Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a once in a lifetime experience and puts you up close and personal with Himalayan peaks standing above 7000 and 8000 meters. The Annapurna Base Camp trek isn't overly strenuous but requires strong physical fitness.
The trail is decorated with luscious green rolling hills, lively villages, scaling valleys and rhododendron forests. What's more, you are also rewarded with panoramic views of giant Himalayan peaks including Annapurna massifs, Fishtail Peak and Dhaulagiri.
During Annapurna Base Camp Trek, trekkers get the opportunity to traverse through the villages inhabited by different communities such as Gurung and Magar, pass beautiful waterfalls, terraced farmlands, suspension bridges clad with prayer flags, witness romantic sunrises/ sunsets and majestic glaciers all before reaching Annapurna base camp.
Diversity in landscape, vegetation, culture, traditions and religion, all complement each other to make this trek one of the most popular in the world.
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Where it all begins:
Annapurna Base Camp Trek begins from Nayapul - a town near Pokhara, the Lake City of Nepal. This adventure premise of the Annapurna conservation area begins after trekkers explore the ancient heritage of Kathmandu and drive to Nayapul via Pokhara. You begin along the Modi River and steadily head to the village of Birethanti, the checkpoint before entering into the Annapurna conservation. Following the trail along the Bhurungdi River, you begin to walk through dense and lush rhododendron forests, impressive terraced farmlands and along stone staircases that lead through settlements of Lamdawali, Hile, Tikhedhunga, Ulleri. After passing many important villages and watching the breathtaking sunrise from Poonhill, you will navigate through the ups and downs of dense forest, villages and dusty roads until you reach Chhomrong - a large Gurung settlement and the gateway to the Annapurna Base Camp. The trek continues along the Modi River and through small settlements, waterfalls, caves, alpine vegetation, bamboo, orchid and fern forests, past avalanche chutes and rocky terrain to reach the base of Fishtail Mountain. Further ahead, trekkers climb past glacial moraines and huge rocks looked over by the soaring peaks to reach the ultimate destination of Annapurna Base Camp.
About the region:
From start to finish, the villages are dominated by Buddhist religious communities and Tibetian refugees - hence the lifestyle, culture, traditions, rituals, and other ensembles such as monasteries and chortens. It really does open your eyes to what is otherwise a lost community in our ever-changing world.
Fitness and other recommendations:
For those wanting to complete the highly popular Annapurna Camp Trek, trekkers need average physical fitness, strong mental endurance and ability to trek for around 5-6 hours on rough terrain. The best season for this trek is February to Mid-June and September to December. With a carefully designed itinerary, professional and quality service, it is without a doubt this will be an experience of a lifetime.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4160 ft)
Day 02: Trek preparation
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara (820/2,6240ft), 5-6 hrs drive
Day 04: Trek to Tikhedhunga ((1,480m/4736ft), 1 hrs drive and 4 hrs walk
Day 05: Trek to Ghorepani (2,860m/9,152ft). 5-6 hrs walk
Day 06: Trek to Chuile (2400m/7680ft), 6-7 hrs walk
Day 07: Trek to Sinuwa (2,360m/7,552 ft), 5-6 hrs walk
Day 08: Trek to Himalaya (2920m/9344 ft), 6-7 hrs walk
Day 09: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp (4130m/13,216ft), 4-5 hrs walk
Day 10: Trek back to Bamboo (2310m/7392ft), 5hrs walk
Day 11: Trek to Jhinu Danda (1,780m/5,696 ft), 5-6 hrs walk
Day 12: Trek to Pokhara (820/2,624ft), 6-7 hrs walk & 2 hrs drive
Day 13: Drive back to Kathmandu (1,300m/4,160 ft), 5-6 hrs drive
Day 14: Departure from Kathmandu
>Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
> Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
>Passport (required) (With photocopies)
> Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
> Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
Before departing on your trek, make sure you have enough Nepalese currency to purchase extra meals and drinks during the trek. There are no ATM's so make sure you have enough and try to change all your NPR1000 notes into smaller notes before the trek begins.
> Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
> Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)
The best clothing for trekking is either wool or synthetic materials in layers, as this is quick-drying and can keep heat in better. We suggest a base-layer, then a mid-layer such as a light fleece jacket or similar, then a windproof and waterproof layer.
Weather conditions in the Himalayas can change rapidly and your designated tour leader may be forced to change the trip itinerary accordingly. Travellers need to be prepared for all weather conditions. For more information please read the "what to take" section of this trip notes.
While our itineraries are designed to allow for adequate acclimatization you are likely to feel the effects of altitude sickness and oxygen deprivation whilst on this trek. Please be aware that your tour leader may deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time, and arrange for you to descend to a lower altitude.
In the Himalayas weather can cancel or delay the scheduled flight(s) to/from Lukla airport. To be sure that you make your trek, or return from it, it may be necessary to make this flight by a chartered helicopter. Helicopters can operate in some weather that aircraft cannot. Should a helicopter be needed, it will be at the expense of the travellers, and not something covered by GoKo Travels. Please keep approximately USD 500 (one way) accessible in case this situation presents itself. This suggested amount is in addition to the emergency fund suggested below.
