School Expedition: Everest Base Camp and Chitwan National Park
A breathtaking mountain flight begins this classic Everest trek, in the Solu Khumbu, home to the legendary Sherpa people, many of whom we will meet along the way.
Striking away from the beaten track there will be a chance to explore some of the traditional Sherpa villages, including the birthplace of Tenzing Norgay who, with Edmund Hillary, was first to stand on the summit of Everest, the world’s highest peak, back in 1953.
In Thyangboche village we will be able to admire wonderful Buddhist thangkas and other art at the famous monastery there, which is the largest and most important in the region.
We will spend time marvelling over rushing whitewater rivers as they hurtle through deep gorges, identifying glaciated valleys and gazing in awe at the world’s highest mountain. Scrambling up Kala Pattar peak and seeing the sun rise over Everest will be one of the truly unforgettable moments of the expedition, together with the rumblings of the Khumbu Glacier close to Base Camp.
This region is home to the legendary Yak, the long-haired, high-altitude Himalayan pack animals, and we will see many of these. Less likely is a sighting of the mythical Yeti, but we may well spot rare wild animals, such as Blue Sheep, Thar and Red Panda and there is even a slim chance of glimpsing a Snow Leopard!
The Blue Himalayan Poppy is among the Alpine meadow flowers of the region, and in the Rhododendron and Azalea forests there should be sightings of bright-plumaged Pheasants such as Danfe and Monal, Nepal’s national bird. In the bright skies we will have sightings of Snow pigeons and the bearded vulture, Lammergeier.
This exciting expedition offers many superlative experiences, including moving from Nepal’s highest region to its lowest, the Terai, and Chitwan National Park. In complete contrast to the Solu Khumbu temperatures, a visit to the low-lying Chitwan National Park offers sub-tropical heat for relaxation among exotic flora and fauna.
We will counter the heat as we wade through the slow-flowing Rapti river to help scrub Asian elephants during their daily bath, after which they will shower us with water as they cool themselves. Being poled across the Rapti in a dugout canoe is special, especially when there are Mugger crocodiles sunning themselves on the riverbanks. The river crossing leads to the Elephant Breeding Centre where we will see many female elephants, and get close to their calves. On jungle safari, from the high safety of elephant back, we will almost certainly see one-horned Rhinos, and, if exceptionally lucky, a Royal Bengal Tiger.
After Chitwan we return to Kathmandu, along a spectacular road which is unique in the number of hairpin bends, offering marvellous views. In the city we will visit amazing World Heritage Sites, including Swayambunath where Buddhist stupas and Hindu temples stand in harmony, and monkeys enjoy mingling with visitors to this aptly named Monkey Temple.
By contrast, visits to a couple of Jamarko charity projects in Kathmandu will afford the chance to meet disadvantaged young children, and women at a skills development centre. This will be exciting for the children, who love any opportunity to meet people from other places, and to try out their few words of English, whereas the friendly women welcome visitors to their workshops, where there will be a chance to try out the skill of weaving on a traditional loom.
There will be plenty of time for souvenir shopping, and for gathering together thoughts and reflections on Nepal, and the very different and new experiences gained during just three weeks in this extraordinary small Himalayan country, before being accompanied to the airport where we will bid each other farewell (until the next time!)
Itinerary at a glance
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu and transport to Hotel. Overnight at hotel
Day 02: Kathmandu World Heritage sightseeing, and preparing for trek. Overnight at hotel
Day 03: Flight to Lukla (2840m) and trek to Phakding (2610m). About 40 minutes’ flight and 3 to 4 hours’ walk; 230m altitude loss; Overnight at lodge
Day 04: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m). About 6 to 7 hours walk; 830m altitude gain; Overnight at lodge
Day 05: Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar. Overnight at lodge
Day 06: Trek to Thyangboche (3860m) or Debuche (3710m). About 6 hours walk; 420m altitude gain; Overnight at lodge
Day 07: Trek to Dingboche (4410m). About 7 hours walk; 700m altitude gain; Overnight at lodge
Day 08: Acclimatization day at Dingboche Explore Imja valley; Overnight at lodge
Day 09: Trek to Lobuche (4910m). About 5 to 6 hours walk; 500m altitude gain; Overnight at lodge
Day 10: Trek to Everest Base Camp (5361m) and back to Gorak Shep (5140m). About 7 to 8 hours walk; 451m altitude gain and 221m altitude loss; Overnight at lodge
Day 11: Early morning ascent of Kala Patthar (5545m), and trek back to Pheriche (4270m). About 7 to 8 hours walk; 451m altitude gain and 221m altitude loss; Overnight at lodge
Day 12: Trek to Khumjung (3780m). About 7 hours walk; 490m altitude loss; Overnight at lodge
Day 13: Trek back to Phakding (2610m) via Namche Bazaar. About 6 hours walk; 1170m altitude loss; Overnight at lodge
Day 14: Trek back to Lukla (2840m) and last day party. About 4 hours walk; 230m altitude gain; Overnight at lodge
Day 15: Fly back to Kathmandu; Shopping /leisure time. About 40 minutes’ flight; Overnight at hotel
Day 16: Drive to Chitwan, and transfer to jungle resort. About 5 hours drive; Overnight at resort or jungle lodge
Day 17: Chitwan; jungle adventure. (see additional attached document for details). Overnight at resort or jungle lodge
Day 18: End of Chitwan activities and drive back to Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel
Day 19: At leisure in Kathmandu; optional visit to Jamarko (EPHC), our project in support of disadvantaged children and community, and last night farewell. Overnight at hotel
Day 20: Transfer to airport for international departure
Note: If you have a very tight schedule, as regards time allowance, we could arrange this trip without Chitwan National Park
Date & Price
All ACCESS-HIMALAYA adventure travel trips are small group departures and therefore places can fill quickly. To avoid disappointment, we suggest you book your trip as soon as possible.
