Passport and Visa
Please check that your passport is valid for at least six months after the completion of your trip.
You should be insured for any medical expenses, injury, death, repatriation and evacuation in case of accident. When arranging your insurance, please ensure that you are covered for trekking up to the maximum altitude of your particular trip and grade of river for rafting. Many insurance companies exclude high altitude trekking and white water rafting from their general policies. Should you lose any personal belongings or need to make a claim for theft, your insurance company will request that you obtain an official report from the local police. This is a time consuming and frustrating process and you will be required to make a personal declaration to the police. Unless the loss is considerable, you may wish to consider accepting it, rather than disrupting your trip.
The unit of currency in India is the Rupee and in Nepal, the Nepalese Rupee. The exchange rate tends to fluctuate and it is not possible to obtain Rupees outside of the country. We suggest that you bring an ATM card carrying the Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Maestro or Cirrus symbol, as this is the easiest way to obtain cash in Kathmandu or Darjeeling. It is easy to exchange cash in Kathmandu, although this process can be more time consuming in Darjeeling. Credit and debit cards are accepted in many shops and restaurants in Kathmandu and Pokhara, and some in Darjeeling but not elsewhere. However, these frequently carry an administration charge and you shouldn't rely upon using them. There is a wide range of local crafts available, so remember to allow enough money for your souvenirs. It is not possible to exchange travellers cheques or cash whilst trekking, so we suggest that you carry the equivalent of £5-£10 per day to cover the cost of drinks and chocolate cravings.
Ensure that your boots are comfortable and 'broken in' before you arrive. It's a good idea to wear them on the flight out in case your luggage is delayed, as they are your most important piece of equipment.
It's extremely cold at high altitude, and even at lower altitudes, it can be cold at night and early in the morning, so you will need a down jacket or layers of fleece with a windproof outer. Mountain weather is unpredictable so remember to bring your waterproofs.
We recommend that you bring well-worn comfortable clothes, which are easily washed and dried and would ask that you also note the advice in our Cultural Dos and Don'ts section. If you are visiting Chitwan National Park, it is important to avoid wearing brightly coloured clothing when on safari, so try to keep to natural colours whenever possible.
We gratefully receive any unwanted clothing at the end of your trip to be donated to porter's welfare.
We suggest that you bring a sleeping bag with a minimum of 3-season rating, unless you are trekking during the winter months when a warmer bag will be necessary. Some people feel the cold more than others and will require a higher rating bag. A liner will help to keep your sleeping bag clean and also provide extra warmth. Sleeping bags can be hired in Kathmandu.
Trekking crews carry a first aid kit but we would recommend that you bring a few personal items as follows:
Blister plasters, lip salve, aspirin or paracetamol, antiseptic cream, antihistamine for insect bites, diarrhoea medication such as Immodium, sunburn cream, rehydration solution sachets, moisturising lotion.
The usual baggage allowance on International flights is 20 kilograms, but it is worth checking with your airline. Whilst trekking, you can arrange to store the remainder of your belongings at your hotel.
In addition, you will need a daypack in which to carry a few essential items such as drinking water, waterproof clothing and your camera. We suggest that you keep this pack as light as possible.
You will need: