Makalu Base Camp Trek

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Starts at: Tumlingtar Ends at: Tumlingtar
Trek Region: Makalu Region Transport: Flight
Duration: 19 days Trip Grade: Strenuous
Max Altitude: 5100 m / 16732 ft Accommodation: Teahouse

The Makalu Base Camp trek begins from Tumlingtar in the mid-eastern region. This is a high altitude trek, which takes in lower landscapes of lush rhododendron forests, picturesque Gurung villages, river valleys and the Makalu Barun National Park. At higher altitudes, there are breathtaking panoramas of the Himalayas, high altitude lakes, and passes to cross to reach the barn, rocky base camp.

This is a long, varied and quite a strenuous trek suitable for those who are keen trekkers and nature enthusiasts and who would rather be in tranquil, pristine nature than follow the crowds. Makalu Base Camp is situated at 5100m so the long trek through ever-increasing altitude is a great way to slowly acclimatize. The Makalu Base Camp trek begins from Tumlingtar in the mid-eastern region. This is a high altitude trek, which takes in lower landscapes of lush rhododendron forests, picturesque Gurung villages, river valleys and the Makalu Barun National Park.

At higher altitudes, there are breathtaking panoramas of the Himalayas, high altitude lakes, and passes to cross to reach the barn, rocky base camp. This is a long, varied and quite strenuous trek suitable for those who are keen trekkers and nature enthusiasts and who would rather be in tranquil, pristine nature than follow the crowds. Makalu Base Camp is situated at 5100m so the long trek through ever-increasing altitude is a great way to slowly acclimatize.

From base camp the Barun Glacier, the south face of Makalu (8,481m), and a complete panorama of Everest and Lhotse is seen. Time is given to trekkers to explore the lakes and glaciers around base camp before heading down from this icy, rocky land to green forests and valleys again. On the return journey trekkers cross the Tutu La Pass (4,125m) which is now known by the name of Shipton’s Pass.

The Shipton Pass is named after the renowned mountaineer Eric Shipton who was involved with most expeditions to Mount Everest in the 1930’s and who, in 1951, was part of the team that mapped out the now famous route over the Khumbu Glacier.

The Makalu Barun National Park is home to 3,000 species of flowering plants, 440 species of birds and 75 species of mammals including the snow leopard, red panda, musk dear, wild boar, wild yak and the Himalayan Thar. With the possibility of spotting wildlife at lower altitudes, green pastures and fields, villages, and forests, combined with snow-capped mountains, glaciers and rocky trails, this is also ideal photography territory!


  • Fly from Kathmandu into the eastern mountains at Tumlingtar.
  • Hike through Makalu Barun National Park with its rich wildlife.
  • Reach Makalu Base Camp at 5,100 m  / 16,732 ft with stunning views of Makalu, Everest and more.
  • Cross mountain passes.
  • Trek through forests, villages, and yak grazing pastures, cross rivers and through stunning valleys.
  • Experience local village life.

Makalu Base Camp Trek Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu To Tumlingtar (Flight) to Chichila (Drive)

Chichila – 1980 m / 6496 ft – 4 hrs

Day 2: Chichila To Num

Num – 1040 m / 3412 ft – 6 hrs

Day 3: Num to Seduwa

Seduwa – 1500 m / 4921 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: Seduwa To Tashi Gaon

Tashi Gaon- 2100 m / 6889 ft – 5 hrs

Day 5: Tashi Gaon To Khongma Danda

Khongma Dada – 3500 m / 11482 ft – 7 hrs

Day 6: Acclimatization Day

Khongma Dada- 3500 m / 11482 ft – 2 hrs

Day 7: Khongma Danda To Dobato

Dobato – 3500 m / 11482 ft – 6 hrs

Day 8: Dobato To Yangla Kharka

Yangla Kharka – 3557 m / 11669 ft – 7 hrs

Day 9: Yangla Kharka To Langmale Kharka

Langmale Kharka – 4410 m / 14468 ft – 6 hrs

Day 10:Langmale Kharka To Makalu Base Camp

Makalu Base Camp – 4870 m / 15977 ft – 6 hrs

Day 11: Explore Makalu Base Camp

Makalu Base Camp – 4870 m / 15977 – 3 hrs

Day 12: Makalu Base Camp To Yangla Kharka

Yangla Kharka – 3557 m / 11669 ft – 7 hrs

Day 13: Yangla Kharka to Dobato

Dobato – 3500 m / 11482 ft – 7 hrs

Day 14: Dobato To Khongma Danda

Khongma Danda – 3500 m / 11482 ft – 6 hrs

Day 15: Khongma Danda to Tashi Gaon

Tashi Gaon – 2100 m / 6889 ft – 5 hrs

Day 16: Tashi Gaon to Seduwa

Seduwa – 1500 m / 4921 ft – 5 hrs

Day 17: Seduwa to Num

Num – 1040 m / 3412 ft – 5 hrs

Day 18: Num to Chichila to Tumlingtar (Drive)

