Nepal trekking holiday, Annapurna Sanctuary
Description of Nepal trekking holiday, Annapurna Sanctuary
Nepal is a trekking paradise, and the hike up to the Annapurna Sanctuary is one of the classic Himalayan treks, a much celebrated route thanks to its diverse scenery and the reward of seeing the dramatic amphitheatre of 6,000m mountains. Another pleasure of trekking in the Annapurna region is the chance to meet local people and see mountain life as you hike through Gurung farming villages, which cling to the steep mountainsides. There are no roads here, so local people can benefit from trekkers passing through, who stay in the lodges in traditional villages and use porters from the region to help carry their luggage.
The scenery on this trek varies enormously as you travel higher and higher. You’ll pass through colourful rhododendron forests, see bamboo thickets growing by rushing rivers and deep gorges, swollen with melt water from the mountains above. The Sanctuary itself, surrounded by huge snow capped peaks, is an unforgettable spectacle.
This is a guided trek. You will be accompanied by a Nepali guide who speaks English, and probably grew up in the area, so will know plenty of people you can chat to along the route. The guide leads the trek, manages the porters and accommodation and can tell you more about the scenery, flora and wildlife of the region.
Unlike the many small group treks running in this region, there are no more than four trekkers to each guide, and sometimes only two people to a guide on this holiday, so you’re guaranteed plenty of attention and a great chance to chat with your guide and learn more about the region. All our guides and porters are fairly paid and cared for well by local walk managers. We also supply all trekkers with a walking map of the area with notes and, to reduce how much weight porters have to carry, a reusable duffel bag to use on the trek and space to store suitcases and surplus baggage in Kathmandu. A three season sleeping bag is included and a National Park permit and a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management Systems) Card is also included in the price.
1 Reviews of Nepal trekking holiday, Annapurna Sanctuary
Reviewed on 15 Nov 2019 by Helen Stroebel
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
We had a fantastic experience in Nepal. The scenery was spectacular ranging from the rhododendron forest “jungle” to the glacial ice-covered peaks. Most memorable however was the rapport of our guide and porters; their happiness and joy emanated as they sang and laughed with us as we hiked along the trails. Their enthusiasm for sharing the stories of their beloved country was endearing.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Understand that “reservations” in the lodges, particularly in the higher elevations of the trek, are tentative and based on beds not necessarily rooms. We appreciated the individualized end-to-end travel arrangements from airport arrival to departure yet there was sufficient flexibility in the itinerary to accommodate our desired experiences.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
The policies of the local trek operator with respect to porter welfare were clearly evident as we observed and compared the smaller loads of our porters with those in other groups. The social engagement of our local guide and porters with us at the lodges and along the trails was also distinctively different from what we observed of other trek operators.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Our trip met and exceeded our expectations.
PlanetUnlike most companies featuring Nepal, we focus on treks for individual travellers being aware of the environmmental impact the movement of large groups has as well as their high demands on local resources.
We encourage clients to take their own water bottles and use boiled or locally purified water to eliminate the purchase of plastic water bottles. We ask they purchase and consume local unpackaged foods and retain as much of their own waste as possible to dispose of outside the National Parks. Equally we discourage clients taking electrical items requiring recharging or to use. Not only to reduce the amount of weight a porter has to carry, but also to avoid use of the precious electricity supply. Accommodation is in locally hand-built lodges made from local materials and heated by solar energy or Yak dung!
In order to reduce the amount of baggage porters are required to carry, we provide a re-usable duffel bag per person. This enables clients to take just what they need for the trek leaving unrequired items in safe storage in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
The guides we use explain the scenery, culture, flora and fauna during the trek giving our clients a better insight into the local environment as well as a better respect for it. We only sell holidays in Nepal on a guided basis, both for client safety and to support the local economy.
Trekking in the Himalaya uses limited transportation once in Nepal. Apart from short internal flights, the rest of the trekking is on foot with porters to transport luggage.
Our Managing Director met with many local suppliers when setting up our trekking holidays in Nepal to ensure a like minded company was chosen and one which cares for its employees, culture and environment. Our local supplier is totally meeting our demands in this respect.
PeopleWe partner with a well established, but small Nepali company to help arrange the best possible tailor made experience for our clients. In doing this we use local guides and porters. Not only does this mean that our clients are able to make the most of their local experience, but it also enables us to support local families and communities by providing a salary for our guides and porters through our local partner. Whilst staying in Kathmandu we encourage clients to take a city tour and a cultural dinner, which both enhance any stay in the city and at the same time making further use of reputable local services.
We go to great lengths to ensure that the guides and porters are suitably paid, clothed and looked after by our local walk managers. At the end of a trek, if a client so wishes, they can award their these kindly locals who have cared for them during their trek, with a tip to supplement their income and help them through the non trekking season.
In our pre-departure information, we suggest clients purchase their trekking gear locally as there is an excellent choice and prices are lower than the UK. This supports local shops which have immense competition. We ask clients to leave behind as many items of clothing, footwear and toileteries which they may not really need on their return home. These can be donated to their porters and guides and in turn can be passed on to family or fellow guides and porters who are less fortunate.
We suggest taking a few small items for the school children who live in the isolated upper region of the Himalaya such as biros and exercise books which are in very short supply.
Most of our treks make a visit to small local hospitals and schools founded by Sir Edmund Hillary and Norgay Tenzing. Donations may be left at these establishments at the clients' own discretion.
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