Required Permits for Manaslu Circuit Trek
The Government of Nepal has declared the Manaslu Region (between Jagat and Dharapani) a restricted area to control tourism in the region. That is to say, independent trekkers are not allowed in Manaslu and trekkers are subject to obtaining a special entry permit. It is mandatory to form a group of at least two trekkers accompanied by a local guide. Additionally, your permit must be processed through a registered agency. Freelance guides cannot issue the necessary permits for the Manaslu Circuit. Three different permits are required for the Manaslu trek, and an additional one for Tsum Valley, if your trekking package covers the valley as mentioned below
- Special Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu (Manaslu RAP)
- Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP Permit)
- Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP Permit)
Special Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu (Manaslu RAP)
Manaslu trek permit is issued by the Department of Immigration. You need to get the permit in advance before you set off on the journey. This Manaslu trek permit is required from Jagat till you reach the village called Samagaun. The last checkpoint for RAP is in Sama Gaun. Once you cross the village you need another entry permit (ACAP). The price for the Manaslu RAP depends on the number of days you spend between Jagat and Dharapani. On Manaslu Circuit Trek you will be staying for six nights or seven days from Jagat to Samagaun.
September to November: USD 70 per person for the first seven days and an additional USD 10 per person per day from the eighth day onwards.
December to August: USD 50 per person for the first seven days and an additional USD 10 per person per day from the eighth day onwards. You do not need a printed photograph for the Manaslu RAP, as it will be uploaded online and will be printed on the permit itself.
Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP Permit)
The MCAP permit is required from Philim, where the Manaslu Conversation Area begins.
The price is the same throughout the year: USD 33 per person. Also, there is no restriction or change in price with a change in the number of days you spend inside MCAP. For an MCP permit, you will require a printed photograph.
Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP Permit)
ACAP permit is required from Dharapani where until you exit ACAP in Beshisahar.
The price is the same throughout the year: USD 33 per person. Also, there is no restriction or change in price with a change in the number of days you spend inside ACAP. A printed photograph is required for the ACAP permit.
After obtaining these entry permits — Manaslu RAP, MCAP, and ACAP — there is no need to obtain a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) card.
Food on the Manaslu Circuit Treks
All meals — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — will be provided during the trek, and breakfast will only be provided in Kathmandu. We host welcome and farewell dinners for our guests. During the trek, we have breakfast and dinner at tea houses or lodges where we spend nights while there will be lunch at tea houses on the way. You have the option to choose from Nepali, continental, Tibetan, and Indian cuisines. As we take care of our guests, we ensure that you are getting healthy food. We prioritize locally produced organic food and also provide you with seasonable fruits.
Note: If you are a vegetarian, let us know in advance so that we could make proper arrangements for food as per your wish during the trek
Drinking Water on the Manaslu Circuit Trekking
Adventure Club provides all the meals on the trek but doesn't provide water. The best option is to treat the local water either with chlorine/iodine tablets or use a steripen. The tea houses will give you good quality free water and, you can also get along the trail but, you will need to treat it. If you are using the tablets make sure they dissolve completely (about 30 mins). On most treks, you can buy mineral water along the trail. A liter of mineral water at lower-elevation tea houses costs around USD 1 but at higher elevations can cost up to $4 so the cost can add up.
Accommodations on the Manaslu Circuit Trek
You will be accommodated in a three-star standard hotel in Kathmandu and tea houses/guesthouses during the trek. Note that the Manaslu region is a newly developed trekking destination therefore the facilities in the teahouses will be pretty basic. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. A single supplement is available and will cost an additional.
Electricity, WIFI, and Battery Recharge on the Manaslu Circuit Route
Electricity is available in all teahouses where you will be spending the night. You can recharge your phones, laptop, or other electronic gadgets from solar panels or community hydroelectricity by paying a nominal charge. We strongly recommend you bring extra batteries or rechargeable power banks for backup. Regarding Wi-Fi, there are no free hotspots along the trekking trail and the cellphone coverage is very poor, so we do not encourage carrying your laptop. Some teahouses do offer paid Wi-Fi services on an hourly basis but don’t expect high-speed connectivity on the remote trails.
Getting there and away
In the morning we drive to Machha Khola from Kathmandu. The highway meanders together with the Trishuli River as we pass by the countryside Dhading Besi Bazaar and further cross Arughat to reach Machha Khola. The trek starts from Gorkha, home of the legendary Gorkha soldiers, and follows the meandering Budhigandaki river or the Darundi river before reaching Larkya La Pass (5,106 m.) and crossing over into the Manang district of Annapurna Conservation Area.