Tumlingtar – 1980 m / 6496 ft – 7 hrs

Day 19: Tumlingtar To Kathmandu (Flight)

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 50 min

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Plan Your Trip

Day 1: Kathmandu to Tumlingtar (Flight) to Chichila (Drive)

  • Flight time: 35 to 40 minutes
  • Drive time: 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Your guide will meet you after breakfast and take you to the domestic terminal of the Tribhuvan International Airport to board your plane for Tumlingtar.

This 50 minute flight takes you to the north east of the country into the Arun Valley.  From the plane you are likely to see Malaku 8,463m /  27,765, Ganesh Himal 7,422 m / 24,350.3 ft  and Mount Everest 8,848 m / 29,028.8 ft.

After touching down in Tumlingtar you board a public jeep to take you to Chichila, where you stay overnight.

Overnight at Chichila – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Flying into the mountain region with stunning views from the plane windows.·      
  • A slightly uncomfortable jeep journey on a dusty and bumpy road to the starting point of your trek.

Day 2: Chichila to Num

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After breakfast, set off on your first trekking day.  The trail gradually descends through lush forests of rhododendrons and bamboo.  Be careful on the trail as it may be slippery in places, but overall, it’s a moderate and pleasant  hike.

Crossing the Arun River, you come to your first suspension bridge of this trek. 

Overnight at Num – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Your first day on the trail!
  • Beautiful rhododendron forests – especially when blooming in the spring.
  • Cross a river by suspension bridge.
  • Pass through local villages.·      
  • Possible patches of slippery ground in the forests.

Day 3: Num to Seduwa

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

First thing in the morning you are faced with a steep descent out of Num through forestlands to the Barun River.  Here is your second suspension bridge – why don’t you count how many you encounter on this trek?

After crossing the river there is a steep ascent which brings you into the Makalu Barun National Park.  Here you will have your permits checked before you reach your overnight teahouse.

Overnight at Seduwa – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Entering Makalu Barun National Park.
  • Another river crossing by suspension bridge.
  • A steep descent followed by an equally as steep ascent.
  • It’s a tougher day than yesterday.

 Day 4: Seduwa to Tashi Gaon

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

It’s a beautiful hike through rhododendron forests, and cultivated farmlands today.  There is another river to cross – and you guessed it – by suspension bridge!  You will walk through two villages – Hindrungma and Rupisa before reaching Tashi Gaon.

Overnight at Tashi Gaon – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Fabulous lush vegetation and farmlands.
  • Interesting villages to pass through.
  • A river crossing to keep things fresh.

Day 5: Tashi Gaon to Khongma Danda

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

It’s a challenging day today as you are rising considerably in elevation.  Coming out of Tashi Gaon you come to your first challenge – an uphill hike; first through rhododendron forests then through pastures.  From here there is a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains.

One of the places you pass by is called Dhara, which means tap.  So called because of the natural water source here.  This is a good place to stop, rest and take lunch.

Then it’s another ascent to Khongma Danda, a ridge with more breathtaking views of Chamlang,  Peak 6, and Makalu, among others.

Overnight at Khongma Danda – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • More stunning scenery and landscapes.
  • Breathtaking mountain views.
  • Steep climbs over stone steps.

Day 6: Acclimatization Day – Khongma Dada

Due to the high altitude, today you take an acclimatization day in Khongma Danda. From now on the altitude falls into the numbers where someone could potentially suffer from altitude related problems.  Stay hydrated, take your time when hiking and listen to your body.

Have a leisurely breakfast then explore the village and surrounding countryside.

This, like others in the area, is a Sherpa village so this is your opportunity to learn something about Sherpa culture and lifestyle.

Overnight at Khongma Dada – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges·  

Relax, hike around the area, do some light yoga or meditation.

Day 7: Khongma Danda to Dobato

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today you are going to cross two passes, which can be quite a challenge if you are not prepared.  Your first pass comes after walking along a ridge –  Ghungru La Pass at 4,055 m / 13,303.8 ft. Then trek on  to another pass – Keke La Pass at 4,170 m / 13,681 ft.   After some time reach the village of Dobato which is situated in a valley.

Although you are crossing two mountain passes, neither of them are particularly high so you should enjoy the hike and the stunning mountain views from the top of the passes.

Overnight at Dobato – teahouse.

Challenges and Highlights

  • You have crossed two Himalayan passes today – what an achievement!
  • Wonderful mountain views.

