Nature-treks.com/Himalaya (NTH) hopes the following information is helpful to the visitors. We believe that all the travellers get the precise information so that any unpleasant events can be avoided and help them, make their holiday safe, sound and enjoyable in every aspects. If people are not careful any thing can happen to anywhere, right inside their house only! As there is always some kind of rules and regulation where ever we visit and if we stick to these simple rules, the trip is always safe and enjoyable.
Safety in Nepal!
Nepal is probably the safest place in the world. People here regard their guest/visitors as a god/goddess, so are very friendly and hospitable. Generally tourists feel quite comfortable to wander around. Locals are always eager to lend their hand to help any tourists in need even there is a barrier of communication. Though the time is changing and some incidents of unpleasant experience of theft and cheating is reported due to the some boldness that some tourist shows and venturing into the unnecessary areas and of course there are always some people any where that try to fish in the murky water. Therefore, it is advised, especially while in big cities, to be careful where and when you walk. Nepal has gone through some major political changes and still learning as politics is very new to most of the people and hence now you might encounter some kind of dissatisfaction or protest in the streets, so just stay away from those hot spots. Try to stay in main tourist areas and please seek the advice of your tour leader or guide or the company you are with. Remember, there is no place in the whole world that does not have the protest; some political and criminal activities the people might be off. Anything can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime, right inside the room but you should always be cautious and look into the positive aspects of the trips and places, which will make your trip more enjoyable and memorable. Here NTH, by any means will provide you the factual information and if you are not supposed to visit, we will simply say, do not!
During the transportation ban, Nepal Tourism Board and the Nepal Tourist Police in conjunction with the Himalayan Rescue Association run Shuttle Bus Services between various hotels in Kathmandu and the Domestic and International Airports.
Driving in Nepal is a challenging job. The road regulation is almost non existent but it’s up to you to follow these rules. Traffic in Nepal drives on the left. You must have an international driving license to drive a vehicle in Nepal. You should carry your license with you at all times when driving as well as any documents relating to the vehicle itself. Local bus travel is particularly hazardous and please avoids travel on overnight buses.
There are several internal airlines operating in Nepal offering flights across Nepal. You should check weather conditions before travelling with internal airlines. Bad weather conditions in mountainous and hill regions can increase the risk to safety.
Trekking in Nepal – Safety and Security! Trekking in Nepal often involves travelling to very remote areas. The availability of phone and Internet services is extremely are still limited. It is likely that during a trek you will be unable to contact family and friends for a long period of time. Treks often take longer than expected by one or two days, which can worry friends and family.
The Government of Nepal has authorized the Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) and the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to implement a system for foreign trekkers called the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) issued by TAAN or NTB. In case of an emergency, the new system will help authorities ascertain the whereabouts of trekkers. NTH will obtain the TIMS permit upon your arrival in Nepal
A valid visa is required to enter Nepal for the nationalities of all the countries, other than the SAARC countries like India and China. Visa can be obtained right in ones country through the Nepali Consulates or Embassies. Visa can be also obtained at the each entry points and at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu upon arrivals. Entry to Nepal may be refused, and airlines may not carry you if your passport has less than six months’ validity.
- Single entry – US $30 for 60 days
- Multiple entry – US $50 +us$30 Visa duration will be extended subsequently for 30 days upon payment of US$30 for a maximum period of 150 days in visa year (January – December)
- One passport size photograph is required.
- Leaving and re-entering the country, one need to pay additional fees of US $25 for Single Re-entry and US $40 for Double Re-entry and US $60 for Multiple Re-entry.
- Leaving and wishing to re-enter Nepal as a tourist within 150 day of the same visa year, one may pay US $50 for 30 days.
- Business visas with multiple entry facilities are available at a rate of US $100 for one year and US $250 for five years. Ministry of Industry recommendation is required.
You should seek medical advice before travelling to Nepal and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. Healthcare is poor in most places outside Kathmandu valley and Pokhara. You should be aware that it might be difficult to obtain rapid helicopter evacuation if you were to fall ill or suffer a serious accident in a remote area of the country.
