ExpERIENCE a new way in nepal
ExpERIENCE a new way in nepal
Families & Children’s Treks
Our Families & Children’s treks are designed especially for parents and children ( ages 9 upwards). They follow untouched trails at moderate altitudes ( up to 3200 m) where the altitude is not a major concern. They offer spectacular views off the tourist trails and genuine engagement with local villagers and their children.
best treks in nepal
MIX WITH LOCAL KIDS
“I had a great time on the Children’s trek in January. We climbed trees, swam in the rivers, had a rickshaw ride, some wild jeep rides and met some amazing people. I can’t wait to do it again.”
Skip, 13 Australia
thE video below gives you a glimpse of how a trip like this can impact your children!
Thank you for your interest in our Families & Children’s expedition to the Nepal Himalaya.
It’s based on 11 days trekking, 2 full days in Dharepani Village, plus 2 full days in Kathmandu and 2 part days when you arrive and depart. It is based on 10 going, plus experienced Himalayan Guide, Mountaineer and qualified Wilderness First Aid Responder, Seane Pieper, and; Local Mountain guide Sandesh Tamang, as guides and medical.
I did this trip with my boys,
Skip ,13 and Charlie , 7 and a group of other kids and parents in April 2018 and they loved it! We had a great mix of remote trails, opportunities to mix with local kids and fascinating wildlife and scenery.
The trip is suited to families or part families and children aged from 7 to 18,
- Manaslu Families/ Parents Trek
- Optional Everest flight
- Village projects.
- School visits and involvement
- Price $1500
- Initial non-refundable deposit of 10% paid on booking
Families & Children’s Trek – 15.11.20 – 30.11.20
Have a look at out our dates on our website calendar!
The trek will leave Arughat Bazaar( 1900 m) and rise up to a long high ridge for a few days to the Dharche Danda (3200m) before dropping down to the
Dauradi Khola ( 600m ) and up to Dharepani ( 1700m).
What to expect?
Most of the trek will be through remote villages rich in traditional culture and free of tourists. Rhododendron forests and terraced fields combined with some pine forests, bamboo and open buffalo pastures predominate. There is a proliferation of bird and wildlife and rich, traditional village culture. Many villages we travel through are friends and relatives of Sandesh and our porters, so you will get to be involved with locals and understand, rather than just see. The final day of the trek will be based in Dharepani Village, which was decimated in the great earthquake of April 2015 and is being rebuilt. This is Sandesh’ village. You have the opportunity
on working on any of a number of projects or transferring your skills or passions to the villagers. You can learn traditional cooking practises, raising crops/ veggies, making implements, baskets, spirits, clothes, milk buffaloes, herd goats…. Many different things. This is very different to a normal “trek”.
TRIP GRADING & TRAININGS
Click here to view our Trips Gradings & Training page for more information.
We are partnered with a trekking training specialist, Rowan Smith from Summit Strength to help you prepare properly for our adventures. We offer a basic preparation guide for our adventures but highly recommend contacting Rowan to discuss your personal requirements. Everyone is different, after all.
Click here to find out more.
TREKKING SEASON & TRAILS
The trek will take place in the late Nepal Autumn. Views are clear and spectacular at this time. It is cool to cold at our trekking altitude ( 600 to 3200m). Days and nights are generally bright and clear and temperatures range between 17 during the day and minus 4 or 5 at night. ( It’s a bit like a Beechworth early Spring).
This time of year is the best for views in the Himalaya.
very little cloud, except for the odd winter storm. Sometimes we may be forced to drop down lower to avoid deep snow. Trails are generally well formed with many steps. The route generally avoids really big ups and downs as it traverses a long ridge, except for the first day… which is a big up. There are alternative pathways if the route looks too snow covered.
Please note this trip does not go to altitudes where sickness from altitude is an issue.
You will be woken at around 6.30 to 7 in the morning by one of our kitchen boys who will offer you tea or coffee, or whatever beverage you prefer.
thisa bowl of warm water will be provided for you to wash.
