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EcoTrips

Join Us for an Upcoming 14-day trek in Nepal to Visit Red Pandas in the Wild! – We also offer a non-strenuous ‘light’ option and alternative itineraries crossing from Nepal into India and back.

Why Go On An EcoTrip with Red Panda Network?

A wildlife and cultural bonanza
Explore the treasures of the Kathmandu valley, taste one of Nepal’s only organic teas, and search for the elusive red panda, all with the Himalayas and four of the world’s seven tallest mountains in view.

Each trip is customized to meet the needs of our travelers, weather conditions, and available field staff.  Below the proposed itinerary for our next EcoTrip. You can also download a recent EcoTrip itinerary as a sample here. We also offer exciting itineraries in Taplejung district nearer to Mount Kanchenjunga with red panda viewing, spectacular scenery, and light hikes to villages and famous mountaintop pilgrimage shrines.

Our next trips are on October 21th, in mid November 2013, and in March/April 2014 – and we still have spots available!
Typically we offer trips in spring and fall, and more when there is enough interest. Contact us with your date ideas.

Kathmandu Valley

You’ll have the opportunity to explore the treasures of the Kathmandu valley, the cultural heart of Asia.  Before or after our tour, you can explore Patan and Swayambunath temples and more.

Red Panda and Much More

We’ll hike through some of the Eastern Himalayas most pristine red panda habitat in search of one of Asia’s most elusive mammals; red panda. Most of our recent visitors were successful in seeing red panda with us. We’ll also look out for bears, rare clouded leopards, wolves, monkeys/macaques, and other threatened mammals and bird species.

At the same time you experience with us the gentle hospitality of these villages far away from mass tourism, family homestays and tea houses. You see first hand our community conservation work, and how your stay benefits directly our most important conservation partners: the rural communities who need alternatives to forest exploitation.

Interested?

Sample Itinerary

    • Day 1: [You're already in-country or travel to Nepal at your own pace and cost ]
    • Day 2: [Keep in mind it might take two days depending where you're coming from ...]

  • Day 3: Arrive Kathmandu one day before the trip (or arrive earlier and travel in other parts of Nepal); Group Dinner
  • Day 4:  Fly to Bhadrapur, then drive to Ilam, closest major town near red panda habitat. Stroll amidst tea gardens.
  • Day 5:  Depart for Dobato, village nearest forest where we track red panda
  • Day 6-7:  Search for Red Panda in the jungle, moderate hiking; Overnight stay in a Dobato Teahouse
  • Day 8:  More red panda & mammal viewing opportunities. Light Hike to Kalpokhari; Sleep in Tea House

 

  • Day 9:  Hike to Sandukpur, highest point of the Singhalila ridge; Views of Kanchenjunga and Everest!
  • Day 10:  Hike down to Kalpokhari, good views of mountains, lake, and Mai River Valley
  • Day 11:  Hike to picturesque Hangetham; watch for other rare mammals & birds. Homestay!
  • Day 12:  Relax in Hangetham; visit picturesque community, see medicinal plants and other programs !
  • Day 13: Hike to Jaubari, a unique high-altitude village near the Sikkim border; observe effects of deforestation and habitat restoration

 

 

  • Day 14:  Depart field; return to Ilam by jeep. Another chance to see tea plantations.
  • Day 15:  Fly to Kathmandu or onward to destinations [ Travel on your own itinerary or fly home from Kathmandu ]
  • Day 16:  [ Depending where home is this could take two days or, if you fly east, you gain 1 day ;-]

 

Trip Details

    • Departures: Our next trips departs from Kathmandu on October 21th, in mid November 2013, and in March/April 2014 — and we still have spots available!
      Typically we offer trips in spring and fall, and more when there is enough interest.
    • Group size: Maximum of 8
    • Distance: Varies by activity
    • Lodging: Hotels, rustic tea houses (included)
    • Meals: Included (vegetarian and non-vegetarian available)
    • Cost: $2,999 tax deductible donation (includes meals, beverages, lodging, all car/jeep transportation, and guides/porters)
    • Discounts: 10% off if you are an RPCV, 15% for the second person if you sign up two or more people

  • Airfare: International airfare to Nepal and domestic airfare not included, we reserve the internal flights for you (bring about $320).
  • Please review the liability waiver to be signed by all visitors.
  • Recommended gear for our trips can be found here.

 

Words From A Recent Eco-Tripper

“The eco-trip experience with the Red Panda Network was a rewarding, unforgettable experience.

The aim was to not only be able to get a rare sighting of the endangered Red Panda, but to also experience first-hand the surrounding landscapes and intact communities that comprise the region. Our group began our trekking tour in the tea-estate town of Ilam in Eastern Nepal and trekked along the Singhalila Ridgeline, camping amidst the rhododendron forests and in Nepali-owned teahouses. Along the way, we visited with forest guardians and communities who were involved with helping the organization work towards preserving the surrounding forests and species. In this spectacular region, we were able to view Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Everest, and the Buddhist and Hindu temples that have stood for centuries. The eco-trip allowed us to view unique places and see rare wildlife. As the CEO and his Nepal team run the tour in a responsible, conscious way, we felt we were benefiting, rather than taking away from, the social and conservation efforts Nepal is working so hard to achieve.”

Mei-Ling is a writer, travel guidebook author, advocacy journalist and international development worker. She contributed to the Bradt Madagascar Travel Guide and is currently writing the Bradt Senegal Travel Guide. Learn more about Mei-Ling and her work

Words In the Travel Media

UK’s Wild Travel Magazine published this in-depth Field Guide To Red Pandas by RPN CEO Dirk Kloss. Click » to download [PDF], or read it on our blog »

 

Wild Travel Magazine already recommended us earlier as one of “Five Trips to Take Right Now“:

Wild Travel Magazine, UK_2013-01, Red Panda Network-Trip Article (page 9)