1. When's the best time to visit Nepal?
The peak seasons for trekking are the spring (Mar to May) and the fall (Sep to Nov) when you'll have clear skies and superb mountain views. Keep in mind; this is also when the trails are most crowded (although there are ways to avoid the crowds). The winter (Dec to Feb) and summer (Jun to Aug) months are also great times to visit—although weather can be unpredictable, these months offer a unique experience and fewer crowds. For Chitwan (Nepal's southern jungle region), winter is the best time to visit when the temperatures are pleasant and the foliage less dense to allow for better wildlife sightings. Check out our article on the best time to visit Nepal.
2. What's it like during the monsoon season?
During the monsoon season (Jun to Aug), most of Nepal experiences heavy rain for a few hours each day. It's humid, wet, and the trails in the lower regions (Ghorepani, Ghandruk, Langtang, etc.) can be quite muddy. That being said, it's still a great time to visit if you don't mind the rain — you'll have the trails to yourself, the skies often clear up in the morning, and certain treks offer stone-paved trails that drain the rain and make for easy trekking. Also, certain regions, like Mustang and the upper reaches of Everest lie in the rain shadow of the Himalaya and receive little rain.
3. What's the difference between private and group trips?
Private trips are tailor-made itineraries built around your travel dates and personal interests, whereas group trips (which are what most tour companies offer) are pre-packaged and depart on specific dates. BATE offers Group trips to major destinations such as Everest and Annapurna. BATE is specialized in research base private tours, as we believe this is a more meaningful and rewarding experience.
4. How do I get my visa for Nepal?
For most nationalities, you can get your visa on arrival in Kathmandu. It takes around 45 minutes and is the most convenient way to get your visa. You can also apply for a visa in advance from a local Nepali consulate in your country if you'd like to have everything arranged in advance.
5. How much luggage can I take on domestic flights?
For mountain flights, you're allowed 5 kg. for carry-on and 10 kg. for checked-in luggage. For non-mountain sector flights, the check-in allowance increases to 20-25 kg.
6. How many days should I spend in Nepal?
If you're mainly looking to experience Nepal's cultural and natural highlights, you can have a great experience in 5-7 days, where you can visit two regions (likely, Pokhara and Kathmandu). To get into the Himalaya on a multi-day trek, you'll want at least 10 days to have enough time to reach higher altitudes and safely acclimatize. To undertake one of the longer, classic treks in Nepal or to combine multiple regions and activities into one visit, 14-20 days is ideal.
7. Are hotels included in the trip price?
Our specialists organize complete tours, meaning everything is taken care of from the moment you arrive in Nepal to the moment you leave, including all of your accommodation. We recommend letting the specialist organize your accommodation, as this saves you time and they know the best places to stay based on your style, budget, and preferred neighborhood—just let them know your preferences.
8. Are there any extra expenses not include in my trip price?
Personal expenses (tips, soft drinks, bar bills, laundry, telephone calls, donations, and extra snacks, etc.) are not included in your trip price. If you're going trekking, the only things you'll need to pay for out of pocket are Wi-Fi and battery charging (when available), extra meals outside of what's included, alcohol, and soft drinks.
9. What happens if I get sick during the trip?
Safety comes first and it is topmost priority in our policy. BATE will provide you guideline of description of service provided with all the information to avoid any every risk
A slight case of diarrhea, as well as sprains and muscle aches – are not the things to be panicked. We always carry the appropriate medical kit and our guides will take care for minor problems. If fall in more serious illness you will be rescued by helicopter and treated in Kathmandu hospital.
Altitude sickness is another serious concern but mostly avoidable if you follow a few simple rules: do not ascend more than 300 m at altitudes more than 3000m, do not ascend quickly and drink plenty of water. If you feel shortness of breath, a slight headache or dizziness, tell your guide and rest immediately. If you are still feeling unwell you may consider going down a few hundred meters. Do not pretend you are okay, and do not go down alone. A descent of a few hundred meters overnight may be enough to make you fully able to start trekking again tomorrow. Our local leaders are well trained and experience handling any kind of emergency situation, in life threatening situation, we are fully capable of organizing rescue helicopter and bring our guest to well recognized hospital or clinic recommended by Embassies. We highly recommend to have comprehensive travel insurance to cover cost of all risk of activities under taken.
10. Do you accept credit cards?
We do accept visa, master cards. There is certain bank charges for paying by credit card, please contact BATE rep for more info.
