Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

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Starts at: Taplejung Ends at: Khamdime
Trek Region: Kanchenjunga Transport: Flight
Duration: 22 Days Trip Grade: Challenging
Max Altitude: 5143 m / 16873 ft (Pangpema) Accommodation: Basic Tea House

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Highlights

  • Explore the less traversed Eastern mountainous regions of Nepal
  • Walk past the popular glacial lakes in the region
  • Amazing time walking through the diverse flora and fauna
  • Meditate in Ramtang and Oktang Monasteries after your tiring walks
  • Have an amazing time on the lap of the giant peaks

The Kanchenjunga Circuit trek visits both the north and south base camps of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world at 8,586m.

Due to the fact this is a remote area trek, a good level of fitness and some trekking experience is desirable. Yet despite of its remoteness, trekkers gain insight into peoples’ way of life and can visit Ramtang and Oktang Monasteries.

On the way, the landscape is filled with rivers; waterfalls; green meadows; rhododendron, birch and pine forests; the Yalung Glacier, and of course, visitors are accompanied on the route by the majestic mountains.

Kanchenjunga itself lies on the far eastern side of Nepal, near the border with Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state in the north-eastern part of India. Until mid-1800, it was thought Kanchenjunga was the highest peak in the world.

This area was closed to trekkers until the mid-1980. Today the region is protected by the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area and a special trekking permit is required. With these restrictions, the beautiful and unique flora and fauna of this area is still in pristine condition today.

With regards to the mountains themselves, in addition to the main peak of Kanchenjunga, there are four subsidiary summits exceeding 8,000m, the most important being Kanchenjunga West, also known as Yalung Kang (8,505m). Also found in this area are approximately twenty peaks exceeding 7,000m, the highest being Kambachen (7,903m), Janu (7,710m), Jongsong (7,483m), Kabru (7,353m), Tent Peak (7,365m) and the Twins (7,350m).

In addition, there are numerous peaks over 6,000m. Amongst this impressive cluster of peaks are five major glacial systems. Of these, Zumu, Talung and Rathong flow into Sikkim while to the west, the Kanchenjunga and Yalung glaciers flow into the mighty Tamor River of Nepal.

This just adds to the fact trekking in Kanchenjunga is an unforgettable experience where trekkers get right into the heart of the remote, less trekked, Himalaya mountains and valleys.

With the recent addition to the trekking map of the Great Himalayan Trail, tourism is being promoted in this, as well as other, remote areas so there is the opening up of more teahouses on the route. While this is positive for the local communities, now would be a good time to go to Kanchenjunga before more trekkers ‘discover’ the area!

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu to Bhadrapur (Flight) to Ilam (Drive)

Ilam – 1677 m / 5501 ft – 5 hrs

Day 2: Ilam to Taplejung (Drive)

Taplejung – 1820 m / 5971 ft – 5 hrs

Day 3: Taplejung to Chirwa

Chirwa – 1270 m / 4166 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: Chirwa to Lelep

Lelep – 1860 m / 6102 ft – 7 hrs

Day 5: Lelep to Amjilosa

Amjilosa – 2510 m / 8234 ft – 5 hrs

Day 6: Amjilosa to Gyabla

Gyabla – 2730 m / 8956 ft – 4 hrs

Day 7: Gyabla to Ghunsa

Ghunsa – 3595 m / 11794 ft – 4 hrs

Day 8: Acclimatization Day

Ghunsa – 3595 m / 11794 ft – 4 hrs

Day 9: Ghunsa to Kambachen

Kambachen – 4100 m / 13451 ft – 4 hrs

Day 10: Acclimatization Day

Kambachen – 4100 m / 13451 ft – 4 hrs

Day 11: Kambachen to Lhonak

Lhonak – 4785 m / 15698 ft – 4 hrs

Day 12: Day Trip to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp

Lhonak – 4785 m / 15698 ft – 8 hrs

Day 13: Lhonak to Ghunsa

Ghunsa – 3595 m / 11794 ft – 7 hrs

Day 14: Ghunsa to Sele Le

Sele Le – 4390 m / 14402 ft – 5 hrs

Day 15: Sele Le to Cheram

Cheram – 3870 m / 12696 ft – 8 hrs

Day 16: Day Trip to Kanchenjunga South Base Camp

Cheram – 3870 m / 12696 ft – 6 hrs

Day 17: Cheram to Torongding

Torongding – 2080 m / 6824 ft – 4 hrs

Day 18: Torongding to Yamphuding

Yamphuding – 1980 m / 6496 ft – 8 hrs

Day 19: Yamphuding to Khebang

Khebang – 1910 m / 6266 ft – 4 hrs

Day 20: Khebang to Khamdime

Khamdime – 1500 m / 4921 ft – 4 hrs

Day 21: Khamdime to Bhadrapur (Drive)

