Frequently asked questions

about Travel Documents & Insurance

Do I need a visa to enter Nepal?

All foreigners, except Indians, must have a visa to enter Nepal. You can obtain for a tourist visa for a stay up to 15-, 30- and 90-days. Once you are in Nepal, you can extend it up to a total of 150 days per year. The tourist visa is available both on arrival and overseas at one of Nepal’s embassy’s or consulates.

Obtaining a visa overseas

It is the easiest and most comfortable if you obtain a visa before you travel to Nepal. You can easily apply online via Kes Visum Support.

Or apply for your visa at a Nepali embassy or consulate in your own country. They issue visas with no fuss. 

Obtaining a visa upon arrival

You can also get a visa on the spot when you arrive in Nepal. The entry points where you can obtain a visa are at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport and at the road borders at Nepalganj, Birganj/Raxaul Bazaar, Sunauli, Kakarbhitta, Mahendranagar, Dhangadhi and even the funky Kodari checkpoint on the road to Tibet.

If you apply for a visa upon arrival, it might take you some time. At least make sure you are prepared and have your passport photos to hand and can pay the visa fee in a foreign currency. Some crossings insist on payment in US dollars.)

Validity of your passport

Whether you obtain a visa overseas or on arrival, make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months. And you will need one whole free page for your visa.

What kind of insurance do I need?

To enter Nepal, you don’t need a specific insurance. However, we strongly recommend you to have a good travel health insurance during you stay in Nepal. And if you join one of our trips, it is a condition. This is to protect both you and ourselves against comprehensive expenses potential to incur due to medical issues or accidents (this will include air ambulance, helicopter rescue and treatment costs).

Allow yourself a relaxed trip and have a good travel insurance. If you happen to get sick or injured, the costs of emergency treatment and evacuation is shocking. Make sure that the insurance you buy, makes special exceptions for adventure travel. And make sure that the company is aware of your BMP adventure itinerary that you are going to undertake. Such as if you are going on a trekking or climbing trip in the Himalayas.

Note: By Mountain People does not arrange or sell insurances. However, we do request to provide us with a copy of your insurance policy when you join one of our trips.

about Health

Do I need malaria medicines?

Whether you should carry medicines to prevent malaria or not, probably depends on your itinerary. Contact your local travel health clinic and ask for their personal advice to maintain your health during your travel in Nepal.

You will probably be advised to avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. You may be adviced to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip. But long sleeves and pants and mosquito spray is also a very common advice.

The advice that you will get depends on where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent malaria while traveling.

Do I need vaccines before traveling to Nepal?

Yes, to travel safe and return home healthy it is wise to get yourself vaccinated. Contact your local travel health clinic and ask for their personal advice to maintain your health during your travel in Nepal.

Routine vaccines

Your travel health clinic will make sure that you are up-to-date on routine vaccines. These vaccines probably include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Vaccines before traveling to Nepal

Clinics recommend most travellers to get a vaccine for hepatitis A and typhoid. Because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Nepal, regardless of where you are eating or staying. And you can get typhoid through contaminated food or water. Especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

Other vaccines your doctor might advice, are hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, rabies and yellow fever.

How can I stay healthy?

Before coming to Nepal you are advised to take vaccines or carry medicines for common diseases.

When you are in Nepal, make sure you only eat thoroughly cooked food. Also avoid fast food and salads. Drink only the reputed brand of bottled water, and soft drinks like Pepsi and Sprite are also fine to drink.

If you are planning to travel during the monsoon season (June to September) you may get caught by cholera. But if you follow our advice and not drink contaminated water like tap water and avoid uncooked food, you reduce the risk to a minimum.

When you walk down dusty and polluted streets, you better wear a dust mask. Especially during the dry season it can be tough to walk in the streets. You can buy dust masks at one of the many medical shops.

Is the drinking water along the trek safe?

