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Kanchanjunga Trek - 27 Days

People to name the three highest mountains in the world, and few get past Mount Everest and K2. At 8,586m, Mt. Kanchenjunga is only about 300 meters lower than Everest, but for all intents and purposes, the world’s third-highest peak been forgotten. Situated on the border between east Nepal and the Indian state of Sikim/Darjeeling. The mountain was first successfully tackled by British climbers in 1955, but they, like all who came after them, stopped just short of the summit out of respect for the locals’ belief that the mountain-top is sacred.

Mt. Kanchenjunga, a name that originates from Tibetan, means the “five treasures of snow” and corresponds to the massif’s five distinct peaks. Like many mountains in Nepal, Kanchenjunga offers world-class trekking. But unlikely some of the country’s popular routes, which can become overrun in the high hiking seasons autumn and spring, the trails to and around Kanchenjunga’s two basecamps remain delightfully free of visitors – likely due to the difficulty and expense of reaching the area. Kanchenjunga is well off the established trail for trekkers and reaching a trailhead requires several days of road travel or a costly flight, due to its remoteness. In addition, trekkers must have permits and be accompanied by a recognized guide company.

The trekkers can choose one of two routes: to the south or north base camp. The trek to the 5,140m-high north basecamp is longer, but offers more time in the high mountains. It’s also possible, over the course of roughly 22 days, to link the two routes via a couple of high passes. The trail passes through small villages, patches of tropical forest and terraced fields. Crops vary depending on the altitude, with rice grown at lower levels and barley higher up. The big cash crop in the region is cardamom.

Most people travel with guide, porters and camping gear, but you can also stay in the teahouses. In popular trekking areas such as Annapurna, Everest and Langtang, teahouses cater almost exclusively to foreign trekkers and are increasingly sophisticated, even offering hot showers and wi-fi. In the Kanchenjunga region, however, the teahouses are used mainly by local shepherds, traders and porters, and are simply villagers’ homes with a room or two for rent. Conditions can be basic – you’ll get a bed and a shared toilet – but staying in them allows visitors the chance to get to know locals in a way that’s rarely possible on more popular routes.

Day 1
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu, Nepal (1400 meters)

Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport after completing your custom formalities Visa,etc. pick up your luggage and look for our airport representative from Himalaya Discovery, who will display your name on the board at the arrival gate. You will be greeted by our representative and transferred to the hotel by private tourist vehicle. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 2
Day 02: Free in Kathmandu for sightseeing and pre trip briefing and gear check.

Today 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. The whole area is a maze of temples and images. Leading away from the square in all directions are narrow alleys, full of the most amazing variety of shops and stalls. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites including the historic Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ Swayambhunath and Buddhists shrine Buddhanath which is one of the largest Stupas in the world.

There will also be a full trip briefing today with gear check. In case you need to hire or buy equipment locally there will be time to do this today. Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 3
Day 03: Flight from Kathmandu to Taplejung (2320 meters) and trek to Lali Kharka (2276 meters) 3 hours.

Half hour flight to Taplejung at Suketar Airport. The porters and crew will be waiting for our arrival. After landing we take an early lunch, while the crew arranges our gear. In the afternoon we start with an easy 2 to 3 hours walk along the ridge line to Lali Kharka, a grazing area.

Day 4
Day 04: Trek to Khesewa (2120 meters) 5 hours.

After traversing the hillside a short way, we descend to the village of Pakora along the Phawa Khola, crossing a suspension bridge before beginning the steep climb up towards Kunjuri. Lunch will be taken somewhere below Kunjuri. The afternoon’s walk takes us on a short distance over the crest of the ridge to our campsite at Khesewa. We get our first views of Kanchenjunga, and should be able to clearly make out the south and main summit along with Yalung Kang.

Day 5
Day 05: Trek to Mamankhe (1920 meters) 5 hours.

Today the path covers steep hillside through terraced fields high above the Kabbeli Khola. There are some ups and downs crossing side valleys but there are many shady spots to rest. After lunch, we pass the village of Anpan, before descending to cross the Kashawa Khola and finally, we climb again through terraced fields to the village of Mamankhe.

Day 6
Day 06: Trek to Yamphudin (2080 meters) 6 hours.

Today the walk start with an easy climb to Yamphudin along a track which contours the hillside above the Kabeli Khola. The path has several ups and downs as we cross the ridges and stream beds that make up the valley sides. Generally the route is flat and the river eventually becomes level with the trail, a couple of hours before Yamphudin. At last we can stop to bathe in one of the clear pools within this beautiful river. It is truly an idyllic spot. After lunch by the river we complete the day’s walk to Yamphudin. Yamphudin is the most remote settlement in this area and the last village we will see until we reach Ghunsa. It is a charming place tucked away beneath the ridge of Deurali Danda that we must cross next.

