Govt. License No.88721/068/069, Tourism Industry Division Lisence No. 1477 / 069.  Remember us for: Adventure Specialist and Authorized Travel Agent of Nepal for Trekking, Hiking, Peak climbing, Mountain Expedition, and various trekking packages

Makalu Base Camp Trek (21 Days)

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This trek starts at Tumlingtar where the trekking trails enter the highest valley in the world to begin your journey to the base of Mt. Makalu, the fifth highest mountain of the world (8,481m).

 

This is a challenging but stunning trek in eastern Nepal, to the base camp of the world’s fifth highest peak. Our destination, Makalu Base Camp (5,000m), brings us to one of the most remote and unfrequented areas in Nepal. It just so happens that this very pristine area was turned into a national park and conservation area in the early 1990's. The park is still at its beginning stages and although struggling to make its mark, it has done fairly well. Though struggling to make its mark, it has done fairly well. Makalu-Barun National Park, a virtually uninhabited 1500-km2 area of Eastern Nepal, is very close to virgin wilderness. This remote terrain stretches east from Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, between the high plateau of Tibet and the deep subtropical gorge carved by the Arun River. There are spectacular views of rugged Himalayan peaks, including Mt. Makalu (8481m), fifth highest in the world, Mt. Chamlang (7319 m) and Mt. Baruntse (7129m). Within 40 kilometres, these high peaks descend to the Arun River at 670m. The Makalu-Barun Valley provides stunning contrasts, where high waterfalls cascade into deep gorges, rough rocks rise from lush green forests, and colourful flowers bloom beneath white snow peaks. The length of this trek and the unspoiled terrain it explores make it a classic. One has to be physically fit as this trek is graded adventurous.

 Trip Facts

  • Highlights of this Trip
  • Min. Group Size : 2
  • Grade : Demanding
  • Best time to Travel : Mar-Apr/ Oct- Nov
  • Accomodation : Camping
  • Transportation : Public/ Aeroplane 
  • Fooding : We supply freshly cooked food.
  • Taken Care by : Guide, Porter and Cook
  • Kanchanjunga, Malalu, Barunche, Arun valley and rai and Limbu cluture in the low land and Sherpa culture in the upper part, seasonal flower, plants and vegetation

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1345 meters)

Day 2: Trip arrangements, meeting with staff and sightseeing around Kathmandu Valley 

Day 3: Fly to Tumlingtar and drive to Chichila (1,840m/6035 ft)

Day 4: Trek to Num (1,500m/4920 ft) Approx 6 hours trek

Day 5: Num to Sedua (1540m/5050ft) Approx 6 hours trek

Day 6: Sedua to Tashigaon(2063m/6768ft)  Approx 4-5 hours trek

Day 7: Trek to Khongma (3,560m/11,676 ft) Approx 6 hours trek

Day 8: Rest day for acclimatization and to explore around

 Day 9: Shipton La cross then trek to Dobato (3700m/12139 ft) Approx 7 hours trek

Day 10: Trek to Yangri Kharka (3,620m/11,877 ft) Approx 5 hours trek

Day 11: Lengmale Kharka (4400m/14436ft) Approx 4 hours trek

Day 12:  Trek to Shersong (4500m/14764ft) Approx 3.5 hours trek

Day 13:  Makalu base camp (5000m/16400ft)

Day 14:  Trek to Yangri Kharka. 

Day 15:  Trek to Mumbuk 

Day 16:  Trek to Khongma 

Day 17:  Trek to Tashigaon

Day 18:  Trek to Num 

 Day 19:  Trek to Chichila, drive to Tumlingtar 

 Day 20:  Fly back to Kathmandu 

Day 21:  Departure

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1345 meters)

Upon arrival, meet and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 2: Trip arrangements, meeting with staff and sightseeing around Kathmandu Valley 

Meet your trekking guide, discuss the trekking program and coordinate any last-minute arrangements. After staff meeting, with our professional tour guide we visit Pashupatinath, Boudhanath Stupa and Patan Durbar Square. Rest of the time you can use for travelling around Thamel and shopping of needed equipment and other necessaries. Overnight at hotel.

Day 3: Fly to Tumlingtar and drive to Chichila (1,840m/6035 ft)

A 50 minute flight from Kathmandu landing on a bumpy grass airstrip at Tumlingtar. From Tumlingtar, about approximate three hours jeep drive on a bumpy road takes to the first camp at Chichila. 

