The Nepal Himalayas captured the attention of the world in 1953 when explorer Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay reached the peak of Mt Everest. Of course the people of Nepal knew about the amazing mountain peaks long before the 1950s. Eight of the highest mountain peaks on earth are contained within the borders on Nepal. Manaslu, the eighth of the highest peaks, was conquered three years after Everest by two Japanese climbers, Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu.
In the last 50 years, the Himalayas in Nepal have been included in more and more vacation plans. Today, an excess of 300 of the Nepal's peaks are open for climbing, including many of the peaks of the Himalayas. The massive mountain range takes it name from a Sanskrit term meaning abode of snow, a natural name for the white-peaked caps that soar to the clouds. Even if you don't climb a single step, you can still experience the amazing landscapes and people who call them home.
Sagarmatha National Park encompasses some of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest. Covering more than 700 square miles, the park preserves a landscape of mountains, glaciers, and charming villages. The park has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, a program of the United Nations. Royal Chitwan National Park and the Kathmandu Durbar Square are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Sherpa people, who named the region Khumbu, originate here. While many of the Sherpas make their living farming or herding yaks, the younger and more adventurous serve as guides for mountaineering expeditions.
Permits are required for climbing the Himalayas in Nepal, which are available from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation's Mountaineering Section. Permits are checked along the way, and some of the peaks require official guides for the expedition. When you plan to scale Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak on earth, it will be essential to have a professional guide to lead the way.
If you don't want to worry about the extra baggage fees on your flights to Nepal, you can rent or purchase your equipment for climbing Manaslu or the peak of your choice after you've arrived. There are several shops in Kathmandu, and the Mt Everest Base Camp provides everything needed for mountaineering expeditions to the Himalayas in Nepal.
All of the these logistics can be taken care of by professional tour companies, along with the other essentials like transportation and guides. Whether you choose a company based in Nepal or closer to home, you'll have the added benefits of enjoying the Nepal Himalayas without worrying about all of the details. When you leave the planning to the experts, you can spend more time soaking in the amazing atmosphere.
Manaslu, whose name means Mountain of the Spirit, is a popular place for trekking, just like its taller sibling, Mt Everest. Along the way, trekkers have the opportunity to visit charming villages or make a stop at Buddhist temples. The peak of Manaslu and the surrounding valley are amazing places to watch for wildlife. It's not uncommon to see thar, a relative of mountain goats, as well as musk deer and birds. Endangered animals, though rarely seen, have a home in the Himalayas, including the snow leopard and Himalayan black bears.
While mountain climbing is the obvious choice for outdoor adventure, those enjoying Nepal vacations have many choices for outdoor recreation in the shadow of the mountain peaks. Many of the rivers that flow through the valleys originate in the Nepal Himalayas, provide a setting for rafting and boat tours. Opportunities for mountain biking and fishing are readily available. For an up-close view of the Himalayas without hoofing it yourself, you could book tours on an ultralight plane or a helicopter.