You will then pack up your gear in your tent and put everything you don’t wish to carry in your kitbag ( provided by us) and put this outside your tent.
After this is done, breakfast is served in the dining tent…or outside if nice.
Around 8.30 to 9 the days walking will begin… You will carry only what you need for the day… a couple of water bottles, trail snacks, cameras/ phone, diary/ pen/ book/ warm clothes, wet weather gear, gloves, toilet paper. All of this in a small day pack will weigh 3 to 6 kg. You can carry nothing if you like or more! Just let us know the night
The morning’s walk will last for around 3 hours, with ample time for photos, drinks
andsnacks. We general stop after each hour for 15 minutes. We can’t get ahead of our kitchen!
At around 11.30 we stop and rest while lunch is prepared. We stop for about an hour and a half. Tea, juice and cooked and fresh dishes are provided… you’ll be fascinated
atwhat can be done. Lunch time is a great time to lounge around, have a powernap, watch the cook, take photos etc. Where possible we try to find a stream.. or maybe a village, where we will set up kitchenin a local house and mix with the curious villagers.
1pmwe will get underway and walk for 2 to 3 hours.
We generally try to set camp before 3.30 to
4pmin winter to get some light and relax a little.
Tents will be set up for you and luggage placed outside your tent. You’ll set up your sleeping mat and bag and sort out your gear.
You can then relax….until dinner. Coffee and tea are provided. Have a drink, take photos, snooze, wander into the village or locals houses… whatever takes your fancy… we’ll point out some of the opportunities. You may like to watch our cook whip things up. If you want to have a wash… we have a couple of hessian screens you can use… the boys will warm up some water for you… needed in winter!
At around 6 to 6.30 dinner will be provided in our dining tent. We don’t use chairs or tables… just whatever we can find around to make us comfy. Dinner lasts for about an hour. Bring your water bottles and the boys will give you boiled water to use the next day….Use them to put in your sleeping bag!
Dinner time is the time when your guide will give you a briefing on the next day and for you to ask any questions or tell us what you might like to do more or less of. We’ll show those of you who are interested, where we are going on our map… the trekking times and stops.
dinnermost head back to the sleeping bag,read for a bit and nod off. Some may wish to play cards, chess.. have a couple of the local brews.. or diarise…up to you.
If you have any issues during the night… just wake the guide
..His tent has a big green lightstick on top.
MEALS & SNACKS
As a private trek… we can tailor most things for you before you leave KTM. Let us know any dietary requirements or requests on the booking form when you book online.
Our normal menu is this (unless we decide to add or subtract!):
Chapatti, butter, spreads
Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate
Veges/ potatoes/ rice
Sometimes goat, buffalo, chicken
Coffee, tea, hot chocolate
It’s a great idea to buy chocolate, lollies and snacks in KTM before you leave on the trek. There is a heap of great stuff in KTM.
Bottled Soft Drinks and bottled water
Regular purchases of these are discouraged. Rubbish and sugar…. Just what we are leaving Australia for! We have limes and powdered orange and lemon—great mixers.
Most of the trek will be through villages, where beer, spirits and the local spirit ( Rakshi) are available. Those who like a tipple can find whatever they want in KTM. It’s worth taking a favourite to celebrate trek milestones.
We will use a reliable, well maintained private bus to transport us and our food and staff to the start of the trek.
The drive will be all day and we will stop along the way whenever required for toilet and a couple of times for eating. We will take our hessian screen for roadside emergencies!
The road to the start of the trek is sealed. Traffic conditions out of KTM are highly variable and travel times are difficult to predict. The main (Prithvi) highway from KTM is quite smooth, however landslips and broken down vehicles may slow things down significantly. It is not uncommon to be delayed for a few hours.
Travel speeds are quite low and its not unusual to see overtaking manoeuvres which you wouldn’t see in Australia…Its quite unnerving at first!
Thai economy allows 30 KG checked baggage. If bringing your own gear you will quickly get up to this… make sure you check your weights before you get to the airport. You could be stung for $50 USD per kg excess to KTM… not pretty.
