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Trekking & Tracking

Nepal

March 12 - 30, 2021
Cost: $7,850
Leader: Tashi Tenzing
Group Size: 10
Days: 19

Safari Overview

Nepal is famous for both its majestic, towering Himalayas and its lowland wildlife gems such as tigers, rhinos, elephants, and sloth bears. In the Annapurna region, spend three days of moderate, porter-assisted trekking at elevations between 3,000ft and 7,000ft rolling in and out of lovely forested river valleys, while dining and sleeping at mountain lodges. Game drive in Bardia and Chitwan National Parks in the lowlands to experience and photograph the abundance of Nepalese mammals, reptiles, and birds in habitats including woodlands, plains, and rivers. You’ll travel by foot, jeep, and boat, and stay in top-quality lodging. Tashi Tenzing, the grandson of Tenzing Norgay, has been trekking in the Himalayas and leading wildlife safaris since the late 1980s, including successfully climbing Mount Everest three times, so it is a treat to share this special tour with you!

HIGHLIGHTS
• Experience the thrill of tracking tiger, rhino, elephant, and other enigmatic species in Bardia and Chitwan National Parks.
• Trek for three days in the Himalayas, assisted by porters, with the creature comforts of sleeping and dining at mountain lodges.
• Explore the cultural highlights of Kathmandu and Pokhara for one day each.
• Take in the magnificent Mount Everest during a one-hour, chartered scenic flight.

SAFARI OPTIONS

1. Continue your journey early on our India safari from March 27 - April 15, 2021. Focus on tiger encounters in Ranthambhore and Bandhavgarh National Parks, plus search for other wildlife. Also visit the Bharatpur’s wonderful wetland preserve, the famous Taj Mahal in Agra, and the amazing temples in Khajuraho. See full itinerary.

2. If you’d like to continue your journey to Tibet, please contact us for details.

Itinerary Updated: May 2019



Print Trip Safari Options
Date Description Lodge Meals
Mar 12-13 Travel to Kathmandu, Nepal.
Mar 14 Arrive in Kathmandu. Gokarna Forest Resort, Kathmandu
Mar 15 Full day to visit cultural highlights in the Kathmandu Valley, including Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple. Gokarna Forest Resort, Kathmandu B, L, D
Mar 16 Fly to Pokhara and begin three days of easy, porter-assisted trekking. Trek to Majgaon at about 4,600ft. Gurung Lodge, Majgaon B, L, D
Mar 17 Trek through blooming rhododendrons and Gurung villages to Landruk at about 5,200ft. La Bee Lodge, Landruk B, L, D
Mar 18 Trek to Ghandruk at about 6,700ft. Himalaya Lodge, Ghandruk B, L, D
Mar 19 Full day in Pokhara for photography and birding along the lake and up at the Peace Pagoda. The Pavilions Himalayas, Pokhara B, L, D
Mar 20 Fly to Nepalgunj and then drive to Bardia National Park. Karnali Lodge, Bardia National Park B, L, D
Mar 21-23 Spend three full days on game drives in the heart of Bardia National Park’s grasslands, woodlands, and river banks. Karnali Lodge, Bardia National Park B, L, D
Mar 24 Drive 200mi to Chitwan National Park and when you arrive, explore the lodge grounds for birds. Kasara Resort, Chitwan National Park B, L, D
Mar 25-26 Spend two full days in Chitwan National Park tracking tigers, elephants, and rhino. Kasara Resort, Chitwan National Park B, L, D
Mar 27 Drive to Bharatpur for flight to Kathmandu for lunch in the city and spend your afternoon relaxing at the hotel and exploring the grounds. Gokarna Forest Resort, Kathmandu B, L, D
Mar 28 Dawn scenic flight around Mount Everest, followed by a bird walk, Monkey Temple tour, and special farewell dinner hosted by Tashi and Nina Tenzing. Gokarna Forest Resort, Kathmandu B, L, D
Mar 29 Continue on our India safari or fly home. B
Mar 30 Arrive home.

Our Trip Leaders

Tashi Tenzing

Tashi is a Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer, naturalist, and the grandson of Tenzing Norgay who made the first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. Tashi grew up in Darjeeling and received a degree from the University of New Delhi. He successfully climbed Mount Everest and Mount Denali and guided climbing trips in the Antarctic for 10 years. He is based in Kathmandu where his family also runs mountain lodges, builds schools, administers a medical facility, and awards scholarships for young people to attend school.

Detailed Itinerary

A glimpse into our journey

Travel to Kathmandu, Nepal

Mar 12-13

Arrive in Kathmandu

Mar 14

Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to your hotel, located about an hour from the airport and nestled next to a 100-acre forest. If you arrive before dark, wander the lodge grounds looking for woodpeckers and barbets in the trees along the edge of the lodge parking lot. If you’d like to go into the forest, ask at reception for their resident forest guide to meet you.

