Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek

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Starts at: Kathmandu Ends at: Kathmandu
Trek Region: Kanchenjunga Transport: Flight
Duration: 13 Days Trip Grade: Moderate
Max Altitude: 4160 m / 13648 ft (Oktang) Accommodation: Basic Tea House

Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek Highlights

  • Sleep on the lap of the third highest peak in the world, Kanchenjunga (8586 meters)
  • Ascend to Kanchenjunga South Base Camp to catch stunning views of Kanchenjunga’s South Face.
  • Learn something about the lifestyle and culture of the local peoples of this area – the Limbu.
  • Walk through Kanchenjunga Conservation Area with the possibility of catching sight of many magnificent animals.
  • Hike through the subtropical lowlands, and alpine forests of rhododendrons and magnolia.
  • Fly into the lowlands of Nepal, situated near the Indian border, and get a  brief insight into life on the Terai.

The Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek explores the Yalung Glacier and the south side of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. Climbing slowly along the valleys the trail ascends through pristine forests, crop fields, and tranquil villages to the base camp situated at Ramche at 4,610m. This trek requires a good level of fitness and previous trekking experience to ensure enjoyment of this challenging, yet beautiful trek in this remote eastern corner of Nepal.

The base camp itself is situated at Ramche (4,610m), which is reached by following the trail through the Yalung Glacier, stopping a while at the viewpoint for Kabru, and Rathong peaks, which are part of the ridge that extends south from Kanchenjunga. In fact Kabru is the southern-most 7,000m peak in the world. From Ramche it is possible to hike to a ridge that offers views of the magnificent Kanchenjunga South Face and, a little ahead, views of the south face of Mount Janu, Nyukla Lanchung and other awe-inspiring Himalayan peaks can also be seen from here.

The Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek offers views of sensational snow-capped mountain peaks plus a landscape of subtropical lowlands, rhododendron and alpine forests, and spectacular glaciers. Protected by the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area and the Sacred Himalayan Landscape initiative of the World Wild Life Fund (WWF), there is an abundant variety of wildlife including the elusive snow leopard, the Asian black bear, and red panda, to name just some of the more rare mammals. Bird lovers may get the chance to see the golden-breasted fulvetta, snow cock and blood pheasant, among others.

For those with good fitness and experience, a desire to see the third highest mountain in the world after Everest and K2, and an interest in nature, this is an inspiring trek

Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek 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 Lali Kharka

Lali Kharka – 1880 m / 4166 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: Lali Kharka to Khesewa

Khesewa – 1960 m / 6102 ft – 6 hrs

Day 5: khesewa to Pumphe Danda

Pumphe Danda – 1780 m / 8234 ft – 5 hrs

Day 6: Pumphe Danda to Yamphuding

Yamphuding – 2080 m / 8956 ft – 6 hrs

Day 7: Yamphuding to Torongding

Torongding – 2340 m / 11794 ft – 7 hrs

Day 8: Torongding to Cheram

Cheram – 3868 m / 11794 ft – 5 hrs

Day 9: Cheram to Ramche

Ramche – 4160 m / 13451 ft – 3 hrs

Day 10: Ramche to Torongding

Torongding – 2995 m / 13451 ft – 6 hrs

Day 11: Torongding to Yamphuding

Yamphuding – 2080 m / 15698 ft – 7 hrs

Day 12: Trek Yamphuding to Ranipul and drive Ranipul to Phidim

Phidim – 1,200 m (3,937 feet) – 4 hrs

Day 13: Phidim to Bhadrapur (drive) and fly to Kathmandu

Kathmandu – 1,400 m (4,600 feet)- 10 hrs

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

  • Flight time: 55 minutes
  • Drive time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel

There are several flights a day from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur, but we will take an early morning one so that there is plenty of time in case of delays.

We will collect you from your hotel in the morning (it is nice that hotels in Kathmandu start their breakfast service early for visiting trekkers), and drive to the Tribhuvan International Airport domestic terminal for the short, 45-minute flight to Bhadrapur.

Then you board local transport to take you to Ilam.  This is approximately a 3-4 hour journey depending on the road conditions.

