A trek that takes you to the base of the Himalayas within a week
Mardi Himal, lying less than fifteen miles north of Pokhara, is the most southerly mountain of the Annapurna range. Opened only in 2012 as a new trekking route, the trail to this delightful mountain is one of the least frequented trekking destinations, yet holds all the highlights of Himalayan beauty. The trek offers stunning views of magnificent mountains, rugged terrain, enchanting rhododendron forests (especially during Spring when they are in full bloom), sparkling rivers, quaint villages, lush green terraced fields and an extraordinary view of Mardi Himal which terminates the South-West ridge of Machhapuchhre as a distinct and separate mass, at right-angles to that ridge. From some viewpoints it seems little more than an outlier on the south-west flank of Machhapuchhre. This trek is an ideal choice for those who want to have off the beaten Himalayan experience in a short time frame.
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2 Fly Pokhara, Drive to Phedi (1150m)-1/2 hours & Trek to Deurali (2150m) - 4/5hrs
Day 3 Trek to Forest Camp (2550m) - 5/6 hrs
Day 4 Trek to Low Camp (3150m) – 3/4 hrs
Day 5 Trek to High Camp (3590m) – 4/5 hrs
Day 6 Exploration, Hike to Upper View Point (4200m) or Mardi Himal Base Camp and back to High Camp– 7/8 hrs
Day 7 Trek to Kalimati (1600m) - 5/6 hrs
Day 8 Trek to Lumre (3hrs) and Drive to Pokhara (2/3 hrs), Evening Boating at Phewa Lake
Day 9 Fly back to Kathmandu, Sightseeing Tour in Kathmandu (Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhu)
Day 10 International Departure
Arrive Kathmandu, transfer to hotel
You will be greeted by a panoramic view of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below once you fly in the sky of Kathmandu. 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. Overnight at Hotel..
Fly Pokhara. Drive to Phedi (1150m)-around 1/2 hours & Trek to Deurali (2150m) – around 4/5hrs
After breakfast, we fly to Pokhara in a wonderful scenic flight of 30 minutes. Upon arrival, we drive to Phedi which takes around 1-2 hours. Phedi is our trek starting point, from where we ascend to Deurali. Passing through stony steps, villages, terraced fields and green forests of oak, maple and hemlock, we reach Deurali, a beautiful village with awesome views of Annapurna South, Mardi Himal and Macchhapuchhare. Overnight at Tea House
Trek to Forest Camp (2550m) - around 5/6 hrs
Early morning, after breakfast with sunrise view, we start our journey. Our trail passes through a quiet wooded area along a ridge which starts to descend after half way. After a while the trail starts gaining height rejoining the earlier ridge and continues till we reach Forest Camp. After reaching our stopover for the night, we explore the area which will be followed by a well earned rest. Overnight at Tea House .
Trek to Low Camp (3150m) – around 3/4 hrs
As we move on to the higher altitude, the trail gets more rugged and we can feel the wilderness slowly taking over the surrounding. En route we can observe the breathtaking views of Hinchuli and Annapurna South occasionally. After walking about 3/4 hours, lesser compared to previous days, we reach Low Camp. Overnight at Tea House .
Trek to High Camp (3590m) – around 5/6 hrs
We have our early breakfast and start trekking. After short walk inside the forest, the trail leads to the grassy land with lesser vegetation. We can enjoy the Himalaya panorama throughout our trek. We may also have an opportunity to have a glimpse of Himalayan birds Impeyan Monal and lophophorus, the national bird of Nepal. Once we reach High Camp, we have one of the most stunning views of the Himalaya. Overnight at Tea House .
Exploration, Hike to Upper View Point (4200m) or Mardi Himal Base Camp – around 7/8 hrs
Today we hike through the challenging terrain towards Mardi Himal Base Camp. As we move on towards the deeply off the beaten track, the views become more and more captivating. If we continue to the Base Camp, it makes the back and forth trek of around 7/8 hours. However, there is also a viewpoint halfway for those who want shorter trek. From the Base Camp we can have the wondrous views of Mardi Himal (5587m), Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna south (7219m), Hiunchuli (6441m), Baraha Shikhar (Mt. Fang) (7647m), Tent Peak (5695m), Singhachuli (6501m), Machapuchhre (6993m) and others; and its sure that moment will stay in our memories for ever. After enjoying the great views, we retrace back to High Camp. Overnight at Tea House .
