Pre-Departure Guide

Everest Base Camp Trek


Overview

Accomplish your goal of hiking the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest (8848m), with Everest Base Camp Trekking. The camp goes through unique passages that provide a closer view of Mount Everest at an elevation of about 5,550m. Start from the small, high, mountainous airport of “Lukla” and from there, begin your Mt. Everest adventure. Throughout the trek, enjoy the beautiful scenery of mountains, villages and rivers while learning about the culture and lifestyle of the highland Sherpa people.


Highlights

  • Accomplish a bucket-list item: Trek to the foothill of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world.
  • See the stunning Himalayas, up close and personal.
  • Explore the ancient city of Kathmandu and learn about Buddhist and Hindu traditions and culture.
  • Enjoy a one-hour complimentary spa in Kathmandu after trek. It's on us!
  • We only work with the best local service providers: our partner has over 20 years of experiences guiding trekking groups in the Himalayas, and is registered with the Government of Nepal, Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), and Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP).

Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The itinerary is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to variance due to local circumstances.


Introduction

Country: Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Area: Approx. 147,181 sq. km (56,827 sq. mi.)
Population: 8,982,771 (estimated) as per 2016 demographic survey.
Capital City: Kathmandu
Languages: The major languages of Nepal (percent spoken as native language) according to the 2011 census are Nepali (44.6%), Maithili (11.7%), Bhojpuri (Awadhi Language) (6.0%), widely in the south.
Religion: Hinduism 81.3%, Buddhism 9%, Muslin 4.4% and other 5.3%.
Time Zone: UTC+5:45


Important: ALTERNATIVE ITINERARY DUE TO FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS

The weather in the Himalayas changes frequently, which may necessitate itinerary changes. Flights through Nepal can be cancelled or delayed due to weather. In cases of bad weather that would affect our itinerary between Kathmandu and Lukla, contingency plans are as follows:

Day 2: We will attempt to board our regular flight; if this flight is cancelled, we will spend an additional night at the hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 3: If today’s flight is cancelled, we will attempt to charter a helicopter to transport the group to Lukla. Travelers will need to use their emergency fund to cover the cost of this chartered helicopter, which could cost up to US $500 (one way). Hopefully we will reach Lukla on Day 3, at which point we will follow the same itinerary to Everest Base Camp, descending more quickly over one less day to take the return flight from Lukla on Day 14.

Day 4: If weather still prevents both planes and helicopters from flying on Day 4, then we will travel in a private vehicle by road to Phaplu (approximately a 9 hour drive).From Phaplu, we will trek to Tengboche on the Everest Base Camp route. While we will not be able to reach Base Camp with this altered itinerary, it is still a highly enjoyable trek, as it includes superb views of Mount Everest and the Himalayas.

If we take the alternate itinerary, we advise allowing a few extra days in Kathmandu in case your return flight from Lukla is delayed due to weather.


Climate & Weather

  • Spring (Mar–May): A close second to visiting in the fall, spring brings warm weather and spectacular rhododendron blooms. Temperature generally ranges between 16-23 Degrees Celsius (61-73 Degrees Fahrenheit). The national flower of Nepal, the rhododendron, is in full bloom.

  • Summer (Jun–Aug): This is monsoon season. Weather is hot and wet, with rain almost every day and occasional thunderstorms. The rains, which occur mostly in the evenings, bring landslides, and clouds often obscure mountain views.

  • Fall (Sept–Nov): This is the best trekking season in Nepal. The weather is generally very pleasant with very clear mountain views. Temperatures range from 23-25 Degrees Celsius (73-77 Degrees Fahrenheit). This is high season, so book your flights in advance.

  • Winter (Dec-Feb): In winter, the Himalayan region becomes freezing cold and trekking is more challenging. This season is good for trekking in lower elevations (below 3,000m/10,000ft), as temperatures in lower elevations range from 9-12 Degrees Celsius (48-54 Degrees Fahrenheit). Days are warm and sunny, but mornings and nights can be cold.


Visa

All foreigners (except Indian citizens) must obtain a visa to enter Nepal. Please note it is your responsibility to arrange the visa before you travel.

A Nepalese Visa is obtainable from embassies abroad or on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu or other entry points via land. If getting the visa at the airport, prepare for a long line. You will need to provide a valid passport with at least 6 months’ validity, at least two blank visa pages, and one extra passport-sized photo.

