Himalayan Adventure - Tibet to Nepal
From R53 495 per person - 22 Days, from South Africa
This unique journey of discovery will take you on an adventure through the famous Himalaya region from Tibet to Nepal. Starting in Chengdu with a visit to the famous Panda Reserve, we will be entertained by these charming but endangered animals. A short flight over the Tibetan Plateau brings us to the mystical Tibetan temples in Lhasa where we can join the hundreds of pilgrims performing the Kora, or circle, of the Bhakor Monastery. Leaving Lhasa we visit the Kumbum and fortress at Gyantse before continuing to Shigatse, seat of the Panchen Lama and the location of the extensive Tashilumpo Monastery. Our journey now becomes more adventurous as we travel to the Rhongpu Monastery and Everest Base Camp. We cross the border to Nepal at Zhangmu and marvel at the change in scenery from the stark dry lands of Tibet to the fertile lands of Nepal, dotted with many small waterfalls. The city of Kathmandu is our resting place for several nights and a delight of mediaeval architecture. From here we fly to the calm and serenity of Pokhara and soak in the beauty of the Himalayas, so close you could almost touch them. A drive alongside the Trisuli River brings us to the Royal Chitwan National Park where the rare One-Horned Rhinos can be seen and maybe a glimpse of the elusive Bengal Tiger. We leave Chitwan for a brief visit to view the Himalaya at sunset and sunrise at the Daman Resort before arriving back in Kathmandu and the end of our journey.
Days 1-2: South Africa to Chengdu
Fly overnight to Chengdu for 2 nights.
Day 3: Chengdu
This morning visit the famous Panda Reserve to see these animals being reared in surroundings reminiscent of their native habitat. This afternoon we take an excursion to Leshan to view the Grand Buddha, hewn from the side of Lingyun Mountain.
Day 4: Chengdu to Lhasa
Today we fly to Lhasa, the capital and the spiritual home of Tibet. This afternoon is at leisure to help acclimatise to the altitude.
Day 5: Lhasa
Visit the Jokhang Temple, the most sacred and spiritual in Tibet and wander amongst the pilgrims at the colourful, mediaeval Barkhor Markets.
Day 6: Lhasa
Today we explore the Potala Palace, the ‘Crown Jewel of Tibet’. With thousands of rooms filled with intricate shrines and frescoes it is the official winter residence of the Dalai Lama.
Day 7: Lhasa to Shigatse
Leave Lhasa for Shigatse, the 2nd largest city in Tibet. Stop at Gyantse along the way to visit the famous Gyantse Kumbum, a unique shrine.
Day 8: Shigatse to Shegar
Today we visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery. From here we drive to Shegar, passing small Tibetan villages and ruins of ancient dzongs along the way. Upon arrival in Shegar, we transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay. This is our last stop before we reach Everest Base Camp.
Day 9: Shegar to Old Tingri
Today we drive to Old Tingri, crossing the Guela Pass and its magnificent panoramic views of the eastern Himalaya. We continue our drive to Pasum, where we visit the monastic village of Rangbuk. Next, we enjoy an excursion to the Everest Base Camp to experience breathtaking views and where there will be plenty of opportunities for photographs, weather permitting. Later this evening we transfer to our hotel in Old Tingri. (The main point here is a very simple boxed lunch provided which we will try to organise for the group to eat this at the base camp).
Day 10: Old Tingri to Zhangmu
We continue our drive to Zhangmu via Nyalam. Upon arrival in Zhangmu we check into our hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 11: Zhangmu to Kathmandu
Today we drive to Kathmandu, crossing the Friendship Bridge. After clearing customs and immigration, we will be greeted by our Nepalese guide and transferred to our Kathmandu hotel for the next 3 nights.
Day 12: Kathmandu – Patan
Today we visit the 2nd largest city in Nepal, Patan, located on the southern bank of the Bagmati River just a few kilometres from Kathmandu. Whilst here, we visit the World Heritage listed former Royal Palace and Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa and Bodhnath Stupa.
Day 13: Kathmandu – Bhaktapur
After breakfast we visit the 9th Century built town of Bhaktapur, a store house of mediaeval art and architecture including the Golden Gate at the Palace of 55 Windows. We also visit the temple of Changu Narayan, the oldest temple in the valley dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Pashupatinath Temple, famous for its shrine of Shiva.
Day 14: Kathmandu to Pokhara
Depart Kathmandu this morning and drive to Pokhara. Upon arrival enjoy a tour around this small town and the scenery of the Himalaya region. Enjoy the view of the mountain peaks of Machhapuchhre or ‘Fish Tail’, the Annapurna and Phewa Lake the 2nd largest lake in Nepal.
Day 15: Pokhara to Chitwan National Park
This morning we drive to Chitwan National Park, long regarded as the 3rd biggest attraction in Nepal and one of the last refuges to the one horned rhinos. This afternoon enjoy a briefing on the national park and the activities on offer.
Days 16-17: Chitwan National Park
Over the next 2 days we enjoy the lodge’s comprehensive programme of activities, including elephant bathing and safaris, jungle walks and bird watching.
Day 18: Chitwan National Park to Daman
Today we leave Chitwan National Park and drive to Daman. Upon arrival we check in to our hotel for an overnight stay in the wonderful hill country.
Day 19: Daman to Kathmandu
Today we leave Daman and return to Kathmandu. Upon arrival the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 20: Kathmandu - Dhulikhel
Enjoy the morning at leisure. After lunch we drive to Dhulikhel, visiting the small village of Thimi en route. In Dhulikhel we visit Newari houses and a local market.
Day 21: Depart Kathmandu
Transfer to the airport for our flight to South Africa.
Day 22: Arrive Johannesburg
Arrive home this morning.
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