On arrival in Ilam, check into your hotel and you are free to explore some of the tea plantations that this area is famous for.

Known for its tea plantations and mountain views, Ilam started cultivating tea in the 1860s.  Today it grows high-quality black, green, and white teas.

Day 2: Ilam to Taplejung (Drive)

  • Drive time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel

After breakfast, board another road transport (jeep or bus) to drive from Ilam to Taplejung. Since the road is bumpy and unpaved, it is most likely a  jeep that you will be in.

With the tea plantations behind you, there is cultivated land to see on the way.  You may start seeing the Kanchenjunga Massif as you travel along. After the small town of Phidim the road gets steeper and more switchback like as you drive through forests and stunning landscapes to reach Taplejung. 

Here at Taplejung you have entered the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area.

Day 3: Taplejung to Lali Kharka

  • Drive time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 18 km/11 miles

Happily you  welcome the first day of hiking after two days on the road! 

It is not a difficult path, but it may be slippery or muddy at times as this is a well-used trail crossing streams, rhododendron forests and dirt paths.

The villages you pass today are mainly those belonging to the Limbu community with their traditional houses and cultivated fields.

The Limbu people are one of the largest indigenous groups in Nepal and have an interesting culture and traditions.  They mainly follow the Kirat Mundhum religion  (an animistic belief system) but in more recent times Buddhism and Hinduism have influenced communities.

Day 4: Lali Kharka to Khesewa

Today the trail is mainly downhill and not very difficult, but again some parts may be muddy.  The day starts with views of the mountains, including Kanchenjunga, if the weather is clear.  Descending through meadows you also pass through cultivated farmlands and Limbu villages.

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 6 km/3.7 miles

Day 5: Khesewa to Pumphe Danda

After breakfast set off along the most challenging trail to date as it has some steep sections, narrow sections and winding sections to negotiate. If you are here in the spring, the rhododendron forests are ablaze with colorful blooms.

Today you will get views of Kanchenjunga, Jannu and Simvu peaks. As you make your way across this interesting landscape.

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 10 km/6.2 miles

Day 6: Taplejung to Lali Kharka

Today the going is a little easier than yesterday. With only a few gentle ascents, it is mainly downhill or flat trails. 

Between the rhododendron forests and meadows of wildflowers, it’s a beautiful trek today.  Do look out for birds of prey such as eagles and kites, and of course the Himalayan pheasants.  The Kanchenjunga massif is on view for most of the day. 

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 8 km/4.9 miles

Day 7: Yamphuding to Torongding

Once again you will be hiking through pastures and rhododendron forests and through Limbu villages, following the Amji Khola (river). Although a long day, it is not overly challenging.

There is a moderately high pass to cross, however, and that is the Lassiya Bhanjyang Pass at 3,840 m / 12,600 ft. As this is at quite a high altitude,

You may feel it a struggle to walk at normal pace because of the lack of oxygen in the air.  Go slowly and stay hydrated.  The views from the top of the pass make it all worthwhile!

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 10 km/6.2 miles

Day 8: Torongding to Cheram

Today there is quite a jump in altitude, so you should take care not to walk too fast, and to stay hydrated.  The trail goes uphill, through a gorge and across an area prone to landslides.  Here extra care should be taken. 

There are no settlements on this part of the trail, so we will take a packed lunch with us.

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 10 km/6.2 miles

Day 9: Cheram to Ramche

You can perhaps spend a little longer over breakfast today as the day is short.  It’s a lovely hike, mainly downhill on gentle paths. 

Ramche is mainly a stopping point for trekkers heading to the south base camp, not a village settlement as such.  From here it is only around one hour to reach Kanchenjunga South Base Camp.  

You will set off to follow the trail through the Yalung Glacier to reach a viewpoint from where you get great views of Kabru and Rathong peaks. Views of Kanchenjunga South Face are also on display, as are Mt Jannu, Nyukla Lanchung, and other mountains. 

What an exciting day!  You made it to South Base Camp!

  • Trek time: 3 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 9 km/5.5 miles

Day 10: Ramche to Torongding

Today you go back down in elevation which makes it easier to hike through the landscapes.

