Makalu Base Camp Trek, Nepal’s best kept adventure secret

Posted Sep 19th, 2021 under Blog, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

Makalu Base Camp Trek
If you are a mountain lover, then you might have been to or heard about Nepal’s treasured Everest and Annapurna regions. But when it comes to mountains, Nepal is more than Everest and Annapurna. Sharing the immediate east frontier with Everest, lies Mt. Makalu (8458m), world’s fifth highest mountain as imposing and grand as Everest, if not more. Trekking to Makalu Base Camp is full of amazing adventures, and what’s more, the trail is quieter where you can have nature all by yourself.

Among the countless trekking destinations throughout the country, Makalu Base Camp is one of the most diverse and awe-inspiring one that offers you a wonderful opportunity to explore the unique cultural heritage of Rai and Sherpa people, and exceptional floral & faunal richness of Barun River Valley. Considered as adventurous and challenging trek, this trip takes you through the heavenly panorama of some of world’s highest peaks including the rare angle of Everest (8848 m), Makalu (8458 m), Lhotse (8516 m), Kanchenjunga (8586m) and many more. A trip to this land of unsurpassed beauty definitely deserves to be in your wish list. If you want to dig in further about this adventure, here we have some helpful details for you.

Accommodation

Accommodations during Makalu Base Camp Trek are very basic. You will find local teahouses along the trail. Num, Sedua and Tashi Gaun have comparatively better teahouses than other places. Teahouses have rooms consisting of beds with pillow and blankets. (Make sure to bring your own sleeping bag as the blanket may not be warm enough). You can’t find rooms with attached bath and hot shower. However, if you request, they will provide bucket full of hot water with extra charges. Majority of teahouses have rooms in twin sharing basis and dormitory rooms. And they can accommodate up to 10-12 guests at once. If you have large group, it’s better to take back up camping support in case you don’t find enough rooms.   

Food

Teahouses provide both accommodation and food. As teahouses in Makalu region are basic, their food menu is also very simple, consisting of local Nepali food (Daal Bhaat – rice, lentil and curry), noodles and chapatis. It’s always a good idea to carry supplementary food which you can prepare easily like soup, instant noodles, dry fruits and nuts, coffee, juice, herbal tea etc. Since you don’t have many food options, it’s better to have Daal Bhaat as they are always freshly made and good for calorie replenishment.

Communication

Communication facility in Makalu region is not very advanced. There are signals of telecommunication in the starting point of the trek only (up to Tashi Gaun). As you trek higher, you won’t find network connection. If it is important for you to get connected with your family and friends during the trip, you can get rental satellite phone.

Electricity and Charging

This trek takes you through the isolated valley. Electricity is a problem in the area. Num, Sedua and Tashi Gaun have electricity facility. Places beyond this have solar energy but they are not always reliable. Because of electricity problem, you can’t get charging facility in teahouses. So, always make sure to carry fully charged power bank.

Clothing and Equipment

Makalu Base Camp Trek is a bit challenging trek. So, for that you need best trekking clothing and gears like boots, hiking pants, winter caps, down jackets, Poncho, wind cheater etc. Thermals and layers are really important to keep you warm and comfortable. Trekking poles and crampons (while crossing high pass during winter) are very essential during this trek as you follow snowy and steep trails.  
Makalu Base Camp Trek

 Permits

You need some permits in order to trek in Makalu region. Since you travel through Makalu Barun National Park during your trip, you must have the National Park permit which you need to display if asked. You also need TIMS Card and local permit.  

  • Makalu Barun National Park permit: Approx. $30 per person
  • Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS) Card: $10 per person
  • Rural Municipality – $10

Best Time to Travel

Autumn (from mid-September till November end) and Spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May) are considered to be best season for Makalu Base Camp Trek. The weather in these months are likely to be finest and the skies are clear during these days. Trekking during monsoon and winter is not recommended as the visibility is poor during rainy days whereas the temperature is extremely harsh during winter. It is possible to trek during winter but the teahouses at the high altitude aren’t especially well equipped.

Trekking Grade

Makalu Base Camp Trek is a challenging trek as the trail goes through remoteness, unpredictable weather, high altitude passes and changing terrain with few trekking amenities available. The terrains at the trail gets more difficult and the markings get fainter as you trek higher. The highest point of the trek is Makalu Base Camp (4,900 m). Although this trek is difficult, that doesn’t mean it is less achievable. Right preparation and precaution can make this adventure successful.

