Everything you need to know about Makalu Base Camp Trekking in Nepal.
28 Apr

Everything You Need To Know About Makalu Base Camp Trekking In Nepal.

Are you an adventure enthusiast seeking to explore the hidden treasures of the Himalayas? Are you ready to embark on a journey that will test your physical endurance and reward you with awe-inspiring vistas? If so, then reading this post about the Makalu Base Camp Trek is of utmost importance to you. We will unveil the secrets of this incredible trek, offering you valuable insights and essential information that will prepare you for an unforgettable expedition in the heart of the world's highest mountains.


Experience the Enchanting Makalu Base Camp Trek through VHT Teams' Captivating Video


The Eastern Highlands of Nepalese territory portrays various towering mountains that reach an amazing elevation beyond 8000 meters. Amongst these are Mt.Makalu (8481m)- the fifth highest mountain in the world, that neighbors the mighty Mt.Everest (8849m) to the west and Mt.Kanchenjunga (8586m) to the east. Trek to the base of Mt. Makalu entails a wide array of natural resources for the popular Makalu-Barun National Park lies in the region. 

Overlooked by the commercial trekking industry, this particular trek is still off the beaten trek with numerous discoveries and sightings to be made. Trekking in Nepal has its own perk and venturing into such adventurous spaces that are untouched, and Makalu Base Camp Trek is one of them.

Makalu Barun National Park has a significant amount of flora and fauna including 25 types of Rhododendrons, 47 distinct types of orchids and not to mention 56 rare species of floras all within an area of 1500 sq. km. This area is affluent in the fauna with occasional sightings of Snow leopard, red panda, musk deer, and wild boar. Despite its remote location and distance from modern sophistication, it portrays a distinct variety of richness in geography, landscape, and spatial distribution.

Our Camp at Makalu Base Camp elevation of 4870 meters.


The Trekking route you will follow during the Makalu Base Camp.

Your typical trek to Makalu Base Camp begins with a scenic 35 minutes flight that takes on the Himalayan route towards Tumlingtar and drives through the rough roads towards Nu. The trekking days towards the base camp begin from Num and pierce through small hamlets of Sherpas, Rai, Gurungs, and Limbus that are native to the region. From Num, you descend towards the Arun River which acts as your companion all the way to the base camp of Mt Makalu. 

Your trail continues through a steep switchback ascent towards Seduwa and follows through other villages in the region via terraced farms, vernacular villages, and dense forests. We traverse along the Tashigaon, Khongma Dada, Dobate, and Yangri Kharka to reach the base camp of Mt. Makalu. Along the way, you will pass through Shipton La Pass at 4230 meters, which has been named after the famous climber Eric Shipton. Upon reaching Makalu Base Camp it is evident why this mountain is so popular globally.

Trekking to Makalu Base Camp is the end point of this voyage and sits at an elevation of 4870 meters. Base Camp of Mt. Makalu is the starting point for climbers attempting to summit Mount Makalu, the fifth-highest peak in the world. For most of your trek, you will be traversing through deep gorges, narrow valleys, and high mountain passes alongside rugged and steep terrains. The landscape variation during the trek is worth watching with the trail being covered with rhododendrons, orchids, and oak forests on the lower elevation and you will discover alpine meadows and rocky terrain as you gain elevation.

Another point of attraction of this trek is Barun Valley which sits westward of Mt. Makalu. Barun Valley is a high mountain valley that is glaciated and surrounded all across by towering massifs of Mt.Makalu(8481m), Mt. Chamlang(7319m), and Mt. Baruntse(7162m). Standing at such a high elevation Mt. Makalu depicts a gigantic massif which portrays an enigmatic vibe all around.

Mt. Makalu view from Makalu Base Camp and Tea House at Base Camp. 


How difficult is the Makalu Base Camp Trek?

Considering the terrain and trail that leads up to the base of Mt. Makalu, the Makalu Base Camp Trek is categorized as a demanding grade trek. With the elevation reaching as high as 4870 meters, this trek might leave you breathless as you elevate higher from Shipton La Pass. To ensure good health during a trek, it's important to drink enough water and take it slow. When climbing to higher elevations, the air's oxygen levels decrease, making it harder to breathe. The Makalu trek is challenging, but with expert guidance and assistance, it's definitely achievable. 


Our team here at Visit Himalaya Treks has designed an itinerary that is ideal for beginner to experienced trekkers. We have set aside one day for acclimatization at Khongma Dada in order to ensure that you are properly adapted to the high elevation of the region. Also, our itinerary is perfectly designed to ensure that you can walk at a slow pace in order to reach your day's destination. You will have to walk for 5-6 hours at most every day at your own pace to reach the day's stopover point. 


How much does Makalu Base Camp Trek Cost?

The cost for Makalu Base Camp Trek varies depending on the luxury range of accommodation you choose for. While your teahouses are similar except for a few stopovers, the cost of your stay and food during the trek is almost the same. The standard package cost of Makalu Base Camp Trek Cost as quoted by our company ranges from $ 2250 for the Tea House Lodge Trek complete Package and $ 3200 for the Makalu Base Camp Camping trek for each trekker. Please send us an inquiry with your requirements and we will revert with the pertaining cost for the trip. 


How long does Makalu Base Camp Trek take?

