When Eric Shipton, Bill Tilman, Tom Longstaff, and other early explorers made their way through Nepal they found a culture unchanged for thousands of years. These explorers spent months trekking through unexplored regions, learning the local language and culture while they documented their travels.
Last year 35,000 tourists trekked to Everest Base Camp. You can walk there in a week, staying in modern accommodation, eating cheese burgers and drinking ice cold beers whilst uploading your photos to Facebook, Flickr, and Instagram.
Kanchenjunga sees less than 1000 tourists per year. It’s thrilling heights, breathtaking scenery, and challenging landscapes lure a breed of trekker looking for something extra. They want to experience the real Himalaya, the old Himalaya. To sit around a campfire at night, watching thousands of stars, and hear the cry of a snow leopard drift down from the mountains is a rare and unique privilege. This type of experience doesn’t come easy. Adversity introduces a man to himself.
But taking a month off to trek in true wilderness is difficult in our modern lives. The Kanchenjunga Trek team knows this and has developed four different itineraries. Our Kanchenjunga Trek Itinerary range from 15 to 24 days for the treks, which includes adequate time to acclimatize. The treks differ in; difficulty, altitude, can be done as camping only, teahouse only, or a combination of both. Side trips to glaciers, minor and major summits, and remote passes can be added. Porters can be used or you can elect to carry your own equipment.
At the end of each trek we ask our trekkers how we can improve their experience. This feedback is invaluable to ensure that Kanchenjunga Trek constantly strives to ensure the best trekking experience available.
Since March 2015 we have operated over 15 treks. Our local guides are now very experienced and know the area intimately. The vast majority of trekkers chose the teahouse option and the maximum group size was seven. Each group had a wide variation in age, fitness, and experience, whether they were pre organized groups or individuals using our trekking partners page. Of these 50+ trekkers, two got sick and were evacuated. None of these evacuations were were due to injury or accident. Be careful of high altitude sickness and look out for hygiene.
There are several ways of getting to the Kanchenjunga area to start your trek. Depending on whether you choose North to South or South to North and end your trek in either Taplejung or Khebang (Thorpu) you will come back to Birtamod.
These are the most used options:
- A flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur.
This is the quickest option as the flights are rarely cancelled and it is a relatively short drive (by Nepal standards) through Birtamod and Phidim to the start of the trek at Taplejung. The only times that flights are effected are during strikes and the festival in October where they can be booked out.
The afternoon flight leaves Kathmandu at 3.00 pm and arrives at Bhadrapur at about 4.20 pm. It is then a 45 minute jeep ride to Birtamod. Stay overnight and the next day take the bus the next morning to Taplejung which is on good roads and takes about 10 hours.
- A flight from Kathmandu to Biratnagar.
This route was used when a political blockade was in place by India. The drive from Biratnagar to Taplejung takes at least two days and passes through Bhadrapur. You can take a jeep from Biratnagar to either Ilam or Phidim then the next day take the bus to Taplejung. You might like to explore the tea gardens in Ilam though. This is a good option if flights are booked out to Bhadrapur.
- Suketar Airport
There is an airport at Suketar which lies between Biratnagar and Taplejung but flights are scheduled infrequently. You can charter a flight but we have never used this airport.
- Khebang (Thorpu) to Taplejung
If you are ending your trip in Thorpu there are two options. From Yamphuding, either trek to Taplejung or trek to Khebang. If you want to hike to Taplejung then it will be two more days than trekking to Khebang. From Khebang (Thorpu) side it takes 15 hrs by road to Taplejung and the first couple are rough off road.
Kanchenjunga Trek Itineraries