Annapurna Sanctuary Trek
This expedition takes you on a journey into the breath taking peaks of the Annapurna region in Central Nepal. It gives UK travellers the unique opportunity to get into the heart of the Himalayas in just two weeks of holidays.
One of the draws of this trek is the rich diversity of birds, animals and plants in the region. As the altitude increases we will encounter sub-tropical lowlands, rhododendron forests, alpine meadows, desert plateaus and glacial terrain.
Annapurna Base Camp itself is set in an astonishing natural amphitheatre, with stunning 360° views of soaring peaks, and of course the mighty Annapurna itself, the 10th highest mountain on the planet.
The Annapurna Trek is a breath taking, once in a lifetime experience. The people, the food, the Fitways team and the views are truly amazing. The trek is a great opportunity to view this breath taking country and see Nepal in all its natural beauty. The team at fitways leave no stone unturned from arrival, to kit, to providing a great team of Nepalese support crew who make this one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Nothing can prepare you for the stunning view of Annapurna as you arrive at base camp and its leaves you feeling in awe as you take in this immense spectacle of a mountain. I can only thank Nick and his amazing team for making this trek first class from start to finish!!!
14 (10 days of trekking)
Daily walking time:
3 to 7 hours
Max team size:
02 Nov – 17 Nov 2019
Anyone’s welcome on this trek including newcomers to trekking, just keep in mind that some of the walking days can be long. The most important thing you’ll need is a positive mental attitude!
Want to do it your way?
If you have a group size of 4 or more people, and have ideas for a different itinerary just get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to discuss possibilities.
Don’t want to leave?
You book your flights so you can set the dates, if you want to extend your trip feel free.
Arriving in Kathmandu
Kathmandu is the vibrant capital of Nepal, jam packed with temples, taxis and tea-stalls. You’ll then have a chance to meet your fellow trekkers and get to know the Fitways Adventures team and collect any equipment you need before we head out.
Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara
We’ll be taking a private vehicle to Pokhara, a lively lakeside town in Central Nepal known for its spectacular panorama of the Central Himalaya.
Start of Trek – Phedi to Tolka (1790m)
Following an early breakfast we’ll be following an uphill forest trail leading onto a ridge where we’ll be rewarded with some spectacular mountain views.
Tolka to Jhinu Danda (1750m)
With the the Modi Khola River roaring far below, we’ll head up the Modi Valley to the lodges at Jhinu Danda, where you can visit the areas’ hot springs.
Jhinu Danda to Bamboo (2310m)
The day starts climbing to peaceful Chomrong; have a cup of tea on one of the hillside patios overlooking the mountains. We then tackle the forests of bamboo, rhododendrons and oak, reaching the secluded lodges at Bamboo.
Bamboo to Deurali (3200m)
A steep climb through bamboo forests, across an avalanche chute and some rocky landslides takes us to the Himalayan Hotel.
Deurali to Machhapuchhare Base Camp (3700m)
Leaving Deurali the path climbs up the wide valley with the entrance to Annapurna Sanctuary visible overhead. Following the Modi Khola River we’ll arrive at Machhapuchhare Base Camp, this is a short day to allow for acclimatisation, but that’s no bad thing. Sit outside with a cup of tea and soak up the incredible panorama of Hiunchuli, Annapurna 1, Annapurna 3, Gangapurna and Machhapuchhare.
Machhapuchhare Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp (4200m)
This magical trek to Annapurna Base Camp is another short walk, but can’t be done at speed because of the altitude. It’s a steady, enjoyable walk up the valley and into the sanctuary itself. You’ll have time to relax in the afternoon: admire the views, go for a wander or sit in the teahouse with some high altitude pizza and apple pie, who would have guessed it? The clouds can come in here during the day, but you can usually bank on a clear morning, and if you stay up late take a peek outside in the dark, the night skies are really something to see. With the lack of atmosphere countless pinprick stars that are normally hidden to the naked eye appear.
Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo (2310m)
Enjoy the incredible morning views, and if you’re keen with the camera wake up early for sunrise over Annapurna.