1. Do I need to bring my own sleeping bag?
You can bring your own lightweight sleeping bag from home or you can rent one in Kathmandu (which your specialist will help you with). Most teahouses also have blankets you can use; in the warmer month, you may just want a sleeping bag liner to use with the blankets, and in the colder months, you'll want a warmer winter sleeping bag.
2. Are permits included in the price of the trek?
Yes. All of the necessary permits for your trek are included in the price and will be arranged for you prior to your trek. For certain restricted regions (like Manaslu, Mustang, Dolpo etc.), you'll need to have a full day in Kathmandu prior to your trek as your specialist will need your passport for the permit formalities.
3. Is communication possible while on trek?
There are telephones in many villages along the popular trekking routes as well as BATE leaders carry cell phone, you are most welcome to use their phone to call your family if required for an appropriate fee. Remote area where phone reception is not easily available, the BATE leader will carry a Satellite phone.
4. What date does the trek start?
Your trek starts on the date that works best for you, given that all of the tours our specialists organize are tailored to your travel dates. Typically, you need at least 1-2 days in Kathmandu prior to your trek in order for your specialist to organize the necessary trekking permits, trek briefing (introduce your trekking guide and entertain last minute questions). These orientation rest days are recommended after your international flight before you embark on your trek mentally and physically fit. This is important for the success of your trek.
5. Where can I store my luggage during the trek?
You can leave your additional luggage at your hotel store room in Kathmandu which is free of cost or at BATE office.
6. What trekking gear should I bring from home?
You can buy virtually everything you need for trekking—from down jackets to water bottles—in Kathmandu. There are a variety of authentic name-brand stores as well as a large selection of local imitation products that are fairly good quality. It's still worth bringing your own gear if it doesn't take up too much weight, especially your own trekking footwear that you have worn in. Here's a full list of what to pack for your trek. Link of blog with trekking essential……
7. What kind of trekking footwear do I need?
You should bring trekking footwear that is comfortable and broken in. Whether these are boots or good high-ankle waterproof trainers will be personal preference depending on the grade of your trek. Any group crossing high passes must have footwear that can walk in snow - gaiters are also recommended for this. It's good to be prepared for a variety of conditions. Your footwear doesn't need to be particularly warm but should be strong and durable. It should have a chunky sole—preferably made of Vibram or another durable material—and should also protect your ankles. There are a variety of styles available at any outdoor store made of leather or synthetic materials, so it's really up to you what's more comfortable.
8. What about drinking water during trekking?
We recommend you to carry a one litre water bottle. Some can work with a filter, but this must be guaranteed to remove or kill Giardia bacteria. Another option is to use iodine purification tablets which work against Giardia. 1 tablet can purify 1 litre of water and it takes half an hour to work before drinking. It's best to carry 2 bottles to rotate. We strongly suggest not to buy bottled water on trek for environmental reason. Boiled water is safe and can often be bought at lodges and allowed to cool.
9. How much should I tip the guide and porters?
Tipping is a strong tradition of Nepal trekking but not compulsory, and really depends on how happy you were with the service. Guides (both for trekking and cultural tours), porters, and drivers are typically provided with a tip at the end of your service with them. Here's everything you need to know about tipping along with suggested amounts. Link to blog of tipping
10. How difficult are the treks?
Classifying the difficulty of a trek cannot be an exact science, as it depends on the terrain, your fitness, and your familiarity with hiking in mountains. We should discuss your options to match these factors up. In the Himalaya, a trek's difficulty depends on the steepness of the trail, the average altitude, and the duration of the trek. In general, we have categorized 3 grades: strenuous, moderate and easy but the higher you go the more difficult the trek becomes due to altitude and weather conditions. For most treks in the lower foothills (Ghorepani, Ghandruk, and Pikey Peak), it's fairly moderate trekking, although some days will be more challenging than others. For higher-altitude treks, strenuous grade (Everest Base Camp, Gokyo, Annapurna Circuit and Nar Phu), the treks become more challenging as you'll be going over 5,000m passes with longer days. Easy grade trekking includes low altitude short treks generally below 3000m.
11. Is age a problem?
Not if you are fit and healthy for your age. We have had treks with an average age of 70 that have successfully trekked to Everest Base Camp. It is all about fitness and experience. Older trekkers also tend to have the best mental attitude which is most important for steady, sensible trekking. If you are well prepared and informed, properly equipped, select the right trek for you, ideally with some fall-back option, and are supported by our well qualified and dedicated teams, then you will definitely have a highly enjoyable experience. The skill and experience of our trek leaders play a vital role in the success of any trek.