Bhadrapur – 93 m / 305 ft – 10 hrs

Day 22: Bhadrapur to Kathmandu (Flight)

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 50 minutes

Day 1: Kathmandu to Bhadrapur (Flight) to Ilam (Drive)

  • Drive time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel

After breakfast, our guide will collect you from your hotel and accompany you to the airport. The short flight to Bhadrapur takes us over the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding hill and through some of the mountains Nepal is famous for. A free mountain flight! On arrival in Bhadrapur, we will drive to Ilam, the heart of the tea plantation area of the country.

Day 2: Ilam to Taplejung (Drive)

  • Trek time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel

After breakfast, we drive for 4 hours through terraced fields and hills to reach Taplejung where we spend the night. There will be time to explore the town after lunch. It is an interesting place with many Buddhist gompas.

At one of these gompas, we can see butter lamps which have been burning continuously for 400 years. A stream outside the gompa turns prayer wheels which send the mantra “om mane padme hum” to the heavens.

Day 3: Taplejung to Chirwa

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today we start our trek proper! It’s a long day of mainly downhill but we have a chance to catch our breath at the village of Sinwa on the banks of the Tamor River before continuing on.

Day 4: Chirwa to Lelep

  • Trek time: 6 to 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

This is another long day of 7 hours hiking. But as we pass through Tapethok we enter the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. Here we have our permits checked before heading across a suspension bridge and ascending to Lelep.

Day 5: Lelep to Amjilosa

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Waterfalls and suspension bridges are part of today’s trail. Plus we come to the first Sherpa village on our trek where we stay overnight. The village of Amjilosa is mainly used during the time when the yaks and sheep are in the pastures so very few families live here full time.

Day 6: Amjilosa to Gyabla

  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After breakfast, we head off through different forests of pine, bamboo, rhododendron and oak. We notice the villages and people are becoming more Tibetan like.

We also see yaks, sheep and goats on the trail, not to mention a good variety of birdlife. After lunch the trail takes us up through dense forest cover and over a wooden bridge on to Gyabla where we spend the night.

Day 7: Gyabla to Ghunsa

  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today the trail continues on through forests and passed Phale Village which was a Tibetan refugee camp started decades ago when Tibetans started fleeing from the communist regime in China.

Today it is a winter settlement village. We have time to visit the village where there are some handicrafts for sale. We head to Ghunsa, the largest village in the area and one with a police station, health post and a Kanchenjunga Conservation Office. Telephone and internet services are available here.

Day 8: Acclimatization Day

  • Trek time: 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

We are now at higher altitude and aiming to go higher! So we take the opportunity to relax and acclimatize in Ghunsa. There is a monastery to explore and a ridge to climb.

From the ridge there are views of Jannu Peak which is worth the 5 hours plus round trip. Should you wish to climb up the ridge – and we recommend this as it helps acclimatize our bodies – we will take a packed lunch with us.

Day 9: Ghunsa to Kambachen

  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Views of the Jannu Himal dominate the skyline today. Following a gentle upwards path we come to a green glacier valley. Here we may be lucky to spot blue sheep and snow leopards. The trail continues on past a waterfall to a landslide-prone area where we take particular care.

Day 10: Acclimatization Day

  • Trek time: 2 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Again we take the chance to acclimatize our bodies to the altitude and in preparation for our visit to the North Base Camp. We can climb another ridge today where we get stunning views of Kanchenjunga.

Day 11: Kambachen to Lhonak

  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today the trail takes us mainly over moraine from the Kanchenjunga Glacier. Walking uphill over large boulders there are wonderful views on both sides of us.

And as we are deep in Snow Leopard territory we keep our eyes open for this rare animal too! This is also an area of summer yak pastures but there are no settlements on the route.

Day 12: Day Trip to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp

  • Trek time: 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After a good breakfast, we again set out across moraine from the Kanchenjunga Glacier, gently climbing upwards. At Base Camp we stand in awe of the surrounding mountains and drink up the atmosphere completed by Buddhist prayer flags fluttering in the wind. We sit here for some time enjoying the tranquillity and a hot drink and snacks! We return to Lhonak for the night.

