The Langtang circuit is particularly special, encompassing some of Nepal’s finest forests and a wonderful sense of peace and tranquillity. Our focus will be on the superb upland bird life, alpine flowers and high-altitude rhododendron forests of this beautiful place – a Naturetrek favourite! We begin our trek high above the Trisuli River then climb its eastern flank through pretty villages into dense subtropical vegetation. Next we head into the deep Langtang Valley for several days where Musk Deer and Blood Pheasants find refuge amongst the rhododendron forests. We’ll explore remote ravines, passes and forests, and enjoy arguably the world’s most breathtaking scenery, before returning to Kathmandu or perhaps extending the tour to Chitwan National Park.
- White-capped River Chats, Blue Whistling Thrushes, Indian Rollers & mynas
- Colourful warblers, babblers, tits & flycatchers of the Himalayan foothills
- Pied Ground Thrush & Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon
- Stunning Himalayan scenery, including Annapurna chain & views to Mt Everest
- Black Bear, Leopard & Red Panda inhabit the area we visit
- Mammals we may see include langurs, Common Goral & Himalayan Tahr
- Look for rosefinches, snowcocks & Snow Partridge in hanging valleys & glaciers
- Visit the home of the elusive Satyr Tragopan & Himalayan Monal
- Led by expert local naturalist guides
Included in the price, except for lunches and dinners in Kathmandu. Allow £45.
Fully serviced camping on trek; comfortable hotel, Kathmandu, and jungle lodge, Chitwan, both with private facilities.
The Langtang circuit is particularly special. We do not approach the highest of the Himalayan peaks, we do not encounter the diversity of scenery and ethnic groups that is found in the Kali Gandaki Valley; but we do find Nepal’s finest forests, and a peace and tranquillity that is sometimes lacking on more popular trails. Though just north of Kathmandu, this route takes us to some of Nepal’s least populated regions, and remains relatively free of trekkers. May can be very hot at low altitudes but is a wonderful time for birds and flowers, just as in Europe, and on this trek we do remain at high altitudes for most of our journey. On no other trek will you see so many of Nepal’s upland breeding birds and alpine flowers. High altitude rhododendron forests are covered in pink blooms, and underfoot lie carpets of primulas, anemones and dwarf irises.
We begin our walk from Dhunche, high above the banks of the Trisuli River. Whitecapped River Chats and Blue Whistling Thrushes decorate riverbed rocks, Indian Rollers and mynas call from the riverside Sal forest. Slowly we climb above the river on its eastern flank, following it northwards through pretty Tamang villages, steep terraced fields and watery ravines filled with dense subtropical vegetation and tall stands of alder. Here we will encounter the colourful warblers, babblers, tits and flycatchers of the Himalayan foothills, and will keep a look out for the beautiful Pied Ground Thrush and Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon. The views to the Trisuli River far below, of Ganesh Himal to the west, and of the stout, snowbound Tibetan peaks at the head of the valley are quite magnificent.
Leaving the Trisuli Valley behind, we turn east into the deep Langtang Valley, the heart of a large national park. Here we spend several days. The uninhabited oak and rhododendron forest of the lower valley is outstanding. Black Bears, Leopards and Red Pandas all occur but realistically we must satisfy ourselves with the smaller mammals — langurs, macaques, Common Goral and Himalayan Tahr — and the exceptionally rich birdlife of this forest. In the upper reaches of the valley, high alpine pastures lie enveloped by the high snowy peaks of the Langtang range and Tibetan border. We visit the hanging valleys and great glaciers where rosefinches, snowcocks and Snow Partridges are common and confiding. In a gnarled birch and rhododendron forest, sitting on the tree line, Musk Deer, and Blood Pheasants and Himalayan Monals find refuge.
We must climb high to leave the Langtang Valley but the mixed forest, home of the elusive Satyr Tragopan, and the flower-filled meadows beneath the holy lake of Gosainkund are magnificent. Leaving Gosainkund we follow a series of smaller lakes to the Laurabini Pass (4,570 metres), then drop into a wild land of remote forests and steep damp ravines where birds and flowers abound, but humans do not.
Our final days take us along a spectacular forested ridge and through little Tamang villages, from which the views of the Himalayan chain, from Annapurna to Mount Everest, are outstanding ... providing that the weather is clear! Before and after the trek we have plenty of time to explore the temples and shrines, the rivers and forests of the Kathmandu Valley, and those that wish for a further aspect of Nepal, and a new range of birds and mammals, may take advantage of our extension to the lowland riverine and Sal jungles of Chitwan National Park. There we will spend four nights at a jungle lodge, exploring the park on foot, elephant back and by canoe. Chitwan is a most exciting place, offering a unique and very different Nepalese experience ... as well as an additional 200 new bird, and 15 new mammal species for our trip!