7 independent reviews for Annapurna Sanctuary trek & Chitwan safari

Reviews for Annapurna Sanctuary trek & Chitwan safari

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review 7 Dec 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

There were so many memorable moments it is hard to pick just one, but I would have to say watching the sunset at Annapurna Base Camp was particularly special, having trekked for days to reach the highest point on the route. Highlights also include seeing Langur monkeys in the wild whilst trekking (right overhead!), and whilst at Chitwan having a peaceful canoe ride down the river and seeing crocodiles and kingfishers. A great trip in many respects!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure you budget for drinks like tea, coke etc. as you're trekking as these are not covered at lunchtimes/dinner, also in case you want to pay for a hot shower and use of chargers/WiFi too. I also recommend taking a pair of sandals/flip-flops for the evenings to give your feet a rest. A pair of walking sticks was very useful, especially on downhill sections. Also, don't pack too much, you really won't need it!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I (hope) it benefitted local people - the nature on the trip involved staying at lodges/teahouses which are run by different families. Didn't really feel it reduced environmental impacts, aside from my own choices to do things like use a refillable bottle and avoid littering ...

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was a great trip, I recommend it highly. My guide and porter whilst trekking were amazing, so supportive and professional, and fun too! The coordinator before going was also very helpful via e-mail, and I met with him at various points during the trip as well. A great company, would definitely book through them again if and when I return to Nepal. The variety in the different environments you see (cities, mountains, forests etc.) is great in such a short amount of time, and the people you meet are so friendly and welcoming. There are no words to describe the scenery - breathtaking and inspiring don't quite cover it!

review 18 Jan 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The most exciting part of our holiday was the 5 hour hike from Hotel Himalaya to Machapuchare Base Camp through thick snow, waist deep in places up to the top lodge. We were the only people staying there with just our guide, porter and the guys looking after the lodge. A moonlit night made the mountains look fantastic, then wholesome dinner and a beer warming round the kerosene heater, perfect.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't be put off by not many companies recommending going to this part of Nepal in winter. We had perfect walking conditions and no crowds of people. Apart from the snow stopping us getting to ABC our highest point on the trek it was still fantastic.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Benefited local guides and porter as well as small lodges on trek. Good to see plastic bottled water not available higher up on trek. too much toxic burning of waste still going on in places so this policy of no plastic needs to spread down the mountains.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Holiday was great overall, trekking fabulous, Kathmandu an experience like no other and Chitwan great for wildlife especially birds. Our local operator was brilliant. Great planning, transport and choice of accommodation. Could not fault our drivers, guide or porter. Thank you Krishna and Mr Ali. Only negative comment would be the elephant safari which was very touristy, did not seem hugely beneficial to elephants used and something I would definitely avoid in the future. Get a local guide and go and explore on foot instead.

review 4 Feb 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

This is a very difficult question to answer as there was so many memorable and exciting moments, such as reaching Annapurna base camp, meeting loads of interesting people, seeing Nepal's culture first hand and just being in such a beautiful country.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure you're relatively fit and acquire all the equipment on the list.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes definitely.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

10 out 10! I had an adventure of a life time and made some new friends. I will be going back again definitely!

review 31 Mar 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

That I managed to get up to Poon hill 3210m even though I am in my late 70's. A lot was due to the wonderful guide and porter who encouraged me all the way.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Book with this operator as they are a very professional tour company who look after people and make sure that everything is as per itinerary. I think for any body who has never been to the area should use a guide and porter. People should definitely use proper hiking/Nordic walking poles and should be shown how to use them effectively.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, because I used a local tour company.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A great success and achievement. Althouth I was the only person in my group I met many interesting people on the trek, in the evening and in hotels.

