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Nepal: Women’s Expedition

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Nepal: Women’s Expedition

Was From $ 2,500 AUD
Now From $ 2,125 AUD
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Description

With inspiring cultural experiences and days spent trekking in the Himalayas, this women’s only expedition will give you a unique insight into the diverse lives of Nepalese women. Meet a range of female trailblazers, from chefs at a social enterprise to women campaigning to end menstruation discrimination to your all-female mountain guides and porter’s crew. Listen to personal stories shared by locals and spend time reconnecting with nature at a female-run village homestay on the fringes of Chitwan National Park, which is helping to conserve wildlife in the area. Connect with Buddhist nuns as you get an inside look at an all-female nunnery challenging patriarchal traditions. Listen, connect and be inspired on this 13-day female-run adventure.

Trip Name
Nepal: Women's Expedition
Last Updated
2024-04-14
Days
13
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Enjoy a five-day hike in the incredible Annapurna Mountains, wholly supported by an all-female crew of leaders, guides, assistants and porters.
  • Get to know the locals during a Madi Valley homestay run by women working to alleviate the human impact on the surrounding wilderness and wildlife.
  • Visit an NGO working to abolish the practice of Chhaupadi – the illegal but socially common practice of forbidding women to enter their homes, kitchens, schools and temples during their menstrual cycle as they're believed to be rendered temporarily impure.
  • Learn how to create traditional dishes while supporting a unique social enterprise that has changed the lives of disadvantaged women and learn the secrets to creating the perfect MoMo during a cooking class at a Tibetan refugee camp.
  • Swap stories and learn about the lives of local Buddhist nuns as you visit an all-female monastery challenging patriarchal Buddhist traditions.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Sagarmatha Next. Donations help them remove waste responsibly and turn rubbish into art in the Everest region.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Kathmandu
Namaste! Welcome to Nepal. Your women’s-only expedition will begin in Kathmandu with a welcome meeting at 2 pm at your hotel. After, join your trip leader and group members for an included dinner at a local restaurant. You’ll have the opportunity to dig into local delicacies like MoMos and Dal Bhat and enjoy a traditional dance performance to end the evening.
Day 2 - Kathmandu
This morning, head to Kapan’s Khachoe Ghakyil Ling – a Buddhist nunnery located on the outskirts of Kathmandu. The nunnery's mission is to provide women who want to dedicate their lives to the Buddha's teachings with a safe haven for their study and practice. This unique and exclusive experience will teach you about their daily lives and how they challenge patriarchal Buddhist traditions. After, take on a cooking class at Seven Women – an organisation supported by The Intrepid Foundation that socially and economically empowers marginalised women in Nepal through various education programs, skills training and income generation. While the initiative started with just seven participants, now over 5,000 women have been educated, trained and employed here. Learn how to make delicious Nepali dishes and have the chance to swap stories with these women who have overcome discrimination to turn their lives around. Tuck into your freshly made creations for lunch before spending the afternoon at your leisure.
Day 3 - Pokhara
Late morning we head to the Kathmandu airport and fly west to Pokhara. The 25-minute flight offers views of the Himalaya range to the north (on a clear day). Be sure to have your camera ready to snap the glory of the surrounding Himalayan peaks in the morning light. Pokhara is set in a beautiful valley overlooked by the Annapurnas and the fishtail-shaped Machhapuchhare, one of the most distinctive of the Himalayan peaks. Arriving in Pokhara take a short orientation walk before heading to a Tibetan Refugee Camp for a special MoMo cooking class. Your class will be hosted by a woman who was born and raised in this very refugee camp – her parents fled Tibet during the China invasion and raised her alongside her four siblings. Now, she makes a living running her MoMo cooking class and making jewellery in the low season. You’ll get a chance to swap stories with her and be inspired by how she overcame her adversities. If you have time in the afternoon, you might like to visit ‘Yes Helping Hands Handicrafts’ manufacturing site, where people living with disabilities are given skills training in traditional handloom weaving, dyeing and knitting. Tonight's accommodation has fantastic grounds to relax before your trek begins tommorrow.