12. What is 'teahouse' trekking?
Teahouse trekking refers to staying at small local or mountain lodges each night of your trek. These range from family-run comfort at lower altitudes to more basic seasonal lodges higher up. But all are welcoming and fantastic value in these unique locations. Typically they consist of 5-10 twin rooms with a comfortable communal dining room where everybody socializes. Most treks in Nepal are teahouse treks with lodges run by the local community. To see what teahouses are like, check out our article on teahouse trekking. On popular trekking routes there are now increasing numbers of luxury lodges, with very comfortable en-suite rooms, hot showers, heating, serving 3 course meals etc. They are obviously more expensive but fantastic for a really memorable once-in-a-lifetime experience and BATE has designed some fabulous new itineraries using such lodges. Link of the blog for Tea houses …
13. How long do we trek each day?
Most days in the mountains involve 4-6 hours of actual trekking. When you consider your walking day typically starts at 8 am and can end around 4-5 pm, this is not too arduous as you'll be taking a number of breaks and stopping for a leisurely lunch along the way. The higher you get in elevation (especially in the Everest region), the shorter your trekking days will get to ensure you don't gain altitude too quickly and so avoid any altitude sickness.
14. Do I have to carry my own gear?
You'll only carry your daily essentials in a small day-sack (sun block, water, hat, light jacket, and camera) as your porter will carry the bulk of your gear in the kitbag we provide, such as extra clothing and overnight essentials. Porters are key to traditional Nepal trekking and your enjoyment of the trek. For shorter treks (2-3 days), you may opt just to have a guide if you're comfortable carrying your own gear. However, as our porters are hired locally and are quite affordable, this is an important way to support the local economy.
15. How much can porters carry?
Our trek porters carry up to 30 kg, limited by international guidelines which BATE strictly adheres to. We also insist on paying them a fair wage, unlike in the commercial high altitude transportation trade where they often carry much more, even 100 kg, for less pay. Our porters carry two kitbags, so each is strictly limited to 15 kg. This is plenty as long as you don’t bring unnecessary heavy items. Fragile items, such as cameras, are best carried personally anyway.
16. What is the ratio of guides & porters to group size?
There is normally one guide for every five people. Greater than five, an assistant guide will join the group and will stay back with slower walkers in case the group splits up during the day. For porters, there is one porter to every two trekkers.
17. Who are the guides?
The local trekking guides work with us are often born and raised in the regions you are trekking in and have grown up in the mountains. Most often, they'll have started in the business as a porter, then graduated to a cook's helper, then to an assistant guide, and finally to a fully-certified guide who has completed a four-week guide training course organized by the Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM) and the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN). BATE Guides have a minimum of 5 years experience beside their guide license, trained in both First Aid, mountain hazard and technical knowledge of using oxygen, communication devises and a PAC (Pressurized altitude chamber).
18. Do the guides speak English & have first aid training?
All of the guides speak good English and have many years of experience in guiding foreign travellers. It is our requirement that they all are properly trained in first aid and carry our first aid kit throughout the trek.
19. What is the usual group size for this trek?
For group treks (treks that start on a specific date and are open for travellers to join), the group size can range from 2-10 people. For any customized private trek, the group size is up to you. BATE recommend a maximum of 16 people to avoid having to split the group into different lodges.
20. Is there weight limit in domestic flight to Lukla?
There is weight limit of 15kg per passenger, total including hand baggage. However, airlines charge currently only charge approx. US$ 1 per kg excess for any essential items. They do not weigh what you are wearing!
21. What happens if I fall ill during the trek?
If you fall ill during your trek, the course of action depends on the severity of your condition. If it is altitude sickness, moving to a lower altitude and taking altitude medication, generally Diamox, is the immediate first action and may be all that is required. However if it is severe or persists at lower altitude, your guide will immediately follow the correct emergency procedures based on his experienced assessment of the situation. Nearby health posts or hospitals may be available to provide immediate treatment, but in all cases the guide will be in full consultation with BATE office to decide whether there is a need for emergency evacuation by helicopter in any potentially life-threatening situation. For this reason we insist that emergency helicopter rescue, air ambulance, is covered in your travel insurance and will need to keep a copy of your documents in the office. If you have a stomach sickness or other type of food or water-related illness, your guide will have medication on-hand for most common illnesses.