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 14 km/8 miles

Day 11: Torongding to Yamphuding

While you are making your way through thick rhododendron forests today, you might still be able to get views of the Kanchenjunga Massif if the weather is clear.  With the lower altitude, there are more chances to spot birdlife, so keep your eyes open.

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 18 km/11 miles

Day 12: Yamphuding to Ranipul and drive to Phidim

  • Trek time: 1 hour
  • Accommodation: Teahouse

Today is the last hiking day of your trek!  Well, partly hiking and partly driving as you will take a local jeep from Ranipul to Phidim.

Day 13: Phidim to Bhadrapur (Drive) and Fly to Kathmandu

  • Drive time: 6 hours
  • Trek Distance: 18 km/11 miles

After breakfast you board a local jeep to drive down through the foothills and on to the lowland Terai region of Nepal to Bhadrapur where the airport is. 

then we will have a short flight to Kathmandu where we say goodbye to you as it is the end of the trek. We will drop you to your hotel and hope to see you again before you leave Nepal. 

On arrival in Kathmandu we will transfer you to your hotel.  The hotel and breakfast are included in the trek cost.  Dinner is not included.

Not satisfied with this Itinerary?

Are you interested on planning custom trip? It only takes 2 minutes.

Plan Your Trip


  • 14 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • 3 nights accommodation in Kathmandu (Bodhi Boutique or similar)
  • Kathmandu Bhadrapur Kathmandu Flight
  • Bhadrapur Taplejung and Khamdime Bhadrapur local bus
  • Guide for 15 days
  • Kanchenjunga conservation area permit
  • Restricted area permit
  • 15 x breakfast, 14 x lunch and 14 x dinner while on the trek
  • One Porter for 15 days USD 380
  • Private Jeep USD 430 (Optional)

Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek Map

Kanchenjunga south base camp

Location of the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp

Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, is located in the eastern part of Nepal known as Taplejung district on the border between Nepal and Sikkim in India.  It is part of the Eastern Himalayas which stretch across Nepal, Bhutan, India, China and Pakistan.   Kanchenjunga actually straddles Nepal and Sikkim: the Main, Central and South peaks sit on the border, while the West peak and Kangbachen peak lie completely within Nepal.

In Nepal, the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area protects the mountain and surrounding environment, while over in Sikkim, the Kanchenjunga National Park does the same work.

Trek Difficulty

This is a multi-day trek with two days at higher altitude.  However,  a good level of fitness is required to make this not just a successful,  but also an enjoyable trek. If you have trekked before for many day, so much the better.

The trails are not tricky, but there are the usual ascents and descents you can expect in the Himalayas. Overall it is a moderate trek for those with some experience.

Typical Day on the Trek

There are 11 actual trekking days on this trek. On other days you will be driving by road or/ and flying into the far eastern part of Nepal.

During the trekking days, it is an average of 5-6 hours walking through moderate terrain.  Yes, there are the usual ups and downs found  but nothing too strenuous for people with good health and stamina.

Teahouses – as trekking lodges are called in Nepal – are quite basic.  You will sleep here and take dinner and breakfast here.   Every night it is a different teahouse.  Lunch will most likely be taken on the trail.

You will set off after breakfast around 8am to make the most of the day.  With short breaks along the way, you can walk at your own steady pace. 

On reaching the next overnight teahouse you can relax in the social dining room over dinner before retiring for the night.

Safety Comes First

Our guides are trained in first aid and what to do if someone shows symptoms of altitude related problems.  You can also help by keeping a watch on your body for symptoms of illness.  It is also a good idea to watch your trekking companions as well – often it is hard to recognise when you are very ill as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can make someone confused and not able to make rational decisions.

Always tell your guide if you are heading out to explore an area alone.  If he advises you not to go – it may be near sunset, or there are landslide prone areas nearby – do listen to him. That is what he is there for!

Best Seasons for the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek

Spring and autumn are always quoted as the best time to trek in Nepal.  That is certainly true for this area.