Day 13: Lhonak to Ghunsa

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Trekking over pebbles and moraine we reach Kambachen Village for lunch before heading east along the Tamor River. Now the vegetation is greener as we again return to Ghunsa where we spend the night.

Day 14: Ghunsa to Sele Le

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today the trail takes us through a forest and along a grassy ridge from where we can see Ghunsa and Phole villages as well as Mt. Makalu in the distance.

Day 15: Sele Le to Cheram

  • Trek time: 7 to 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

We start out early this morning towards the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. Crossing the Sinion La pass (4,450m) the trail takes us along a ridge to Sinelapche La pass (4,830m).

From here the views of Mt Kanchenjunga and its valley are fantastic. We descend along a small trail to Cheram, the only settlement we find on this route. We overnight here.

Day 16: Day Trip to Kanchenjunga South Base Camp

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today we trek to Ramche where we stop for lunch before walking on for around 40 minutes to reach Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. The Base Camp is right on the edge of the glacier, and surrounded by Tibetan prayer flags. We return the way we came to overnight at Cheram.

Day 17: Cheram to Torongding

  • Trek time: 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today the trail is mostly downhill through a gorge. But the final section is a steep uphill over an area prone to landslides and through forests. There are no settlements until we reach Torongding, where there are a few teahouses.

Day 18: Torongding to Yamphuding

  • Trek time: 7 to 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After breakfast, we head off downhill and then it turns to a steep and long uphill hike. We pass over a landslide-prone area leading to Lasiya Bhanjyang where there is one teashop where we can stop for lunch. Then the trail takes as steep downhill through more forests until we reach the big village of Yamphuding.

Day 19: Yamphuding to Khebang

  • Trek time: 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

The walking is easier now we are back at a lower altitude. We find interesting villages and terraced fields on our route. We continue on to Khebang where we stay the night.

Day 20: Khebang to Khamdime

  • Trek time: 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

This is the final day of our hiking for tomorrow we take a vehicle to the airport.

Day 21: Khamdime to Bhadrapur (Drive)

  • Drive time: 10 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today we have a long drive in front of us. Time to reflect on the wonderful sights we have seen and rest our tired legs! When we reach Bhadrapur in the evening we can enjoy a hearty dinner with perhaps some beer and relax in a comfortable hotel for the night!

Day 22: Bhadrapur to Kathmandu (Flight)

  • Flight time: 50 minutes
  • Accommodation: Tea House

We start out early this morning towards the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. Crossing the Sinion La pass (4,450m) the trail takes us along a ridge to Sinelapche La pass (4,830m).

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Plan Your Trip


  • 21 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • 3 nights accommodation in a Kathmandu (Bodhi Boutique or similar)
  • Kathmandu Bhadrapur Kathmandu flight
  • Bhadrapur Taplejung and Khamdime Bhadrapur local bus
  • Guide for 22 days
  • Kanchenjunga conservation area permit
  • Restricted area permit
  • 22 x breakfast, 21 x lunch and 21 x dinner while on the trek
  • One Porter for 22 days USD 520 (Optional)
  • Private Jeep USD 430 (Optional)


The checklist gives you an idea of trekking equipment and clothing needed for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek.

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek FAQ

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek Map

kanchenjunga base camp 1

Location of the Kanchenjunga 

Mt Kanchenjunga is situated in eastern Nepal, within the Kanchenjunga Himal sub-range of the Himalayan mountains.  It actually straddles the border between Sikkim and Nepal, with some of its peaks sitting on this border, while others, namely the West peak, and Kangbachen peak lie within Nepal alone.

The Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek lies within the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area and is also a restricted area.  The Conservation Area protects the mountains and surrounding area, while the restricted area is in place as this area is also next to the Tibetan border.  Interestingly, over in Sikkim this Himal range is protected by the Kanchenjunga National Park.

To reach Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek from Kathmandu involves a plane ride to the east Terai region, then a long drive.  There are no airports directly into the Kanchenjunga area.

How difficult is Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

On this fascinating trek you will spend 10 days at high altitude, which makes it a challenging trek in itself. There are days when you are required to walk 7 or 8 hours and while some trails are relatively straightforward, there are some which are strenuous and  challenging.  