Along the popular trekking trails, there are safe ‘drinking water stations’ where you can refill your bottle. Considering the price and environment, this is the cheapest and most conscious option. You can also get boiled water or sealed water bottles from the lodges.

Along side trails or remote regions is less or no safe drinking water. Then, you better bring tablets or drops to purify water.

What is AMS?

AMS stands for Acute Mountain Sickness, an altitude sickness.

Every year, people die of altitude sickness. All of these deaths are preventable. If you are travelling above 2500m, read about AMS and tell your companions about it – it could save your life.

Altitude sickness has three forms. Mild altitude sickness is called acute mountain sickness (AMS) and is quite similar to a hangover – it causes headache, nausea, and fatigue. This is very common: some people are only slightly affected, others feel awful. However, if you have AMS, you should take this as a warning sign that you are at risk of the serious forms of altitude sickness: HAPE and HACE. Both HAPE and HACE can be fatal within hours.

Go for more information about AMS to Altitude.org.

How can I prevent altitude sickness?

First of all, if you think you have altitude sickness:

  • descent immediately, it is absolutely essential
  • take both dexamethasone and acetazolamide, if available
  • use pressure bags and oxygen gas, it can buy time

Two things are certain to make altitude sickness very likely – ascending faster than 500m per day, and exercising vigourously. Physically fit individuals are not protected – even Olympic athletes get altitude sickness. Altitude sickness happens because there is less oxygen in the air that you breathe at high altitudes. 

To prevent altitude sickness, you should go up slowly. Take it easy, and give your body time to get used to the altitude. Your body has an amazing ability to acclimatise to altitude, but it needs time. For instance, it takes about a week to adapt to an altitude of 5000m.

Are there hospitals or clinics that meet the Western standard?

There are special clinics for travellers in Nepal. The Ciwec Hospital meets the need for a Western standard clinic. They provide many services. For instance emergency services (24h), but also immunization and dental services. There is a Ciwec Hospital in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

Go for more information about the Ciwec Hospital to Ciwec-Clinic.com.

There are also many drug stores where you can buy medicines. The ones near the hospital region are open 24 hours.

about Clothes & Equipment

What should I wear in Nepal?

Nepal has a wide range of climates, therefore it is good if you bring both light and warm clothing in casual and comfortable styles. In the mountain areas, warm woolen clothing is necessary while at lower altitude cotton clothing is ideal. Bring any stuff and you will always be wearing to your comfort.

Next to the practical and comfortable aspect of clothing, try to keep the local culture in mind. Dress modestly, which means wearing clothes that cover the shoulders and thighs. Take your cue from the locals to gauge what’s acceptable in the area.

If you miss any of your clothes, don’t worry. You can buy Nepalese garments all over the country. Clothes and equipment for treks, you can buy in Thamel Kathmandu and Lakeside Pokhara. If you like, we can recommend you a shop and let your guide take you there.

What equipment and clothes should I bring for trekking?

For trekking you will need proper walking shoes or boots. That is the most important thing, since your feet will be you main form of transportation.

Furthermore, you will do yourself a favour if your clothes are comfortable and dry quickly. For a complete packing list, look at Clothing & Equipment.

If this is going to be your first trek or you need many new items, do consider buying or renting it in Nepal. It is very affordable and there are plenty of outdoor gear shops that sell anything you might need. If you like, we can recommend you a shop and let your guide take you there.

about Trekking

Does BMP organize custom treks and tours?

Yes, we are more than happy to arrange any kind of personal tour or trek for you and your fellow travellers. Together with you, we can custom design trips for the combination of activities that you want to do, the sites you want to see and the things you want to experience, as well as your budget and time constraints.

Just send us a request and we will help you set up a travel itinerary that is perfect for you!

I have never been trekking before, are the Himalayas suitable for me?

Absolutely, in fact it is a great place to start. As part of our job, one of the most important things we do is ascertain your experience and ambitions, and find the trek that matches these the best. However hard or easy you’d like it, however much or little experience you have, we have the perfect trek for you.