Spring: (March to May) A lovely time to trek, and it is warm at lower altitudes.  At higher altitudes it will also not be too cold the further you go into spring. The rhododendrons will be in bloom making it lovely to trek through rhododendron forests.

Autumn: (September to November)  This season is similar to spring, without the flowering rhododendrons, but forests will be cooling and fragrant but a little muddy after the monsoon rains.  By October the trails will be less muddy.   

Monsoon: (June – September) It is not really recommended to trek in this area during the monsoon.  Flights can easily be delayed due to bad weather.  Trails will be very slippery and some of the rivers may be hard to cross.  There may be landslides along the route also.  If this is the only time you can come for this trek, do contact us and we can discuss.  

Winter: (December – February)  Although this is not a high altitude trek, it will be colder in January and February at the higher elevations.  There may be snow at the higher altitudes but as there are no high mountain passes to cross it is possible to trek here in the winter months.  One point to note is that teahouses may be closed as the locals go down for the winter or just simply closed for guests since there are so few at this time of year.  If you are in a group or say 4 or more trekkers, it is possible for teahouses to open.  This would have to be checked ahead of time.  Please contact us to discuss. 

Permits For This Trek and Why You Need Them

Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit:  is required to trek to both the North Base Camp and the South Base Camp as they both fall within the conservation area.  The fees from the KCAP go towards the conservation and preservation of the area.

Cost per person:  USD30 per trek.

Restricted Area Permit: is required for anyone entering a restricted area.  Usually that means the location is near the Tibet border.

Cost per person: USD20 per week, for up to 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 South Base Camp Trek

Meals on the Trek

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the cost of your trek.  If you wish to have soft drinks, beer, or anything extra, you will pay the teahouse direct for that.

Breakfast and dinner on the trek are taken in the teahouses (trekking lodges) where you sleep, and lunch is taken on the trail.

As this area is less popular than some of the more established trekking routes, it is less crowded – which is a good thing for you.  On the other hand, because it sees less foreign trekkers, facilities are more basic than in some of the busier areas. Teahouses tend to have less facilities than, say, in the Annapurna region.

Foodwise, you will be offered Nepali, Chinese, and some Western items.

Sample menus are as follows:

Breakfast items:

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

Dinner items:

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

Lunch items:

Probably momos, dal bhat, and noodles.


Tea, coffee (out with meal times), soft drinks, beer, water. (Cost not included.)

Dietary restrictions:

There is vegetarian food in all teahouses and smaller places as Nepali food is based on vegetables.  Please provide us with a list of anything you cannot eat because of allergies, and we will make sure the teahouses know about this.  

There may be a lack of fresh ingredients in some villages, and there is not likely to be much desert / sweets on the menu.  Carrying your own snacks such as dried fruit and nuts, chocolate bars, cookies, etc will help immensely.  Even if you normally don’t eat chocolate and cookies – trust us – you are going to want them on any trek! 

Tips on Food:

  • Buy those snacks!  Buy in Kathmandu, do not wait till you are on the trek.  They will not be available.
  • Tell the teahouse to keep hot spices to a minimum.
  • Even if  you are very tired, do not skip meals.

Do not drink the tap water or natural spring water untreated or unfiltered. 

Sources of Water on the Trek

Bring your own Lifestraw and/ or purifying drops or tablets.   Wait 30 minutes before drinking after you add the purifying liquid or drops. Boiled drinking water will be available but you will have to pay for it.  There may be bottled drinking water available but that is not guaranteed and is not environmentally friendly.

Tips on Water:

  • To avoid dehydration, drink 4ltr of water per day.  That is water, not other drinks!

Accommodation on the Trek

Trekking lodges are known as teahouses in Nepal and they vary from being pretty up-market in the busier areas, to being still very much as they were 20 years ago in the more remote areas.   

In this area they are still quite basic – two single beds to each sleeping room, maybe a chair, most likely not attached bathrooms. Shared bathrooms are normal in remote and/ or higher altitude places.  Hot showers are available but they have to be paid for and may come in a bucket.

Sleeping rooms do not have heating, only the dining room does. 

