Makalu Base Camp Trek

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Trip Overview


Overview

The Makalu Base Camp Trek is an exhilarating and challenging adventure that takes you to the pristine and remote region of Makalu-Barun National Park in eastern Nepal. This trek also offers a unique opportunity to explore the untamed beauty of the Himalayas and witness breathtaking landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and traditional local cultures. The journey begins with a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar, followed by a thrilling drive to the village of Num. From there, the trek also gradually ascends through lush forests, picturesque valleys, and terraced farmlands, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural grandeur of the region. As you venture higher, the trail unfolds spectacular vistas of snow-capped peaks, including the majestic Mount Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world. The trekking route traverses through traditional Sherpa villages like Seduwa, Tashi Gaon, and Khongma, where you can experience the warmth and hospitality of the locals. Along the way, you'll also pass suspension bridges, glacial rivers, and cascading waterfalls, adding to the charm of the journey. The diverse wildlife of Makalu-Barun National Park will captivate you, with chances to spot endangered species like the red panda, Himalayan black bear, and elusive snow leopard. As you approach Makalu Base Camp, located at an elevation of approximately 4,870 meters (15,978 feet), you'll also be rewarded with awe-inspiring panoramic views of towering peaks, including Everest, Lhotse, and Kanchenjunga. The sight of the massive Barun Glacier and the surrounding Himalayan wilderness will leave you humbled and inspired. The descent follows a slightly different trail, offering new perspectives and allowing you to retrace your steps while cherishing the memories of the journey. The trek concludes with a drive back to Tumlingtar and a flight to Kathmandu.

Conclusion and Summary

The Makalu Base Camp Trek is a challenging endeavor, requiring good physical fitness and previous trekking experience. However, the rewards are immeasurable, as you embark on an unforgettable adventure in one of the most remote and captivating regions of Nepal. It's an opportunity to connect with nature, immerse yourself in local cultures, and create lifelong memories in the lap of the Himalayas.

Trip Highlights


  • Situated eastern part of Nepal, between Sagarmatha and Makalu-Barun National Parks.
  • An alternative approach to the Everest Base Camp via Salpa Pass (3350m).
  • Un-spoilt culture, varieties of vegetation, rare wildlife, and “off the beaten Trail”.
  • Nearby Tibet border; Ancient Buddhist monastery, Chorten, and Mane wall.
  • An amazing view including the top of the world Mt.  Everest (8,848.86m), Makalu, and others.
  • Scenic flight Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and end Lukla to Kathmandu
  • Stunning views of waterfalls, Rivers and Gorges.
  • Culturally rich Solu-Khumbu region
  • Encounter local villages and get a glimpse into the lives of the Sherpa people
  • Famous for its rustic lodges and teahouses
  • Visit Monasteries and Stupas offering Religious and Spiritual respites and significance.

Itinerary


Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1400m) and Transfer to Hotel

When you arrive at the Kathmandu International Airport, a representative from Friendship World Trek will welcome you and drive you to one of the city’s three-star hotels. You may take a nap at your hotel or wander through Thamel to finish off any last-minute shopping. Following that, you may come and see us at our office to learn more about the Makalu Base Camp Trek itinerary.

Day 02: Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing and Trekking Preparation as well as Permit Paper Work Day

Your Makalu Base Camp Trek Guide will meet you at your accommodation after breakfast for an introduction. Briefings on the walk and other important information will be provided at this pre-trip meeting. Please, check your insurance details and have a copy of your travel medical insurance policy with you. For the Makalu Base Camp Trek Permit, you must bring your passport, three pictures the size of a passport, and proof of travel insurance. During your leisure time, you may relax or go exploring in the Kathmandu Valley for any last-minute shopping. If you desire it, a tour to one of Kathmandu’s world-heritage monuments, such as Swayambhunath Stupa, Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, or Kathmandu Durbar Square, will be organized.

Day 03: Flight from Kathmandu (1400m) to Tumlingtar (410m) 35-40 min Flight and Drive to Num (1560m) 3-4hrs

You will be picked up from your hotel and transported to the airport in Kathmandu where you will board a domestic aircraft to Tumlingtar to begin your Makalu Base Camp Trek. The trip normally lasts for 35 minutes, and observe the ranges of snow capped peaks from Ganesh Himal to Mt. Everest, Makalu & Mt. Kanchenjunga . To reach Kandbari, a significant town in the area and home to the government authorities, you will need to travel for around 30 minutes up a winding, hilly route.