Cultural highlights of Kathmandu Valley

Mar 15

Meet Tashi after breakfast for introductions and a briefing about the trip, and then depart for a full-day city tour with his guide. You’ll visit the Boudhanath Stupa and the Pashupatinath Temple which highlight Hindu and Buddhist architecture. Spend the afternoon visiting the old city of Patan, and then depart for your lodge for a Nepalese dinner outside in the lovely garden.

Fly to Pokhara and trek to Majgaon at 4,600ft

Mar 16

Take the 25-minute flight west to Pokhara, the second largest city in Nepal. Pokhara has a great range of altitudes within the city, from 2,700ft in the south to 5,700ft in the north, and offers spectacular views of several majestic mountain chains including Lantang, Manaslu, and Annapurna.

Tashi’s assistant, your main trek guide, will meet you at the airport to drive one hour to your starting point in Lumle at about 6,500ft. During the drive, you’ll stop to photograph the breathtaking panoramas of the Annapurnas. Trekking from Lumle, you’ll walk about one hour to the village of Chandrakot, situated at about 5,200ft. From this village, take in spectacular views of Annapurna South, the sacred and unclimbed Fishtail Mountain (locally known as Machapuchare). Local porters will transport your luggage. From Chandrakot, walk through a forested area along a well-worn trail for about one hour to your lodge in Majgaon, situated at about at 4,600ft. In the afternoon, if you’d like to explore more, you may walk to the local villages of Tanchowk, Majhgaun, and Patlekhet.

During your three days of trekking, look for resident and migrant birds, including shrikes, magpies, treepies, orioles, drongos, flycatchers, bulbuls, warblers, and sunbirds. Spot Himalayan vulture and other raptors, including eagles and hawks, in flight. Perhaps the unafraid Himalayan whistling thrush (also known as blue whistling thrush) will sing from the lodge’s roof during dawn and dusk. The most common birds in the area are the Himalayan bulbul and the crimson sunbird.

Trek to Landruk at 5,200ft

Mar 17

After breakfast, bid farewell to Majgaon and depart for Landruk. The trail passes through blooming rhododendrons and forests punctuated with Gurung villages. After about four hours, you will arrive in the beautiful village of Landruk where you’ll enjoy lunch and then visit a Gurung village while watching the birds found there.

Trek to Ghandruk at 6,700ft

Mar 18

In the morning, soak in the view of the majestic mountains, and after breakfast, begin your last day of trekking. You’ll descend the steep trail towards Modi Khola through scattered villages with beautiful views of the Himalayas, and then a steep ascent to reach Ghandruk. The lodge respects the Gurung architecture, with a large common dining room with a friendly fireplace and spectacular views of the mountains, including Gangapurna, Machapuchare (Fishtail), Mount Annapurna, and other snow-capped mountains. If time permits this afternoon, visit the local museum and the village.

Drive to Pokhara for Peace Pagoda

Mar 19

Today you’ll return to vehicle transportation and drive to Pokhara, about one hour away. After lunch, walk along the lakeside to find the special birds here in the hotel gardens. You’ll see abundant waterbirds and perhaps even an osprey fishing. Drive up to the famous Peace Pagoda for beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and Pokhara, and watch overhead for raptors riding the thermals, such as eagles and vultures.

Travel to Bardia National Park

Mar 20

Fly to Nepalgunj in Nepal’s lowlands – quite a change in scenery from our previous days. Upon arrival, you’ll be met with refreshments and transferred to your lodge, approximately two hours away. En route, get a feel for life in the Terai, Nepal’s lowlands bordering India to the south. Close to the lodge, you cross the Babai River where marsh mugger crocodiles may be sunning. Once at the lodge, enjoy a Nepali lunch in the outdoor garden. By mid-afternoon, head out on a jeep safari in Bardia National Park until dusk in search of elusive tigers and leopards. Tigers hunt in the cool of the day, so dusk is a great time to catch a glimpse of one of these great cats patrolling its territory. Enjoy an outdoor fireplace before migrating into the Golghar (Nepalese dining room) for dinner.

Bardia National Park

Mar 21-23

Bardia, the largest national park in the lowland Terai region, was established for the conservation of tigers and their prey. Initially a wildlife reserve, it was expanded in 1988 to protect enough deer habitat for a healthy population of tigers to thrive. In 1997, additional surrounding areas, forests and private lands managed by park authorities and local communities, were added as a buffer zone.

