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Makalu Base Camp Trek is a breathtaking trekking location in Nepal's eastern region. Mt. Makalu, the world's fifth highest mountain, lies near to Everest, making it the most difficult and beautiful camping trail.Due to its distant location and remoteness, this region is blessed with great gorgeous scenery, enormous diversity of Makalu, and a dearth of tea houses, therefore trekkers must rely on home stays for accommodation. As a result, it will be the ideal opportunity to see their traditional way of life, culture, and language.
Sherpa, Rai, Limbu, and Brahman are the most common residents of the paths. This trekking track will take you up to the north of the Arun river valley, past various settlements including Sedua and Num, and over four high passes into the upper Barun Khola: Khongma-La(3603m), Keke-La(4,127m), Shipton-La (4,170m), and Tutu-La (4,080m) (River). Where you may see beautiful views of Mt. Maklau (8,463m), however the second portion of the trek is extremely tough and nearly impossible to complete without the assistance of expert and experienced guides.
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“The best journeys in life are those that answer questions you never thought to ask.” – Rich Ridgeway
Day 01 : Arrive at Kathmandu (1300m) . Welcome to the Himalayan country of Nepal. Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan intl. airport .Our representative welcomes you with the garland of flower and assists to transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu. After time to get refreshed, evening you'll meet and transfer for welcome dinner in one of the typical Nepalese restaurant in the heart of Kathmandu and briefing about your trip and overnight at Hotel.
Day 02 : Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Programme and Preparation for the trek.After breakfast the day will start to our guided trip to cultural world heritage sites in Kathmandu valley; the pilgrimage sites of Hindus temple Pashupatinath, the world biggest Bouddhanath stupa and visit Swoyambhunath Stupa also known as monkey temple. After exploring the surrounding areas visit historical Kathmandu Durbar Square . Evening pre-trip discussion and introduce with our fellow trekking staff for your adventure trip.
Day 3 : Fly to Tumlingtar. Drive to Num 1,560m - 3½ hours drivie. You will be received from your hotel and driven to Kathmandu airport for your domestic flight to Tumlingtar. The flight usually takes around 35 minutes and the views of the mountains are great if you are lucky enough not to have any cloud! You drive for about half an hour on a winding road uphill to Kandbari, a major town in the district which houses the government officials. There's plenty of rural life to observe as you head upwards with fields of corn, bamboo and sal trees. You continue on a winding, dirt road to the highest point at 1,960m before descending to Chicula at 1,900m, a small town with a police checkpoint where you have to present your trekking permit. There are pleasant views of the surrounding forested hillsides. The road deteriorates a bit from Chicula so it's a bumpy ride from here most of the way to Num. Don't be surprised if your vehicle gets temporarily stuck, either behind a grounded truck, or just stuck on the rocky, muddy road. Locals can usually be relied upon to help get you out of a tight spot! Overnight: Tea House
Day 4 : Trek from Num to Seduwa, 1,560m - 800m descent / 800m ascent, 8km, 5-6 hours. Today you have a big, steep descent to the Arun River, which takes around 2 hours, and a big climb to Seduwa, losing and regaining your height in one day. The walk down to the river is through cardamom crops (the largest cash crop in the area), and the path is on big stone steps all the way to the river at 770m. It's very hot, but the scenery is rural Nepal at its best. You cross the suspension bridge over the Arun River and begin the long, winding climb to Seduwa, passing groves of giant bamboo, and bustling village life. Your guide will need to visit the Makalu-Baron National Park checkpoint. There is a school in Seduwa, as well as many houses and small shops, and a few tea houses scattered across the hillside. Overnight: Tea House
Day 5 : Trek from Seduwa to Tashigaon, 2,100m - 700m ascent, 8km, 5-6 hours. It's a lovely day's walk today without the brutal ascents and descents of yesterday. You begin climbing on a path with many stone steps and pass several mani walls as you head into Sherpa country. You walk through many small farms dotted across the hillside, cardamom plantations and bamboo and rhododendron forests. It's certainly a varied, undulating walk today. After approximately two hours you reach the small settlement of Chyaksa Danda at 1,900m. There's a tea shop, a school and several houses here. You may hear barbets, cuckoos, drongos, and laughing thrushes calling through the trees. In some places you are walking through dense forest and have to cross a few streams on good log bridges. You can see your destination, Tashigaon, on the hillside ahead, although it takes longer than you might think to arrive, as you contour on an undulating path. Eventually you descend to a log bridge just before your final push on stone steps to reach Tashigaon. The lodges are all perched on the top so you have a bit of climbing through the village to earn your dal bhat! Overnight: Tea House