Day 4 - Birethanti (1025m) - Ulleri Trek (1960m)
Transfer by private vehicle to Birethanti, where you’ll meet your all-female hiking crew of assistant guides and porters. In the afternoon, they’ll lead you into a world of friendly villagers, terraced fields, alpine meadows and rhododendron forest set before a backdrop of snow-clad peaks. You can expect the first part of this trek to be relatively flat and easy-going, however, after you reach Tikhedhunga, be prepared to get your blood pumping by climbing hundreds of stone steps to Ulleri. Don’t worry, you’ll have beautiful views of the villages, forests and mountains to keep you distracted while on the journey.
Day 5 - Ulleri – Ghorepani trek (2860m)
Ghorepani sits at a cool 2860 m above sea level, so you can expect to get your heart rate pumping on today’s exciting uphill climb. You’ll pass traditional homes and tea houses along a path that winds up and down hills before rewarding you with views of Annapurna South halfway along the trek. Meander through thicker wooded areas filled with towering bamboo plants and blooming trees. Then, venture beyond Banthanti (2300 m) through a moss-coated jungle before reaching Nangathanti (2520 m) where you’ll continue your journey to Ghorepani and enjoy some well-deserved rest in the evening.
Day 6 - Ghorepani – Poonhill (3200m) – Tadapani trek (2630m)
Sunrise enthusiasts rejoice – today, you’ll rise early for a pre-dawn hike up Poon Hill to enjoy the sunrise over Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna Range. You'll then head back and tuck into breakfast at your tea house accommodation before lacing up your boots for today’s trek to Tadapani. Expect more magnificent views to frame your walking trail today as you continue north along the ridgeline with the Annapurna Ranges stretching along the east and west. You’ll follow a forested ridge that serves up views of the ranges in both directions. Descend along a muddy slope before reaching a small settlement and beautiful forested gorge. From here, head toward the mountain village of Tadapani where you’ll get a chance to relax, wander the local township and put your feet up for the evening.
Day 7 - Tadapani – Ghandruk trek (1940m)
Wake up with relief, knowing that today's trail is shorter and easier than you’ve become accustomed to over the last few days. You’ll take in the sunrise from Tadapani and then hike to Ghandruk village. The route from Tadapani to Ghandruk is tranquil and bursting with colourful wildflowers in spring. After reaching Ghandruk, you’ll explore this fascinating mountain village, take in the mesmerizing views and get acquainted with the ethnic Gurung culture here.
Day 8 - Ghandruk – Shyauli Bazaar trek (1220m) – Pokhara
After a leisurely breakfast this morning, embark on a short trek down to Shyauli bazaar, where you’ll be transferred to Pokhara by a private vehicle. Take a boat ride across Phew Lake to visit Tal Barahi temple in the lake's centre. After lunch, visit International Mountain Museum. This evening is all yours to relax and admire the lakeside scenery. This evening, you’ll stay at 3 Sisters Guesthouse – owned by three sisters who work to promote and empower socially disadvantaged women through adventure tourism. They provide skills-based training programs and employment opportunities to encourage other women to become self-supportive and independent.
Day 9 - Madi Valley