Hopefully, weather delays will not occur, or if they do it will be for a limited time. Should the delays stretch into days and neither helicopter nor flight are a viable option, a collective decision will be made by the group on how to proceed. This is especially true if the delays are prior to the trek, as the original trek may no longer be feasible. Your Tour Leader will be there to help with this process.
DRONES IN NEPAL
Please note that drones and the flying of drones are prohibited in Nepal. If you violate these regulations the police may take you into custody.
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact GoKo Travels or your Tour leader on the numbers provided in the contact selection of this document (bottom).
If you are unable to get in touch with GoKo, please refer to our emergency contact details.
You do not need to pre-booked an airport transfer, as your tour leader will collect you from outside the airport and will take you to your Starting Point hotel.
PASSPORTS & VISAS
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality.
All foreign nationals (except Indian passport holders) require a visa to enter Nepal. Visas are obtainable from embassies abroad, land borders (including borders with India & Tibet) and on arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan Airport. Getting a visa at the airport or land borders can take time due to long queues. There have been instances when travellers are asked to show proof of exit from the country, ie flight tickets- although this is uncommon. You will also need to provide one passport photo and payment should be made in US dollars (Other currencies are also accepted but rates will differ).
Please check with the relevant visa office before departure to make sure there has been no change: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
** Note: Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.
The following costs here correct at time of writing:
Single entry visa valid for 15 days - US $25:
Single Entry Visa for 30 days - US $40
Multiple entry visa valid for 90 days - US $100
Please Note: Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit the country. GoKo recommends that you list your date of entry a few days before, and date of exit a few days after your intended dates in case you encounter any delays or problems en route.
FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INSURANCE
GoKo Travels doesn't currently have the facilities to book your external/international flights. Therefore, you will have to prearrange your own flights to the required destination. We are always looking to improve our services, therefore, are planning to implement this solution as soon as possible.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate in any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your Tour leader, who will take note of your insurance details and emergency contact number. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and Mastercard but these are limited to Kathmandu and Namche Bazaar. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee.
The official currency of Nepal is the Nepali rupee (NPR). Its symbol is often displayed as Rs. USD are also widely accepted in Nepal. ATMs can only be found in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Bhaktapur. Make sure you carry sufficient cash to cover your needs when travelling outside of these cities.
The Government of Nepal has banned the import, export and use of 500 and 1000 Indian rupee notes in Nepal. You should ensure you are not carrying these notes on arrival in Nepal as they will be confiscated and you may be fined.
Make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't.
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved.
ACCOMMODATION, FOOD AND TRANSPORT:
Hotels (3 nights), teahouse lodges (12 nights).
A tea house is the combination of a guest house, restaurant, and social hang out. Private rooms are available in most tea houses, except for high altitudes ones where it will be just dormitories. The lodges are fairly basic and the rooms are small with twin beds. Blankets are generally provided, while most bathrooms are shared and toilets will either be squat or western style.
The majority of tea houses only have cold showers, however, a few may have hot water available at an additional cost. Nonetheless, we discourage groups from using water heated by wood, as lack of firewood in villages is a big environmental concern in Nepal.
There is a large dining room / communal-lounge, warmed by the Bukhara stove (an iron cylinder, fitted with a chimney duct, in which a log fire is lighted). You will spend most your evenings in here.
There is normally no electric lighting in the bedrooms unless the village has hydroelectric power.
Some tea houses now also have electricity for charging small appliances - mobile phones and cameras - and there may be a small charge for this.
Eating is a big part of travelling. Travelling with GoKo you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally, 3 meals a day is included in all of our trekking prices. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though and you will still have your own choice from the menus provided.
During a tea house stay, you will be given breakfast and dinner, while lunch will be eaten at one of the trail side restaurants. Every tea house serves the traditional Nepali meal Dal Bhat (rice and lentils), as well as a variety of different food items, such as rice, vegetables, noodles, potatoes and soup. Some have a Nepali version of western food such as pizza, pasta and french fries. Soft drinks, snacks and beer are available in most of the tea houses and trail side restaurants. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods.
In Kathmandu and Pokhara there are plenty of restaurants and cafes for all tastes and budgets.
ALCOHOL & CAFFEINE:
Alcohol and trekking don't mix. We highly recommend that you limit your alcohol consumption in Kathmandu prior to your trip. Celebrate your achievements after your trek. Both alcohol and caffeine increase dehydration. Limit your intake of both when hiking at high altitudes.
Plane, taxi, private vehicle and walking.
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
Flights between Kathmandu and Lukla are often delayed due to poor weather and there have been occasions when groups have had to have their treks rescheduled. Your local leader will give you the most up to date information regarding delays to flights. Domestic flights in Nepal have strict weight limits - 10kg of check-in luggage and 5kg of carry-on hand luggage per person is included with your flight ticket. Excess baggage (up to 5kg per person only) will be charged at your own expense.