What do the different levels in trekkings means?

These levels are used for rating treks based on difficulty. According to the standards and experience of By Mountain People, we have divided the treks into six types, namely Easy, Easy/Medium, Medium, Medium/Hard and Extra Hard. The challenge in terms of both technicality and geography increases as we move higher in that order. Thus, Easy treks could be suitable for all while Hard and Extra Hard treks are meant only for those who have certain experience and capability.

This can help you choose a trek or climb especially in the Himalayan region that best suits your fitness level and experience. Please keep in mind that this is a general guide only. A variety of factors, including weather, may add to the challenge.

 

Easy
No previous trekking experience and any physical preparation are required to attempt this trek. An interest in walking will be enough to take up such treks. Such treks usually vary from a 2 days hike to a 5 days trekking and can reach up to an altitude of 3000m. These treks are usually on well-maintained trails and pass through ridges and involve walking up to 5 hours a day.

Easy/Medium

Medium
Moderate Treks will require at least 6-7 hours of walking every day, crossing 4000m above high altitude passes, and long and exhausting walks through often rough trails, rocks and boulders. Therefore, you will require physical and mental fitness, positive attitude and interests and previous hiking or camping experience is preferred. You should prepare to face high altitude.

Medium/Hard

Hard
Previous trekking experience and technical knowledge is essential in Difficult Treks. Besides walking through rough trails for 6-7 hours and crossing high passes as high as 5000m, you will also be glacier crossings on snow and ice. You will be facing high altitude air with low level of oxygen and continuous walking over huge stretch of Himalayan valleys. Positive attitude and perseverance is required.

Extra Hard
Hard Treks involve long days, long hours of challenging walks, high altitude passes above 5000m, difficult terrains and glacier and snow walking. No doubt you need to be mentally and physically fit and in excellent health condition. As part of technical requirements, you will require to have rock and ice climbing experience with the knowledge of use of ice axe and crampons. You should consider joining one of the rock climbing and glacier walking classes prior to heading for these treks.

What is the size of the groups?

We prefer small group sizes, especially when operating in the hills and villages for cultural and environmental reasons. However, this is your adventure and we are happy to custom make trips to suit you and this includes the group size.

Does my guide speak English?

Yes, our guides speak English. But, it is not their first language. So their pronunciation, grammar and use of words will be a little bit different. This is well outweighed by the fact that they can tell you so much about the fascinating cultures and nature of the area, from the local perspective!

about Nepal

Where can I enter Nepal?

There are two ways to enter Nepal: by air and by road.

By air

Nepal has one international airport, called Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). It is located in Kathmandu. Since 2017, Nepal is constructing a second international airport in Pokhara. This project is planned to be completed in the summer of 2020.

Some of the airlines that fly to Nepal are:

  • Royal Nepal Airlines
  • China Southern
  • Etihad
  • FlyDubai
  • Gulf Air
  • Himalaya Airlines
  • Air India
  • Jet Airways
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Oman Air
  • Qatar Airways
  • Turkish Airlines

By road

There are several entry points to enter Nepal overland. These are from the Indian, Chinese and Tibetan border. The entry points are at:

  • Kodari
  • Kakarvita
  • Birgunj
  • Bhairahawa
  • Nepalganj
  • Dhangadhi
  • Mahendranagar

What is the best season to travel?

The best time to travel to Nepal depends on what you are planning to do.

For trekking in the mountains, the best months are April, May, October and November. The summers of Nepal have monsoon, which makes the roads muddy and transportation more difficult. The winters are dry and sunny, and the nights cold. But as soon as the sun shines, the temperature rises quickly.

Read more about the climate in Nepal.

What is the weather like?

The weather in the mountains is notoriously difficult to predict.