review 7 May 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Many exciting memories - the streets, shops and cafes of old Kathmandu and Pokhara, the trek through magical forests and valleys into the high mountains, the peaceful atmosphere on the trail, the quaint tea-house stop-overs, the early morning views on the final climb to Annapurna BaseCamp, and the feeling of achievement on reaching the Sanctuary.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be aware of the temperature extremes, and kit out accordingly. In April daytime it was very warm at lower altitudes and t-shirt is sufficient, need fleece for cooler early morning/evening, and cold-weather gear only for morning/evening above 3500meters. Snow at MBC/ABC, but no snow hiking. Camera batteries can be recharged evenings on the trail (hydropower). There are frequent power outages in Kathmandu/Pokara lasting 6hrs or more. Be prepared for primitive toilets and showers on trek. Tourist bus travel is OK, better than standard taxis. Best with small group (2-4 people) of similar fitness.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

This certainly was of benefit to locals, and a significant source of income to them. Environmental impact is minimal, thanks to Annapurna conservation efforts, but path maintenance in some areas is needed to prevent erosion. Visitors - please please do not litter, take your rubbish out with you.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A fantastic holiday, I could have turned round and done the trek over again. The tour operator, guide and porter were all first-class, and gave excellent service. I believe it gave very good value for money.

review 30 Mar 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Reaching Annapurna Base Camp early in the morning as the sun was rising. I felt a good sense of achievement.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The tour operator can be very flexible with itinerary and can accommodate your needs through arranging for further excursions and travels and hotels etc. Also consider rafting as an option as the company can arrange this.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, the whole company is Nepalese... so all the money you spend is going into the country. During the trek we mostly stayed at nice tea lodges with nice owners....the guide/porter knew most of the owners, so you very much felt that your visit was benefiting local people rather than travel agents in offices in far away countries. All the people working for the company were friendly and honest.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was an enjoyable experience. On reflection I think I would have just booked a guide/porter through the trekking company as it is fairly easy in Nepal to travel between places and book hotels on arrival, but if you want a hassle free holiday let the company plan it for you (!) The company were very helpful in helping to organise hotels and travel before and after the trek if required, although if you are a more independent type you might wish to do this by yourself. The company also uses guides/porters from an area in the east of Nepal...they are very friendly and honest....and I was pleased I was walking with them, especially when meeting some more dubious and less experienced guides/porters who had perhaps been hired by trekkers in Pokhara. I regret a little not choosing to go rafting at the end rather than the more cultural activities.

review 4 Apr 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The 7 days trek, the elephant rides, the visit to Swayambhu

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Do not accept the hotels proposed by the operator! I was so lucky to check on the internet opions about the proposed hotels and found only negative critics about Moonlight in Kathamandu and asked to change for Ambasador garden Hotel. An English lady in our group did not so and regretted. The proposed hotel in Pokhara (Kantipur) was awful. From outside quite good but inside and service VERY BAD !

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Not really! Business without profit and own interest is rare. Of course by booking with a local company, more money goes to the local people. But let us not be naive, the profit goes for the 1-2 people owning the company. I doubt that they pay their employees well. Why would they ask us to give a certain fee to the driver, porter and guide?

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The holiday was very good, allowed us get a close contact with the local population, visit different part of the country, and understand their difficulties

Read the operator's response here:

We pay our staff reasonable salaries (even higher) as per the rules and regulations of Nepal. Asking our clients to give certain fees doesn't mean that our company pays less to the staff employed, because we have a tipping system in Nepal. While briefing our clients about the trip, we inform them on all things regarding trips as well as about the tipping system and during our correspondence we inform them that tips are not included in their tour cost and we never force them to tip our staff , just we advise them about the system. Those hotels were very nice and comfortable. We always select the hotels as per the likes of the clients and we are always very aware about our clients likes and interest. Client satisfaction is our motto. The opinion on the hotels depends on the nature of people as well. The main problem in Nepal is power crisis and we are suffering from power cuts everyday which unfortunately was a problem in that hotel on that day. When Mr Jacques complained about the Hotel, we immediately changed him into the next best alternative hotel.

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