Walk through the terraces and valleys of the Himalaya visiting forgotten shrines, remote monasteries and traditional villages. Explore the stunning palaces and temples of the Kathmandu Valley, an area with the highest density of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the World. Safari in the Tiger reserves of its lowland jungles, looking for the Bengal Tiger, Asian elephants and one horned rhino.
If you want to get the most from your visit then you've come to the right place. One of our Directors Robert has been visiting Nepal for over 30 years and is the author of the Footprint Guides Nepal Handbook, published in 2017. He's currently working on the next edition.
Until the early 1950s, Nepal was known as the Forbidden Kingdom. No foreigners were allowed to enter and there were no roads linking its capital Kathmandu to the outside popular destinations for walkers and climbers. With the Himalaya making up its northern border, Nepal offers some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world. What many people don’t realise is that the south of the country contains dense jungle that is one of the last true habitats for the Bengal tiger, the Asian elephant and rhino.
When to go:
Kathmandu can be visited year-round. In winter it is cold and clear although periods of cloud and rain can set in for a few days at a time. In summer (June-Sept) it is hot and humid but the monsoon rains keep the dust and pollution down, turns everything green, makes things flower and has the Bagmati river running past the Ghats and banks.
The Terai, or lowland jungle to the south of the country, is hot year-round, but particularly wet and humid during the monsoon. The tall grasses are cut by local villagers in January-February for thatching their homes so spotting the wildlife is easier after this for a few weeks.
The monsoon runs from May-September, bringing with it heavy rain and thunderstorms. While the rain is not constant, tending to fall in sudden downpours, visibility of the mountains is severely restricted. There are some high-altitude valleys in the Himalaya, such as Mustang, which are in the rain shadow of the Himalaya and are therefore open and dry during the monsoon.
Traditionally October - November and March - April are the optimum months for visiting Nepal's mountains. Both of these times have their advantages. In October - November, immediately after the rains, the visibility is excellent, offering superb, crisp views. While March-April, the spring, is an excellent time for those who like flora, especially impressive are the rhododendron forests resplendent in reds, pinks or white depending on the altitude. Visibility in the spring is also good, but cloud tends to build as the day goes on. December and January are also clear, but being the winter and at altitude it gets very cold, especially at night.
Beginning in the atmospheric capital of Kathmandu, our Simply Nepal itinerary explores the city’s significant sacred sites before moving on to Chitwan National Park, which is home to rare wildlife and indigenous tribespeople. From the lowlands to the hi
Kathmandu is one of those names that immediately conjures images of the exotic. In this instance it’s a true reflection of the destination. Hindu temples, shrines and images are found on most streets, daubed with colourful paints and with garlands of marigolds. Buddhist stupas and statues are adorned with thousands of colourful prayer flags, surrounded by banks of prayer wheels and the smell of incense. The old town squares of the three cities of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur are packed with pagodas and palaces, two of which are still home to Living Goddesses.Continue Reading...
When you think of Nepal most people think of mountains. It contains eight of the world’s ten tallest peaks, including the highest, Mt. Everest. The scenery is stunning, the high peaks a backdrop to the valleys and foothills that make up Nepal’s most popular attraction; trekking. You can camp, stay in small lodges (or teahouses as they are known locally) or more upmarket hotels.Continue Reading...
The Terai is a lowland area in the south of Nepal that borders India, watered by the huge rivers that drain the snow waters from the mountains, brown with rich silts. Until the 1990's it was rife with Malaria which stopped the lowland forests from being cut down for agriculture as only the indigenous Tharu were able to survive. It was used by the Kings of Nepal for hunting, being rich in game including tigers, elephants and rhinos. Today a network of National Parks has helped safeguard the future of indigenous wildlife as the near eradication of malaria has let to an influx of settlers.Continue Reading...