You’ll have three full days for jeep safaris in the Bardia National Park grasslands, woodlands, and river banks. You’ll eat early breakfasts and spend full days in the park with a picnic lunch along the river banks, another great place for a tiger to emerge suddenly from the tall (up to 8m!) elephant grass. The shy smooth-coated otter is sometimes encountered along the rivers. Your guides will search for tracks along the roads from the jeep, as tigers love to walk on the roads. Herds of beautiful chital (also known as spotted deer) are common and are tigers’ favorite prey, and you’ll find black-faced langurs and rhesus macaques.

To Chitwan National Park

Mar 24

Enjoy a big breakfast in the lodge’s garden before the long, beautiful drive to Chitwan National Park which takes about six to seven hours. The road passes through other smaller national parks in the Terai region where the native sal forest, a tropical moist deciduous forest dominated by sal trees, has been preserved, but most of the 200mi between Bardia and Chitwan has been converted to agriculture. The lovely homes above shops, all painted in fascinating, unique designs, will especially catch your eye. Arrive at your lodge mid-afternoon in time to explore the grounds for birds, hopefully finding collared falconets, blue whistling thrushes, and tailorbirds.

Chitwan National Park

Mar 25-26

Established in 1973, Chitwan National Park was the first national park in the country. It was granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1984. You will explore its rivers, grasslands, and sal forests. It is home to 68 species of mammals, which include the "King of the Jungle" Bengal tiger, Indian elephant, leopards, greater one-horned rhinoceros, sambar deer, red muntjac, hog deer, herds of chital, and more. It also boasts 544 species of birds.

You will track tigers, elephants, and rhino by looking for footprints along the roads from your jeep. You’ll also take two boat rides down the Narayani River, the boundary between the national park and the surrounding villages. These boats are big, stable canoes made out of huge kapok tree trunks and propelled by locals who navigate through wild water hyacinths and paddle past sunbathing mugger crocodiles and endangered gharials. The greater one-horned rhinoceros comes down to the river to drink in the morning, a good reason to do more than one boat trip. Several species of storks, ducks, herons, ibis, raptors, and shorebirds hang out along the rivers. Sambar deer, hog deer, gaur, two species of mongoose, and sloth bears are all very special mammals to encounter when exploring in the sal forests. Chitwan is also the best place to see Indian elephants in the wild, as they love to bathe and drink in the rivers.

Fly to Kathmandu

Mar 27

After breakfast, drive to Bharatpur for flight to Kathmandu, arriving in time for lunch at one of Tashi’s favorite restaurants in the city. Then transfer to your hotel for a relaxing afternoon.

Mount Everest Flight

Mar 28

Wake up at 5:30am to depart for an amazing one-hour dawn flight around Mount Everest. After the flight, return to the hotel for breakfast, and then enjoy a bird walk in the Pokhara forest. After lunch, depart with Tashi’s city guide for the famous Monkey Temple atop a nearby hill, where you also get lovely views of the city. End your day with a very special farewell dinner hosted by Tashi and Nima Tenzing in their home.

Continue on our India safari or fly homeward

Mar 29

You will be transferred from the hotel to the airport for flights to join our India safari or for flights home.

Arrive home

Mar 30

Nepal

Nepal is famous for both its majestic, towering Himalayas and its lowland wildlife gems.

27.717245, 85.323959

Cost & Payments

Costs (in US$)

Type Cost Per Person
Trip cost, double occupancy $7,850
Single supplement $1,935

Costs are per person, double occupancy, not including airfare (except for three internal flights), singles extra. See Included and Not Included sections for more details.

We reserve the right to charge for cost increases that occur between when we set tour prices and the date of travel, for example, changes due to the cost of lodging and transportation. If you are a single traveler and you desire, we will find a roommate for you. If we cannot find you a roommate, we may charge you a single supplement fee. Single rooms are subject to availability.


Payment Schedule

Payment Due Date Amount Per Person
Deposit Due now to reserve your space $500
Second February 1, 2020 $2,000
Final October 1, 2020 Remaining Balance

Payments are due based on the schedule above. All reservations require a deposit to confirm reservation of your space. For reservations made after a due date, all past payments will be due with registration. By sending your initial deposit, you agree to accept our payment schedule and cancellation policy as a contract. If payments are still outstanding two weeks after the due date, your space may be forfeited.


Cancellations

Until the Final Payment due date, deposits are refundable except for a cancellation fee of $150 per person, which can be applied toward another tour if reserved within six months of the cancelled trip’s departure date. Cancellations are non-transferrable. No refunds are given after the Final Payment due date.