Day 6 : Trek from Tashigaon to Khongma Danda, 3,637m - 1,400m ascent, 7.2km, 7 hours. Be prepared for a lot of ascent today! You begin by ascending out of Tashigaon and head up on stone steps. After a while you cross a log bridge and continue ascending through stunning rhododendron forest. It's a steep climb but a lovely walk with verditer flycatchers, treepies and warblers tweeting through the trees, with sparrowhawks overhead. In April the rhododendrons and magnolia trees in bloom provide a colourful foreground with snow-capped summits to the east. As you look back you'll see Tashigaon way beneath you. After approximately three hours you reach Dhara at 2,867m which has a tea shop, and you are likely to have your lunch here as it's your last chance to have a refreshment stop until you reach Khongma. Leaving Dhara it's a stiff climb of around one hour to Unshisa at 3,200m, where you pass a giant rock. There's a tea hut here (closed in April 2019) and prayer flags marking this pass. From Unshisa it's more relentless climbing on stone steps through rhododendron forest. In April 2019 where was quite a bit of snow on this section making the going somewhat trickier. Eventually after a couple of hours toiling upwards from Unshisha, you reach a stone rest stop with prayer flags, and another 15 minutes - ½ hour - brings you to Khongma Danda at 3,560m. There are three lodges at Khongma, and there may be quite a bit of snow here as well. Overnight: Tea House
Day 7 : Acclimatisation walk to Khongma La. It's essential to acclimatize properly, so we strongly recommend that you walk up to the Khongma La today. You leave your tea house and begin ascending on stone steps all the way to the pass at 3,890m through rhododendron bushes. It should take you an hour or so to reach the pass. You can go a little beyond if you are keen - your guide will advise. You then retrace your steps back to Khongma, fit and acclimatized ready to tackle the four passes tomorrow, the first one of course being the Khongma La. Overnight: Tea House
Day 8 : Trek to Dobate 3,860m, over the Khongma La, Sano Pokhari Danda, Shipton La, and Keke La - 852m ascent / 599m descent, 7.6km, 6-8 hours. Today is truly spectacular, crossing four high passes with airy traverses and dramatic ridge sections offering near-constant stunning views of snow-capped peaks. Be prepared for snow though if you are trekking in April. There is one lonely tea shop on the Shipton La, but it's likely that you won't have lunch until you reach Dobate so make sure you take plenty of snacks and water with you as it's a long, tough day (you may be given a packed lunch today). It takes around one hour of ascent through rhododendron bushes until you reach your first pass of the day - the Khongma La at 3,890m. From there, if it's clear, you'll see Makalu and Chamlang. You descend for a short while before ascending towards your second pass. There are views of Kangchenjunga to be had as you traverse an airy ridge. Some steep stone steps bring you to Sano Pokhari Danda at 4,105m with Sano Pokhari Lake below. To reach here from the Khongma La, takes around an hour, although it will be longer if negotiating your way through snow. More undulations bring you to the highest pass - the Shipton La at 4,200m. There's a tin shelter/tea shop here which serves thirsty, tired trekkers and pilgrims during the season. The pass is marked by a mani wall and cairn adorned with prayer flags near the shelter. It's quite a steep pull up to the Shipton La but not difficult. You descend on less steep ground to Kalo Pokhari Lake at 4,080m. It's adorned with prayer flags and is visited by Hindu pilgrims during the Janai Purnima Festival. From the lake, it's an easier climb to your last pass of the day - the Keke La at 4,170m. Finally, a further 45 minutes or so of descent brings you to your lodge at Dobate - a very welcome sight after your four pass toils! There is a pretty good, clean lodge here with a friendly and welcoming owner. The dal bhat will taste especially good by way of reward for your exertions today. Overnight: Tea House