Acclimatization, and High-altitude sickness
The acclimatization planned during the trip helps trekkers adapt to the environment with less oxygen. Our body needs time to adjust to higher altitudes. Rushing to the higher elevation without acclimatization may result in acute mountain sickness (AMS) which could be fatal. The trekkers may suffer from AMS above 2,400m/7,875ft as the amount of oxygen becomes less and less with the increase in elevation.
We can categorize AMS into three categories with its symptoms. The trekker suffering from normal AMS feels giddy, gets headaches, has Nausea, and is out of breath, and is suggested not to worry as it disappears after the body gets used to less amount of oxygen. Likewise, trekkers suffering from mild AMS show symptoms of dizziness, muscular pain, insomnia, headache, vomiting, loss of appetite, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath. Mild AMS can be treated with anti-headache medicines.
A person suffering from serious AMS shows heightened symptoms including shortness of breath even while taking rest. The trekker with serious symptoms can barely walk and fluids may start building up in the lungs. The trekker having serious AMS has to be taken to a lower altitude immediately.
Advanced cases of AMS
If AMS is not treated in time, it can be life-threatening and lead to edema, a condition in which fluid is accumulated in the tissues of the body. Following are the two serious altitude sicknesses caused at high altitudes.
High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE)
In HACE, the brain gets swollen which can lead to coma and even death. Its symptoms are paralysis on one side of the body, bladder dysfunction, fatigue, bowel dysfunction, loss of coordination, and confusion. Descend to a lower altitude as soon as possible to prevent the worsening of the condition.
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)
Fluid is accumulated in the lungs which also increases the capillary pressure. Its symptoms include severe shortness of breath at rest, dry cough that later leads to producing pink frothy sputum, and fatigue.
Important Note: Severe cases of AMS are pretty rare. All our guides at the Adventure Club Trek, are aware of the symptoms of AMS and can handle it with care. We prioritize acclimatization, talk about the use of Diamox beforehand and counsel all our trekkers on the risk and preventive factors before and during the trip. Your safety is our main concern.
Equipment And Packing List
We recommend that you bring the items to the list below. If your trek is longer or shorter than that, appropriate adjustments can be made, to reflect the specific requirements, season, and length of the trip. The items marked with an asterisk (*) will be provided by Adventure Club Trek at no additional cost. You are welcome to use your such articles if you already have them and prefer your own. Many of the trekking items can be bought cheaply in the Thamel neighborhood of Kathmandu; quality will vary, with the items imported from China often being of higher quality. There are also several high-end shops in Kathmandu which carry well-known brands. Since your pack will be carried by our porters, please remember the weight limitation is 15kg (33 lbs since there is nothing there but some prayer flags. Also, please note that you did not send me any list of gear.
* The Adventure Club Trek will lend each trekker a set of down Jackets, sleeping bags,s and duffle bags.
* Our main guide, trained in wilderness first aid, will carry a comprehensive medical kit.
Important Documents and Items
- Valid passport, 2 extra passport-size photos, airline tickets.
- Dollars, pounds, or Euros in cash for purchasing a Nepali visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, and snacks, and for purchasing your drinks and gifts.
- Credit cards, Bank/ATM/Cash machine cards for withdrawing funds from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards), traveler's checks, etc
- Bandana or headscarf, also useful in dusty conditions
- Warm hat that covers your ears (wool or synthetic)
- Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Prescription sunglasses (if required)
- Polypropylene shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves)
- Light and expedition-weight thermal tops
- Fleece wind-stopper jacket or pullover
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
- Down vest and/or jacket *
- Gore-Tex jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable
- Non-cotton underwear briefs
- 1 pair of Hiking shorts
- 1 pair of hiking trousers
- 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
- 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers
- 1 pair of waterproof shell pants, breathable fabric
- 2 pairs of thin, lightweight inner socks
- 2 pairs of heavy poly or wool socks
- 1 pair of Hiking boots with spare laces (sturdy soles, water-resistant, ankle support, “broken-in”)
- 1 pair of trainers or running shoes and/or sandals
- Cotton socks (optional)
- Gaiters (winter only), optional, “low” ankle high version
- 1 pair of lightweight poly liner gloves.
- 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves
- 1 pair of mittens, consisting of 1 Gore-Tex over mitt matched with a very warm polar-fleece mitt liner (seasonal)
- 1 medium-sized quick-drying towel
- Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Female hygiene products
- Small mirror
- Personal Hygiene
- Wet wipes (baby wipes)
- Tissue /toilet roll
- Anti-bacterial handwash
- 1 sleeping bag (good to -10 degrees C or 14 degrees F)*
- Fleece sleeping bag liner (optional)
- Rucksack and Travel Bags
- 1 medium rucksack (50-70 liters/3000-4500 cubic inches, can be used for an airplane carryon)
- 1 large duffel bag *
- A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables should have good shoulder padding
- Small padlocks for duffel-kit bags
- 2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional)
- Small, personal first-aid kit. (Simple and light)
- Aspirin, first-aid tape, and plasters (Band-Aids)
- Anti-diarrhea pills
- Anti-headache pills
- Cough and/or cold medicine
- Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetylpolyamine
- Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc. Do not bring sleeping pills as they are respiratory depressants.