Trek to Kalimati (1600m) - around 5/6 hrs
After breakfast, we descend to Kalimati passing through the pine and rhododendron forests, and farms. We take a different route rather than retrace back the same route which allows us a new perspective of the region. We walk 5/6 hours down to the upper Mardi Khola to reach Kalimati. It’s a small quiet village untouched by the bustle of tourist traffic. We can have the experience of authentic Nepali village life here. Overnight at Tea House .
Trek to Lumre (3hrs) and Drive to Pokhara (2/3 hrs), Evening Boating at Phewa Lake
Today is the last day of our trek. We walk for around 3 hours and reach Lumre. Enroute we pass though some beautiful villages inhabited by mixed communities. At Lumre, we take a vehicle and reach Pokhara in about 2 hours. Upon reaching Pokhara, we enjoy the rest of the evening doing boating or other independent activities. Overnight at Hotel .
Fly to Kathmandu, Sightseeing Tour in Kathmandu (Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhu)
We fly to Kathmandu after breakfast. In Kathmandu, we have a half day sightseeing tour to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely Kathmandu Durbar Square, the architectural masterpiece of medieval Nepal; and Swayambhu, or Monkey Temple, a place of great significance in Buddhism and the origin of Kathmandu Valley. Overnight at Hotel .
You have free time till departure. You will be assisted to Tribhuwan International Airport as per your flight time. Have a safe journey back home!.
TRIP GRADE: Moderate to fairly challenging
Longer treks going right into high mountain country, to some of the famous mountaineering Base Camps over high passes. Physically quite tiring, involves approx 6-8 hours trekking along rocky ridges of high Himalayan peaks. No previous experience is required, you should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercises and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions.
We offer several options regarding the organization of your trek:
1) Guide, Accommodation and Porter trek (GAP trek)
Includes: Accommodation, guide and porters
This option of the trek is for those who want basic support from us. This is the most economic way to do trekking in Nepal. We provide an English speaking local Sherpa guide, book and pay for the accommodation in local lodges during trek and arrange required porters. Trekkers pay for meals directly to the local lodge owner. Expect to spend around $25 a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.
2) Camping trek
On camping trek you will be sleeping and eating on tents. A trekking crew contains one Sirdar, one cook and the numbers of kitchen crew, Sherpa assistants and porters depending on the size of the group. Under the leadership of the Sirdar (the local trek leader) the crew will ensure you take the right path. The kitchen crew will keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals. The porters shall transport the gear from camp to camp. Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. Sirdar and his assistants speak basic English, good enough to explain to you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.
Includes: Guide, Porters, Cook, All meals and tents
3) Lodge or tea house trek
Although simple, the teahouses or lodges do provide shelter and warmth and are normally run by friendly local families. The lodge or tea house treks are less expensive than camping trek and are largely suitable for small groups.
Includes: Accommodation in lodge, guide, porters and all meals
YOUR TREK CAN BE ORGANIZED IN ALL THE 3 WAYS AS MENTIONED ABOVE.
Trekking in Annapurna region doesn’t need tremendous logistics in terms of accommodation as you will find plenty of clean and friendly lodges along the trail.
You stay in single rooms where possible, but you will often have to share. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. A few have electric blanket, hot bags (luxury lodges) and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in a comfortable local lodge each day. We send a porter ahead of us to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot always be booked in advance).
Please remember that some of them are very basic and a sense of adventure is necessary. It is cheaper to stay in lodge rather than organizing a camping trek.
On camping trek, you sleep in tents either ‘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’.
Meals are included in our price and are taken in lodges available along the trail. You can find a considerable variety of Nepali and Western food as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, and beer).
Meals are prepared by our cook. We provide three tasty and nutritious meals daily along with drinks.
You will have to make your own eating arrangements in the lodges available along the trail. Expect to spend around $25 a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.
On camping trek, our staff will boil or filter water and cook meals treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. On GAP trek and Lodge trek, you will be able to buy bottled water in tea houses. We recommend you to bring water purification pills. On the trail, water from stream is safe if away from settlements.
