Hosting 8 out of 10 highest peaks including the highest peak Mt. Everest does boast a sense of pride for Nepal. Trekking is the most popular reason people flock to Nepal, it does have some rules and regulations that you must follow before you trek in Nepal. Usually the trekking packages signed with the agencies covers the charges but be sure to check properly before you signed in.
A trekking permit is issued by the Department of Immigration and is obligatory for all trekkers. Let me remind you, each permit requires details of the route and region. In addition to this, some restricted areas require special fees that go up to $500 for a 10 day permit. All fees are collected by the government, through related agencies, and paid by your trekking agency from your trip cost. Please note that some permits are required in advance and some can be bought on the spot.
The Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) has categorized trekking permits into 6 different types:
- Trekking Permit for restricted areas
- Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) Card
- National Park, Wildlife Reserve and Conservation Area Entrance fee
- Peak climbing and mountaineering permit
- Filming and documentary shooting permit
Trekking Permit for restricted areas:
Special trekking permits is a must for trekking in the restricted areas of the following districts- Dolpa, Taplegunj, Gorkha, Mustang, Dolakha, Humla, Manaslu, Rasuwa, Solukhumbu, Makalu, Manang, Mugu, Baihang and Darchula. The permit has to be obtained in advance through an authorized trekking agency. The trekking in controlled area should always be assisted by a guide and it is opened only for group treks. The permit fees vary for different destinations and can be paid either in Nepali currency or US dollars.
For trekking in Annapurna, Everest, Langtang and Helambu regions, you do not need special trekking permit but have to acquire TIMS card. The provision of Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) came into effect from January 1, 2008 and since then Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) started recording trekkers’ details and began issuing TIMS Card to trekkers in order to control illegal trekking operations and ensure the safety and security of the trekkers. There are two types of TIMS cards; blue TIMS card is for trekkers in an organized group (US$ 10) and Green TIMS card (US$ 20) is for independent trekkers. Please bring a copy of your passport and photographs to obtain TIMS card either from Tourist Service Center, TAAN Office or Government registered trekking companies in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
National park, wildlife reserve and conservation area entrance fee:
The permit fees costing on an average about $15 is required to enter 20 Protected Areas in Nepal that have been divided into National Parks, Wildlife Reserves, Conservation Areas and Hunting Reserve and you must also obtain hunting license to hunt in the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve- the only protected area where hunting is allowed. In addition to this, some restricted areas require special fees that go up to $500 for a 10 day permit. The entrance fee has to be submitted in advance at the office of the National Trust, NTB office in either Kathmandu or Pokhara. You need to bring a copy of your passport and 1 passport size photograph to fill up the form.
Peak Climbing and Mountaineering permit
For peak climbing, groups of 4 to 7 have fees ranging from $350 to $500 depending on climb duration. All fees are collected by the government, through related agencies, and paid by your trekking agency from your trip cost. You need to fill in a bio- data form which can be done online, adding your signature and photograph to the form when you are in Kathmandu.
Filming & Documentary shooting permit
If you are in Nepal for filming and documentary shooting at trekking destinations, inside national parks and conservation areas, a special filming and documentary shooting permit is a must. You need to apply for this permit through a trekking agency. The permit fee depends on the use of camera and technology and is obtained from the Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC).
This is autumn – the best time for trekkers to walk in the Himalayas when the sky is crystal clear, the mountain views are superb and the weather is comfortably warm. I am packing up my gear, what about you?
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