- Water purification tablets or the water filter
- Extra pair of prescription glasses, contact lens supplies
- Reading book
- Trail map/guidebook
- Journal and pen
- Binoculars (optional)
- Voltage converter (from 220 to 110)
- Plug adapter (2 round pegs to 2 flat pegs)
Visa And Entry Procedures
Everyone needs a visa to enter Nepal except Indian nationals. Citizens of the SAARC nations like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Bhutan do not require visas for a period of 30 days. Fortunately, getting a Nepal visa is an easy process. Tourist visas are issued on arrival at the international airport and official overland entry points. However, travelers from Afghanistan, Iraq, Cameroon, Ghana, Somalia, Swaziland, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Liberia are not issued visa on arrival. After you arrive at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will find electronic kiosks that will assist with your visa processing. After taking the completed form and paying the visa fee, you need to stay in the long immigration queue for your visa on arrival.
Visitors can now apply for the online visa within 15 days of their arrival date in Nepal. For this, you will need your Nepal hotel address and a digital passport-sized photo that needs to be uploaded to the online application. After submitting the form online, you need to print out the confirmation page which has to be furnished at the immigration section in Kathmandu airport along with your passport and the required visa fee. You can apply for your online Nepal visa here.
Tourists can also apply for a Nepali visa at the local Nepali Embassy or Consulate located in their respective countries. Or, they can even mail their visa application to the visa office near their location, but well ahead of time to allow sufficient processing time. Nepal visa information for all categories of travelers and their correspondence cost can be very handy, so for more information and contact details of the Nepali Embassies and Consulate around the world, you may CLICK HERE.
Whichever way you enter Nepal, you will be given a 15/30/90-day visa as per your requirement. The general Nepal tourist visa fee on arrival for multiple entries is:
15 days – US$30, 30 days – US$50, and 90days – US$125
Tourist visas can be extended for a maximum of 150 days in a year and these extensions are granted only at the department of immigration offices in Pokhara and Kathmandu. For more information on Nepal visa, visit our visa information page.
Our Trekking Guides/Leaders
Here at Adventure Club, our staff is like family. We only use locals to support their communities and we train our staff rigorously to be the best they can be – for you!
- Full first-aid training
- Guide Training (trekking)
- English and other common languages (as requested)
- Village and land Conservation
- Mountaineering (for specialty expeditions or climbing treks)
All our guides are carefully trained for leadership as good leadership is vital for your trek to be enjoyable, safe, and successful. Most of our guides grew up in Sherpa country or other mountainous parts of Nepal. Their pride in their region shows itself in the way they lead treks and interface with you.
Courtesy and respect are fundamental for an enjoyable and worthwhile experience on any team. Our porters are an essential, integral part of each trekking team, and as such, they are well-treated and well-paid. After your trek, we believe you will find that they have fully earned your gratitude and respect. We do expect all trekkers to keep the weight of their baggage under 22kgs/40lbs. Adventure Club Trek maintains a full commitment to the rights of our porters, providing them with appropriate clothing, gear, and lodging. In case of serious accident or sickness, they receive the same care as anyone else employed on the trekking team, even including evacuation by helicopter at our expense if appropriate. We fully support the IPPG (International Porter Protection Group), which strives to maintain and improve our porter's working conditions.
The total distance of the Manaslu Circuit Trek is roughly 177km/110 mi. and on a 17 to 18-day trek itinerary, you will be walking for 11 to 13 days, which means walking an average distance of 15 to 20km (9 to 12mi.) each day. The first few days on the trail become difficult due to the harrowing steep Budi Gandaki Gorge and lots of uphill and downhill walks. Crossing the Larkya La Pass at 5,106m (16,752ft.) is the most challenging part of this trek with a long day hike on trails filled with snow and ice. With great variations in terms of altitude, one major difficulty you could face during the trek is altitude sickness and your ability to adjust to the high altitudes. You do not require any special hanging or rope-climbing and mountaineering skills unless you attempt to do it during the winter. However, you need to be in great shape and physically fit even if you are a beginner. We recommend strength and endurance training, as well as cardiovascular fitness training to maintain your fitness level at least 3 months prior to starting the trek.