... in Lodge TrekAccommodation in Kathmandu, bed & breakfast basis, (accommodation in twin room unless otherwise arranged) - accommodation facilities/details outlined below
All three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
All internal transportation as stated in itinerary, including domestic flights (see itinerary above)
In Lodge trek – mostly basic twin room with clean bed and mattress (toilet facilities may be outside – NO ATTACHED BATHROOM, unless otherwise arranged. Extra cost is applicable and subject to availability)
National Park entrance fees
Experienced staff - (guide, assistant guides, porters or yaks)
Staff and porter insurance
Sightseeing in Kathmandu as stated in itinerary (guide and transport only)
Free gift of Access-Himalaya trekking kit bag for each member of group (to be distributed on arrival in Kathmandu)
Free airport pick and drop
... in ChitwanAll meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Twin room with a/c and ceiling fan
Elephant-back safari and possibility of elephant wash as well
A short walk inside national park with a jungle guide
Visit to elephant breeding centre, and brief bird watching
Dugout canoe excursion with probable observation of Marsh Mugger & Gharial crocodiles
Brief visit to typical local Tharu village, and evening cultural programme presenting local tribal dances
After your exciting daytime activities, you may enjoy starting your evening by taking a dip in the outdoor swimming pool or relaxing on the banks of the Budi Rapti River viewing the sunset and bird watching
... in Lodge TrekYour personal equipment
Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond our control
Your travel insurance, (Make sure the policy covers helicopter rescue and evacuation service)
Medical examination and vaccination costs
Personal expenditure, including bar bills, laundry, telephone calls, tips, shower and bathroom facilities on the trek etc. Hot shower charge could be $2 to $5 per person on trek)
Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and elsewhere-apart from trek (see itinerary)
Heritage sights/Monastery/Temple entrance fees
Trek and Tour crew tips at end of tour
- A AVAILABLE - Trip date is available and open for bookings. Go for it!
- G GUARANTEED - Trip is reached minimum numbers and this is 'Guaranteed to Run'
- L LIMITED - Trip is 'Guaranteed to Run' and there are a very limited number of available places remaining. Immediate booking is recommended.
- C CLOSED - Trip has reached maximum numbers and it is unavailable. Please Contact Us to enquire about other trip departure dates or booking this trip as a private departure
Trip Info (Tour/Trek Styles) Explained
- PG Private Group: This style of trip is organized for specific groups of people (families, friends,school and college students, colleagues, business associates etc.), and is closed to outsiders. If you are interested in this particular trip departure date then please get in touch with us.
- OA Open to All: This trip departure is open to all. However, if you are interested in this particular trip departure date but want your own private group, then please get in touch with us.
- LT Lodge Based Trip/Trek: This trip/trek is lodge (teahouse) based. All accommodation, including food, is provided in local lodges. Occasionally however, where a large group is concerned we may choose to send our own cook along, as well, to take care of your food hygiene and to cook some special additional items.We provide all necessary documentation, including permits, and arrange all internal transport. We provide trekking guide, assistant guide(s) and porters/animals for transport of your gear. You merely carry a daysack with essentials, including water.
- CT Camping Based Trip/Trek: This trip/trek is camping (tent) based. We will provide one 3-man tent for every two people, also single tents, where requested, on payment of supplementary costs. All food and drinks are provided by our experienced cook and his kitchen team. We provide all necessary documentation, including permits, and arrange all internal transport. We provide trekking guide, assistant guide(s), cook, kitchen crew, food and drink, and porters/animals for transport of your gear. You merely carry a daysack with essentials, including water.
