Did you know there are currently over 2,000 trekking companies in Nepal? How do you know which trekking company is right for you when booking the EBC trek?
If you’re thinking about doing this trek and not sure where to start with the research, I’ve got you covered because I spent hours scrolling through blogs and companies to find the best company to hike to Everest Base Camp with AND you can get 20% off when booking for two or more people!!! Just read on to see how!
The season is either April – May or September – October. The latter tends to have better weather (so I’m told) but no one will be at Base Camp itself as the season for climbing to the summit is between April – May. When we went at end April-early May, we had blue skies in the morning, then by lunchtime we had anything from rain, clouds, snow, wind.
Here’s what I learnt and why you should book the EBC trek with Visit Himalaya Treks.
Essentially, by booking with a Nepalese company isn’t only ethical as we had both a local guide and local porter, but there’s lots of incredible pro’s in doing so that they need their own numbers in this list.
Most Western companies put you together with other people from different countries on the hike. Yep, you could be spending 13 days with people that might drive you up the wall but not with the local company I went with. More on this below whereas the company I chose, Visit Himalaya Treks, don’t do this.
Visit Himalaya Treks not only provide an incredible local service, they are the experts. Even the owner’s uncle took Sir Edmund Hillary to Base Camp and even owns the record for running from Kathmandu to the to the Camp itself in just three days. Mind blowing really as it’s a long, long way!! Visit Himalaya Treks have also spent a lot of time and money repairing schools and villages from the 2015 Earthquake.
Visit Himalaya Treks owner, Himal Tamang (far right) during the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in 2016.
The owner of Visit Himalaya Treks, Himal Tamang has spent his life from being a porter to working his way up as a guide and is now running his own company so he knows what the customer wants from first hand experience, I mean he’s grown up with trekking in the family. He’s worked with international companies like KE Adventure so he has a huge range of experience. Because of this, his company has an amazing tailored approach.
As above, I learnt that if you book with a Western company, they will almost certainly group you with other strangers (we met many people along the path who had been grouped together). This means you’ll essentially have to spend 13 days with other random people whether you like it or not.
Because we booked with Visit Himalaya Treks, we not only had our own local guide and porter, we could call our own shots. Yes, you heard it right!!
We could stop whenever we wanted for photos (our guide even became our photographer!!), take breaks whenever we wanted, wake up when we wanted, have meals whenever we wanted, go at our own pace – it was amazing! I’ve not been on a personalised trek before and boy, what a difference it made. I saw loads of big groups and I just felt sorry for them as they stormed passed the jaw dropping views just to keep up with the rest of them. We were able to really enjoy the trek without the pressure of anyone else.
Owner of Visit Himalaya Treks, Himal knows that if you put strangers together on a trek, it can cause some problems. Everyone wants the most memorable experience and he knows how to do it with this service.
Visit Himalaya Treks have a service that will have your entire trip sorted. All you need to do is book your return international flights.
They’ll pick you up from Kathmandu airport, organise a hotel, sightseeing days, flights to Lukla where the trek starts, all of your accom and food during the trek, the guide and porter, park fees, and they offer free trekking poles and more. This made it a lot easier because I can tell you, after trekking 8 hours, you don’t want to be looking for accommodation each night, and if you do the trek by yourself, you’ll have to pre arrange accom because everywhere along the path books out days in advance. Essentially, it could be a nightmare! Our guide called the best hotels along the trek to ensure we got the best rooms and I wouldn’t have done the trek any other way since I recently did it.
Not sure what to actually bring on the hike? Our amazing guide actually came to our hotel the day before the trek started to see what we were actually bringing with us. He made sure we didn’t over pack so that the porter wouldn’t be carrying unnecessary items, because the guilt will be there when you see the porter carrying your stuff all day, everyday for 13 days! We were even supplied bags by the trekking company to put our stuff in for the trek (the black North Face bag above) so we only needed to bring our day pack.
This is a question we often asked and our guide was absolutely spot on with how much further we had to go, every single time we asked. This mentally helped us a lot each day. We often had people doing the trek by themselves ask us for directions. Our guide also knew when we needed to get up each day to start trekking which really helped because sleep will become precious during the long days.
Because we didn’t have a group of strangers on our trek, our guide spent time showing us loads of cool local things, like an amazing Monastery in the mountains, to just sitting and watching local kids playing football in a village or watching a school sing the Nepalese national anthem in Namche Bazar. Time wasn’t a priority so we could really enjoy learning about the Nepalese culture as well as really appreciating every single second of the trek.
Because we had a personalised trek, we could actually tailor it to how we wanted. If you don’t want to stay in busy hotels you don’t have to. We ended up changing the schedule towards the end because the day we were finally meant to go to Base Camp, it was absolutely freezing with cold wind and snow. It wasn’t going to be a fun experience, so we told our guide we wanted to go the next day. Because we weren’t in a big group, we could do this meaning we were able to trek to Everest Base Camp without the crowds on the most beautiful sunny, blue sky morning. It was incredible having that final path all to ourselves.
Our guide, Krishna wasn’t only our guide but he became our friend. We chatted about our lives and how different our cultures were, something I think we both wished we had parts of, but it felt like we were doing this trek together and nothing else. He was especially amazing when Steve got ill during the trek, he fixed our broken zipped sleeping bags when we really needed them in -C weather, and he spent all day with us until we actually told him to go and rest or take some time for himself.
Krishna even bought and carried apples for us to eat every single day after dinner. Carrying 13 apples in your bag is heavy in itself and it was a very thoughtful touch. He was also very patient and made sure I made it up to Kala Pather mountain when I was crying my eyes out that I couldn’t make it. He knew how much I wanted to do it and never once told me to turn around. I was pleased that he refrained from this. His caring nature really was second to none and you’d be mad not to book with Visit Himalaya Treks just to have Krishna as your guide.
If you are going to do the Everest Base Camp hike, I couldn’t recommend Visit Himalaya Treks anymore.
How much? Get 20% off here!!
The trek itself is 13 days.
If you want the full 17 day service which includes accommodation in Kathmandu and sightseeing before and after the trek, it costs USD$1750.
If you prefer to organise your own itinerary for Kathmandu (that’s your own sightseeing and accom) it’s USD$1350.
Both costs include everything for the trek including return flights to Lukla.
Luckily, you’ll get 20% off the 17 day package when you mention my blog name Londoner In Sydney when you book for two people or more!!
And… if you refer 10 or more people, you’ll get the trek for FREE!!!!
For more information, check out Visit Himalaya Treks 17 day trek here.