Day 8: Dobato to Yangla Kharka

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

More beautiful rhododendron forests to pass through today on your way to the Barun River.

If you haven’t seen them before on this trek, today is the day you will see yaks grazing in green pastures.  Yangla Kharka itself is a meadow with stunning mountain views. 

Overnight at Yangla Kharka – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Enjoying the environment of the Barun River.
  • Grazing yaks make great photographs!
  • It’s a long hike today.

Day 9: Yangla Kharka to Langmale Kharka

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

You will rise in elevation by almost 1,000 m / 3,280.8 ft today so you must go slowly and take lots of  breaks on the trail.  Most definitely you will be feeling some slight changes in your body, which is only natural.  But do look out for more serious or long lasting symptoms.

The trail is steep as you ascend through alpine meadows, forests and rhododendron forests.  You will be crossing more pastures, where there may be herds of yaks. 

You will be staying at  Langmale Kharka, which is a summer pasture for yak herds, with stunning views of Peak 3, Peak 4, Peak 5, Chamlang and Hongku Chuli.

Overnight at Langmale Kharka – teahouse. 

Highlights and Challenges

  • The beautiful countryside and gorgeous mountain views.
  • The high altitude and steep sections of the trial.

Day 10: Langmale Kharka to Makalu Base Camp

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today you reach base camp!  But it’s a difficult hike to get there – are you up to the challenge?

The trail crosses moraine deposits, rocky land, potential snow and ice patches. The Barun Glacier and snowy mountains are all around you. Travel slowly and carefully over the loose rocks and slippery trails.  It may be that crampons are needed in parts.

After negotiating switchback trails you reach a plateau.  And there it is in front of you – the 5th highest mountain in the world!  Malaku is 8,485 m / 27,838 ft tall – hard to imagine this is only the 5th highest mountain.   As part of the Mahalangur Himalayas, Malaku is approximately 19 km / 12 miles southeast of Mount Everest.  We assume that is as the crow-flies and not as the trekker hikes!  It sits on the Nepal / China border, as does Everest.

Overnight at Makalu Base Camp – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Achieving your dream of reaching Makalu Base Camp!
  • Success at crossing loose moraine and glacier ice.
  • The trek is challenging today.

Day 11: Explore Makalu Base Camp

There is plenty of time to explore base camp today and take photographs and videos for those back home.

There are many mountains to see today. And by hiking a short distance (around 3 hours return trip) you can climb a ridge to get the best possible views of the mountains, glaciers and lakes.  Apart from Malaku  (now sitting right in front of you), you will see Chamlang (7,319 m / 24,012.4 ft), Lhotse (8,516 m / 27939.6 ft) and the Kangshung Face of Everest.

Did you know, the Kangshung Face of Mt Everest was first scouted by George Mallory in 1921 but only summited in 1982 by a Japanese expedition?  This side of Everest is known for its remoteness, steeper ascents and more technical terrain than the more famous South Col and Northeast Ridge routes to the summit. It is on the Tibet side of Everest and rarely seen, or even heard of,  by mountaineers or trekkers.  On this trek, you get to see it clearly!

Overnight at Makalu Base Camp – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Exploring base camp is a pretty huge highlight!
  • Fabulous mountain views.
  • See the not often seen face of Mt Everest.
  • Learn the fascinating history of the Kangshung Face.

Day 12: Makalu Base Camp to Yangla Kharka

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After breakfast you are going to retrace your steps back to Langmale Kharka, this time descending from base camp instead of hiking upwards. 

After crossing Langmale Kharka descend to the Barun River Valley until you reach Yangle Kharka.  This stretch of the trail sees more vegetation in the form of juniper forests and rhododendrons.  Keep an eye out for birds on this part of the trail, which leads you to a wide valley and seasonal yak pastures.

Overnight at Yangle Kharka – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • You may spot some wildlife such as blue sheep  and Himalayan tahr  (mountain goat type ungulate).
  • More stunning mountain views as you retrace your steps.
  • It is a downhill trek today but be careful of your knees.

Day 13: Yangla Kharka to Dobato

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Vegetation gets even more dense today as you go down and along the Barun River Valley.  The hiking is more gentle  so you can really enjoy the views of Makalu, 

Chamlang and the other mountains. Learn something about the lifestyle of the villages you are passing through. 

Overnight at Dobato – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Enjoy the coolness of the rhododendron and bamboo forests.
  • Enjoy the Barun River Valley with its abundant wildlife and birds.

Day 14: Dobato to Khongma Danda

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Retrace your steps today back to Khongma Danda.