To be adequately protected in terms of insurance, you will need specialist travel insurance for participation in hazardous activities. A travel insurance policy that covers helicopter evacuation, trip cancellation, injury, death, lost baggage, theft, liability, medical treatment, and expenses is strongly recommended. Make sure the insurance covers all the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal such as trekking and climbing. If you are injured and unable to travel, you can ask for a rescue helicopter from a remote area only if you have definite proof you can pay for it. Adventure Club Trek has an agreement in Kathmandu that guarantees payment for helicopter evacuations. They pay a cash deposit to the helicopter operator and collect the money from you once you have been rescued. Be sure your policy specifically covers mountaineering or alpinism or you may have a difficult time settling a claim.
Communication on trek
On the Manaslu Circuit Trek in Nepal, the internet service will be available at lodges with some extra service charge. You can contact your family and friends from the guesthouses, but as we reach high altitude, the communication will be through the phone for safety purposes. We communicate with all our valuable clients through the team leader at least once a day to make sure you are fine and enjoying the trip. The Adventure Club Trek office in Kathmandu will constantly touch you for help you may need during the trek. Depending on the network you use, there could be a poor signal to the network before the high altitude. Upon your request, we can provide you with a separate local sim card for a better network. Many places have WIFI service available at an extra cost.
Group size and Team Composition
We always try to form a small group of like-minded people to give them a wonderful and perceptive travel experience. It provides opportunities to interact and share with each other in a fun-filled environment when out in the wilderness. Generally, our travel group comprises a maximum of 14 members. We need at least two participants to run our fixed departure dates. For private trips, the number of group members do not apply. We always strive to form a team ensuring that the members are comfortable with one another.
Best season to do this trek
The Manaslu trek is best done in pre-monsoon season i.e., from March to May, and post-monsoon season i.e., from late September to December. In general, any time during October, November, April, and May are considered the best months. Other recommended months for this trek are September, December, and March. We do not recommend doing this trek during the rest of the months. Due to heavy snowfall in January and February, it becomes very risky to cross the Larkya La Pass. Likewise, heavy rainfall causing floods and landslides can be experienced during June, July, and August, so it is better to avoid these months.
Need to know about Manaslu Trekking Permit
Where to obtain the necessary permits?
Authority does not issue an individual trekking permit for Manaslu. The Adventure Club Trek will carry out the procedures and have your permit issued for you.
Do I need a TIMS Card for Manaslu?
No, you don’t need a TIMS Card. However, if you continue towards the Annapurna Circuit from Dharapani then you will need a TIMS, but the same ACAP Permit can be used for the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Why do I need an Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit for the Manaslu Trek?
A part of the regular Manaslu Circuit Trek route from Dharapani to Beshisahar comes under (ACAP). Although you will trek for only two days in the Annapurna Conservation Area, you still need to obtain a permit.
How much does the permit for Manaslu cost?
Permits for both Manaslu and the Annapurna Conservation Area cost USD 33 per person for each area unless you are a member of SAARC country. However, for the restricted area permit (Manaslu RAP), the price varies depending on the number of days you spend between Jagat and Samagaun.
How many photographs do I need?
You need two printed passport-sized photographs and a scanned photograph. Printed photographs will be used for ACAP and MCAP, whereas the scanned photograph will be uploaded on the online application form for the Manaslu RAP.
How long does it take to obtain the permit?
It may take an hour to obtain the permit. Sometimes the online system goes down and everything needs to be done manually, which might take a little more than an hour.
Can permits be obtained in advance before we arrive in Nepal?
The permits cannot be obtained in advance, as the Department of Immigration needs to verify the details with the original passport and required visa details. However, in certain circumstances, it can be issued in advance. For that, Adventure Club Trek will require a scanned copy of your passport’s main page, an e-copy of flight tickets to Nepal, and visa number if you have already obtained one in your home country.
Do I need a separate permit for the Tsum Valley?
Yes, a separate permit is required for the Tsum Valley. This will cost USD 40 per person per week and an additional USD 7 per person per day from September to November and USD 30 per person per week and an additional USD 7 per person per day from December to August.
Can a permit be issued on a Saturday or any other public holiday?
No, the Department of Immigration remains closed on public holidays. Thus, we need to issue the permit in advance if there is a long public holiday coming up.
Tipping is not mandatory in Nepal as most services include a service charge. However, if you want to express your gratitude, you are free to offer a tip to drivers, and hotel staff among others. People usually welcome such generosity. When it comes to tipping your porters or trekking leaders, use your discretion as per the quality of the services. Tip money does not form a part of our employees’ wages. However, you can use tipping as a way of showing appreciation for excellent service at the end of the trip.