Included

  • All leaders, transport, park entry fees, and permits for all activities unless described as optional.
  • Accommodations for the nights of March 14 through March 28.
  • Meals from breakfast on March 15 through breakfast on March 29.
  • Airport transfers on March 14 and March 29.
  • Flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Pokhara to Nepaljung, and Bharatpur to Kathmandu.
  • One-hour scenic flight around Mount Everest in a window seat.
  • The following items are loaned during the trekking portion of the tour:
    • Travel backpack (70 liters) to pack down (you’ll need your own daypack, Porters will carry your travel backpack, but not your daypack).
    • Trekking poles.
    • Down jacket, gloves, warm hat, and slippers each night at lodges.
  • Filtered water during the trek, bottled water is provided in the vehicles, and Gokarna Forest Resort and Kasara Resort provides one free half-liter bottle of drinking water per person in your room daily.
  • Trip Materials – information about flights, packing, entry and departure requirements, airport transfers, gratuities, etc.

Not Included

  • All airfare (except flights listed as included), airport and departure taxes, and any excess baggage fees. Airfare is approximately $875 – $1,200 between the US and Kathmandu, depending on origin
  • Passport and visa fees.
  • Bottled water costs extra during meals, except at breakfast when water is often available to fill your water bottle.
  • Gratuities – tipping our resident guides is, of course, discretionary, however we suggest budgeting approximately $13 – $16 per participant per day for March 14 through March 29 ($210 – $250 total per participant) to be distributed among the resident guides and staff who assist Tashi.
  • Emergency medical and evacuation insurance, but it is required for you to purchase. For more information see www.cheesemans.com/travel-insurance.
  • Trip cancellation insurance. For more information see www.cheesemans.com/travel-insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, medical costs or hospitalization, room service, alcoholic and other beverages, and items not on the regular menu, etc. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate them on your Reservation Form.

Climate

When in the highlands, daytime temperatures generally range from around 55°F (13°C) to 80°F (26°C). When in the lowlands, daytime temperatures are generally in the 70s°F (low- to mid-20s°C). In both regions, overnights and mornings are much cooler. Although it is the dry season, rain is possible. We cannot predict cold snaps or heatwaves, so dress in layers and pack clothes for changing conditions.

Fitness Level

Moderate fitness level is required. Trekking is from around 5 – 6.5mi per day, taking around 4 – 6hrs to arrive to your lodge. Elevation range while trekking is from 3,000 – 7000ft. Our game drives require good energy levels as some days are long. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make this trip challenging.

Flights

Unless listed as included, airfare is not included in trip costs. Detailed logistical information and the contact information for our recommended flight-ticketing agent are included in the Trip Materials we will send you. Please let us know if you are arriving earlier or staying later as we are happy to assist you with any extra overnights that you might want to arrange.

Flights you (or a travel agent) book: Arrive in Kathmandu by March 14. Depart from Kathmandu March 29. If you are continuing on our India safari, see the Flights section in its itinerary for arrival information.

FAQ

Accommodations

Stay in charming mountain lodges while trekking, and in luxury camps or hotels during the rest of the safari. The trekking lodges provide a down jacket, gloves, warm hat, and slippers each night. All lodges do not have air conditioning, but have private baths and are in close proximity to the parks.

Seasickness

Transportation

You will travel by private bus with air conditioning between locations and by open four-wheel drive jeeps in the parks. You will have ample space for your gear. Be prepared to experience bumpy, unpaved roads, and although our vehicles are comfortable, you will be jostled around. You’ll take a scenic flight around Mount Everest with everyone in a window seat. The canoes you’ll ride in are equipped with back rests and an area in front of you for your gear.

Conditions

  • Non-smoking policy: We have a strict non-smoking policy. Smoking is not permitted at any time or any place during our tours.
  • Maximum time in nature: We try to spend as much time in nature as possible, sometimes resulting in long days but giving you a more in-depth experience.
  • Itinerary route: The itinerary route, stops, and plans are subject to change by unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, such as weather or road conditions.
  • Additional forms: For some of our tours, you may be asked to fill out additional forms (e.g., medical questionnaire).
  • Medical conditions and travel risks: Travel to remote places is exciting, but it is important to understand and accept the risks, both medical and logistical. Minor medical problems can usually be treated, but because we are often far from medical facilities, there can be no expectation for immediate medical treatment or evacuation, even in cases of trauma. Anyone with health problems needing close medical supervision should not consider going on this tour. Bring enough medication for the duration of the trip for any chronic medical needs since pharmacies are usually not available. When you send your deposit and signed Reservation Form, you certify to us that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions that would create a risk for yourself or for other trip participants.
  • Use of drones/UAVs on tours: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), AKA drones, are not suitable for use on most Cheesemans’ Ecology expeditions due to logistical constraints and in many cases, local and national laws or regulations. In some cases, such as on our polar voyages, we operate under environmental regulations that ban the use of recreational drones. Do not bring a drone on safari without contacting us first.