When I think about Nepal, the first thing that springs to mind is the image of a snow-covered Everest shooting into the sky with strings of multicoloured prayer flags flapping in the crisp wind. Even though Everest is an iconic part of Nepal, the country has more to offer adventurous travellers than I had ever imagined.
From the majestic mountains of Annapurna to the exotic wildlife of the national parks. The activities are endless, from white water rafting in icy mountain rivers to trekking up to Everest Base Camp, there are wildlife safaris and rowing on the lake in the picturesque town of Pokhara. All of these are experienced with the beautiful backdrop of the Himalayas!
The variety of wildlife in Nepal is astounding and to me was surprising. On a wildlife safari in Chitwan National Park you may see tigers, rhinos, elephants, sloth bears to name a few. The park covers almost 1000 square kilometres and is home to over 43 species of mammal, 45 species of reptile and amphibian and an incredible 450 bird species!
You can explore the culture and religion of Kathmandu, visit temples, go mountain biking or walk in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary on your way to Everest base camp. Nepal has endless opportunities for visitors which are as varied as it’s climate, from the steamy flats on the border of India to the whitecaps of the ‘Abode of Snows’ (Himalaya in Sanskrit) Nepal will blow you away and will make you want to revisit over and over.
Encounters Travel offer 3 different itineraries for Nepal and cover both the Himalayas and the national parks. The First is an 11 day itinerary called Nepal Exposed, that gives you a taste of its beautiful mountain scenery, ancient cultures and religions, lush wildlife parks, remote hilltop villages, and includes time to relax in the lakeside town of Pokhara.
The next one is a 15 day trip, Classic Nepal. This combination tour gives you a taste of everything this beautiful Himalayan country has to offer, including sightseeing in the Kathmandu valley, a taste of white-water rafting, wildlife safaris, and a short trek to Poon Hill.
And lastly, the 18 day Everest Base Camp trek. This trek gives you a once in a lifetime chance to get right up close to Everest. It is a tough trek that needs some preparation, but immensely rewarding. We pace the itinerary sensibly with acclimatisation days en-route, and time in the Kathmandu Valley at either end of the trek.