We had the great pleasure of traveling to Nepal organized by Swiss Family Treks and Expedition. From the first moment, everything was perfectly organized and people were very welcoming. We stayed two days first in Pharping, 1 hour away from the capital, where we got a very nice tour around the temples and the little city from Mikmar. Stephan was so kind to lend us excellent sleeping bags, water bottle etc. so that even as unexperienced trekking people, we were very well equipped. We took a flight to Lukla, which was exciting for itself, and we were picked up right away from the airport from our tour guide Sonam, two extremely helpful and mindful baggage porters, absolutely reliable and always in a good mood. We also had two ponies (and men for them to guide) with us which was a very good idea, since our four years old daughter would have had big troubles to walk all the way andalso my husband and myself rode the other horse, when we needed a rest because the paths are quite steep sometimes and we very much enjoyed the view from the horses. Here everything was perfectly organized, we had excellent experiences with all the accommodations that were chosen for us. There was always Nepali and Western food, all in very good quality and taste. We went along very beautiful paths and a big river, a long different bridges with extreme hight. As already described, for trekking we were absolutely unexperienced and had a four years old daughter, but due to the excellent guidance and a good atmosphere, as well as the opportunity to always take good rest, we were able to manage a long way without any problems or altitude sickness. The ponies were kept in very good shape, and we also had the feeling that this was the case for the guide & porters and the horsemen, too. This mattered a lot to us, since you will also experience agencies were this is just not the case. Great views on the mountains climbing higher every day - it was absolutely stunning. Because of the early time in March after Covid, the paths were almost empty from people and we saw more mules and other animals on our way than people.
Namche Bazar will remain in the best experience since the hotel (Nirwana) hosts where such nice people with extreme rich background of stories from Mount Everest and the first ascent of his father. They prepared very nice drinks and food, we were sitting on the sunny terrace with them. When leaving, they gave white scarves to us (and also Sonam, our guide, gave us holy scarves when we said goodbye at he end).
We will never forget the huge beautiful snowy mountains, uncomparable to anything that we have seen so far among Europe or other countries in the world. We also visited for a tea the Mount Everest view hotel and the way towards it is already very impressive. Mountain goat, eagles, yaks and many pray birds were easy to spot. It is always possibilities of taking good rest, having clean drinks and food available. A unique experience for us was Tengboche, the visit in a temple where we got in close contact with monks and we truly experienced the spirit and religion of Buddhism. Then we went to a completely different place without mountains to Monjo, where we were also warmly welcomed and our daughter had a great chance to find friendship with one daughter of the hosts of the hotel. Going back to Lukla, we were sad to leave the beautiful view of Ama Dablam, Mount Everest etc behind us. It was hard to say goodbye, especially for our daughter to her lovely, save pony Tika. Before flying off, Sonam gave us the great chance to visit his home and he showed us around in the village, where we even went to school with our daughter - she was able to interact with the children. The next days we spend in Kathmandu, where we had an extremely wise and experienced tour guide with great philosophical and religious discussions. We were able to even see the living goddess. We enjoyed very much to stay in our hotel, which was perfectly located and very comfortable. We also eat in restaurants around the place and in the hotel.
We also spend three days and the beautiful jungle of Nepal, where we had an excellent experience of riding an elephant! We saw a lot of animals, including baby Rhinos and mamas, deers, monkeys playing and all very close to us - By far much better than any jeep safari or walking Safari (even though we also booked this and the experience was very good!). The elephants were treated very nicely and we are also able to feed them. We also visited elephant nursery, which was interesting, of course, but we did not like so much, that the elephants were tied with a leash to the houses. Luckily we were told, they were released every day for a couple of hours to go in the jungle to eat fresh grass. Also here we had a knowledgeable tour guide and also take a boat trip to see a lot of crocodiles! The hotel in Terai Jungle was extremely nice with a big pool, playground and activities.
All the trips to the locations were organized by Swiss Family Treks with reliable, friendly staff and save cars. Everyone was cheerful and warm hearted. We had the best 21 days that anyone could have wished for!
Thank you for the great time of our life!
Mareike, Luisa, Rasmus from Germany (March 2022)