Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trekking safety and security

Trekking in Nepal often involves travelling to very remote areas. Treks often take longer than expected, which can worry family and friends. The availability of phone (including mobile phone reception) and Internet services is extremely limited. It is likely that during a trek you will be unable to contact family and friends for a long period of time.

During the winter months from November to January, flights across Nepal, particularly in high mountain areas, can be delayed due to poor weather conditions.

In November 2010 flights from Lukla were delayed for over one week. The Nepalese Army coordinated a rescue of more than 1,500 people from the area.

Travellers delayed by poor weather in high mountain areas should ensure that you remain in close contact with your trekking guide, tour operator or airline. You will have to consider waiting for the weather to clear or arrange to trek down from the mountains and make alternative travel arrangements.

The Government of Nepal has authorised the Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) and the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to implement a system for foreign trekkers called the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS). Trekkers, including those not with organised groups, are required to have a valid TIMS card issued by TAAN, its member agencies, or NTB. In case of an emergency, the system will help authorities ascertain the whereabouts of trekkers. TIMS cards are available through authorised trekking companies, the TAAN office in Kathmandu or Pokhara, and the NTB office. Trekkers travelling through a trekking company will pay $10 and independent trekkers will pay $20 per route. For further information please visit Trekking Nepal, TAAN orNaturally Nepal.

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