Day 4: Trek to Num (1,500m/4920 ft) Approx 6 hours trek

A moderately paced walk through the picturesque villages and lush mountain forests. A ridge line with great views on both side and perched on the end is Num. Thunder and lightning make interesting displays in Num evenings. 

Day 5: Num to Sedua (1540m/5050ft) Approx 6 hours trek

On the other side it goes up steeply, until we get the get to the corn and buckwheat fields of Rumruma. The landscape is rocky and the terraces are very small. A long, difficult climb brings us to Seduwa, on top of the ridge between the Kashua Khola and Arun Khola.

Day 6: Sedua to Tashigaon(2063m/6768ft)  Approx 4-5 hours trek

Climb to the north across cultivated terrace field and then passing the National Park Forest Project we reach Manigaon. From Manigaon the trail turns west and makes a gradual climb to Chyaksadanda and to Ropesa. Many orchids and other flowers hang from the moss-clad trees along a faint jungle trail to the Sherpa village of Tashigaon, the last village we would see on the way to Makalu Base Camp.

Day 7: Trek to Khongma (3,560m/11,676 ft) Approx 6 hours trek

Trek upwards towards Khongma which is the last stop before crossing the Shipton La. Today we would be dropping down into the upper sections of the remote Barun Valley. The green forests are replaced by scrub and rhododendrons that cover the lower reaches of the mountains..

Day 8: Rest day for acclimatization and to explore around

Day 9: Shipton La cross then trek to Dobato (3700m/12139 ft) Approx 7 hours trek

Climb for few hours to reach the summit of the Shipton La. After crossing Shipton La with splendid view we descend through beautiful valley to Dobato.

Day 10: Trek to Yangri Kharka (3,620m/11,877 ft) Approx 5 hours trek

From Dobato, passing through rhododendron forest we reach Barun River. Then we follow river through a gorge to more open valley reaching high pasture campsite which is Yangri Kharka 

Day 11: Lengmale Kharka (4400m/14436ft) Approx 4 hours trek

Following the river upstream, with great mountain views, we reach our overnight stop at the summer grazing area of Lengmale Kharka.

Day 12:  Trek to Shersong (4500m/14764ft) Approx 3.5 hours trek

Lovely day with rocky field, high alpine environment we reach Shersong. South east ridge of Mount Makalu emerges when we reach Shersong.

Day 13:  Makalu base camp (5000m/16400ft)

A day to explore around Shersong and depending on your condition (altitude) it is optional for you to climb up to Makalu base camp.

Day 14:  Trek to Yangri Kharka. 

Trek down the valley and get last glimpse of Makalu.

Day 15:  Trek to Mumbuk 

Descend down to green valley through rock fall.

Day 16:  Trek to Khongma 

Initial steep climb from Mumbuk through a forest of firs and rhododendrons. Cross Shipton La and Ghungru La and descend to Khogma.  

Day 17:  Trek to Tashigaon

Take a long and steep walk down to Tashigaon.

Day 18:  Trek to Num 

Descend down to Arun Khola, Sedua and then hike through forest to reach Num.

Day 19:  Trek to Chichila, drive to Tumlingtar 

Final day of walk and we reach Tumlingtar and prepare to say goodbye to the magnificent land.

Day 20:  Fly back to Kathmandu 

Morning flight to Kathmandu, upon arrival free time on your own

Day 21:  Departure

Free time till departure, transfer to airport.

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Cost Include(s)

  • Arrival and departure transfer from the international airport
  • Four night hotel/ guest in Kathmandu
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) whilst on the trek.
  • All the land transfer by regular bus as per itinerary.
  • Lodge accommodations in trekking on twin sharing (bathroom outside) 
  • Applicable trekking fees (Makalu Barun national park fee and TIMS). 
  • Guide and Porters (one porter per two persons is provided to carry the clients personal effects) 
  • Domestic flight to and from Tumlingtar.
  • Logistic support (dome tent, kitchen tent, toilet tent, mattress)
  • Kitchen and utensils 
  • Insurance for the trekking staff. (insurance as per state law) 
  • All the government tax and our (AATE) service charges. 

Cost Exclude(s) 

  • Personal trekking equipment
  • Extra accommodation, entrance, meal and sight seeing in Kathmandu. (They can be included upon request). 
  • International flights and Visa. 
  • Your travel insurance (for travel, cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss of life, theft of or damage to personal effects). 
  • Tips and gratuities (crew frequently receives some recognition for good service) 
  • Costs arising from unforeseen events outside the control of AATE. 
  • Personal expenses such as alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, mineral water, monuments entrance fees, postage, laundry, video, camera, phone, etc.
  • All other services not included in the "cost includes" section above

Q:  Is Nepal safe enough for tourist to travel?