Tips on Accommodation:

  • There is no heating or sockets in the sleeping rooms, those ‘luxuries’ are only found in the dining room.
  • If the teahouse does not have sleeping rooms with attached bathrooms, you will have to use a shared one. 
  • The dining room is the center of social activities in teahouses.
  • Do not enter the kitchen.
  • Hot water for the shower will cost around USD2-5 per time.
  • Recharging your electronics will cost around USD2-5 per time as well.
  • WiFi, where available, is also something you will have to pay for.
  • It is a good idea to bring your own sleeping bag.
  • If you are traveling in a group we recommend trying to order the same items then it is faster for the kitchen and you get to eat earlier.  

Transport Options

Private Road Transport 

Public transport is included in the cost of your trek.  Usually a bus or jeep.  Should you wish to hire a private jeep, please talk to us about this.  There will be an extra cost for this which can be divided between the trekkers in your group.  Everyone must agree however so the guide can accompany you all! See Private v Group Trek.

Taplejung Airport

Why do you have to travel over two days by road from the airport at Bhadrapur to Taplejung when there is an airport at Suketar, Taplejung?   We could answer in one sentence: it’s the unpredictable weather in the Himalayas. But let us expand on that.  Suketar airport, more of an airstrip, sits at the height of 2,419m / 9,736 ft in the mountains.  There are only two flights a week, and only at certain times of the year.  With weather being unpredictable as we said, should your flight be canceled on a particular day due to bad weather, then you may have to wait a few more days, or even a week for the next one. 

Therefore, for this reason, we have taken the decision to use Bhadrapur airport in the lowland region of the country,  and then travel by road through the foothills and into the mountains at Taplejung.  One plus is that you get to see the tea gardens in Ilam! 

Trip Extension 

If you have plenty of time, and if you are interested in exploring a little more of the eastern part of Nepal, why not take a trip to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve.

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

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve sits on the floodplains of the Sapta Koshi River and was made a reserve in 1976 to preserve the remaining wild buffalos in Nepal.  It is the smallest wildlife reserve in the country and is 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, and wild boar.   And of course that  last remaining pocket of 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 with 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. On your final day at Koshi Tappu we can arrange for a flight back to Kathmandu.  

Please ask us about this extension trip. 

Arrival in Nepal

If you would like us to pick you up at the Tribhuvan International Airport on your arrival in Nepal please let us know on the booking form. There is a small charge for this, but it will be simpler and easier than trying to organize a taxi when you arrive.

Hotels in Kathmandu:

There are many excellent hotels on booking.com or hostelworld.com. Thamel is where most visitors stay as it is an area full of cafes, restaurants, bars and shops all geared for international visitors.  

Our office is also located in Thamel.

What to do in Kathmandu:

Explore!  There are many UNESCO sites and other fascinating historical places in Kathmandu.  We can organize a half or full day tour for you or you can explore yourself.  Ask us about our tours.

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

Porters: Do You Need One?

This trek involves 11 days of actual hiking.  Up and down hilly paths, over muddy trails, and stone stairways.  If you are experienced in trekking and in carrying your own backpack you know the answer to this question. But if you have little or no experience is carrying 10 – 15 kg over 6 or 7 hours a day you should consider the question closely.

There is an extra cost involved in hiring a porter.  One way to reduce the cost is to ‘share’ a porter with another trekker.  Should you both agree, then you would both need to keep your kit down to 10kg as a porter should only carry 20kg. 

Do remember you will be carrying your own day pack even if you have a porter.  That will be around 3-4kg when filled with water, snacks, sun cream and other items you may need during the day.

Unique Landscapes, Culture and Wildlife 

Landscapes: This trek is through the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area.  Starting in the lowlands of the country, you quickly drive up into the foothills and then start trekking into the mountains.  Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world after Everest and K2.  The trails go through a variety of forests, crossing rivers and streams, some with waterfalls, and over some rough terrain.  The main mountains you will see on this trek are  Jannu, Nyukla Lanchung and of course Kanchenjunga.

Wildlife: This area is home to some of the most rare species in Nepal. The Asian black bear, the snow leopard and the red panda can be found here!  It is more likely you will see the smaller mammals and domestic livestock such as yaks and goats than these elusive species.