It is best if you have experience of trekking at high altitude, and for long hours at a time. In this way you have a better understanding of what will be required of your body on this trek.  This is not for beginner hikers.  It requires a very good fitness levels, and a high stamina.  Not to mention the ability to keep positive in what may be challenging circumstances on the trail, and basic accommodation in the lodges.

Typical Day on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

This is a 22 day adventure, with 18 of those days spent trekking or acclimatizing at high altitude.  Two days are spent on road journeys and two days you are flying over the Himalayas as opposed to trekking through them!

There are some very long days of 7 and 8 hours, and some shorter days of 4 hours.  It is an adventure with very varied days!

You will be staying in teahouses – which is Nepal’s name for trekking lodges.  They could probably be described, in the more remote areas, as nearer a hiking bothy than a hotel.  But these bothies have someone to cook for you!  Every night you will be in a different teahouse unless you are on an acclimatization day, when you will stay in the same one more than one night.

Breakfast and lunch are taken in the teahouse, and lunch will be on the trail.  Lunch may be taking in another teahouse or small teashop, or it may be a packed lunch, depending on the location.

As you can see, there is no such thing as a ‘typical day’ on this trek!  Other than you start your day early with breakfast and end it with dinner and early to bed. 

Safety First

As this is a high altitude trek you should be aware of the risks of altitude related illnesses.   You can check out the symptoms here and note the best ways to avoid illness. In brief, observe the already built into the itinerary acclimatization days; stay hydrated; do not rush your trek even if you feel fit and well, and do report even the slightest headache or dizziness to your guide.

Accidents are also a risk in the Himalayas.  We don’t necessarily mean large scale accidents.  Even a twisted ankle can effectively ruin your trek.  Take care on loose rocks and wet boulders when crossing streams.  Pay attention to your guide if crossing potential landslide areas and be careful on the stone steps that you will meet on the trail.   Trekking poles help tremendously, as experienced trekkers are well-known.

Our guides are trained in first aid so can deal with most eventualities. There is also a health post at the small town of Ghunsa.

Another potential risk is getting lost on the mountain.  We are being serious here.  Every year there are trekkers who get lost in the mountains.  There are no (or only a few in some locations) signposts to villages and it is easy to mistake the trail.  Do not go off exploring by yourself unless you tell the guide where you are going.  If he tells you not to go somewhere (it may be a landslide prone area or an area with wild yaks), do listen to him.

Best Seasons to do the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Spring: (March to May)

Spring is a glorious season with clear skies and the rhododendrons in full red bloom!  The temperatures are good, although by May it will be hot in the lowland areas, which you will be driving through initially. At the lower altitudes it will be pleasant trekking through the forests in comfortable weather and at high altitudes, it will not be too cold.  Overall, it is the best season to trek in Nepal.

Autumn: (September to November)  

This season is similar to spring.  Some of the paths in this area will be muddy after the monsoon rains but on the other hand, the scenery will be clean and green at lower altitudes.  Perhaps the best month is October, but September and the first half of November are lovely also.  October is festival time all over Nepal so flights, accommodation and transport may be busier than usual. So please plan ahead.

Monsoon: (June – September) 

Flights can easily be delayed due to bad weather during the monsoon.  Trails will be muddy, and the rivers can be overflowing.  This can make the trek more difficult.  If monsoon is the only time you have for this trek, please contact us to discuss logistics.

Winter: (December – February)  

At the higher altitudes, it will be very cold and there may be snowfall.  Some of the teahouses will be closed during winter due to a lack of clientele.  But if you have a group of 4 or more, we can discuss with the teahouses and plan the trek around those that are open.  Please talk with us.  

Permits Required for This Trek

Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit (KCAP): you will be trekking within this conservation area and, like all conservation areas in Nepal, you need a permit to enter.  The fees from the KCAP go towards the conservation and preservation of the area.

Cost per person:  USD30 per trek.  

Restricted Area Permit (RAP): is required for anyone entering any named  restricted area. Usually, these areas fall near the Tibet border, which is why they are classed as ‘restricted’.

Cost per person: USD20 per week, for the first four weeks. If you are planning to stay longer, there is a different fee after the first four weeks.

These permits must be obtained through a registered Nepali trekking agency, like Magical Nepal, and the RAP must be issued for a minimum of two international trekkers.

Food and Accommodation on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Meals on the Trek

Included in the cost of your trek are breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Breakfast and dinner will also include tea, and coffee when it is available.  Drinking water, soft drinks, beer or extra food are not included and you should pay directly to the teahouse.

