Here you will find practical travel information about Nepal and other things you want to know before making your trip. In the light of Covid-19 it is possible that the below mentioned information about the visa is not complete and/or correct! The measures change quickly, please contact us for the current situation!
We recommend that you take out both travel and cancellation insurance when concluding your trip. A travel insurance is also mandatory if you book a trip with us. There are different insurances with different companies. With some companies there are even annual contracts.
Please check in advance whether all risky activities you wish to undertake are covered. Think rafting, canyoning, canoeing, kayaking, paragliding, hang gliding, mountain biking, bungee jumping and peak climbing. If you go trekking in the Himalayas, make sure that a helicopter rescue or an ambulance transport with a domestic flight is covered in your policy. Check this with your insurance company beforehand, and if this is not covered, and you would like to do one of these activities during your trip in Nepal, you can have this covered with an extra clause.
VALID INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT AND VISA
To enter Nepal, you need a passport with validity of at least six months and a valid tourist visa. For most nationalities, there are 2 ways to purchase a visa for Nepal.
Visa upon arrival in Nepal
The first way to get a visa for Nepal is upon arrival at the airport. This is a possibility for most of the nationalities. Double check on the site of the immigration office that you are eligible for this kind of visa if you opt for this!
If you enter Nepal via India or China, you can get a visa at all major border posts. Make sure you have a passport that is valid for more than 6 months upon arrival and cash money. You can buy the visa with the Euro, the American dollar, the British Pound and the Swiss franc. Normally you can also pay with credit card, but don’t count on that. The cost of the visa depends on the length of your stay: 15 days: 30 $ — 50 days: 40 $ — 90 days: 125 $ (or equivalent in other currency) With a tourist visa you can stay a maximum of 150 consecutive days per year in Nepal. The visa application can be completed online. You can already fill in the online application at http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa , maximum 15 days before arrival in Nepal. Print the proof with the application number and take it with you. If this doesn’t work, you can also do this on the computers in the arrival hall of the airport in Kathmandu, but this takes a lot of time.
With your passport, your proof of visa application and your money for the visa you proceed after arrival to the payment desk. After payment you will receive a payment proof. Afterwards you go with all your papers and passport to the border control desk, where the visa will be put in your passport by an immigration official. Make sure you check in at the right counter (different queues for different visa duration or category).
Through the Nepalese embassy or consulate
If you don’t feel like a lot of hassle after your tiring flight, arrange your visa already in your home country. You can contact the Nepalese Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. For your visa application you will need your passport, a passport photo and a completed visa form. Just to be sure, bring a copy of your booking invoice with you. A visa for 15 days costs € 30,-, a visa for 30 days costs € 50,- and a visa for 90 days costs € 115,-. You may also be charged a small administration fee (€ 2.5).
HEALTH AND VACCINATIONS
Personal travel pharmacy
In Nepal it is not as easy to find the same medicines as in some more developed countries. Make sure you bring enough personal medication with you, or write down the contents of your medication.
A common problem in Nepal are intestinal problems and traveler’s diarrhea: it is therefore advisable to bring probiotics.
Preventive dental visits
If you plan to go to heights of more than 3000 meters, dental problems can occur due to the pressure difference. It is best to check with your dentist shortly before your trip. This way there is less chance that during the trekking hidden problems on your teeth suddenly arise and make your trip less pleasant.
Vaccinations for Nepal
There are no mandatory vaccinations for a trip to Nepal. For the recommended vaccinations please check with your family doctor or in a travel clinic. For a trip to Nepal an inoculation of hepatitis A & B, typhoid fever and a recurrence of polyo and tetanus is usually recommended. Depending on your length of stay, activities, accommodations and other things, other vaccinations such as TB, Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis are also recommended for Nepal.
Although there are occasional reports of malaria in Nepal, the risk of contracting malaria is very low. In any case, there is no risk of malaria in Kathmandu, Pokhara and in the mountains. Malaria only exists in certain places in the southern belt of Nepal (the Terai) and the risk is highest in the months of June, July and August. In these areas it is best to take precautions with a good mosquito milk and a mosquito net.
Since 2019 there have been several cases of dengue in Nepal. The dengue mosquito was not only present in the subtropical Terai, in the South of Nepal, but also in other locations. Dengue is spread by mosquitoes that are mainly active in the morning and during the day. Not so much in the evening or at night. There is currently no vaccine and no therapy against this disease. Although a first infection is usually not life-threatening for healthy people, if you get infected you will soon be seriously ill for a week (severe fever). The virus cannot be spread from person to person. During your travels you should wear light-colored clothing with long sleeves and legs.
