Mardi Himal Trek
- Trip Code: N-AT-126 Days
- Destination: Nepal
- Season: Sept/Oct/Nov/Feb/Mar/Apr/May
- Max Altitude: Alt. 4500 meters/ 14763 feet
- Trip Starts/Ends: Kathmandu/Kathmandu
- Transportation: Private Car and Tourist Coach
- Accomodation: Tea House
- Trip Grade: Moderate
Mardi Himal Trek is a moderately new trekking route in the Annapurna Conservation Area. This trekking trail formally opened in 2012 but within a short time, it has drawn the attention of lots of hiking lovers. The major reasons are it is relatively short than other trekking routes in Annapurna and within short trail, everyone can experience diversity from forested areas to the Rocky Mountains. Mardi Himal Trek goes up to the base camp of Mardi Himal. Mardi Himal is placed to the east of the Annapurna Base camp virtually under the remarkable Mount Fishtail, locally known as Machhapuchhre.
The highlights of Mardi Himal Trek are the spectacular glacial valleys and the hidden landscape of the Annapurna with views of Mt. Annapurna I (8090m), Annapurna South (7219m), Machhapuchhare – Fishtail (6993m), Hiuchuli (6444m), Baraha Shikhar (7647m), Gangapurna 7575m and Mardi Himal 5553m etc. Likewise scenic terraced landscape and rhododendron forest, breathtaking Sunrise and Sunset View from the High Camp are other attractions of this hiking route.
Like other trekking routes of Annapurna, the gateway town of Mardi Himal Trek is also Pokhara. From Pokhara, after a short drive (half an hour) you reach Phedi. From Phedi you start trekking following Dhampus then Pothana. It is quite exciting to walk through rhododendron forest path from Pothana. The forest path continues until about 3,300 m. when the trail takes on a rugged mountain setting with spectacular views of Mardi Himal, Machhapuchhre, and Annapurna South.
There’s a low camp with probably the best views of Machhapuchhre anywhere in Nepal along with sunrise and sunset views. Above this at 3580 m is high camp which again offers spectacular views overlooking Annapurna Base camp. Further along, you can then reach Mardi Himal Basecamp itself with views overlooking all of the Annapurna range. There are no guesthouses in Mardi Himal Base Camp. So, from High Camp after walked to Mardi Himal Base Camp you again back to High Camp for night halt. Then you trek down to Sidding and Lumre where trekking ends. After that, you drive back to Pokhara with following of Kathmandu.
About Trip Date of Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek
The best time of Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek is from Mid Sept to Mid Dec and from Mid Feb to end of May. During this period daytime is sunny and warm with outstanding views. Trekking to Mardi Himal in winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) is also possible but temperature during winter could be too cold and more possibility of snow in High Camp and Base Camp. Mardi Himal Trek in the summer season (June, July, Aug) will be affected by rain/monsoon.
About Optional Activities for Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek
Mardi Himal Trek is a short admired trekking trip in Annapurna. You can make it further exciting by joining in extra activities/ side trips. As the interest of people is different from each other, we have put these extra activities as optional tours. They are not included in your package cost of Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek. On your request, we offer you. The list of optional activities is displayed in right column. For any further information and queries about Mardi Himal Trek, please feel free to contact us.
Our tour officer will be receiving you at Tribhuvan International airport, Kathmandu. He will meet, greet and welcome you with auspicious garland and escort you to your respective hotel by our private tourist vehicle. At the hotel, he will assist you to check in and will be briefed about your overall program, introduced your guide and clear your questions/queries if any. Overnight at hotel.
Our trekking guide will pick you up at the hotel at 6:15 am and escort you to the bus station. The bus to Pokhara leaves at around 7:00 am. This is 7 hrs scenic drives through mountain terrain. On the way, the bus stops for half an hour for lunch. Then drive continues till you reach Pokhara. Pokhara is a beautiful valley and gateway to Annapurna Trekking. Evening you enjoy strolling around Lakeside street market. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast start the drive from Pokhara to Kande (40 minutes drive). You start trekking from Kande with an uphill walk to Australian Camp. It’s around 1 hr hiking to reach Australian camp, locally known as Thulo Kharka. It is a grazing pasture land with an amazing panorama of Annapurna range with Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Machhapuchare. After the scenic break, continue walking on the forested trail to reach Potana, a small village located in the midst of the alpine forest. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
After breakfast you start trek following the trail passes through the rhododendron forest to Deurali, mountain pass overlooking into the Modi Khola Valley stuck between Annapurna South and Mardi Himal / Mt Fishtail. From here the route leads into complete wilderness away from the main Annapurna trekking trail. You head towards north along a ridgeline into deep forested area where the temperature drops to cool with fresh. While walking you enjoy on super views of Annapurna I and South, Huinchuli, and Lamjung Himal. Today your night halt will be at lodge in the forest. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
From Forest Camp, the trail leads higher on the uphill ridge with a steep climb. While climbing you see views of Hinuchuli and Annapurna South. Far below, to the left, you also can see the Modi River Valley leading up to the Annapurna Base Camp. When you ascend the vegetation starts to change with more rhododendron and the trees are covered with moss, lichen and tree ferns. Low Camp is the beautiful pasture land from where Mount Fishtail is visible. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
An hour or so above Low Camp the trail breaks out above tree line and towards the west where you have a good view of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. The trail continues along the Mardi Himal ridge mainly on the grassland with some isolated rhododendron bushes along the way. You may see colorful Danphe pheasant on this section of the trail. The view from High Camp is superb to Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail). Overnight at a mountain lodge.
The plan for today is to wake early for the sunrise view then walks up the ridge towards Mardi Himal Base Camp. There is a well-established trail through the grassland with a couple of steeper sections however overall not too challenging. Look out for the dzokpo (yak/ cow crossbreds) grazing up here as well as Danphe pheasant. In the summer the sheep and goats from lower villages are brought up to graze in this area so you will pass a number of herder’s huts along the way. After three hours of walking you reach Mardi Himal Base Camp at the elevation of 4500m. From the Base Camp, you can look into the Annapurna Sanctuary with a panoramic view of the south face of Annapurna, Hiunchuli, and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail). Then hike back to High camp for night halt. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
After a relaxed breakfast, you retrace down to Low Camp. From Low Camp, you follow another trail that goes down to Siding village rather than going back down to Forest Camp. The trail passes through the shade of the forest and out onto terraced fields. Siding is a traditional Nepalese village and still very much away from the busier tourist treks. It is a wonderful cultural experience finding out more about village life and you will probably eat dhal baht in the evening with lodge owner’s family in their kitchen. Overnight at a mountain lodge.
From Sidhing you walk out to the road head at Lumre, on the way from Siding you will pass the villages of Kalimati and Ghalel. Kalimati is mainly a Brahmin village and Ghalel is mixed of Brahmins and Gurungs. From Lumre you take a drive for back to Pokhara. Relax at the hotel in Pokhara. Evening enjoys strolling around the lakeside street market. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, you walk to tourist bus station with trekking guide. The bus leaves Pokhara at 7 A.M. You will reach Kathmandu around 2 pm. The rest of the day at leisure/ you can do some last minute souvenirs shopping for your family and friends. Evening you will be offered farewell dinner with Nepali cuisines and cultural dances at typical Nepali Restaurant. Overnight at hotel.
The trip concludes today. Our tour officer will drop you at Kathmandu International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.
|USD 475 Per Person||For Group Size of Two People|
|USD 630 Per Person||For Group Size of Two People|
|USD 699 Per Person||For Group Size of Two People|
All foreign nationals except Indian Nationals are required to arrange a visa in order to enter Nepal. A Nepalese Visa can be obtained either prior to your arrival at a Nepalese embassy abroad or on arrival time in Kathmandu at the airport. But nationals from Afghanistan, Iraq, Cameroon, Ghana, Somalia, Swaziland, Palestine, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Liberia cannot secure the Nepalese Visa upon arrival. The Visa can be also taken at entry points at Nepalese borders. For Nepalese Visa it requires your passport with at least six months validity, recent digital photo (size: 1.5″ x 1.5″) and the following fees either in USD dollars cash or the equivalent local currency:
|Multiple entry||15 days||US$ 25 or equivalent Nepalese currency|
|Multiple entry||30 days||US$ 40 or equivalent Nepalese currency|
|Multiple entry||90 days||US$ 100 or equivalent Nepalese currency|
We would offer you the meeting and greeting service in Kathmandu International Airport on your arrival time. For this, you need to pass us your International flight details at least 2 days before your arrival date in Kathmandu. After you get down from the aircraft you just pass on the Customs and come out of the Terminal building where you will see our tour officer standing with a playing card with your name written on it. He will greet and welcome you with auspicious garland and escort you to the hotel.
Trekking to Mardi Himal does not require tremendous logistics in terms of accommodation as you will find a couple of lodges along the trail. Lodges typically offer a room with a wooden bed with a simple mattress or foam pad, a cotton pillow, and a blanket or quilt. They have electric lights and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in local lodge available each day. We send a porter ahead of us to book the required rooms for you (here rooms cannot be booked in advance).
In the trail of Mardi Himal Trekking, it’s commonly available for Authentic Nepali meal: Dal Bhat (rice with lentils soup and seasonable vegetables), noodles, pasta, chapatis, eggs, French fries, porridge, and muesli. The restaurant of lodges also serves Tibetan foods like momo, thukpa, chow mien, along with pizza, spring rolls, pancake and another continental as well as Indian foods.
Tea and hot lemon are traditionally the main drinks on the trail though coffee is found everywhere. Bottled soft drinks, bottled water, and even beer are available but the price of each bottle rises each day when you move upward.
The trekking team who will go with you is the most significant thing that makes your Mardi Himal trekking successful, enjoyable and memorable. We would provide you skilled, experienced, courteous, knowledgeable and helpful trekking guide and porters. The trekking guide leads you on the trail and brief you all the about this route and porters carry your luggage. Our all trekking guides are carefully selected in terms of their appropriate experience, leadership skills and their knowledge of local culture, ecosystem, geography, flora and fauna, and history. With aim of sustaining local communities, we only employ local people as trekking guide and porter. Our all trekking guides are certified by Nepal Government, Ministry of Tourism. We manage trekking team such a way that one trekking guide in each group and porters like one porter for two trekkers.
During the trek, your main luggage will be carried by porters or pack animals (usually yaks or cross-breeds). You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sunscreen, spare jacket, etc. – a small load that allows full enjoyment of the trek. A trek bag is ideal for your main luggage, plus a small lockable bag for travel clothes or anything that you do not need during trek which you can leave at hotel’s locker room in Kathmandu for free of charge.
Every morning, first of all, packing your bags and then have a hearty breakfast at the lodge restaurant. Then set off on the day’s walk. After walking for 3-4 hours you all stop for lunch in local restaurant. Then continue walking to your destination. After lunch, it’s the only a couple of hours walking. You usually arrive at your destination at the time of afternoon tea. Check in at the lodge. The rest of the day is at leisure. At a free time, you may explore surrounding village, do a bit of washing or simply relax by reading books and writing a diary. On some days you will arrive at your destination by lunchtime and entire afternoon will be free. Most people also spend free time by playing cards and other games reliving the day’s adventures. Then in the evening have a dinner and you will be briefed by your trekking guide about your next day’s walking and then go to your bed for well-earned sleep.
Mardi Himal Trekking is moderate trek suitable for any passionate walkers who able to walk at least 5-7 hours a day with a light daypack. Walking in higher altitudes is more physically demanding than walking in lower altitudes; however, if you are in excellent health with average physical fitness and have a positive attitude, self-confidence, and strong determination, you can do this trek successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior to the trip is a good idea to enhance your strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but not compulsorily required for this trip. It is vital for participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood diseases to consult their doctor before taking the trip.
At high elevations, the combination of reduced oxygen and lower atmospheric pressure can produce a variety of unpredictable effects on the body, known collectively as Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is also commonly known as Altitude Sickness. Everyone who treks over 3500 m experiences some mild symptoms of AMS like slowness, dizziness, headache, nausea, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, racing pulse, disturbed sleep and swelling of the hands and feet but serious cases are very rare. The golden rule of prevention from Altitude Sickness doesn’t walk too fast at altitude, drink plenty of liquids, eating well, getting plenty of sleep and avoiding alcohol. If in case you feel any mentioned symptoms the simple cure is to move down (descend) and you shouldn’t ascend further until you start feeling better. To treat AMS there is also available medication Acetazolamide (better known under the brand name Diamox). The dosage is 250 mg every twelve hours. Diamox improves respiration at altitude and can, therefore, accelerate acclimatization. Some doctors recommend a preventive dose (125 mg twice a day) for people trekking at high elevations. At the time of trekking our trekking team always guides you to prevent from Altitude Sickness and they always have Diamox along with first aid kit.
We believe casualty and a serious sickness will not happen on the trip. If it happens we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. Since all the expenses incurred in evacuation liable to you please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu.
We strongly advise you to take travel insurance before joining a tour which should cover medical expenses, emergency repatriation and helicopter evacuation at high altitude places and loss of your luggage. We would request you to bring your insurance documents when you come to Nepal.