This 14 – day Nepal itinerary visits Kathmandu to see the sites, trek the Annapurna region to see spectacular scenery and local mountain life, and to enjoy safaris in Chitwan National Park to see the one – horned rhino along with other wildlife. This is an adventurous itinerary for those who like to trek and are in good shape.
Arrive Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. A representative will meet and assist you outside the arrival lounge. Transfer to the hotel.
In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at a Nepalese restaurant with a cultural show.
After breakfast, explore Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur (also called Bhadgaon) is a Newar city founded in the 9th century. Visit the ancient gateway, durbar square, the Royal Residential Quarter of Bhupatindra Malla, the famous five storied Nyatapola Temple, Batsala Temple, Bhairavnath Temple, Duttatraya Temple, Pujari Math and Palace of 55 windows.
In the afternoon, visit Patan. Sites include the historic durbar square, the golden gate, the sky piercing Teleju Temple and the statue of Yogendra Malla, other small temples, old carved windows and balconies of wood, curio shops, and bazaars.
On the way back to the hotel, visit the Tibetan Refugee Camp.
After breakfast, transfer in a private car to Pokhara (approx. 5 hrs).
En route, enjoy white water rafting on the Trishuli River. The Trishuli River is considered a white – water sports destination of Nepal due to its easy accessibility. The river flows down through massive gorges and cuts its way through the 2,000 – meter high Mahavarat Range.
After breakfast, drive from Pokhara to Phedi (trek starting point). The drive time is about 30 minutes. On arrival at Phedi commence the trek to Dhampus (1,700m).
The trek starts immediately with a steep climb through mixed forests and takes about an hour to arrive at the Mina Lodge, which marks the end of the steep path and arrival at Dhampus Plateau. From here, the incline is much easier as the trail continues to climb steadily in a more forested area and after about two hours arrive at the first check post at the entrance to Dhampus Village with a maze of houses and alleyways of stonewalls. There are magnificent views of the mountains from west to east of Annapurna South (7,219m), Hiunchuli (6,441m), Mardi Himal (5,587 m) and Macchapucchare (6,993m) to the north.
Dinner is at the Tea House.
After breakfast, visit the Annapurna Conservation Area Project office to register and continue on the trek. After leaving the village, continue on the trail going down a fairly gentle slope cut into steps in the middle of the forest and then a short climb brings you to the settlement of Pothana (2,000 m) after an hour with magnificent views of the western Himalayas. The path from here slowly ascends until it reaches the locality of Bichok Deorali (2,149 m) located at the crest of the ridge. From here, the trail descends slowly but gets steeper until it meets the Modi Khola Valley and then the village of the Bheri Khola, which is a convenient place to stop for lunch.
After lunch, cross a small suspension bridge as the path follows the ridge of a hill for an hour to the settlement of Tolka (1,895 m). Cross the hamlets of Tolka Naga and Tolka Medi Gara before again going down gently towards the village of Landrung (1,699 m) on a trail where the forest gives way to vast expanses of terraced cultivation covering the surrounding hills.
The trek takes about 5 hours.
Dinner is at the Tea House.
After breakfast, the trail continues downhill steadily for about 1.5 hours until arriving at a gate with a signboard saying “Welcome to Ghandrung”. After crossing the river, there is a steep climb for another 2 hours to arrive at the main village of Ghandrung (1,950 m). Ghandrung is the largest Gurung village in Nepal where the men and sons of the local community have sacrificed their lives to serve for the Gurkha Armies and security forces around the world. The brave and chivalrous Gurkhas have earned themselves the reputation as the most loyal and indomitable soldiers in the world.
The afternoon is free to rest or to enjoy optional activities such as a visit to the Annapurna Conservation Museum or a tea break at the home of a renowned Gurkha soldier who may show you his Victoria Cross. In the evening, the local Gurung women will join the campers for a village get together to show their talents in singing and dancing. Guests are welcome to join in.
After breakfast, trek up to Tadapani (2,700 m), a small settlement, consisting of about 5-6 tea houses with camping grounds set among rhododendron forests with chirping birds and a stream nearby. During the trek look out for rare birds and pheasants as well as the Langur and Rhesus monkeys. The trek takes about 5 hours.
Dinner is at the lodge.
