Permits, guides, porters

Permits

A special Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is required for visiting the Kangchenjunga region. This permit requires that you have a registered guide and a party of two or more. The fee is US$10 per person per week up to 4 weeks, thereafter US$20 per person per week, and this permit must be arranged by a trekking agency in Kathmandu.

You also need a  Kangchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) entry permit which costs Rs2000 (approx US$20) per person. It is possible to buy this at the Police Checkpoint in Taplethok though much easier to get beforehand in Kathmandu.

You will need 4 photos per person for the permits and to show your passport (not a copy).

Allow one day in Kathmandu to get the permits sorted.

TIMs: Unless you are continuing to the Khumbu (which is a great trip if you have the time), the Restricted Area permit means that you do not need a TIMS card (Trekkers Information Management System) as well.

Local agents

One way to short cut some of the bureaucracy is to have a Nepalese agency take care of the logistics. A good agent will be able to navigate the permits, provide a reliable, trained and licensed guide and source porters if you need them. Note if booked through an agent check that the porters have insurance.

Other jobs an agent can do for you to make life easier are: booking plane tickets (you pay the same price, the agent receives a commission), transfers to and from the airport in KTM; jeep travel from Taplejung to Tewa (and back); rental of equipment …. and lots more.

We have used

Chhurim Treks and Expedition

Run by Chhurim Sherpa, a Ghunsa woman who’s family still live in the village (she’s also the first woman to summit Everest twice in the same season!)

Nepal Sanctuary Treks

Thamserku Trekking

Porters

If hiring porters locally (in Taplejung) do make sure to check that they have suitable clothing and footwear for the trip. This is a legal requirement and it’s your (or the agent’s) responsibility.

You must (by law) also provide insurance for them.

Find out more about ethical porter-client contracting at Porters Progress UK

Note that porters in this area are notoriously hard to find. They are also, in our experience, from extremely poor backgrounds so very likely to turn up only in chappals, t-shirt and leggings (with no extra clothes). They may bring their own rice etc with them to save money.

Expect to pay around 1200NPR / day. The porters will cover their own food and lodging costs from this. On rest days they’ll usually help out in a lodge to earn their food.

Clothing requirements: boots, socks, gloves, warm hat, sunglasses, warm (waterproof) jacket, overtrousers

Guides

To get a good view of the culture we recommend finding a guide who speaks Tibetan and Nepali as well as your native tongue.

The Dengates say: “We very highly recommend Visit Himalaya Treks himalt@visithimalayastrek.com and www.visithimalayastrek.com. Their principal Himal Tamang proved to be calm, capable and exceptionally good at getting us into and out of remote places with a minimum of fuss. Likewise, on both occasions our guide Mingma Bhote and porter Lakpa Bhote couldn’t have been more friendly, helpful, useful and able to deal with the unexpected. We enjoyed our first Kanchenjunga trek so much that we kept the same happy team for another 20 days around Manaslu and Tsum and then engaged them for the second Kangchenjunga trek in 2013. Both Mingma and Lakpa were only too pleased to help us learn some Nepali and Tibetan which added another dimension to our trip. I cannot recommend this company highly enough. Another recommended guide and porter team is Oangdi Gurung and Prem Rai. Oangdi and Prem are good friends. Oangdi is from Lo Manthang in Mustang, and Prem from the Kanchenjunga region Both speak good English. You can make contact through: wangtse508@gmail.com

4 Responses

  1. Raphael said on December 22, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Namaste,
    I will to do this trek in March 2015.
    I already have an experience of trekking in the Annapurna and I would like to find a local guide.
    I also want to get in touch with other people with same project.

    I am worried about the time required for the permits.
    What is the fastest way to start the trek from Taplejung with both permits?

    Thank’s a lot !

    By the way: meero naam Raphaël ho 🙂

    Reply
  2. Dilu Rai said on October 30, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Hello all!
    I am also a registered trekking guide and I have done many trekking in Nepal like Upper Mustang, Manaslu and Tsum Valley and many more.
    I always try to convince all kinds of clients as a French language spoken city tour guide and trekking guide with English, Japanese , Chinese and many more local dialect spoken. So I can deal with locally produced problems during the trek.
    I wish I could serve for you, too!

    Reply
  3. yvette said on July 21, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Hello all,

    I would like to do the trekking with a friend of mine in october 2017.
    But I really cant find a price for the hike per person? There are only very high prices with tour agencies.. does anyone know if there is a less expensive possibility?

    yvette

    Reply

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