Everest Base Camp Trek
16th May 2022: Arrive in Kathmandu - Caroline, Jake and Meaghan
On arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, once you've passed through Immigration and retrieved your luggage, please look out for your Team Mount Everest driver carrying a placard with your name who will transfer you to Hotel Buddy in Kathmandu for overnight on bed and breakfast basis.
17th May 2022: City Tour - Caroline, Jake and Meaghan
After breakfast, you'll be met by your local guide and will be taken to Durbar (Palace) Square, one of the heritage sites, where you can view many historical and cultural monuments. Other heritage sites to be visited are the Pashupatinath Temple (a temple of Shiva, sacred to Hundus), the "Monkey Temple", Swoyambhunath, (sacred to Buddhists), and Boudhanath Shrine.
Overnight at Hotel Buddy.
17th May 2022 - Arrive in Kathmandu - Jim and Shamus
Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, and transfer to Hotel Buddy.
18th May 2022 - Kathmandu
At leisure in Kathmandu. At around 1800 you'll be met by your guide for your pre-climb briefing to discuss tomorrow's trek. Overnight at Hotel Buddy on bed and breakfast basis.
19th May 2022: Fly to Lukla (35 min) and trek to Phakding 2652m
We leave the hotel very early, before breakfast, and aim to arrive in Lukla between 0700 and 0900 (dependent on weather and flights). We have breakfast at Lukla before easing into our high latitude exertions with a gentle downhill walk to Phakding 2652m lasting around 3 hours.
Depending on the guide's assessment of the group's physical condition, we may proceed a further 2 hours to Manjo 2860m for a relaxed evening and overnight - in which case, lunch will be taken at Phakding.
As when you climbed Kilimanjaro, please ensure you remain well hydrated at all times, aiming to drink some 3 to 5 litres of water daily.
Distances - Lukla to Phakding: 9.0 km / 5.6 miles. Phakding to Monjo: 4.0 km / 3.2 miles.
20th May 2022: Phakding to Namche Bazaar 3440m
Today, after starting your hike, you will cross some famous suspension bridges, while gradually moving up-hill towards the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park, the official entrance to the Everest Region. Continue downhill for a short time before it levels out to flat ground on mixed terrain. The trail then follows the river to the final high suspension bridge before you begin the long ‘Namche Hill’, which can take 2 hours, to reach the Sherpa village of Namche Bazaar. Today you will be hiking for approximately 6 hours with plenty of breaks along the way.
Distance - Monjo to Namche Bazaar: 7.3 km / 4.5 miles. (Phakding to Monjo: 4.0 km / 3.2 miles).
21st May 2022: Acclimatization Day to 3900m from Namche Bazaar
From Namche Bazaar, we hike up a steep trail and might start to feel a little breathless as we ascend 460m to Syangboche Airport, and a further 100m up Syangboche Hill 3900m where we stop for 30-45 minutes to relax and enjoy the stunning views. Afternoon return descent to Namche Bazaar for overnight.
Distance - Namche to Syangboche viewpoint and back: 3.6 km / 2.2 miles.
22nd May 2022: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche 3867m
Today we ascend to Tengboche 3900m from Namche. For the first 2 hours, the hike will be gentle while traversing the left hand side of the valley, high above the valley floor. The trail then descends down towards the river, where we stop for lunch. After lunch, we continue hiking for 2 – 3 hours up a long hill to the town of Tengboche. This is a gradual but long ascent which usually takes 5 - 6 hours.
Distance: 12.0 km / 7.5 miles.
23rd May 2022: Tengboche to Dingboche 4358m
From Tengboche, we begin with a gentle, mostly downhill hike but soon find ourselves climbing steeply before crossing the Imja Khola River and then gradually continuing uphill towards Pangboche for lunch. (Pangboche was one of the villages most affected by the earthquakes of 2015).
After lunch, we continue our gradual uphill trek towards the Imja Valley looking towards Island Peak, before arriving into Dingboche around an hour later. Today's total trekking time will be around 5 to 6 hours.
Distance: 12.0 km / 7.5 miles.
24th May 2022: Acclimatisation Day at Dingboche
From Dingboche we aim to attain an altitude of 4900m, ascending some 500m to acclimatise. Today’s hike will take around 3 - 4 hours, including a lunch stop at the high point. This evening we relax at the tea house and aim to eat and hydrate well.
Distance: 3.0 km / 1.9 miles.
25th May 2022: Dingboche to Lobuche 4828m
Quitting Dingboche, the trail heads back towards the Khumbu Valley and continues on a long and slow trek across a beautiful elevated route towards Dugla, where we stop to eat lunch and rest. This stretch usually takes around 2 hours.
After lunch we ascend to the Thukla Pass where we pause at the Everest Memorial before continuing to Lobuche. The total trekking time today will be around 5 - 6 hours.
Distance: 12.0 km / 7.5 miles.
26th May 2022: Lobuche to Everest Base Camp 5365m. Descend to Gorakshep 5160m
Today we hike from Lobuche to Gorak Shep 5160m along a very beautiful and unique stretch of the mountainscape, crossing loose rock and glacier moraine. The frequently undulating trail rises into Gorak Shep after around 3 hours where we stop for lunch. After lunch we continue hiking for another 3 hours to reach Everest Base Camp. This final section of trail is rugged and very arduous, and should not be under-estimated - especially since we're struggling with around 55% of the oxygen we're used to at sea level.
