FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION

What exactly is a "community trek"?

A community trek is a form of community based tourism, wherein the experience is managed by the local community
and the profits are kept by the community.
The trek is different from other forms of community tourism, though, because we are also owned by the communities
that the trail runs through and all profits from the trail are invested in either maintaining the route or in community
development projects related to infrastructure, health, and education.
The trade group Responsible Travel provides an excellent definition of “community based tourism.”

Can I book a trip directly through you?

Yes, you can book directly through us by emailing us at [email protected] or by visiting Mahabir’s Center
for Nepal Connection in Thamel, Kathmandu. Nepal Connection is located on Mandala Street, across from Himalayan
Java.
Booking directly through us will save you the fees associated with going through a trekking agency (up to several
hundred USD), and you will be more likely to employ a local guide.

How can I pay for the trip?

You can pay for the trek upon meeting us in Kathmandu or Pokhara.

Do I need a guide? A porter?

We advise you to hike with a guide. While revenue from the trek has enabled us to improve trail conditions and place new
directional signs, the trail can still be confusing for a newcomer. Independent trekkers have gotten lost before.
We are currently mapping the trail coordinates, and once this is completed it will be much safer for tourists to trek
independently if enabled by a GPS mapping device. Until then, please consider the risks of trekking independently.
Taking a porter, who will carry your bag, is your decision. We do advise taking a porter if you have health problems or are
concerned about your fitness level. Trekking with a pack for 5+ hours a day on mountainous terrain can be tiring. Our
porters are responsible local residents who are eager to meet you and work with you.

Can I do the community trek year-round?

Yes. Autumn (September-November) and spring (March-May) are considered the best times to trek in Nepal. But, you can
hike this trail during the winter (December-February) and summer (June-August).
The elevations reached during this trek are moderate, making the winter cold bearable so long as you have the right gear.
And, the rain during Spring is also tolerable with the proper gear and mindset. We advise you to consider that the rain is
the strongest during July.
Hiking during the off-season comes with its own perks, like the opportunity during the summer to interact with locals
gathering the sprouting caterpillar fungus, also known by the Tibetan term yartsa gunbu (translated: summer grass,
winter worm).

What permits do I need for this trail?

You will need either one or two permits, both available at Tourism Board offices in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and
Bhrikutimandap. The permits are those associated with the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) and the
Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).
If you plan to continue trekking past Tikot, in the direction of Khibang, you will enter the ACAP and will need to acquire
the ACAP permit prior to your trip. If you do not plan to continue trekking past Tikot, you will only need to acquire the
TIMS permit.
To apply for TIMS, you need a copy of your passport and two passport sized photos. To apply for the ACAP permit, you
need two passport sized photos. Acquiring the permits at the above mentioned offices should take about two hours.

Can I volunteer in the communities along the trekking route?

Yes. If you have an interest in volunteering in one of the villages along the trekking route, we would be happy to have
you. Our greatest need is English language teachers in our public schools. If you have a special interest area, we will work
with you to find a volunteer opportunity that meets your interest.
Please email us at [email protected] to start a conversation about volunteering. If you develop an interest
in volunteering while trekking, this can also be arranged.
You can volunteer in our communities for days to months, depending on your availability and skills.

How difficult is the terrain?

The trail is oIen described as “moderate,” accessible by even the lesser fit who are willing to challenge themselves and
be a little sore. Parts of the trail are descents, parts ascents, and parts Nepali flat (little up, little down). The trail changes
from dirt path to stone stairs.
The largest climb is about 600 meters, from Galeswor (900m) to Banskhara (1526m). The maximum sleeping elevations
along the trail route are Mohare Danda (3210m) and Khopra Ridge (3640m). The maximum encountered elevation is that
at Khayer Lake (4620m).
Our guides and porters are trained to notice the signs of altitude sickness and understand the need to for the body to
acclimate. The Himalayan Rescue Association website offers information about altitude sickness.

Can you arrange travel for my trip to the trailhead?

Yes, we can arrange private travel for you from Kathmandu or Pokhara to Ghumaune Lake, where you will begin your
trek. If you choose to come from Pokhara and have booked through us, your guide can meet you in Pokhara and ride
with you to the trial head in Ghumaune Lake .
When making your inquiry about the trek, include that you would like us to arrange your travel.
If you prefer to travel independently to Ghumaune Lake, there are regular buses and jeeps driving to the nearby city of
Beni. From Beni, you will have to take a short bus or jeep ride to meet your guide in Ghumaune Lake.

