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Makalu Base Camp Trek

Makalu Base Camp Trek

Trip at a Glance

  • Country

    Country: Nepal

  • Trip grade

    Trip grade: Strenuous

  • Destination

    Destination: Off-the-beaten-trails

  • Activities

    Activities: Trekking

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation: Hotels/Lodges

  • Meals

    Meals: Included on trek

  • Transportation

    Transportation: Private vehicle/Plane

  • Maximum altitude

    Maximum altitude: Makalu Base Camp (4870m)

  • Group size

    Group size: 2 pax min

  • Trip Start / End

    Trip Start / End: Kathmandu - Kathmandu

  • Best Season

    Best Season: Mar-May, Sep-Nov

Makalu Base Camp Trek is the off-beaten-path trek in the Himalayas located in the Makalu-Barun National Park of Nepal. Mount Makalu is the fifth-highest mountain in the world at 8485 meters where the trek will take you to it’s base camp at 4870 meters. So you can imagine yourself how the trek is going to treat you to a unique adventure in the high Himalayas.

Standing at the base camp of Makalu you will witness a grand panorama of several of the world’s highest peaks like Mount Everest, Lhotse, Mount Makalu and many others. Makalu base camp trek itinerary passes along diverse landscapes, lush forests, remote valleys, and high mountain passes.

Trekking to Makalu Base Camp starts after a scenic flight to Tumlingtar from Kathmandu to a small village of Num. Following Num you will trek along many remote settlements like Seduwa, Tashigaon, and Khongma which gives you an authentic experience of the culture and traditions of the locals unchanged for ages. You will cross over dense rhododendron and bamboo forests, making it a refreshing and pleasant walk.

The landscapes then dramatically begin to change as you gain altitude where you enter an alpine zone making way for more rocky terrain with sparse vegetation. The climax unfolds as you reach the Makalu Base Camp at the foot of Mount Makalu which provides a spectacular Himalayan panorama of some of the world’s highest peaks.
Makalu Base Camp Trek is a challenging trek and a great option for anyone seeking a remote and less crowded trekking experience in the Himalayas that offers stunning mountain views and a sense of adventure.

Makalu Base Camp Trek Highlights

  • Behold the Everest's eastern Kangshung face from a different angle
  • Observe views of eastern Nepal with Kangchenjunga in the distance
  • Hike from glaciers and waterfalls to verdant terraced farmland
  • Witness the unique Rai and Sherpa cultures of Nepal's rural community
  • Spot some of Nepal's rarest fauna, such as the Red Panda


 

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1400m)
Day 02: Fly to Tumlingtar (518m/35 min) & drive to Num (1505m/4 hrs)
Day 03: Trek from Num to Seduwa (1530m/6-7 hrs)
Day 04: Trek from Seduwa to Tashi Gaon (2065m/5 hrs)
Day 05: Trek from Tashi Gaon to Khongma danda (3562m/6-7 hrs)
Day 06: Trek from Khongma danda to Dobate (3550m/6-7 hrs)
Day 07: Trek from Dobate to Yangle Kharka (3610m/5-6 hrs)
Day 08: Trek from Yangle Kharka to Langmale Kharka (4510m/7-8 hrs)
Day 09: In Langmale Kharka - Acclimatization Day
Day 10: Langmale Kharka to Makalu Base Camp (4870m/6-7 hrs)
Day 11: Explore Makalu Base Camp (4870m)
Day 12: Trek back to Yangle Kharka (3610m/6-7 hrs)
Day 13: Trek from Yangle Kharka to Dobate (3550m/6 hrs)
Day 14: Trek from Dobate to Khongma Danda/ Danda Kharka (3562m/6-7 hrs)
Day 15: Trek from Khongma danda to Seduwa (1530m/6 - 7 hrs)
Day 16: Trek & Drive to Tumlingtar (518m/7-8 hrs)
Day 17: Fly from Tumlingtar to Kathmandu (1400m/35 min)
Day 18: Free day in Kathmandu
Day 19: Final Departure

Upon arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will be received by a representative from Marron Treks and transferred to your designated hotel. Welcome drinks will be served at the hotel, and after that, we will have a quick pre-trip meeting to discuss the necessary formalities and the trekking itineraries. You may then check into your room and freshen up. In the evening, you can stroll around the vicinity of your hotel to get a superficial glimpse of this great city. Of course, you will know Kathmandu better when you head out for a sightseeing tour tomorrow. 