Day 7
Day 07: Trek to Chitre (2965 meters) 5 hours.

Beyond Yamphudin the trail ascends a steep spur, a gentle introduction for what will come. Leaving villages behind we trek through pleasant forest, stopping for lunch in a meadow capturing fine views of the north and south. A steep descend to the river an interesting bridge across the Omje Khola to our campsite in Chitre.

Day 8
Day 08: Trek to Tortongn (3010 meters) 6 hours.

Starting the day with 3 hours of steep ascent to the crest of the Deurali Danda in dense forest most of the way. From the 3230meters pass we see Jannu, definitely closer! We descend across some steep and exposed areas before entering the forest again. The sharp descent through beautiful forest continues down into the valley of the Simjua Khola. Across the ‘interesting’ wooden bridge is Tortongn, a camping place with numerous rock shelters amid towering conifers. The steep hills make today a tough 6 to 7 hours trekking.

Day 9
Day 09: Trek to Tseram (3870 meters) 6 hours.

Today we follow the river through more beautiful forest, the conifers giving way to the rhododendron forest. The valley climbs fairly steeply, with the day progressing the trees become more stunted and scattered, giving us glimpses of the snow-capped giants ahead and the massive snout of Yalung Glacier. Just before Tseram the towering heights of Kabru and Rathong peak start to peep over the moraine. Camping at Tseram, a grazing area, the night temperatures will remind us that we are really gaining height.

Day 10
Day 10: Trek to Ramche (4580 meters) 4 hours.

A shorter day’s walk up the final 600 meters to Ramche where the trail to Kanchenjunga South turns dangerous. The scenery is magnificent as we ascend past the snout of Yalung Glaciers into a series of ablation valleys, which gives easy walking and good camping. A frozen lake, clear streams and views of Koktang, Rathong and Kabru are the highlights of this stroll. Expect to feel the altitude today.

Day 11
Day 11: Discover around Ramche (4580 meters) and trek to Oktang (4730 meters) 5 hours.

Our first close encounter with Kanchenjunga. Following the valley round to see the stunning south face of Kanchanjunga and Jannu. We get across the Yalung Ri Glacier and continue by a sweeping curve, at Oktang, 4730meters, suddenly we are confronted with the southern wall of the mountain. This vast ridge forms a cirque over 15 kms long, nowhere less than 7500meters high and with three main summits of Kanchenjunga at 8420meters, 8586meters, and 8474meters! It is a breathtaking mountain panorama and especially impressive is Jannu while observing the glaciers flowing from its east face.

Day 12
Day 12: Trek to Yalung Ri Base Camp (5400 meters) 5 hours.

This extended part will take you to the high altitudes. It requires determination. The crossing of high passes requires good weather, and of course perfect logistic support. Expect to get acclimatized with the altitude today.

Day 13
Day 13: Trek back to Ramche (4580 meters) 5 hours.

Yalung Glaciers and a series of valleys, give good walking and perfect camping. A frozen lake, clear streams and magnificent views are the highlights of this stroll.

Day 14
Day 14: Trek to Sele La over the Mirgin La (4480 meters) 6 hours.

We trek down the valley, passing the turn off to the high and challenging Labsang La route to Ghunsa and the north side of Kanchenjunga. This pass is rough and dangerous, especially for porters so we take the more southern set of passes, beginning with the Mirgin La. After an initial steep climb and several false summits we reach Mirgin La. Apart from the magnificent Jannu, on the horizon are Makalu, Gyakung Kang, Everest, Lhotse and Chamalang. To the south it is possible to see down to the Terai, a panorama worth the effort. Our campsite will be beyond the pass, after 6 to 7 hours tough walking.

Day 15
Day 15: Trek to Ghunsa (3475 meters) 5 hours.

Although there four more passes, there is little descent between them, so in effect it is a high scenic area. After lunch the descent brings us to Lamba Sumba Kharka, where there are more views of the awesome Southwest Face of Jannu. From Kharka the going is easy again down a pleasant forested trail to the village of Ghunsa, where we camp in the village. Ghunsa is a picturesque Tibetan village; prayer flags flutter from the wooden houses and there are two monasteries, a welcome sight after the many days of wilderness. One of the local specialties’ is ‘Tongba’, a curious alcoholic drink. A jug or large bamboo cup is filled with fermented millet seed and boiling water pored over. The flavour and alcohol seep though and you drink it with a special straw. You might need a drink after the tough 4 to 6 hour walk.