You continue on a twisting dirt road until it reaches its highest point at 1,960 meters before descending to Chichila at 1,900 meters, a little settlement with a police checkpoint where you must show your Makalu Base Camp Trekking permit. There are lovely views of the slopes covered in trees in the area. From here, it’s a rocky ride for the majority of the way to Num since the road begins to degrade from Chichila.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • 3 to 4 Hours Drive
  • 40 Kilometers

Day 04: Trek from Num (1560m) to Seduwa (1500m) (5-6hrs)

Today, you will travel a lengthy, steep descent to the Arun River and a lengthy ascent to Seduwa. The Makalu Base Camp Trek trail is on large stone stairs all the way to the river at 770 meters and descends through cardamom fields. After crossing the suspension bridge over the Arun River, you will start the arduous ascent to Seduwa, through forests of enormous bamboo and humming village activity. In order to check your permit, your guide will go to the Makalu-Barun National Park checkpoint. Seduwa has a school, several homes, a few businesses, and a few tea houses strewn around the mountain.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • 5 to 6 Hours
  • 8 Kilometers

Day 05: Trek from Seduwa (1500m) to Tashigaon (2100m) (5-6hrs)

Without the strenuous ascents and descents like yesterday, today’s trek is wonderful. As you approach the Sherpa settlement, you will start up a trail with numerous stone steps and pass by a number of mani walls. Your Makalu Base Camp Trek Route will go through rhododendron, and bamboo woods, as well as several tiny farms are strewn across the slope and cardamom plantations. Today’s trek is definitely interesting and uneven. You will arrive at the little community of Chyaksa Danda at 1,900m in around two hours.

You may occasionally have to cross certain streams on sturdy wood bridges while walking through areas of a deep forest. Although getting there takes longer than you may expect, as you contour on an uneven trail, you will eventually see your goal, Tashigaon, on the slope ahead. You eventually make your way down to a log bridge just before making the last ascent of stone stairs to Tashigaon.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • 5 to 6 Hours
  • 8 Kilometers

Day 06: Trek from Tashigaon (2100m) to Khongma Danda (3500m) (5-6hrs)

You will leave Tashigaon and climb up some stone stairs to start your Makalu Base Camp Trek. You eventually cross a log bridge and keep climbing through a breathtaking rhododendron woodland. You arrive in Dhara, which has a tea house and is located at 2,867m, after traveling for about three hours. Since this is your only opportunity to stop for refreshments until reaching Khongma, you probably have your lunch there.

After leaving Dhara, it takes about an hour of difficult climbing to reach Unshisa at 3,200m, where you cross a huge rock. More arduous hiking on stone stairs through a rhododendron woodland is required from Unshisa. After several hours of laboriously climbing from Unshisha, you finally arrive at a stone rest area with prayer flags, and another 45 minutes of walking will take you to Khongma Danda at 3500m. There are three lodges in Khongma, and this location could also have a lot of snow.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • 5 to 6 Hours
  • 7.2 Kilometers

Day 07: Rest and Acclimatization Day at Khongma Danda (3500m)

We strongly advise you to go up to the Khongma La today since appropriate acclimatization is crucial. Today is the day for acclimatization, according to your Makalu Base Camp Trek itinerary. You leave your tea house and start walking through rhododendron bushes up stone stairs till you reach the pass at 3,890m. You should be able to get to the pass in about an hour. If you are eager, your guide will urge you to go a bit farther. You then return to Khongma, fit and well-acclimatized, ready to take on the four passes tomorrow, the first of which is, of course, the Khongma La.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 08: Trek from Khongma Danda (3500m) to Dobate (3068m) OR Day 08: Trek from Khongma Danda (3500m) to Mumbak/ Nambuk (3400m)

Today is a particularly wonderful day since you will be traversing four high passes with airy traverses and dramatic ridge portions that provide nearly nonstop breathtaking vistas of snow-capped peaks. Your first pass of the day, the 3,890m Khongma La, is reached after about an hour of climbing through rhododendron bushes. Makalu and Chamlang may be seen from Khongma La Pass. Before beginning its ascent into the second pass, your Makalu Base Camp Trek Route will drop for a bit. After climbing some challenging stone stairs, Sano Pokhari Danda, at 4,105 meters, is reached, with Sano Pokhari Lake below.

