An Alternative Journey to the Himalayas: Community Projects & Wildlife

On this journey we have strived to give an alternative, rich and well rounded experience of Nepal. Tour starts in Kathmandu Valley with sightseeing of several UNESCO World Heritage sights like Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath, Swayambhunath, Changunarayan. Our second and more exciting phase of tour begins with a fly to Pokhara valley,... More

On this journey we have strived to give an alternative, rich and well rounded experience of Nepal. Tour starts in Kathmandu Valley with sightseeing of several UNESCO World Heritage sights like Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath, Swayambhunath, Changunarayan. Our second and more exciting phase of tour begins with a fly to Pokhara valley, second largest city of Nepal. Well, now the real fun begins. After spending a night in Pokhara we embark a journey (trek) to witness natural beauty and local culture in this part of Nepal. In this short and beautiful trek besides seeing majestic views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, you get to interact with local, in fact, actually even an opportunity sit down with locals in their home for a cup of tea. We will also show a community projects undertaken by SWAN to help local communities in educating underprivileged children, providing child and maternal healthcare and more. Towards later part of the tour we will take you to one of the finest national parks in Asia – Chitwan National Park where we get to see one-horned Rhino and maybe even a Tiger!



  • Kathmandu Valley: Witness the spiritual mysterious of age-old cities of Kathmandu Valley, exploring UNESCO Heritage sites like Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Boudhnath and Pashupatinath, a scared Hindu temple complex on the banks of the holy Bagmati river
  • Bhaktapur: Durbar Square (UNESCO Heritage site), visiting local families to watch famous and delicious Ju Ju Dhau (yoghurt) being made and try making pottery
  • Pokhara: World Peace Pagoda, Tibetan refugee camp and local school, daily prayers at Matapani Monastery, boating on Lake Phewa & Lake Begnas and five overnight retreat at Begnaslake Resort & Villas
  • 4 nights in a tented camp
  • Observe Community/Development Projects conducted SWAN
  • See wildlife up-close in Chitwan National Park 

Welcome to Nepal! Upon arrival in Kathmandu a travel-to-nature Asia guide/representative will be at the airport to greet and take us to our hotel. Please look out for your name-card once you exit out of arrival area.

If you’re not feeling jet-lagged, take some time to explore Kathmandu’s medieval backstreets, discover temples dating back to the 16th century, make your way down to Thamel, the main tourist hub in Kathmandu and a great place to dine.  There are myriads of options to choose from like New Orleans Café, Rum Doodle, Bear Garden etc just to name a few. Enjoy your evening and get some rest as the adventure begins tomorrow!

Accommodation: Hotel Yak & Yeti

Our local tour guide will meet us at the hotel and introduce us to the cities of Katmandu Valley. Sightseeing Options: The striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa (UNESCO Heritage site) watch over a lively and colorful Tibetan community and attract pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. In the midst of traditional gompas, and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, Boudhanath attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (koras) of the stupa.

Hindu Pashupatinath (UNESCO Heritage site) and its sacred temple complex on the banks of the holy Bagmati river. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating – when they‟re not posing for photos-for rupees.

Climb the many steps to Swayambhunath (UNESCO Heritage site) known by the name „ the monkey temple‟with its commanding views of Kathmandu (at 1420 m), its whitewashed stupas and its unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. Durbar Square (UNESCO Heritage site), one of the old capitals of the Kathmandu valley, is a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist temples, stupas and statues, and is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies. Kathmandu‟s Durbar (palace) the heart of the capital was where the city‟s kigs were once crowned and legitimized, and from where they ruled. Over dinner you go over gear for trek and get to know your trekking guide.

As in Katmandu, the Patan Darbar Square (UNESCO Heritage site), is the ancient Royal Palace of Patan faces on to a royal square and this concentrated mass of temples and the most visually stunning display of Newari architecture to be seen in Nepal.

Accommodation: Hotel Yak & Yeti
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast drive to Changu Narayan Temple (UNESCO Heritage site), exceptionally beautiful, with depicted multi-armed Tantric deities dating back to 5th century on a hilltop at the eastern end of the valley, about 22 km from Katmandu. For lunch we will drive to Bhaktapur city followed with sightseeing. Bhaktapur (UNESCO Heritage site) is a home of medieval art and architecture and it is like a living museum. The major sightseeing places we would visit include the Durbar Square, the museums and the pottery centre.

Late afternoon, drive back to Katmandu. Over dinner we go over gear for trek & safari and get to know with your trekking guide.

Accommodation: Hotel Yak & Yeti
Meals: Breakfast

Today we fly Kathmandu to Pokhara, centre of the Western Development Region and traditional trading centre in the shadow of the Annapurna Massif. During our half an hour flight the view of the mighty Himalayan range, including the Annapurna, Ganesh, Mt. Nilgiri, Manasulu etc will be a life time experience. Upon arrival our local representative will transfer us to our hotel. Afternoon we walk along the shores of the Phewa lake allowing us to enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Pokhara valley. Birding at the shore of the lake is equally rewarding. Time permits, we will try to hike up to the Peace Stupa, or sit and relax in a cafe with a book. We’ll head for Moondance Café or Boomarang restaurant for dinner and drinks in the evening – great spots! Overnight stay in Pokhara.

Accommodation: Fish Tail Lodge
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast we drive west along the Pokhara – Banglung highway about couple of hours to Kusma (65 km) and trek to Narayansthan. Just before Kusma, the view of Machhapuchhare (6,997 m), the Fish tail mountain is excellent from Hyanja, except that from this angle it looks more like the Matterhorn than a fish tail. To see Machhapuchhare in its proper perspective you must wait until we get to Narayansthan. After organizing our gear and meeting the local porters in Kusam, we make our descent to the Kaligandaki, one of Nepal’s holy rivers. From here we can enjoy expansive views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. Now the adventure begins! Cross the river over the suspension bridge, then follow the walking trail to the valley floor. Stop for a hot picnic lunch in the open meadow, then make the 400 m ascent to the picturesque village of Narayansthan (1000 m) on the plateau. You set up camp here in a pine forest. The rim of the plateau have steep rocky slopes and, often escarpments. Watching from here the changing hues of the verdant valley below is an enthralling experience indeed.

Accommodation: Tented camp
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we take time to explore the village, meet the local people, and get an insider’s perspective on the culture. We drink tea with local families in their homes, to learn more about their way of life and exchange cultural experiences. SWAN ( a local charity organisation has been running village development projects for many years in Baglung district. Projects include national level health projects such as Mother & Child care programme, support to the local health posts, an integrated blind school, pre-schools for “untouchable” children, and various schools, micro credit for mother’s groups, goat breeding programmes, supporting local farmers for alternative farming for income generation and many more.

Evening traditional dinner at Aama’s Farm House followed with typical cultural programme.

Accommodation: Tented camp
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, we gently ascend up to Amalachaur VDC (village development committee) perched on hilltop from where one can have the most spectacular mountain views sweeping from east to west in a vast snowy expanse; Manaslu (8,156 m) the entire Annapurna massif with such prominent peaks as Annapurna II (7,937 m), Annapurna III & IV as well as Mt. Macchapuchare (6,993 m). The trail ascends gently through the villages, rice fields and streams with beautiful view of Kaligandaki valley below.

Accommodation: Tented camp
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After leisurely breakfast, we walk gently along the Bhairamthan ridge to Mulabari for camp. The trail out of Amalachur runs gently uphill, through open fields and scattered villages and along the ridge to our camping ground. En-route, we will visit a local kindergarten supported by SWAN, a locally famous Bhairamthan temple perches on the very edge of the gorge. The temple is dedicated to God Bhairab in his bloodthirsty incarnation of Lord Shiva, and twice a week faithful Pilgrims journey here to satisfy her bloodlust.

Upon arrival set up camp together with the trekking team for overnight. Time permits, we also visit Bhakunde village visiting the local Magar Tribe, explore surrounding and the Rhododendron forest, or simply enjoy the breath taking panoramic views of several peaks above 8,000m of altitude including Mt. Dahulagiri & Mt Annapurna from your camping ground. Rest of the day participate with the kitchen team in preparing dinner. Evening tribal dance at the camp.

