Discovery Nepal

This trip is an ideal introduction to the delights of Nepal. For history and culture there is time to explore Kathmandu: the narrow streets, temples, stupas and pagodas of the city and surrounding valley have an almost mediaeval atmosphere. For magnificent mountain views we visit Bandipur before heading to Pokhara, where we have time to explore the lakeside region. From Pokhara we have three day walks into the foothills of the Annapurnas. At Chitwan we stay in a comfortable jungle lodge and go into the jungle on elephant back with every chance of seeing the Asian rhino. There is even optional  rafting on the Trisuli River.

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Arrive Kathmandu


    Day 2
    We leave Kathmandu early in the morning and head towards Pokhara. After leaving the Kathmandu valley, the road winds its way along the Trisuli Valley and we will have superb views of the mountains as we follow the river west. There is a chance to go rafting on the Trisuli River (optional), which is moderate and offers the best introduction to rafting in Nepal. Those who want to participate will meet the raft guides a couple of hours after leaving Kathmandu. Each raft holds 8 people. Life jackets and helmets are provided and there will be a safety briefing. There will be about three hours rafting with grade 2-4 rapids. We stop for lunch on the river side and later we will continue on to Bandipur. Situated at 1030 metres this picturesque town is nestled in the Himalayan foothills and has wonderful panoramic views of the Annapurna Range. Full of traditional Newari architecture it is a beautiful place to explore and soak up the tranquil atmosphere. There are numerous temples, caves and shrines - the perfect retreat after busy Kathmandu. Those not rafting will drive directly to Bandipur and will be there by lunchtime. The afternoon is free to explore the town.


    Day 3
    Today we explore the surrounding area of Bandipur. This picturesque town is nestled in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal, lying above the main road that connects Kathmandu to Pokhara. Situated on a hilltop it has maintained its traditional atmosphere and boasts a mix of history, culture, architecture and spectacular panoramic views of the entire Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Langtang and the Marsyangdi Valley. Bandipur was once a prosperous trading centre, and its charming buildings with their Newari-style facades and shuttered windows reflect its past glory. It was originally a Magar village settled in the early 19th century by Newars from Bhaktapur because of its malaria-free location, and it became an important stop on the India to Tibet trade route. Along with their trading skills and dialect the Newars brought their rich cultural heritage and architecture, which still defines the current Bandipur. After breakfast we will have a choice of walks. You can either walk to Ramkot which is a typical Magar village with traditional round houses, untouched by modern development (4 hours round trip) or walk to the biggest cave yet discovered in Nepal, Siddha Cave (4 hours round trip). This is also an easy hike. For either walk we will take a picnic lunch from the hotel with us.


    Day 4
    We rejoin the main road and head west to Pokhara passing beautiful scenery on the way. Set in a beautiful valley near Phewa Tal, Pokhara has a magnificent backdrop; the mighty Annapurnas and Machhapuchhare, one of the most distinctive of the Himalayan peaks. We should reach Pokhara by lunchtime where the afternoon is free to explore its lakes, temples, traditional bazaar and array of handicraft shops.


    Day 5
    We have three day walks around Pokhara in the foothills of the Annapurnas. All walks are optional and for those not wishing to participate your leader will suggest alternative activities. This morning we drive out of Pokhara to Khare from where we walk through lush forests to Australian Camp. From here, we should have magnificent views of the Annapurnas. We then head to the neatly laid out terraces of Dhampus. This village is set on a ridge with magnificent views of the Annapurnas. Machhapuchhare, the 'Fishtail' mountain can be seen throughout the day as it sits in the middle of the range and has a very distinctive shape. Considered holy this mountain cannot be climbed by anyone. Our bus will meet us here for the drive back to Pokhara.


    Day 6
    We pack up this morning. The bus will take our luggage (and anyone not wanting to walk) to the mountain Lodge. We will take a short boat trip across the lake (approx half an hour). We then walk up to the Japanese Peace Pagoda, set on a hill overlooking the lake. From here it's a short walk to the to mountain Lodge, where we stay for two nights. This quiet guest house looks out on to the lake. With the Annapurnas as a backdrop this makes for a perfect setting to sit out on the veranda and enjoy the sunset and sunrise.


    Day 7
    We have a full day to walk further up the ridge and explore the local villages.


    Day 8
    We drive to Chitwan, where we spend the next two nights. The most popular way of seeing animals is on elephant back early in the morning. From the elephant we should see the Indian one-horned rhinoceros and several species of deer. We also make trips along the Rapti River in a dugout canoe, looking for crocodile and observing the abundant bird life. The safari lodge has knowledgeable and helpful staff, who accompany us on all the excursions. The lodge has a small complex of two-roomed huts with attached bathrooms and a separate communal dining/bar area.


    Day 9
    Elephant rides, river trips and jungle walks in and around the park.


    Day 10
    We drive back to Kathmandu after breakfast arriving at our hotel in the afternoon.


    Day 11
    The day is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You may wish to visit Durbar Square in the heart of the old city where the old Royal Palace, with its intricate woodcarving is located. Outside is Kumari Chowk, home of the Kumari, the young girl who is revered as a living goddess. The whole area is a maze of temples and images. Alternatively you may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. Various sightseeing tours can be booked and paid for locally. For more details of these activities please refer to the Optional Excursions section.


    Day 12
    Depart Kathmandu

Date & Price

Includes & Excludes

  • Profile


    Breakfast included in Kathmandu, Bhandipur, Phokhara,Mountain Logde  and fullboard basis in Chitwan


    Group Size
    Min. 2, max.16 plus leader and appropriate local staff.

Trip Notes

  • Do we need vaccinations and/or malaria tablets?
    You should consult your doctor at least two months before travelling to check if there are any recommendations for your destination. It is important in most destinations to protect yourself and your children against insect bites. For adults a repellent with a high concentration of DEET is recommended. For children under ten a natural repellent (with no DEET) should be used (natural repellents are available from all good outdoor shops).


    Do your tours take care of the local people and environment?
    Our aim is to give families a genuine experience of a country and its people by working with, rather than imposing on, the local communities, culture and environments. We employ a high percentage of locally-recruited office staff, guides and drivers etc.


    Will we get sick?
    Standards of hygiene can sometimes be lower than at home but if you take a few basic precautions it is simple to keep healthy while you are away. In most cases food is freshly prepared for you; however it will probably contain ingredients that you are not familiar with or may be prepared in a different way. This change in diet is one of the most common causes of upset stomachs. Therefore it is a good idea to treat food and drink with caution – at least in the first few days of your holiday. It is a good idea to avoid tap water (even for cleaning teeth), ice-creams and to be wary of ice in drinks. Bottled water is widely available, and you should drink plenty (much more than you probably would do at home). Finally, and most importantly, try to ensure that you keep your hands clean – especially before you eat. Antiseptic wet wipes or antiseptic hand gels (which you can use without water) are essential.



    Will we suffer from culture shock?
    Naturally many countries have cultures very different from your own and most travellers experience some level of culture shock. Although the chance to learn about new customs is a positive part of our style of travel, strange or odd customs, sounds, tastes and smells can sometimes be overwhelming. It is important to make sure that you and your children feel comfortable although they will probably be more adaptable than most adults and will almost certainly take everything in their stride!


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