GHT Kanchenjunga Exploratory

GHT Kanchenjunga Exploratory

25 Days



GHT Kanchenjunga Exploratory

25 Days Starting in Kathmandu and ending in

Visiting: Nepal

Tour operator:

World Expeditions

Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

6 - 16

Physical rating:


$5190 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$273

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

The Kanchenjunga Exploratory is the first stage of our inaugural Great Himalaya Trail and passes through stunning mountain scenery under the immense north face of Kanchenjunga before turning towards the west where we cross the Nango La, before looping back to our starting point at Suketar. During this trek there will be sections where the trail is very rugged or ill-defined, some trails have been trekked only once by a small party, and so the going will be tough. Space in some camp sites will also be very limited. It may be necessary to make changes to the itinerary at any time due to unforeseen circumstances such as adverse weather, snow or trail conditions, river water levels, or group movement. Your trip leader will advise any changes should this occur. All participants on the GHT should be flexible and open minded. The GHT should be seen as exploratory in the true sense of the word.


  • Embark on the first stage of the famed Great Himalaya Trail

  • Marvel at the stunning views of the immense north face of Kanchenjunga

  • Immerse yourself in Limbu, Sherpa and Rai cultures

  • Enjoy a fully supported trek, with hearty meals prepared by our cooks

  • Immerse yourself in Kathmandu


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Day 1 : Arrive Kathmandu

You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 4.30-5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. This evening we will head out for dinner, this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members.
Overnight: Radisson Hotel

Day 2 : Free Day In Kathmandu
Meals Included: B

Today you have a full day to explore Kathmandu’s bustling streets and significant landmarks. You may wish to start by exploring the city’s two most important World Heritage Listed spiritual sites: Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple and an important cremation site; and Boudhanath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and the most sacred Tibetan Buddhist shrine outside of Tibet. Alternatively you could wander through the markets and shops of the busy Thamel precinct or explore some more of the city’s significant sites such as Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) or the World Heritage Listed plazas of Patan, Bhaktapur or Durbar Square.

Day 3 : Fly Bhadrapur (2420M). Drive To Phidim. Approx. 5-6Hrs Drive.
Meals Included: B, L, D

Bhadrapur is situated in the terai, south east of Lukla. The flight from Kathmandu takes approx. 50 minutes and affords views of sections of the trek and the Himalaya from Kanchenjunga to Langtang. Phidim is located within a magnificent valley in the foothills of the Himalayas in eastern Nepal. It is a beautiful hill township which offers enchanting views of the eastern Himalayas. Approx. driving time: 5-6 hrs. Overnight hotel/lodge.

Day 4 : Drive To Chiruwa (1270M) Approx. 8-9Hrs.
Meals Included: B, L, D

Today we drive to Chiruwa via Taplejung. Chiruwa is located in a Himalayan gorge with dense patches of sub-tropical rainforest and cliffs. The ethnic group here, the Kirati's now known as Limbu, date back more than 2000 years as subsistence farmers in this region. Crops such as rice, millet, barley, wheat and corn are nearly always growing at the time that we visit. Approx. driving time: 8-9 hrs. Overnight camp.

Day 5 : Commence Trek To Sukethum (1640M). Walk Approx. 6Hrs.
Meals Included: B, L, D

Today we commence our trek to Sukethum. The trail is well defined and the walk is both enjoyable and satisfying. We have only a few climbs up towards the valley where we begin to notice subtle changes in the landscape surrounding us. We weave through large boulders passing below the village of Tapethok and cross a landslide area to reach a bridge crossing a tributary of the Tamur River. This is the Simbuwa Khola, which flows from the south side of Kanchenjunga. We continue on towards the base camp, crossing several bridges and following what is now called the Gunsa Khola. Overnight camp.

Day 6 : Trek To Amjilosa (2390M). Walk Approx. 6Hrs.
Meals Included: B, L, D

The trail is very narrow and we follow the Ghunsa River until we break for lunch. This walk requires a lot of caution and concentration. On the way, we pass a small Sherpa settlement mainly tending to Yaks. After lunch, there is a steep climb towards our overnight camp at Amjilosa. Amjilosa is a small Tibetan settlement.

Day 7 : To Gyabla (2730M). Walk Approx. 6Hrs.
Meals Included: B, L, D

Today’s walk is predominantly through forest and we will sight many waterfalls along the way. There are no villages to pass through leaving us with a feeling of remoteness in the tranquil forest surroundings.

Day 8 : Trek To Ghunsa (3430M). Walk Approx. 6Hrs.
Meals Included: B, L, D

Before lunch, we follow a narrow trail through thick forests to our lunch site is at Phole village, this is a typical Tibetan village and winter settlement for the villagers of Ghunsa. People of this village depend mainly on yak rearing and weaving carpets. Here we find the one and only monastery of the entire trek and visitors are most welcome.

