Join us on an exciting eco-excursion to Nepal to see red pandas in the wild! We are partnering up with the Red Panda Network to offer you this exclusive ecotrip to the Eastern Himalayan region of Nepal, one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. Not only will you have a chance to see some of the world's most rare and endangered species, but by participating in local homestays during the trip, you will be directly benefiting the rural communities of Nepal and offering them an alternative to forest exploitation.
On this 9-day trip you will spend your time exploring, hiking, birding, and trekking through Eastern Nepal, experiencing both forests where red pandas and clouded leopards dwell, and mountain peaks where you will see amazing views of some of the highest mountains in the world. You will learn about the plight and conservation efforts of red pandas, and will experience the country like a local. Your participation in this trip helps Red Panda Network's conservation efforts in the Eastern region of Nepal.
You will fly into Kathmandu and be transferred to hotel accomodations for the night. The evening will be spent exploring the city with your leaders. The next day you will take a flight to Bhadrapur, with possible views of Everest on the way. There will be a 3-4 hour drive to Ilam, where you will spend the next day birdwatching and exploring the forests of the Himalayan foothills. You will spend the next few nights at a homestay with a local Sherpa family, while tracking red pandas and other wildlife in the community forests. Be prepared for a 5 hour trek up Sandakphur, where you will see views of the world's third highest peak and stay overnight on the mountain. The last night will be spent at a tea garden hotel in Ilam, and you will fly to Kathmandu from there in order to return home.
You will be hiking, trekking, and exploring both cities and mountains at high altitudes. You will spend 3 days tracking red pandas in the wild, through forests in the lower Himalayas. Though sightings are not guaranteed, Red Panda Network has a 90% success rate.
A medium fitness level is required for this trip, as you will be traveling and hiking in a wide range of temperatures, altitudes, and terrains for up to 5 hours. Your leaders, however, will be very good about accommodating individuals of various backgrounds, physical abilities, and limitations. They will do everything they can to avoid altitude sickness in the group, by climbing slowly in order to allow for acclimation, and making sure everyone is hydrated and rested.
Meals will be freshly prepared by locals at your homestays. Homestay operators have been certified in food safety techniques, and most dietary restrictions (meat, vegan, vegetarian) can be catered to. Safe bottled water will be provided.
Homestays are welcoming, comfortable, and you get to learn about Nepali culture from local people. Single or double occupancy in homestays is available (with no single supplement required).
- Meals from dinner on day 1 through dinner on the final day
- Professional guides and leaders
- Transportation during the trip, including local flights
- Permits and park fees
- Passport with at least 6 months validity
- Insurance (covering the duration of your stay)
- Inoculations (please speak to your doctor about necessary immunizations)
- $40 and two passport-sized photos in order to obtain your tourist visa once you land at the Kathmandu airport
- Backpack and rain cover for your gear
- Small day pack to hold gear for your day outings. Larger items can be left at the homestay/hotel
- Please do not bring suitcases
- Pack only the essentials, as this will help both you and the field staff with transporting your gear
- Comfortable hiking shoes (break them in if they are new!)
- Spending money (you can withdraw or transfer cash at the airport)
-Medical Kit (hand sanitizer/wet wipes, immodium, band-aids, personal medicine & earplugs)
- Sunglasses, sun hat, bandana, lip balm& sunscreen (high UV/SPF protection)
Dress in layers: maximize comfort and minimize weight by bringing versatile layers to create the right blend of insulation, ventilation, and weather protection. Lessen the possibility of hypothermia and avoid cotton-based clothing.
If you have health or medical problems, please make them known as soon as possible.
Bottled water will be provided on the trip, but you are welcome to bring a filter if you wish.
You will need to make airline reservations to and from Kathmandu (TIA airport).
Trip participants may not smoke in areas where others are affected or when encountering wildlife. Cell phones, tablets, or computer use should be limited while in the field, enclosed areas where meals are served, or communal areas where participants are gathering. Drones are not permitted on this trip.
You may have limited access to electricity at times, and bathrooms will be rustic (squat toilets). You will be eating and interacting with locals.
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We can book your airfare through our partner Exito Travel. Click here for a quote!