Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking

(3 Reviews)
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Difficulty: Adventurous
Duration: 23 Days
Departures : 
Grade:  * * * *
Activities: Trekking
Seasons: Mar-May | Sep-Dec
Destinations: Nepal
Max Alt:
5,200m
Points: KTM – KTM

Overview
Itinerary
Detail Itinerary
Departures
Details

This route was opened to trekkers in 1988, though people have trekked in the area in connection with mountaineering expeditions since the turn of the century. Mt. Kanchanjunga is the 3rd highest mountain in the world at 8,586m. It sits across the Nepal/Sikkim border and is only a few miles from Tibet. The trek offers magnificent views of the Everest, Makalu and of course, Kanchanjunga.

The trail climbs from the intensively cultivated hillsides of the Nepal Midlands, populated by the Rai and Limbu tribes. This trek will take you through beautiful Rhododendron forests and picturesque villages. You will witness a collection of wildlife and trek over high mountain passes offering mind blowing views. On completion of this outstanding trek undoubtedly you will be left with a bundle of wonderful memories.

Highlights

  • Witness a diverse mix of different cultures of Nepal, including Limbus, Rais, Chettri, Brahmins and Sherpas.
  • Get to see a huge variety of wild animals, including different kinds of birds, deers and with a little luck even snow leopards.
  • Leave civilization and experience a purely traditional way of life, which is only left to be found in the remote areas of Nepal.
  • Enjoy superb views of Kanchanjunga , being the world’s third highest peak and its range with some of the highest mountains of the Himalayas while trekking along the Nepal-India border.

Day 1: Fly to Biratnagar
Day 2: Fly to Suketar, Trek to Phurmbu
Day 3: Trek to Chirwa
Day 4: Trek to Tapethok
Day 5: Trek to Sakathum
Day 6: Trek to Amjilosa
Day 7: Trek to Gyapla
Day 8: Trek to Ghunsa
Day 9: Rest day
Day 10: Trek to Khambachen
Day 11: Trek to Lhonak
Day 12: Trek to Pangpema North Base Camp and trek back to Lhonak
Day 13: Trek to Ghunsa
Day 14: Trek to Sele La Pass
Day 15: Trek over Mirgin-La Pass and Sinelapache-La Pass to Cheram
Day 16: Trek to Tortong
Day 17: Trek over Lasia-La Pass to Yamphudin
Day 18: Rest day
Day 19: Trek to Mamangkhe
Day 20: Trek to Khesewa
Day 21: Trek to Lalikharka
Day 22: Trek to Suketar
Day 23: Fly back to Biratnagar and fly to Kathmandu

Day 1 Fly to Biratnagar
Overnight Hotel. Included meals: dinner. Fly 45mins
Taking a flight in the afternoon we head south-east to reach Biratnagar after approximately 45 minutes. Biratnagar is Nepal’s second biggest city after Kathmandu with a population of more than 200,000. It is known as Nepal’s industrial powerhouse and doesn’t have too much to offer apart from a few temples. Most of the year it is hot and
humid, so tourists prefer to stay in their hotel.

Day 2 Fly to Suketar and trek to Phurmbu
Overnight Homestay. Included meals: breakfast and dinner. Alt: 1800m/5,904ft. Fly 30mins and trek 4-5 hours The next morning we reach Suketar after another 30mins flight from Biratnagar. Without spending much time in the village with predominantly Limbu population we start our trek, walking slightly uphill through fields and grasslands. Most people living in this area are farmers, so there is not much nature left to see. Lunch will be taken in a local restaurant on the way. After around 4 to 5 hours trekking slightly uphill, we reach today’s destination Phurmbu (1800m), a small village mostly inhabited by Limbus, Chettris and Brahmins.

Day 3 Trek to Chirwa
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast lunch and dinner.
Alt. 1270m/4165ft. Trek 6 hours.
Leaving Phurmbu the next morning we continue towards Chirwa. As the human influence is slowly decreasing we get to see more and more nature, walking through jungle and forests along small rivers. We have lunch in one of the local restaurants or homestays. After around 6 hours of mostly uphill and downhill our trail leads us to Chirwa (1,185m), a small Limbu village.