On the trek, breakfast and dinner are taken in the teahouses where you sleep, and lunch is taken on the trail at a smaller teahouse. If the guide knows there is no small eatery on that day’s trail, he will arrange packed lunches for you.  

This is not a heavily trekked area.  As a result, teahouses are more basic, as too are their menus.   Food is plentiful and tasty but there is not a lot of Western choices on the menu.  Some of the more established and busy trekking routes in other parts of the country get training on preparing Western foods. Not so in this more remote area.

On this trek, breakfast items can be:

  • Porridge
  • Eggs
  • Toast
  • Pancakes
  • Homemade bread
  • Rice dishes
  • Noodles dishes
  • Tea/ coffee

Dinner items can be:

  • Soup
  • Thukpa (Tibetan soup with flat noodles)
  • Nepali Dal Bhat (vegetable curry and rice)
  • Fried rice
  • Noodles
  • Momos (Nepali steamed dumplings)
  • Potatoes cooked in different ways

Lunch items on the trail may be:

Momos, dal bhat, or noodles. 


Tea, coffee, soft drinks, beer, water. (Cost not included.)

Dietary restrictions:

In Nepal meat is normally only eaten at festival times.  The normal diet is vegetable curry and rice.  Even in areas heavily influenced by Tibetan culture, meat is not an every day thing.   

Vegetarians therefore will be well catered for.  But please let us know if there is anything you cannot eat due to allergies.    

There may be a lack of fresh ingredients in some villages.  You can see how little cultivated land is available at the higher altitudes.  There will be a limited choice, if any choice at all, of sweet dessert items on the menu.  Fruit is not grown at higher altitudes, and it is unlikely they are ‘imported’ to these villages.

We recommend  you bring your own snacks such as dried fruit and nuts, cookies, chocolate bars, power bars, maybe some protein powder, etc.  Remember there will be nowhere to buy snacks.  Or if there is, the snacks might be limited to dried packet noodles and locally factory produced cookies. 

Tips on Food:

  • Buy snacks in Kathmandu!  Power bars and protein powder, bring from home.
  • Tell the teahouse to keep hot spices to a minimum, you do not want to upset your stomach.
  • Eat the meals offered.  It is easy to skip them when you are exhausted, particularly at high altitude. But you need the energy. 

Sources of Water on the Trek

It should go without saying to experienced trekkers, do not drink the tap water or natural spring water untreated or unfiltered.  Purifying drops or tablets can be added to the water which will then make it safe for drinking.  You can also bring a Lifestraw from home as a backup and to filter out any unwanted particles.  It is not guaranteed there will be bottled water in the teahouses. Boiled drinking water is available, but you have to pay for that.  We recommend that even if bottled water is available, in order to preserve the countryside, you do not purchase it.  Getting rid of plastic bottles is a challenge in mountain areas.

Tips on Water:

  • To avoid dehydration, drink 4ltr of water per day.  Hot newly boiled water will be a treat in the cold mornings as you start your trek.  Your stainless steel water bottle full of hot water will warm you in bed at night and can be drunk cold during the day. 

Accommodation on the Trek

In this area the teahouses are very basic.  In some villages you might find one that is a better standard.  In other settlements you might find dormitory beds rather than twin rooms.  Embrace the experience!

Overall, there are two single beds to each sleeping room and bathroom facilities are normally shared with other trekkers. It is unlikely to find attached bathrooms on the majority of this trek. 

Hot showers are available, but you will be asked to pay for them.

Bring a 4-seasons sleeping bag as sleeping rooms do not have heating and some may have not so clean bedding.

Tips on Accommodation:

  • No heating or electrical sockets in the sleeping rooms.
  • Dining rooms will have some sort of heating and are great places to hang out in the evenings.
  • Mostly you will be sharing toilets with other trekkers.
  • Do not enter the kitchen.
  • Hot water for the shower (which may come in a bucket) will cost around USD2-5 per time.
  • Recharging your electronics will cost around USD2-5 per time as will Wi-Fi usage.
  • Bring your own sleeping bag for warmth and a comfortable sleep.
  • It makes sense if everyone orders the same dish for dinner.  It is so much quicker, and the kitchen will find it so much easier – especially if there are other groups staying there too.  
  • Order dinner as soon as you arrive at the teahouse.  Then relax / shower / write your journal. 

