Reasons to Visit
Nepal is often portrayed as an adventure destination, and although this does very much depend on the traveller, the country does seem to have the feeling of adventure in the air! Whether it be river rafting, trekking or elephant-back safaris, Nepal has so much to offer for the more adventurous visitor.
64 per cent of Nepal is covered by mountains and it has the world's second greatest range of altitude, from the top of Mount Everest (8,850m) to the plains of the Terai at just 100m above sea level. However it is the Himalaya which dominates the country and is the primary attraction.
The Nepali people are amongst the friendliest in the world. Several diverse ethnic groups make up the population including Limbu, Rai, Newar, Sherpa Tamang and Gurung. Generally Nepalis are laid back and have a relaxed attitude to life; Kathmandu is great to see this diverse population and if you are trekking you are bound to strike up a fantastic relationship with your porters.
Nepal has numerous and diverse temples. Some of the highlights include the Buddhist Swayambhunath Temple and Bodnath Stupa as well as Pashupatinath, Nepal's most important Hindu Temple, which are all in the Kathmandu Valley. There are also hundreds of smaller temples and stupa in the high Himalaya on trails and passes.
Nepal really is the world's best trekking destination. From short day walks to staying in basic tea houses, luxury lodges or tents, Nepal has it all and offers some of the greatest mountain scenery on earth. The most popular trekking destinations are around the Annapurna (central Nepal) and Everest (eastern Nepal) regions.
Tiger and rhino are Nepal's most famous mammals and can be found in Chitwan National Park although there are also elephant, leopard, several species of deer, black bear, Himalayan Thar and blue sheep! Nepal also has over 850 bird species so there really is abundant wildlife and Nepal is great for real enthusiasts and those who want to spend just a few days on safari.
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Our country specialists have travelled the length and breadth of Nepal - here are a few of their favourite things to do
This small country is wedged in between two giants, the arid plateau of Tibet and the hot fertile plains and jungles of India. The Himalaya forms the backbone of Nepal and provides some of the best mountain scenery in the world. There are many ways to enjoy the spectacular beauty of these giants and Nepal offers them all.
Long the preserve of mountaineers and trekkers, the spectacular vistas can now be enjoyed by all. A series of luxury lodges in the Annapurna region, staffed primarily by the Gurkhas, complete with hot water, down pillows and en suite facilities provide a more comfortable alternative to the standard tea-houses.
Those wishing to see the world’s highest peak can see the dark foreboding mass of Everest from the comfort of a light aircraft, or alternatively take to the trails and walk in the Sagarmatha National Park.
The majesty of the Himalaya is equalled by the wildlife of Chitwan National Park, where elephant-back safaris seek the elusive tiger and the rare one-horned rhino, while boat trips offer sightings of the park’s 450 bird species and gharial crocodile.
The unique architecture of the Kathmandu Valley, the photogenic mountain villages and the open and friendly demeanour of Nepal’s people complete the experience.
Once a commercial centre along the trade route to Tibet, Bandipur is a beautiful town situated at around 1,000 metres on a ridge part way between Kathmandu and Pokhara. It is a fantastic example of traditional Newari culture, and the town itself seems completely untouched by modernisation.
The sleepy lakeside town of Pokhara is encircled by the spectacular mountain scenery of the Annapurna Range (including Machhapuchare - Fishtail Mountain) and enjoys a lazy and relaxed atmosphere. It is the main starting point for day walks or longer forays amongst the mountains.
Nepal's Everest region is an area of high mountains, Sherpa villages, steep trails, but above all, fantastic scenery. Walking in the region is not easy but the rewards include wonderful mountain scenery, Buddhist monasteries and temples, and the hospitality of the local people.
Namche Bazaar is one of the main stops on the trail up to Everest Base Camp, and is a great place to spend a day or two. If you climb up to the viewpoint above the village, you will get your first view of Everest. You really feel as if you are deep in the mountains here.
The eaves of the pagodas, the smells from the street stalls and the vibrant people all combine to make Kathmandu a truly intoxicating and evocative city. Take time to explore the narrow streets, further squares and temples and you will finally reach Bhaktapur and Potters' Square.
Situated in the central Terai region of Nepal, Chitwan is the oldest of the country’s national parks. The river plains and steaming jungle host one of the largest populations of the rare Bengal tiger, along with the one-horned rhinos and wild elephants that are best viewed on elephant-back safaris.
13-14 hours (via Doha, Abu Dhabi or Delhi)
Etihad, Jet Airways & Qatar Airways
GMT+5 3/4 hours
The best time to travel.
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.
Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.
Travel is not recommended.
Snow or ski season.
Read first-hand tips and advice from our travel specialists.
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Further reading:Tours in NepalWhen to GoItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout NepalCountry Guides
Other countries in The Indian Subcontinent:BhutanIndiaSri LankaThe Maldives
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