The standard itinerary as designed by our company is of 21 days which includes sightseeing, domestic transfers, and flights. Also, this itinerary includes 1 acclimatization day at Khongma Danda. It's a total of 131 kilometers of roundtrip trek starting from Num Village to Makalu Base Camp to Num Village.

Kalo Pokhari between Shipton La Pass and Keke La Pass. Kalo Pokhari between Shipton La Pass and Keke La Pass. 


Do you need a guide for Trekking to Makalu?

Makalu Base Camp Trek is an off-the-beaten trek to remote areas of the Makalu region. It traverses through the rugged landscape piercing through Makalu Barun National Park. There are various risk factors associated with trekking such as Navigation issues, Altitude sickness, linguistic barriers, and others. Having a professional guide by your side during the trek minimizes the risk of uncertain factors and ensures a safe journey. Furthermore, Nepal Government has mandated trekking guides for all the trekkers in Nepal starting from April 1st, 2023. So, it is compulsory to have a trekking guide for Makalu Base Camp Trek.


What Permits are required for Trekking to Makalu Base Camp?

As stated before, the trek to Makalu Base Camp passes through Makalu Barun National Park which makes it a protected area. There are 2 different permits that you will have to attain for Makalu Base Camp Trek:

TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System): $20 per person
Makalu Barun National Park Entry permit: $30 per person


When is the best time for trekking to Makalu Base Camp?

Nepal has 4 distinct seasons within a year: Winter (Dec-Feb), Spring (March-May), Summer (June- August), and Autumn (Sept-Nov). Temperature of Nepal is extremely cold in winter due to snowfall in mountain areas of Nepal. Summers bring in the monsoon clouds from the Bay of Bengal with occasional rain showers in most parts of Nepal. Spring and Autumn are the best time for trekking to Makalu Base Camp as the weather is clear most of the time making the gigantic mountains visible. 


List of gears for Trekking

1. Clothing:
Waterproof and windproof jacket and pants
Fleece or down jacket
Thermal underwear (top and bottom)
Hiking pants, shirts & socks
Warm hat
Sun hat
Gloves or mittens

2. Footwear:

Sturdy hiking boots
Comfortable walking shoes or sandals
Gaiters (optional)

3. Backpack:

40-50-liter backpack
Rain cover for backpack

4. For
Sleeping bag (rated for -20°C)
Sleeping pad or mattress

5. Personal Hygiene:

Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.)
Quick-drying towel
Sunscreen (SPF 50+)
Lip balm
Insect repellent
Personal medications

6. Miscellaneous:
Headlamp or flashlight (with extra batteries)
Trekking poles
Water bottles or hydration system
Sunglasses (with UV protection)
Camera or smartphone (with extra batteries)
Trekking map
First-aid kit
Snacks and energy bars
Cash (for tips and purchases along the way)


Tea House at Khongma Danda.

Accommodation during Makalu Base Camp Trek

As with any other trekking trail in Nepal, the Makalu region has small hamlets usually within distance enduring 2-3 hours. Mostly inhabited by Rai, Limbu, Sherpa, and Tamangs. Your stay during the trek will be in these villages. The houses along the trekking trails are called teahouses. Home built with stone and mud clay made from wooden structures or pillars. These structures are similar to the mountain lodges that you will find in the European Alps.

While the accommodation options are numerous in Kathmandu, Tumlingtar, and Num village with modern hotels, as you trek beyond Seduwa, you will be staying in teahouses. The amenities and facilities offered by these teahouses are almost the same. Bed, foam pad as a mattress, pillow, and blankets. The attached bathrooms are not available during the time of your trek. 

Owing to the remoteness of the region, there are several power cuts and network disruptions along the trail. You might face network and power issues during the trek. It is advised to carry a power bank and head torch to be on the safe side. The teahouses during the trek to Makalu Base Camp have Tibetan-styled fireplaces in the dining for heating. It's called the Bukhara stove and is placed in the center of dining wherein log fire is ignited. You can stay nearby the stove during the night to keep yourself warm.


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Food and Beverage availability during the trek

The teahouses in the trek provide basic food options that include Tibetan and Nepalese dishes mostly. There are a few Western dishes options such as French Fries, Spaghetti, Pies, Mashed Potatoes, Noodles, Soups, and others. Trekkers during their walking days mostly prefer the main Nepalese dish, Daal Bhaat which is a set meal including Rice, Lentil Soup, Veg curry, and pickle. this dish is fulfilling and full of nutrients while on the trek.

There are other versions of Tibet-Nepalese options like Momos(Dumplings with veg fillings), Thukpa (soup-based noodles), Boiled Potatoes, and others.  If you have a special meal request, we advise you to inform us beforehand so we can prepare accordingly during your travel time. Trekking with groups of friends and Camping base trek our Cook will provide stander version meals while trekking in Nepal



Take part in one of the best off-the-beaten-path treks in Nepal. With this article Everything you need to know about Makalu Base Camp Trekking, you’ll be ready to explore the fifth-highest mountain in the world! 
The Makalu Base Camp Trek offered by Visit Himalaya Treks is a true gem in the world of trekking adventures. From the awe-inspiring views of Makalu and the surrounding Himalayan giants to the untouched natural beauty and remote wilderness, every moment of a trek to Makalu Base Camp leaves an unforgettable memory in your life. Whether you seek a thrilling challenge or a deep connection with nature, the Makalu Base Camp Trek is an experience of a lifetime.


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