As you cross the two passes –  Ghungru La Pass at 4,055 m / 13,303.8 ft and Keke La Pass at 4,170 m / 13,681 ft – take note if you find these easier now than on the inward journey.  Perhaps because you have been at high altitude for some days, crossing over the passes comes more easily.

At the top of each pass, stop and admire the surrounding mountains – have they changed in any way, or is it your perspective?

Overnight at Khongma Danda – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Crossing two mountain passes.
  • Being surrounded by  mountains.
  • Noting how your body compares to just a few days ago.

Day 15: Khongma Danda to Tashi Gaon

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today you are going down in elevation so your breathing will be easier and your  walking lighter.  Hiking through the now familiar rhododendron forests and grazing pastures, the mountains are still with you as you approach Tashi Gaon.

Something you may not have noticed/ registered on the inward journey is that the teahouses at Tashi Gaon are a little above the others in terms of facilities and offer charging facilities and hot showers.  Enjoy your night in the dining room chatting with other trekkers.

Overnight at Tashi Gaon – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges  

  • The amazing panoramic views.
  • Easier trail as you descend downwards in altitude.
  • Enjoy the camaraderie in the teahouse.

Day 16: Tashi Gaon to Seduwa

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Take your time over breakfast this morning as it’s a shorter day on the trail.  Say hello again to the villages of Hindrungma and Rupisa on your homeward journey to Seduwa. 

By now you find crossing suspension bridges easy and do so with confidence! 

There is plenty of cultivated farmland on show  as the altitude is low enough to support many types of crops.

Overnight at Seduwa – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Lovely river environment.
  • You can inquire at the villages as to what crops they are growing.

Day 17: Seduwa to Num

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

This is your final hiking day on this trek.  With a touch of sadness, you pass over that original first suspension bridge crossing the Arun River.

Overnight at Num – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

·   It’s a bittersweet day as you hike the Makalu Base Camp trails for the last time.

Day 18: Num to Chichila to Tumlingtar (Drive) Tumlingtar

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today take a local jeep to Chichila and most likely change jeep to head towards Tumlingtar where you overnight while waiting for your morning flight to Kathmandu.

Overnight at Tumlingtar – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • You can celebrate your success tonight with a glass of beer!
  • Sadly, this is your final night on the trek.

Day 19: Tumlingtar to Kathmandu (Flight) Kathmandu

  • Flight time: 35 to 40 minutes

Your flight takes you out of the Makalu area and back to the capital of Kathmandu.  Enjoy your last sight of the mountains out of the plane window.

On arrival in Kathmandu, your guide will escort you back to your hotel and say a sad goodbye.

Highlights and Challenges

  • The mountains from the plane windows.
  • Back in Kathmandu with good hotels and a large variety of food.
  • Saying goodbye to your guide.


  • 18 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • Kathmandu Tumlingtar Kathmandu flight
  • Tumlingtar Chichila Tumlingtar local jeep
  • Guide for 19 days
  • Makalu Barun national park entry permit
  • Trekkers information management system card
  • 19 x set breakfast, 18 x set lunch and 18 x set dinner while on trek
  • One porter for 19 days USD 480 (Optional)

Makalu Base Camp Trek Map

makalu region trek map

Location Makalu Base Camp Trek

The Makalu Base Camp Trek starts from Tumlingtar, situated in the eastern part of the country, near the Tibet border.  If you think about it this way – Makalu Base Camp is only around 20 km from Mt Everest, you might get an idea.  That is not to say you can walk that 20 km to get to Everest.  Definitely not!

You will be trekking through the Makalu Barun National Park with its stunning river valleys and high mountains, not to mention unique wildlife and bird population.

Trek Difficulty

This is a strenuous 19 day trek with 10  of those 19 days hiking and sleeping at high altitudes (over 3,000 m / 9,842.5 ft). This is one of the reasons it is classed as ‘strenuous’.  With an average walking time of 6 hours per day, and sometimes sleeping in very basic accommodation, it is preferable that you have previous high altitude trekking experience.  You should be very fit, with a high stamina level to successfully, and happily complete this trek.

Highlights of the Makalu Base Camp Trek

Breathtaking Views: From Makalu to Everest there are many mountain peaks to see on this trek.
Diverse Landscapes: Trekking  through the Makalu Barun National Park, this trek offers lush forests, exciting river crossings, green pastures, and alpine landscapes.
People and Culture: You will meet Rai and Sherpa people.  You will get the opportunity to learn something about their lifestyle and culture as you stay in the small settlements.
Unique Wildlife: The Makalu Barun National Park is home to a wide variety of species of flora and fauna including the snow leopard and red panda.

How Fit Should You Be for THe Makalu Base Camp Trek?