The hike back to Gorak Shep takes another 2 hours, before ending your day after a total of 7 to 8 hours of hiking. T
Distance: 10.0 km / 6.2 miles.
27th May 2022: Ascend Kala Patthar 5555m. Descend to Pheriche 4358m
After an early night in Gorak Shep, we aim to wake very early and ascend Kala Patthar 5555m, to watch the sun rise over Mount Everest. This is a challenging 3 hour climb but is well worth the effort and will certainly be remembered as one of the great highlights of this expedition.
On returning to Gorak Shep, we have breakfast and then continue the descent all the way to Pheriche 4358m, which takes around 4 hours, making today's total hiking time some 7 - 8 hours.
Distance: 18.0 km / 11.2 miles.
28th May 2022: Pheriche to Kyangjuma 3600m
Today we continue the descent from Pheriche back to Kyangjuma - some 5 to 7 hours' hiking. This evening, if the weather is clear, we may enjoy some final views of Everest's summit cone.
Distance: 15.3 km / 9.5 miles.
29th May 2022: Kyangjuma to Manjo 2800m
This morning we contour along the west bank of the Dudh Kosi valley as we emerge into Namche Bazaar again for lunch. After lunch we descend the steep Namche Hill - losing 500 vertical metres in just 2km - taking the descent as easy as possible and stopping often to preserve our knees.
After crossing the dramatic Hillary Bridge, we turn south and continue the final 3km to Manjo for dinner and overnight.
Distance: 9.2 km / 5.7 miles.
30th May 2022: Monjo to Phakding 2652m. Ascend to Lukla 2860m
We descend from Manjo to Phakding before the long hike back to Lukla. Once we pass Phakding, remember that there's 200 vertical metres of ascent before we reach Lukla for our overnight stay.
Distance: 12.6 km / 7.8 miles.
31st May 2022: Return Flight to Kathmandu 1300m (35 minutes)
This morning we have just a 10 minute stroll back to Lukla Airport for your flight to Kathmandu, where you will be returning to Hotel Buddy for your overnight stay.
This evening, we'll visit an authentic Nepalese restaurant for dinner and some traditional Nepali songs and dance.
1st June 2022: City Tour - Jim and Shamus
After breakfast, you'll be met by your local guide for a tour of th heritage sites, including Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, the "Monkey Temple", Swoyambhunath, and Boudhanath Shrine. Overnight at Hotel Buddy.
1st June 2022: Departing Flight - Caroline, Jake and Meaghan
A driver will collect you from your hotel around 3 hours before your departing flight and transfer you to Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), ensuring that you arrive there at least 2 hours before your flight departs. Please let us know if you'd like to be collected earlier.
2nd June: Departure - Shamus
Please be ready to be collected for your airport transfer no later than 3 hours prior to your departing flight, and let us know if you'd like to be collected earlier.
Current COVID-Related Entry Requirements for Nepal
Contrary to previous travel advisories issued by the Nepalese governments that required a visa to be obtained in advance, the following are the current requirements as at 13th December 2021:
1. Passengers arriving into Nepal should have completed an Arrivals form prior to entry and should download and print the resulting summary PDF, for presentation on arrival.
2. On arrival, passengers are required to provide evidence of having completed a full course of vaccination against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to entry to Nepal. The vaccination certificate should feature a QR code that links to a verification page on the website of the issuing government laboratory.
3. Passengers must present a valid negative PCR test result for a test taken not more than 72 hours prior to leaving your home airport en route to Nepal.
4. Passengers must be willing to have their temperature taken on arrival and may (though this appears to be very unlikely at present) be asked to take a rapid antigen test. A positive result will require quarantine.
Sadly, those unable or unwilling to be vaccinated are required to be quarantined for 10 days on arrival, which of course effectively precludes their visiting Nepal at this time.
5. Prior to leaving Nepal, most travellers (including US residents from 6th December 2021) are required to obtain another negative PCR test. Testing is possible until 8pm in the evening, and from 6am in the morning, and may be conducted at the climber's hotel. The cost is USD 25 per person.
6. Within 24 hours of departing from Nepal, travellers should complete a Departures form and print out the result PDF for presentation on boarding their flight.
As from March 2021, PCR testing (or rather, sample-taking) is now available at Seronera and Ndutu airstrips in the Serengeti. This facility has been implemented to prevent clients having to either curtail their safaris or dissect their safaris with a journey to Arusha or, more recently, Karatu (FAME Hospital), mid-safari - so as to satisfy the "less than 72 hours old" validity rule that most airlines are required to enforce.
We read widely divergent estimates of deaths on Kilimanjaro, but how dangerous is it really? In this post we share our own experience of the dangers.
First of all - you can definitely still climb Kilimanjaro during COVID-19! There is absolutely no impediment within Tanzania. Issues only potentially arise with your own country's rules.
Although there is no requirement to have a PCR test for COVID in order to enter Tanzania, many climbers are nonetheless required by their airline to show evidence of a negative COVID test before boarding the flight home.
This following information is provided to reassure prospective climbers that there is a straightforward way to enjoy the incredible tourism and adventurous opportunities that Tanzania offers, while ensuring that returning home afterwards is stress-free.