Nepal is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of bio diversity due to its unique geographical position and latitudinal variation. The elevation of the country ranges from 60m above the sea level to the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest 8,848m, all within a distance of 150km with climatic conditions ranging from sub tropical to arctic. This wild variation fosters an incredible variety of ecosystems, the greatest mountain range on earth, thick tropical jungles teeming with a wealth of wildlife, thundering white water river, forested hills and frozen valleys. Within this spectacular geography is also one of the richest cultural landscapes anywhere.
The country is a potpourri of ethnic groups and sub groups who speak over 70 languages and dialects. Nepal offers an astonishing diversity of sightseeing attractions and adventure opportunities found nowhere else on earth. And you can join in the numerous annual festivals that are celebrated throughout the year in traditional style highlighting enduring customs and beliefs.
When to Go Climatic factors are very important in deciding when to visit Nepal. October-November, the start of the dry season, is in many ways the best time of year: the weather is balmy, the air is clean, visibility is perfect and the country is lush following the monsoon. February-April, the tail end of the dry season, is the second-best period: visibility is not so good because of dust, but the weather is warm and many of Nepal's wonderful wild flowers are in bloom.
In December and January the climate and visibility are good but it can be chilly:
Trekkers need to be well prepared for snow, and for cheaper hotels in Kathmandu - nonexistent heating makes for rather gloomy evenings. The rest of the year is fairly unpleasant for travelling: May and early June are generally too hot and dusty for comfort, and the monsoon from mid-June to September obscures the mountains in cloud and turns trails and roads to mud.
Events Nepal's festive calendar is hectic. Dasain, celebrated nationwide in October, is the most important of all Nepalese celebrations and features the biggest animal sacrifice of the year. Running a close second is Tihar (November), but unlike Dasain, animals are honoured rather than slaughtered.
Other festivals celebrated nationally include the water-tinged Holi (March) and Chaitra Dasain (April), which is yet another bad day for animals.
Hindu festivals number the Haribodhini Ekadashi (November) and Maha Shivaratri (March), both celebrated in Pashupatinath, the Gai Jatra (August) in Kathmandu and the Krishna Jayanti (August/September) in Patan.
Buddhist celebrations are just as thick on the ground, and include Mani Rimdu (November) in Solu Khumbu, Buddha Jayanti (May) in Kathmandu, and Losar (Tibetan New Year) (February) in Swayambhunath, Jawalakhel and highland communities.
Popular treks from Kathmandu include the Everest Base Camp, and the Langtang and Helambu treks. From Pokhara, the most popular are the Annapurna Base Camp, Ghorepani Poon Hill, Annapurna Circuit and the Jomsom -Muktinath trek. Less-travelled alternatives require more planning, but include the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek, the Dolpo region, Mustang and Rara Lake.
Remember to minimise your impact on the environment by avoiding use of non-biodegradable items, disposing of your garbage responsibly, staying at lodges that use kerosene instead of firewood, and by not using toilet paper.
Rafting and kayaking are incredibly popular, especially on the Trisuli River near Kathmandu and the Sun Kosi in Dolalghat. More remote challenges include the Karnali (a two-day trek from Surkhet) and the Tamur (a three-day trek from Dobhan in eastern Nepal).
A range of language, spiritual, medicinal and yoga courses can be taken in Kathmandu and at various temples and monasteries.