Nepal: solo trekking to be banned?

Independent travellers wanting to trek in Nepal will legally require supervision by a government registered guide as of next month, following an announcement from Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs, consequentially ending solo trekking.

The decision, supported by the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal, came in response to a growing number of assaults and disappearances concerning trekkers in the regions of Gosaikunda, Helambu and Langtang. Most recently, the death of a 23 year old was reported, who had been found decapitated close to a hiking trail near the Tibetan border.

Mohan Lamsal, general secretary of the TAAN, commented: “The decision will help promote Nepal as a safe destination for tourists at a time when international media are questioning the safety of foreigners in Nepal”.

It is hoped the measure will also help to control illegal trekking businesses, following a general increase in crime and muggings in specific areas of the country, including the final section of the Annapurna circuit. Along with compulsory guide accompaniment, independent trekkers will face an additional fee of £6 per day to roam the mountains, on top of the current charge for conservation area permits and National Park entrance fees. Group trekkers are already required to have a government porter with them on all routes.

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