In general, the winters (January and February) can be a bit cold at night and the days can be quite beautiful and warm when the sun comes out. Even though there’s snow. The summers (June, July and August) is more wet, warm and humid due to the monsoon showers. The roads can be tricky and there might be landslides. The spring and autumn are the best seasons to explore Nepal. Mostly, it is not too hot and not too cold, there’s no(t too much) snow and occasionally rain.

Still, it is important to make sure that you are prepared to any weather condition. Bring clothes that keep you warm and dry in just about any conditions. Expect the unexpected.

Average Temperatures in Nepal (in Degree Celsius )

Height Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May
Kathmandu 16/28 14/26 7/22 1/20 1/18 4/20 7/25 12/28 16/30
1000m 20/28 16/25 11/22 6/20 5/19 8/20 11/25 15/29 17/30
2000m 13/22 10/21 4/17 1/14 0/13 1/14 4/18 8/22 12/23
3000m 11/19 6/18 1/15 -2/13 -3/12 -1/13 2/16 5/19 8/20
4000m 1/13 -3/12 -8/8 -10/6 -12/4 -10/5 -6/9 -3/12 -1/13
5000m -1/10 -6/8 -11/6 -13/4 -18/3 -14/5 -8/7 -4/11 -2/12

Are there ATM's?

In Kathmandu and Pokhara are many ATM’s. In other cities, like Butwal and Dharan, are also ATM machines, although these might be slower.

Most international cards are accepted in Nepal. Such as the Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Both debit and credit cards are accepted here.

How is the electricity supply?

Many countries use different voltages or plugs. For example, the US uses 120 volt. Nepal uses other voltages, 220-240 volts to power their appliances, as well different plugs. If you try to plug an American appliance such as a shaver or hairdryer into an outlet of a different voltage, you may destroy the appliance and cause yourself injury. Check the plug and check the voltage of your country and appliances, you might need a travel plug.

Also, you may experience blackouts during your time in Nepal. These are much less than before, but still common in certain areas. So, do consider to bring a head light.

about BMP

Does BMP provide airport pick-up?

Yes, we can pick you up from the airport. If you have booked one of our packages, we don’t charge any money for it. Just let us know you would like to be picked up from the airport and provide us with your flight details. And we will be there to pick you up and bring you to your hotel.

Can BMP help me arranging my flights, hotel bookings and other services?

We can take care of all your domestic flights, hotel bookings and other services in Nepal. However, we suggest you to arrange your international flights from your home country. But, we can of course help you finding a good flight schedule.

Is the staff of BMP well equiped and insured?

Yes, our guides, cooks, Sherpa’s and porters are fully equipped and insured.

We believe that without the assistance of good colleagues, the existence of By Mountain People (BMP) is impossible. BMP protects and advocates for the rights and wellbeing of all of our colleagues.

about Safety

Is Nepal safe for female solo travellers?

Yes, Nepal is safe for female solo travellers. However, women should still be cautious. Some Nepali men have peculiar ideas about the morality of Western women, given to Western movies portraying women wearing ‘immodest’ clothing.

Dress modestly, which means wearing clothes that cover the shoulders and thighs. Take your cue from the locals to gauge what’s acceptable in the area.

Sexual harassment is low-key but does exist. The best advice is to never trek alone. If you are women who wants to go trekking but not with men, we are happy that we can provide you with female trekking staff too.

Is Nepal politically safe and stable?

Nepal is one of the new democratic countries in the world with many active political parties, ideas, ideologies and leaders. As such there might be some disturbances in some parts of the country. But it does not and will not affect the daily life of the residents in the other parts. Life moves on as usual, unperturbed.

Is there a Tourist Police in Nepal?

Yes, there is a tourist police in Nepal. There are several tourist police stations in the Kathmandu Valley. But also in Lukla, the airstrip in the Everest Region, in a few villages in the Annapurna region, in Lumbini near the Indian border.

The emergency number is: 1144

Go for all locations and more information about the tourist police to cid.nepalpolice.gov.np.