Transport Options for Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Aside from the flights, the transport used on this trek will be public transport – either a bus or jeep. These are included in the price of your trek.  If you wish to hire a private jeep for any part of the journey, please talk to us about this.  There will be an extra charge for private vehicle hire (most likely a jeep) and that cost will be shared between the trekker on the trip.

However, if it is a larger group, everyone must agree to the private jeep option so that the guide can accompany you all! See Private v Group Trek.

Trip Extension 

 If you love wildlife  and nature then this could be a bonus for you.  Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is the place to  spend two nights/ three days to relax after your trek and spot wildlife.  

Situated 108 km /  67 miles from Bhadrapur, Biratnagar is the main town when heading to Koshi Tappu.  It is 5 hours by road to reach Biratnagar  from Bhadrapur, but on the return journey it is a short flight from Biratnagar to Kathmandu.

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve was made a reserve in 1976 to preserve the remaining wild buffalos in Nepal.   Sitting on the floodplains of the Sapta Koshi River, this area has wetland status and  is the smallest wildlife reserve in the country.  Home to hundreds of bird species this is definitely a paradise for bird watchers.  Mammals that can be found in this wetland area are a variety of deer, including the blue bull, jungle cat, wild boar and those wild buffalo. 

The normal length of stay is 2 nights / 3 days during which you can take safaris deep into the reserve by foot or by raft.  This extension trip would work well:  departing from Bhadrapur on the final day of your trekking trip, arriving at Biratnagar early afternoon to be collected by a reserve at the lodge. Then on your final day at Koshi Tappu we can arrange for a flight back to Kathmandu.  

Please ask us about this extension trip. 

When You Arrive in Nepal

We can collect you from the international airport which will save you time and energy negotiating with taxi drivers.  There will be a small charge for this.

Hotels in Kathmandu:

There are many excellent hotels on booking.com or hostelworld.com.  We recommend staying in the area known as Thamel, which is the tourist hub.  It has many bars, cafes, restaurants, and shops. It also is home to our office.

What to do in Kathmandu before / after your trek:

With seven UNESCO Heritage Sites within the Kathmandu Valley, there is plenty of history and architecture to see. You can visit Buddhist stupas, Hindu burning ghats, ancient palaces and a host of other things!  We can organize a half or full day tour for you if you like. Just ask us. 

We can also recommend you places to visit after your trek if you wish to explore the country a bit more. See the Trip Extension to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve as an example. 

Visa on Arrival

Visa on arrival is available for people from most countries, via the Immigration Department of Nepal’s on-line site.  Please complete the form online, print it out and bring it with you.  Bring exact USD cash to make payment on arrival at the airport. 

Visa on arrival is valid for 15 days, 30 days or 3 months and costs: 

  • 15 Days – 30 USD
  • 30 Days – 50 USD
  • 90 Days – 125 USD

Should I Hire a Porter to Carry My Gear?  

We hear this question often, particularly from novice trekkers. 

If you are seriously thinking about the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek, then we assume you are an experienced trekker.  Therefore, it is likely you know whether you can carry your pack for 18 days and at some pretty high altitudes.

If you would like to hire a porter, please note the cost of this is not included in the trek price.  If you have a lot of gear please remember a porter can only carry 20kg.  Well of course these amazing men can carry more, but we do not want to ask them to carry more on our treks.  We mention this because some clients like to keep the cost down by hiring a porter between two trekkers.  This is entirely possible – the cost remains the same but divided by two – however, trekkers can only then give the porter 10kg each. Totalling 20kg for him to carry.

Please talk to us if you would like a porter.

Note: please keep in mind you will be carrying your own day pack with daily essentials.

Landscapes,  Wildlife  and Culture in the Kanchenjunga Area

Landscapes: This trek is through the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area.  Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world after Everest and K2, which is a pretty amazing fact in itself! Aside from the great mountain and her neighbors,  on this trek you will experience forests, rivers and streams, waterfalls, and glaciers. Among the mountains you will see are Mt Jannu, Nyukla Lanchung and Kanchenjunga.

Wildlife: This area is home to the Asian black bear, the snow leopard and the red panda. They are rare animals and spotting them is just as  rare.  But you may just be lucky on your trek.  You will definitely see a wide variety of migratory and non-migratory birds including many types of birds of prey.