The Shipton La, which is 4,200 meters above sea level, is reached after several undulations. A mani wall and cairn next to the shelter serve as markers for the pass. To reach Kalo Pokhari Lake at 4,080m, you will descend across less severe terrain. Hindu pilgrims who are traveling there for the Janai Purnima Festival will find it decorated with prayer flags. Your final pass of the day, the Keke La at 4,170m, is a simpler ascent from the lake. After around another 45 minutes of descent, you will arrive at your lodge in Dobate, which is a much-needed sight after the arduous four-pass climb!

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • 6 to 7 Hours
  • 7.6 Kilometers

OR

We have a superb view of snow capped mountains and of the surrounding landscapes. Our trek follows a gradual trail with few ups and down pass through the Thulo Pokhari (big pond) and Sano Pokhari (small pond). In the heavy snow fall, the path from here can be quite misleading and it will be difficult to find the trail sometimes. We walk further cross the Keke La pass (4230m) Tutu-la (4,200m) where there is a Chorten. Then we walk downhill back to vegetation, a small clearing place for camping in the middle of the woods of pines, hemlock, birch and rhododendrons to reach at Mumbuk. After having dinner go to bed at Tea house.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • 3,400m
  • Trekking
  • 14.3 Km

Day 09: Trek from Dobate (3068m) to Yangri Kharka (3557m) OR Day 09: Trek from Mumbak (3400m) to Yangri Kharka (3557m)

This morning’s descent will take you through rhododendron and pine woods, which will be really enjoyable. Through the woodland, there is an abrupt slope that might be treacherous if there is still snow on the ground. You will eventually arrive at the river, where you will start your Makalu Base Camp Trek on a trail that runs beneath a big landslide region. You arrive at the tea house at Themathang Kharka, 3,500m, after a short climb.

From Dobate, it takes around four hours to get here. Just before you get to Themathang, there is a magnificent waterfall. From here, you must continue walking for a while until reaching a wooden bridge that spans the Baron Khola. The river is now on your left as the path undulates. You may get to your overnight lodging in the meadows of Yangri Kharka in around 1.5 hours from the tea store in Themathang.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • 5 to 6 Hours
  • 9.7 Kilometers

OR

The day begins with a sharp descent down a wooden narrow valley and continues on to cross the Barun Khola just beyond Tamatan Kharka. It can also be slippery with occasional rock falls so you will have to walk carefully. After this you follow the Barn Khola along its northern bank. This trail goes through the seasonal settlement of Yangle Kharka. Staying at tea house for the night.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • 3,557m
  • Trekking
  • 15 Km

Day 10: Trek from Yangri Kharka (3557m) to Langmale Kharka (4410m)

The stroll will be nice and level, with the river on your left and the alluring aroma of juniper accompanying you. The Makalu Base Camp Trekking Trail is lined with a variety of vibrant prayer flags. Peak 4, Peak 6, Peak 7, and Yaupa dominate the vista ahead as the towering cliffs climb on either side of you. A visual feast of craggy snow-covered mountains, sheer cliffs, waterfalls, and sacred caves awaits you today.

After around 2.5 hours of trekking, the route widens as you pass the fields of Jhak Kharka, Yak Kharka, and finally Merek, where a welcoming tea house gradually appears. From Merek, it will take around two hours to go to your tea house in Langmale. Peak 7 serves as an amazing background to the lodge rooms, adding to the area’s exquisite vistas. A prayer flag-covered mani wall is located just in front of the line of rooms.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • 5 to 6 Hours
  • 10.5 Kilometers

Day 11: Trek from Langmale Kharka (4410m) to Makalu Base Camp (4870m)

You will start your ascent on a sound course for your Makalu Base Camp Trek route. As you zigzag your way across the valley, maintain the river on your left. There will be a new stunning feature to awe at as you round each corner. While there are some sections where you must step from boulder to boulder, the majority of the time you are on a normal, sandy track. As you go forward, you can see Peak 4. You will arrive at Shershong, at 4,630m, after a few hours of trekking. Shershong makes a nice camping location, and it is a broad, level area with a lockable tiny stone house. The tantalizing sight of Makalu eventually appears.

