Adventure travel specialists World Expeditions are soon to expand their number of permanent campsites in the Nepalese Himalaya, due to an increase in trekkers throughout the last two climbing seasons.
Designed to improve comfort levels during an expedition, the first set of yak dung fuelled camps were established in 2011, as an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to teahouses and lodges. Made from stone and cement with small amounts of timber, the campsites allow walkers to live sustainably, by collecting their own rainwater in tanks and providing employment for local people.
As of 2014, the project will see sites erected in Gorak Shep and Lobuche in addition to those already established at Ghat Monjo, Portse Tenga, Machermo, Dingboche, Deboche and Dole. Features of each site will include a dining room with yak dung fueled stove, Sherpa decor and furnishings, western toilet and a camp bed and mattress. The sites, which are located in remote, private settings with panoramic views of the Himalaya, will allow visitors to spend more time taking in Sherpa culture.
World Expeditions’ UK Manager, Gordon Steer, commented: “Prior to the introduction of the term ‘ecotourism’ we had already committed to playing a part in reducing the negative impacts of tourism and our Everest permanent campsites demonstrate this best. We have always believed that camping trekking is the most sustainable way to have a back-to-nature experience. Using lodge and teahouses is marketed as eco-friendly and promises the comforts of home, but the reality is that it comes at a cost to the environment”.