight of Kanchenjunga glowing against the sun. After having trekked for 5-6 hours, we conclude the day’s trip..
Leaving behind the terraced fields of Keswa, we follow an adventurous route to Nandeva Khola. After crossing the river, we trudge along the glaciated mountain passes. Further ahead, the route winds through dense forest and the village of Loppoding. We come across shady areas where we can rest for a while after strenuous trekking. The sinuous trail then takes us to the right bank of the Kabeli Khola. After a while, terraced fields reappear and the village of Anpan comes into view. We continue ascending till we reach Ponpe Dhara. There are shady spots on the way where we can have a brief rest. As we proceed along the trail, we see several hamlets and terraced fields stretch along the crest of the ridge. There is a rest area where we can pause for a while to bask in the fascinating sight of Mt. Jannu. We continue our descent along the winding path, as we pass through the village of Anpan and terraced fields along Khangwa Khola. We arrive at a suspension bridge. We cross the bridge and continue descending the undulating mountain passes till we reach the village of Mamankhe. .
Beginning with an easy climb, the walk to Yamphudin is along a trail which contours the hillside above the Kabeli Khola. We cross the ridges and stream beds that make up the valley sides and the trail eventually becomes level with the river a couple of hours before Yamphudin. Along the way, we can stop to bathe in one of the many clear pools in this beautiful river. It is a truly idyllic spot and after lunch by the river, we complete the day's walk to Yamphudin. Yamphudin is the most remote settlement in this area and the last habitation we will see until we reach Gunsa. Needless to say, it is a charming place tucked away beneath the ridge of the Deorali Danda, which we must cross next. .
Beyond Yamphudin, the trail ascends a steep spur before dropping again to cross the Omje Khola. Walking through a beautiful and dense forest, we stop for lunch in a meadow atop this spur, which commands fine views of the valley beyond Yamphudin to the south and of the Omje Khola Valley and Deorali Danda to the north. A steep descent to the river brings us to our campsite in a clearing in the Lamite forest..
From our campsite we ascend steeply for 3 hours through dense forest to the crest of the Deorali Danda. From the top, Mt Jannu is clearly visible. After crossing the pass, we descend across some fairly steep and exposed scree slopes before re-entering the forest, where we will stop for lunch. After lunch, a steep descent takes us down into the valley of the Simbua Khola and after crossing an interesting wooden bridge, we arrive at Torontan. This campsite lies amongst the towering fir trees of what is now a mainly coniferous alpine forest. .
This morning, we follow the right bank of the river, passing through pine and rhododendron forests. The trail is fairly steep and, as the day progresses, the trees become sparser and more stunted, giving us glimpses of the snow-capped giants ahead and of the massive snout of the Yalung Glacier. Just before Tseram, the towering heights of Kabru and Rathong peep over the moraine.We camp at Tseram, where night-time temperature plummets, reminding us that we are really gaining height. .
A relatively short day's walk today to our next camp at Ramche. The scenery is magnificent as we ascend past the snout of the Yalung Glacier and into a series of ablation valleys. A frozen lake, crystal clear streams and views of Kokthan, Rathong and Kabru are the highlights of this walk into Ramche which is situated on a broad, flat ablation zone..
Leaving our camp at Ramche, we take a packed lunch and set off very early for our first close encounter with Kanchenjunga. Following the valley around its sweeping curve, we come across the vast southern wall of the mountain. The ridge forms a cirque which is over 15 kms long and not less than 7500 m high. Along this ridge lie the three main summits of Mt Kanchenjunga at 8420m, 8586m, and 8474m. These three summits, jutting out into the sky presents a really grand sight. Proceeding further on towards Oktang [4630m], we descend onto the glacier and cross it to a point below Talu from where we can see the panoramic view of the mountains in the area. Especially impressive is the eastern part of Khumbakarna Glacier flowing from the east face of Jannu [Kumbhakarna being the local name for Jannu]. We then return to our camp at Ramche. .
Leaving our campsite, we trek down the valley, passing the small settlement of Lapsang, before turning off towards the Mirgin La - the pass we must cross in order to reach Gunsa and the north side of Kanchenjunga. As we descend from the Mirgin La, the views, in particular of Mt Jannu, are simply magnificent. Our campsite will be somewhere beyond the pass. .
A steep descent from our campsite brings us to Lamba Sumba Kharka where there are more splendid views of the awesome south west face of Jannu. From here, the going is easy. Descending on an excellent trail to the village of Gunsa, where we camp in the fields by the river. Gunsa is a Tibetan village with a tiny gompa and prayer flags fluttering atop the wooden houses. It comes as a welcome sight after the rigorous walk of the previous days and provides an excellent opportunity to visit a strange local hostelry and sample the 'tongba' [alcoholic beverage fermented out of millet]. .
From Gunsa, our route out of the mountains follows the beautiful Gunsa and Tamur Kholas and passes through spectacular forests of rhododendron, conifer, birch and oak. The valley sides here are steep and the trail follows the river as it cascades downwards. We pass through Kyapra, the last of the Tibetan villages, and, an hour or so further on, we camp in the forest at a spot called Tang..