Day 16
Day 16: Trek to Kambachen (4040 meters) 6 hours.

Gradually the trail ascends to south of the Ghunsa Khola and crossing flood plains while emerging on a pasture situated at the north side of the river. A steep climb to a slope from where it crosses a slide and then descends to Lakepo. A short climb from here to the village of Kambachen 4040 meters.

Day 17
Day 17: Discovery day at Kambachen.

Today we spend acclimatizing to high altitude. It also doubles up as a rest day and can be used for a short morning hike to explore the area around Kambachen. Those who feel the urge should be able to catch up on their laundry. Otherwise, a good book should get you through the day perfectly. It is essential to acclimatize to the higher altitude as you have been spending a lot of time at lower altitudes.

From here there are good mountain views of the peaks near Kanchenjunga which are visible. You can hike up the ridge above the village for better views or take a day hike to Jannu Base Camp. The Nepali name for Jannu is Kumbakarna.

Day 18
Day 18: Trek to Lhonak (4790 meters) 6 hours.

A gradual climb through rocky fields gets you to Ramtang at elevation of 4240 meters then crossing northwest of the Kanchenjunga Glacier you reach Lhonak. Lohnak is on a sandy plain near a dry lakebed. You will camp between the boulders here to stay out of the wind. There are beautiful mountain vistas all around. Water is very scarce in Lhonak and you will need to use only as much as absolutely necessary.

Day 19
Day 19: Trek to Pang Pema (5140 meters) 4 hours.

The main Kanchenjunga peak is only visible from Pang Pema, which is the base camp for expeditions on Kanchenjunga. From Lhonak, the trail gradually ascends across the plain but soon gets steeper as it follows the moraine. Pang Pema is at a height of 5140 meters.

Day 20
Day 20: Discover around Kanchenjungha Base Camp (5100 meters) and retrace your steps to Kambachen 5 hours.

Today those who would like to take a morning hike up a ridge, north of Pang Pema. A climb of 200 or 300 meters providing a great vantage point with views of Kanchenjunga, Wedge Peak, the Twins and Tent Peak. As usual the descent goes faster and you can reach Kambachen the same day.

Day 21
Day 21: Trek to Ghunsa 6 hours.

More descents thru magnificent sections of forest as long as we make Amjilosa tomorrow. From Ghunsa an hour down we pass through Phole, a village in two parts. The upper section houses Tibetan refugees who are well established, the second is the winter village of Ghunsa. Further down is Yangswa, a great and warm camp.

Day 22
Day 22: Trek to Amjilosa (2460 meters) 4 hours.

Initially, we pass throuh beautiful forest opening out to steep, grassy hillsides where Amjilosa is perched. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 23
Day 23: Trek to Sakathum (1600 meters) 5 hours.

Down, down and down! After a short climb we begin the steep descent that will take most of the day. We reach the joining of the Tamur and Ghunsa Kholas.

Day 24
Day 24: Trek to Chhiruwa (1200 meters) 5 hours.

We cross the Simbu Khola, which originates from Kanchenjunga’s south base camp, the Khola that we followed up from Torontan. It is pleasantly warm at these low altitudes and cardamom grows freely in the moist shaded forest. Crossing numerous small tributary streams we reach Chhirwa, a village set among large boulders. We camp in a field out of the village. This is an easier day.

Day 25
Day 25: Trek to Suketar (2420 meters) 5 hours.

Traversing in an out of minor valleys, we pass thru a succession of picturesque villages on our way to Suketar, reaching around late afternoon.

Day 26
Day 26: Flight back to Kathmandu (1400 meters)

Enjoying your last glimpse of the mountains you have recently visited one last time on the 35 minute Scenic flight back to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu we are met and transferred back to hotel. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 27
Day 27: Free day and farewell dinner in Kathmandu.

Today is rest and relax throughout the day. If you get interested to take some gifts from Nepal for friends and relatives, visit to some nearby shops or go out in Thamel for typical Nepalese goods which can be assisted by our guide or you can do it yourself too. In the evening we will have a farewell dinner in a traditional Nepalese restaurant with cultural performances. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 28
Day 28: Transfer you to the international airport, for your final departure to home.

The trip concludes!. We will drop you at the international airport in Kathmandu for your flight departure from Nepal.