LUGGAGE WHILE TREKKING
During the trek, your main luggage will be carried by porter or yaks. Please keep your luggage as light as possible around 12 to 15 kgs. You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket etc. You can leave your valuable items at your hotel while trekking. Many hotels have a locker system and provide a deposit slip for the valuables kept under the hotel's safekeeping.
GROUP LEADER AND CREW
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 while on GAP and Lodge trek 1 porter for 2 members.
JOIN A GROUP OR PRIVATE TRIP
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 ‘2020 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 your trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to meet your needs.
GROUP SIZE ON FIXED DEPARTURE TRIP
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 2 the maximum is 12 people.
Personal expenses depend largely on duration, trekking region and the type of trek.
Lodge trek and Camping trek:
You only need money for table drinks (alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages), tips, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some places) and snacks while walking.
You need to pay for your meals and should expect to spend around $25 a day for your food.
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 that you can allocate 5- 10 % of the total tour cost as tips.
FLIGHT / LAND TRANSFERS
You can choose any mode of transport to commute from Kathmandu to Pokhara. From Kathmandu, you can take a 30 minutes’ scenic flight to Pokhara and drive to Phedi or drive for 6/7 hours from Kathmandu along the Prithvi Highway to Phedi, the starting point of the trek. On your return, our car/bus shall pick you from Lumre and drive to Pokhara. You can choose between flying or driving back to Kathmandu from Pokhara. We also arrange all airport pick up and drop transfers.
There are a plenty of telephone facilities in the Annapurna region. Cell phones work fine throughout the trek in the region. If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, we can provide you rental satellite phones if necessary.
TREKKING GEARS & EQUIPMENT
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 equipment will be provided once you book your trip. It's not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu.
TYPICAL DAY ON TREK
Lodge/ Tea House Trek, GAP Trek & Camping Trek
Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the day's walk. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon's walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day's adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.
However, on a camping trek, you begin your day with a hot cup of tea which will be served to you in the tent at 6 am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. Other day activities are the same as mentioned above.
MEETING AND GREETING IN KATHMANDU
You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a “meeting and greeting” service at airport. You just pass the Customs desk 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 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 similar to your original.
We ensure liability as indicated in 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 for Hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases.
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 seems more appealing to you..
All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. You can also get “On Arrival Visa” at entry points. Some countries’ nationals need to get visa prior their arrival. Please check http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa for detailed information.
Visa can be extended at the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee.
Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SAARC countries
Multiple entry 15 days - US$ 30 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days - US$ 50 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days - US$ 125 or equivalent convertible currency
Tourist Visa Extension
* Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 45 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 3 per day
* In case of delay, (less than 150 days), additional US $ 5 per day as late fine.
HEALTH ISSUES AND VACCINATIONS
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. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and handle the low oxygen rate.
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 areas 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 help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions
FIRST AID KIT
We supply a medical bag with standard medicines prescribed by trekking doctors and a user’s manual. Since our staffs/guides are not qualified for suggesting medications to western clients, we would request you to use the medicines upon your own risk. It is safer and more reliable if you have your own medicine kit and not depend on what we have.
RESCUE / EVACUATIONS
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.
CLIMATE AND BEST TIME TO GO
The best seasons to trek in the Annapurna 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 every day. The nights are cold (between -20C 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 is not recommended, as the visibility during monsoon is limited. Trekking in the winter is possible; however, it is much colder than Autumn and Spring.
March, April, October and November are the most popular and favored months for traveling. Please choose the date that is convenient for you.
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 strewn 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.
Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) has been 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 and culture preservation. Explore Himalaya encourages its clients to contribute for the development of Nepal.
Care for Porters and Staff
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) Your booking will be confirmed by email once we receive your deposit of USD 300 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 months prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.
2) If you cancel, the following scale of charges will apply:
2 months before departure – Loss of deposit (US$ 300)
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
It is fundamental to acknowledge that this is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken only as a guideline. 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 provide suitable alternatives which could be decided upon mutual agreement. If an agreement cannot be made, Explore Himalaya shall only be responsible for refunds after deducting the expenses already incurred.
If you have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly by phone: 977-1-4418100. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours.