Ultimate SUP Expedition to Nepal and Bhutan – Water Skills Academy

Water Skills Academy are offering you the opportunity to be part of a unique and one off Stand Up Paddle Board adventure experience across the Himalayas. Visiting Nepal and Bhutan this adventure trip of a lifetime has access to parts of the planet rarely seen by western eyes, guided by some of the most experienced SUP guides and expedition leaders in the world.

It starts with a visit to Nepal, the location of the worlds best multi day river journeys, to complete the Kali Gandaki river in the west of the country. The combination of culture, scenery and world class water makes it an expedition paradise. For the second part of the expedition we fly across the highest mountain range in the world to hidden kingdom of Bhutan, known as the Last Shangri La. With unique access across this restricting country we will then have the opportunity to complete a stunning journey through the heart of this Buddhist country and into India.

This itinerary take us along stunning remote flat rivers with the occasionally easy portage and is suitable for SUP participants, and friends and family who wish to accompany the journey by raft.

The whole journey is based on group participation where we encourage all those accompanying us to immerse themselves on a multi day expedition by participating as part of the team to ensure a successful and rewarding experience from start to finish.

This trip has been developed especially for ‘Water Skills Academy (WSA)’ customers and clients with Live The Adventure Director, Anthony and his team, as your guides providing the full trip support and logistics on and off the water, and the WSA team looking after your SUP experiences on the water.

Nepal

Flying in and out of Nepal through its capital, Kathmandu, we have a night each end of the trip to take in the vibrant culture and surroundings of this amazing city.

This river expedition is based out of Pokhara, Nepal’s second city, set alongside Fewa Lake under the gaze of the 8000m Annapurna mountain range. Based at hotels before and after the river trip, we also get time to have a warm up session on the lake before we head West to the Kali Gandaki river.

This 6-day, 128km, journey takes us through the remote villages and scenery of western Nepal as the river descends from the heart of the Annapurna region of the Himalayas. It offers the unique opportunity to descend this river as we paddle each day through small gorges, jungle corridors and through an abundance of wildlife, spending our evenings camped out on the sandy beaches alongside the river.

Bhutan

This hidden Kingdom nestled under the Himalayas has only recently opened its doors to tourism. Its unique culture, heritage and stunning natural beauty make it the ideal location for that very special adventurous experience and with a policy of minimum impact and restricted numbers, this ensures it remains one of the last and most unique adventure travel locations in the world.

Colourful monasteries and ancient temples stand silhouetted against the mountainsides just as they have for hundreds of years. Wildlife is abundant, rivers are pristine and forests unaltered.

No one knows Bhutan like we do. Live The Adventure Director, Anthony, has been working directly with the Royal family and the government for over 10 years. Having spent over 25 years as a professional guide throughout the Himalayas he was first invited into Bhutan to map the river systems, which then led to him helping to establish some of the first in country operators and training the first guides.

Bhutan measures its success in happiness rather than profit and we take that same approach to our trips, ensuring you have the holiday of a lifetime. Live the Adventure is the only travel and training provider outside of Bhutan to be accredited by the Tourism Council of Bhutan.

This trip takes advantage of Anthony’s unique experience to be able to offer the first approved SUP expedition allowed to explore the Drangme Chhu River. Whilst he has guided the first commercial descents of the river by kayak or raft, no one until now has gone to challenge themselves on this stunning and remote river using stand up paddle boards.

Having a day or two in the west to sightsee and prepare we then take and an internal flight to the more remote central region of Bhutan. Set in a stunning valley we will have the unique opportunity to witness and experience one of Bhutan’s traditional festival’s in Bumthang before driving further East to Mongar and the start of our expedition.

Once we arrive we then step up the adventure as we travel off road as far as our bus can take us and then with the aid of ponies, walk to the head of the Drangme Chu River – to a beautiful sandy beach and our base for the night. From this point on, we will be totally self-sufficient, with all of our expedition equipment, as we spend the next 4 days descending the stunning Drangme Chu River draining towards India and into Manas National Park. The journey offers full raft support and a unique perspective to this kingdom as we travel through remote villages and areas rarely seen by western eyes.