- GAP Guide, Accommodation & Porter only: In this trip neither food nor transportation is included. Clients are responsible for food and local transportation, and our responsibility is to provide insured guide, insured porter, and all necessary permits. All additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, including charges incurred as a result of delays or cancellation of services beyond our control. Clients pay for their own accommodation. Any additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, We can arrange hotels and international airport transfer, on request.
- SG Self Guided/Budget Trip: This trip is specially designed for low-budget travellers who prefer fairly basic facilities with reduced services. It is a pre-requisite that a porter is hired for any self-guided trip, which is an ideal set-up for those who enjoy independent travel with minimum cost. We have added support to minimise the hard work of planning and costing, and we will be available to help in the unlikely event of an emergency. We will arrange all documentation (including permits), before you arrive in Nepal, so that you are free to get on with your adventure, relying only on your porter to help you on your way. All additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, including charges incurred as a result of delays or cancellation of services beyond our control. Hotel accommodation, local transportation and international airport transfers may be arranged, on request.
- Food on LodgeTrek
On lodge treks clients are provided with three meals a day - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Menus will be fairly standard, according to the region visited, but will vary in style from place to place, according to availability of ingredients, and in more remote areas choice will be relatively restricted ... read more..
- Travel Insurance
It is a strict condition of joining an Access-Himalaya adventure holiday that you must be insured against all medical and personal accident risks, including repatriation if necessary. Helicopter evacuation, in the unlikely event of your being injured or taken seriously ill on trek, is very costly - an average rescue ... read more..
- Nepal Visa and Passport
All visitors to Nepal require a passport (valid for at least 6 months after your return to your home country) and an entry visa. A visa application should be obtained from the Nepalese Embassy, in London (click here to download Nepal visa application form ), or in your own country ... read more..
- Travel Money
You are advised to take travellers\' cheques with you for safety, and these should be American Express (preferred) or similar, as local bank cheques can be extremely difficult, or even impossible, to cash. ATM facilities are becoming increasingly available in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other large towns, so a Visa, or ... read more..
- Arrival in Nepal
At Kathmandu airport you should proceed through Immigration (you apply for your Visa here) to the baggage collection area. Once you have collected your baggage you should move on to the Customs officers to have your baggage cleared and chalked up, before leaving the Arrivals lounge. Immediately outside, you will ... read more..
- Tipping and Service Charges
Tipping is an entirely personal and optional matter and at the discretion of the individual. Should you wish to give a tip in a restaurant, if there is not already a service charge included you may consider a tip of 10%. Recently there has been a recommendation for 10% charge ... read more..
- Getting Around in Kathmandu
Your first day in Kathmandu is usually dedicated to settling in, and exploring the city. The next morning may include a sightseeing tour to Pashupatinath, Boudanath or the Monkey Temple (Swayambunath). During your free time, the best way to explore your environs is to walk, as this enables you to ... read more..
- Accommodation in Kathmandu
It is our policy to use Nepali-owned accommodation, always, as we feel this is an aspect of fair trade, and the hotels we use in Kathmandu are comfortable, clean, efficient and friendly. Most hotels are also family-run; we visit, and stay in the hotels ourselves, to ensure that facilities are ... read more..
- Accommodation in Chitwan
In Chitwan, the wildlife resort facilities are slightly different to those of the hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara, because of its situation in the National Park buffer zone, although each room has en suite facilities and air conditioning. There is also a swimming pool, large and airy restaurant with bar, ... read more..
- Accommodation on lodge treks
Accommodation will be in simple lodges offering twin-bedded rooms with standard foam mattresses (if you require additional comfort you might consider taking along Thermarest or similar self-inflating mattresses). Toilets are mostly of the squat type, situated outside the main building. Toilet paper is not provided, so you should bring this ... read more..
- Trekking Clothing & Equipment Guideline
The following is a guideline, not a prescription: we hope it will help you find your way through the minefield of items of clothing and equipment which fill the catalogues of outdoor adventure outfitters! Jacket x 1This should be breathable, wind-proof and waterproof (not showerproof), with attached hood. Suitable fabrics to ... read more..
If our fixed departure dates are not convenient for you or your group, we can also arrange private departures on all of our small group tours. Private group departures will follow the same itineraries as our usual small group tours, or itineraries may be tailormade to suit your own convenient tour date/budgets.
Itineraries may be tailor-made to suit your dates. So if you can’t find a date to suit you or if you want to have your very own tour just with your friends or family then we can help you.
Customised Private Groups:
For most of our usual tours, or itineraries, where there is a group numbering 2 or more, we can customise and organise private group trip(s) where we design the itinerary and activities exclusively for you, according to your requirements and budgets, such as Honeymoon, Anniversary, Family, Scouts, School, College, Fundraising or Charity trips. Find out more about our private group tours.
To enquire about booking a private departure of this tour or about organising your own private group tour, please fill in the form below and we will get back to you shortly with details.