You will be curious to see the base camp as you navigate a few curves. The lodges will eventually come into view. Your long-awaited goal is reached five minutes after you descend and cross the river. Makalu, the fifth-highest peak in the world, absolutely dominates the scene, as one might anticipate. Around the base camp, it’s common to observe Tibetan snow cocks, hill pigeons, black redstarts, and mountain finches.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • 5 to 6 Hours
  • 8.7 Kilometers

Day 12: Explore Makalu Base Camp (4870m) and Visit Japanese Camp and French Camp

Today, reaching the ridge, which is located around 5,300 meters above the base camp, will provide you with the most beautiful panoramic vistas. You use the log bridge to cross the river, then spend around three hours climbing a hazy, rather ill-defined trail. This vantage point offers spectacular views of Makalu, Peak 7, Peak 6, and Peak 4 as well as Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse, Peak 3, SE Peak, Yaupa. When you have got your fill of mountain drama, return to base camp by following your previous steps.

It should take 4-5 hours to get back and forth. It’s a challenging endeavor because it’s steep and the altitude will definitely hit above 5,000m. There are other gentler choices, including taking a route to see the lakes past base camp. This is a rest day for acclimating so you will have a full day’s rest at the camp or, if you wish, wanders around or some take a small hike. The most scenic walk would be a hike on the right side of the camp for a closer view of Mt. Makalu, Barun Pokhari and the view of the rare face of Everest, the Kanshung face with Lhotse. A one hour steep climb brings you to the large meadow from where you can walk farther up to have a greater view of the mentioned peaks as well as other peaks. You may visit Japanese camp and French camp also. You may also climb a much shorter ridge immediately above base camp, and there is a little hill marked with prayer flags at the head of base camp that is about an hour’s walk out and stroll back.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 13: Trek Back from Makalu Base Camp (4870m) to Yangri Kharka (3557m)

You will leave Mount Makalu’s stunning grandeur behind with a sorrowful heart and start walking back to Yangri Kharka. Getting to the Shershong meadow, which is indicated by a cabin covered in a bright orange tarp, will take around 1.5 hours. You will return to Langmale after another hour or two, where you can have tea and possibly lunch. You can reach the Merek tea house next after 1.15 hours of trekking. Before continuing your Makalu Base Camp Trek Route through pine trees back to Yangri Kharka, it is a good idea to relax here with a cup of tea. From the tea house in Merek, it will take 2 to 3 hours to go to Yangri Kharka.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • 7 to 8 Hours
  • 16 Kilometers

Day 14: Trek from Yangri Kharka (3557m) to Dobate (3068m) OR Day 14: Trek from Yangri Kharka (3557m) to Mumbak (3400m)

It will be a beautiful, leisurely meander today as you follow the river down to the tea house at Themathang, passing a lot of rhododendron shrubs on the way. Just before Themathang, there is a wooden bridge that must be crossed. The journey to Themathang will take around 1.5 hours. The landslide region will eventually need to be traversed, which will take around 1.5 hours. Following a section of undulation, you will begin a hard ascent through the rhododendron woodland. As you get closer to the tea house at Dobate, the elevation gradually eases and becomes gentler along the Makalu Base Camp Trek Route.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • 6 to 7 Hours
  • 9.7 Kilometers

OR

After breakfast, we continue our journey back to Mumbuk. After leaving the Barun Valley it is all uphill to the overnight camp in the midst of the alpine forest of Mumbuk. Here we enjoy the day and stroll around.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • 3,400m
  • Trekking
  • 15Km

Day 15: Trek from Dobate (3068m) to Danda Kharka (2900m)

As per your Makalu Base Camp Trek Itinerary, this is your final chance to experience the mesmerizing vistas of the lofty mountains, including Kangchenjunga. You will start your ascent to the Keke La, which will take about 1.5 hours. Reaching the Shipton La, which is 4,200 meters above sea level, will take a further 1.5 hours. You will reach the huge cairn that marks Sano Pokhari Danda at 4,105m after another hour of contouring around the slope.