Day 9 : Trek from Dobate to Yangle Kharka 3,630m - 430m ascent / 600m descent, 9.7km, 5-6 hours. You have a really pleasant descent through rhododendron and pine forests this morning. Look out for Guldenstadts redstarts, minivets, tragopans and magpies in the trees. There is a steep descent towards the Barun River through the forest and this can be tricky with lingering snow. Eventually you reach the river and then begins your walk on a path underneath a substantial landslide area. You catch glimpses of Chanlang and Tutse en route this morning. After a brief ascent you reach the tea shop at Themathang Kharka, 3,500m. It takes around four hours to reach this spot from Dobate. There is an impressive waterfall just before you reach Themathang. From here you walk for a short while until crossing the Baron Khola on a wooden bridge. The trail undulates, and you have the river now on your left. Quite a bit of work has been done to construct a stony path in places approaching Yangle Kharka. It takes about 1½ hours from the tea shop at Themathang to reach the meadows of Yangle Kharka and your lodge for the night. It's a wild, remote, windy spot. There is a monastery (which is closed) just down from the lodge, providing an attractive foreground for photos with the snowy mountains behind. Overnight: Tea House
Day 10 : Trek from Yangle Kharka to Langmale, 4,420m - 758 ascent, 10.5km 5 hours. You descend from your hut to the river and small monastery. It's a pleasant, flatish start keeping the river on your left, with the arresting scent of juniper as you walk. You pass many colourful prayer flags lining the trail. The dramatic cliffs soar either side of you, and the views ahead are dominated by Peak 4, Peak 6, Peak 7 and Yaupa. It really is a fabulous day, with jagged snow-clad summits, vertical cliffs, waterfalls, and sacred caves as a visual feast. The trail opens out as you walk past the pastures of Jhak Kharka, Yak Kharka and eventually Merek where a welcome tea shop appears after about 2½ hours of walking. You'll doubtless indulge in a cup of chai here before continuing upwards. Take it slow and steady here as you will no doubt be feeling the altitude as you toil upwards towards Langmale. It takes around 2 hours to reach your tea house at Langmale from Merek. The views here are sublime, with Peak 7 providing a breath-taking backdrop to the lodge rooms. A mani wall adorned by prayer flags sits just in front of the row of rooms. Black redstarts and choughs are quite commonplace here. Overnight: Tea House
Day 11 : Acclimatisation walk from Langmale. There are a few options for acclimatisation today. There's a good hill and viewing point behind the tea house and you can extend this walk as far as your guide suggests. Overnight: Tea House
Day 12 : Trek to Makalu Base Camp 4,800m - 473m ascent / 115m descent, 8.7km, 5-6 hours. A truly sublime day on the trail today; Peak 7 is an almost constant companion whilst Peak 6 sits directly ahead, looking quite Ama-Dablam-esque. You begin ascending on a good path - the going feels tough at this altitude so take it very easy. You'll be keeping the river on your left as you snake your way around the valley. As you round each bend you'll have another dramatic aspect to marvel at. In parts you'll be hopping from boulder to boulder, but mostly you're on a reasonable, sandy trail. Obviously you are gaining 400m of height to your destination, but the trail undulates gently and there are only a few steeper sections to get you puffing. Peak 4 comes into view as you progress. After a couple of hours walking, you reach a wide, flat area with a locked small stone hut - this is called Shershong, at 4,630m, making a good camping area. Eventually Makalu comes tantilisingly into view. Its formidable face with its icefalls, crevasses, jagged edges and seracs makes you gaze up in awe. As you round a few bends, you wonder when the base camp will reveal itself. Eventually you will see the lodges and (if in spring) a huddle of tents which mark the base camp. You descend, cross the river, and in five minutes you arrive at your long-awaited destination. As you would expect, the world's fifth highest mountain, Makalu, completely dominates the view. Many Tibetan snowcocks, hill pigeons, black redstarts and mountain finches may be seen around the base camp. Overnight: Tea House
Day 13 : Exploration day at Makalu Base Camp. One option today which assures the most glorious panoramic views is to climb to the ridge - around 5,300m - above the base camp. You cross the river on the log bridge and ascend on a vague, slightly indeterminate path for around 3 hours. From this viewpoint you can see Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse as well as close-up, dramatic views of Makalu, Peak 7, Peak 6 and Peak 4. Re-trace your steps to the base camp when you've had your fill of mountain drama.The round trip should take around 4-5 hours. It's a strenuous undertaking as it's steep and the altitude will surely bite above 5,000m. There are some softer options, which include following a path to view the lakes beyond base camp. There is also a much shorter ridge climb you can do just above base camp, and there's a small hill at the head of base camp marked with prayer flags which is around an hour's walk out and back. Your guide may also have other suggestions. Overnight: Tea House