The Tribhuvan International Airport now have “Visa Machines” installed which have webcams to take visa photos, but it’s still recommended to carry extra photos with you in case the machines are out of order.

  1. Go to one of the Visa Machines and follow the instructions to enter required information. The machine will also take a visa photo for you. Once finished, the machine prints out a receipt.
  2. Take the receipt and go to the Cashier counter where you need to pass over your passport, receipt and pay for your visa. Please note that you need to pay the visa fee in USD and there is no ATM or Money exchange kiosk in that area.
  3. After you receive the visa, move on to the customs.

Please find the visa fee information below.

Visa Facility Duration (Days) Fee
Multiple Entries 15 $25
Multiple Entries 30 $40
Multiple Entries 90 $100

(**The visa information above is provided to the best of our knowledge at the time. The policies are subject to change by the Department of Immigration without prior notice. Please make sure you visit the immigration website and check out the most updated visa requirements before departure.)


Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation, it is best to first call our local representative. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

Emergency Contact Info:

  • Mr. Dipak L.: + 977 9851071767

Arrival

After passing customs at the airport, our local representative will greet you at the arrival gate, holding placards with our company's logo and your name on it. In case you have trouble finding our representative, please contact the emergency contact and our local contact will help you.


Accommodations & Food

We stay at teahouses along the trek. A tea house is a combination of a guest house, restaurant, and social hangout. The rooms are very basic, with two twin beds and very little additional furniture. Blankets or comforters are generally provided. Most bathrooms are shared with others; a private bathroom will only be available at some lodges at lower altitudes. The majority of teahouses only provide cold showers. A few may have hot showers available at additional cost. Some teahouses also provide Wifi and an electricity charging service for cameras and phones for a small fee.
During the trek, you will have breakfast and dinner at the teahouse where you stay for the night, and lunch at one of the trail side restaurants. Every tea house serves a traditional Nepali meal of Dal Bhat (unlimited refill of rice, veggies and potatoes!), as well as a variety of different food items, such as noodles and soup. Some have Nepali versions 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. And, of course, Nepali milk tea is served everywhere.


Drinking Water

Avoid drinking unboiled water or ice cubes at all times, as most water sources are untreated. However many Nepalese people drink it straight from the tap. All water sources are from mountain spring waters.

All teahouses have boiled water for trekkers. Travel Her Way also provides water purification tablets that gives you drinking water security. We discourage the purchase of bottled water while on the trail. The plastic bottles are difficult to dispose of and have become an environmental problem.


Health

Trekking in the high Himalayan altitude is a true adventure. You must be fit and should be in good health. Please visit your family physician before your trek in the Himalaya and make sure you bring all your prescription drugs with you. Our guides will bring a first-aid kit for minor sickness and injuries.

Below listed some commonly seen health problems while Trekking in Nepal:

  • Sore throat, cough, and common cold due to the dry mountain air. This can lead to chest infections. This problem can be solved by wearing a mask. Smoking and alcohol should be avoided at high altitudes.
  • Diarrhea, constipation and upset stomach can be caused by unhygienic food and drinks. Travel Her Way recommends places that serve hygienic food prepared with Western standards.
  • Muscle pain and spasms, foot problems and blisters. Wear good footwear to protect against blisters. Be sure to bring a blister kit and use it at the first sign of a hot spot. Muscle pain can be prevented by stretching before you begin walking.
  • Loss of energy, eye infection and stuffy nose. Be sure to eat healthy when trekking. For eye infections, use eye drops. For a stuffy nose, use a decongestant. Ginger tea is also helpful.

Please note that all travelers are required to complete the sections ‘A’ and ‘B’ of the medical form. If you have indicated that you have a pre-existing medical condition you are required to complete section ‘C’ also which must be signed by your physician. This is to ensure that travelers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip.


Vaccinations

There’s no obligatory vaccination schedule for visitors to Nepal. That means you won’t be required to show any medical paperwork on arrival. But because of poor hygiene, poverty and poor conditions in many areas of Nepal, travelers are encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get a number of vaccines to prevent illness and disease, especially if traveling to rural areas.

Please arrange a visit to your personal physician and ask about vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US.


