FAQ // BACKGROUND TO NEPAL
Formerly a Himalayan Kingdom, today Nepal is officially recognised as a Federal Democratic Republic. Positioned between China and India, Nepal is divided geographically into three belts: the mountains, the hills and and the flat-land terai.
Nepal is home to eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, including the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest, known as ‘Sagarmatha’ in Nepali.
With a population of approximately 30 million, Nepal is the world’s 93rd largest country by land mass and the 41st most populous country.
Kathmandu is the nation’s capital and the country’s largest metropolis. Kathmandu Valley itself has estimated population of 5 million and has grown considerably from the days of its three ‘mini kingdoms’: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Although the valley has sprawled in recent years, these three areas remain alive with a world-class artistic and architectural heritage.
The Nepalese have a multi-cultural heritage of Indian, Tibetan and North Burmese descent. Both Hindu and Buddhist religions are practised across the country and in harmony with each other.
Nepal has a two-season year: the dry season runs from October to May and the monsoon season from June to September. Autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May) typically bring warm dry days with cool evenings and are lovely months to visit Nepal, particularly for those with trekking in mind.
VISAS & VACCINATIONS
All foreigners (except Indian nationals) must have a visa for entry into Nepal. You can download a visa application form from the websites of the Nepali embassy in London (www.nepembassy.org.uk) or Washington, DC (www.nepalembassyusa.org)
CURRENCY AND TIPPING
The Nepalese rupee is the common currency, although US dollars and UK sterling are widely accepted, as are credit cards in Kathmandu.
We value all of our staff very highly and many of them have been with us all their working lives. We are often asked about our tipping policy and whilst any tips are always at your own discretion, we do have a communal tip box at each property, the fruits of which are distributed equally amongst all the staff – there are lots of people behind the scenes working really hard to make your stay a success and we’d hate for them to miss out. As a rule we would suggest you allow US$10 per person per day in camp and US$15 per day for your guide.
INTERNET CONNECTION & MOBILE PHONE SIGNAL
Kathmandu has a reasonable internet connection and most hotels in the city now have WIFI. However down in the jungle, its a different story; the remote locations of our properties are all part of their charm, but WIFI is simply not possible at this point in time. The managers at each property have internet access which you are welcome to use in case of emergency. Please bear in mind that access can be sporadic.
The managers will also be happy to charge up any batteries/burn images onto discs etc. Mobile phone reception is increasingly good in many remote parts of the country, particularly Chitwan. We understand that keeping in touch is part of daily life these days and all we would ask is that you turn your handset to silent in a bid to preserve the peace of the jungle!
Each of our property’s has a land-line number which you are welcome to pass onto any family or friends who may need to contact you in an emergency.