Day 14 : Return to Yangle Kharka - 122m ascent / 1,214m descent, 16km, 6-7 hours. It's with a heavy heart that you leave behind the overwhelming spectacle that is Mount Makalu, and begin re-tracing your steps to Yangle Kharka. It takes around 1½ hours to reach the meadow of Shershong, marked with a hut with bright orange tarpaulin. A further hour or so brings you back to Langmale, where you may have tea and possibly lunch. About 1¼ hours walking downhill brings you next to the tea shop at Merek. It's good to chill here with a cup of chai before weaving your way through pine forests back to Yangle Kharka. It takes approximately 2-2½ hours to reach here from the tea shop at Merek. A welcome hot shower awaits if you pay 200 rupees! Overnight: Tea House
Day 15 : Return to Dobate - 640m ascent / 412m descent, 9.3km, 6 hours. It's a really pleasant gentle meander following the river down to the tea shop at Themathang, passing many rhododendron bushes as you approach. There's a wooden bridge adorned by prayer flags to cross just before Themathang. It'll take around 1½ hours to reach here. After a short while you will have to negotiate the landslide area, which takes around 1½ hours. Take care on this as there are some narrow sections to pass. After an undulating stretch, you start climbing steeply through the rhododendron forest. If you're lucky you may see a Himalayan monal here - Nepal's national bird, resplendent in its rainbow colours. The going eventually eases and the ascent becomes more gradual as you approach the hut at Dobate. Take note that after the tea shop at Themathang, which comes early in your walk, there are no other refreshment stops until you reach Dobate, so make sure you take plenty of snacks. Overnight: Tea House
Day 16 : Return to Khongma - 600m ascent / 852m descent, 7.6km, 6-7 hours. Today is your last chance to get captivating views of the high mountains, including Kangchenjunga. You begin ascending to the Keke La at 4,170m, which should take around 1½ hours. It's a further 1½ hours to reach your highest point today - the Shipton La at 4,200m. Enjoy your stop here at the tea house. Another hour or so of contouring round the mountainside will bring you to the large cairn that marks Sano Pokhari Danda at 4,105m. A further hour of undulations brings you back to the final pass - the Khongma La at 3,890m, marked by a mani wall. Approximately 250m of descent, mainly on stone steps, brings you back to your lodge at Khongma. Look out for blood pheasant which can occasionally be seen wandering in the snow between the rhododendron bushes. Overnight: Tea House
Day 17 : Return to Tashigaon - 80m ascent / 1,450m descent, 6.4km, 5 hours.You descend from Khongma down to Dhara Kharka which takes around 2 hours. You'll no doubt stop for a cup of tea here. The descent to Tashigaon then takes a further 3 hours. Overnight: Tea House
Day 18 - Return to Seduwa - 150m ascent / 700m descent, 8.9km, 4-5 hours. Retracing your steps back to Seduwa today will take around 4-5 hours. Overnight: Tea House
Day 19 : Trek to Num - 800m ascent / 800m descent, 8km, 5-6 hours. Drive to Khandbari. It's a long, fairly steep climb, mainly on stone steps, all the way down to the Arun River at 770m. It will be feeling very warm now as you head deep into the forest lower down. You cross the river and endure the 800m climb all the way back to Num. It's a good idea to have lunch at the Nishan 'Hotel' - a tea house approximately 300m below Num. Now you can congratulate yourself on the successful completion of a challenging and rewarding trek. Finally, you return by vehicle to Khandbari where you spend your last night in the mountains. Overnight: .Hotel in Khandbari
Day 20 : Drive to Tumlingtar. Fly to Kathmandu. After breakfast you transfer back to Tumlingtar to make the return flight to Kathmandu airport where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to relax and recuperate from your exertions. Overnight: Tourist Hotels in Kathmndu
Day 21 : Farewell and Departure.Your last day is free until your departure flight/drive or to commence any extra trips or activities you may have booked with us. If departing, you'll be transferred to the International Airport. “End of our Services”
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The staff are professional, kind, and helpful. Logistically this is a challenging trip and MountainMate Trek knows what they are doing and do it well. No problem was too big or complicated to resolve. I will definitely be doing further trips with them.
Me and the group of 4 from Poland spent 3 weeks in Nepal on Makalu Base Camp trek and in Kathmandu. It was great time and to be honest it was a trip of my life. This wouldn't happen without great, kind people from MountainMate Treks - thank you all again for the great time we spent together.