Hotel

From Kathmandu, we will take a flight to Tumlingtar. Enjoy the stunning aerial picture of the snow-covered mountains. We can see glacier-covered peaks including Mt. Kanchenjunga, Makalu, and Ganesh Himal. As soon as you arrive in Tumlingtar, we start our journey to Num village through Khandbari and Hururu. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

We'll be moving along an uphill and downhill trail. To reach the Arun River, descend a broad and precipitous trail that has steep stone slopes. Enjoy the stunning countryside scenery as you go. Walk across the suspension bridge, over the Arun River, and down a winding trail before continuing on an elevation trail to Seduwa. Along the way, we'll see massive bamboo trees, villages in the city, traditional dwellings, and tea houses strewn across the mountain. As Makalu Barun National Park will also be on our itinerary, there is a checkpoint where the permits must be recorded. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

The walk will be simpler and more undulating than it was yesterday. We shall ascend stone stairs after passing multiple Mani walls. In addition, as we travel, we will pass through woodlands with rhododendrons and bamboo. While strolling in a dense forest, one can hear the sounds of chattering birds. The woodland is home to a variety of birds, including cuckoos, singing thrushes, and barbets. Pass past the little community of Chyaksa Danda to reach a bridge. We have a few stone steps to climb to get to Tashigaon. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

We will start our walk by climbing a few stone stairs and crossing a bridge before setting out on a sloping track through a rhododendron woodland. The woodland is bright in the spring when rhododendrons bloom. After a beautiful trek through the forest, we will arrive in Dhara, where we will pause for lunch and refreshments. We will trek along a path that passes by a huge rock before arriving at Unshisa. We proceed to Khongma Danda by climbing stone steps through a rhododendron forest.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

The trip to Dobate, where we will cross high passes while taking in a spectacular perspective, will be one of the trek's primary highlights. We will climb a trail flanked by rhododendron trees before reaching Khongma La, which is at an elevation of 3873m. After ascending Khongma La, we are greeted with a breathtaking view of majestic peaks like Makalu and Chamlang. We will trek up and along a ridge after briefly descending till we reach Ghungru La (Tutu La), which is located at 4055m. Shipton La is accessible after a climb through a stony, ascent-only path and is located at an elevation of 4220 meters.

We will come across mani walls with mantras and waving prayer flags as we travel through the passes. To reach the 4022m-high Kalo Pokhari Lake, we shall keep descending. Visitors to a holy lake during the Janai Purnima festival Continue climbing until you reach Keke La at 4152m, where you can see the snow-capped mountain ranges. Use a route that descends through a stunning valley to reach Dobate

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

On a descending track, take a stroll through a pine, rhododendron, redstart, and minivet forest. If it is snowing, we should exercise extra caution because the road in the forest descends rapidly toward the Barun River. Enjoy the view of the Chamlang and Tutse mountains, which are covered in snow. We trek up a hill on a route till we reach Themathang Kharka. On the way, we'll pass by a breathtaking waterfall. We will also go across a rocky trail and a wooden bridge before reaching Yangle Kharka. O

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

We will be strolling along the path, past a little monastery and a river. As you stroll through the forest, take in the breathtaking view of the jagged cliffs on the opposite side. Stunning views of the alpine peaks will also be visible. The stroll will be pleasant and quite level. Continue through the meadows of Yak Kharka, Jhak Kharka, and Merek before arriving at Lagmale Kharka. As we pass the Mani walls, observe prayer flags as they flutter in the air. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

We will spend the day at Langmale Kharka acclimatizing. We can choose to laze around or hike to a far-off hill. To help you more effectively adjust to the increasing altitude, our guide may suggest the best walks.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

We will be walking today to Makalu Base Camp, the base camp for the fifth-highest peak on Earth. Additionally, Makalu will be visible, with its intimidating face covered in icefalls, crevasses, jagged edges, and seracs. We'll be strolling along a path that includes multiple turns. Before reaching the Makalu Base Camp (4870 m), where Makalu dominates the skyline, the path continues to descend, and we pass a river. Here, we might see black-red stars, Tibetan snowcocks, hill pigeons, and other species.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

The second day of acclimatization is today. We ascend quickly and explore the glaciers and lakes that are close by. Beyond the desolate Makalu Base Camp is the enormous Barun Glacier. From here, we can see Mount Lhotse and Everest as a whole, as well as the stunning Makalu region to the south. A trip to a 5,250-meter ridge northeast of the Shershong on Peak 3's lower slope marks the trek's more rewarding end. From this vantage point, we can view Lotshe Shar, Lotshe, and Everest in the northwest. Here, you may observe the expansive valleys and breathtaking mountain views. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

We will take the same route today as we climb to Yangle Kharka. We descend and stroll through Shershong, Langmale Kharka, and Merek before reaching Yangle Kharka. We will also hike through a dense pine forest while taking in the stunning alpine panorama. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Take it easy as you stroll alongside the winding river to Themathang. We will travel along a path filled with rhododendron bushes and past a bridge covered with prayer flags before arriving at Themathang Kharka. If we advance through the landslide region with extra caution, we will reach a place with a narrow path. Enjoy a strenuous hike through a rhododendron forest while taking in the stunning mountain view. On steep terrain, we will hike through a valley and a wonderful, green forest before arriving in Dobate.