 This is a strenuous trek with 10 days at high altitude and some mountain passes to cross. You should be very fit to undertake this trek and have a high stamina level.  Each day you will walk for around 6 hours, which at sea level is just fine, but at altitude is very tiring.  Accommodation is less than luxurious.  Previous high altitude trekking is a definite advantage. 

What to Expect on the Makalu Base Camp Trek

You will be flying across the country to Tumlingtar then driving along a bumpy and dusty trails for a few hours to where you start the trekking part of the adventure.

You will be in the Makalu Barun National Park where there is beautiful scenery to admire, including rivers to cross, forests to hike through, valleys with yak grazing pastures, and of course stunning mountain views.  There are also mountain passes to cross over and many steep ascents as well as those downwards trails which are hard on the knees. At base camp you will see  Malaku (8,481 m / 27,824.8 ft) ,  Chamlang (7,319 m / 24,012.4 ft), Lhotse (8,516 m / 27,939.6 ft) and the rarely seen Kangshung Face of Everest.

The people in this area are mainly from the Rai community in the lower section, and Sherpa in the higher sections.

An Average Day on the Trek

You will be staying in teahouses (trekking lodges) throughout this trek.  In some of the more remote areas, the accommodation is less than basic, and it could be you are staying in someone’s home, even in their kitchen.

Breakfast is eaten early in the regular teahouses so you can be on the road by 8am. 

There may be suspension bridges to cross over, small settlements to hike through, yaks to watch grazing on green pastures, rhododendron forests with  stunning red blooms  in the spring, and rocky, loose stones under foot.  Depending on the day. 

You will have lunch on the trail.  Perhaps in a small tea hut or perhaps a packed lunch brought from your overnight teahouse.  Dinner will be at the next overnight stop.  At regular teahouses you will be able to have a hot shower (although perhaps this is provided in a bucket), and there may be some soft drinks available. If you are in a homestay, it is likely there is only hot tea and no hot water shower.  Regardless of the accommodation type, toilets will be outside of the main building and shared with other trekkers.

Bed time always comes early on a trek, as you will be getting up early in the morning.

Safety First  is Our Rule

Our priority is to provide you with a fabulous trek which will stay in your memory forever.  Alongside this is the priority to keep you safe on the trail.

You will be walking and sleeping at high altitude so we must consider  altitude related illness.  In order to reduce the possibility of encountering this, we recommend plenty of short breaks, drinking plenty of water and not walking too fast – even if you physically can.  Please tell your guide if you have a headache, even if slight, slight dizziness or any other ailment.

While you are walking a lot of the time through forests, there are times when the ground will have loose rocks/ gravel and care needs to be taken on these sections of the trail.    There are also a lot of descents that will impact your knees and trekking poles will definitely help on these sections. 

Do not go off on your own to explore the area – it is easy to get turned around in the mountains.  Please let your guide know if you are planning to go anywhere.  Do take his word for it if he says do not go.  There may have been a leopard sighted nearby, or there may be a tricky trail, or some other hazard that he has heard about from the locals.

When is the Best Time to go to Makalu Base Camp

Spring: (March to May) Spring is one of the best times to trek in Nepal,  and it is true about the Makalu Base Camp Trek. It will be warm at the lower altitudes and although cold at higher altitudes, there should be no snowfall.

Autumn: (September to November)  Autumn is the other season quoted as the best for trekking in Nepal.  It is quite similar to spring in temperature and clearness of the sky and mountain views.

Monsoon: (June – September) Monsoon can bring heavy rain, but even moderate rain can spoil your trek. Flights may be delayed or canceled due to the weather.  Rivers may overflow making the way hazardous and trails will become slippery and more dangerous.  It is preferable not to try to trek to Makalu Base Camp in the monsoon.

Winter: (December – February)  There will be snowfall at the higher altitudes, and we do not recommend winter for this trek.  

Permits Required for This Trek

Makalu Barun National Park and Conservation Area Permit:

Cost: SAARC citizens – Nrs1,500 per person, per entry.

Other nationalities – Nrs 3,000 per person, per entry.

Makalu Rural Municipality Permit:

Cost: Rs2,000 per person per entry.

**We will have these permits issued on your behalf.**

Food and Accommodation on the Makalu Base Camp Trek

The reason you have chosen the Makalu Base Camp Trek is because it is a remote, hardly trekked region of the country.  As a result, there is not a culture of comfortable teahouses as in some of the more popular areas such as the Annapurnas and Everest Region.

If the accommodation you are staying in on a particular night is more homestay than teahouse, then the choice of food may be non-existent. 

The season and location will also impact what is available.  Unlike teahouses in busy trekking areas, a homestay family are not going to be ordering in lots of supplies for visiting trekkers.  It’s just logistically and financially too hard.

