Nepal General Information

Nepal Map Situated in the lap of Himalaya, Nepal is located in between the latitude 26' 22' to 30' 27' North and longitude 80 4' to 88 12' East. The elevation of the country ranges from 65 to 8850 meters. The average length of Nepal is 885km. (east to west), while the average breadth is about 193km (north to south) The total area is 147,181 sq. mm. Located in southern Asia, Nepal is a Hindu Kingdom lying between the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, to the north, and India to the south. Nepal is a land-locked country, a place of natural beauty and historical interest. Its northern mountain range, the Himalaya, is snow-covered throughout the year and includes the highest peak of the world, Mount Everest. Central Nepal (Hill) is an area of gorgeous mountains, valleys and lakes, while in the south is the Terai, a vast plain of alluvial soil which comprises dense forests, national parks, wildlife reserves and other conservation areas.Temperatures and rainfall differ from area to area, as do the people, Nepal's geographic diversity and varied climate being mirrored in its 23.2 million people who belong to more than 60 castes/ethnic groups. Nepal is constitutional monarchy with full adult franchise. The executive, legislative and judiciary bodies function exercise indepenent rights. There is two tier legislative system, the Upper House, the Rastriya Sabha, consisting of 60 members, the Lower House, the Pratinidhi Sabha, being the House of Representatives with members elected from 205 electoral constituencies distributed through 75 districts. The government is headed by the elected Prime Minister.

Geographcially the country is divided into three regions; Mountain, Hill and Terai in which live 7, 44 and 49 percent of the population respectively. Based on the area of voting districts, these regions constitute 35, 42 and 23 percent of the total land area. There are 5 development regions and 75 administrative districts. Districts are further divided into smaller units, called Village Development Committees (VDC), and Municipalities.Currently, there are 3,914 VDCs and 58 Municipalities. Each VDC comprises 9 wards, while Municipalities range from 9 to 35 wards. Kathmandu is the capital city.

There are huge numbers of peaks, rivers and lakes in the country. The major peaks are - Mount Everest (8850m), Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world and the second highest in the country at 8586m, Lhotse (8516m), Makalu (8463m), Cho Oyu (8201m), Dhaulagiri (8167m), Manaslu (8163m), Annapurna (8091m.), Gaurisankar (7134m) and Machhapuchhre (6996m).

Major rivers are the Koshi, Gandaki, Narayani, Karnali, Mechi, Mahakali, Bagmati and Rapti.Major lakes are Mahendra Tal (Rara Daha), Phewa Tal, Sheyphoksundo Tal, Roopa Tal, Begnas Tal, Satyabati Tal, Khaptad Tal, and Tilicho Tal (the highest lake in the world).The main Glaciers are the Mahalangur, Kumbhakarna, Kanchanjangha, Khumbu and Langtang.

Economic and population condition. Nepal's major exports are pasta, pulses, ginger, oilcake, jute goods such as sacking, carpets (including hand-knitted woollen carpets), ready-made clothing and handicrafts. Unfortunately economic growth has not improved at the same pace as population growth. The current estimated population growth is 2.3% per annum, the growing population masking the gains achieved by developmental activities. Only a little over half (57%) of the population of working age were reported to be economically active at the last count. Of these 81% were engaged in agriculture. But the contribution of non-agricultural activities is gradually increasing. The per-capita GDP is estimated to be about US $240. Nepal is a member of the United Nations and has established diplomatic relation with 113 countries.

Topography : From north to south the terrain changes from the glacial moraines of the Northern Tundra, through an area of temperate climate with terraced fields and meadows in the mid-Hill section to flat fields and sub-tropical jungles. Most rivers flow from north to south with rapids of up to Grade 5 in the mountain rivers.

Special Features : Nepal includes the world's highest mountain and the world's deepest gorge - Mount Everest and Kali Gandaki Gorge. There are 8 of the world's 14 highest mountains (the 8000m peaks) in Nepal. Lord Budhha and Sita were born in Lumbini and Janakpur Dham respectively. The Jyotirlinga of Pashupatinath is in Kathmandu; Lord Muktinath Dham is in Mustang District. Nepal is also the home of Gurkha warriors and the home of the Yeti. Popular Trekking areas are the Annapurna region, to the west, the Langtang Region in central Nepal and the Everest region in the east. The three medieval cities of Patan (Lalitpur), Bhadgaon (Bhaktapur) and Kathmandu lie in the Kathmandu valley.

Flora : there are 6500 species of trees, shrubs and wild flowers in Nepal. To see the best of Nepal's floral glories it is best to come in March and April when the rhododendrons burst into colour and the huge magnolias of eastern Nepal are heavy with white flowers. There are also spectacular orchids, Nepal having over 300 native varieties.

Fauna : More than 800 species of bird breed in Nepal, more than the total number in Canada and the USA combined. The number represents nearly 10% of the world's species! Resident bird numbers are also augmented by migratory species, as well as winter and summer visitors.Places of Interest: the Kathmandu Valley, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Banepa, Kodari, Chitwan, Pokhara, Lumbini, Janakpur, Muktinath, Gosainkunda, the Koshi Tappu and Bardia Wildlife sanctuaries, Everest Base Camp, the Annapurna region, and the Lantang and Helambu regions.

Capital : Kathmandu.Population: 2.3 million people. Multi-lingual and multi-racial.

Language : Nepali is the national language, but most people working in the travel trade understand English.

Religion : Hinduism and Buddhism.Currency: Nepali Rupees, in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 25 50 100, 500 and 1000. At present one US Dollar is equal to 73NRs, but, of course, the Nepalese rupee fluctuates against hard currencies such as the US dollar, the Euro and Pounds Sterling.

Climate : Nepal has four distinct

Seasons : Spring - From March to June. Monsoon - From July to September. Autumn - From October to November Winter - From December to February.

What to wear : Light clothing is recommended for May through October. Warm garments are required from November through February. A poncho, raincoat or umbrellas are essential during the rainy season.

Visa : A visa is required. It can be obtained from Royal Nepalese Embassies or Royal Nepalese Consulates abroad, but can also be obtained on arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu or at entry points for those travelling overland. The entry points are at Kodari for those entering from Tibet, and at several southern checkpoints for those entering from India. Visa can be obtained for single entry, double entry or multiple entries.

Access : Nepal can be reached directly from several major European cities and from other cities of the world. Visitors can fly directly from Paris, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Vienna, Brussels, Osaka, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok, Dhaka and Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Varanasi and Calcutta. By bus there is only one entry point from Tibet whereas there are several entry points for visitors arriving from India.

Airport Tax : There is a departure tax on International as well as Domestic air services. At present the tax is Rs1370 if you are flying to south Asian countries and Rs1700 if you are flying to other international destinations.

Caution : The use and export of narcotics and artifacts of archaeological importance (more than 100 years old) is illegal and strictly discouraged. Clearance for the export of artifacts must be obtained from Nepal's Department of Archaeology.

The cost of our trips : For Camping Treks, and other tour activities, the price includes hotel accommodation on a twin-sharing basis, all the meals, airport pick up and drop-off, sight seeing by private coach/car, the services of a trekking/tour guide, monument & National Park entrance fees, and surface transportation where required. Treks include use of two-man tents, mattresses and sleeping bags, dining and toilet tents, cooking utensils, and offer three meals a day with full guide/cooks/support staff etc.

The cost of our trips excludes :- Air fares, airport departure tax, travel insurance, and special permit fees, provision of high-altitude climbing guides and clothing for high altitude climbing, emergency air evacuation costs, Nepali or India Visas, bar bills or beverages, expenses of a personal nature, tips or any other unforeseen expenses.