HIGH ALTITUDE DISEASE
High altitude sickness is unpredictable: it can happen to anyone, trained or untrained. Often, well-trained hikers are even more likely to suffer from altitude sickness because they ascend too fast and do not adjust their pace to the altitude.
The altitude sickness is a condition you can get if you go trekking in Nepal or if you get to a high altitude without sufficient acclimatization. You can get the symptoms with a rapid ascent to altitudes above 2000 meters. The susceptibility to altitude sickness varies from person to person. If you don’t suffer from it at all, it doesn’t mean that you are not sensitive to it and you will never suffer from it. Among other things, you will notice that you have altitude sickness if you have a slight headache when you get up.
Altitude sickness can be prevented by giving the body time to acclimatize. Drink plenty of water (1L per 1000 meters above sea level) and moderate your use of coffee or alcohol. Do the climb at a steady pace and rest regularly during a trekking and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. There are various forms of altitude sickness, all caused by lack of oxygen.
Always inform your guide immediately if you have symptoms of altitude sickness. Our guides received additional training about altitude sickness and have experience with the symptoms. The guide will give you advice and help you. The treatment of serious altitude sickness consists of direct descent and seeking medical help.
TIME ZONE IN NEPAL
Nepal has a different time zone than it’s surrounding countries. It follows the UTC + 5:45 time.
The national currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). It is not possible to buy Nepalese currency in banks outside of Nepal. The exchange rate fluctuates daily. One euro equals somewhere in between 110 and 134 rupees. One dollar equals in between 110 and 125 rupees.
In Kathmandu, Sauraha and Pokhara it is quite easy to get money out of an ATM-machine with Maestro or Cirrus logos. We do recommend that you bring enough cash (rupees) with you, especially during a longer trek. Don’t forget to set your bank card to `world` before you leave your bank, otherwise you won’t be able to withdraw money from the wall. Nowadays, bank cards are often set by default for use only within Europe or US.
The voltage in Nepal is 220 Volt. Depending of which country you are traveling from, it is a good idea to bring a world electrical adapter with you! It is certainly useful to bring also a voltage protector: the amperage can sometimes fluctuate a lot. The current still drops out regularly, so a flashlight is absolutely necessary. Also take a flashlight with you when you go out in the evening.
Bring clothes for different types of weather. Plenty of warm clothing, especially if you go into the mountains, but don’t forget to pack some lighter clothing for the lower (and therefore warmer) areas. If you’re going to trek, be sure to bring good, walk-in hiking boots.
Nepal is quite conservative when it comes to clothing. It is not appreciated if you walk around in too scarce clothing. Moreover, the shoulders and thighs of both women and men should be covered. During a visit to a temple or other sacred building, be sure to cover your shoulders and legs and leave your shoes at the entrance.
CULTURE AND LANGUAGE
The culture in Nepal differs in many aspects of our Western culture. It is therefore normal that many travelers do not know how to deal with the locals. You do not speak the language and have no idea what the local values and standards are.
If you would like to have warm and intense contacts with the locals during your trip, learn a few words of Nepali and immerse yourself in their cultural background and history. The more you prepare, the more you will understand locally what you see and hear. In the cities most Nepali people speak some English. In the more remote villages, the English is rather limited and you will help yourself with gestures and a few words Nepalese. Nepali people greet each other with `namaste`. They hold their hands together in front of their chest and bend their heads slightly. Guaranteed you will get a smile and a warm greeting back with this greeting.
Some basic Nepalese words:
Hello – Namaste.
How are you? – Sanchai chha?
Yes – Ho.
No – Hoina.
Thank you – Dhanyabadh.
Please – Kripaya.
Excuse me. – Maph garnus.
How much does it cost? – Kati parccha?
Where is …..? – Kahaa parccha?
Good/ok – Thik chha.
Goodbye – Pheri Betaunla
NEPALESE SIM CARD
Upon arrival in the airport, there is already a shop there where you can buy a sim card. In case this shop is not open, or you are to tired to arrange it there, there are plenty of possibilities to get a sim card later.
In and around Thamel for example, there are a lot of small shops that sell sim cards and recharge cards. You need a passport photo and a copy of your passport.
There are 2 major mobile operators in Nepal: NCell and Nepal Telecom (NT). The cards have more or less the same range – sometimes Ncell has reception and NT does not, and sometimes it is the other way around. In the cities there is good reception with both operators. To be able to immediately share some nice pictures with your friends, you can also buy a data package, so you can freely access the internet when the wi-fi fails.
The prices for Nepal Telecom are currently about 500 rupees (about 5$) for 1 GB. For Ncell it costs 1.2 GB 250 Rs (~2 USD). So you can see that NCell is a lot cheaper. You can upgrade your call and/or data credit in one of the kiosks.