Bhutan remote trekking holiday, Merak & Sakten

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made during Apr, May, Sep and Oct to suit you and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary
Holiday type

Tailor made holiday

This trip can be tailor made to create a unique holiday for your individual requirements by travel experts with intimate knowledge of the destination. Sites and accommodations can be arranged to suit you and your budget. This is a comfortable trip that will suit those who enjoy immersing themselves in new cultures and environments before relaxing in comfort in characterful local accommodation!

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Bhutan remote trekking holiday, Merak & Sakten


Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS) is a 650 km square national park in the far eastern region of Bhutan, bordering the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The sanctuary is adorned with a diverse ecosystem ranging from warm broadleaf forests to alpine meadows. It is home to some of the rarest wildlife species in the country, such as the Red Panda and Himalayan Monal Pheasant.

From the two largest villages in the sanctuary, Merak and Sakteng, hails Bhutan’s most prominent highlanders, the semi-nomadic people called Brokpas, also known as “men of pastures”.

We are Partners of Conservation and have been recognized for our contribution to “Biodiversity Conservation in Bhutan”-helping our Department of Forests and Park Services through membership fees to support programs in connection to the conservation of the local environment and natural resources.

“Enhancing Local Stewardship of Forests through Alternative Roofing in Merak and Sakteng” for the period beginning 01 July 2011 through 31 August 2011: 236 households in Merak and 139 households in Sakteng will be supplied with CGI sheets. It is expected that the demand for timber for shingles will reduce. The project will also help in protecting the red panda habitat because of reduced demand on bamboos.
Through public awareness programs people of the two villages of Merak and Sakteng have become more aware of the importance and sustainable use of natural resources according to information received from the village headman. It involved a sea of change in the way they used forest resources for generations.

Free utilization of natural resources in Merak and Sakteng has been limited with efficient monitoring and regulations in place. Monitoring was possible with the establishment of the park office and the range offices in Merak, Sakten and Joenkhar. With the establishment of the park office, the people of Merak and Sakteng are involved in the resource allocations and are made “resource management partners”. Our park management work together with the community to come up with protective measures and enhance proper implementation of nature saving projects.


Local mountain guides, cooks and porters: The Tourism Council of Bhutan have trained more than 50 people, villagers from Merak and Sakteng as cooks and porters. We know how valuable it is to use local knowledge on this tour to make sure that our trip runs safely and smoothly. Therefore we truly enjoy engaging the local folks who make our program so successful and in return we provide them with a means in the form of good wages to help address the needs of local communities.

The Tourism Council of Bhutan also trained six high school professional minded graduates each from the villages of Merak and Sakteng as tour guides. The training included investing in professional instruction courses, first aid management, and a dedication to learning the hard-skills necessary to conduct safe tours. This makes us very comfortable knowing that our staff is prepared to handle whatever comes their way. We also know that hiring locally means another important source of income for the villagers and therefore most gladly employ the young generation of local guides on our treks in Merak and Sakteng villages. So while our guests enjoy a song, or a dance or a story with our educated community guides, we help make the nomadic way of life economically and socially attractive for the younger generation of educated nomads by paying good wages for their services on the Merak and Sakteng Trek.

Horse Contractors: A committee of horse con­ductors has been formed to ensure a smooth arrangement of ponies in Merak and Sakteng. A list of contractors along with individual contact information is available on the Tourism Council Website. On our tours and Treks to Merak and Sakteng we make contact with local horse contractors from the list available and hire their services for a good rental fee that helps supplement income for nomadic groups through rentals received from animal pottering services during the trekking season.

Community owned Camp sites: The guesthouses in Sakteng and Merak is run by the community and provides services to trekkers in Merak and Sakteng. We use the community campsites for safety and also for cooking classes for guests who want to learn more about Eastern Bhutanese cooking. We rent space at these community sites because The campsite has created local jobs and shared benefits equitably to participating communities and through payment of camp fee we help out in meaningful community efforts.

Buying Locally: Our meals on the Merak and Sakteng trek is prepared with organic produce, including milk, butter, cheese, flour, and vegetables, direct from the village. The farmer gets full retail price for the goods. We do not have to bring food stuff all the way from the town engaging extra vehicles. By buying locally we conserve the energy that is used for transport.

Art and craft made by local Artisans: To promote local income generating activities we encourage our guests to buy authentic arts and crafts made by local artisans from small Private and community-owned enterprises involving the sale of local products and services like weaving, yak riding, milking, renting of traditional dress for photographic purposes, handicrafts and sale of organic vegetables like cabbage, radish, saag, potatoes and turnips etc.

Community distinctive cultural programs showcasing nomadic culture and heritage in an authentic setting is arranged at a fee paid to the community and helps put together a bonus income. Our Merak & Sakteng tours also promote income generation opportunities through sale of local agricultural products, livestock products and handicraft retailing. Community identity and pride is generated through our community based tour programs in Merak and Sakteng. We have been successful in reinforcing a positive sense of community identity.

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