Can my trip include the community trek and other trails?

Yes. You can trek along the Khopra and Mohare trial and choose to split off to take another trekking trial. The community
trek is a trail and network of accommodation developed and maintained by the communities it runs through. There are
other trails in the area that are maintained by the government and host commercial accommodation.
If you wish to hike along parts of the Khopra and Mohare Community Trek and use the associated facilities, we ask that
you arrange your accommodation with us by contacting us at [email protected] Itʼs best to make contact
ahead of your planned stay so we can ensure there is space to accommodate you.

Can I decide during the trek to extend it?

Yes, you can extend your trek. AIer experiencing the sunrise at Mohare Danda or village life in Tikot, you may decide to
add days to your itinerary. If you booked through us and are traveling with one of our guides, we will always work to
accommodate your requests. The same is true if you are trekking independently.
We ask that you contact us at [email protected] and update us on your plans so we can manage your trip.
Please consider whether you have acquired the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit.
If you are hiking with an outside trekking agency, please consult them.

What are the rooms like in the homestays and lodges?

Rooms in both the homestays and community lodges rooms meet western standards, with raised beds and windows.
The rooms are double occupancy, but individuals can occupy their own room at a greater cost. Guests are provided with
fresh linens and a padlock for the door.
The guest rooms in homestays are nearby but separate from the family home, allowing guests and hosts to keep their
own space. Travelers are encouraged to interact with their hosts – members of the community who are happy to have
them.

Do homestays and lodges have western toilets? What about showers?

Most of our homestays and lodges do have a raised western toilet and a Nepali toilet available, allowing the traveler to
choose according to their sensibilities.
All sleeping stops have showers or bucket showers available, with the exception of Mohare Danda, where water
management is difficult. Depending on the stop, a heated shower could cost you about 150 NPR while an unheated
shower is available for free.
Our facilities are kept clean and tidy by a dedicated local staff.

Is there cell service? WiFi?

There is intermittent cell service along the trail. Should you employ one of our local guides for your trek, they will have a
cell phone connected to the network.
As for WiFi: In 2001, Dr. Mahabir Pun began the ambitious project of bringing wireless internet to these remote
communities. This was before telephone lines reached the area and when electricity was even less reliable. Because of
his efforts and those of other community members and supporters, dining halls along the trail have a reliable WiFi signal
that you are welcome to enjoy.

Can you assure me I wonʼt be nudged along by your guides?

If you book through us, we can guarantee you the company of a guide who is responsive to your pace and ready to
accommodate your desired pace should there be disagreement. We know you are trekking during your holiday to enjoy
the beauty of the place.
Read what guests have said about one of our local guides, Rajkumar, on his personal website.

Iʼve heard Mohare Danda should be considered as an alternative to Poon Hill?

Weʼve heard this too, and we agree.
Mohare Danda offers a sunrise view comparable to that from Poon Hill. From Mohare Danda, the Dhaulagir range,
Annapurna range, and Pokhara valley are visible. The trail from Mohare Danda down to Danda Kharka takes you through
an otherworldly rhododendron forest (bloom March-May), a similar perk to the popular Poon Hill.
Poon Hill can draw 300 people each day during peak season. Mohare Danda hosts a maximum capacity of 40 trekkers. At
Mohare Danda, you will stay at community homestays and lodges, as opposed to commercial hotels at Poon Hill.
To reach Poon Hill for sunrise requires an oIen congested 40-to-60-minute predawn hike from the closest village,
Gorehpani. The sunrise view from Mohare Danda is visible only a few meters from the dining hall and lodge.

What gear should I bring?

During any time of year we advise you to come prepared with: hiking shoes, slippers or sandals to rest your feet in aIer
trekking, several pairs of tall wool socks, several pairs of underpants, two quick drying tops (at least one with long
sleeves), long pants suitable for trekking, long pants to relax in aIer trekking, a waterproof jacket and waterproof bag
cover (or a poncho that serves both purposes), a warm jacket, at least one 1L water bottle, water purification tablets, a
flashlight, a hat with a bill, sunglasses, trekking sticks (optional), snacks (like nuts, candy, and dried fruit), and personal
hygiene and medical items.
During the colder months, we advise you to also bring: another jacket to layer for warmth, leggings to go under your
trekking pants, a warm cap, and a sleeping bag.