FAQ

If you are thinking about taking your first trip to Nepal, Tibet you will probably have a lot ofquestions. After all, our journeys are different from standard tours. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about our trips:

How do we travel?

Elephants, Horses, rickshaws, plane, bus, motorbike, mountainbike, car . . . and not to mention by foot –are among the many ways we get you around. Generally though we use deluxe, air-conditioned buses where possible and jeeps for the rougher terrains. Travel also includes domestic flights as noted in the itineraries. More details are available depending on the specific itinerary.

What is the food like?

Nepal is home to some wonderful food! Like India, it is a paradise for vegetarians, and provides many wonderful meat dishes as well. Kathmandu provides a range of the world’s best cuisines at amazing prices and the traditional Newari & tibetan food of the Kathmandu Valley is unlike that found anywhere else. Outside Kathmandu you will find fabulous local dishes of rice or flat breads,veggie or meat curries, delicious lentil dishes and chutneys. On treks we have our own cook team who will surprise you with the mix of traditional and world food they can whip up in the camp kitchen! We will do our best to satisfy special dietary requirements if we are informed in advance.

What kind of accommodation is provided?

We use a variety of different types of accommodations ranging from tents to palaces! For the cultural tours there is often the choice of deluxe or budget accommodations. Deluxe accommodations include five star properties (both heritage and modern). Budget accommodations are usually three or four star properties. Whether budget or deluxe, the hotel rooms are always clean with private bathrooms and friendly management. We do our best to find properties with character whether they are restored palaces or colonial era retreats. For adventure tours we offer fully supported camping or, where available, we use very simple local lodges or “tea houses”. These tea houses are simple but charming and are locally owned and run so using these makes a valuable contribution to the local economies of the areas we trek through. While trekking we endeavour to use local porters and buy local produce wherever possibly, again supporting local economies.

How tough are the treks?

We've used the following grading system to help you decide which trek is for you:

  • Gentle treks will have you walking for up to six hours a day but generally would not exceed 3000m in altitude
  • Moderate treks have longer days with walks of up to seven hours a day, and they may exceed 4000m in altitude
  • Difficult treks may include some days with up to ten hours of walking and they may reach up to 5000m in altitude.

What kind of equipment is provided on the treks?

We use only top quality equipment on the treks. This includes high quality tents and sleeping bags, as well as comfortable mattresses. On most treks we use porters to carry the gear, which provides them with valuable seasonal employment. Be assured that this is not exploitation but a valuable part of the local economy and we value the service they provide - we insure all our staff,we pay them well and in fact they carry lighter loads for us than they do in the local commercial trade! On the treks we provide you with a dining tent as well as toilet tents for privacy. Becausewe provide you with the equipment, you don't have to spend a fortune on expensive gear. If there is extra gear you would like to use (eg down jackets) it is mostly available in Kathmandu and you may be able to rent it rather than have to buy it. Please contact us with any specific questions you may have about gear.

Will I get my money's worth?

Here at responsible treks, we pride ourselves on providing good value to our clients. Although you may be able to travel independently and even possibly cheaper in the region, you definitely will not get the same variety of experiences in such a short time as you will on our tours. You can also be assured that for the price we provide on our tours we do include staff insurance, good levels of pay for local staff and that we support local economies as much as possible! These are things can operators sometimes cut out in order to provide you with a good price. As we have been working in the region for over a decade, we are able to provide socially and environmentally responsible services in a price range that is hard to beat. Our extensive experience in the region takes the hassle out of travel and lets you concentrate on enjoying your holiday.

What is included in the prices?

For the exact details of what is included in the particular tour you are interested in, please contact us. If you are under 30 you may be eligible for some special youth rates so please be sure to let us know. However, in general:

Included in our price is:

  • all transport, (which could be a bus, raft, car, rickshaw, elephant, horse or plane)
  • all accommodation
  • meals as specified in the itineraries
  • sightseeing arrangements including entrance fees, guide fees, local guide.

Adventure tours also include:

  • either yaks or mules or porters, your cook team and sherpas
  • two person tents with fly and groundsheet
  • comfortable mattresses for sleeping
  • drinking water (boiled water on trek)
  • wilderness first aid kit and full rescue back up if required.

What is not included in the prices?

Items not included in the price:

  • international travel to and from Nepal
  • visa and passport charges
  • airport departure taxes
  • personal travel or medical insurance (we insist that you take out insurance!)
  • excess baggage charges
  • emergency evacuation costs (generally covered by your insurance)
  • items of a personal nature (laundry, postage, bar bills etc).

How can I book a tour?

To book a tour, simply fill out our booking form. One of our staff will contact you by email to complete the process and advise you of the exact details of the terms of payment. Generally we require 25% of the total tour cost as a deposit to be paid 8 weeks before the tour commences and the remainder to be paid 3 weeks prior to the tour commencement. For cancellations received in writing by us 30 days prior to the commencement of the tour no cancellation charges will be levied. However, cancellations received less then 30 days prior to the trip commencement the deposit will not be refunded.