Bamboo to Chomrong
Walking through the many valleys can be hard work, after descending to the Chomrong Khola we then climb the never ending staircase to Chomrong. After showers and dinner we have arranged a little surprise for you!
Chomrong to Ghandruk (1990m)
On this day we’ll split from our original path and head towards Ghandruk, an extremely pretty settlement of Gurung houses. Tread through the maze of stone paths dodging the chickens to get to our lodge overlooking the mountains.
Ghandruk to Naya Pul
This stunning walk shows rural Nepal at its best. We’ll meet the bus in Naya Pul and make the 2hr drive back to Pokhara and to civilisation – this can be a rather strange but welcome adjustment. After arriving at our hotel, we will leave our trekking kit behind and get ready for a celebratory night out with the team.
Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
We return to Kathmandu overland to avoid issue with flight delays/cancellations.
Return to the UK
Following breakfast at the hotel, we can arrange transport for you to the airport or if you have made arrangements to stay in Kathmandu, we would be more than happy to give you suggestions of places to visit & things to see.
The Fitways Adventures goal is to provide you with a stress & hassle free trip a cut above the rest. We go the extra mile to organize everything using quality sources so you can sit back and enjoy the trip. We don’t want to be one of the companies guiding trains of people up the mountain, so we limit our group size to 10, giving you a more personal service. We also include hidden trip costs in our prices so there aren’t any nasty surprises. Feedback from clients going on other trips concluded that they were frustrated at having to continually pay out additional money. Many companies don’t provide meals for example, and these can prove expensive at altitude. We have supplied an inclusive price so nothing can spoil your trip.
The only additional costs to you are your international flights, travel insurance and the visa required for entering Nepal (£25 for a 30 day visa – processed on entry)
- Local guides with good English and a good knowledge of local flora & fauna.
- First-aid qualified Western guide (most trekking companies don’t provide this)
- Porters to carry equipment – each person will have a 10kg weight allowance – our porters are professionally kitted out and fully insured.
- Pick-up from Kathmandu airport
- 2 nights’ food & accommodation in a smart, modern hotel in Kathmandu
- 2 nights’ food & accommodation in a hotel in Pohkara
- 14 nights’ food & accommodation in teahouses – these are basic but clean and you will usually be sharing a twin room. (Note: Accommodation at the top 3 camps (Deurali to ABC) is notoriously oversubscribed so we may need to share rooms with other trekkers.)
- All meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) – 1 Item from the menu
- Morning tea with breakfast, along with one or two tea breaks and snacks during the day.
- All Permits on the mountain
- Water (due to environmental considerations, we don’t buy bottled water on the hill, we purify our own)
- Porter & Guide tips – it’s customary to tip guides and porters in Nepal, and we’ve made a provision for this within the price.
- Up to 3 hot showers while on the mountain – subject to availability
- Entry into the hot springs in Jhinu Danda
What’s Not Included:
- International flights
- Arrival Visa in Nepal
- Travel Insurance – please ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance, including cover for delays, repatriation and emergency rescue.
- Equipment – although we will assist you if you need buy/hire any items prior to the start of your trek (See our Kit List)
- Any additional meals and drinks you may decide to purchase
- There is a single room supplement of £80 if you want your own room whilst in Kathmandu, as opposed to a twin/double.
This will be used to carry all your belongings in the plane’s hold and used to store any items you don’t need while trekking. This can be left behind at the hotel in Kathmandu at no extra cost. Standard airline allowance is normally between 20kg and 30kg – you may also want to leave some space for souvenirs.
This will be used to carry all the items you won’t be carrying on the trip itself – this will be given to the porters. Ideally, this is a rugged duffle bag that you don’t mind being bashed around a bit. The allowance on the trek itself is 10kg.
Recommended 30-35 litres – this will be used to carry personal effects during the trek. You’ll be reunited with your duffle bag at the end of each day when we arrive at the accommodation. Your Group Leader will give you a briefing on what you need to carry, but to give you a rough idea, it will include waterproofs, warm hat & gloves, suncream, water, first aid kit, reading material, notepad, camera, snacks.