That being said, Nepali food can be tasty.  Some of the items you will find in all teahouses and home stays are:-

Dal Bhat Takari – in other words, vegetable curry, dal soup and rice.  Served with pickles (spicy!).

Noodles – either fried, in a soup, with eggs or vegetables. 

Soups – it is an easy way for the home chef to prepare food for foreign tastes.  Soup will mainly be garlic or vegetables.

Eggs – always a great source of protein and so versatile! 

Tea – while the majority of Nepalis drink ‘masala tea’ –  that is milk tea with spices added – in the more remote areas there may not be milk available at all times of the day.  Enjoy your tea black!  In the small establishments you are unlikely to get coffee – bring your own instant variety.  

Snacks – bring your own snacks such as chocolate, power bars, dried fruit and nuts.

Dietary restrictions – let us know:

There is very little meat and chicken on the menus on the trek, but we recommend you avoid that anyway.  Sometimes there is no refrigeration, and the meat may not be very fresh.  Avoid stomach problems.

If you have dietary restrictions, let us know so we can inform the kitchen. 

Tips on Food:

  • Buy snacks in Kathmandu or bring them from your hometown.
  • Request your food is not too spicy.

Water on the Trek

Do not drink tap or spring water until you have treated it. Use liquid or tablet purifiers.

Drinking contaminated water will cause stomach problems and could end your trek.  Be very careful with water and treat it yourself or buy hot boiled water at the teahouse.  You will have to pay for that boiled water, but it will be safe.

A Lifestraw also is great on a trek as it will filter out most bacteria.  Bring a Lifestraw and  two or three stainless steel water bottles so you always have a supply of clean water.

Tips on Water:

  • To avoid dehydration drink plenty of water every day – around 4 ltrs a day is recommended.
  • Never drink unfiltered/ unpurified water. 

Accommodation on the Trek

Once again let us say accommodation on the Makalu Base Camp Trek is less comfortable than on many other treks.

Rooms will consist of two single beds. There may be times  when you may be in more of a dormitory situation.

There will be a lack of sanitation, both in terms of the toilets (outside the main building and shared with others) and cleanliness.

The rooms may be very drafty as there may not be enough insulation/ window glass etc.  The rooms may be stuffy due to lack of ventilation.

Lack of privacy – there is a different definition in village Nepal of privacy.  Do not expect any in some of the accommodation!  Embrace the difference!


Included in the price of your trek are the flights, and public transport to the start of the trek.   Basically, there are no alternative transport for this trek.  Once again, embrace the experience!

Before you Trek

Arrival in Nepal

We can collect you from the international airport in Kathmandu, saving you time and energy negotiating with taxi drivers.  There will be a small charge for this. Please advise us when you are completing the booking form.

Accommodation in Kathmandu

Hotel and hostels: There are many excellent hotels on or  There are 5 stars and hostels. Thamel is the place where most tourists stay as it is geared up with everything tourists need and want such as cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops.

It is quite a busy and noisy area, so if you would like something a bit quieter, we can suggest hotels in the Lazimpat area of town. Lazimpat is a short 15 minute walk from Thamel.

Those with Proud certification include Nomad Hotel, Lazimpat, and the Marriott chain.  

What to do in Kathmandu before / after your trek:

There are seven UNESCO Heritage Sites, and host of other ancient architecture sites in Kathmandu and the Kathmandu Valley.  There is the Monkey Temple or Swayambhunath as it is properly called, Boudha Stupa and Pashupati burning ghats, to name just three which are on everyone’s ‘must see’ list. We can organize tours for you.

We can also recommend places outside of Kathmandu to visit, such as Chitwan National Park, Lumbini and many more. Please ask us!

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

Porter for Your Trek

If you are an experienced hiker and used to carrying your own pack, you may not need a porter. However, even if you are experienced and fit (as you should be for this high altitude trek) you may want the freedom of not having to carry your gear.

You can hire a porter who can carry up to 20kg of your gear (but please try to bring less).

To reduce the cost of a porter, if there is someone else on your trek who would wish to share, you can both have the service of the same porter, which will save you money.  The drawback is your pack, and that of the other trekker, must be 10 kg or under.

Landscapes,  Wildlife  and Culture on the Makalu Base Camp Trek

Landscapes and wildlife: There are many mountains to be seen, including Malaku, Everest, and  Lhotse. Stunning valleys, rivers and forests to hike through and not forgetting the high grazing pastures.

You will be hiking through the Makalu Barun National Park which is home to over 75 species of mammals, including the stunning snow leopard and red panda.  Other mammals include musk deer, wild boars, wild yaks and Himalayan Thar.  There are 440 species of birds who live or migrate here, and over 3,000 species of flowering plants.