Makalu Base Camp Trek

Standard Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu to Tumlingtar (flight) and Drive to Num (Approx. 1505m)

Flight time: 35 minutes

Drive time: 3 hours  

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Tip: leave Kathmandu early after breakfast to reach the destination on time. Though local transportation is available, it’s better to hire a private vehicle.

Day 2: Trek to Sedua (Approx. 1530m)

Trek time: 6-7 hours

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Day 3: Trek to Tashi Gaon (Approx. 2065m)

Trek time: 6-7 hours

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Day 4: Trek to Kauma (Approx. 3562m)

Trek time: 6-7 hours

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Day 5: Rest Day Kauma

Day 6: Trek to Dobate (Approx. 4170m)

Trek time: 7-8 hours

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Tips: Walk gently and gradually while you pass through Keke la pass. The trail is very steep and dangerous. You might get injured if you don’t walk carefully in this pass.

Day 6: Trek to Yangri Kharka (Approx. 4150m)

Trek time: 6-7 hours

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Tips: Always follow the guidance and precautions provided by the experienced crew while you trek to Yangri Kharka as the path is dangerous in the starting of Dobate

Day 7: Trek to Nebuk/Langmale (Approx. 4410 m)

Trek time: 5-6 hours

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Tips: Do not miss the beautiful sunset on Pyramid Peak, Peak 4, Chamlang, Peak 3 and Peak 5 and Mt. Makalu (8458m) from Shershong.

Day 8: Trek to Makalu Base Camp (Approx. 4900m)

Trek time: 6-7 hours

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Tips: Ascent the small ridge of large buttress of south face from the base camp for the stunning views of Peak 6, 7 and Baruntse (7220m), Everest (8848m) and Lhotse (8516m)

Day 9: Rest Day – Exploration

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Tips: Your body needs rest after the trek. So consider this day as rest day to explore around.

Day 10: Trek to Yangri Kharka (Approx .4150m)

Trek time: 5-6 hours

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Tips: Be careful while you pass through Yangri Kharka. The trail is quite dangerous and steep. Always walk slowly and steadily.

Day 11: Trek to Dobate (Approx. 4170m)

Trek time: 5-6 hours

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Tips: Start your day early in the morning with light meal. The landscapes you see on the way to Dobate is awe inspiring in the morning.

Day 12: Trek to Kauma (Approx. 3562m)

Trek time: 5-6 hours

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Day 13: Trek to Sedua (Approx.1460m)

Trek time: 6-7 hours

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Day 14: Trek to Num (Approx. 1560m)

Trek time: 5-6 hours

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Tips: Visit the village and meet local people if you have spare time. Listen to their stories and make your trip unforgettable.

Day 15: Trek to Tumlingtar (Approx. 518m)

Trek time: 3 hours

Accommodation: teahouse/lodge

Makalu Base Camp Trek

 

Makalu Base Camp Trek

Posted Dec 8th, 2011 under Company News, Testimonial, Trekking & Hiking, Trip Report,

John Paul Van Der Woerd from Amsterdam had trekked to Kanchenjunga in 2007 with us. He returned to Nepal again this year in November, to try another challenging trek to the base of the world's fifth highest mountain Mt. Makalu at 8475m. Though it was a difficult and challenging trek, John along with three other members were able to complete it. Here we have his testimonial:
"The trek was beautiful but very hard. Tour guide & staff were very professional, helpful and very friendly. We had a great cook (Meg Bahadur) and kitchen team. They prepared meals which were healthy and varied a lot. Camping sites were very good and chosen carefully and camping equipments (tents etc) were excellent. The overland transfers were very good and the people were very helpful . The last four days in the Arun Valley (Balung, Phukuwa & Bamling) proved to be difficult as the trail was quite old. But after we crossed the river, we picked up a better trail and everybody was happy again!

We would like to stress that Explore Himalaya is a very professional and well equipped organization. Along the way we met two other groups who had to return before reaching Makalu, because of bad equipments (leaky tents) and badly equipped porters. With Explore Himalaya everything was excellent and because of them we were able to obtain our goal. Dhanyabaad!!
John Paul Van Der Woerd
Amsterdam ,
Netherlands

Makalu Base Camp Trek

Happy Explorers

The meeting and handling was very good. The hotels that we stayed in at Kathmandu (Malla Hotel), Pokhara (Fishtail Lodge) and Chitwan (Chitwan Adventure Lodge) were all very good.

- Peter Lange, Denmark Read Testimonials | Submit Your Testimonial

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