Day 4 Trek to Tapethok (Kanchanjunga Conservation Area Project tourist Check Point)
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 1,322m/4,336ft. Trek 6-7 hours.
Today’s highlights are definitely the cardamom fields, which we will see shortly after leaving Chirwa. At some points we will even find the trail completely covered by cardamom plants. After having lunch in a local homestay on the way we continue walking along a river, which has some good swimming spots to offer. Since it is still quite warm, many trekkers like to take a quick refreshing swim in the river. After only three hours and quite an easy trek we reach Tapethok (1,322m), with the Kanchanjunga Conservation Area Project Tourist Check Point, where trekkers have to register and show their ID and trekking permits. Tapethok’s population mostly consists of Limbus and trekkers can try typical Limbu tea, which is similar to Tibetan tea, containing salt, butter and milk. Limbu people’s staple diet is rice as well as dheedo, a porridge-like mash made from millet flour. However trekkers are advised to try this local delicatessen only on their way back, since dheedo can influence one’s digestive system in quite some unwanted ways.

Day 5 Trek to Sakathum
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 1,660m/5,445ft. Trek 5 hours.
The next day’s trek starts easy but gets a bit more challenging as the trail ascends uphill. After around 4 hours we will reach Sakathum, a small Limbu village on a hill overseeing a river. We can choose whether to stay in a homestay at the riverside or continue to the actual village. Limbu people’s typical drink is LimbukoChyang, made from rice and slightly different from the chyang that is made by the Newari population of the Kathmandu valley. Again, trekkers are advised to only try it on their way down, to minimize any risk of getting sick.

Day 6 Trek to Amjilosa
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 2,510m/8,232ft. Trek 5 hours.
After leaving Sakathum our trail leads us along a river in a constant change of uphill and downhill. Before reaching our destination, two quite challenging ascents are waiting for us: one before Jobari, a small Rai-Limbu village and another one right before Amjilosa. As the trail is ascending, the increasing presence of Sherpa people can be noticed as well as a decrease in temperature. As we keep walking we reach GhunsaKhola, along which our trail leads us for some time. This day’s highlight is definitely the diversity of different plants and animals, which can be witnessed all along the way. We get to walk through bamboo and rhododendron forests and in May and June it is peak time for countless strawberry plants to yield fruit. After 5 to 6 hours we will reach Amjilosa, a small Sherpa village with only 10 to 12 houses, of which one will serve as our today’s night shelter.

Day 7 Trek to Gyalpa
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 2,730m/8954ft. Trek 4-5 hours.
The more the altitude increases, the less civilization surrounds us. Today’s trek leads us through bamboo forests and along huge rhododendron trees (being Nepal’s national plant). Who doesn’t have or has lost one’s walking stick might find pleasure in making a new one. The chance of seeing deers and porcupines is highest in March and April. After 4 to 5 hours Gyalpa appears in front of us, a Sherpa village famous for its tasty potatoes.

Day 8 Trek to Ghunsa (Refugee camp along the trail)
Overnight Lodge. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 3595m/11791ft. Trek 5 ½ hours.
Leaving Gyalpa early in the morning, the trail’s difficulty will slowly increase. After 3.5 hours of walking the awaited lunch break is spent in Phale, an old Tibetan refugee camp with still 600 to 700 inhabitants. The refugees, who started coming to Nepal after the Tibetan Uprising in 1959, have built a gumba (monastery) and make a living selling their handicraft to tourists. Everyone, who liked the salty Limbutea is most welcome to try a cup of Tibetan tea, which is quite similar. After lunch and a bit of sightseeing around the camp we continue our trek, which leads us on a flat trail through pine forests and makes us cross a river from time to time. At one point we pass by a memorial, which was built in memory of the 22 diplomats, politicians and NGO-workers from several countries working in the field of forest conservation, who died in a plane crash some couple of years ago. Shortly after we
reach today’s place to sleep. Ghunsa is a comparatively big Sherpa village with several lodges and small shops. Having reached an altitude of almost 3,500m it gets quite cold, especially at night and wearing a jacket is necessary from now on. Yaks, wild as well as domestic ones, can be seen in large numbers around the village.