Day 9 : Rest And Acclimatisation In Ghunsa
Meals Included: B, L, D

Today we will enjoy a rest day and there may be time, weather permitting to wash some clothes or other domestic chores. We also have an option of a 3 hrs walk opposite River Khanso Thanso, from where we see a panoramic view of Phole Peak and Sobithongi Peak and also a glimpse of Mt. Khumbakaran. After long days of walking, a rest day is highly recommended.

Day 10 : Trek To Khangpachen (4040M). Walk Approx. 7Hrs.
Meals Included: B, L, D

From Ghunsa and above, any signs of human habitation are that of seasonal settlements for the yak herders. They will take their animals to heights of 4000m-4500m in the warmer months of the year. For the trekker the scenery is unmatched. The route past the sheer cliffs and towering peaks of the Kanchenjunga massif and Jannu (7710m) are awe inspiring. They rise directly out of this classical and very grand glacial valley. The trail is ill-defined at times, crossing loose scree and rocks that have been pushed forth from old glaciers. We usually make a camp at Kambachen (4200m) enroute, which is seasonally occupied by locals only. It is quite possible to see wildlife in this remoter part of the Himalaya; blue sheep, ibex, mountain goat or smaller animals among the rocks such as hyrax and marmots. Overhead, various birds of prey may be seen- Lammergeir (a type of vulture) and various eagles, kites and falcons!

Day 11 : To Lhonak (4780M), Walk Approx. 6-7Hrs
Meals Included: B, L, D

Today will be another challenging day and an early start is needed. We climb lateral moraine for an hour before reaching a landslide section with large boulders which we must pass through at a steady pace. The trail then climbs steeply to the top of a section of lateral moraine and then eases off before arriving in Lhonak.

Day 12 : Kanchenjunga Base Camp (4050M), Walk Approx. 5-6Hrs.
Meals Included: B, L, D

The mountain views on this stage of our trek are stunning as we make our way along the lateral moraine to base camp. Climbing gently for 2 hours we then cross a steep section of loose rock for another hour before a further gentle climb of another hour before arriving in base camp. For those feeling enthusiastic there may be options for side walks in the area.

Day 13 : Return Trek To Ghunsa
Meals Included: B, L, D

Taking two days we retrace our steps back to Ghunsa. The return journey offers a different perspective of the mountain views and stunning surrounds.

Day 15 : To Nango La Camp (4776M), Walk Approx. 5.5Hrs
Meals Included: B, L, D

From Ghunsa we descend the main trail alongside the Ghunsa Kola until we meet a junction in the trail, from here we ascend to a series of summer grazing pastures (Khaka) where we will camp for the night.

Day 16 : Cross Nango La (4776M) To Yangma Kola (3430M/ 7-8Hrs) & Olangchun Gola (3191M/ 8Hrs) And Rest Day
Meals Included: B, L, D

An early start this morning will give us the best opportunity for clear views during our crossing of the Nango La. Once over the pass we descend to a bowl shaped valley. We stay on the northern side of the river and enter thick forest to Yangma Kola and our camp for the night.
Day 17 - Trek to Olangchun Gola. Olangchun Gola is one of the most important centres for trade between Nepal and Tibet in this region. Most commonly exports to Tibet include grain, sugar, cigarettes and cotton thread which are exchanged for Tibetan salt, carpets and wool.
Day 18 - Rest Day in Olangchun Gola.

Day 19 : To River Side Camp (1750M), Chiruwa & Phurumbu (1542M).
Meals Included: B, L, D

We now begin our exit from the Kanchenjunga loop section of the Nepal GHT. From Olangchun Gola our fellow trekkers linking up to the second stage - Makalu & Everest via Sherpani Col - will continue westward to the Makalu region whilst we head in a southerly direction to Phurumbu and then onto Suketar. We are now feeling fit and acclimatised and our days are relatively long at 6 - 7 hours of walking per day to bring us to Phurumbu.

Day 23 : Return To Suketar (2420M), Walk Approx. 3Hrs. Drive To Phidim (4Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

Today is our final day on trek, and we gradually descend to Suketar passing through familiar surrounds as we approach the village. We trek through Limbu villages to a ridge before a final descent into Suketar. From here we join our vehicle and drive to Phidim where we overnight.

