Pioneered by Col. Jimmy Roberts in the early 1960s, trekking is by far the biggest attraction and the most popular activity in Nepal. Most of the tourists try at least one of the many different types of treks, or go on multiple treks if they can, before leaving the country.
Different treks are available to tourists at different times of the year.
One type of trekking that is popular in remote places ofNepalis pony trekking. As the name suggests, pony trekking allows tourists to ride on ponies and smoothly traverse what could otherwise be difficult and tiring paths. Pony treks are most often offered in western Pokhara, Dolpo, and Lo Manthang.
Trekking is the best way of exploring the country and immersing oneself in the Nepalese culture. Walking through rice fields and forests, crossing serene streams, camping in the wilderness with mountains on the background – these are just some of the things that trekkers could do in their journey.
Nepal first made news around the world when Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa of Nepal, made it to the peak of Mt. Everest in 1953. Since then, countless expeditions have tried to conquer the Himalayas – expeditions that continue to grow in number, as eight of the highest peaks in the world can be found within the country’s boundaries.
Most of the peaks over 8,000 meters were conquered by mountaineers during the 1950s, the Golden Decade of Climbing. During that time, mountain climbing became an international activity, with several nations trying to outdo each other in being the first to climb certain peaks.
There are 326 peaks that are open for mountaineering in the country. Climbing permits for peaks in theHimalayascan be obtained through the Mountaineering Section of Nepal’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation.
Climbing equipment and gear can be rented or bought inKathmandu. If you wish to avoid the hassle of arranging your own mountain expeditions, agencies are available to do it for you for a fee.
For tourists who love water sports, rafting is the highlight of their visit to Nepal.
The rivers ofNepaloffer rafting opportunities for everyone. Novices can raft on grade 2 to 3 rivers; these have few rapids and are relatively easy to traverse. Grade 5 to 5+ rivers – those with monstrous white water rapids – are best for the more experienced thrill seekers.
Some rivers also offer a serene paddling experience. These rivers are ideal for families with children or for rafters who are yearning for a quiet break before heading off to conquer the raging waters.
River guides always accompany rafters in their river adventure. Before embarking on a raft trip, guides begin with safety instructions and emergency-procedure reminders. Life vests and helmets are also given to all rafters.
Rafting may not just be a one-day affair. Sometimes rafters take a two- to three-day trip on a whole river. Sometimes the trip even takes two to three weeks.
Paragliding is perhaps the closest you can ever get to flying like a bird. This adventure sport lasts only a short time, but the experience is something that you will never forget.
When you go paragliding in Nepal, you will fly through the air along with birds over the fabulous sceneries of Pokhara Valley. The majesticHimalayascan be seen in the distance. Look below and you can take a glimpse of all the villages, temples, monasteries, jungles, and lakes in the area, there under your feet, albeit very far under. You will literally have a sweeping bird’s-eye view.
The availability and safety of paragliding are very dependent on the weather, as strong breezes will make it difficult to maneuver the light aircraft.Nepal’s flying season starts in November, and it lasts until February. The best months to fly, however, are November and December.
With an altitude of 800 meters above sea level, Pokhara Valley in the Annapurna region remains the most suitable location for paragliding. The conditions here are more constant than those in Kathmandu Valley.
Located in the south and southwest of Nepal, the jungles are only a half-hour to an hour-long flight away from the city. Going on a jungle safari inNepalis a unique and breathtaking experience that immerses guests in the wonders of nature.
Tourists can opt to take the usual jeep safari through the sights ofNepal’s jungles. Safari trips may also be in the form of river boat rides and nature walks.
But one of the more unique ways to explore is through an elephant safari. Guests ride the elephants, along with a tour guide, catching the wildlife by surprise as they travel.
Every safari trip in the jungles ofNepalis unique, as guests can never predict what they would see. They may see bears, deer, peacocks, monkeys, rhinos, and the ever-elusive Royal Bengal tiger.
Most guests who go on a safari appreciate the peace and calmness in the jungle and the isolation from the hustle and bustle of the city. Definitely, flora and fauna offer a different way of relaxation to tourists.