Solo Trekking No Longer An Option In Nepal

I wrote about this over at Gadling a few days back but thought it was definitely worth mentioning here as well. Nepal has taken the unprecedented move to require all trekkers to hire a guide or porter when trekking inside the country. The decision was announced on the 23rd of July and the new restrictions will go into effect beginning in September.

Solo trekking in Nepal has been a staple of adventure travel for decades and for years it has been a safe country to hike in. But a rise in the number of assaults on the trail and the brutal murder of a Belgian trekker this past June, has spurred the Nepalese government to react. Starting on September 1st, all trekkers will be required to hire a guide or porter to accompany them at all times on the local hiking trails. This was already a requirement for those traveling in groups.

The move isn’t expected to have a major impact on Nepal’s tourism trade. It is estimated that the cost of a porter or guide will increase the cost of the trip by about $10/day but its value in safety and security goes well beyond that. It is unfortunate that independent travel will no longer be allowed, but it is of the utmost concern for the country that it remains safe for visitors.

When I was in Nepal a few years ago I was traveling as part of a group, so guides and porters were already a requirement. But there were still plenty of trekkers that I encountered who were either there alone or with just a few friends. Those travelers took their time, set their own route and pace and seemed to really be comfortable with the atmosphere. That won’t be the case now however and if you’ve always dreamed of making an independent hike in the Himalaya, you’d better get there soon.

6 thoughts on “Solo Trekking No Longer An Option In Nepal”

  1. This is a huge bummer. In other news – no-one is allows in American movie theaters without an armed guide.

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  3. Being an trekking guide for long time. I can say, this is very good news for all of us. The trekkers can learn many things and they could feel safe, so that the holidays in the Himalaya will be more joyful.

    Trekking in wilderness area is risky task. It's for the trekkers safe.

    Hari Bhatta
    Life Dream Adventure
    http://www.lifedreamadventure.com

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  5. NEPAL MOUNATIN GUIDE TEAM

    As I am an independent guide & tour operator, I believe that mountain culture should be a way of life & protected at all cost. We maintain high standards when choosing our staff and we pay them according to their skills. The people who work with me are experts in their field with some involved in tourism from their teens. They literally enjoy their jobs.

    As it is impossible for me to handle everything alone, I have employees who range from the well-learned and competent office staff to trekking and climbing guides with years of experience on some of the toughest trails in the world. All of our agents, guides, porters and drivers are seasoned veterans that are highly reliable and experienced, with a zeal for working in the travel profession.

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