Peoples: At the lower altitudes of this trek the communities you pass through are mainly Rai.  On the upper elevations they are Sherpa.

Rai belong to the Kirat family and are of Tibeto-Burman linguistic ethnicity.  Living mainly in eastern Nepal, Sikkim, around Darjeeling, and Kalimpong in India, they can also be found in Bhutan.  They are one of the oldest tribes of Nepal. Traditionally they follow the Kirat religion based on animistic nature and ancestor worship.

At the higher altitudes you see Sherpa communities.   Sherpas are a Tibetan ethnic group native to the mountainous regions of Nepal and Tibet.  Their language is a south branch of the Tibeto-Burman languages mixed with eastern  and central Tibetan dialects. They follow Buddhism and are descended from nomads who first settled in the Khumbu and Solo regions of Nepal (also known as the Everest Region).  They are famous for their mountaineering skills, and it is that most people outside of Nepal know them for.

What is included in your trek:

Transport: Flights and public transport are included in the cost of the trek. 

Food: Three meals a day and tea/ coffee (when available) are included.  Extras, such as cold drinks, are to be paid directly to the teahouse.

In the teahouse: There are some charges – that is if they have the services in the first place. Hot water for showers, electricity to charge your devices,  and drinking water are all things you need to pay for.   As well as cold and alcoholic beverages.

Tips: Please calculate the tips for your guide and porter in dollars, other currencies or Nepali rupees.   We suggest the tip for the guide to be  around USD200 (divided by the number of people on your trek)  and your personal porter around USD150 (paid by yourself). 

On the trail:  There is not really anywhere to purchase anything in this remote area.  There may be some shops and/ or beer, soft drinks, juice, in the teahouses on the first couple and last couple of days on the trek. But really not much more.

What kind of cash to bring: Nepali rupees are the only currency you can use on this trek. 

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

**In total we recommend you bring around USD 10-12 per day, in Nepali rupees, for extras on the trail. You can always spend what you don’t use on the trail back in Kathmandu.   Don’t forget to bring money for tips for the guide and porter. **

Before you come expenses:

  • Do you need to buy new trekking gear?
  • Increasing your fitness may cost you something ie entrance to gym, swimming pool etc.
  • Travel insurance
  • Flight ticket
  • Visa fee for Nepal  

Communication on the Trek

Bad weather can interfere with the phone and WiFi signal in the mountains.  Do not be surprised if there is no WiFi on this trek. 

Tips for Communication

  • You can buy a NTC or NCELL sim card when you arrive at the Tribhuvan International Airport for data internet for WiFi. No guarantee those will work on the trek, but many times we are surprised.
  • Tell loved ones at home you will be out of range for the duration of your trek, and in that way they won’t worry if they don’t hear from you for some time.

Your Personal Travel Insurance

Travel insurance should include trekking up to 5,000 m  /  16,404 ft. It should cover helicopter evacuation, just in case.

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. Please organize your insurance before coming.

Group or  Private Trek –  What is the Difference?

A group trek is where you will be with a few other trekkers, not previously known to you, who wish to visit the same trek. 

A private trek is where you and your friend(s) are the only ones on the trek.  If you are traveling with family or friends, around 3 or 4 of them, this is the type of trek to choose.

If you are traveling solo it might be difficult to provide you with a guide for a private trek, but you can ask us, and we will see what we can do.

There is no difference in the price between a private and a group trek. 

Packing Tips

Download our packing list PDF here.

Bring clothes to layer:  It may be quite warm at the start and end of this trek, but it will be cold at the higher altitudes. Bring clothing that can be layered

Pack Smart: Keep your pack light for carrying over rough trails.  If you are hiring a porter, be considerate of the weight he has to carry.

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.

FAQs For Makalu Base Camp Trek:

General Information

What is the Makalu Base Camp Trek?

The Makalu Base Camp Trek is a 19-day adventure through the Makalu Barun National Park, leading to the base camp of Mount Makalu at 5100 meters.

How difficult is the Makalu Base Camp Trek?

This trek is rated strenuous due to its high altitude and challenging terrain, suitable for experienced trekkers.

When is the best time to go on the Makalu Base Camp Trek?

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

What are the main highlights of the trek?

Key highlights include the panoramic views of Everest and Lhotse, the Barun Glacier, and the diverse flora and fauna of the Makalu Barun National Park.

How high is Makalu Base Camp?

Makalu Base Camp is situated at an altitude of 5100 meters (16732 feet).

Is prior trekking experience necessary for this trek?

Yes, due to the trek’s difficulty and altitude, prior trekking experience is recommended.

What wildlife can be seen during the trek?

Trek through regions home to species like the snow leopard, red panda, and Himalayan Thar.