Make sure you have a locked bag. If just bringing a large backpack have a lockable pack cover.
You can leave any gear you bring over, that is not needed on the trek…at the hotel in their locked area. Make sure you have a lock for this bag too… so one lock for your trekking kitbag and one for your luggage left in KTM…
You can hire a kitbag for the trek from us for $30 USD or purchase one of our special HGA kitbags. So all you need is your day pack and suitcase for gear leaving behind.
Please note: Make sure you have waterproof stuff sacks for your gear in the kitbags and your day pack. You can get these in KTM. Garbage bags work for a while but can get ripped out on the trail.
MONEY IN NEPAL
How much cash should I take?
Funding yourself in Nepal
I recommend that you carry around $500 to $1000 AUD cash with you to KTM in a secure place such as a money belt. This is readily changed in KTM and rates are close to wholesale.
You can withdraw funds from ATM’s in KTM (in Nepalese rupees ((NRS)) only) up to your daily limit on your card, but only in lots of up to 35000 Nepal Rupees. You will be charged around $5USD for the privilege from the Nepal bank plus whatever your local bank charges. In addition, there seems to be a spread of around 6 to 7 cents of the exchange rates in the banks’ favour… so instead of getting 79 NRS for your $1AUD for cash, you’ll probably get only 72. So if you withdrew $1000 at the ATM it would cost you around $20 AUD in fees plus you would lose $70 because of the spread in the exchange rates. So that’s nearly $100 AUD! before any charges back in Australia. Check with your bank before you leave. Most of the restaurants in KTM take credit cards as do the bigger gift shops yet charges can vary widely.
note: SHONAS Gear shop (which we use for good quality sleeping bag and down purchases) does not take credit cards.
You will need about $70 for your Visa if purchased at the airport plus around $50 to $100 in total for your lunches and dinners in Kathmandu (not including drinks).
Note on Restaurant Bills in Kathmandu
In Kathmandu, restaurants charge a service charge and a VAT tax… this generally adds another 22% to your bill but is not obvious on the menu except in fine print at the bottom. Keep this in mind when paying as a group. This does not generally apply outside of Kathmandu in the Manaslu region.
Cash on the Trip
You don’t have to spend anything on the trip if you don’t drink soft drinks or alcohol or don’t want to buy any trinkets or tip staff. Most people on the trip carry about $250 to $800 AUD… this is for any trinkets and things you’d like to buy along the way… and little donations you may like to give to the earthquake-affected villages, beer (about $6 for 600ml), soft drinks etc if you’d like. We will tip some of the porters in Dharepani at the end of the trip… about $10 for each member should cover this…
You can get away with very little… depends on you…
You can arrange Visas through the Nepal Consulate in Melbourne. You will need the 30-day option. You can also get them on arrival in KTM (prices around $70 AUD to pay in KTM, $85 here in Australia as at Jan 2018).
Your trek leader,
Seane Pieper is qualified and experienced in remote area first aid in the Nepal Himalaya. A comprehensive medical kit will be taken.
Trek members need to take all of their personal medications they require now in Australia, plus basic things such as
band-aids, blister strips, sunscreen etc.
MEDICAL FORM & TRAVEL INSURANCE
IT is a PREREQUISITE that the medical form (provided once the trip is booked) is completed. This must be returned to us 1 month prior to departure. These details are confidential. Please disclose everything. If unsure, ask.
Trek members will need to take out travel insurance which covers medical cover in Nepal and helicopter evacuation to KTM and air and medical back to Australia. No one will be able to travel without an appropriate level of travel insurance. Discuss this with your insurance agent. We cannot provide advice.
Please note… we will not be travelling at altitudes where Altitude Illnesses are an issue.
The trek route is quite close to road access and helicopter rescue from KTM. Mobile phone access is quite good… however no guarantees.
CANCELATIONS & WITHDRAWALS
Withdrawal during trek
Due to most costs being fixed… any member who wishes to leave during the trek, will be responsible for the costs of their transport back to KTM. A vehicle back to KTM and staff could cost up to $1000, however all attempts will be made to make exit as cheap and stress free as possible. Make sure your travel insurance covers this.