Anthony and his colleagues pioneered the first descents of these rivers and more recently the Drangme Chhu was the location for the BBC’s documentary ‘Land of The Lost tiger’.

The Manas region is one of the largest untouched bio diverse regions left on the planet and a UNESCO world heritage site due to its diversity of wildlife, flora and fauna.

Our journey east to the river utilises the many welcoming hotels each evening to rest and try the local food and drink. Four nights of our adventure will be spent camping on the beautiful sandy beaches on the banks of the river.

We end our trip inside the Manas National Park where we spend our last night on the Indian border at our jungle lodge before we start our journey home the following day.

As part of this adventure you will the first to descend the rivers of Bhutan by SUP as we travel across the country, and the first people ever to SUP through Manas into India. A pretty awesome achievement!

Day 1 – Arrive Kathmandu on 2nd November 2016. Settle into hotel and trip briefing this evening.

Day 2 – An early internal flight to Pokhara and the rest of the day to prepare for the following day’s departure, or a warm up paddle on Lake Fewa under the gaze of the Annapurna mountain range.

Day 3 – Morning drive to the put on of the Kali Gandaki River and after the lunch descend the first few hours on the river to our evening camp.

Day 4 – 7 Each day we pack camp early to spend the day on the river before reaching our new camp each evening.

Day 8 – Our last camp is close to the take out of the river. After an early start, we get to the take out and pack our transport before heading back to Pokhara and our evening hotel.

Day 9 – Day of leisure in Pokhara and site seeing.

Day 10 – Fly back to Kathmandu and the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 11 – Depart Kathmandu for Paro, Bhutan.  A one hour flight over the roof of the world!

Day 12 – Land in Paro, settle into hotel and trip briefing this evening.

Day 13 – Options to SUP section of the Paro Chu river and hike options up to the famous ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery.

Day 14 – A short 30 minute internal flight to Bumthang where we will have the unique opportunity to experience one of Bhutan’s colourful traditional festivals.

Day 15 – A fairly long drive today to Mongar. This takes us even further east through more rural villages and more remote scenery. Spend the night at the hotel in Mongar.

Day 16 – Drive from Mongar and stop when the road is no more, then meet the ponies and hike to the river. THIS IS WHERE THE REAL ADVENTURE STARTS!  From this point, we will be totally self-sufficient with all of our expedition gear, in one of the last untouched regions of the world. We pack all our gear in the dry bags and then trek down a small pony trail that winds down to the Drangme Chhu. Expect about 3 hours of hiking, once we arrive at the River we camp on a beautiful beach where we meet the Drangme Chhu for the first time.

Day 17 – 19  We set off on our descent of the Drangme Chhu. Even though the River has been run a small number of times before by kayak, due to monsoon floods, we will still need to treat this as a relatively unknown run. We camp on riverside beaches surrounded by wild jungle, lighting camp fires in the evenings and preparing evening meals.

Day 20 – We end our trip in the Royal Manas National Park on the Indian Border which is one of the largest bio diverse regions in the world. We take out and cross the border into India and spend the night at a modest safari lodge.

Day 21– On our final morning, we will take a morning jeep drive to Guwahati airport and then fly back to Kathmandu, rest of the day at leisure.

Day 22 – On 23rd November early morning international flight departures.

Nepal

Passport Information

Your passport must have at least six months valid duration at the time of travel. We will also need a copy of your passport for our files in the UK. We also advise you carry photo copies off your passport whilst travelling.

Visa Information

For all up-to-date visa information please visit: www.nepembassy.org.uk You can get your Visa upon arrival in Nepal or you can send off for it in advance by printing of the application form from the website listed above. The Visa takes a minimum of 2 weeks for you to get it back.

Medical Information

For all up-to-date medical information please visit: www.masta-travel-health.com This website will inform you which inoculations you need for the countries you are travelling to, and all advice on medical kit you may want to take with you. Inoculations must be done at least 6 weeks prior to your trip departure.

Bhutan

Passport Information

Your passport must have at least six months valid duration at the time of travel. We will also need a copy of your passport for our files in the UK. We also advise you carry photo copies of your passport whilst travelling.