After breakfast trek to Ghorepani. Initially the trail descends from this village square and shopping area and then ascends through forests and open landscape to arrive at a small village. Continue to climb steadily amidst chirping birds on treetops to arrive at Banthanti located near a river. It is a densely forested area and chances of seeing the rich flora and fauna is possible although best in spring. There is a further climb to arrive at the lunch spot at Deurali (3,180 m), which is the highest point of the trek. For better views, continue through dense forests for about 20 minutes to arrive at a clearing with a few teahouses and an open field above the village for lunch.
After lunch, continue through the forest. The trail is a gently undulating one having reached the highest point. After about 1 ½ hours of trekking through the rhododendron forests along the ridgeline, arrive at a clearing to have views of Annapurna South and the Ghorepani village far down below. Descend for 30 minutes to approach the main gate to Ghorepani with a signboard that welcomes trekkers to this village, which is also the highest campsite on the trek. It is an interesting walk passing through this densely populated village of the ethnic community of Magars. Pass through the main village to arrive at the lodge for an overnight stay.
Dinner is at the lodge.
Pre-dawn, trek the one and half hours to Poon Hill (10,200 ft) to view the magnificent sunrise over the Annapurna Range. Shortly afterwards return to Ghorepani for breakfast.
After breakfast, bid farewell to the villagers. The trek starts with a descent, which gradually intensifies descending steeply to the river. There is more descending through a trail of gurgling streams and forests. Arrive at Magar (a local ethnic community) settlement of Ulleri (2,070 m) for lunch. This village is located on a steep incline and has one of the best drainage systems in this part of the region.
After lunch, descend on stone steps through the narrow lanes. There is a steep knee wobbling descent on stone steps all the way down to the bridge on the Bhurgundi Khola, which is dreaded by all trekkers. The descent can take about 2 hours. The trail becomes more hazardous with the mule trains also vying to get in front (ascending and descending) and sometimes leads to traffic jams. It is advisable to keep to the wall and let the mule trains pass as accidents can happen if one is on the edge and is brushed by these pack animals.
After crossing the bridge, a short climb brings you to Tirkhedhunga. However, there are better campsites a 30 – minute walk to Hille.
This trek takes about 6 hours.
Enjoy your farewell dinner with the staff.
After breakfast, descend gently down to the banks of the Bhurgundi River and follow the trail along the river to arrive at Birethanti after 3 hours for lunch. Birethanti, located on the confluence of the Bhurgundi and Modi Khola, is a booming village with rows of teahouses and also has a bank. There is a check post where all trekkers must have their permits checked and logged.
After lunch, cross the suspension bridge and walk a further 30 minutes to arrive at Nayapul. Bid farewell to the trekking staff and porters and board the vehicle back to Pokhara.
On arrival, check into the hotel for a deserved rest.
Enjoy a sunset boat ride on Phewa Lake.
After breakfast, check out and transfer in your private car to Chitwan National Park (approx. 6 hrs).
On arrival, a naturalist will host a reception, refreshments, briefing of the programs, and the resort facilities.
After lunch, proceed for a walk to visit the nearby village for a guided tour to immerse yourself into the local Tharu culture. The naturalist will brief you about the social and cultural aspect of the villagers and their lifestyle.
Walk back to the resort.
In the evening, attend a slide presentation. One of the jungle experts will give you background, data and history of the Royal Chitwan National Park as well as other topics related to wildlife.
Dinner is at the resort.
Wake early and proceed for a jungle walk to view the wildlife. This is the best time of the day to see the animals as you silently brush through dewy tall elephant grass (18-20 ft. tall), a habitat for rhinos, tigers and other wild animals. Spend 2-3 hours in the jungle, then return to the camp for breakfast.
Shortly afterwards, visit the elephant stables to get a first-hand knowledge on elephants from a naturalist. Here you can also witness the elephants taking showers.
After lunch at the camp, the afternoon is free to relax or visit the library for general in formations on the national park.
Late afternoon, take a jungle safari by jeep or boat.
Dinner is at the resort.
After breakfast, check out and drive back to Kathmandu (approx. 6 hrs).
On arrival, check into the hotel and relax.
Enjoy your farewell dinner at the famous Rum Doodle Restaurant. Once a favorite among mountaineers who used this place as a meeting spot before their expedition, Rum Doodle has been around for a long time. Although the location has changed, the walls of this restaurant bear the signatures of some of the greatest mountaineers who have scaled Mount Everest. Edmund Hillary, Reinhold Messner, Sherpa Ang Rita, and Rob Hall are just some of the great names with their marks on the wall of the restaurant.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departure flight.