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Kanchenjunga as we trek to Khongma Danda. The route we took before will be followed, with high passes crossed. We will ascend to Keke La Pass and eventually return to Shipton La, also known as Tutu La Pass. As we continue our climb to the Hindu shrine of Sano Pokhari Danda, take in the breathtaking scenery along the way. We'll also visit Khongma La, which can be found thanks to a mani wall. After descending a few stone stairs, we will reach Khongma. We may see blood pheasants in Khongma as they move through the rhododendron shrubs and snow. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

We will depart Makalu Barun National Park from Khongma Danda, make a U-turn, and return to Seduwa. We proceed down the stone steps, over the bridge, and through the dense forest on a jungle path. We'll cross several bridges. The woodland serves as a habitat for a variety of avian species, so we will likely hear birds singing while out on the stroll. Watch out for farms that are dispersed over the slope and cardamom plants. After passing the Mani walls, we descend some stone steps to reach Seduwa. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Start the day with a stroll through a busy village and sizable bamboo groves. We continue our journey on a meandering trail to the Arun River. We will be treated to a stunning view of rural Nepal once we have crossed the suspension bridge. We'll also be descending a river on a set of substantial stone steps. The path ascends and descends through a gorgeous woodland on its way to the town of Num. Travel toward Tumlingtar on Nepal's winding mountain roads for a lovely journey. We will see hillside towns and terrace farms in addition to the breathtaking scene of snow-capped mountains and green surroundings. 

Mountain Lodge
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included

Take a local flight to Kathmandu from Tumlingtar. Enjoy the scenic views of the Himalayan landscape, which includes snow-capped mountain ranges and green hills, from the luxury of the aeroplane. After we arrive in Kathmandu, you will be dropped off at your accommodation. You may relax after a strenuous walk or experience Kathmandu, a bustling metropolis, by strolling around Thamel. 

Hotel
Breakfast included

Today is a free day in Kathmandu, and you can explore the city on your own, or if you have missed anything, you can go for a more cultural tour or sightseeing around Kathmandu, like Bhaktapur or Nagarkot. You can also explore Thamel for your souvenir shopping.

In the evening, there is a farewell dinner at one of the authentic Nepali restaurants with a cultural show where Nepali cultural dances are performed with a Nepali dinner. Afterwards, back to the hotel.

Hotel
Breakfast/Dinner included

The trip concludes, and our office representatives will take you to the international airport in Kathmandu to catch your onward flight to your next destination or fly back home. You need to be at least 3 hours before your flight time at the airport.

Thank you for visiting Nepal, and we hope your Himalayan holiday has come true. Have a safe flight back home!

If you plan to extend your holiday, then other travel activities like jungle safaris, rafting, mountain biking, bungee jumping, etc. are also on the list.

Breakfast Included

What is included?

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off services
  • Hotel accommodations in Kathmandu with breakfast as per itinerary
  • Kathmandu/Tumlingtra/Kathmandu round-trip fares
  • All trekking accommodations with Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner at local lodges on a twin-sharing basis.
  • Experienced Government licensed English Speaking Guide & Porter (1 porter for two people) including their food, accommodation, salary & insurance.
  • All surface transfers by private vehicle
  • Four seasonal sleeping bags (to be returned after trip completion) & Marron Treks duffel bags.
  • A comprehensive medical kit will be carried by the trekking guide.
  • Makalu Barun National Park permit and TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System)
  • Farewell dinner with a live Nepalese cultural program
  • All government and local taxes 

What is not included?

  • International airfare.
  • Nepal entry visa fee: A visa can be obtained upon your arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (USD30 for 15 days)
  • Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu or Pokhara
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Emergency rescue evacuation (to be covered by the client's travel insurance)
  • Excess baggage charges (the luggage allowance for domestic airlines in Nepal is 20 kg).
  • Other expenses of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, battery recharge, extra porters, bottles of boiled water, showers, etc.)
  • Bar bills, alcoholic drinks, & beverages
  • Tips for guides and porters (tipping is expected).

Route Map

FAQ's

 

1. How difficult is the Makalu Base Camp Trek?
The Makalu Base Camp Trek is considered challenging, with long and steep ascents and descents. It requires a good level of physical fitness and previous trekking experience, as the trail often involves crossing high passes and negotiating challenging trails.

