We're big believers in the journey being just as important as the destination, so we pay a lot of attention when selecting transport options, routes and guides. Getting around Nepal can be an interesting experience and we like to make sure you enjoy those bits in-between as much as the rest of your adventure.
We’ve put together some information below to give you a few pointers on getting to Nepal, what to expect and how to get around once you’re there.
If you still have some questions, feel free to drop us an email, give us a call or type away in the live chat box in the corner of your screen – we’re here to help.
To enter this world of adventure and zen, you must first get through Kathmandu airport, also known as Tribhuvan International Airport. It is unlikely that you'll fly direct to Nepal (if you're travelling from America, Europe or Australasia you'll probably be stopping off in the Middle East or Asia) and you may want to break up the journey. The buzz of Nepal's capital city will hit you as soon as you get off the plane, and although it's not a huge airport, it's the only way in and out if you wish to fly. So take some deep breaths and remain calm, knowing what to expect is half the battle and being prepared will make this a painless process.
Here are a few helpful hints to save you some stress:
Keep a pen with you at all times on the plane and in the airport - most airlines will hand out your arrival papers whilst you’re still seated and will save you time once you get off.
When you pass through immigration pay special attention to all the signs, it can be busy and if you’re in the wrong queue you’ll be sent to the back of the correct one.
You'll also pass through passport scanners, these can be a little temperamental, so be patient. There is a desk if these scanners don't work correctly, so you can queue and wait for somebody to check your passport manually.
You can also travel via train or bus from Dehli to Nepal but it’s a long journey and fairly uncomfortable. The bus travels through the night, which isn’t the safest time to be on Nepalese roads and if you’re hoping to catch up on sleep and hit the ground running once you arrive, you might find you’re in need of a few hours in bed.
Unless you're travelling on an Indian passport you'll need a visa for entry into Nepal, you can either get a tourist visa upon arrival or a multiple-entry tourist visa in advance. These vary in cost from $25US to $100US depending on how long you plan to stay. Any visas that are obtained from the embassy must be used within 6 months from the date of issue and your passport must also be valid for 6 months or more. Your visa will need to be paid for in American dollars so make sure you have some cash with you as well as 2 passport sized photos (or more if you plan on getting hiking permits).
In peak-season flights into Kathmandu sell out quickly so you may have to fly into Delhi and change airline. If this is the case, you'll need to get hold of an Indian transit visa as you'll have to get your luggage and check it back in again.
Getting around Nepal
There are a couple of ways to get around in Nepal and in the bigger towns like Kathmandu and Pokhara there are metered taxis. The cost of a taxi is low in comparison to the US or UK (even if you're charged 'tourist rates'), but they can vary due to the frequent changes in fuel cost. If you're catching a ride from the airport and you'd rather avoid the hassle of haggling, you can head to one of the pre-paid taxi counters and pay a set price. If you're travelling with us our team will already know which flight you're arriving in on and we'll meet you there to take you to the hotel.
Once you're roaming the streets of Kathmandu you can choose to explore on rickshaws, they’re fun looking three-wheel carts that are either cycled manually or driven by an engine. Prices are generally negotiable and although they’re not as comfortable or spacious as taxis, they’re a great way to get a feel for the city as you move around.
If you’re travelling between towns, buses are a popular option, they’re cheap but they can be a bit of an adventure in themselves. Often uncomfortable and overcrowded, they travel on damaged and unmaintained roads, so it is always better to travel in the daytime rather than at night.
If you’re planning on doing any hikes or treks in Nepal, chances are you’ll need a domestic flight - to Pokhara or Lukla. It is much more convenient and saves a lot of time but weather plays a big role here. As with any mountain region the weather often causes delays and cancellations so make sure you prepare for every scenario and are covered by your insurance policy.
The official language of Nepal is Nepali however this is only spoken by roughly half of the population and there are lots of variations (123 different languages were reported in the 2011 consensus!) But you’ll be happy to know that English is widely spoken and understood, in fact the Nepalese love an excuse to practice. We’d still recommend learning a few words as it is always appreciated.
If you’re thinking about heading to Nepal and you’ve began to do some research, chances are you’ve already considered a guided tour. There is no denying that the country is difficult to navigate, with poor infrastructure, challenging terrain and questionable transport options - so turning to the experts isn’t a bad idea.
When you’ve been guiding tours in Nepal for as long as we have, you know how things should be done. We pride ourselves on mastering the art of small group travel. Our tours are all-inclusive with no hidden costs, so accommodation, meals and transport are all taken care of. We send over one of our experienced and friendly Kiwi guides to look after you with the help of a trusted local guide there in Nepal.
The stress that is alleviated by choosing a guided tour can turn a holiday into a life-changing experience, so make sure you do your research and choose a company with epic reviews and at least 20 years of knowledge in the great outdoors.
Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.
We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.
As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.
Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.
With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.
It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.