Birds are plentiful, so if you are a birdwatcher, don’t forget your binoculars.

Peoples:  The majority of people in this area are Tibetan Buddhist, their ancestors having crossed over from nearby Tibet centuries ago. You will see prayer flags, chortens, stupas and other Tibetan Buddhist artifacts on this trek.  Mainly they are farmers and at higher elevations, herders and traders.


The trek cost is a fixed amount that includes guide, accommodation, food, and public transport.

But there are some other expenses along the way.


It is expected that you will tip your guide and porter.  This can be in any currency.

Other items required to be paid in Nepali rupees.  Since there is not ATM or banks on this route, you will need to bring cash rupees with you from Kathmandu.

Teahouses on this route are more basic than those on the busier, more popular trekking trails.  Therefore some may not have WiFi or a variety of beer/ soft drinks.  So you do not need to carry as many rupees as you may be tempted to spend on say, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek.  However, we still recommend you bring around money for extra daily expenses. 

Transport: Aside from flying, transport is by public bus or public jeep.  Should you wish to hire a private jeep just for the members of your trek, there is an additional cost for that. Please discuss with us.

Food: Three meals a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner, are included when on the trail.  Anything else ie soft drinks, must be paid for by yourself.

In the teahouse:  Where it is available you will have to pay for a hot water shower, electricity to charge your devices, and Wi-Fi.  Usually the cost is around USD2-5 per item.  Boiled drinking water is available but you will be also charged for that.  The price will increase with the remoteness and altitude of the village.  Beer and cold drinks are also something you will have to pay yourself, in Nepali rupees.

Tips: Please calculate the tips for your guide and porter which can be paid in dollars or other currencies. It is normal to tip the guide around USD200 and your personal porter around USD150 per trip.  The guide’s tip is divided between the number of people on the trek, while your personal porter’s tip is paid by yourself.  

**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:

  • For your fitness ie gym membership.
  • For gear and equipment.
  • For insurance.
  • For flight ticket and visa fee.

Communication on the Trek

While some teahouses on this trek will have WiFi and good phone network access, others may not.    Bad weather can also interfere with the signal. If there is WiFi, you will be  asked to pay for it.

Tips for Communication

  • You can buy an NTC or NCELL sim card at the Tribhuvan International Airport for data internet in case of a WiFi outage. 

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.   But unfortunately, due to the regulations in Nepal, we cannot cover our clients.

What Does Group vs Private Trek Mean?

A group trek is very much as its sounds – you will be travelling in a group of other people who would like to do the same trek at the same time.

A private trek on the other hand means only you and your friends will be with the guide for the duration of your trek.  This is subject to guide available in the busy seasons.

The cost is the same but please note that restricted areas, such as the Kanchenjunga Restricted Area, require two foreign trekkers to travel together.  

Packing Tips

We have a wonderful packing list PDF you can download here.

Just to emphasize …

Layering: At lower altitudes it will be warm on this trek while it will be colder higher up.  It is always sensible to bring clothing that can be layered.  For example, you might just need a tshirt at the lower altitudes but will need a jacket in mornings and evenings.   So think about what clothes go with each other when you are packing.  

Quick drying thermal underwear (long johns and a long sleeved top) are excellent buys as are   fast drying trekking shirts and trekking trousers. Trekking trousers with zips which can be unzipped to turn trousers to shorts are a great idea.  Sun hat is a must, as is a warmer hat for nights and high altitudes.

Great trekking boots – they are only great if you have worn them extensively before coming.  Avoid blisters!

Pack Smart: Keep your pack light.  Someone has to carry the pack up and down the 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 – from our clients to the communities we visit –  and to the environmental sustainability of the landscapes, flora and fauna of these Himalayas.

Please check the reviews from our past clients to see for yourself.

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.

FAQs For Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek:

General Information

What is the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek?

A trek to the southern base camp of Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world.

How long is the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek?

The trek typically takes 13 days.

What is the highest altitude reached on this trek?

The highest point is 4,610 meters (15,124 feet) at Ramche.

What type of accommodation is available during the trek?

Basic tea houses and lodges.