Price Includes

  • Airport pickup and drop off by private car / van / bus.
  • (3 nights)*** Standard hotel in Kathmandu.( B&B)
  • All necessary paper work for the special Kanchanjunja trek permit & Conservation entry permit.
  • Trekking information management system (Tims) permit.
  • Surface Transfer to and from Kathmandu by private car / bus / Jeep.
  • Full board meal (Breakfast, Lunch, dinner) during the trek.
  • A government licensed English speaking guide & a cook during the trek
  • Boiled and purify drinking water for the trek.
  • Airfare from Kathmandu – Taplejung – Kathmandu including airport departure taxes in both airport.
  • The required number of staff and Porters to carry your luggage during the trek.(1 porter for 2 trekkers)
  • Accommodation / salary / food / drinks / insurance / equipment / medicine and transport for all staff.
  • Medical supplies (first aid kit will be available)
  • Sleeping bag and walking stick (if it is required)
  • All government taxes.
  • Farewell dinner with culture show.
  • Kathmandu sightseeing tour with a guide and private car / van / bus.

Price Excludes

  • International airfare.
  • Nepal entry visa, you can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu.(US$ 25 is required to obtain Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 15 days. Likewise, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. You will also require 2 passport size photos.)
  • Alcoholic drinks and cold drinks.
  • Tips for guide/porters (Tips is expected)
  • Travel insurance which covers emergency Rescue and Evacuation.
  • Sightseeing / Monument entrance fees in Kathmandu.
  • Any others expenses which are not mentioned on service Includes section.

Q. Will somebody come to pick me up at the airport upon my arrival?

A. Yes, our airport representative will be there to greet you at the airport. S/he will be displaying an Himalaya Discovery Adventures sign board outside the airport terminal. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel by our tourist vehicle.

Q. When is the best time to travel to Nepal?

A. For the trekking regions of the Annapurna, Everest, Langtang, Jumla Rara Lake, Makalu, Kanchenjunga and Manaslu we recommend the periods February to May and September to December as the best time for travelling.

  •  For trekking in Mustang or Dolpo region we recommend May to September.
  • The Poon hill  trek  in the Annapurna region takes place throughout the entire year.
  • Cultural tours takes place throughout the entire year. For the best mountain views the periods February to May and September to December are recommended.

Q. How is the climate (temperatures) during the seasons?

A. Winter – January and February. Pleasant temperatures. The nights, mornings and evenings can, however, be quite cold (approx. 0°C – 5°C. Throughout the day, it is mostly sunny with cooler temperatures (approx. 18°C – 20°C).

Spring – March to May. Hot and dry pre-monsoon season (approx. 25°C – 30°C during the day, and approx. 7°C – 20°C at night). May is the hottest month in the lowlands. June is the hottest month in the mountains.

Summer – Monsoon from June to August (approx. 28°C – 30°C during the day, and approx. 20°C at night). Strong rainfall, continuous sultriness and high humidity.

Early autumn – From September the monsoon season is constantly interrupted by periods with only a slight rainfall. Towards the end of August the pauses in rainfall become more frequent and longer.

Late autumn – Post-monsoon season from October to December. The nights, mornings and evenings can be relatively cool (approx. 5°C – 10°C). During the day the sun shines and it is warm (approx. 20°C – 27°C).

Q. Where can I change money?

A. Any cash you have taken with you can be exchanged into Nepalese rupees at the banks, large hotels and the numerous bureau de changes.

Q. Can I use my mobile phone in Nepal?

A. The network coverage is meanwhile quite good in the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara and other parts of the Terai (in the rural areas it is very unpredictable).

Basically, foreign SIM cards (providers having international roaming contracts with Nepal) can also be used. However, it is cheaper to buy a local SIM card (Mero Mobile, NTC (GSM) – for approx. NPR 500 or more) and top this up.

Q. Can I use the tap water for drinking and brushing teeth?

A. Tap water is not suitable for drinking in Nepal and it should not be used for cleaning your teeth, either. As there is often a scarcity of water in the countryside, water should be used very sparingly.

Q. What should I concern during my stay in Nepal?

A. Nepali people are very kind and friendly, but there are some things that you should be aware of:

  • Do not take photos of anyone without their permission; always ask permission first!
  • Do not wear hot pants/short paints or stylish clothes in the remote area! (shoulders and legs should be covered)
  • Do not wear hats or caps when you enter a chapel!
  • Do not touch Buddha statues or ritual offerings inside of a monastery!
  • Do not kiss or hug in public places, especially in monasteries!
  • Do not step across someone’s feet, cups or cooking gears!

Q. What documents do I need to visit Nepal?

A. A tourist visa is required for entering Nepal. The tourist visa can be applied for, for different lengths of stay. A visa is required for children under 10 years but no fee is charged. The entry to Nepal must take place within 6 months of issuing the visa.