Accommodation: Tented camp
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After early breakfast walk downhill to Nayapool valley where we will end our trek. After saying good bye to our trekking team we drive for our return Journey to Pokhara, one of the most popular tourist spots in Nepal, due to its situation on the lakes, beneath the Annapurna and Fishtail Mountains. Our hotel “Begnas Lake Resort & Villas”- located 12 km east of bustling Pokhara town lies this wondrous paradise. Surrounded by pristine Nature, with gurgling mountain springs forming natural boundaries on either side and spans a whole hillside of unspoiled forestland. Just the ideal setting for our long-deserved escape to another world!

Accommodation: Begnas lake Resort
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, we will enjoy pure, unadulterated Nature. In this healing and life-nourishing environment, we can experience the Himalayan Nature Spa that offers a wide range of classical Ayurvedic activities such as Yoga, meditation, as well as soothing and rejuvenating massage conducted by an experienced team of Ayurveda experts. Swimming in the Begnas lake is something refreshing and great fun.

Alternatively, there are several interesting village trails cris-crosing the Begnas area offering possibilities of day hikes for us from 2-6 hours depending on one‟s interest.

Accommodation: Begnas lake Resort
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

It is a beautiful journey on the Pokhara -Katmandu highway, through Nepal’s middle hill & Tarai, to the Royal Chitwon National Park. By making an early start we shall aim to reach Eco Wildlife Lodge for a late lunch. Enroute, we will make few stops to look for country life, birds like vultures, eagles, Wallcreeper & Braun Dipper in Trisuli River and its rocky walls. This evening we shall paddle down the Rapti River in search of waterbirds, crocodile or go on a Elephant safari looking for Rhinos and Tigers.

The Park comprises 1,000 of Sal and Riverine jungle and magnificent environment with a great variety of wildlife than any other area of Nepal. Over 480 species of birds have been recorded here and we can expect to see nearly one third of these, as well as many mammals and reptiles. These are likely to include the endangered Great One Horned Rhinoceros, wild boar, sambar, muntjc, spotted and hog deers, rhesus and hanuman monkeys, and possibly marsh muggar and fish eating gharial crocodiles. Tiger, leopard, sloth bears, and gaur (wild bison) are all common and regularly seen by the lucky ones! For the first two nights in Chitwan we shall be staying in comfortable Eco Wildlife Lodge with all basic facilities.

Accommodation: Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

A full day based at the wildlife lodge. We shall explore the rivers by dug-out canoe, search the grasslands – for tigers, rhinos and other animals and go bird-watching in the forest on foot. The dry Sal forest, Grassland dominate the Park and that hold a wide variety of species birds & mammals. This should be an outstanding day.

Accommodation: Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Another early morning walk, back to the lodge, where the vehicle is waiting to take us to Bharatpur Airport for our short flight to Katmandu. Upon arrival in Katmandu our representative from travel-to-nature Asia will meet and transfer us to our hotel.

We will enjoy our last day in Magical Katmandu with plenty of time for shopping in Thamel the main tourist area of Kathmandu. Thamel is a myriad of banners, signs, music shops, bakeries, internet cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, shops of all imaginable varieties and eccentrically clad backpackers. In the evening will head out for dinner on one of Katmandu’s excellent restaurants and farewell. Over dinner we will reflect our activities and personal insights.

Accommodation: Hotel Yak & Yeti
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Transfer to airport for your homeward-bound flight.

Meal: Breakfast


  • Airport transfers
  • Twin room sharing accommodation at all hotel/lodge/resort as mentioned
  • Daily breakfast throughout the trip and other meals as mentioned on the itinerary
  • 2 nights at Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge in Chiwan NP with all meals, jeep safari, boating, nature walks, jungle drive, National Parks entrance fees, and conservation royalties etc. and other activities
  • Airfare for the domestic flight as mentioned in the program
  • Services of a local English speaking Guide for all the sightseeing tours in Katmandu as mentioned in the program
  • All the land arrangements, airport picks up/ drops & other long distance transport services on a private air condition vehicle.
  • Entry tickets to the monuments/monasteries,included in the usual sightseeing or as mentioned in the programme.
  • Complete trekking arrangements which includes: all meals (Breakfast, Lunch, afternoon Tea, Dinner) in SWAN Project Villages. 2 men Alpine tents with compressed foam mattress
  • Kitchen tent, dinning tent, experienced accompanying trekking guide & kitchen staff, Porters to carry the baggage/Kitchen utensils/ camping equipment etc