Day 9 Rest day at Ghunsa
Overnight Lodge. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 3595m/11791ft.
During today’s rest day interested trekkers can visit Ghunsa’s cultural museum, which tells a lot about the local Sherpa culture and other regional ethnic groups. It is also possible to visit an incense factory, where juniper oil is produced. If we still have some energy left, it is optional to hike to the small NangoPausanga peak.

Day 10 Trek to Khambachen
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 4,099m/13,445ft. Trek 6 hours.
Having collected new energy after a day of rest we shall be ready to continue our trek with destination Khambachen. The trail leads us through pine forests and along a river, which we cross around lunch time. Today we hardly see any houses, which make it necessary to carry a packed lunch. Juniper plants will accompany us along the way. Although we are surrounded by stunning nature, it has to be kept in mind that there is always a (minimal) chance of landslides. Each trekker must be aware of the risk. In the afternoon our trail is mostly ascending and takes us even further from civilization. People only come up during the season to stay with their yaks and to plant potatoes. 1 to 2 hours before getting to our destination we can finally see some impressive peaks, such as Kumbakarna (7711m), NyaklaLachung and PholesobiThongi.

Day 11 Trek to Lhonak
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 4,785m/15,695ft. Trek 6 hours.
Having crossed the 4000m mark, beautiful views of some of the highest peaks of the Himalayas arise. Especially during clear early mornings we can witness breath-taking scenes. As our trail slowly ascends we reach Ramdang, a seasonal yak shelter with a small stupa. From here Kanchenjunga South can be seen quite closely as well as Whiteweb (6950m) and Mera Peak (6334m). As the altitude is increasing vegetation is getting less and less. Only small juniper plants can still be found in large numbers. After some time more and more peaks become visible: Nepal Peak (7177m), Tent Peak (7362m), Patibhara (6838m) and Pyramid Peak (7140m), to mention just a few. Wild blue sheep grazing in large herds can be seen during early mornings. Thankfully their number hasn’t decreased, as hunting is illegal in the Kanchanjunga National Park area.

Day 12 Trek to Pangpema North Base Camp (5200m) and back to Lhonak
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 4,785m/15,695ft to 5,200m/17,056ft. Trek 7 hours.
On our 12 th day we finally cross the 5,000m mark on our way to the Pangpema North Base Camp (5,200m). During the 3 to 4 hours walk mountains like ChyangHimal (6802m) and Gimigela (6425m) can be seen. In this area avalanches are quite common, but not really dangerous for our trail. Reaching the base camp around noon we have our packed lunch there while enjoying a fantastic view of Kanchanjunga South and Central (8586m). Different from other base camps, Pangpema’s climate is quite pleasant, being warm and not too windy. The base camp itself is marked with thousands of prayer flags and has a few local restaurants that serve tea and snacks.

Day 13 Trek to Ghunsa
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast lunch and dinner.
Alt. 3595m/11791ft. Trek 6 hours.
After having completed more than half of our trek the trail starts descending slowly. Today we basically walk all the way down back to Ghunsa, which takes around 5 hours.

Day 14 Trek over Sele La Pass (4,290m) and camp at Selele
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 4,290m/14,071ft to 4,090m/13,415ft. Trek 6 hours.
Before completely leaving higher altitude levels we have another pass to cross. From Ghunsa we need to walk almost straight uphill until reaching Sele La Pass (4,290m). Most probably it is be covered by snow, so proper equipment is a must. Shortly after the pass we find Sele, a small camp with only two homestays. Sele is a bit similar to Khambachen camp, although it has different views to offer.

Day 15 Trek over Mirgin-La Pass (4480m) and Sinelapache-La Pass (4640m) to Cheram
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 4480/14694ft to 4640m/15219ft to 3,870m/12694ft. Trek 7-8 hours.
Today’s route will make us cross another two passes: the Mirgin-La Pass (4,750m) and the Sinelapache-La Pass (4,785m). The trail, a constant change of uphill and downhill, runs along the Nepal-India border, where we will pass by small lakes (like Sinelapache Lake), offering stunning views of Kanchanjunga, Kabru Mountain and Talung Mountain to name just a few. There is even a minor chance of seeing snow leopards. After having our packed lunch, we continue walking mostly downhill to Cheram, a small camp with only one hotel and one homestay open during seasons. One should perk up one’s ears not to miss yeti sounds. Indeed, an Indian army officer is certain of having heard a yeti in 2008. He described elephant-like sounds, but since it is very unlikely to find elephants up in the mountains his only logical conclusion was that a yeti must have caused the noise. So keep your ears open!