Why responsible treks?

Rt is your unbiased expert in helping you find the perfect adventure. We make it easy for you to find all adventure trip options "under one roof", so you only have to make one call to explore the Himalaya of options. We help you navigate through hundred of trips to find the one that best matches your desired budget, timing, destination and activity level. And, if we cannot find the perfect preset package, we will help you customize one.

What are our trips like?

Our trips are designed as off-the-beaten-path journeys. We do everything we can to allow you to experience the local culture and to participate in local practices. We want to give you the opportunity to interact with the locals, learn about their way of life, learn some Nepali phrases, and perhaps participate with the local trekking staff as they sing and dance after a day of trekking. We consider these interactions some of the most valuable memories to take back home, along with the stunning views of the Himalayas. Nepalese are also very excited to learn moreabout your way of life.

Why use a Guide?

So, is it true that you can travel through Nepal without using guides?The answer is yes, you can. However, we always recommend that you take a guide along.They act as a liaison between you and the people and without the guide you will never get intouch with the people. You will visit the place but not interact with the culture and learn from it.The guides get their licenses from the Government organisation called NATHM (National Academy for Tourism and Hotel Management) and are officially recognised by the government. They are trained from time to time on issues such as first aid, Acute Mountain Sickness, rescue methods etc. Travelling in Nepal is not like in other countries where the altitudes are low. Once you cross the altitude of 3000m (and you will in almost every trek) you have to be extremely cautious. The guides are knowledgable in methods to reduce your impact in the environment and culture of Nepal. They will help you minimize the negative impacts of your travels. They will also inform you on how to not be offending to the culture of the people. Finally, they also have a wealth of information about the area you are travelling in and about Nepal in general.

What is a tea house Trek?

Teahouse trekking means staying and eating in local lodges. We stay in single rooms where possible, but often you will have to share. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow, blankets. A few have electric lights and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We eat at teahouses and, although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, the menu is not extensive. They offer a variety of potato, rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. Beers and local spirits are often available, but that will be at your own cost. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There are also snacks available such as basic biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season.

What is a camping trek?

Camping means sleeping in tents, normally we provide a two person tent for one client, and large three person tents for a couple. These treks normally go to more remote regions where there are no tea house facilities. You will have a full staff of guides, cooks and porters to take care of you on these treks.

Do I have to carry a backpack?

No. But you have to carry a light day-pack containing your water bottle, camera, an extra layer of clothing, sunglasses, a rain coat or wind breaker, and snacks. Porters or pack animals will carry all of the heavy gear.

I have never trekked before; can I do a trek in the Himalayas?

If you are in good health and enjoy regular exercise such as jogging, tennis, or even long walks, we have a trip designed for you. The number one qualification is a positive attitude! We have had many years of experience of treks in high altitudes, so we know how to pace a trek or climb. Each person reacts to altitude in a different way, so it is difficult to predict how you will do. But in general, with the careful pacing of our trips, allowing proper rest days for acclimatization, most people adapt well. The potential problems with altitude stem from people going too high too fast. We make sure that this does not happen.

What will the weather be like on the trip?

The ideal time of year to go to Nepal is either in the fall or in the spring. In the mountain regions, day time hiking temperatures generally range from the 50's to the 80's F. Night time temperatures drop down to 20 to 40 F. Since we carefully schedule trips to coincide with the ideal seasons to visit a particular area, we do our best to assure you "good" weather. Unfortunately, Mother Nature always has the final say. We are happy to answer your weather questions on an individual basis.. All water used for cooking and drinking is purified by our camp staff either by boiling or by theuse of Iodine. (At high altitudes, Iodine is safer than boiling since water boils at lowertemperatures.) You can buy bottled water while in Kathmandu and you will be provided boiled or filtered water on the trek. Always brush your teeth in treated or bottled water. As an extra precaution, you can add your own Iodine tablets to your treated water while on the trek.

How do you organize Tibet Tour?

We need you to send us a scan of your personal details page from your passport; we prefer this in JPG format not much bigger than 100 KB. We need to receive this at least one month before your Tibet tour, we will then do all the necessary work for you to get a travel permit to Tibet and a Chinese visa.

Can I get my own visa for Tibet from home?

No, sorry you will have to let us arrange a group visa for you, as the Chinese don’t allow travelers to travel individually to Tibet from Nepal.

What type of insurance should I have before I come to Nepal? Can I get it there?

We insist you have travel insurance when you come on one of our tours. You need to get this from home as no travel insurance is available in Nepal. Please refer to our insurance advice for more information.

Why purchase travel insurance?

Many trips require it and we always recommend it to protect yourself in the event you need reimbursement for the costs of medical evacuation, trip cancellation or interruption, unexpected delays, lost luggage or any medical services needed while traveling.