General Information

At a Glance:

Location: It borders with the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China in the North and India in the East, South and West.
Area: 147,181 sq. kilometers (56,827 sq. miles)
Altitude: Varies from 70 meters to 8848 meters (230 feet to 29,029 feet) 
Capital: Kathmandu 
Population: Over 28 million
Language: Nepali is the national language of Nepal. Educated people understand and speak English as well.
Religion: Hinduism and Buddhism
Time: Nepal Time is 5 hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT and 15 minutes ahead of Indian standard time

Geography

Nepal is a landlocked country which lies between the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China in the north and India in the south, east and west. The country is rectangular in shape stretching from east to west and has a length of approximately 550 miles (880 km) and breadth of 150 miles (240 km). Nepal covers an area of 56,827 square miles (147,181 square kilometers) and is divided lengthwise into three strips. The northernmost strip is the Himalayan Region which has 8 of the world's 10 highest peaks, including Mt. Everest, the roof of the world at an altitude of 29,029 ft (8848 m). The middle strip is the Mountainous Region which consists of hills and valleys. The southernmost region, which is the narrowest of the three strips, is the Terai Region which is an extension of the Gangetic plains of northern India. This region has fertile land and is called the bread basket of the country. It also has jungles with elephants, rhinoceroses, tigers and other wild animals and brds.  

Climate

Nepal’s Climate: Friendly weather patterns of immense proportions…

Nepal’s climate is an off-spring of its diverse seasons. Autumn and spring is a wonderful delight; not only for visitors heading to Nepal but also for the local people. Autumn commences from early September to early December and the skies are a sparkling blue with sunny days and colder full moon nights. Spring really begins from early February to May end with occasional rainfall. The monsoon starts from early June to September with scattered showers in October. Trekking is pretty difficult and uncomfortable this time around due to the humidity and everyday showers. The trails get slushy and are often leech-infested. And the mountains are generally hidden by clouds. But Nepal always has something in the bag for visitors and this is when expeditions gear up for summer climbing and trekking in the trans-Himalayan regions of Mustang, Narphu La, Dolpo and Tibet begin. These regions lie in the rain-shadow zones of the country and wonderfully receive significantly less precipitation than the more southerly areas.

VITAL CLIMATE CONSIDERATION FOR TREKKING EXPEDITIONS:

The best seasons to trek on Nepal’s Himalayas are autumn, from mid September until end November and spring, from the beginning of March until mid May. However, with Global Warming creating erratic climatic conditions, NATURE CAN BE A BEAST WHEN LEAST EXPECTED. Some brief seasonal explanations follow below:

Autumn (mid-September to end-November)

Trekking during this period is bliss. Generally, during autumn, the weather is clear with mild to warm days and chilly nights. However, on the higher altitudes, the nights can drop to freezing temperatures. At this time, the mountain views are amazingly clear.

Approach to winter and the mid winter (end-November through March)

Trekking during the winter period is feasible, from December until the end of February. Daytime temperatures are cooler; however, the nights will often be bitterly cold. The days are generally clear but frequent winter storms can bring snow as low as 2000m. Early October through late November is also a hectic period for trekking. But in mid winter (January through March), trekking can be arduous on the higher altitudes with semi-regular snowfall followed by more winter storms, which break the long finer periods of early autumn. From mid-December to mid-February it’s the coldest time.
 
Despite harder snowing, wind conditions remains stabilized in early winter, and climbing some trekking peaks are possible. Expeditions to Mera peak, Island peak, Chulu, and trekking in Annapurna, Everest and Langtang regions in early winter have been pretty popular over the past few years. But it’s always good to be prepared for the unpredictable.

Spring and early summer (mid-March through May)

Spring is always welcome after the biting cold, the mornings are usually clear but the afternoon cloud build-up brings occasional thunder showers. The days are a rumble tumble with humidity and rain, and the colorful show of wildflowers like rhododendrons lighten up the environment. The whole country is a verdant flush and an abundance of greenery is seen every where during this time. This period invokes the second most popular and pleasant trekking season as this is rice-cultivation time. Late-march into April is especially gorgeous. We also get to see clear skies in April. Up to May, the weather gets misty and disturbed with puffy cloudy patterns.

