Annapurna Base Camp Expedition
A moderate 10 day trek to a maximum altitude of 4130 metres. Also features a 3 day safari in the Chitwan National Park and 3 days white water rafting; camping overnight.
This exciting holiday starts with a fascinating drive, incorporating a remarkable number of hairpin bends, to the lowest part of Nepal – the Terai – where you will spend a couple of nights at the Baghmara Resort in Chitwan, in tropical temperatures and surrounded by exotic plants, birds and animals. One of the highlights will be a safari into the jungle, on elephant back, in the hope of seeing a tiger and the rare one-horned rhino. Almost surely you will see various deer, and maybe some wild boar, too. When at the resort, you will be able to enjoy the small swimming pool which is a wonderful antidote to the hot and humid conditions of the jungle. The grounds of the resort are really beautiful, with tropical fruit trees and lots of birdlife, including peacocks, open-billed storks, drongos, barbets and laughing thrushes.
After leaving Chitwan you will enjoy the first of your short visits to Pokhara, another low-altitude resort on the banks of the beautiful Phewa Lake. A boat trip on the lake should not be missed, as the view of Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) from the water is stunning (try to hire a boat with an oarsman as this provides much needed local employment).
A night’s rest precedes the classic Annapurna Sanctuary trek, visiting the site of the base camp used by expeditions attempting the massive south face of Annapurna I. The Sanctuary was discovered by Jimmy Roberts in 1957, and first used as a base camp by Chris Bonington’s expedition in 1970. The Annapurna Sanctuary is a huge cirque of some of the world’s highest mountains, culminating in the awesome South Face of Annapurna. The area encloses the Annapurna and Machhapuchhare Base Camps and is itself a hidden pocket of meadow moraine and glacier, ringed by magnificent sheer-walled peaks: the fishtail Machhapuchhare (6992m), Annapurna I (8091m), South Annapurna (7273m) and Gangapurna (7454m). Traditionally, no women or low-caste people were allowed into the sanctuary, impure foods like meat, eggs and garlic were forbidden, and hunting and butchering were prohibited. The Sanctuary is still an idyllic place, a haven for wildlife and flowers, visited only by a few shepherds who bring their flocks up to graze summer meadows, and it is believed to be the sacred abode of the gods of the native Gurung people.
The trek begins at Nayapul, after a short drive from the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara, and passes through many Gurung and Magar villages, on the way to the first night camp at Ghandruk, which is the largest Gurung village in Nepal, where the male members of the local community have sacrificed their lives to serve with the Gurkha Armies and security forces around the world. The next day’s trail leads to Tadapani, a small settlement in a rhododendron forest which in Spring is alive with vibrant colour, following the season of the highly scented and beautiful Daphne shrubs from which Nepalese paper is made. After Tadapani, the trail passes along the ridge, with incredible views of Annapurna South, Himchuli and Machhapuchhare, until reaching Chomrong for the next camp. Passing through more forests, and bamboo groves, over grassy meadows, between incredibly narrow gorges, and up very steep and rocky steps, the trail follows the Modi Khola river valley after leaving Chomrong. From then on there is a single track corridor as far as the ‘gate’ to the Sanctuary itself, which is flanked by the twin peaks of Machhapuchhare and Himchuli, and after passing through this entrance, trekkers are usually left speechless by the sheer magnificence of the natural amphitheatre of ice-bound peaks.
After three days spent exploring this magical place and visiting Annapurna Base Camp, and Machhapuchhare Base Camp, the trail retraces its path down the Modi Khola valley before taking a different route back to Pokhara, through Dhampus Phedi, for some relaxation prior to beginning a couple of days’ exciting rafting on the Seti River. The set in point for this is Damauli, a short drive from Pokhara, and the rafting experience will include rapids up to Grade III+. Overnight riverside camps with possible camp fires add another dimension to the rafting experience. On leaving the Seti River at Ghaigat, at the confluence of the Seti and Trisuli rivers, there will be a scenic bus journey back to the heaving metropolis of Kathmandu, for shopping, sightseeing and a visit to EPHC .
- Day 1
- Arrive Kathmandu and transport to Hotel
- Day 2
- Kathmandu, preparing for trekking
- Day 3
- Drive to Chitwan
- Day 4
- Chitwan; jungle adventure
- Day 5
- Drive to Pokhara, overnight in hotel
- Day 6
- Drive to Nayapul (1070m) and trek to Ghandruk (1940m)
- Day 7
- Trek to Tadapani (2590m)
- Day 8
- Trek to Chhomrong (2170m)
- Day 9
- Trek to Doban (2505m)
- Day 10
- Trek to Deurali (3170m)
- Day 11
- Trek to Machhapuchhare Base Camp (MBC) (3700m
- Day 12
- Trek to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) (4130m)
- Day 13
- Trek to Bamboo (2335m)
- Day 14
- Trek to Jhinu Danda (1780m) via Chhomrong
- Day 15
- Trek to Pothana (1900m), last day party
- Day 16
- Trek to Phedi (1130m) and drive back to Pokhara, overnight in hotel
- Day 17
- Drive to Damauli and start rafting on Seti River
- Day 18
- Raft to Gaighat and drive back to Kathmandu
- Day 19
- Kathmandu sightseeing with joint group
- Day 20
- Visit to EPHC and free time/shopping in afternoon
- Day 21
- Transport to airport for departure