22. When do I meet my trekking guide?
You usually meet your trekking guide once you're in Kathmandu. You'll have a full briefing on the trek at the start of your trip where you'll meet your guide, be able to ask questions and receive all the information you'll need for the trek. Sometimes due to logistical restraints, your guide may also meet you at the airport for the flight to the beginning of your trek.
23. Is it possible to hire trekking gear in Kathmandu?
There are plenty of local and international branded trekking shops in Kathmandu where you can hire or buy most trekking gear. BATE also hires a few items such as high quality clean sleeping bags, down jackets and walking poles. Please contact BATE well in advance of your trek to arrange this.
24. How much will I need for food on teahouse trek?
Teahouses have menus of good healthy food that is ideal for trekking. It is economically priced depending on your choice: western options like pizza and chips tend to be more expensive but tasty local favorites like the famous Nepali ‘dahl bhat’ (rice, lentils and mild veg curry) are very good value and the best trek nutrition. There are also many fried rice and noodle options with eggs, bread and porridge for breakfast and of course tea and coffee. We strongly recommend you stick to vegetarian, always the safest option on trek. Depending on your menu preference about US$ 20 – US$ 30 per day should be enough.
25. Is it possible to trek with children?
We have found that active children from six years up can enjoy trekking with their families, starting with the easiest itineraries and progressing up to more moderate treks. We advise against remote areas and strenuous trekking until they are robust teenagers. Some BATE Guides have specialist skills at trekking with kids but we will need to book them in well in advance.
26. Is it possible to trek during monsoon?
Summer is a particularly good time to visit rain shadow zones: treks like Upper Mustang and Dolpo and all our trips to Tibet. The weather is mild in these areas at this time of the year, greenery prevails and wildflowers bloom. BATE is the leading Nepal company specializing in Tibet Tours. The monsoon does not reach Tibet and this fabulous destination can be visited all year round.
27. Can I charge my phone, camera or other electronic devise on trek?
Yes, on popular trails like Everest and Annapurna you can usually charge your camera batteries at lodges for a small price. It is always a good idea to bring spare batteries to rotate. On remote treks you are unlikely to find anywhere to charge batteries, so it is best to bring a solar charger in these locations.
28. How will my booking be processed?
To confirm your booking we require a non –refundable deposit of US$ 150 which can be made through bank transfer. Please contact BATE rep for more details.
29. Can I book a solo trek?
Of course you can. There are many trekkers who prefer to go solo. It’s a great way to meet local people and other trekkers and you are totally flexible to trek at your own pace. However, it is very important for your safety and wellbeing, with many potential mountain hazards, that you to take at least a Guide with you. He can carry a few pack items for you but a porter is also recommended unless you can travel very light. Like anywhere else in the world, trekkers without guides have gone missing and never been found. BATE will not organize any trekking without at least a Guide.
30. What vaccinations do I need ?
There are some vaccinations recommended for Nepal, potentially Hepatitis, Typhoid, Tetanus. It is best to check with your own country’s Foreign Office website for health recommendations for Nepal, or you can check here with the leading International Clinic in Kathmandu
31. What are my chances of getting altitude sickness?
When you trek in any mountains over 3000 metres, there's always some risk of altitude sickness. This is regardless of age and fitness. Many trekkers might feel some mild effects of altitude over 3500m (maybe mild headache, some sleeplessness, heavier breathing). However, BATE itineraries are carefully planned with proper acclimatization to minimize the risk of any AMS (Acute mountain sickness), so your chances of having anything worse than mild effects are very low. In all events be assured, our Guides are fully trained to identify symptoms of AMS and will immediately react with strict approved procedures if extra care or rapid descent are ever needed to prevent significant symptoms worsening. Please check out more info on descript of services to reduce risk.
32. What travel insurance is required?
BATE insists you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers all relevant activities undertaken which must include helicopter rescue, Air Ambulance. We will need a copy of your policy to be kept at our office during your trip.
33. Can I travel solo in semi-restricted and restricted areas?
No, there must be minimum of 2 persons to trek in semi-restricted areas of Nepal. This is in order to preserve sensitive wildlife habitats, ancient culture of native peoples and environments.
34. Is teahouse trekking possible in Dolpo, Humla and other restricted areas?
No, these are remote regions of Nepal with no proper teahouses and villages are widely located. Trekking to such areas must be self-contained tented camping with full supply of food and other logistics. Trekking here is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and needs to be fully planned.