Makalu Base Camp Trekking, the fifth highest mountain in the world, Mount Makalu lies at the height of 8463 meters. It is located in the Makalu Barun National Park, which covers an area of 2330 sq. around the Solukhumbu and Sankhuwasabha districts of Nepal. And, the panorama of the highest mountain in the world such as Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse, Mount Chamlang, Makalu and other mountains greets you.
Makalu Base Camp Trek can be fairly challenging in some parts depending upon your level of physical fitness. The outstanding scenery of Makalu Base Camp Trek’s route significantly provides unique cultural heritage and incredible views of mountain peaks. The trek begins with a flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar of Mid-eastern Nepal for half an hour. The trail to Makalu Base Camp Trek envelops the plain, a sub-tropical valley of the Arun River basin to extraordinary temperate passes called Keke La Pass (4230m) and Tutu La Pass (4200m), many edges ascend up from the Barun River valley which is off the beaten mid-hill trails.
Gurung, Rai, and Sherpa are the main habitats in this area. The trails follow the beautiful Barun River valley in the Makalu Barun National Park, crossing the Shipton pass (4127 m) before arriving at Makalu Base Camp, from here views of the south face of Makalu, as well as Everest and Lhotse are really amazing. Also, you will have a fantastic view of mountains, glacier lake and Hungu Valley.
You will be picked up at the airport by one of the Tour and Trekking Nepal staff and driven to your Kathmandu host family or a hotel. Here you will be welcomed into the family, be given your own room and be provided with all your meals while in Kathmandu. This will be your home during your orientation and volunteering in Nepal. With easy bus routes into town and the surrounding countryside, this quiet and safe suburb is the perfect base for your time in Nepal. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We tour Durbar Square, Pashupatinath temple, Swayambhunath stupa and Bouddhanath stupa which are all world heritage sites. The Durbar Square sheds light on the life of the royals in ancient times. Pashupatinath temple is one of the most important places of pilgrimage for all Hindus. Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple and Baudhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world. At noon, we are introduced to our fellow participants and discuss our trip at the Tour and Trekking Nepal office. Overnight in Kathmandu. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
We fly to Tumlingtar after breakfast and meet the rest of the crew members who will also be joining us for the trek. Next, we drive to Chichira, a small Gurung settlement. We take a rest at Chichira as we need to be prepared for the next day’s trek. Overnight stay in Chichira.
We start early in the morning and head towards Num right after a warm breakfast. A moderately paced walk through the picturesque villages and lush mountain forests will take us to Num. A ridge line with great views on both sides and perched on the end, this is Num for us. Overnight stay in Num.
A steep descent through forests and terraced farms takes us to the Barun River. We cross the river and follow an equally steep ascent up the other side again. Often quite hot – the forest in the valleys offers a bit of shade. This is where Makalu Barun National Park begins and where we register our permits. We camp right at the top of the village. Overnight stay in Seduwa.
Ascend the ridge bounded by the Ipsuwa Khola on the west and Kasuwa Khola to the east. Crossing the hillside through quiet villages and passing by small paddy fields, we reach the exotic village of Tashi Gaon. Once there, we are surrounded by a breathtaking Himalayan panorama. Overnight in Tashigaon.
This will be a bit of a tough day as we have to walk on a steep trail in a higher elevation. We will ascend through forests to a stream and then onto a ridge. From here the trail gets even steeper and passes a Kharka (grazing land) and finally follows a series of rough stone stairs and small lakes ascending to the top of the ridge. From here it’s a short way down to Khongma Danda. Overnight stay in Khongma Danda.
The day off will allow some bodily rest before we take on the crossing of the Shipton La the next day. For those who wish to explore the nearby surrounding can walk around the area. Overnight stay in Khongma Danda.
Climb towards the summit of the Shipton La (pass) which takes a few hours to reach. After the lake, Kalo Pokhari (3930m), pass over the Keke La at 4,170m. We can see the marvellous views of Chamlang (7321m), Peak 6 (6,524m) and Peak 7 (6,758m). After crossing the Keke La pass, we descend through the beautiful valley to Dobate. Overnight stay in Dobate.
From Dobate, we pass through the rhododendron forest which leads to the Barun River and the upper reaches of the valley. We should be very careful during the first two hours of the trek as the trail is steep and arduous. We then take a pleasant walk, slowly gaining altitude until we arrive at Yangri Kharka situated at the base of the valley. Overnight stay in Yangri Kharka.
Following a moderate walk to the valley, we pass through yak pastures, lush forests and boulder fields. The valley walls tower imposingly above us during the start of the trek. We pass Merek as we make our way further up and notice a significant rise in the scenic Himalayan views. Overnight stay in Langmale Kharka.
Today is the day we make it to the Base Camp. From Langmale Kharka we make our way up to Shershong and eventually to Makalu Base Camp. The trail is flat with icy glaciers and snow-clad mountains accompanying us. Mount Makalu comes into view as we approach Shershong. As we make our way to the camp, we get to soak in the majestic Himalayan panorama surrounding us. Overnight stay in Makalu Base Camp.
The Base Camp is a rocky barren place with the large Barun Glacier beyond it. From here we can see the magnificent south face of Makalu and the complete panorama of Everest and Lhotse. We can explore the surrounding lakes, and glaciers and go for a short trek up where we may celebrate our accomplishments at the camp itself. Overnight stay in Makalu Base Camp.
We descend down from the base camp and take our last glimpse of Makalu before turning the corner and heading back. On our way down, we pass through Shershong, Langmale Kharka, and Merek and descend down the valley finally stopping at Yangri Kharka. Overnight stay in Yangri Kharka.
From Yangri Kharka we descend through rock falls, green forests and valleys, making our way towards Dobate. We follow the river banks of Barun as we descend down the trail. Overnight stay in Dobate.
We begin the trek with a steep climb from Dobate to Mumbuk (Nambuk) and through a forest of firs and rhododendrons. We then cross the Keke La, Tutu La (Shipton’s Pass) and Kauma La en route. Next, we descend to Khongma Danda again. Overnight stay in Khongma Danda.
The trek continues with frequent long and steep descent cutting through the hillsides. The trail takes us through thick forests and finally making it to the indigenous Sherpa village of Tashigaon. Overnight stay in Tashigaon.
We retrace our steps as we exit the Makalu Barun National Park and descend down to the Barun River. We then cross the hillside and come across villages and settlements as we move further down finally stopping at Seduwa again. Overnight stay in Seduwa.
We leave Seduwa and trek through lush forests towards Num. The trail goes up and down and passes through dense forests and Sherpa villages as we move downwards. Overnight stay in Num.
Again we retrace our footsteps to Chichira from where we can savor the glorious vista of Mount Makalu for the last time. The final return leg of the trek will see us overnight at Tumlingtar, ready for an early departure to Kathmandu the following day. Overnight at Tumlingtar.
Today, we fly back to Kathmandu after our long trek in the mountains. We can rest and relax throughout the day at our hotel or get in touch with our loved ones. In the evening we celebrate our successful journey to the Makalu base camp and back with a farewell dinner. Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Our journey in Nepal comes to an end today! A Tour and Trekking Nepal representative will drop us off at the airport approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight. On our way to home, we have plenty of time to plan our next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
Note: The above-mentioned program itinerary is a sample. The period and cost of tour, trekking, volunteering or internship can be changed or extended as per travellers or volunteers' availability of duration.