Makalu Base Camp Trek
Makalu Base Camp Trek Overview
Makalu Base Camp Trek is an ideal trek for those who are looking for a longer adventure. Mt. Makalu is situated at the height of 8463m, which makes this peak the 5th highest mountain peak in the world. It is located in the Mahalangur range, southeast of Mount Everest and on the border of Nepal and Tibet.
Highly protected by Makalu Barun National Park, the route goes through a lush green forest offering you a chance to witness several endangered animals and wild plants. Extending around the two districts of Nepal, Shankhuwasabha, and Solukhumbu, the park covers an area of 2330 sq. km. The park is home to 315 species of butterflies, 43 species of reptile, 16 species of amphibians, 440 species of birds including sunbirds, rose-ringed parakeet, Blyth’s kingfisher, blue-naped pitta, etc. more than 80 species of mammals like snow leopard, Indian leopard, jungle cat, golden jackal, Himalayan wolf, red fox, red panda and many more.
The view of some highest mountain peaks like Everest, Lhotse, Mt Chamlang, and Mt Makalu itself adds more beauty to this trek. The trail runs through a valley of Arun River. Along with it, the route come across a few passes like Keke La pass (4230m) and Tutu La pass (4200m). On your way, you can also see many small cultural villages of Gurung, Rai, and Sherpa. They are the main inhabitants in this area. This remote trek to Makalu base camp can be quite challenging to some people depending on your physical fitness and trekking experience.
This route takes around 20 days with one day rest in every 3-4 days. It might cost you around 1000-1800$. The cost includes all the expenses like insurance, permits, clothing, transportation, etc.
Highlights of Makalu Base Camp Trek
- The hospitality of Rai and Sherpa people.
- Pass through the Makalu Barun National Park witnessing diverse flora and fauna.
- Pass through many glacial lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and colorful Rhododendron forest.
- Day 1- Kathmandu- Tumlingtar- Num (35 minutes flight, 4 hours flight)
- Day 2- Num- Seduwa (5-6 hours walk)
- Day 3- Seduwa-Tashi Gaon (5 hours walk)
- Day 4- Tashi Gaon- kauma (6 hours walk)
- Day 5- Kauma- Mumbuk (5 hours walk)
- Day 6- Mumbuk-Neha Kharka (6 hours walk)
- Day 7- Neha Kharka- Sherson (7 hours walk)
- Day 8- Sherson- Makalu base camp (4-5 hours walk)
- Day 9- Makalu base camp- Neha Kharka (9-10 hours walk)
- Day 10- Neha Kharka- Mumbuk (6 hours walk)
- Day 11- Mumbuk- Kauma (5 hours walk)
- Day 12- Kauma-Tashi gaon (6 hours walk)
- Day 13- Tashi Gaon- Pakuwa
- Day 14- Pakuwa-Bumling
- Day 15- Bumling- Tumlingtar
- Day 16- Tumlingtar- Kathmandu (35 minutes flight)
Difficulties and safety
Makalu being a remote area, trekking to this place can be slightly challenging. This is a moderately difficult trek. However, the level of difficulty entirely depends on your physical and mental fitness. But you can build your muscle strength, make your body flexible by practicing some light exercise, running, and jogging. The trek to Makalu base camp is all about walking 5-6 hours per day for at least 20 days. This solo reason is enough to make this trek challenging. The trails are rugged, steep, maybe snowy in off-seasons. The maximum height in this trek is the base camp (5250m) with other high passes on the way. There is a high risk of mountain sickness.
Symptoms of Mountain sickness
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Fast heartbeats
Preventing mountain sickness
- Walk slow
- Stay hydrated
- Have nutritional food
- Have enough rest
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
Medicines for mountain sickness
- Ibuprofen, paracetamol (for headache)
- Promethazine (for nausea)
Clothing and equipment
|Trekking shocks||Torch lights|
|Water proof pants||Sunglasses|
|Water proof jackets||Beanies and gloves|
|Warm shirts and t shirts||Medicines|
|Thermal tops and bottoms||Toiletries|
|Fleece jacket||Safety kit|
|Down jacket||Hand sanitizers|
|Trekking pole||Water bottles and water purifier|
|Raincoats||Trash bag and tissue papers|
|Duffel bags||Power banks|
|Passport size photographs||Permits|
Travel insurance- Trekking to high altitudes can always be risky. Travel Insurance is something you might want to do before trekking anywhere. Sometimes in emergency cases, people need to be evacuated through a helicopter and get medical service. So, in such cases, your travel insurance will be bearing the cost for you. Seeing all these benefits,
the government of Nepal has made travel insurance mandatory thing before trekking. However, it is very important to mention the heights and all the places you will be reaching during your trek. Your insurance entirely depends on the details you have provided earlier. Travel insurance costs you around 150$ which is good for 1 month.
Visas/passports- If you are not a Nepalese or Indian citizen, then a visa and a passport are mandatory. You can get your Nepalese Visa at Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu. The passport must hold a visa of a minimum of 6 months.