Manaslu Circuit trekking holiday, Nepal
Description of Manaslu Circuit trekking holiday, Nepal
This magnificent, off the beaten track trekking holiday in Nepal follows a circuit around the base of Mount Manaslu. This mighty peak is the eighth highest mountain in the world (8,163m) but few trekkers come to gaze on it. This 13 day point to point trek passes through a dramatic and pretty isolated landscape, as we follow the Buri Gandaki River. The route leads through small villages that cling to the valley walls as the river narrows down to race through a gorge. Beyond, the landscape opens out again, revealing alpine meadows where a handful of Tibetan communities live, beneath Manaslu’s north face. Once we have crossed the Larkya Pass (5,130m) an amazing array of peaks is visible, including Himalchuli, Manaslu, Cheo Himal and Himlung Himal. From here, we drop down through forest to connect with the main Annapurna Circuit, our trekking route back.
This is a challenging trek, offering rare views of Manaslu and leading you through remote and traditional Tibetan villages, with between five and eight hours of walking per day. The exception is the day crossing the Larkya Pass, which involves approx 11 hours of walking. There is full porterage, so you only need carry a daypack, and groups are made up of between two and 12 individuals, with a leader and local staff. Maximum altitude is 5,130m, and the average is 2,700m. Accommodation on the trek is in lodges.
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PlanetActivity & Environment:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. It is a low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem and our trip leaders encourage clients not to stray from paths to minimise this. We work with a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy, meaning we have respect for wildlife and the landscape, separate rubbish and take all burnable waste back to Kathmandu. We also ask that clients consider using biodegradable toiletries and shower at lodges where electricity or solar power is used for hot water.
After organising tours to the Himalayas for over 40 years, we have developed many long lasting partnerships with our operators and leaders as well as some of the local communities we visit. We seek ways to give something back and we usually help with small-scale practical projects that can help local communities and their environment, whilst giving the maximum possible long-term economic benefit. Together with our local leaders we manage all our own projects and over the years we have helped build schools and a children’s home. We have built water tanks and provide water pipe for villages and have helped with hydro electric projects. We have sponsored and installed more than 130 smokeless stoves and 50 solar cookers.
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through engergy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleAccommodation and Meals:
We spend 3 nights in standard hotels and 14 nights in locally owned teahouses. Most of the teahouses are owned by families who have lived in the Manaslu region all of their lives. This is an easy way to make sure a decent portion of the trip cost and the money you spend on meals in the teahouses goes directly back to the community. Breakfasts are included and will usually consist of something simple, locally sourced and carb-heavy for energy, like porridge and toast. Where meals aren’t included, clients can support local lodges by trying some authentic cuisine, rather than imported meals. Try Nepalese dumplings (Momos) or lentils and spicy curry (Dal Bhat).
Local Craft and Culture:
Although we spend much of this tour trekking, there are many opportunities whilst walking and in the teahouses to engage with locals, learn about regional customs and to do some sightseeing. Whilst trekking, we stop in remote villages along the way for rest and teastops. In Kathmandu and along the trails there are traditional and handcrafted souvenirs available for purchase. Buying handmade jewellery, painted masks and puppets, prayer wheels, handwoven bags and tapestries all helps to support small vendors and their craft. In terms of cultural sights, we can visit the temples and World Heritage sites in and around Kathmandu.
On this trek in particular, guests will encounter different ethnic groups, including those who are of Tibetan descent/origin, as they trek very close to the Tibet border. There is also the chance to visit the hilltop monastery in Lho as well. Leaders will brief clients to walk in a clockwise direction around Buddhist sites - such as stupas, chortens, and mani stones, and in these remote villages it’s important to always ask before taking a photo of anyone - particularly elders.
Since this is a small group tour, we will have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run accommodations that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
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