Your Fitways Adventures Annapura Sanctuary trip includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, (one item from the menu.) You will need to purchase any additional meals yourself. After the third day of the trek, only vegetarian meals are available in the tea houses.
Nepal is one of the few countries which offer the amazing convenience of being able to obtain a visa on arrival. All you need to do is:
- Complete a form: download here
- Bring 2 passport sized photographs
- Have your fee in hard currency cash (USD, Euro, GBP) – equivalent to £16, £25 or £63 (for 15, 30 and 90 day multiple-entry respectively)
- Stand in queue (please keep in mind the queue for visa on arrival can take up to an hour)
- Visitors may extend their visa by paying £1.25 per day
- Further information is available at: Nepal Advisory Site
Nepal’s mountains & national parks are protected to conserve their beauty and environment, to enter the national park we will arrange & pay for your mountain permits, you just need to provide us with the following:
- Email us a scanned copy of your passport in advance
- Email us a digital passport photo
- Bring 2 passport sized photographs with you into Nepal
There are a number of ATM machines in Kathmandu and Pokhara, but these are notoriously unreliable and therefore we recommend that you don’t rely solely on plastic.
Some places in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Lukla take credit cards, but these will be of little use once you are on the mountain.
Can be change in KTM, but not generally in other areas of Nepal
Valid travel insurance is essential in order for you to take part in a Fitways trek.
You will need cover for medical expenses and emergency repatriation in the event of illness or injury, including cover in the event that you need to be evacuated from the mountain by helicopter. Fitways also recommend that your policy includes cancellation protection as deposits paid cannot be refunded.
As with all foreign travel, it is advisable that you check the latest information and advice on your destination. For UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice, see www.gov.uk/fco
Although much less likely than flight delays, landslides may delay our return to Kathmandu from Pokhara by road. To avoid problems book a flexi return flight from Kathmandu or ensure your travel insurance covers delays.
For booking international flights we recommend www.skyscanner.net as an easy and comprehensive flight searching site.
In order to get the most from a trip, it is important that you stay fit and healthy while you’re abroad. This can be greatly helped by a little advanced preparation and knowledge
Although there are no mandatory vaccinations for this trip, we do recommend the following:
- Typhoid – high risk
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B – low risk
The risk of malaria on this trip is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.
Dengue fever is a known risk in some places visited as part of this trip. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. At present, there is no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and so the best protection against it is to avoid being bitten. We recommend that you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
We always recommend that you consult your GP or a Travel Health Clinic well in advance of your departure for the latest information
Daytime temperature will vary from about 28°C/80°F to 35°C/95°F at lower altitudes to about 10°C/50°F at higher altitudes. During the evening, night and early morning, the temperature will be considerably lower, and may drop to freezing or a few degrees below. Snow may be encountered at any time of year.
In Nepalese culture, it is considered inappropriate to wear tight, skimpy or revealing clothing. Whilst long shorts are acceptable, it’s a simple matter of applying common sense and being sensitive to the culture.
The electricity supply in Kathmandu is 240V. Adaptors will be needed and can be purchased very cheaply in Kathmandu. Your Group Leader will also bring spare adaptors. On the trek itself, most tea houses offer a reasonably priced charging service.
