Know Before You Go
Travel to Nepal can be daunting, but we’re here to tell you not to worry! Nepal is an incredibly safe place over all, and visiting can be easy if done correctly with the proper precautions.
We’ve created this section to give you some help when making preparations for your trip to Nepal. If you have any further questions feel free to contact us directly.
To ensure you have the most memorable experience abroad, make sure you have acquired a visa before arrival. Visa requirements change frequently and are dependent upon your nationality. You may wish to arrange visas yourself or even have a travel agent arrange these on your behalf.
We have collected the websites below which provide all you need to know on how to aquire your visa:
Nepalese Immigration Department:
Nepalese Embassy in London:
General Information for Nepal Visa
A valid passport and visa are required when visiting Nepal. Make sure you passport has over 6 months on it from your arrival date in Nepal.
International travellers should obtain visas prior to arrival from an embassy of Nepal. However, some nationalities may acquire a visa upon arrival at Tribhuvan International airport in Kathmandu.
We advise that you get your visa before arrival, if possible. It will make the process passing through customs smoother and quicker. If in the UK, you can apply for it online here: http://uk.nepalembassy.gov.np/. If you are not in the UK you can try at the Nepalese embassy in the country you are in.
If you are planning to purchase a visa upon arrival, remember that you will need to provide two passport photos and pay in USD for the visa. It is possible to pay by card but easier and quicker to pay in cash. For the most up-to-date information on visas visit the London Nepal Embassywebsite here: http://uk.nepalembassy.gov.np/1766-2/.
Alternatively, you can also obtain entry and exit information from the Nepalese Department of Immigration: www.nepalimmigration.gov.np.
Tourist Visas tend to come as either 15, 30, or 90 days. But they can be extended if required. 150 days is the maximum amount of time a UK tourist can stay in Nepal in one calendar year.
What we need from you
We need to know about any pre-existing medical conditions that you have. This allows us to make your trip as enjoyable and safe as possible by making sure that your needs are catered for.
Some conditions (such as pregnancy or recent surgery) may mean that certain activities are not suitable for you. Please make us aware of any condition before final booking so that we can discuss and either clear you for fitness or find you a suitable alternative.
It is highly unlikely that any condition will stop you from taking part in a tour we run, however safety is our main concern.
Make sure that you have also notified your Travel Insurance of any pre-exisitng medical conditions too!
Info About Nepal
Nepal is a 3rd world country and so you will need to be immunised against a range of diseases. These include but may not limit to Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis A and B, and Rabies. We recommend that you check with your local doctor what immunisations you personally require. Make sure your tetanus shots are up to date too.
It can take a long time to have these immunisations done properly. We recommend you start getting your immunisations a minimum of 3 months before you travel to give yourself plenty of time.
It’s a good idea to have a full dental check before arriving in Nepal as dentists in Nepal may not be as good or have the same standard of facilities as those back home.
It is important to be careful with your hygiene and what you eat when you travel to Nepal. We recommend that you always wash your hands with antibacterial hand wash (easily bought in Nepal) before you eat. Always eat cooked food when you are eating from street sellers. A common ailment that travellers get in Nepal is Dysentery either amoebic or bacterial. Most of the time it is caused by eating something dodgy in town. It’s a good idea that you ask a doctor or a pharmacist to recommend you something to help with ‘travellers sickness’ so that we can keep the unpleasantries to a minimum.
Use bottled mineral water or boiled and filtered water only.
Malaria is also a risk, but a low one. It is mostly in the Terri (lowland in the south). There are tablets that can be taken but they can come with some harmful side effects. If you choose not to take these tablets, we recommend you wear long clothing and put on insect repellent to help protect yourself. This is especially important when in the Terri and during evenings (when mosquitoes are most active). Again we recommend you talk to your personal doctor for more detailed information.
If you have any questions about any medical considerations or would like some more information, feel to contact us directly.
Nepal is a land locked country that lies in-between India and China, along the highest part of the Himalayan mountain range. The people are very poor with the majority of the population live on subsistence agriculture. Tourism is by far the largest income into Nepal with Trekking being the largest closely followed by Rafting andKayaking.
But what the people lack in wealth, make up for in culture. The Nepali people are renowned as warm, welcoming and friendly people who are always willing to help. They welcome foreigners into their homes with genuine smiles and friendship. Nepal is mostly Hindu but there are many other religions, mainly Buddhist and Muslim.
There are a wide range of Nepali races and tribes. Each have their own religion, beliefs and ways of life. There are dozens of local languages throughout Nepal. Nepalese is the national language, and many know parts of English – most Nepali people actually know several languages (they are by no means a stupid people). You will be able to get by with just using English in Nepal; but if you choose to learn and use even a few Nepalese words, you will be met with eagerness of locals wanting to help you learn more.
The women will normally wear traditional dress whereas the men often prefer to wear more western dress. In terms of your own dress code feel free to wear what you like. However I would advise that when not on the river, for women not to wear ‘short shorts’ or a low cut top. Otherwise you will be surrounded by Nepali men trying to get a good view.
Customs You Need to Know
When visiting a temple, always walk around it in a clockwise direction.
Take off your shoes before entering a temple or a Nepalese home.
Entrance to some temples is forbidden, so look out for such notices.
Seek permission to take photographs inside temples or of religious ceremonies.
Show decency in dress and avoid any show of public affection.
For all River and Soul holidays you must provide your own comprehensive travel insurance. We require a copy of policy information before you arrive in Nepal.
Health and safety is the basis of every trip River and Soul run. Participating in adventure activities is a lot of fun but it does come with possible risks. We are running extreme activities in a 3rd world country. This creates a higher than normal level of risk and therefore we require all participants in our trips to have personal travel insurance.
River and Soul have strong risk management systems and emergency procedures in place, we do everything we can to minimise the risks involved. Back this up with some personal travel insurance means you can fully enjoy the thrill of your Nepalese Adventure!
We have partnered with World Nomads who are world leading providers of adventure travel insurance. They are able to provide suitable cover throughout Nepal. We highly recommend them.
Travel insurance: simple & flexible
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
General T&Cs for River and Soul about Travel Insurance
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are adequately insured for the whole trip. River and Soul will happily help and give advice where we can to make sure that you have the right cover.
You must make sure that your insurance covers all of the activities listed on your itinerary. In particular you must make sure that the Whitewater Rafting/Kayaking section is covered up to grade 5 if required. Another important feature to be covered for is evacuation by helicopter and repatriation. Nepal is a very mountainous country with poor roads. A good hospital can often be days away by car and so you may need to be evacuated by helicopter in the event of an emergency and the cost could amount to thousands of US dollars.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are adequately insured for the whole trip - including personal items, accidents, health, emergency evacuations, injury/death, loss or damage to personal effects, and last minute cancellations of the trip.
Please check your policy carefully before buying and before leaving home. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the procedures that you may need to follow in the unlikely event that you need to make a claim.
If you are covered by a policy arranged through your credit card company we ask that you provide evidence of this cover, as well as a 24-hour emergency contact number. Many credit card companies do not provide an insurance policy number. In this instance, the tour leader will need to record your credit card number, as this is required to activate any request for emergency assistance.
You should also bring along the travel insurance information booklet provided by your credit card company. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the requirements set out by your credit card company in order to be effectively covered and that the cover offered is of a suitable standard.