TRAVEL – GETTING TO NEPAL
Please consult with your local travel agent with regards to how best to reach Nepal. Please note that it is not possible for us to book international air travel from here. We strongly suggest that you finalise your travel itinerary and book your international your flights well in advance to ensure that you obtain confirmed seats and so that the required hotel accommodation etc is available. International flights to and from Kathmandu can be extremely difficult to obtain if not booked well in advance.
Important: Please be sure to inform us of your international arrival and departure flight details. Most of our clients request us to meet them at the airport as well as make the necessary hotel reservations.
Confirmation of booking
All bookings are made in good faith. Once we have received your booking we will send you an invoice giving payment details. In most cases we will require an advance deposit in order to hold your booking on a secure basis with the balance to be paid prior to your arrival in Nepal.
Arrangements may be cancelled at any time but the cancellation should be communicated to us in writing. Since cancellation incurs administrative costs, we will retain any deposit paid and in addition will apply cancellation charges as follows. We strongly advise that you have insurance cover against cancellation.
|Period before departure within which written cancellation is received.||Sum of cancellation charge within which written cancellation is received.|
|More than 60 days.||Deposit only|
|31- 60 days||50%|
|15- 30 days||75%|
|Less than 15 days||100%|
Any unforeseen cost increases beyond our control will be passed on directly to the client whenever such increases are affected. This could include such items as airfares, fuel costs, government taxes, currency exchanges, etc.
In some cases an increase might also be applicable if group numbers drop below the originally costed number.
Change of itinerary
We reserve the right to change or alter any itinerary at any time for reasons beyond our control. These could include but are not limited to adverse weather conditions, cancellation of flights or government restrictions in certain areas.
Passports and visas
You must have a passport that is valid for a minimum of 6 months. You can obtain a one month visa from your nearest Nepalese Embassy or you can apply upon arrival at Kathmandu Airport. The cost is US$ 40 and you need a passport size photo. You can also now apply on line as per the following :-
Foreigners, who want to apply visa to visit or stay in Nepal can apply for Visa through this application system. The Online system could be log in to www.online.nepalimmigration.gov.np or www.nepalimmigration.gov.np from any place and at any time. The Online Application System can preserve your application for 15 days in its system, so you can apply at your convenience and produce it before Immigration Authority at the time of entry and visa extension. Department of Immigration is committed to provide quality and smart services to its online applicants.
Bureaucracy in this part of the world means that it is useful to carry a few extra passport photographs. These often come in useful for permits, visas etc.
AFTER ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU
If you have arranged to be met: After completing immigration and customs formalities, please exit the building and look for our representative holding a sign with Living Goddess Nepal Tour on it. You will then be transferred to your hotel and given a briefing about your arrangements.
Upon arrival at your hotel, change some money into small denominations – useful for tipping and paying taxis (no one ever has any change). A word of warning – do not accept any torn or damaged notes as these will not be accepted by anyone else.
Most international credit cards are accepted in hotels and the larger shops.
Sometimes a little irregular in supply and wattage, but when it’s “on” – 220V AC 50 cycles.
Please note that it is essential that you are fully insured, proof of insurance may be requested after your arrival in Kathmandu. We recommend that helicopter evacuation is also included. Insurance is not readily available in Nepal.
Vaccinations and immunisations
No inoculations are legally required for Nepal. However, we recommend shots against typhoid, tetanus, meningitis, polio, rabies and gamma globulin/havrix for hepatitis. Please also check on your polio immunisation (only a sugar lump!). Consult your doctor well in advance of departure and remember to carry certificates as proof of immunisations, should they be required.
Malaria is present throughout India and lowland Nepal, especially in the more heavily populated plains. Anti-malaria courses in tablet form are advised during the warmer period, April to October. Please consult your doctor.
Stomach upsets can be a problem but avoidable if you are careful with your diet. Do not drink tap water that has not been first boiled and sterilised and do not eat food or unwashed fruit in the city bazaars.
Local tea is usually safe. Food eaten at Tiger Tops camps, lodges or on trek has been prepared with a scrupulous degree of hygiene and the water thoroughly boiled.
First aid kit
It is advisable to take a small personal first aid kit with you. It should include:
|Antiseptic cream||Suncream (at least factor 15)|
|Moleskin pads||Throat pastilles|
|Medication for relief of diarrhoea||Puritabs or Aqueous Iodine Solution (for water purification)|
|Mild Laxative||2″ – 3″ wide crepe bandage|
|Malaria phrophylatic tablets||safety pins|
WEATHER IN NEPAL
Nepal receives a southwest monsoon for about 3 months from mid-July until mid-September. During this period trails south of the Himalayas are not suitable for trekking although north of the Himalayas towards the Tibetan/Chinese border, trekking is challenging and the climate good. For the rest of the year the weather is mainly stable and dry and although occasional pre-monsoon showers do occur, the conditions are generally very pleasant. The temperature varies with altitude and during the winter months temperatures drop below freezing at altitudes above 10,000 feet. However, the skies are usually clear and mountain views are generally superb. The months of March and April provide spectacular flowering rhododendron forests in regions easily reachable from Kathmandu or Pokhara. The warmer months of April and May are more suitable for high altitude trekking.