You will return to the last pass, the Khongma La at 3,890m, which is identified by a mani wall, after another hour of undulations. You will arrive at Khongma after descending about 250 meters, mostly on stone stairs. In the snow between the rhododendron bushes, keep your eyes out for blood pheasants, which are infrequently spotted. From Khongma, you will descend to Danda Kharka, which will take a further two hours.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • 6 to 7 Hours
  • 10.3 Kilometers

Day 16: Trek from Danda Kharka (2900m) to Seduwa (1500m)

As you leave the mountains and make the long, steep descent down to civilization, you will have time to consider the breathtaking adventure you have just completed. The three-hour journey from Danda Kharka to Tashi Gaun on your Makalu Base Camp Trekking Route will take you through rhododendron trees, steep terrain, and meadows. You will go across terraced farms from Tashi Gaun with lovely mountain vistas. You will traverse a mountainside after leaving the Makalu-Barun National Park, descend the Barun River, travel through bamboo and rhododendron woods, and then arrive at Seduwa, where you will spend the night at a local lodge.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • 7 to 8 Hours
  • 12 Kilometers

Day 17: Trek from Seduwa (1500m) to Num (1560m) and then Drive to Tumlingtar (410m)

All the way down to the Arun River, there will be a long, somewhat difficult trek, mostly on stone stairs. As you descend farther into the forest, the temperature will be quite warm. After crossing the river, you will have to climb all the way back to Num. The path ascends and descends through beautiful woodland before arriving at the town of Num. Drive to Tumlingtar’s scenic surroundings on Nepal’s winding mountain roads. In addition to the breathtaking scene of snow-capped mountains and verdant surroundings, you will also see hillside settlements and terrace farms. Now that you have finished the difficult but worthwhile Makalu Base Camp Trek, you may congratulate yourself.

  • Tea House or Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • 4 to 5 Hours
  • 8.9 Kilometers

Day 18: Fly from Tumlingtar (410m) to Kathmandu (1400m)

Today, you will take a brief, scenic morning flight from Tumlingtar to Kathmandu. You will be taken to the hotel after you arrive in the city. Friendship World Trek will schedule a farewell dinner in the evening to celebrate the accomplishment of the Makalu Base Camp Trek itinerary. Spend your leisure time exploring the city or purchasing gifts for your loved ones back home.

  • 3 Stars Hotel in Thamel
  • Breakfast, and Dinner
  • 35 to 40 Minutes
  • 190 Kilometers

Day 19: Final Departure from Kathmandu

In this pleasant day you may have full day at leisure either relax at hotel or explore the around Thamel. Today is day of ending your journey, so we would like offer you farewell meeting hand over you Trip Certificate, Trekking Permit and TIMS Card for memory of Nepal trip. Today is free or last minute shopping for souvenirs or gift to your family, friends or relatives for you until departure flight/drive.

Three hours before to the flight’s planned departure time, a drop-off in a private tourist car is provided from the hotel to the airport. Our assist will transfer you to the International Airport for your departure flight to your onwards destination, taking with you the memory of a life time. You can extend your stay by selecting a different package from Friendship World Trek.

Price Includes


  • Pick up and drop service from/to Kathmandu International airport
  • Star level 3 night’s Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu twin bed sharing basic.
  • Flight ticket to/from Tumlingtar
  • Accommodation during the trekking Tea House/Homestay
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner during the trek
  • Down jacket, 4 seasonal sleeping bags, and duffel bag (refundable)
  • Government license holders have experienced Local guides with English Speaking and friendly with their food, accommodation, salary, insurance, and equipment.
  • All necessary papers works and permits.
  • All government and local taxes if necessary
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Porter (between every 2 person basis) Max.20-25 kg. Plus their food, accommodation, salary, insurance, and equipment.

Price Excludes


  • International airfare and Nepal Visa fee
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Lunch, and Dinner while you are in Kathmandu
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Personal expenses like Shopping, souvenirs, or gift.
  • Personal expenses e.g. phone calls, laundry, bar bills, and extra porters
  • Tips for guides and porters (expected at the end of Makalu Base Camp Trek)
  • All kinds of cold and hot drinks including drinking water, Tea, coffee, Chocolate, Cookies, dessert, Phone calls, laundry, and hot showers during the trek.
  • Optional trips and sightseeing if extend.
  • Things which don’t mention above, in our services (Trip Cost Includes)
  • Personal mountaineering gears.
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