How long is the entire trek?

The trek spans 19 days, including acclimatization days and travel to and from Kathmandu.

What kind of accommodation is available?

Accommodation is provided in mountain teahouses, offering basic amenities and meals.

Is the trek suitable for solo travelers?

While the trek can be done solo, it is safer and more enjoyable with a guide or group.

Itinerary Details

What is the starting point of the trek?

The trek begins at Tumlingtar, with a flight from Kathmandu.

How is the daily itinerary structured?

Each day involves 5-7 hours of trekking with stops at various points such as Chichila, Num, and Seduwa.

Are there any rest days during the trek?

Yes, an acclimatization day is scheduled at Khongma Danda.

What is the highest point reached during the trek?

The highest point is Makalu Base Camp at 5100 meters.

What can be expected on the acclimatization day?

Trekkers will rest and explore the area around Khongma Danda to adjust to the altitude.

How do trekkers return to Kathmandu?

The return journey involves trekking back to Tumlingtar and taking a flight to Kathmandu.

What are some key locations visited during the trek?

Key locations include the Shipton Pass, Barun Glacier, and Yangla Kharka.

What is the daily distance covered?

Daily distances vary but typically range between 10-15 km.

How is the trek graded in terms of difficulty?

The trek is graded as strenuous due to altitude and terrain.

Are there any notable cultural experiences on the trek?

Trekkers will pass through traditional Sherpa and Gurung villages, experiencing local culture.

Preparation and Packing

What should I pack for the Makalu Base Camp Trek?

Essential items include warm clothing, trekking boots, a sleeping bag, and a first aid kit.

Do I need special permits for this trek?

Yes, a Makalu Barun National Park entry permit and a Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card are required.

Is it necessary to carry altitude sickness medication?

Yes, carrying medication for altitude sickness is recommended.

What kind of footwear is best for the trek?

Sturdy, waterproof trekking boots with good ankle support are essential.

How much cash should I carry for the trek?

Carry enough cash for additional expenses as ATMs are unavailable on the trek.

Are trekking poles necessary?

Trekking poles can be very helpful for stability and reducing strain on knees.

Can I rent trekking gear in Kathmandu?

Yes, most trekking gear can be rented or purchased in Kathmandu.

Is travel insurance necessary?

Travel insurance covering high-altitude trekking is highly recommended.

What type of clothing is suitable for the trek?

Layered clothing is best to adjust to varying temperatures, including thermal wear and a down jacket.

Should I bring water purification tablets?

Yes, water purification tablets or a filtration system is recommended.

Health and Safety

How do I prevent altitude sickness?

Ascend slowly, stay hydrated, and take acclimatization days seriously to prevent altitude sickness.

What are the symptoms of altitude sickness?

Symptoms include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

Is it safe to drink water from streams?

Only drink water from streams if it is purified or boiled.

What medical facilities are available on the trek?

Medical facilities are limited, so it’s essential to carry a first aid kit and medications.

How do I handle emergencies on the trek?

Guides are trained in emergency response, and evacuation can be arranged if necessary.

Are there risks of wildlife encounters?

Encounters with wildlife are rare, but it’s essential to be cautious and follow guide instructions.

How can I stay safe from the weather?

Check weather forecasts regularly, and carry appropriate gear for cold and wet conditions.

Is it safe to trek alone?

Solo trekking is not recommended; it’s safer to trek with a guide or group.

Consult a travel clinic for recommended vaccinations such as typhoid, hepatitis A, and tetanus.

How do I ensure food safety on the trek?

Stick to cooked foods, avoid raw vegetables, and only drink purified or boiled water.

Booking and Cost

How much does the Makalu Base Camp Trek cost?

The cost is approximately USD 1,576 per person, which includes accommodation, meals, and permits.

What is included in the trek package?

The package includes flights, accommodation, meals, permits, and a guide.

Are there any additional costs?

Additional costs may include tips, extra snacks, personal expenses, and optional porter services.

How do I book the Makalu Base Camp Trek?

You can book the trek through our website or contact them directly.

What is the cancellation policy?

Please refer to our terms and condition and cancellation policy page to know more about it.

Is a deposit required for booking?

Yes, a deposit is usually required to confirm your booking.

Can the itinerary be customized?

Yes, Magical Nepal offers the option to customize the itinerary based on your preferences.

Are group discounts available?

Group discounts may be available; inquire directly with Magical Nepal for details.

How far in advance should I book?

Booking several months in advance is recommended to secure your spot, especially during peak seasons.

What forms of payment are accepted?

You can deposit using credit card and pay the remaining amount on your arrival in Kathmandu in Cash or Card

Lumba Sumba Pass Trek | Sherpani Col Pass Trek

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