2. What is the best time to do the Makalu Base Camp Trek?
The best time to do the Makalu Base Camp Trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (October to November) seasons. The weather is generally stable with clear skies, offering magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

3. Are permits required for the Makalu Base Camp Trek?
Trekkers need to obtain both the Makalu-Barun National Park Permit and the TIMS Card. These permits can be obtained through authorized trekking agencies by booking a trip with them.

4. How long does the Makalu Base Camp Trek take?
Makalu Base Camp Trek typically takes around 18 days to complete. This duration includes acclimatization days and allows for a gradual ascent to avoid altitude sickness. However, the duration may vary depending on the trekker's pace and preferences.

5. What are the highlights of the Makalu Base Camp Trek?
Makalu Base Camp Trek offers stunning scenery, including panoramic views of Mt. Makalu, the fifth-highest peak in the world. The trail takes you through diverse landscapes, remote villages, and lush forests and offers an opportunity to encounter unique wildlife and experience the local culture of the Makalu region.

Equipment

Below are the suggested items for the packing list and it also depends upon the season you are trekking. We shall provide 75 liters duffel bag and a sleeping bag. You can bring other items from your home country and if you are traveling light and don’t wish to overweight your luggage during international flights then many of them can also be brought in Kathmandu before the trek starts.

Clothing (Core & Lower body)
·         Water-proof (breathable fabric) jacket, Poncho or Umbrella
·         Hard shell pants (breathable fabric- 1 set), preferably that zips from top and bottom which can be worn over boots without getting undressed, in case of abrupt weather            changes
·         Fleece jacket or Pullover
·         Fleece windcheater jacket
·         Down jacket or a Down vest
·         T-shirts (2 – 3) and Long-sleeved shirts with collars ( 2- 3 pairs)
·         Nylon (cotton ought to be strictly avoided) hiking shorts ( 2- 3 pairs)
·         Hiking trousers- one that is detachable from the knees so that they it can be folded up as shorts ( 2- 3 pairs)
·         Thermal underwear as well as synthetic underwear (3 -4 each – avoid cotton)
·         Synthetic sport brassieres for women (2 pairs- avoid cotton)
 
Head/Eyes & Hand Gears
·         Sun hat/cap
·         Woolen hat or Balaclava
·         Sunglasses/Goggles (preferably the ones with 100% UV protection)
·         Liner, Synthetic or Thin wool gloves (1 -2 pair)
·         Warm gloves (designed to shield the sub-zero temperatures)- 1 pair
 
Footwear
·         Trekking boots (1 pair) and spare laces
·         Running shoes, Sandals or Thongs (flip-flops)- 1 pair each
·         Hiking gaiters (1 pair) to do away the rocks, dusts and moist feet
·         Liner socks- preferably synthetic (3 – 4 pairs)
·         Heavy or wool blend socks (3 – 4 pairs)

Equipment
·         Backpack/Rucksack
·         Duffle bag (will be provided by Marron Treks)
·         Pack cover (to protect your gears from getting wet)
·         Day sack/Nylon stuff sack
·         Sleeping Bag/ Silk liner (will be provided by Marron Treks but should be returned after the trip)
·         Water bottle
·         Good head torch along with spare batteries and bulbs
·         Maps, compass and a guidebook
·         Trekking poles

Miscellaneous Bits
The items below could seem trivial, but if you don’t have them, you might just find yourself sticky and stinky, which isn’t actually good for you!
 
Toiletries
·         Quick-drying camp towel
·         Detergent powder/bar
·         Toilet paper
·         Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 20+) & Lip balm
·         Pocket knife
·         Sewing/Repair Kit (for tent & mattress)
·         Emergency kit including a whistle, waterproof match/lighter
·         Padlocks for bags and lodge rooms
·         Stuff sacks
·         Earplugs

Medicament
It is important that you include the medicines prescribed by your doctor. Below is just the generic list of medications. We advise you to always consult your travel doctor as you might be resistant or allergic to some medicines

·         Anesthetics (Ibuprofen/Aspirin)
·         Broad spectrum antibiotics tablets
·         Metronidazole and Antacids (for diarrohea /indigestion)
·         Broad spectrum ointments (Neosporin/ Clotrimazole/Gentamicin)
·         Antiseptic liquids (Dettol/Savlon)
·         Assorted band-aids
·         Small gauge pad
·         Roll of adhesive tape
·         Iodine tablets

Optional Carry
Nothing hard and fast about carrying the items on this list as they are not the basics. Yet, though not all, if you still manage to squeeze in some of these items on your carry, you will not regret it as they might just come in handy during the trek

·         Camera, memory card and battery charger
·         GPS unit Altimeters
·         Binoculars
·         Pee bottle for men (leak proof/wide mouth) & Pee funnel for women
·         Books and magazines

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