Yes. In the past, Nepal has experienced political unrest, however since November of 2006, the signed Nepal Peace Agreement, between the Government of Nepal and the Nepal Communist Party (Maoists) has brought this unrest to a close.

Q: Which is the best time to visit Nepal?

The best season to visit Nepal is after the monsoons that end in August until mid-December, before the winter sets in. Also, from mid-February to early June are the most preferred months by visitors. During these two periods, the rains wash the dusty tracks and the valley looks magnificent with blooming flowers. Mountain views are clear most of the time. It is humid in plains at this time but it is still better than the scorching heat of the summer.

It is best to visit hilly areas in summer; that is, the months of May and June. The average temperature at that time is around 22-25 degrees Celsius. Nights are a bit chilly in the lower Himalayan region but are comfortable. Mountainous areas are extremely unsafe during the monsoon season, which are very common. The persistent rains make the hilly tracts slippery.

 

In winter, most of the hilly areas become threats due to very heavy snowfall and avalanches, but if you are fond of snowfall then you can opt for the lower Himalayan regions that look beautiful covered in blankets of snow.

Q: Is it important to take any vaccines?You should contact your general practitioner or travel clinic for the latest travel health advice. It is advisable to be up-to-date with Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, and Hepatitis A vaccination shots. If you are extending your stay in Nepal you may need anti-malarial protection.

 

Q: Do I need travel insurance?

It is necessary to have travel insurance for all clients to take in any tour. It should provide adequate protection for the full duration of the tour to cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, helicopter evacuation, loss of luggage, etc. You can arrange this yourself or through Apex Himalaya in Nepal. The coverage per day is $15 dollars per person.

You must advise your insurer that you are going on a trek at relatively high altitudes and that your cover needs to include air evacuation and repatriation. A copy of your insurance document should be sent to us prior to coming to Nepal.

Q: Do you have an airport pick-service?

Yes we do. If requested prior to your arrival, we can arrange for our airport representative to greet you outside the Terminal Hall. She/he will be holding an ‘Apex Himalaya’ sign with your name on it. Upon arrival, you will be taken to your hotel.

Q:  How much shall I bring & where can I exchange my money?

You can exchange in Nepal, primarily in Kathmandu and in Pokhara. It really depends on your budget and what you want to do and for how long but approximately $500-$1700 in either travelers’ cheques or cash for your trip would be sufficient. ATM cards and credit cards can be used in Kathmandu Pokhara and other cities if additional cash needed. You will need $30 for the tourist visa fee (can receive visa upon entry) at the Kathmandu International Airport. You must pay only in cash in U.S. dollars or Euros. It is advisable to exchange your money either on your first day or the day after while you are in Kathmandu at a reliable money exchange counter.

Q:  Why Should I trek with an agency?

Trekking with an agency can be worthwhile for those who are on a very tight schedule but not on money. A trekking agency can organize a trek for you at affordable costs, which includes food, accommodations, transportation, porters and guides. To receive trekking permits and TIMS cards, clients must go through a trekking agency for issuing and ensuring a safe and legalized trek or tour.

Q: Does your company provide a TIMS card?

Apex Himalaya is a government registered company and a member of TAAN (Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal). We are legally authorized to provide TIMS cards to trekkers. For further information about this, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q: Should I need to be totally fit in order to trek?

If you are reasonably fit and enjoy walking you will find trekking suits you. Normally the shorter treks tend to be easier whilst the longer ones often require a better standard of fitness. It is important to remember, however, that trekking requires an adequate level of physical conditioning. To prepare yourself for a trek, especially a difficult one that lasts two weeks or more, some moderate physical exercise is recommended before you embark on your journey such as walking, running swimming, or hiking. It is also worth remembering you can choose the pace and direction of your trek.

*Any person suffering from a pre-existing medical condition or diseases must seek medical advice before considering any trek.

Q: What is the general duration of treks?

The duration of the trek depends on the region of the trek and on interests which each client has. Generally speaking, treks can range from 2-3 days to a month’s time or sometimes longer periods if trekkers’ wish. Even the same trek can be of a different duration for different trekkers depending on their wishes and interests on the route.

Q: What do we get to experience in a trek?

You will mostly be on well-maintained trekking routes that consist of dirt trails. The terrain on some of these trails may be long, steep climbs or descents as well as rocky, dusty paths and forest tracks. There are also a lot of big stone steps and staircases especially on the Annapurna circuit. In some cases, treks include mountain passes so the trail can be narrow in places. You will feel a moderate altitude effect starting at around 3,000m upwards.

