Nepal is usually known for its trekking vacations. Our photography tour does not involve trekking the popular routes of the high mountain passes. Rather we visit the sites along the lower valleys from Kathmandu to Pokhara which do not see so many visitors.
A highlight of the trip is a two night stay in an eco camp at Samari. Staying in tents gives us a unique opportunity to explore upper valley village life far away from the nearest tarmac roads, but unlike any of the trekking routes you are likely to be the only tourists in this magnificent valley.
Our small group size, never more than 8 photographers, minimizes our impact on the environment. We can use a smaller bus and when we visit people in the homes and workplaces we do not overwhelm them with numbers.
Drinking water from the tap is not advised in Nepal. Hotels and lodges usually furnish safe water in a thermos flask in guest rooms. We ask that our clients bring a water bottle that can be be refilled at the hotel rather than use plastics bottles. For traveling in rural areas iodine tablets can be used to purify water. Drinking water containing iodine tablet will give absolute protection from viruses, bacteria and parasites.
Nathan has been running tours in South East Asia for seven years now. He has partnered with a Nepalese owned travel company to offer tours of Nepal. The trips have been designed to do what Nathan does best – get out and about amongst the people. There are two trips made every year which coincide with a couple of major festivals, Holi in March and Dansin in October. Visiting Nepal at the time of these festivals further enhance the cultural experience.
In addition to Nathan the tour has a local guide who will be at hand to talk about the history, culture and beliefs of Nepal. Our local guide advises on correct behaviour and teaches our clients a little of the language. This will go some way to build bridges with people who rarely encounter foreigners. We feel that this helps our clients to get the best photos and leave a positive impression behind. For our regular stops we return with photos taken on the previous tour which is guaranteed to delight the recipients who are always thrilled to received pictures of themselves as a token gift.
In Nepal we support the Each One Teach one program. Each One Teach One is an independent charity program initiated by our Nepalese tour agents, Explore Himalaya, as a part of its Community Service Program (EHCSP) with an aim of providing school level education to impoverished, disadvantaged and conflict-affected children in a bid to give them a better chance to live a happy, secure and healthy life. The program is primarily focused on ensuring children’s rights to education. EOTO’s mission is to assist them in gaining access to education by exercising mutual respect, honesty and transparency. We believe that education is the only gateway to consciousness which helps in bringing out immediate and lasting change in one’s life. And we do what we believe in.
EHCSP solely relies on the generous contribution from various donors worldwide therefore we encourage our clients to support EOTO. With the funds collected the project provides a monthly scholarship to children till their high school graduation. The funding received is utilized for the children’s school fees, stationery, uniforms and other necessary educational resources in the most accountable way possible.