Many of the parts in Nepal are strictly under government’s direction and trekking in those areas for foreigner are not allowed. Some of the areas that are closed include Walunchung Gola, Rolwaling and the route to Nanga La in Khumbu. There are likely to be many check post in those hills and the police officer will not think twice before they send you back should you be found trying to trek in those restricted areas without proper documents and a mediator.
Though officially there is no more restricted area for trekking in Nepal, you still might not be able to trek in the restricted areas despite even being labeled as open in the map. In most cases, the government will not give the necessary permits and when they do, you need to pay special payment for it. Along with the payment a representative will tag along with the group throughout the whole trip.
When planning the trek as such, all these facts should be kept in mind to avoid hassle at the later stage. The mentioned restricted areas simply mean the places closed for the trekking activities only when escorted by a policeman (representative/ environmental officer).
Mainly these restricted areas exist because of the boarder issues that we had encountered with China earlier. Other issues include political instability, security and ever increasing concern for environmental protection. Nature Conservation Society has been putting a lot of pressure on government to let the closed areas to remain closed so that the flora fauna and the nature as a whole of that area remain safe. And in other region trekking is restricted as the government feels the area are either unsafe or has the most probability of theft and illness.
Deciding whether to open or close certain areas is affected by various factors. Though there has been growing pressure to consider more areas as ‘open’ it is always wise to check with us(travel agency) or Central Immigration Office before planning any trip to such areas.
The charge for trekking in restricted areas is listed below:
US $70 per day – US $90 per week (with a minimum of 10 days trip): Mustang
An additional payment need to be made for the officer that will be accompanying the trip.
Permits and Formalities
While trekking to restricted areas, the group should make sure to have it fully equipped with the help of registered trekking agency. The trek should include Sherpa staffs, tents, cooks and porters. The trekkers should note that only group trekking of two or more is allowed in the restricted areas, i.e. no lone trekker. All the paper works of the trip, starting from the number of applications to obtaining guarantees and letters falls in our part (trekking agency). This will take around two weeks which can only be started 21 days before the due arrival. Advance reservation are not entertained so it is hard to tell of what will happens if the quota reached the day before your application since the government only allow certain number of trekkers per season in some specific areas.
As mentioned earlier, a policeman usually referred as “environmental officer’ in this case, will be present to assist the trekking group. He will handle all the formalities while en route. But for that matter, all of his travelling cost including all the necessary equipments must be borne by the group.