- 3 pairs of warm walking socks (suggest wool – no nylon)
- 3 pairs of lighter weight socks (ideal for use with trainers around camp)
- Lightweight shoes (trainers/trail shoes are ideal) for evenings or lower on the trail as well as in towns & cities
- Walking boots (Reasonably sturdy & worn in) – we don’t recommend hiring or buying boots in Nepal & it’s advisable to wear them on the ’plane so that in the event that your baggage goes astray, you’ll have them with you
- 4 pairs of underwear
- Base layer trousers or thermals (useful for sleeping and when walking in the higher regions)
- Walking Trousers (medium weight – no jeans; heavier weight for treks in December due to colder conditions)
- Waterproof trousers (ideally lightweight – it’s not essential that these are made of a breathable material)
- 2 x base layer (ideally long-sleeved)
- 2 T-shirts (not cotton)
- Lightweight fleece
- Heavyweight fleece (or soft-shell)
- Down jacket (medium weight)
- Waterproof jacket (breathable e.g. Gore-Tex)*
- Liner gloves
- Warm gloves or mitts
- Buff (great when the trails get dusty)
- Warm hat (something that will cover your ears)
- Sun hat (ideally a light colour)
- Walking shorts (optional)
(*These can be hired inexpensively or bought in Nepal)
- Sunglasses (must be Category 4 rated)
- Rucksack (daypack 30 – 35 Litres)
- Water bottle (1– 1.5Litres; for environmental reasons, we do not recommend buying bottled water on the mountains)
- Snow goggles (optional)
- Walking poles (optional) *
- Head torch and spare batteries
(*These can be hired inexpensively or bought in Nepal)
- Sleeping bag liner *
- Sleeping Bag (Rated -10°C to -18°C) Please note, you will also be given blankets in the tea houses. *
- Compeed or equivalent
- Gaiters (for keeping snow out of boots)
- Sun cream (minimum Factor 30)
- Lipsalve (high factor)
- Water purification tablets or solution (n.b.– this will be provided to you on arrival)
- Nail clippers
- Foot powder or cream (antifungal)
- Camera and spare batteries/charger
- Passport photos (x4)
- Notepad and pen
- Contact lenses (& glasses as a back-up) – the dust in Kathmandu and on the treks can be very irritating.
- All the contact lens solution you will need for the trip
- Plastic bags or dry bags – perfect for keeping your kit organised & dry
- Toilet paper
- Wash kit (including biodegradable soap & shampoo) – please keep any heavy items, including cosmetics, to a minimum
- Multivitamins (your diet will be a little light on fruit and veg in the higher regions)
- Ear plugs (great for ensuring a good night’s sleep)
- Eye mask (Very useful if your room mate wants to read)
- Books or e-reader (there will be plenty of free time most afternoons/evenings)
- Travel towel (The tea houses don’t usually provide towels, so this is a great piece of kit)
- Wet wipes (often there will be no hot water for showers so you can use these to freshen up)
- Antibacterial hand gel (excellent for preventing the spread of bugs/illness)
- Antiseptic – a good choice is povidone-iodine (Betadine).
- 10cm elastic bandage (for sprains and to hold dressings)
- Four 10cm by 10cm gauze pads (for bandaging wounds or burns)
- Compeed – for foot blisters – apply early (as soon as you can feel a ‘hot spot’)
- 10 Assorted sticking plasters
- Roll of 2.5cm tape (micropore)
- Triangular bandage (slings and splints)
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (Ibuprofen, 400mg, 20 tablets)
- Clorimazole 1% or miconazole 2% cream (one tube) – antifungal cream
- Decongestant (eg pseudoephedrine; 10 tablets)
- Diphenhydramine (e.g. Benadryl, 25mg or 50mg; 10-20 tablets) – antihistamine
- Loperamide (e.g. Imodium; 20 tablets)
- Fluconazole to treat yeast vaginitis (150mg orally; one tablet)
- Ciproflaxin (10 tablets). Excellent for diarrhoea caused by bacteria. 1 dose followed by a 2nd dose 12 hrs later.
- Paracetamol, (500mg; 20 tablets)
- Promethazine (eg Phenergan, 25mg, five tablets) – for severe relief of nausea
- Tinidazole (500mg; 12 tablets). A good choice for Amoebic Dysentery. 2g one per day for 3 days. Also the best cure for Giardiasis
- Motion sickness tablets for long bus rides
- Laxative, such as dulcolax tablets or suppositories
- Diamox (Acetazolamide) (250mg; 20 tablets), 125mg or 250mg every 12 hrs
- Rehydration tablets
- Throat lozenges
Your Fitways Adventures Annapurna Sanctuary trip includes breakfast, lunch and dinner (one item from the menu). You will need to purchase any additional meals yourself. After the 3rd day of the trek only vegetarian meals are available in the tea houses.