This Landmark Discovery tour offers travellers and families an exciting introduction to the country south of the High Himalaya – while including spectacular views of the ice giants. Explore our largest cities (which still have much to offer, despite recent earthquake damage); drive through rural community middle hill and lowland scenery before enjoying the thrill of a nature adventure in our premier Game Reserve.
Nepal is renowned for the friendliness of its people: discover their warmth and explore their skills, lifestyles and beliefs. We will also introduce you to the best of our landmarks; both natural and cultural.
The jungle and grassland of Chitwan is one of the few remaining islands of jungle forest that once covered the sub-continent: now replaced by industry and farmland with poor soils. The park is rich in game and bird life and is further protected by a buffer zone that houses several conservation and breeding projects for endangered species – then released into the park. Chitwan has a tropical monsoon climate and is generally humid. Temperatures are most comfortable from mid October to January. Most of its annual 2 500m of rain falls from June – September.
Visit the Elephant and Gharial Crocodile Breeding Centres. Ride an elephant through the forests; and canoe down a river to see crocodiles. Enjoy guided jungle and early morning birding walks. Meet and be entertained by the local Tharu community.
We then return to Kathmandu and your hotel: for more exploration.
Day 01:Arrival: Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (1 300m/4 260ft). We will meet and transfer you to your hotel.
Day 02:A day in the City: Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour
Day 03:Kathmandu – Pokhara (880/2 900ft), 6-7 hrs drive
Day 04:A day in and around the City: Pokhara Valley Sightseeing Tour
Day O5:Himalayan sunrise from Sarangkot. Pokhara – Chitwan National Park (100-800m/330-2700ft), 4-5 hrs drive
Day 06:Chitwan National Park activities: Elephant ride, Canoe trip, Jungle walk. Dinner and Tharu Cultural Show
Day 07:Early bird watching walk. Chitwan – Kathmandu (1 300m/4 260ft), 4-5 hrs drive
Day 08:Final Departure: Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight to your next destination.
After completing passport, immigration and visa requirements, we will meet you outside the terminal building (look for your name board) and transfer you to your hotel: afternoon free. Evening: a welcome dinner, introduction to your guide and a briefing on the trek with a check on necessities. Overnight at hotel.
Sadly, many of our architectural treasures were damaged in the recent earthquakes: but these sites still have much to offer.
Take a day tour to five of the Kathmandu Valley’s cultural world heritage sites: Swayambhunath, the famed “monkey temple”; the city’s historical Durbar Square with ancient temples, unique art and architecture, plus the chance to see the Kumari (living goddess); Patan’s Durbar Square; the Hindu temple Pashupatinath and Bouddhanath, the world’s largest stupa.
A car and driver will take you to each site-entrance and wait for you. (Entry tickets and lunch are not included.)
After breakfast, drive to Pokhara along the Prithvi Raimarg which offers fascinating glimpses of rural Nepal as you pass through Middle Hill scenery and along major rivers such as the Trisuli Nadi, which rises in Tibet north east of Kathmandu. The route passes through the lower Gorkha region (beneath Manaslu), south of the epicentre of the first of the recent earthquakes. The famed Gurkha Regiments began here. We stop for lunch on the way.
On arrival in Pokhara, transfer to your hotel. Afternoon free to explore the waterfront. Dinner will be taken at a local restaurant.
Today we will explore this holiday playground. Visit Devi’s waterfall and Shiva’s Cave. Explore Nepal’s only Mountain Museum. Visit the Tibetan Refugee Centre; to explore their lifestyle and the manufacture of their typical handicrafts. Drive to the Peace Pagoda for sunset, followed by a pre-dinner evening cruise on the lake. Overnight at your hotel.
After a pre-sunrise call, drive to the hill village of Sarangkot for a spectacular sunrise over the High Himalaya. Over 80km of the range will be on display from Dhaulagiri (highest peak in western Nepal), across the 50km Annapurna Range to mighty Manaslu in the east. Three of the fourteen 8 000m/26 250ft peaks at the turn of the head! The sun rises between the eastern Annapurnas and Manaslu. Return to the hotel for breakfast.
Drive to the village of Sauraha at the edge of the famed Chitwan National Park; and our hotel. (There are no lodges within the park.)
After a rest: walk along the banks of the Rapti Khola to the village of Tharu; for sunset. The Tharu, an Indian ethnic group, have long been settled in this region (being naturally immune to malaria). Return to the hotel for dinner, followed by a Tharu cultural show.
Chitwan NP (932km2 opened 1973, World Heritage status1984) typifies the ‘original’ Terai region. It contains subtropical sal forest, grasslands and a rich mix of flowering species on hill slopes. It is home to 68 mammal, over 500 bird, 120 fish and 56 reptile and amphibian species. The animal population has increased significantly since the opening of the park and creation of the controlled buffer zone.
After breakfast we drive into the park to the elephant centre: for a 3hr elephant game-viewing ride. Look out, hopefully, for Bengal tigers, one horned rhinos, boars, et al. Next, visit the elephant bathing centre. After lunch and a rest, take a canoe river trip to see mugger and endangered gharial crocodiles. Follow this with an hour’s (cooler) guided jungle walk. Finally visit the elephant breeding centre outside the park. Return to the hotel for dinner.
egin with an early morning 1 – 1½ hrs guided bird-watching walk along the river bank, followed by breakfast. Then drive back to Kathmandu; and your hotel. Rest of day free.
Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight to your next destination.