Day 24 : Drive To Bhadrapur (6Hrs) Then Fly To Kathmandu (1330M)
Meals Included: B

This morning we continue the drive to Bhadrapur where we will connect with our flight to Kathmandu, a thrilling journey over forests, fields and villages, with the Himalaya in the background. On arrival, we transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 25 : In Kathmandu, Trip Concludes
Meals Included: B

After breakfast, arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people travelling by aircraft to other destinations will be transferred to the airport.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    3 nights hotel

  • 24 breakfasts, 21 lunches and 21 dinners including all meals on trek valued at US$950

  • airport transfers if arriving on day 1 and 25 or if you booked pre/post tour accommodation at the Radisson through World Expeditions

  • flights Kathmandu/Biratnagar/Suketar & Suketar/Kathmandu US$316 approx

  • expert bilingual guide

  • 25kgs luggage allowance

  • good quality accommodation in Kathmandu

  • the use of a World Expeditions trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag, down or fibre fill jacket and insulated mat (valued at over US$500)

  • souvenir World Expeditions kit bag

  • Expedition medical kit

  • all park entrance fees and trekking permits

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What's Not Included

  • Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu

  • Bottled water, aerated & alcoholic drinks

  • Tips

  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc

  • International flights

  • Visa

  • Airport and departure taxes

  • Travel Insurance

What You Carry

In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip balm etc. Porters will carry group equipment.


These adventures involve trekking, cycling or rafting in remote areas in variable weather conditions for up to 8 to 10 hours a day (possibly more subject to weather conditions and altitude). This may include spending successive days at altitudes not generally exceeding 6000m. These trips may often be over three weeks in duration. You will need an excellent level of fitness, be prepared to carry a daypack weighing up to 8kgs (and in some cases a full pack) and be completely comfortable in adverse weather conditions. * Suggested preparation: One hour of aerobic type exercise, four to five times a week for three to six months prior to departure. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions or on/off road cycling is also recommended.

Check out our Q&As

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have offices on three continents which means your travelling companions will be just that – international and wonderfully eclectic. Part of small group travel means that although travellers come from various locations and backgrounds, you will be travelling with like-minded companions who, like you, are keen to share the experience and forge lifelong friendships.

  • What about environmental impact?

    We believe that adventure travel revolves around establishing a strong relationship with the people and environments in which we operate. Our responsible travel policies have been carefully developed to ensure that we minimise the impact of our presence and help to protect the regions we visit while contributing positively to the local community.

  • What should I pack?

    Your pre-departure documents include a detailed packing list with items that you need to bring. While most of the equipment for daily activities is included in your tour cost, some items like helmets and hiking boots are best brought from home. The pre-departure documents also include information on layering and recommended brands for various items to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes. World Expeditions does not require single travellers to pay a surcharge for travelling alone on the vast majority of our trips. Our holidays are primarily on a twin share basis, so if you are joining the group as a solo traveller, we will match you with someone of your own gender. The choice is yours however; if you prefer not to share, we do offer single supplements for private occupancy.

  • Are tips included in my trip price?

    Tips are not included in the tour cost. Tipping is a personal thing, do not worry about how much, or when, to tip. Tipping guidelines are provided for certain destinations in our pre departure information upon booking, however the best advice will be provided by your tour leader.

  • Am I suited to small-group travel?

    We recognise that many of our travellers have not been on a ‘group trip’ before. Yet what our departures provide is both structure and flexibility, allowing you plenty of freedom within the framework of the itinerary. You’ll find that with our maximum group size at 16, you’ll travel in a minimal impact style with a great group of like-minded travellers.

  • Can you advise which vaccinations are recommended?

    While our pre-departure kit provides information on vaccinations, we suggest that you consult your doctor, local government inoculation centre or a travel medical specialist in order to get the most current advice regarding vaccination requirements.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Ingrid Geissler(Brisbane, QLD Australia)  

GHT Kanchenjunga Exploratory

7 Apr 2023

Brilliant trek and trip. Everything was so well organised from beginning to end. Our superb guides led by Bir Singh Gurung and support staff were unfailingly optimistic and upbeat and bred confidence in our group. The food was amazing too! We saw only 5 other trekkers in 3 weeks so we knew we were well off the beaten track. To see Kanchenjunga was incredible, as was the Nango La and the villages and life along the way. First trip with World Expeditions and will be back !

Douglas Smith(Beaumaris, VIC Australia)  

GHT Kanchenjunga Exploratory

8 Apr 2023

Excellent trek. Good food, Khumraj possibly the best cook on any of Nepalese treks I've done. Birsingh was a very experienced and knowledgable guide. Enjoyed the overlap with trekkers going on to do the full GHT

Stephen Brooking(Tanjung Bungah, Malaysia)  

GHT Kanchenjunga Exploratory

6 Apr 2023

This was a very tough trip - the weather is very unpredictable this time of year and we had very heavy snowfall and whiteouts which increased the danger and meant some camps were very rough in the snow. An advantage was that we saw no other groups once we headed north and west from Honggon. Also the local crew were excellent - guides, porters and cooks all did a great job under difficult conditions and pressed on despite the problems. The Lumbasumba pass was relatively easy compared to the lower more technical passes that came later.

Dates & Availability

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Monday - Thursday

Mar 10, 2025 - Apr 03, 2025
$5463 $5190 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$273 (USD)

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  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    World Expeditions allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform world expeditions, 70 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    World Expeditions requires a minimum deposit of 250 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of world expeditions charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 35 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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