There is a seasonal outbreak of dengue fever in the Chitwan district. Cases of Japanese encephalitis have been reported in Terai area of Nepal. The WHO advises short-term visitors to Nepal during the rainy season (June-September) and all long-term visitors to Nepal to obtain Japanese encephalitis vaccinations before travelling.
HIV/AIDS is also becoming one of the health problems in Nepal and estimated that the prevalence rate is estimated at around 0.5% of the adult population. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.
The risk to humans from Avian Influenza ((H5N1) is believed to be very low. As a precaution you should avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds; and ensure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.
Travellers displaying symptoms of swine flu (H1N1) should seek medical advice.
It is your responsibility to bring sufficient quantities of any specific medication you require. Consult your doctor before departure so that he/she knows the conditions under which your will be taking the medication. Advise us any side effects of any medication you take and any dietary requirements related to taking them and be sure to let your trek leader know of any drugs to which you are allergic. On most trips you will be isolated from modern medical facilities, so attention to medical matters is vital.
Keep good health during the trek! For this you make sure to drink plenty of waters always. You should also use good suntan lotion, wear hat and sunglasses even during the overcast days. Deal the cold with warm insulations to prevent the loss of heat from your body. Personal hygiene should be always maintained and any problem encounter should be discussed with your leader or guide. Choosing the food items during the trek should be careful and your tour leader or guide will be able to help you out if that is okay to eat there. Try to stay with more wholesome and simple local foods rather then the fancy western imitative items.
It is strongly recommended that one’s travel arrangement should be really considered through the government-registered company only unless one is in contact of good and reliable friends. This will avoid the tourist being cheated at any points and at the same time the local being left helpless too as if something goes wrong with their health condition all the tourist might not be able to help due to their time constraint and other factor and here the company will come handy to deal with such miseries. The using of the company also provides employment to more people for their livelihood. Companies also has trained and reliable manpower so that the tourist are informed well with right information.
When to Visit Nepal!
Nepal is ever pleasant through out the year. It all depends on how you take the different seasons. Nepal has many seasons as spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter!
Spring is the most vibrantly colourful season as many flowers come in the bloom. Be at lowland or highland with beautiful Rhododendrons, Prime Roses, and Gentians etc. This season last from early February to mid April. The weather is perfect to travel, though starts getting warmer towards the lowlands. The occasion thunderstorms and short precipitations can be expected especially in Annapurna areas. The mountains are still very clear in upper parts and usually visible spectacularly.
Summer season beginning from April last till August along with the Monsoon season. The temperature starts rising and can be little uncomfortable at lowlands but the mountains are still pleasant. On the trek the days are warmer to hotter but the nights and evenings are cooler. This time also sees some thunder showers and the visibility at lower parts become bit obscured too. But people who do not like cold, this is the perfect time to take a trek or visit Nepal.
The Monsoon starting from the month of June peaks up in July and August. The rain usually last for short period though can be very heavy, seldom lasting for many days. It’s not easy to travel everywhere except some parts that has well established trails and river bridges. The days can very hot and humid, temperature usually averaging over 30 degree Celsius. The mountains can be seen but usually stays covered in clouds. But this is the season when all the floras are in their best making it wonderfully lush, green and soothing in nature, a perfect contrast with snowy mountains in the backdrop.
Autumn from October to late November is the best time in terms of the balanced weather in Nepal. The days are warmer and nights comfortably cooler. Its dry and the sky is clear making it the best time offering more spectacular views of the mountain and surrounding making it to be the best time for trekking or tours. Only little downside of this season is that, the mountain is overcrowded with tourists.
Winter months are usually December and January but can start earlier and last till the mid February. It can be very cold in the upper parts of the mountains and less cold in lower parts. The days with sun can be still warm and without sun the temperature can drop below zero sometime. Its dry usually this time but can get rain occasionally too.
Flooding and landslides
Travel in the rural areas during the Monsoon season (June – September) can be hazardous and care should be taken. Monsoon rains cause flooding and landslides that can cut off some towns and villages for days at a time. Please check with us before setting off on a journey.
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling that cover for medical treatment, accidents and evacuation by helicopter (presently costing between 1,500 US Dollars and 2,500 US Dollars per flying hour). It is advisable to have cover for unexpected losses such as cancelled flights, stolen or lost cash, cards, passport, luggage and any loss damage or liability resulting from terrorist action.