Q. How much does the Visa for Nepal cost?

A. The fees for the tourist visa (fees valid since 16.07.2008) are staggered as follows:

  • 15 days (several entries possible)  $ 25 (approx. EUR 20.00)
  • 30 days (several entries possible)  $ 40 (approx. EUR 35.00)
  • 90 days (several entries possible)  $ 100 (approx. EUR 85.00)

An extension of the visa to a maximum of 150 days is possible (per year – January to December). The extension must be made at the Immigration Office in Kathmandu. A fee of $ 2.00 is charged in Nepalese rupees (NPR) per day of extension.

Q. Can I find a hospital with western doctors?

A. CIWEC Clinic with western doctors is located in Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Tel. +977 1 442 4111, info@ciwec-clinic.com.

Q. Do I need an international health and travel insurance?

A. It is recommended taking out a travel and health insurance covering the following risks:- Emergency and personal accident transport/emergency evacuation (helicopter rescue, rescue costs in a case of illness or accident), medical and personal accident risks, repatriation, tour cancellation, damages and theft of baggage.

Q. What happens in bad weather periods?

A. There is virtually always a possibility of a flight delay or postponement owing to highly unpredictable weather conditions that may occur in Himalayan regions, in particular, in the Everest region (Lukla), Jomsom, Dolpo, Simikot and the Jumla region, etc.

When trekking in remote areas or those described above, and especially outside the trekking season, the clients are strongly advised to reserve extra days for making  allowance for possible delays, and thereby avoid any frustrating consequences. In the case of a delayed flight prior to commencing the tour, or at the end of the tour, the participants shall pay for their own accommodation, food costs, etc.

Q. Where can I store my unneeded luggage during trekking?

A. As a rule there is the possibility before commencing the trek, of depositing part of the baggage in the hotel in Kathmandu or in Pokhara.

Q. What kind of meals I can have during the trekking?

A. All Meals on full board basis will be provided during trekking. Freshly cooked food is served at all times (western, continental and Nepalese, Chinese, Indian and Tibetan meals are available in all places).

Q. Is there any communication while we are on trekking?

A. There are telephones in some villages along the trekking routes from which you can make international calls. All our guides are equipped with the local mobile phone. You may wish to pass the number of our guide to your family for the callback or you can make a call from the guide’s mobile and pay him directly for the international call too.

Q. Can I re-charge camera batteries along the trek?

A. Yes, Most of the places, you can charge batteries along the trek (per hour USD 2 – 3 for charging).

Q. What kinds of banking facilities in Nepal?

A. Nepal has modern banking facilities and some international banks even have offices in Kathmandu. Almost all foreign currencies along with credit cards such as American Express, Visa, and Master card are accepted in Nepal. Nepal has also ATM facilities as well.

The above information is a guide and standard template of what we provide. This itinerary can be customized according to the duration of your holiday. We have many options for shorter visits based on your interests and budget.

On an adventure trek of this type, weather, political strikes, transport or a multitude of other factors beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is however very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are necessary the leader will decide what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does occur, we do everything we can to minimize its effect, but we cannot be responsible for the results of changes or delays.

Trek Leader and Crew

Here at Himalaya Discovery, we firmly believe that the way to get the most out of your staff is to treat them well; a happy staff is a hard-working staff. And this belief manifests itself in every way we deal with our staff.

We employ only local leaders and staff to help sustain the local communities we work with. We provide training for all our staff and all our trek leaders are trained in the following as a minimum;

  •  Intensive Wilderness First Aid
  •  Trekking Guide Training
  •  Eco Trekking Workshop & Adventure Meet
  •  English Language
  •  Conservation & Biodiversity
  •  Rock & Ice Climbing & Mountaineering (for expedition leaders)

So, we can guarantee you your trip will be led by the best, most professional and experienced guides there are. All of our guides good English-speakers, All our guides are carefully selected for their experience, leadership skills and personal ability. We have learnt that effective leadership is a vital for a trip to be safe, enjoyable and successful.

In fact, not only are all our guides experienced working in these regions, but most of them actually grew up in these mountainous regions of Nepal. Its home for them, it’s in their blood. They’re not only ‘familiar’ with local communities and culture; they’re a part of them and they practice it. They truly love their home and relish getting the opportunity to show travellers.

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

Price From USD$2,399/person
2,399
Total $ 2,399 USD

Trip Facts

  • 27 Days
  • Demanding
  • Min. 2 to Max 12 persons
  • March to May and October, November.
  • 5,140 M
  • The price of the trip will be adjusted according to the group size and the customization.

MD & Trip Planner