The most popular time to visit Nepal is undoubtedly late September to November. Flights book up incredibly quickly and it is highly recommended to secure a seat far in advance of your planned trip. Being post-monsoon, trekkers should have (emphasis on ‘should’!) fantastically clear mountain views and warmer daytime temperatures. It is also the perfect season for white-water rafting, city touring and wildlife safaris in Chitwan National Park.
The months of December through to February bring with them obviously colder temperatures but also a beauty all of their own. Although the high passes are often blocked with snow, at lower altitudes there will be fewer trekkers on the trails and the clarity of the mountain air should make up for any hardships the freezing temperatures bring. Besides, isn’t that what good quality down jackets are made for?! See our Equipment section for further information.
March to May is glorious in Nepal! In Chitwan the temperatures are positively steamy with peak highs of 43°C in the shade. The short grass makes this the best game-viewing season as you will be able to spot any tigers or rhinos more easily on your elephant-back safari. Rafting is back on the menu again after the winter temperature lows and as for trekking….the abundance of wild flowers, lush, terraced hillsides and miles and miles of blooming rhododendrons contrasting with the dazzling white of the snow-capped mountains in the background creates a photographer’s dream. Just make sure you rise early for that clear morning shot before the usual haze of the afternoon spoils your view.
Mid-June to early September is monsoon time and trekking in the popular areas of the Annapurnas and Everest is usually blighted by heavy rainfall, muddy trails, poor views and leeches afoot. However there are still certain areas in the north east which are in the rain-shadow – Mustang, Upper Manang and Dolpo – where trekking is still possible. Rafting is also still feasible on certain rivers (although the grades have risen considerably) and in Chitwan, although swollen rivers can curtail safari activities, the rainfall is not constant and the vegetation luxuriant.
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