After breakfast this morning, hit the road for Madi Valley. When you arrive at your homestay, the local women, dressed in their traditional Magar attire, will be ready to greet and welcome you into their homes. This homestay project provides sustainable income and encourages the communities living on the fringes of Chitwan National Park to conserve the wilderness and wildlife around them. This evening, the women will teach you to cook local dishes, which you’ll enjoy for dinner as a group. This is a great opportunity to get to know the women better and chat with them about their lives and work. After dinner, you’ll be treated to a cultural performance by the women, where they’ll demonstrate one of the oldest ethnic dance forms of the Magar community – the Maruni Naach.
Day 10 - Chitwan National Park
After breakfast, head to Chitwan National Park – considered one of Asia's best national parks – for a half-day safari. You’ll be introduced to the camp staff and resident naturalists, who’ll take you on a safari through the forests to spot rhinos, crocodiles, monkeys and deer. In the afternoon, drive to Green Mansion Jungle Resort – your home for the evening. You’ll have time to relax, swim or indulge in spa treatment before visiting Tharu Village, where you’ll learn about the lifestyles of the Tharu women and observe a traditional cooking demonstration before sharing dinner together.
Day 11 - Kathmandu
If you’re an avid wildlife lover, an optional early-morning birdwatching safari is available today – a worthwhile addition to your trip. After breakfast, you’ll take a private transfer back to the bustling capital of Kathmandu. In the afternoon, you’ll visit a local NGO called Days for Girls Nepal. Here, learn from a team of local women about their work to provide menstrual care and education and their mission to eliminate the Chhaupadi practice in Nepal. To shatter the stigma associated with women’s health, they campaign against Chhaupadi, a tradition in western Nepal, which prohibits Hindu women and girls from participating in normal family activities while menstruating, as they are considered impure. Tonight, you’re free to relax and recharge.
Day 12 - Kathmandu
After breakfast, explore Kathmandu Durbar Square, where you’ll stop at a brick building known as Kumari Ghar. Visitors and worshippers congregate daily in the courtyard beneath the balcony to catch a glimpse of Nepal’s most prominent living Hindu goddess – Kumari. A fascinating Hindu ritual, there are several Kumari in Nepal who are chosen early in childhood and remain goddesses until they begin menstruating or lose blood from an injury (when they revert back to mortal status and re-enter society). Then, drive to Kirtipur – visited by only a handful of tourists, this is a gem of history and culture. Visit Chilancho Temple, Bagh Bhairav Temple and Uma Maheshwar Temple. Walk down the old alleys and observe the local way of life as the locals chat, spin wool or knit. As this is the penultimate day of your adventure, maybe treat yourself to a traditional Nau pedicure performed by local Newari women – Napits. The role these women play, to clean and purify the body, is a respected part of the local culture, and to receive treatment is an opportunity not just to gain an insight into this tradition but also to connect. Tonight, head to Village Café for your final group dinner. The Village Café allows women who would otherwise be based at home to earn a living cooking traditional Newari cuisine, using ingredients they’ve grown in their own fields.
Day 13 - Kathmandu
Today your women’s expedition comes to an end. No included activities are planned, so you’re welcome to check out of the hotel any time before midday. If you’re not quite ready for your adventure to finish, just speak to your booking agent to organise extra accommodation.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
28-04-202410-05-2024AUD $ 2,125-
22-09-202404-10-2024AUD $ 2,695-
06-10-202418-10-2024AUD $ 2,500-
13-10-202425-10-2024AUD $ 2,800-
20-10-202401-11-2024AUD $ 2,500-
27-10-202408-11-2024AUD $ 2,700-
03-11-202415-11-2024AUD $ 2,455-
10-11-202422-11-2024AUD $ 2,695-
17-11-202429-11-2024AUD $ 2,405-
02-03-202514-03-2025AUD $ 2,525-
16-03-202528-03-2025AUD $ 2,525-
30-03-202511-04-2025AUD $ 2,525-
06-04-202518-04-2025AUD $ 2,625-
20-04-202502-05-2025AUD $ 2,625-
27-04-202509-05-2025AUD $ 2,525-
21-09-202503-10-2025AUD $ 2,525-
28-09-202510-10-2025AUD $ 2,625-
05-10-202517-10-2025AUD $ 2,625-
12-10-202524-10-2025AUD $ 2,725-
26-10-202507-11-2025AUD $ 2,725-
09-11-202521-11-2025AUD $ 2,725-
23-11-202505-12-2025AUD $ 2,725-

Accommodation

Hotel (4 nights),Guesthouse (2 nights),Homestay (5 nights),Jungle Resort (1 night)

Transport

Private vehicle,Plane

Map