Peoples:  The majority of people in this area are from the Limbu community.  Originally following a more animism belief system, they are now mainly Buddhist.  Tibetan Buddhism is followed extensively in this area as it lies so close to the Tibet border and has a long history of trade and migration.  Limbu people today are farmers, herders and traders.

Expenses  You May Have on the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

The trek’s price includes food, accommodation, transport, and the guide. But there are some other items you will need to pay for.


You will need Nepali rupees for anything you buy along the way.   

For tipping your guide and porter (if you have one) you can use foreign currency or Nepali rupees.

Transport: Aside from flying, transport is by public bus or public jeep. This can be arranged before the trek if you would like to hire a private jeep for any land travel.  Please discuss the cost of this with us.

Food: Three meals a day and tea/ coffee are included.  Anything extra, such as cold drinks, need to be paid directly by you to the teahouse.

In the teahouse:  Also, to be paid directly by you to the teahouse are:  hot water  for a shower; electricity to charge your devices, and Wi-Fi.  The cost is normally around USD2-5 for each, each time. 

Boiled drinking water is available as is beer and cold drinks.  You will pay these directly to the teahouse.  All in Nepali rupees.

Tips: Please calculate the tips for your guide and porter which can be paid in dollars or other currencies. We suggest the tip for the guide to be  around USD200 and your personal porter around USD150. 

The guide’s tip is divided between the number of people on the trek. Your personal porter’s tip is paid by yourself.  

Please note, tips will vary on different treks depending on the length of the trek. For example, if your trek takes 5 days or 20 days it makes a difference to the time you spend with your guide.

**We can recommend you bring around USD 10-12 per day, in Nepali rupees, plus the tips for the guide and porter. **

Before you come expenses:

  • You might need to spend money on:
  • Gym membership to increase your fitness.
  • New gear and equipment.
  • Insurance.
  • Flight ticket and visa fee.

Communication on the Trek

Even if a teahouse has phone and WiFi access, bad weather can also interfere with the signal, particularly at high altitude. Do not be surprised if there is no signal in places.   

Tips for Communication

  • You can buy a NTC or NCELL sim card when you arrive at the Tribhuvan International Airport for data internet in case of WiFi outage.  No guarantee those will work at altitude either.

Your Personal Travel Insurance

Your travel insurance should include trekking and trekking up to 5,000 m  /  16,404 ft.  and should cover helicopter evacuation. 

Magical Nepal provides  insurance for our guides, porters and other staff.  Due to the rules of the Government of Nepal, we cannot cover the insurance of clients. Foreign tourists cannot buy insurance in Nepal, so please buy in your own country before coming.

What Does Group vs Private Trek Mean?

To put it simply, if you are on a group trek, you will be traveling in a group with other people who most likely you do not know.

If you are on a  private trek it means only you and your friend(s) will be with the guide for the duration of your trek.  This is subject to guide available in the busy seasons, please book early!

The cost to you is the same for a private or group trek but please note that restricted areas, such as the Kanchenjunga Restricted Area, require two foreign trekkers to travel together.  If you are just one person traveling solo but want to visit this area, please let us know. 

Packing Tips

Download our packing list PDF here.

Bring clothes to layer: At times it will be quite warm at the lower altitudes. At other times it is very cold at higher altitude.   You need to bring clothes to cover both temperatures.  As you are an experienced trekker you know exactly what we mean. 

Don’t forget the well-worn trekking boots.  Blisters are a nightmare on a trek!

Pack Smart: Keep your pack light for carrying over rough trails and up the mountains. Even if you have a porter, he is climbing the same mountains!

Toiletries: Bring what you need in travel sized containers.  

Why Book with Magical Nepal

Diversity – Equality – Inclusion: Keys to a Great Experience

We at Magical Nepal are a team of highly trained travel enthusiasts.  

We started Magical Nepal in 2017 and pride ourselves in growing a great team. From our climbing guides, trek guides, and liaison staff to our camp staff, porters and camp chef, we all love to explore and travel in the Nepal Himalayas. We also love to introduce our beautiful country to our clients.

We are committed to human dignity, security, and safety for all – for our clients and for the communities we visit. We are also committed to the environmental sustainability of the landscapes, flora, and fauna of the Himalayas.

We also pride ourselves on offering great value for money and a price guarantee – if you can find the same trek at a lower price, we will match it – guaranteed.

Please check the reviews from our past clients to see what they say about us.

Ask a Question

Feel free to ask us anything about this tour. A travel expert will then get back to you as soon as possible.

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