If you are not joining a group trek, you will not have a professional trek leader. If there are more than 3 or 4 people in your party, one of you should assume an informal leadership position to act as spokesman for the group both in Kathmandu and on the trail.
There are many preparations that you can make before you depart for Nepal. Most important are your clothing and trekking equipment, medical supplies, your passport and a visa for Nepal. While some of these projects can be postponed until the last minute (by getting a visa at the airport in Kathmandu or renting your trekking equipment in Nepal, for example), it is recommended that you make most preparations in advance so that you do not waste time during your holiday satisfying bureaucratic formalities or searching for some item of equipment that is temporarily unavailable for rent in Kathmandu.
Visa for Nepal
You can obtain a visa before you come to Nepal or upon arrival in
Kathmandu. You need only to fill in a form and pay a fee (in US
dollars cash only), but it takes a bit of time at the airport after you
arrive. To obtain a visa for Nepal in advance, write to one of
the addresses below for instructions and a form. Fill in the form
and return it with the appropriate fee, photos and your passport.
If you are making a side trip to India or Tibet and then
returning to Nepal, be sure to get a double entry visa. Your
passport with a visa stamped in it should be returned to you by
The visa regulations for Nepal are a bit complex. You need to
decide what kind of visa to purchase depending on how long you
plan to stay in Nepal. Visa fees are:
A trekking permit is still required to visit restricted areas and far eastern and western Nepal. The permit specifies the places you may visit and the duration of your trek. It requires one full day to obtain a trekking permit and involves a lot of queuing and waiting in the Immigration Office unless your agent obtains the permit for you. The cost of the trekking permit is usually included in the trek cost. If you are going to a place where a permit is needed, your travel schedule should include two nights in Kathmandu or Pokhara before the trek so that your trekking permit may be processed. You should keep your passport and air ticket in your hotel safe in Kathmandu during your trek.
A normal trekking permit costs US$5 per week for the first four weeks of trekking and US$10 per week thereafter. Permits for Dolpo and Kanchenjunga treks cost US$10 per week for the first four weeks and US$20 per week thereafter. The exorbitant fees for restricted-area trekking permits are detailed in the section on restricted areas. You must have a valid visa extension for the full period of trekking before you can apply for a trekking permit.
National Park & Conservation Fees
If you trek in the Annapurna, Makalu or Kanchenjunga regions, you will enter a
Conservation Area and must pay a conservation fee of Rs 1000 (Rs 2000 for Annapurna). This must be paid
in advance in Kathmandu. A national park fee of Rs 1000 is also collected at the time
you enter a national park.