Altitude Sickness

At high altitudes, the decrease in atmospheric pressure makes it difficult to breathe due to less oxygen. It usually happens above 3300m(10,000ft). Altitude sickness is the most dangerous hazard that threatens trekkers. Every year, more trekkers are victims of altitude sickness because they do not take care of themselves properly when in the mountains. We also recommend you to visit your family physician before you travel.

Signs and symptoms

  • Headache/dizziness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Tiredness/fatigue and delirium
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Drunken gait
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Reduced urine output

Prevention: Trekkers must be prepared and understand the symptoms. There are things you can do to help prevent altitude sickness including:

  • Acclimatize properly
  • Do not make a rapid ascent
  • Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills and smoking
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Do not carry more than 10 kg
  • Climb higher sleep lower
  • When starting at 3000+ m, don’t ascend more than 330m a day
  • Never travel alone

Treatment

  • Descend
  • Provide oxygen canisters
  • Gamow bags
  • Diamox pills (125g) before dinner Link to Travel Insurance Purchasing

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory for all our travelers. Your travel insurance must provide coverage against personal accidents, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation (including air ambulance and helicopter rescue services) with a recommended minimum coverage of US $200,000 for each of the categories of coverage. We also strongly recommend travel insurance that covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects. You must provide proof of your travel insurance on the first day of your trip; you will not be able to join the trip without it.


Age Requirements

Adventuresses are required to be at least 18 years old if traveling independently. Our tours are open to younger adventuresses aged 15 or older, who must be accompanied by an adult over 21. A parent is required to fill out the “Travel with Minors” form in this case. If the adult is not a parent, he/she is required to fill out a “Parental Consent Guardianship Form” and get it signed by the minor’s parent.


TIMS Card

For safety all trekkers in Nepal must acquire the Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS) Card before trekking. TIMS Card is mandatory to ensure the safety and security of trekkers in the general trekking areas. It records where you are, who you are, who is with you and what you are doing in Nepal. It is an important document in case of emergency. The TIMS fee is included in the tour price and we will take care of the card arrangements for you. To obtain TIMS Card you need to provide copy of:

  • Passport
  • Two (2) passport-size photographs.

Getting Into Nepal

By Air

Nepal Airlines is the national carrier of Nepal. Nepal Airlines has flights to/ from Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Bangkok, Doha and Hong Kong. Other international airlines operating to and from Kathmandu are: Air Arabia (Sharjah), Air Asia (Kuala Lumpur), Air China (Lhasa, Chengdu), ArkeFly (Amsterdam), Bahrain Air (Bahrain), Biman Bangladesh (Dhaka), China Eastern Airlines (Kunming), China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou), Dragon Air (Hong Kong), Druk Air (Delhi, Paro), Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), Flydubai (Dubai), GMG Airlines (Dhaka), Gulf Air (Bahrain), Indian Airlines (Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi), Indigo Airlines (Delhi), Jet Airways (Delhi, Mumbai), Jet Lite (Delhi), Korean Air (Seoul), Pakistan International Airlines (Karachi, Islamabad), Qatar Airways (Doha), RAK Air (Ras al- Khaimah), Silk Air (Singapore), Spice Jet (Delhi), Thai Airways (Bangkok) and United Airways (Dhaka).

By Road

All visitors coming to Nepal by road must enter only through one of these entry points: The Indian-Nepal border:

  • Kakarbhitta, Jhapa District (Eastern Nepal)
  • Birgunj, Parsa District (Central Nepal)
  • Belhiya, Bhairahawa (Rupandehi District, Western Nepal)
  • Jamunaha, Nepalgunj (Banke District, Mid-Western Nepal)
  • Mohana, Dhangadhi (Kailali District, Far Western Nepal)
  • Gadda Chauki, Mahendranagar (Kanchanpur District, Far Western Nepal)
  • The Nepal China boarder:
  • Kodari in the Nepal-China border, Sindhupalchowk District (Northern Border)

Please Note: Overland tourists entering Nepal with their vehicles must possess an international car rental or complete customs formalities.


Communication

Phone

Mobile phone and landline services are available in Nepal. Landlines are mostly in Kathmandu and some other major cities. Mobile service is available in most areas of Nepal with the exception of rural Himalayan regions. Furthermore, hotels and private communication centers also provide telephone services and fax facilities.