Heading for the village of Sakathum, our route follows an undulating trail for the first couple of hours until we reach Amjilasa. From here, there is a long steep descent from which we can see the Gunsa Khola Valley stretched out before us. We camp in the fields of Sakathum..
Leaving Sakathum, we head to Chirwa. En route we meet the confluence of two rivers, Simbua Khola and Gunsa Khola at Tamur Kosi. On following the trail along Tamur khola, many other small tributary streams come our way. After trekking for about 4-5 hours we enter the pristine village of Chirwa..
The route further leads to cultivated land and rich pastures. On reaching Mitlung, we halt for a healthy lunch. Then our trail zigzags through the path of steep stones. After climbing for about 4 hours we come to the valley of Phurumba. We camp at Phurumba for the night. .
As we leave the valley, we continue ascending along the ridge for about 3 hours to Taplejung village. We can wander around the village getting familiar with village life, cultural richness, custom and village people. Thereafter, 2 hours of drive will bring us to Phidim where our trek concludes officially..
3-4 hours of drive from Phidim will bring us to Biratnagar and then we take a flight to Kathmandu. Transfer to the hotel upon arrival..
Our Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. Or if you prefer to stay longer you can go for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking, etc.- ask us..
This is a long trek that goes far beyond the normal haunts of trekkers and tourists, to remote areas of the country where the landscapes are wild and untamed and where the local inhabitants have seen little change in their way of life for centuries- untouched corners of an increasingly crowded planet. It is physically challenging, likely to include unfavorable weather conditions and strenuous activities, such as, climbing/ scrambling across high passes.
Camping trek (no lodge available)
Includes: Guide, Porters, Cook, All meals and tents
Camping trek means sleeping in tents. On a camping trek, the tents provided are ‘Two men dome’ or ‘A’ shaped. Foam mattress with insulation underneath is provided for sleeping. Clients need to have their own sleeping bag. Bags or cloth packs are used as pillows. If you wish, you can bring your own ‘Air pillow’.
We have a pool of hotels in Kathmandu under 3 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection to this itinerary, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice. You can check on the description of such hotels through our website.
We provide three tasty, plentiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast consists of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereal followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads.
After a long day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal - soup, followed by a variety of vegetable, meat, rice and pasta dishes and completed with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh produce as possible and special diets are regularly catered for. The leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with respect to personal hygiene. This has allowed us to maintain remarkably high standards of health over many years of trek organization - and good health is vital to an enjoyable and successful trek and climb. All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. Boiled water is served for drinking. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for.
During trek your main luggage will be carried by porters.You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket, etc. - a small load that allows full enjoyment of the trek. A trek bag is ideal for your main luggage, plus a small lockable bag for travel clothes or anything that you do not need during trek which you can leave at hotel’s locker room/safe deposit box in Kathmandu for free of charge. Weight allowance at Nepal’s domestic airlines is 15 Kgs, excess weight is chargeable at USD 1 or more per Kilo depending on sectors.
We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements:
1) Western leader
2) Trained Nepali Trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable)
3) Sherpa Guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)
The Sherpa guide (commonly called Sirdar) will be accompanied by a crew of porters. On camping trek, there will be 2/3 porters for each members.
Our trips are available on both fixed departure and private basis. If you are looking for a group to join this trip please check our ‘2008/09 departures’ link for availability, dates and price. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 1 & maximum 100 at a time).
If you want to do something that is not included in our trip list we are ready to tailor a trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to get you on the trip you want, when you want.
If you opt to join our ‘fixed departure trip’, you are likely to be joining people from different countries of any age group except minors. The size of group varies, minimum no of persons required to operate a trip is 3 & the maximum is 12 people.
All meals will be provided. You only need money for table drinks (alcoholic/non alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking (a few smaller shops are available along the trail in some areas) tips, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some places).
Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise you to allocate 5 - 10% of the total tour cost as tips.
From Kathmandu, you take a 45 minutes flight to Biratnagar and then you take another short 30-40 minute flight from Biratnagar to Suketar. The starting point of the trek is Suketar. On your return, you shall fly from Suketar to Biratnagar. You can choose between flying or driving back from Biratnagar to Kathmandu. We will arrange the transportation from your hotel to the airport (Kathmandu).
While trekking you may not have an access to telephone facility for some days or weeks. However, en route there may be few places where telephone facilities may be available and likely to be working.
If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, EXPLORE HIMALAYA can provide you a mobile satellite phone (rental charge on request).
Trekking: You will need walking boots, sleeping bag (4 seasons/ -20C rated), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack.
Comprehensive list of equipments will be provided once you book your trip or check CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT LIST LINK.
It's not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bough or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu. Explore Himalaya owns a gear shop in Kathmandu selling and renting out climbing and trekking gears, both Nepali made and original.
