In case you are simply discovering in regards to the new obligatory trekking rule in Nepal, then please learn my no holds barred article on the ban on unbiased trekking in Nepal for all the explanations on why it occurred, the place it’s being carried out, and what to do about it.
This web page accommodates the very newest info on the ban on solo trekking based mostly by myself boots on the bottom expertise, plus insider info on what TAAN (Trekking Company Affiliation of Nepal) and NTB (Nepal Tourism Board)have really accomplished since March and what you as a trekker can anticipate for the remainder of the yr in Nepal.
Hopefully it could assist folks eager to know extra in regards to the state of affairs as it’s now and for many who are making up their minds about coming to Nepal for trekking.
Did the ban on Solo Trekking go forward this yr?
Sure, past a shadow of a doubt each TAAN and NTB have categorically acknowledged that each one non-Nepali trekkers visiting Nepal for trekking will need to have a registered trekking information. They’ve eliminated all TIMS Playing cards on the market to unbiased trekkers and now solely permit registered trekking companies to concern them. There was additionally a positive launched of USD $120 for any trekker caught with out a information. Trekking companies are additionally being fined for issuing TIMS playing cards with no information.
Replace on the obligatory trekking information rule in Nepal
TAAN began the ban by giving out day by day statistics on the variety of TIMS playing cards companies have been promoting. This all stopped after 4 weeks. In the meantime the Solukhumbu area (Everest treks) refused to adjust to the directive and so they nonetheless to at the present time permit trekkers with out a information to trek of their area. No official assertion from the Ministry of Tourism (above NTB) was revealed. Regardless of guarantees, TAAN didn’t open a single TIMS checkpoint to verify TIMS playing cards or trekkers. No solo / unbiased trekkers have been stopped. Police checkpoints let all trekkers with or with out a information via with no positive or harassment.
So the truth is the ban is in place, with warnings being revealed by TAAN and NTB, however there are not any checkpoints or any workers manning the checkpoints.
Why did TAAN not put workers within the checkpoints?
That’s the large query. Once more, do learn my article on solo trekking being banned in Nepal for an in-depth take a look at the true causes for the ban. In abstract, when the ban was launched they mentioned checkpoints can be manned by April 1st. It by no means occurred. I do know individuals who work there. They mentioned administration have been making an attempt to recruit workers on low salaries and no person was . The officers simply saved saying, subsequent week they are going to be staffed. Adopted by subsequent week, And, subsequent week. It by no means occurred.
Up till now, there was no coaching, or recruitment drives for employees to work on the checkpoints.
So, once more, as I wrote again in March because the ban was being introduced each TAAN and NTB have been and are merely pulling a large cash seize. There’s been zero new amenities, signal posts, coaching, or work put into trekker security earlier than, throughout, or after the announcement regardless of the huge amount of cash they produced from TIMS playing cards bought for the reason that ban on solo trekking.
In the meantime, this month TAAN introduced new minimal information salaries of $31 per day. And new porter minimal salaries of $24 per day. Furthermore, on the sixteenth of July there is perhaps a 13% TAX on home flights together with to Lukla. Couple that with the worldwide value of dwelling will increase and the price of trekking in Nepal is quickly growing. A return flight to Lukla might quickly value $400. That’s greater than a return flight from Kathmandu to Kuala Lumpur!
Did the ban cut back the quantity of trekkers visiting Nepal?
No. The explanation for that is easy. The ban grew to become official on April 1st, which was too late for many first peak season of the yr trekkers to cancel worldwide flights or certainly trek bookings. So for that very purpose numbers weren’t diminished. Nevertheless, the variety of guides employed elevated enormously as trekkers have been caught unaware and struggled to search out fairly priced guides on quick discover.
A aspect impact of the above is that value gouging grew to become rampant. Trekking firms have been doubling their information charges as trekking guides grew to become quick in provide. Then got here the studies of trekking brokers including on charges for permits and claiming it was a brand new tax (there was no tax). $30 Nationwide Park Charges grew to become $50 as did TIMS playing cards. Fortunately trekkers who did their analysis have been conscious of this rip-off, however those who didn’t ended up paying.
The actual reply to if the trekking ban diminished vacationer numbers gained’t occur till this coming season in 2023 and certainly in 2024 as many individuals are nonetheless unaware of the ban on unbiased trekking.
Did banning solo trekking cut back trekker deaths?
That’s one other query that’s tough to reply. Quite a few unsubstantiated studies of lacking trekkers circulated this yr in Solukhumbu (the area that allowed solo trekkers), nevertheless not one was substantiated. That is the primary yr these “studies” appeared within the method that they did. By way of guides, trekking brokers, and social media. Once more, none of them have been ever proved.
One man who died of pure causes within the Solukhumbu area (who permit solo trekking) was photographed and the picture was circulated repeatedly by guides, and trekking brokers touting that solo trekking was harmful. Once more, he died of pure causes. There definitely was a pro-mandatory information group pushing the agenda at any value throughout social media. Unusually guides, and porters who died to date this yr didn’t get as a lot publicity. Neither did the shortage of climate warning methods throughout a late snow storm.
It gained’t be totally identified if trekker deaths or lacking trekkers have been diminished till the tip of 2023. The primary peak season of the yr is but to start out (when most individuals come). On the finish of this peak season we should always know if A) trekker numbers have risen or fallen, and B) have there been much less deaths and lacking trekkers.
So, the large query: Do you want a compulsory trekking information this yr in Nepal?
Firstly, I’ve all the time advocated that first time trekkers ought to take a information when trekking in Nepal. I’ve seen six foot 5 navy guys with expertise trekking elsewhere fall to their knees trekking in Nepal regardless of being warned. From air high quality, to meals, terrain, climate, and so forth Nepali mountain trekking ought to be handled otherwise than elsewhere. When you’ve got expertise trekking particularly in Nepal, then trekking alone is a selection it is best to have the ability to make for your self.
For now, you 100% don’t want a trekking information for any trek within the Solukhumbu treks. That’s treks like EBC, Three Passes, and Gokyo.
Formally, for all different treks that require a TIMS card then sure you want a compulsory information. Nevertheless, there are not any TAAN or TIMS checkpoints open anyplace. So no person is checking. The police will doubtless ask you when you’ve got a information or not. If not, they’ll simply allow you to move.
Does this imply you possibly can go with out a information or TIMS card? It means legally no, however the actuality is individuals are going trekking with out the carried out checkpoints being open. This might all change inside the house of a few weeks (will replace right here). TAAN might ship a bunch of recent information out to workers the checkpoints, however all indications are that they don’t seem to be doing this for the time being.
Once more, in all circumstances, my take is for those who haven’t trekked in Nepal earlier than, rent a information.
Full trekking particulars are in my books beneath ( the one guidebooks that embody entry charges) and certainly in case you are in search of an area registered information then you can even use my Discover a Trekking Information Service.
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