Visa Information

Your visa for entry into Bhutan will be arranged by ‘Live the Adventure’ Worldwide Travel.  We will send you a copy of the visa form for you to fill out and return to us and we will then arrange your visa for you. Dependant on your travel arrangements and your itinerary, you may be required to apply for an Indian visa if you are entering India at any time in transit. This can be done via the Indian embassy.

Medical Information

For all up-to-date medical information please visit: http://www.masta-travel-health.com.  This website will inform you which inoculations to you need for the countries you are travelling to, and all advice on medical kit you may want to take with you. Inoculations must be done at least 6 weeks prior to your trip departure.

Flight Information

Live the Adventure has a dedicated flight account manager at STA Travel who understands the intricacies of our travel itineraries. If you complete the form on our Check Flights page it will be sent to STA Travel and also to Live the Adventure. If you would prefer to talk through any details with Live the Adventure first i.e. before completing the STA Travel Flight Enquiry Form below, please call us on 01746 718 436. We are very happy to talk through and recommend arrival and departure scenarios to fit in with your choosen travel itineraries, as well as different flight options and stop overs before you confirm or book your international flights and help make your flight booking process as smooth and as hassle free as possible.

Once your flights are booked, we will also need a copy of all your flight information.

Bhutan Entry Flight options: all entry into Bhutan is through Paro (PBH) airport. These flights are not included in the listed price and upon confirmation of your connecting international flights we will book these for you and in doing so arrange your entry visas into Bhutan. Current flight options fly in from Delhi, Bangkok, Kathmandu and Mumbai.

Insurance Information

We have worked with many companies that supply insurance for our trips. Should you need any assistance with this we can put you in contact with them. We advise that you take your insurance out straight away so that if anything was to happen from now to the trip departure date then you will be able to claim. Your insurance must cover you for the whole of the trip and all the activities listed in your Trip Itinerary. We will need you to send us a full copy of your insurance policy before your trip departs it. Please refer to the terms and conditions pages on our website for further details of the cover required.

2 November – 23 November 2016:  $8521.00 USD per person for 2016 (£5945.00 GBP as of 28.01.16)
Prices are quoted in US Dollars.  When paying for your holiday you will be charged in Pounds Sterling (GBP) based on the rate of exchange on the day of purchase.

The cost of this SUP Adventure Holiday expedition includes:

In Nepal:

UK and local guides and porters throughout the itinerary
B&B accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara on a twin/double occupancy (accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara are on a B & B basis allowing you the flexibility to sample one of the many good restaurants in the respective cities)
Internal flights where listed and all land transportation
Supplied camping equipment for full board river trip
Flights from Nepal to Bhutan

In Bhutan:

All visas and entry fees
Highly Experienced UK and local guides
Full vehicle support and transportation in Bhutan
All hotel accommodation on a twin/double basis (single supplement available on request)
All inclusive meals

The above costs do not include the following:

International Flights into Kathmandu and International flights out of Guwahati *
Single room supplement where required.
Insurance – We can provide this at an additional charge
Personal spending money
Guide gratuities
Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.

*There are many flight options of varied costs in/out of Kathmandu dependant on where you are flying from and the number of stopovers enroute. The best flight combination for this itinerary would be a return flight in/out of Delhi. In addition to this a single flight from Delhi into Kathmandu at the start of the trip and then a single flight from Guwahati back to Delhi on the return leg of the journey.
Live The Adventure works directly with a flight partner STA travel who will be able to advise on flight options based on your individual travel arrangement’s. Please complete the online enquiry form or contact us for further information and guidance.

Please contact us to check availability before completing this booking form. A 25% deposit is required with all bookings.  Once we have received your completed booking form and deposit you will receive a full set of joining instructions including kit list.

Booking and Medical form

Ultimate SUP Expedition to Nepal and Bhutan – Water Skills Academy

Summary

Trip Rating
Adventure
Culture
Fitness
Date(s)

2-23 November 2016

Price

$ 8521.00 USD per person for 2016 (£5945 as of 28.01.16)

Length

22 days

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