Not Included

  • International flight
  • Visa fee
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal clothing & equipment
  • Tips for guide/s, driver, hotel staff and porters
  • Items of personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, laundry, showers and other unforeseen expenses
  • Items/services not listed in the "included"

Price: US$ 3,095 per person (Twin Sharing | Minimum 4 Travelers)
+US$ 196 Internal airfare (Subject to change without prior notice)

Single Supplement: US$ 615

Your Feedback

    August 9, 2022
    Dr. Stefan Heur & Jutta Heuer
    In October 2018 we travelled with a small group of 9 people together with Krishna Karki and his team in Nepal. The trip was a wonderful mixture of cultural experiences paired with hikes through unique nature. It was characterised by great closeness and personal contact with the people. This brought us closer to their thoughts and backgrounds. The focus of the trip was not on ticking off tourist sightseeing points, but on active experience and hiking.
    The constant, loving, professional support of the entire team was also outstanding for us. It was an unforgettable time with great closeness and love for nature: landscape, people, fauna and flora.
    – Dr. Stefan Heur & Jutta Heuer, Germany

Hotel Yak & Yeti

Hotel Yak & Yeti is a luxury 5-star hotel in the heart of Kathmandu offering sophisticated comfort and elegance in grounds steeped in history. Located at fashionable Durbar Marg, Yak & Yeti is just minutes from Kathmandu’s best shops and restaurants and central to all of the city’s sights. The whole hotel is a sumptuous array of beautiful artifacts, art and traditionally crafted fixtures. 

Fish Tail Lodge, Pokhara

Fish Tail Lodge enjoys a unique location situated on a peninsula across Fewa Lake. Shuttle-floats or boats transport you across to the resort. With the lake on one side and a forest hill on the other, the views are spectacular. The panorama of Annapurna range and Mount “Machhapuchre” (Fish Tail), and their reflection on the lake soothe your soul and refresh your spirit.

Camping Tent

Our classic A-frame or ridge tents are sturdy and have plenty of room for two people. We use water and windproof flysheet which help make the tent nice and cozy inside. To complete the setup we provide a high-quality form mattress together with an insulation pad so that you get a good sleep after a long tiring day.

Begnas Lake Resort, Pokhara

Our resort was created from our love of pure nature and of delicious wholesome food. Our unique location guarantees that we are at a safe distance from the daily bustle. We are buffered by a tropical jungle on three sides and the beautiful lake on the fourth. So although, only 11kms from Pokhara City, it really feels like an otherworldly paradise!

Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge, Chitwan

Nestled beside lush forest and overlooking idyllic Terai landscapes, Tharu Lodge is the perfect place to unwind. Inspired by the longhouse style of Tharu architecture and built from local materials, the Lodge offers a unique and comfortable insight into Nepalese village life and culture. For the adventurous guests we have safari tents which allows for an authentic experience of the jungle sounds at night.

Trip Facts

  • Price (USD) From 3,095
  • Duration 14 Days
  • Group Size 4-12 Pax
  • Arrive Kathmandu
  • Depart Kathmandu
  • Trip Level
    moderate to strenuous
  • Activity Culture | Wildlife | Trekking
  • Meals 13 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • Accommodation 4-5* Hotel/Resort, Camping Tent, Jungle Lodge

Giving back to the communities is our responsibility!

With every trip, you also support the SWAN and thus projects for Sustainable Community development and Biodiversity protection.

Our primary NGO partner is Social Welfare Association of Nepal (SWAN), with whom we have carried out multiple CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) projects. Besides carrying out regular CSR activities in the areas of education and women empowerment, we have supported relief and rehabilitation initiatives in the aftermath of several natural disasters like earthquake, immediate response to COVID-19 pandemic across Nepal. 

Giving something back to the world is a special and responsible affair of travel-to-nature Asia right from its inception. When you travel with travel-to-nature Asia and SWAN-Nepal, you become an integral force for change in addressing the most pressing social and wildlife conservation issues. Your tourism funds help transform the future of under-privileged and marginalized communities and transform the future of at-risk natural places you travel. Portion of our profit flows to local communities who live with and steward nature, creating jobs and improving livelihoods.

By joining one of our holidays you are playing a vital role in bringing positive changes in the lives of local community.

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