You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down jacket. Evening drinks are held in the hotel for all World Expeditions clients arriving today. Drinks and snacks will generally be served from 6:30 pm until 7:15pm, and this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members before heading out to dinner.
This morning a sightseeing tour takes in the key attractions in and around Kathmandu. We will visit Pashupatinath and Boudhanath, returning to the hotel by 2pm. In the afternoon you may have time to explore Durbar Square, Patan, Swayambhunath or Bhaktapur, and the lesser-known towns that dot the valley on foot, by bicycle or trishaw. The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops contrast with fantastic centres of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world.
After breakfast we transfer to Kathmandu’s domestic terminal to take our flight to Pokara, the main gateway for trekkers into the Annapurna region. This is one of the most scenic flights in the Himalaya, as we trace the backbone of the monstrous Ganesh, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges. The flight path heads west up and over the rim of the Kathmandu Valley along the Trisuli River to Pokhara, Nepal`s second largest town and our first night`s camp near the shores of the Phewa Lake.
We drive for an hour to a pass between two river valleys at the village of Khare, and commence our trek. The trail ascends for the first hour, following a ridge through fields of bamboo clusters to magnificent rhododendron forest. Villagers greet us with "Namaste", the traditional Nepalese greeting, as we pass their homes and continue to the ridge top where at the crest the scale of the mountains astounds us, with Machapuchare (6993m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Annapurna South (7219m) in our immediate viewpoint.
This is an interesting day as the trail gently glides through forest, and in and out of small gullies, all the time bringing us closer to the mountains. In the rhododendron forests the lush canopy affords protection for the smaller delicate flora, such as primula and daphne. It also provides a haven for birdlife and we can hear their varied calls as we move through. The trail soon opens onto fields as we approach the village of Landruk with its excellent views of Annapurna South at the head of the valley.
Our destination today is easily seen across the valley; the attractive Gurung village of Gandrung. Unfortunately we must descend to the valley floor to reach it! Slowly descending through rice terraces, we cross the steel cable suspension bridge that spans the glacial river of the Modi Khola and commence our ascent. As we trek up the many staircases, we enjoy the beauty of the Himalaya at a relatively close range and observe the glaciers flowing from them and feeding the rivers below. It is a magnificent location and a photographer`s delight. Our leisurely approach along these ridges with their fine mountain views ensures proper acclimatisation and the un-hurried opportunity to fully savour this magnificent scenery. Gandruk is the centre for the Annapurna Conservation Area and after lunch we will visit the headquarters.
The morning views of Annapurna South and Machapuchare are stunning, and will remain with us as we walk for around 4 hours on a broad trail that traverses and descends to our lunch stop at Shaule Bazaar, on the banks of the Modi Khola. After lunch we walk gradually downhill through neat villages and along well-worn trails busy with local people. We pass through Birethanti, an interesting village with traditional architecture, before continuing to the roadhead at the busy market of Naya Phul. We transfer by coach to Pokhara and our final camp beside Phewa Tal. This evening we will have a celebratory dinner with our porters and trek staff.
From Pokhara it is about a four to five hour drive to Chitwan Jungle Lodge in the Chitwan National Park. We make the final leg of the journey to the lodge by 4-wheel-drive or on elephant-back. On arrival we are briefed on the planned activities during our stay and about the park itself. Late afternoon and early morning are the best times to sight wildlife, so other times tend to be for informal lectures and low key activity. We will have lunch at the lodge and commence our activity program. Our accommodation is in 2-bed huts with a private bathroom. Solar heated hot water is available in the afternoons.
A full day`s activities are available including jungle walks, elephant rides, canoe rides, bird-watching and four-wheel-drive excursions, as well as lectures on elephants and other fauna. Our concession area is the territory of many species of wildlife including 3 tigers, 5 leopards, 7 rhino, and many deer, boar, bear, peacocks, an extraordinary number of bird species and on occasion wild elephants.
We complete our last activity, and we make the journey out of the jungle and back to the Kathmandu by vehicle, arriving late afternoon.
There are a million things to see in Kathmandu and we recommend you spend this day wandering the town and exploring the valley on bicycle or by taxi. Our staff can arrange a guide and/or transport should you wish, or you can head off armed with a map and let the day unfold.
After breakfast the trip will conclude unless further arrangements have been made. Transfer to the airport for your homeward journey.