Postal Service

The Central Post Office is located in Sundhara, Kathmandu near Dharahara. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Saturday and other national holidays. The Postal Office provides following services:

  • Express Mail Service (EMS)
  • Parcel Service
  • Post Box Services & Online Post Box Service
  • Postal Banking Service
  • Letters

Internet

Nepal has Internet services in Kathmandu and other major cities. Many hotels and restaurants provide Wi-Fi and there are also many internet cafes in major cities. However, services are very weak or do not exist in remote areas.


Money

The official currency in Nepal is Nepalese Rupee. Foreign currency should be exchanged through banks or authorized money exchange. Visitors may exchange currency at the airport upon arrival. Please retain any receipts for money exchange transactions. There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and Mastercard but these are generally limited to the cities of Kathmandu and Namche Bazaar.


Culture

Nepal prides itself as a land of great hospitality. Whether you are in our cities or in rural areas to trek you are respected and treated like a family member. “Athiti Devo Vhaba” is a traditional proverb in Nepalese society which in English means “Tourist or guest is like our god.” But there are some cultural differences to keep in mind. Please be aware of these cultural norms:

  • The form of greeting in Nepal is “NAMASTE” and is performed by joining the palms together with bowing your head.
  • Respect privacy and do not take photographs in holy places where you are not allowed to take photos. If you don’t know, ask your guide.
  • Remember not to point with a single finger or feet but use a flat extended hand, especially when indicating a sacred object or place.
  • Avoid touching women and holy men. Do not shake hands when greeting one another. Instead, press palms together and say “Namaste.” Touching between same sexes is normal but is considered inappropriate with the opposite sex. In public areas, mutual affection such as kissing and hugging between males and females is strongly considered taboo. It makes the Nepalese people uncomfortable. Maintain safe distances while talking to women in Nepal.
  • Remember before entering a holy temple, Nepalese house, or a stupa – take off your shoes and sandals. Never spit in or around temple premises. Leather articles are prohibited to be taken inside.
  • Respect local people and culture. Protect natural land. Do not shout about any problems – we are a developing country. Being rude about our problems will anger the Nepalese people.
  • Giving to beggars or children does not solve their problems. Instead it encourages them to continue begging. If you want to donate, ask your guide and he/she will show you a suitable place where your donation will be beneficial.
  • Wear clothing that covers your knees and your shoulders, especially for women. It’s uncomfortable when you wear short dresses, skirts, or shorts.
  • Never eat beef in front of Hindus & Buddhists. Beef is strictly prohibited among both Hindus and Buddhists. Cows are sacred in Nepal.

Photography

Nepal is an ideal place and a frequent haunt for photographers offering immense opportunities for photography especially during our outdoor sightseeing trips. However, you may need to check with your guide for indoor photography as taking photographs inside temples, monasteries and religious institutions is restricted. One can, however, capture images of the landscapes, the panoramic views of the mountain ranges, the rural folk life, the flora and fauna, and the Nepalese architecture.


Gratuities

In Nepal, tipping is expected by most people involved in the country's tourism industry. While tipping is not mandatory, it is a very important source of income in Nepal. If your experience was excellent, a good rule of thumb is to tip the equivalent of US $3 - $5 per day for your guides and US $2 - $4 per day for porters.


Gear List

Equipment

  • Heavy-duty waterproof duffle bag (Travel Her Way provides a complimentary duffel bag for your use which needs to be returned after the trip.)
  • Daypack
  • Waterproof daypack cover
  • Sleeping bag liner (optional)
  • Sleeping bag (Available for rent)
  • Luggage locks
  • Reusable water bottle (min. 1L)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries (shampoo, body wash, toilet paper, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.)
  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamp
  • Outlet Adapter

Clothing

  • Quick-dry sports bra
  • Non-cotton underwear
  • Trekking shirts
  • Trekking pants
  • Thermal base layer
  • Warm Fleece pants
  • Warm fleece or soft-shell jacket
  • Waterproof outer layer jacket (E.g. Gore-Tex)
  • Waterproof pants
  • Down jacket
  • Warm gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Sun hat
  • Scarf
  • Neck gaiter
  • Wool socks
  • Trekking boots
  • Camp shoes (E.g. running shoes)

Optional

  • Portable charger (Highly recommend)
  • Snack bar
  • Electrolytes drink tablets/powder/concentrate/drop/etc.
  • Ear plug
  • Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, etc.)