Day 16 Trek to Tortong
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 2,995m/9,824ft. Trek 6 hours.
As the altitude keeps decreasing, nature is getting more diverse again. Jungles with huge rhododendron trees, the river SimbhuwaKhola and a quite easy trail make this a pleasant, enjoyable day. After around 6 hours of walking we reach Tortong, a small camp only open during season.

Day 17 Trek over Lasia-La Pass (3310m) to Yamphudin
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 3310m/10856ft to 2080m/6822ft. Trek 6 hours
Before finally getting back to the lowlands there is another pass to cross: Lasia-La (3310m). On this path, landslides are likely to happen, so one should be mentally prepared for another 2 hours of trekking, in case the road is blocked and we have to take a detour. It takes around 3 hours to reach the pass and once it is crossed, the toughest part is over and we continue walking mostly downhill. Our today’s destination, which is reached after 6 to 8 hours, depending on which route was taken, is Yamphudin, a village with mostly Rai, Limbu and Sherpa population.

Day 18 Rest day
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 2080m/6822ft.
During our rest day, trekkers have the chance to explore the village’s surroundings and experience a vivid mix of Nepalese cultures.

Day 19 Trek to Mamangkhe
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 1920m/6297ft. Trek 4hours.
Having gained new energy we continue walking through jungles and small Limbu villages on a trail that is a constant mix of uphill and downhill. Having reached Mamangkhe after around 5 hours interested trekkers can visit the local Limbu museum to learn even more about the culture that is dominant in this area.

Day 20 Trek to Khesewa
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 2,120m/6953ft. Trek 5-6 hours
Getting closer and closer to civilization, our trail leads us up and down through rice, millet and corn fields. There are many Limbu villages on the way and after 6 hours we reach Khesewa, another small Limbu village where we spend the night in a local homestay. Who is still eager to try the Limbu people’s home-made alcohol, should grab the chance now.

Day 21 Trek to Lalikharka
Overnight Homestay. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 2,276m/7,465ft. Trek 5 hours.
Today’s trail goes constantly up and down, making us pass through Sincheung Valley, which offers again decent views of Kanchanjunga. The temperature is much higher than it was up in the hills and after defeating a last steep ascent we find the village Lalikharka in the middle of a jungle. It is quite a commercial place as it is very popular with Nepalese tourists and pilgrims, who come here to hike another 3 hours up to visit the local Pathibara Devi Mandir, a superb viewpoint and one of the biggest temples in Eastern Nepal. Hindu pilgrims perform all kinds of worshipping, even including animal sacrifices

Day 22 Trek to Suketar
Overnight Hotel. Included meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Alt. 2300m/7544ft. Trek 3 hours.
Our last trekking day is separated into 2 hours uphill followed by two hours downhill. There is not much left of the nativeness and virginity of the mountains as we are pretty much back to civilization. Suketar, our today’s destination, has a decent number of hotels which we can choose from – quite a change, after having stayed in homestays for almost two weeks. Most of the lodges and hotels are very close to the airport, from which we will take a flight back to Biratnagar the next morning.

Day 23 Fly to Kathmandu
Included meals breakfast.
1hours (to Kathmandu)
Taking an early morning flight from Suketar we will reach Kathmandu after around 1 hours.

  Start Date End Date
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking 14 Feb 2018 8 Mar 2018
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking 5 Mar 2018 27 Mar 2018
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking 20 Mar 2018 11 Apr 2018
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking 4 Apr 2018 26 Apr 2018
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking 21st Apr 2018 13 May 2018
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking 7 May 2018 29 May 2018
     
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking 6 Sep 2018 28 Sep 2018
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking 22nd Sep 2018 14 Oct 2018
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking 8 Oct 2018 30 Oct 2018
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking 24 Oct 2018 15 Nov 2018
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking 10 Nov 2018 2nd Dec 2018
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking 26 Nov 2018 18 Dec 2018
Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trekking 8 Dec 2018 30 Dec 2018

