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Ecotourism Nepal

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Nepal has dreamlike landscapes with the great heights of the Himalayas. It offers some of the best trekking in the world. In Nepal Tourism and trekking are having a direct environmental and social impact. A few operators are making a conscious effort to address problems associated with tourism. There are an increasing number of good examples of how tourism can act as a force for positive change, merging tourism with community work.

Find an eco tour in Nepal. A list of eco tour operators, travel agents and accommodation providers either based in or that can organise trips to Nepal. Each listing includes a full page description so click for more information.

Travel Agents, Tour Operators & Eco Accommodation in Nepal

The Explore Nepal Group
The Explore Nepal is a leading ecotourism operator which offers holiday trips with deep commitments towards conservation of the environment and preservation of cultural heritage in Nepal.

Travel agents that can arrange tailor made eco holidays to Nepal:

Tribes Travel
Tribes, the Fair Trade Travel company, offers quality small group and tailor made holidays worldwide. Whether you want a luxury safari, a Galapagos cruise or to hike the Inca trail, Tribes can help.

A Closer Look Travel
Specializes in booking eco travel, community (real cultural connection) travel and volunteer travel. We have one of the largest databases (about 3,300) of worldwide sustainable travel opportunities in the US.

Explore Worldwide
Explore pioneers small, group adventure holidays around the world. Explore's responsible tourism policy is the cornerstone of the company's approach to tour operating.

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Ecotourism Nepal Articles & Resources

Below you can find a collection of resources related to ecotourism issues in Nepal.

Articles on ecotourdirectory.com:

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Travel with Respect

Greet people with a warm Namaste (or "Namaskar" to an older or high-status person) with palms together, fingers up. Show marked respect to elders. Be friendly, be patient. Feet are considered dirty. Don't point the bottoms of your feet (or your bum!) at people, or at religious icons. In this vein, be sure not to step over a person who may be seated or lying on the ground. Be sensitive to when it is proper to remove your hat or shoes.The left hand is considered unclean because it is used to wash after defecating. Nepalis carry a small jug (called a lota) of water for this purpose in lieu of toilet paper. It would be insulting to touch anyone with this hand.Accept tea. Circumambulate temples, chortens, stupas, mani walls, etc. clockwise. When haggling over prices, smile, laugh, and be friendly. Be prepared to allow a reasonable profit. Don't insult fine craftsmanship, it's much better to lament that you are too poor to afford such princely quality.Many Hindu temples do not allow non-Hindus inside certain parts of the temple complex. Be aware and respectful of this fact, as these are places of worship, not tourist attractions.Being a non-Hindu makes you moderately low caste, but not an untouchable. Avoid touching containers of water; let someone pour it into your drinking container. Likewise avoid touching food that others will be eating. Make sure you are invited before entering someone's house. You may only be welcome on the outer porch, or in the yard.Wash hands before and after eating. Touch food only with the right hand. The left hand can be used to hold glasses, bowls, and probably eating utensils. Outside the main cities, be prepared to eat rice meals with your (right) hand as Nepalis do, or bring along a fork and spoon.

Information from wikitravel.org*

Travel Safe

There are strikes ("bandas") and demonstrations to contend with. Businesses close and transportation halts. Ask about strikes at your hotel and make sure you have enough money to last. Food and water are still available in hotels, and much business goes on behind closed doors. Rallies and Demonstrations are routinely charged by police wielding laathis or long sticks. Tourists are advised to keep a low profile, and to avoid confrontations.In the countryside, Maoist insurgents may not have completely laid down their weapons. People with guns (whether actual Maoists or thieves posing as Maoists) may still be asking for 'donations', an offer you might not want to refuse. According to party policy, all donations are supposed to be voluntary and money-collection by means of threats is strictly prohibited. This is not always followed. Haggling is possible. Actual Maoist party workers will usually issue you a receipt. Whether the present truce will outlast negotiation and deal-cutting about the country's political future is somewhat speculative. If things start heating up, best get out of the country or at least to a major city like Kathmandu or Pokhara before the shooting starts up again. It is unlikely that tourists would be targeted, but war often means collateral damage. If your country has an embassy or consulate in Nepal, let them know your whereabouts and plans, and at least listen seriously to any cautionary advice they offer. Insurgencies aside, Nepal's cities are much safer than most. Even pickpockets are rare. Still, don't flash cash or make ostentatious displays of wealth, out of respect for the nonmaterialistic reality of the people.Be cautious about transportation. Roads are narrow, steep, winding and frequently crowded. Seatbelts are an aberration. Not many traffic cops are ticketing unsafe drivers out in the boonies. If you read the papers regularly, you may notice articles about busloads of people falling into gorges.Scheduled flights are safer than the roads, but planes occasionally fly into clouds and find mountains. The risks are greatest before and during the monsoon season when the mountains are usually clouded over. Helicopters may be better at avoiding this, but sometimes crash due to mechanical complexity and dubious maintenance. If you are flying with a company that has no pilots older than 30, you might wonder why. Aviation was already fairly well developed by the 1960s; where have all the old pilots gone?Nevertheless if you should be seriously injured or sick out where there are no motorable roads or airports, medical evacuation by helicopter may be your last best chance. This can get very expensive. If there is no firm guarantee that the bill will be paid, companies offering these services may demur, so look into insurance covering medical evacuations. Also ask if your embassy or consulate guarantees payment; another reason for introducing yourself, even if they seem a bit stuffy.

Information from wikitravel.org*


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* ecotourdirectory.com is not responsible for the travel advice and travel with respect sections on this page. We would strongly advise that before traveling to Nepal you consult your countries embassy for the lastest guidance.

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