Cancellation prior to departure from Australia
Cancellation up to 4 weeks prior 100% refund less deposit.
Less than 4 weeks Forfeit complete trip cost.
Make sure your travel insurance covers this
ETHICS: THE PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT: OUR APPROACH
HGA has deep connections in the Nepal Himalaya and in particular, the Manaslu Region. We understand the region’s culture and its issues deeply and have many long-standing friendships. We revisit the same villages and trails many times each year so are in a unique position to form bonds which will increase understanding, harmony and prosperity. This will become obvious to you when we move through the region…it is so different from a commercial operator moving through the tourist regions.
The way we conduct ourselves is of paramount importance to us, due to our long term commitment.
There are some guiding principles and practises which we follow.
The Himalaya is a sensitive and special environment and is culturally very different from the west. We have an obligation as visitors to preserve and respect it.
As we move our campsites around, we leave them in a better state than when we arrive. We burn and bury any rubbish of ours, plus any left by others.
We minimise any packaging that we take and buy locally wherever possible.
We do not litter on the trail or in villages.
We bury or burn all of our human waste and use our toilet tents wherever possible
The Nepalese people
Nepal is a country undergoing immense social and physical change, particularly in Kathmandu.
Westernisation is changing the face of Kathmandu and tolerances of western dress and behaviour are increasing as a result. In the countryside and in particular the remote villages we encounter, the same cannot be said.
We exercise discretion in what we wear and how we behave, being sensitive to local customs. We brief you on the particulars of this prior to each trek as things vary widely from place to place.
We do not encourage giving to beggars for a host of reasons, not to mention their bona fides these days.
We do not give sweets to local children as sugar is a major problem, particularly along roadsides.
When in villages we make our donations collectively and directly to the local community group, generally run by the village women. This ensures that funds are applied as we wish and are allocated to village priorities.
We have many long-standing staff who are like family to us. We pay our staff directly, generally above the market rate for labour and with no agency commissions taken.
All staff are insured whilst on the trek, including any casual porters.
All our staff are kind and friendly and will always do that bit extra for you and we behave in the same way to them.
At the end of each trek, the long-standing custom is for porters and our staff to receive a tip from the group. We collect tips from members according to their wishes and allocate the pool of funds evenly amongst staff. This ensures equity and transparency and minimises misunderstandings. We generally pay our porters out prior to leaving Kathmandu and then have a big dinner and party back in Kathmandu for our key staff, where we disperse their tips.
HGA has been working on Earthquake Reconstruction and economic development in the Manaslu region since the 2015 quake. We are building a lodge and multipurpose facility in the village of Dharepani which is where we end our treks into Manaslu and is the home of our head guide, Sandesh Tamang. This lodge is being made in conjunction with Good Earth Global and construction is to start in December 2019.
We are also involved in the redevelopment of the village of Sirandanda, where we conduct our retreats.
TRIPS AIMS, STRUCTURE & ORGANISER LIABILITY
AIM OF THE TRIP
The aim of this trip is to enable parents and children to experience genuine Nepal village life, whilst challenging themselves physically with each other at the lowest possible price. The lessons that we can learn from life in Nepal can lead us to question the way we go about things at home and provide useful and
life-changing perspectives. My personal experiences and with children in the Himalaya has confirmed this. Unfortunately many large commercial operators dominate the school market and charge exorbitant prices… which lock many families out. Many families I have spoken to can’t afford things and can’t take the risk of doing things on their own. This trip model aims to change things.
I am attempting to build trekking infrastructure in the region to build the economy after the great earthquake… Its got great potential! Trek members are encouraged to get involved.
A professional documentary team accompanied our Families & Children’s trek in 2018 to record children’s responses. You can find this video above.
The trip is a private trip, offered to friends and associates. It has no relationship with the Department of Education, despite me being employed as a teacher. No profit is being made by the trip
organiser. Any surplus funds will be donated to the Village of Dharepani.
