Nepal’s Government has declared the Manaslu Region (between Jagat and Dharapani) a restricted area to control tourism in the region. As a result, independent trekkers are not allowed in Manaslu and trekkers are subject to obtaining a special entry permit.
The government rules also state there must be a minimum of two trekkers in a group, accompanied by a local guide. Additionally, your permit must be processed through a registered agency. Freelance guides cannot issue the necessary permits for the Manaslu Circuit.
Three different permits are required for the trek, and an additional one for Tsum Valley, should you decide to merge the two treks into one big one!
1. Special Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu (Manaslu RAP)
This Manaslu trek permit is required from Jagat until you cross Sama Gaun. Once you cross the village of Sama you need another entry permit (ACAP)! The price for the Manaslu RAP depends on the number of days you spend between Jagat and Dharapani. The last checkpoint for RAP is in Sama Gaun.
- September to November: USD 100 per person for the first seven days and an additional USD 15 per person per day from the eighth day onwards.
- December to August: USD 75 per person for the first seven days and an additional USD 10 per person per day from the eighth day onwards.
You do not need a printed photograph for the Manaslu RAP, as it will be uploaded online and will be printed on the permit itself.
2. Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP Permit)
This Manaslu trek permit is required from Philim, where the Manaslu Conversation Area starts. The price is the same throughout the year: USD 30 per person. Also, there is no restriction or change in price with a change in the number of days you spend inside MCAP.
A printed photograph is required for the MCAP permit.
3. Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP Permit)
This Manaslu trek permit is required from Dharapani until you exit ACAP in Beshi Sahar. The price is the same throughout the year: USD 30 per person. Also, there is no restriction or change in price with a change in number of days you spend inside ACAP.
Similar to MCAP, a printed photograph is required for the ACAP permit.
After obtaining the RAP and these two conservation areas entry permits, there is no need to obtain a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) card unless you are heading toward the Annapurna Circuit from Dharapani.
Note: hiring a guide is not mandatory for Annapurna and you can trek on your own. However, for your own safety, we recommend you take at least a porter. Check how Hayley (a client of Magical Nepal) compares the Manaslu trek with Annapurna Circuit.
Magical Nepal frequently receives questions about the permits for Manaslu. Pradeep, who has trekked Manaslu three times, answers all the questions below. Also, take a look at his thirteen days Manaslu Trek Report here. Additionally, check the complete guide for Manaslu here.
Manaslu Trek Permit Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where can I obtain the necessary permits?
You cannot issue an individual trekking permit for Manaslu. Your agency will carry out the necessary process and have your permit issued for you. Scroll further down if you would like details of how permits for Manaslu are issued.
2. Do I need a TIMS Card for Manaslu?
No, you don’t need a TIMS Card. However, if you continue towards the Annapurna Circuit from Dharapani then you will need a TIMS, but the same ACAP Permit can be used for the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
3. Why do I need an Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit for the Manaslu Trek?
You will trek to Beshi Sahar from Dharapani (within ACA) as a part of the regular Manaslu Circuit Trek. And although you will trek only two days in the Annapurna Conservation Area, you still need to obtain a permit.
4. How much does the permit for Manaslu cost?
Permits for both Manaslu and the Annapurna Conservation Area cost USD 30 per person for each area unless you are a member of SAARC country. However, for the restricted area permit, the price varies depending on the number of days you spend between Jagat and Sama Gaun.
5. How many photographs do I need?
You need two printed passport-sized photographs and a scanned photograph. Printed photographs will be used for ACAP and MCAP, whereas the scanned photograph will be upload on the online application form for the Manaslu RAP.
6. How long does it take to issue the permit?
Normally, it will take at a minimum of one and a half hours to issue the permit. Sometimes the online system goes down and everything needs to be done manually, which might take couple of hours.
7. Can permits be issued in advance before we arrive in Nepal?
n general, permits cannot be issued in advance, as the Department of Immigration needs to verify the details with the original passport and required visa details. However, in certain circumstance, it can be issued in advance. For this, we require a scanned copy of your passport’s main page, e-copy of flight tickets to Nepal and visa number if you have already obtained one in your home country.
7. Can you issue a permit for a single trekker?
No, not at all! We cannot issue a permit for a single trekker. There is a practice of a “ghost” permit for single trekkers. The idea is to pay for two permits and arrange a passport of the non-trekker to issue the two permits. Once the permit is issued you can trek with a guide.
8. Do I need a separate permit for the Tsum Valley?
Yes, a separate permit is required for the Tsum Valley. This will cost USD 40 per person per week an additional USD 7 per person per day from September to November and USD 30 per person per week and an additional USD 7 per person per day from December to August.
9. Can a permit be issued on a Saturday and any other public holiday?
No, the Department of Immigration remains closed on public holidays. Thus, we need to issue the permit in advance if there is a long public holiday coming up.
Here is a bonus! Read about the background process for issuing the necessary trekking permit:
Step 1: Fill the online application permit form
- Fill up the online application for the trekking permit.
- Fill up the separate online application for ACAP and MCAP.
- Address and send the application to the Director General, Department of Immigration.
- Provide the printed itinerary with trekking dates.
- Provide a photocopy of your passport’s main page and visa page.
- Arrange American dollars! Write down the serial number and denomination of each note on the agent’s letter head. (Seriously!)
Step 2: Go to the Department of Immigration office with the following documents
- Head to the Department of Immigration, located in Anamnagar.
- Submit the American dollars with the letterhead containing all the serial numbers to the Global IME Bank (at the Immigration Department) and collect the deposit slip.
- Verify the official document; have the agencies up-to-date guide insurance, tax clearance and valid authority certificate from the central bank.
- The first officer will verify the details of trekkers submitted online with the passport and then print a new slip.
- The second officer will again verify the details and forward the file to the Head of Immigration.
- The Head (Director General of Immigration) will make the final verification and issue his signature.
- Back to the first officer who will now print the individual permits and put on the stickers.
- He will also fill up the details on the stickers and the Second Officer will sign them.
- Now the first officer applies the final stamp to the sticker and your Manaslu RAP is ready!
Wait, we still need to issue permits for ACAP and MCAP.
Step 3: Go to Nepal Tourism Board to issue MCAP and ACAP permits
This is easy as we will just drive to the Nepal Tourism Board and pay the permit fee in local currency. Submit the printed online application form, and they will print a permit. Then we will place your printed photograph and they will sign the form and we are ready to go!
Get in touch with me if you have any questions regarding permits for the Manaslu trek. We also operate Manaslu trek at an affordable price. Get your Manaslu Circuit trek information and quote here.