Add-On Trips:

Jungle Safari Mountain Flight Paragliding 1 hour
Multi/day Rafting Day sightseeing Bungy Jump + Canyoning
Riepe Homstay Volunteering Travel Everest day tour by Heli
Rafting day tour Shivapuri Day Hike Day hike to Namobuddha

What Is Included

  • All transfers to and from the airport accompanied by an English speaking representative
  • Accommodation based on twin sharing as detailed in the itinerary.  Twin rooms are provided for non-couples as well as couples
  • Meals as outlined in the itinerary
  • Activities as shown in the itinerary, note this may vary from day to day
  • Sterilized drinking water during trek
  • All necessary transportation, whether private or public
  • All trekking related permits and fees
  • All city and monument entrance fees
  • Experienced English speaking guide
  • Assistant guides and porters to support the group size
  • Trek Nepal T-shirt
  • 13% VAT

What Is Excluded

  • International airfare, airport taxes, visa fees, passport costs, insurance premiums of any kind and excess baggage charges
  • Accommodation & Meals in Kathmandu
  • Personal Travel Insurance (coveryour adventure activity as well as medical, emergency evacuation and personal belongings).  It is imperative to be insured with suitable cover
  • Personal clothing and footwear such as down jackets, waterproofs, hat, gloves, hiking boots
  • Personal equipment, for example rucksack, day backpack, torch, water bottle, sleeping bag and mat
  • Personal medical supplies and vaccinations
  • Optional single accommodation supplement
  • Personal expenses such as phone bills, room service charges, porterage, bar bills (meals exclude bottle and alcohol drinks), tips to guides, porters and drivers, laundry
  • Expenses incurred during emergency evacuation due to any reason
  • Optional tours, excursions and activities
  • Any item not detailed in the “What Is Included”
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3 Reviews
Sort By:RatingDate

Jacqualene Marie Leuii (New Zealand)

Solo Traveller

“Kanchenjunga North Base Camp”

With the general election effectively shutting down Kathmandu, Trek Nepal did an incredible job getting our group to the start of our trek in Taplejung. This was the first of many obstacles that needed to be overcome, but which our guides and porters did in style and with no fuss whatsoever. This is a tough trek both physically and psychologically so the professionalism and knowledge of our guides – Laxman, Pramod and Ganesh – was paramount to our enjoyment.

Accomodation and food are very basic on this trip as Kanchenjunga is a sparsely populated, and rarely visited area. But the consolation is that you get the solitude and peace often not experienced on busier routes. The locals are friendly and always greet you with a smile; welcoming you into their homes and honouring you with the priviledge of sharing their lives with you. I will definately be going back to visit this region again.

Without a doubt, Trek Nepal run well organised, safe, well equipped treks throughout Nepal (this is my second trip with them so far), and should pride themselves on their adaptability in the field which means everyone gets the best experience possible.

August 28, 2014

Elizabeth Ap Lowrence (British)

Solo Traveller

“kangchenjunga base camp ”

Incredible attention to detail. Delicious food with vegetarian and allergy options. Great English with lots of information on local flora fauna and culture.

July 24, 2014

Brian Chapman (UK)

Solo Traveller

“Kanchenjunga base camp trek”

This was my second trek in Nepal, having done the very popular Kala Pattar back in 2010. Kanchenjunga was always going to be different, being far less commercialised and more complicated to get to. Combine that with our departure date being the day of the general election (so we had to delay 1 day and reschedule everything) made the job more challenging but the Trek Nepal guys took this all in their stride and to be honest I was completely unaware of what had to be done until we talked about it on the trek. Our lead was Laxman and he, with the whole team, could not have been more helpful. When we stopped for the night food just appeared as if by magic, even in the higher sections where there were almost no facilities. Every day it was tasty and more importantly nutritious and it set us up for the next day. Part way through the trip we had a difference of opinion between members of the group on whether to go high for the 3 passes route or stay low on the return leg, so our whole group was split into two with no dramas and everyone got to do what they wanted to do. It was a pleasure to share the Himalayas with these guys and I will definitely go with them again next time. Anyone can book with Trek Nepal with complete confidence that their dreams will be delivered (plus more they didn’t even dream)

July 4, 2014