Q:  Is it necessary to use a trekking guide?

There is no compulsion to use a guide while trekking in Nepal. However, no matter how experienced or fit you are at outdoor activities, it is important to have a good orientation to a new area, especially if you go trekking. We highly recommend every guest to use our trained guides so that guests can easily and safely complete their trek. We believe that having a qualified trekking guide is a minimum safety requirement and can also enhance your enjoyment and understanding of the region as they act as a companion and interpreter. Our trekking guides are well-versed in a variety of foreign languages including English and take full responsibility of everything during a trek or expedition.

Q: What else should I be bringing in a trek?

Most of what you need during a trek is available in Kathmandu, and you can buy them or rent them once you are there. Most books on trekking will list them; check one out before you embark on your trek. If you do not have a book yet and plan to get one only once you are in Nepal, there are some things you may want to bring from home. Bring ear-plugs to help you sleep in spite of barking dogs. A battery operated short-wave radio can be helpful to listen to weather reports or the news. Also bring along a pocket knife, sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses, photographic equipment, binoculars, a compass, a good watch with possibly an altimeter, and a day pack. Others, you can buy or rent in Kathmandu for reasonable price.

Q: When I go for treks, can I store my luggage somewhere?

Generally your hotel or lodge will let you store your luggage with them for some nominal or no fee. As long as you lock up your bags, they are normally safe.

Q: What is the weather & temperature like while trekking?

The weather can be unpredictable in the mountains. However, at night it is generally cold and the days are generally warm. If it is raining at the base of the mountain, it will be snowing at the top of its peak. There will be heavy snowfall during the months of December and February. It is important that you stay warm and dry in just about any condition. Temperatures could be as high as 20 degrees C and as low as -10 degrees C.

Q: What are the accommodations like on a trek?

Along the trekking routes, teahouses and lodges generally provide basic clean facilities with a mattress and a quilt or blanket. We can also offer you sleeping bags if needed (which need to be returned after your trip) but it is a good idea to have your own sleeping equipment if possible. Accommodations have private rooms with twin beds that may be used for double or single occupancy. Teahouses have an adjoining dining room around a fire burning stove. You may take a hot shower but need to ask them to boil the water.

Q: Do you think it is safe to eat freely in Nepal?

In general, yes. But, it's always good to take sensible precautions in order to avoid any health problems. No matter how tempting --and it can get very tempting after a long trek- avoid drinking any other water than bottled water. If you have to drink non-bottled water, purify it with iodine or chlorine tablets (available readily in most drug stores in Kathmandu). Asking for bottled water in restaurants is always a best idea.

Do not eat roadside food that is exposed in the open air. Avoid buying and eating raw and unpeeled fruit and vegetables. Other than that, it is fine to have boiled, fried or properly packaged food items. Read the FAQ on Health and Insurance for details on what to do in case of health problems.

Q: What is Altitude Sickness?

Altitude Sickness is the effect of altitude on those who ascent too rapidly to elevations above 3,000 meters. The basic early symptoms of altitude sickness are headache, loss of appetite and sleeplessness. One shouldn't ignore these early symptoms as these symptoms may lead to more serious warnings and cause death sometimes within few hours. Medicine is no substitute for descent. If a doctor is available, he may give medicine and oxygen. However, the patient must go down to lower altitude even if treatment is given.

Q:  If I suffer from altitude sickness or any kind of sickness, what should I do?

First of all, your trekking guide will provide you with First Aid. If the case becomes more serious, you will be transferred to a health post where you can consult with a doctor. For acute sickness, at your request, you will be immediately taken down by helicopter or airplane to Kathmandu for treatment and rest. It is strongly recommended to descend from the mountain if you are suffering severely from altitude sickness.

Q: What is your cancellation policy and terms of conditions?

If our clients are unable to make their trip or want to cancel their trip due to any unavoidable circumstances, Apex Himalaya can only refund 65% of the deposited amount. However, clients can postpone their travel date or make slight modifications to their original travel itinerary free of cost if given proper notice. Please see our Terms of Conditions for further details.

Q: Which documents do I need to bring with me?

You should bring a valid passport (must be valid for up to 6 months after you return from your tour; keep an extra photocopy just in case), a copy of your travel insurance, cash and traveler’s checks (keep numbers and proof of purchase separately); flight tickets, emergency contact numbers of T/C’s, banks, insurance and family members and any medications.

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