The monsoon (June to mid-September)

June to September is what we call the slushy monsoon season. Generally, the morning is cloudy and wispy cloudy chains randomly form on ridges and peaks. Trekking during this period is generally cumbersome and uncomfortable as the weather is hot and there are showers almost every day. The trails get muddy and are often leech-infested and the mountains are usually hidden by clouds. During April and May, the expectation of thunderstorms, hail showers and strong winds intermittently tend to occur during the fine periods. However, every dark cloud has a silver lining and there are wonderful possibilities for summer trekking in some of the most remote but beautiful trans-Himalayan regions of Mustang, Narphu La, Dolpa and Tibet. These regions fall in the rain-shadow areas of Nepal and therefore receive significantly less precipitation than the more southerly areas.

Consequently, since Nepal’s climatic conditions follow a friendlier pattern than imagined, there’s always space for a lifetime vacation in the sunshine of Nepal’s Himalayas and Incentive Holidays has numerous holiday options for a trip that only dreams are made off. Just let us know you plans and we’ll turn your dreams into realities.
 
PLEASE NOTE, ITS IMPORTANT TO TAKE SOME TIME AND READ ABOUT NEPAL’S CLIMATIC SITUATION BEFORE HEADING TO NEPAL AS THIS COULD GIVE YOU A GOOD HOLIDAY WITHOUT HASSLES AND PERHAPS EVEN MORE VITAL, SAVE YOUR LIFE…
 
For more information about Nepal’s climatic conditions, please visit: www.dhm.gov.np (official web site of the Department of Hydrology & Meteorology, Ministry of Environment).

Weather of Nepal

December – February
Winter                                                              
Cool and a little damp                      
Average temperature: 5°C - 10°C (41ºF - 50º)        
Travel note: Bundle up as the weather may get freezing        

March – May
Autumn
Cloudy and cool  
Average temperature: 11°C - 18°C (52ºF - 64ºF)
Travel note: Great time for walks. Expect rainy weather as well.    

June - August    
Summer
Warm and hot
Average temperature: 24°C - 26°C (75ºF - 79ºF)  
Travel note: Drink plenty of water when going out and about.

September - November
Spring
Sunny days with cool nights
Average temperature: 20°C - 24°C (68ºF - 75ºF)
Travel note: Best time to visit and trek the countryside

Clothing

Warm clothing are required from November to February and tropical wear from March to October.

Local Currency

The major currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupees (NPR). Foreign currency must be exchanged through banks or authorized foreign exchange dealers. The receipts from such transactions are to be obtained and retained by visitors other than Indian nationals. They have to make their payments in convertible foreign currency at hotels, travel agencies, trekking agencies and while purchasing air tickets. In Nepal, Nepalese Rupees is subdivided into 100 Paisa. The denominations of currency notes available in circulation are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 & 1000 Rupees.

Credit Cards

Most International Cards are widely accepted by hotels and leading travel/trekking agents.

Religion

Nepal was declared a secular country by the Parliament on May 18, 2006. Religions practiced in Nepal are: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism, Bon, ancestor worship and animism. The majority of the Nepalese are either Hindus or Buddhists. The two have co-existed in harmony for centuries.

Language

Nepali is the official language which is written in the Devanagari script. English is understood and spoken by the educated people and by people involved in the tourism industry. 123 languages are spoken in Nepal and most people speak more than one language.

Water

In Kathmandu, boiled and filtered water as well as mineral water is available in most of the hotels and restaurants. Elsewhere, it is advisable to use water sterilization tablets or stick to tea and soft drinks.

Electricity

In Nepal we use 220 volts AC, 50 cycles throughout the country. Power cuts are faced on a daily basis as per the pre-determined schedule.

Official Weekly Holiday

Saturday is the official weekly holiday in Nepal. Most of the shops are closed on this day, while Museums throughout the valley remain closed on Tuesday and other government holidays.

Working hours and Holidays

Official working hours are from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Nepal has a lot of festivals and religious holidays. If you happen to be in Nepal during such an occasion, do participate in the festivities, possibly with the help of a guide. 

Health

International certificate of vaccination regarding current inoculation against cholera, typhoid and yellow fever are not required.

Source: Nepal Tourism Board