Is prior trekking experience required?

Yes, previous trekking experience and good fitness are recommended.

What are the main highlights of the trek?

Views of Kanchenjunga, diverse wildlife, and experiencing local Limbu culture.

What is the difficulty level of the trek?

The trek is considered moderate to challenging.

What is the best time to do this trek?

The best times are during the pre-monsoon (March to May) and post-monsoon (September to November) seasons.

What permits are required for this trek?

Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit and a Restricted Area Permit.

How can I book the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek?

You can book through us.


What is the starting point of the trek?

The trek starts in Kathmandu.

How do trekkers get to the trailhead?

By flight to Bhadrapur and then a drive to Taplejung.

What is the daily trekking distance?

It varies from 6 km to 18 km depending on the day.

How many hours of trekking are required each day?

Typically, 5 to 7 hours of trekking per day.

Are rest days included in the itinerary?

Yes, acclimatization and rest days are included.

What are the key stops along the trek?

Key stops include Ilam, Taplejung, Lali Kharka, Khesewa, and Ramche.

What kind of landscapes will I encounter?

Subtropical lowlands, rhododendron forests, and alpine areas.

What meals are provided during the trek?

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided at tea houses.

What should I expect on the final day of the trek?

The final day involves a drive from Phidim to Bhadrapur and a flight back to Kathmandu.

Preparation and Packing

What gear is essential for the trek?

Sturdy trekking boots, warm clothing, and a good quality sleeping bag.

Do I need trekking poles?

Yes, trekking poles are highly recommended.

What type of clothing should I pack?

Layered clothing, waterproof jacket, and thermal wear.

Is a first aid kit necessary?

Yes, carrying a personal first aid kit is essential.

Should I bring a water purifier?

Yes, a water purifier or purification tablets are recommended.

Is travel insurance required?

Yes, comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory.

Do I need a trekking permit?

Yes, specific permits are required for the Kanchenjunga region.

What type of backpack should I use?

A comfortable and durable backpack with a capacity of 50-60 liters.

Are there any weight limits for luggage?

Yes, there are weight limits for flights and porters; typically around 15 kg.

Do I need to bring cash?

Yes, cash is necessary for expenses as ATMs are not available on the trek.

Health and Safety

What are the risks of altitude sickness?

There is a risk above 2,500 meters; acclimatization is crucial.

How can I prevent altitude sickness?

Ascend slowly, stay hydrated, and take rest days.

What medical facilities are available on the trek?

Basic medical facilities are available; carry a first aid kit.

Is there mobile phone coverage on the trek?

Coverage is limited; a satellite phone is recommended.

What should I do in case of an emergency?

Inform your guide immediately and follow emergency protocols.

Are there any wildlife threats?

Encounters are rare, but trekkers should be cautious of animals.

What are the common health issues on the trek?

Altitude sickness, dehydration, and minor injuries.

Should I get any vaccinations?

Consult with a doctor; vaccinations for typhoid, hepatitis, and tetanus are recommended.

Is it safe to trek alone?

Trekking with a guide or group is safer and recommended.

What should I do if I get lost?

Magical Nepal Guide you eveything.

Cultural and Environmental Considerations

What is the local culture like?

The local culture is predominantly Limbu, with rich traditions and customs.

How should I behave in local villages?

Be respectful, ask for permission before taking photos, and dress modestly.

What language is spoken in the region?

Nepali is widely spoken; some locals speak basic English.

How can I minimize my environmental impact?

Carry out all trash, use biodegradable products, and avoid single-use plastics.

Are there any cultural festivals to experience?

Check the local calendar; festivals like Dashain and Tihar might coincide with your trek.

What are the conservation efforts in the area?

The region is protected by the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area and WWF initiatives.

Can I hire local porters and guides?

Yes, hiring local porters and guides supports the local economy.

What should I know about local cuisine?

Local cuisine includes dishes like dal bhat, momo, and various teas.

Are there any religious sites on the trek?

Yes, there are monasteries and shrines along the route.

How can I contribute to local communities?

Support local businesses, respect local customs, and consider donating to community projects.

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek | Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek

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