BlogSafety Concerns and Risks Management while Trekking in Nepal

Risk mgmt

21 Aug 2019 snowpath

We provide some possible safety concerns and risks management while trekking in Nepal. Meanwhile, we strongly stress Nepal is very safe to travel and trek around. The first alarming concern of any traveller and trekker would be how much the destined country is safe and risky? And Nepal is not exceptional from those doubts. Some of the listed safety concerns and risks are not even contextual in Nepal, rather a clarification.

In fact, most of the countries have not issued any travel regulations and restrictions to visit Nepal in any forms. This, of course, clarifies most of the uncertainties and doubts among trekker and traveller. However, we outline the possible safety risks, so that a trekker can remain alert and handle them efficiently when they actually erupt.

Political Safety Concerns and risks management while trekking in Nepal

Nepal has never seen such a strong political stability before. The 10 years civil war (1996-2006) has ended. Constitutional election was completed in year 2013. Legislative election happened in 2017 and country is enjoying majority government. Though, there is always possibility of change in government head, but for sure that is not going to affect trekker and traveller. Even though, currently the country is under the rule of communist party, they are not hard-liner and coup d’état is highly improbable.

Strikes and protests used to be very concerning factors few years back. Especially trekker and traveller had to face transportation difficulty. It has been long, that there are no major strikes and protests, thanks to the awareness of Nepalese people. However, strikes and protests are instantaneous, therefore trekkers and travellers are always advised to remain alert.

Health Safety Concerns and risks management while trekking in Nepal

Nepal government conducts free vaccination and immunization to its citizen for most of the epidemic and life-threatening diseases. A country is polio-free since 2010. Nepal actively participates and follows guidelines set by World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF regarding contagious diseases and often receives appreciation from these organization. Definitely, country is heading to a brighter, prosperous and healthier future. Even though, trekker and traveller need not compulsory immunize themselves to travel Nepal, they are advised to consult doctor and health provider.

Nepal is safe for traveller and trekker regarding health issues. Indeed, a proud moment, no death has ever recorded among trekkers and travellers due to communicable diseases, while staying in Nepal or after returning from Nepal. However, lack of proper quarantine policy, the country is highly vulnerable. But again, it is advised to remain alert for any outbreak. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is the most concerning safety issue while trekking in Nepal. Following proper trekking itinerary minimizes the risk in great extent. Taking advices from trekking guides, agencies, experts is always a bright idea.

Transportation Safety Concerns and risks management while trekking in Nepal

While, Nepal boasts for beautiful geographical landscape and high mountains it has exactly opposite effect on transportation-related risks. Either it is a road transportation or flights. Fast changing weather in mountain disrupts many flights often in Lukla for Everest Trekking region and Jomsom for Annapurna trekking region. Again, regarding air accidents, there is little one can do. However, every government and private sectors involved in tourism are seriously involved to minimize these kinds of risks.

Organizers and agencies provide private and tourist vehicles instead of local transportation to minimize the road accidents among the trekkers and travellers. This is efficient and minimizes the risk in great extent but trekkers and travellers find expensive. There is tourist bus service in Nepal but confined to only popular touristic destination, Pokhara and Chitwan. It is highly advisable to hire private transportation over local transportation while travelling in off-roads around trekking regions of Nepal.

Harassments Safety Concerns and risks management while trekking in Nepal

Either mental, financial, or physical harassments, probably this is the least risky safety concern for trekker and traveller in Nepal. Even though insignificant in numbers, it cannot be ignored. After all, precaution is far better than unwanted series of events. Thanks to the honest, reliable, humble, cheerful culture and nature of Nepalese people. Trekkers and travellers are often greeted with big smiles and respects in every part of the country. In less touristic area, people might gaze and stare at you, but they are never meant to harass. Simple curiosity.

Politely rejecting offers and returning greetings is the best way to win the heart and mind of Nepalese people. Not involving yourself in illegal activities and trusting own instincts almost nullify any kind of serious harassments you might face in Nepal. No need to fear and overthink in this particular point of risk management.

Natural Calamities Safety Concerns and risks management while trekking in Nepal

To understand the risk of natural calamities in Nepal, one needs to understand the geographical features and climate of Nepal. Nepal is divided into three geographical regions horizontally east to west. The Himalayas in North, hilly countryside in middles section and plain Terai in South. Instead of four, Nepal experiences six seasons. Mid-March to mid-May (Spring) mid-May to mid-July (Summer), mid-July to mid-September (Rainy), mid-September to mid-November (Autumn), mid-November to mid-January (Pre-winter), mid-January to mid-March (Winter). Rainy season in Nepal is prone to flood in Terai and landslides in hilly region. Winter aggressively hits Himalaya region.

Spring, Summer, Autumn and Pre-winter are the best seasons in Nepal to trek with mild temperature, clear sky and no rain. So, there is negligible risk of Natural calamities during this season. More importantly, most of the trekking route/ path is safe. Trekker does not encounter flood, landslides, avalanches in trekking path.

Consider following things

Activities deemed illegal in your country is likely to be illegal in Nepal as well.

Regularly visit the websites of your country’s embassy or consulate in Nepal. Stay informed for any changes in situation of Nepal.

Australian Embassy

Brazilian Embassy  

Chinese Embassy   

Finnish Embassy     

French Embassy      

German Embassy   

Indian Embassy       

Israeli Embassy       

Japanese Embassy 

South Korean Embassy

Malaysian Embassy

Norwegian Embassy

Qatari Embassy       

Russian Embassy    

Swiss Embassy         

Thai Embassy           

UK Embassy              

US Embassy          

Insurance that covers medical and helicopter evacuation is mandatory while travelling in Nepal. Carry a copy with you and leave a copy of insurance policy to your organizer while you are in trekking.

Never engage yourself in any political protests and strikes. Stay updated in current news of Nepal.

Regarding any health issues, be informed about any outbreak of epidemics in Nepal, and consult with your health provider, if required. It is advisable to bring some basic medicines from your home country.

Kindly follow the itinerary especially in trekking to cope with AMS. Do not finalize unless you are sure.

If your trip has been organized through travel/trekking agency, always seek help from them. Ask for maximum information available.

Never engage yourself in any kind of illegal activities. Prostitution and marijuana is illegal in Nepal.

Nepalese people treat foreigners very well but every person can’t be trustworthy. Do not engage yourself unnecessarily. Do not provoke them.

Always keep contact number and address of your country’s embassy in Nepal, along with your trip organizer’s contact number and address. Most of the time they are the one who will help you to sort out your problem.

Know the best seasons to travel and trek in Nepal to avoid seasonal natural disasters.

Importantly, follow your instincts and common sense.