Your typical day begins with a hot cup of tea brought to the tent at about 6 am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. After packing all your bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the morning’s walk. All you need to carry is a small day pack containing water bottle, camera, sun cream, hat, rain jacket and a warm jumper, just in case. The porters will carry the rest of your gear for you. After walking for 3-4 hours, we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we arrive at camp in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the nearby villages, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days, we will arrive at camp by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free.
Dinner is usually served between 6 and 7 pm. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and talking with the crew, or perhaps even joining in some singing and dancing, before heading off to the tent for a well-earned sleep.
You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a “meeting and greeting” service at airport. You just pass on the Customs and come out of the Terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard with either ‘Explore Himalaya’ or your name written on it. Our airport representative or tour officer will greet you and welcome you with a garland.
The best seasons to trek in the Kanchenjunga region are Autumn (from mid-September till November end) and Spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher everyday. The nights are cold (between -10 C to 5C) but the days are sunny and hot (between 10C to 30C). The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon, disappearing at night. Trekking during the monsoon and winter is not recommended; as the visibility during monsoon is limited, upper high passes are covered with snow during winter.
March, April, October and November are the most popular and favored months for traveling. Please choose the time that is convenient for you.
The majority of people in the Kanchenjunga region are the Tibeto-Mongoloid ‘Rais’ and ‘Limbus’, commonly known as Kirats. They highly dominate the region in the east of the Arun River and a few live elsewhere. It is believed that they came to Nepal from somewhere in the borders of Tibet and Burma. However, according to their own tradition, they believe to have come to Nepal from the north.
The Rais and Limbus are very peace loving people, shy and deeply religious. Their religion practices, language and clothing are similar to the people of middle hills and also similar to highland people like Sherpas and Chhettris. Limbu men wear a distinctive tall topi, a Nepalese cap that is much more colourful than the ones worn by other Nepalese. A noteworthy part of the Limbu culture is the drink tongba, made of fermented millet seeds and boiling water.
At the higher altitude of the northern part of Kanchenjunga region live the Sherpas, who came to Nepal from Tibet, more than four hundred years ago.
At the southern lower part of the Kanchenjunga region live other ethnic groups like Tibetans, Magars, Tamangs, Newars including the Brahmins and Chhettris.
Most of the people in this region are engaged in farming and livestock rearing. The other major means of livelihood here are cardamom farming and tourism.
The itineraries for each trip should be taken as a guideline only. Depending on the prevailing situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary.
You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative depending on circumstances.
We ensure liability as per indicated itinerary and list of services. If the holiday is cut short or completed earlier than the projected period upon client’s wish, we shall not be responsible or make refund against unutilized days or services. Clients need to pay extra for Hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases.
All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. Visa is also issued at the entry points. It can be extended at the Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee. People willing to get entry Visa at the air port or any of the land entry points are required to fill a visa form with passport photograph. So, please download form from the link below (visa form) and get ready while you are passing through the immigration Point.
Visa application form
Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SAARC countries
Multiple entry 15 days - US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days - US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days - US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
Tourist Visa Extension
* Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day
* Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January - December).
As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio. The main health consideration in high altitude is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days. To avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), people take pills called ‘Diamox’. You can also use these pills after consulting with your doctor and purchase them in Kathmandu. For your safety, we also carry the ‘Portable Altitude Chamber’ or ‘Gamow Bag’. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and to handle the low oxygen rate. For your service, we carry a medical kit with standard prescribed medicines along with a users’ manual which you can use upon your own risk. We do not take any medical liability since our staffs are not qualified to prescribe medicines. If you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint, we highly recommend you consult your doctor about your suitability for trekking in high altitude area before booking. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly be of help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions.
In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we believe will not happen; we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu.
Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation.
Wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of Nepal. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize our impact as much as possible.
As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have camp fires and use kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative.
Garbage disposal is another major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear strew with litter. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. We carry out all our garbage, apart from that which can be safely and easily burnt at the campsite. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.
In addition to your trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal and other neighboring countries. You may want to try water rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tour. You may as well take a trip to Tibet, India or Bhutan, whichever appeals more to you.
Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) was conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal.
Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agriculture, culture preservation and fund raising. Explore Himalaya encourages its clients to contribute for the development of Nepal.
We ensure that all the porters and other staffs going into high altitude conditions are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. We are the first ever company to supply high-altitude porters with crampons.
We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG - www.ippg.net).
1) It is a fundamental condition that you acknowledge that this is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken as a guideline only. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall be responsible for providing suitable alternatives which could be decided upon mutual agreement. If an agreement cannot be made, Explore Himalaya shall be only responsible for refund after deducting expenses already incurred.
2) Your booking will be confirmed by email once we have received the deposit of USD 500 and the signed copy of booking form and contract.
The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 month prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.
3) If you cancel, the following scale of charges will apply:
2 months before departure loss of deposit (US$ 500)
29 days to 2 months before departure 30% of total trip cost
10 to 28 days before departure 60% of total trip cost
less than 10 days before departure 100% of total trip cost
If you still have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours. If you want to book a trip, you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us directly by phone: 977-1-4418100.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.