Kathmandu weather chart
WHAT TO BRING
To generalize, regardless of the area visited and the time of year, you should take both lightweight clothes for tropical wear and a set of warm clothes. With these you can cope with every eventuality.
As you are visiting Nepal during April days are hot but evenings and early mornings are still chilly in the mountains so a fleece or thick pullover will be required.. In all regions at any time of the year, bring a lightweight waterproof jacket (plastic/nylon pack-away sort) as showers, if infrequent, are possible.
Game viewing attire should be of a sombre colour and lightweight for coolness. Take a warm pullover on early morning viewing trips in the winter and early spring.
Dress at hotels, lodges and other accommodation in Nepal is informal. For evening attire we suggest a blazer and casual trousers for men and a smart blouse and skirt for ladies.
For general sightseeing, walking, game viewing and low altitude trekking, a pair of track or training shoes is ideal and sandals for hot weather if you are not walking far.
|Sun hatCamera and film||SunglassesBinoculars|
|Small torch||Spare batteries|
|Swimming costume||Reading material|
|Water bottle||Personal first aid kit|
|Swiss Army knife||Sewing kit|
Luggage & Dress
We strongly recommend that you bring a small bag or suitcase, equivalent to aircraft carry on baggage rules, for your stay in Bardia. Most hotels in Kathmandu store your main luggage until your return.
Muted natural “earth” colours (greens, browns, beige, and khaki) are most appropriate in the jungle. These colours ensure you blend in and thus enhance wildlife sighting chances. Day dress is casual at all our jungle operations but we do not recommend shorts, even in the hot weather. Evening attire is smart casual. Please note that during the winter months of December to February the evenings and early mornings are cold and often damp so you need a fleece, thick sweater or jacket.
Weather in Bardia
From September to late October the weather is warm and humid (85˚F 30˚C and 99% humidity daytime). November to February the temperature drops but the humidity persists in the form of heavy fog from evening to mid morning (65˚F 18˚C to 75˚F 24˚C and 90% to 95% humidity). Night temperatures drop to 45˚F 7˚C.
March onwards the humidity drops to some 85% and the temperature rises, reaching a maximum of about 104˚F 40˚C by May.
Accommodation at Tiger Tops Karnai Lodge, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge and Ker and Downey lodges are fully inclusive of all meals and wildlife activities. Each operation has a fully stocked bar and a small gift/essentials shop. Guests sign their bills during their stay and then payment for all items is made at the bar on the morning of departure; cash, MasterCard and Visa are all accepted. Shop bills are denominated in US dollars and bar bills in Nepalese Rupees. Daily exchange rates are available.
The Indian sub-continent is truly a photographer’s paradise and it is possible to take stunning photographs with even the most primitive camera. For keen amateur photographers, using 35mm format, a standard 50mm, 28mm wide angle and 200mm telephoto lenses will cope with nearly every eventuality. Zoom lenses simplify choice further. For wildlife photography, 200mm is often never quite enough, so if possible bring a 2 x multiplier for the telephoto and 400 film as sightings are often in poor sight.
Respect the privacy of local people especially in remote areas, and do not intrude unduly with your camera. Use discretion and you should return with some marvellous photographs.
Film is readily available in Kathmandu and is often cheaper than abroad.
NEPAL READING LIST
There are literally thousands of books available on Nepal and this region in general. Below are a few suggestions:
|Insight Guide to Nepal||HJ Hoefer et all||APA Productions|
|The Wildest Dreams of Kew||Jeremy Bernstein||Simon & Schuster|
|Many People Came Looking.||Galen Rowell||Allen & Unwin|
|Trekking in the Himalayas||Stan Armington||Lonely Planet|
|Trekking in Nepal||Stephen Bezruchka||The Mountaineers|
|The Snow Leopard||Peter Matthiessen||Picador Paperback|
|The Trekking Peaks of Nepal||Bill O’Connor||Crowood Press|
|Adventure Treks Nepal||Bill O’Connor||Crowood Press|
|Whitewater Nepal||Peter Knowles||Rivers Publishing|
|Himalayan Flowers and Trees||Dorothy Mierow & Tirtha Bahardur Shrestha||Sahayogi Press|
|The Birds of Nepal||Robert Flemming||Avalock|
|A Birdwatchers Guide to Nepal & the Indian Sub-continent||Carol Inskipp|
|Heart of the Jungle||KK Gurung||Andre Deutsch|
|The Mammoth Hunt||John Blashford Snell & Rula Lenska||Collins|
|Trekking in Tibet||Gary McCue||The Mountaineers|
|A Passage to India||E M Forster||Penguin|
|Midnight’s Children||Salman Rushdie||Picador|
|Freedom at Midnight||L Collins & D Lappierre||Vikas publisher|