Some does and don’t
To make your trip as smooth and as safe as possible, NTH recommends that you take the following precautions
- Register with the your Embassy and leave a photocopy of your passport and your itinerary with them
- Carry your passport or at least photocopy of passport with you at all times with your next of kin details into the back of your passport.
- Do not enter ‘Restricted’ areas.
- Please remember altitude can be fatal and take professional advice from your guide. Make sure that your insurance covers you for the altitude you are due to be trekking at. Be aware of the symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS).
- Never trek alone. Independent trekkers should use a reputable local guide as there have been reports of rogue guides robbing trekkers. Ensure that you and your guide are properly equipped and insured for the trek you intend to undertake.
- Make sure someone at home has a copy of your itinerary.
- Register your route at the entrance to the parks/conservation areas.
- Ensure that you register the itinerary of your trek with your Embassy
- If your plans change try and call or email home to let people know you are all right.
- Never venture from your planned route or itinerary without leaving someone a message to tell them what route you plan to take.
- Avoid going into the hotspots of trouble if there is.
- Never become involved with illegal drugs of any kind in Nepal.
The currency in Nepal is called RUPPEES as Rs in short. The Nepalese currency is available in the denomination of 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. It is always best to carry the small denomination of 100, 50 and 20s or so as especially when you are trekking. One US$1 is worth Nepalese 70.50 (Oct2010). ATMs are available in Kathmandu and Pokhara and other major cities in Nepal. Credit cards are also useful in most major hotels, restaurants and shops with some surcharge. However, you should check first that a particular card is acceptable. Both Euro and US Dollar travellers’ cheques can be cashed relatively easily in most banks and major hotels throughout the country.
Nepal has banned the use, import or export of 1,000 Indian rupee and 500 Indian rupee notes and tourists should ensure that they do not enter or leave Nepal with either 1,000 or 500 Indian rupee notes. The Revenue Investigation Department will confiscate any notes and also impose a fine of the amount seized, payable in local currency. Lower denomination notes from India are accepted in Nepal especially in the terai areas.
Travelling alone or with a couple of female friends can be a great experience but women travellers can be an easy target by criminals. Please note some basic to avoid the trouble you may encounter:
- Think about how your clothing will fit in with local customs?
- Don’t wear expensive jewellery
- Don’t tell strangers where you are staying or give out too many details about your travel plans
- if you’re travelling alone you may attract unwelcome attention and you may receive unwelcome propositions or remarks – it is usually best to ignore them
- Act confidently
- Never hitchhike or accept car rides from strangers
- Ask your hotel to recommend a taxi, try to pair up with someone you know when travelling by taxi
- If you ever feel uncomfortable or in danger, don’t be afraid to draw attention to yourself by shouting and making a fuss.
- Going out at night always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return be cautious of people who ignore your personal space, do not listen to you, make you feel guilty if you resist their advances or appear drunk
- If you are alone, phone the local police, a hospital or the British Consulate. And always try to drink responsibly
- don’t leave your window open, especially if your room is on the ground floor or has a balcony remember to lock your room door even when you are inside the room
- use a door wedge on the inside of your hotel room door for extra security if the door has a spy-hole or chain, use these before opening the door to unexpected visitors.
Be responsible travellers
Making responsible choices about your holiday can help protect communities and the environment around the world. Tourism can have a negative impact on the environment and here we have outlined few tips to reduce the impact, help to protect endangered species and preserve local cultures.
- Drugs are a universal problem and its important to be aware of the consequences
- Child sex tourism is unfortunately a growing problem in some areas of the world and learn how you can help stop this
- Be aware how you can minimize the negative impact travelling and holidays have on the environment, local cultures and wildlife
- Pay the faire prices and do not bargain for food and water
- Feel free to ask NTH how you can be model travellers
- Do not buy any animal or endangered species of plants
- Do not pick up the flowers from the trail
- Do not walk on the unestablished trails.
- Respect the local cultural norms and values
- NTH discourage the flying as it just adds more carbons to the already ailing environments.