Nepal's only international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport, has a single runway that services both domestic and international flights. Cancellations and delays are frequent, especially during peak tourist seasons or in poor weather. Travellers have on occasion missed international connections as a result of this, particularly if flights from Lukla to Kathmandu are delayed. Ensure you have adequate travel insurance and contact numbers for your airlines before departure
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safekeeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling.
STRIKES & CRIME:
Demonstrations and protests are common in Nepal, with strikes regularly occurring that may result in curfews or roadblocks being enforced at short notice. At these times, businesses may close and vehicles may not be allowed on the roads. You should avoid any demonstrations or political gatherings and follow local advice, including that of your leader in the event of any disruptions.
Although crime is relatively low, pickpocketing and other petty theft are common, especially in places where tourists or foreigners frequent. Avoid walking on your own and don’t carry large sums of cash. Keep valuables in a hotel safe if possible. Bars and restaurants now close at midnight as part of a government crackdown on illegal activities. Police have increased their presence in Thamel and Durbar, Marg, popular tourist districts in Kathmandu, in an effort to reduce crime in these areas. You should seek out police if you have been robbed or affected by any crime.
Travelling in Nepal during Holi Festival (1-2 March 2018, 20-21 March 2019, 9-10 March 2020), can at times be dangerous due to large consumption of intoxicating substances. Although this is a once in a lifetime festival, it is often associated with physical violence and danger in some parts of the city. Your guides will advise you and your group on what places to avoid on this day.
Travelling during the Hindu festival Diwali (7 November 2018, 27 October 2019, 14 November 2020) can also be dangerous. During this time there are many displays of fireworks in the streets. It can be very noisy for several days and there is also a lot of pollution caused by the fireworks. As there are no restrictions on buying fireworks there are often injuries caused by people exploding them inappropriately. Ask your guide about safety options here and if you feel uncomfortable we can alter your itinerary too best suit your needs.
MEDICAL & HEALTH:
Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally, so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel.
All GoKo travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our tour leader / local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, GoKo Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure. Information should be gathered round necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure.
We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. For legal reasons, our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
The Definition of Altitude Sickness (Acute Mountain Sickness):
It is an illness that ranges from a mild headache and weariness to a life-threatening build-up of fluid in the lungs or brain at high altitudes. Acute altitude sickness is the mildest and most common form.
High Altitude: 1500 – 3500 m (5000 – 11500 ft)
Very High Altitude: 3500 – 5500 m (11500 – 18000 ft)
Extreme Altitude: above 5500 m (18000 ft)
Altitude sickness causes:
Altitude sickness symptoms occur when the rate of ascent into higher altitudes is too quickly that the body doesn’t get time to acclimatise. Altitude sickness generally develops at elevations higher than 8,000 feet (about 2,400 meters) above sea level and when the rate of ascent exceeds 1,000 feet (300 meters) per day.
The following actions can trigger altitude sickness:
Ascending too quickly (rapidly)
Overexertion within 24 hours of ascent
Inadequate fluid intake
Consumption of alcohol or other sedatives
One way to avoid altitude sickness is allowing the body to get used to the altitude slowly (Acclimatisation). Acclimatisation is the process by which the body adjusts to high altitudes. The goal of acclimatisation is to increase ventilation (breathing) to compensate for lower oxygen content in the air. To compensate for this extra ventilation, blood needs to have a lower pH. In response, the kidneys excrete bicarbonate into the urine, which in turn lowers the body’s pH to accommodate this extra respiratory effort.
Altitude sickness symptoms:
Acute altitude sickness may be associated with any combination of the following symptoms:
Shortness of breath during exertion
Swelling of extremities
People with acute altitude sickness often attribute their symptoms to other causes such as an uncomfortable bed, bad food, or a hangover. However, it is important to recognize that these symptoms may indicate a high altitude illness which is High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and High altitude cerebral edema (HACE).
High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) fluid build up in the lungs. An advanced form of acute altitude sickness causes the following progression of symptoms:
Shortness of breath at rest
Wet cough with frothy sputum
Onset of HAPE can be gradual or sudden.
HAPE typically occurs after more than one day spent at high altitude
High altitude cerebral edema (HACE) is fluid build up in the brain. It can begin with confusion.
A person developing HACE begins having trouble keeping up with the group.-
Next, walking and coordination become impaired.
As the brain continues to swell, lethargy and then coma will develop.
If left untreated, HACE will ultimately result in death.
Both HAPE and HACE are potentially fatal but are thankfully extremely rare.
Altitude sickness treatment:
Delay further ascent until symptoms improve.
Rest and stay warm.
Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for headache. ( Ask your doctor for subscription )
Do not use sleeping pills or other central nervous system depressants to treat insomnia because they can suppress breathing.
If symptoms continue, do not travel any higher.
GOKO'S EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group guides or local representatives straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/ local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete for whatever reasons, you wish to contact GoKo directly regarding changes to your scheduled trip or make a complaint while you are already on your trip, or need to contact us in cases of an emergency, please use the following details below:
Emergency Contact Number: +44 7305027666