Itineraries may change due to weather, political circumstances or other unforeseen circumstances. The trip
organiser is highly experienced leading groups, including school groups, in the Himalaya and in particular the region in which the trip is being run.
organiser cannot accept financial liability for events outside their control or expertise and cannot accept members onto the trip who would exercise personal legal action regarding this. Members’ travel insurance needs to be considered in light of this.
All staff are paid
directly and are sourced from the region, so the money stays there. All HGA treks are designed to add to the economy of the Lower Manaslu region and assist in its recovery after the earthquake.
I grew up in the bush in NSW and I had my first trek in the Himalaya in 1991, with Australia’s largest Nepal trekking operator at the time, World Expeditions. From there, I returned in 1993 and met Australia’s most experienced Nepal trekking guide and outdoor specialist, Gary Hayes on a trek over the Tesi Lapcha Pass. We became close friends and went on many trekking and mountaineering expeditions after this. I fell in love with the country and adventure trekking and climbing. I went to NZ and commenced years of technical climbing training with Alpine Guides and Adventure Consultants. Expeditions to many peaks followed, with the creation of many friends in Nepal. In 1998, I conceptualised and commenced trips to Nepal for the Wilderness School in Adelaide, which continues to this day.
In 2015, I was in the Great Nepal Earthquake whilst climbing Cho Oyu, 8210m. Many of my good friends were affected terribly by this and it convinced me to introduce a Humanitarian and Development role into my climbing and trekking. This commenced in 2015, in Dharepani Village and continued in 2016 whilst climbing Cho Oyu again. I returned from Nepal and commenced building a lodge for groups in Dharepani as well as testing trekking routes for families.
I am currently teaching at Baranduda Primary School, am a qualified Wilderness First Aid Responder and have had senior roles in Government in Tourism and Economic Development. I live in Beechworth, Victoria on a small farm, with my two boys…who did the trek with me in March 2018.
I have just completed my 17th Expedition to the Nepal Himalaya, and 5th to the Manaslu Region.
INCLUSIONS & NON INCLUSIONS
Internal transport to trek start and finish points in private bus and or jeep.
Fluent English speaking guide ( Sandesh Tamang)
Guide in KTM for sightseeing
Porter to carry all your gear ( max 20 kg each)
Insurance for all porters and staff
Qualified Australian guide to accompany to and from KTM ( Wilderness First Responder ( medical)) trained
Expedition medical kit
All meals at lodges and in tented camps on the trek
3 man tents for two to three people per tent( private tent extra charge)
Boiled water for the next day and evening
Morning and evening washing water
Separate Toilet tents for women and men
All accommodation at lodges on the trek when tented accommodation not appropriate
Project opportunities and village life in Dharepani village
Tourist free trekking
Accommodation in either the Hotel Karma, or Mum’s Home in KTM twin share
Expedition kit bag
Pre trip gear advice and discounts
Everest sightseeing flights optional ( approx. $160 each)
Hotel upgrades ( Many available from $50 to 200)
Meals in Kathmandu (about $30 a day each should cover for each person)
Personal trekking gear
Personal medical kit
Flights to and from Australia
Airport transfers ( except where travelling with the main body of the group arriving in KTM on TG 319 on the 24th Feb.
It is preferred if members book flights directly through the organisers. This will ensure that everyone leaves in time to arrive at KTM when required. Flights should be between $900 and $1500. We will get a better price if we book together. Renee from Helloworld, Albury, handles our group bookings.
Contact Renee on;
If you wish to
organise separately, please advise admin prior too booking. Flights need to arrive in KTM 24 hours before the start date at the latest. This will give us time in case of flight delays or any other unexpected delays. We depart at 7 am on the start date.
Arrive KTM. Transfer from Airport to MUMS hotel. Meet Guide
Explore KTM and shop (guide included)
Drive to Arughat Bazaar Private bus ( 7 hours)
Trek to Kalleri
TREK to Thaargaon
TREK to Nyauli Kharka
Dauradi Khola ( River)
Drive to KTM in Private Bus
Day at Leisure in KTM