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Below are answers to RPN's most frequently asked questions about ecotrips.
RPN will be requiring participants to show proof they were vaccinated. While we are confident participants are taking the proper precautions on their own, proof of vaccination is a requirement for entry into Nepal.
For the latest U.S. information visit the U.S. Embassy in Nepal:
Every county has different ways of verifying proof of Covid vaccination; for example, in the U.S. physical cards are provided, while in the U.K. digital certificates are provided. What should you bring on your ecotrip to Nepal? RPN suggests having both physical and digital copies of your proof of vaccination. For the physical copies, print out 2 copies and to carry one with you at all times, for the second, keep this in your luggage. Also, take a photo with your phone to keep this as a digital backup, or make sure your digital vaccination certificate is easily accessible on your phone. If you decide to bring any original physical copies, RPN suggests having the additional backups mentioned above.
An RPN ecotrip is not your typical tour, it requires a moderate level of physical fitness, a desire for experiential learning, and a passion for exploring.
No. At this time RPN does not allow participants to join an ecotrip on a part-time basis. RPN's ecotrips are not step-on/step-off tours, they are immersive experiences that advances red panda conservation, supports local communities, and encourages education for participants.
RPN specializes in red panda conservation travel. We believe that small groups are best for authentic wildlife viewing, providing meaningful nature experiences, and getting to know rural communities. Our small-groups have a minimum size of 2 and a maximum of 8. RPN's ecotrips are not the same old homogenous tours offered by most companies as we offer rare visits and wildlife experiences that are out of reach for the typical traveler. When trip participants return home they had a life experience, have a stronger connection with the natural world, and a deeper desire to protect it.
RPN understands that a successful ecotrip is dependant upon the experienced guide. Our guides are local conservationists and professional eco trip leaders who are passionate about red pandas and the communities involved in conservation. Guides are excited to share their knowledge and help others experience Nepal. RPN's trip leaders are well familiar with RPN's conservation program and trained in first aid.
RPN requires that travelers be 16 years and older at the time of the trip. If your family is traveling together, and you have a mature child who is between 12-15 years, fit and secure traveling in remote and outdoor situations, we are open to inquires.
Major crimes against tourist are rare, though smaller crimes like pick-pocketing can be problematic is some locations, especially in urban areas. RPN recommends that you carry a money belt and to keep valuables (passport, credit cards, etc) on you at all times.
We recognize trip elevations might be higher than travelers are accustomed to and some might experience signs of altitude sickness. Our trip leaders do everything they can to avoid altitude sickness such as ensuring you are well hydrated and well rested, elevation changes are slow to allow for acclimatization.
RPN provides travelers with ample supplies of bottled water throughout the duration of your trip. If you wish to bring a water filter for personal use please contact your local outdoor retailer.
You will need a Nepal tourist visa. This can be purchased at the Kathmandu airport when you arrive, though we recommend getting this online in advance of your trip. The cost is approximately $40 USD, this amount can fluctuate without notice.
RPN-Ecotrip-Gear-_-Equipment-Checklist-0001.pdfWe ask that you pack light and only bring the essentials. You can view RPN's Gear & Equipment List here.
Airlines flying in Nepal generally have a luggage weight limit of 20 kg (44 pounds) with a hand carry with 5 kg (11 pounds) weight.
We recommend “Type C” for electrical adapters though both C & D are used in Nepal.
Late arrivals to the Ecotrip
RPN understands that air travel can be impacted by weather or unexpected delays. This could impact your arrival in Kathmandu at the beginning of the ecotrip. On the first full day (Day 2) our group is sightseeing in Kathmandu and it is relatively easy to join the group. However, after that, we will be in the field and any expenses related to catching up to the program, transportation, accommodation, and meal expenses are the responsibility of the traveler. We strongly suggest purchasing travel insurance in the event a guest must cancel or otherwise change their plans.
RPN can accommodate meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans, just let us know if you have a preference when you make your reservation.
We suggest having some spending money for gifts or souvenirs.
The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee. Rupees can be exchanged at the airport in Kathmandu and at ATMs and money exchangers near the hotel.
Ideally, you’d arrive in the morning or early afternoon of the first trip date as it’ll give you some time to get settled in before the meet-and-greet group dinner. Arriving that evening is fine too. If you find that it is easier to arrive a day or two earlywe can help you book a hotel room for the extra nights (not included in cost). You will want to depart KTM the day after the ecotrip dates end.
RPN is a mission-based organization committed to the conservation of wild red pandas and their habitat through the education and empowerment of local communities. While we manage our ecotrip operations in-house, we recognize that others might be able to help advance our mission. RPN is open to ideas from quality tour operators and non-profit travel organizations with a strong record in sustainable operations, experiential learning, and a commitment to conservation travel. If you believe your business or organization can enhance RPN's ecotrips or operations, email: email@example.com.
We recommend that you bring an 80-100 Lt backpack and a 30 Lt daypack to carry a camera, binoculars, water bottle, and extra clothing. Your packs should include a rain cover. Do not bring a suitcase.
Is WiFi and cell service available?
At the beginning and end of the ecotrip, WiFi is available at the hotel and cell reception is generally reliable.
In the field, the phone service (Nepal Telecom and NCell) is available with 4G internet services but this might not be available all the time.