Kanchenjunga South Base Camp (Oktang Base Camp) Trek

15 Days

Overview

The Himalayan foothills of Nepal provide several versions of treks to the base camp of the mountains. Among them is the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek. Contrary to popular treks like Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp, this trail is quite isolated. Not many trekkers walk this region, and it is still considered undiscovered.

This trek takes you to the south base camp of the world’s third-highest peak of Kanchenjunga. This peak lies at a height of 8586 meters and is located in the northeast of Nepal in Taplejung. It lies in the corner at the borders of India and Nepal.

You can trek to both the south and north base camps of the mountain. The south base camp trek is comparatively short and goes to a rather lower altitude. It is also the less challenging trek. However, both the treks are quite similar, taking you to similar landscapes and exposing you to similar cultures.

During the Kanchenjunga South Base camp trek, you will walk through a subtropical trail. You will pass through alpine forests of rhododendrons and pass through various glaciers. This trek is popular for its majestic mountain views. You will get mesmerizing vistas of peaks like Kanchenjunga, Makalu, and Jannu Himal. Peaks in the east of Sikkim, like Kabru and Rohtang La pass, are also visible in this trek.

We will begin this trek from Kathmandu and end it by departure from Kathmandu. First, we will head east from Kathmandu to Taplejung via Illan. Then, we will reach Happu Khola, where we will officially start walking. The trail takes you uphill slowly alongside various valleys, woodlands, farmlands, and localities. You will reach the base camp at Ramche, which lies at a height of 4610 meters.

The trail is rich in wildlife, and houses endangered species such as snow leopards, red pandas, Asian black bears, etc. The region housing such creatures is demarcated as the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. The area lies along the trails that lead to the Yalung glacier, which lies south of the mountain.

Not only is the region rich in nature and wildlife, but it also introduces travelers to its unique culture and lifestyle. You get acquainted with the various communities like Limbus and Rais and their culture.

The trek is perfect for adventurers seeking something new in Nepal. You will have the thrill of reaching the base camp of one of the tallest peaks in the world. But at the same time, it will be a very unique and isolated experience that only a few people get. If you wish to do this adventure of the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek with us, please stick around for the deets!

Highlightights of Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek

  • Visit the foothills of Nepal’s Himalayas in the east.
  • Explore the undiscovered trails of the Kanchenjunga region.
  • Get amazing vistas of mountains and glaciers.
  • Observe the rare wildlife of the Kanchenjunga conservation area.
  • Get closer and learn the roots of the Kiranti and Sherpa culture of Nepal.
  • Observe rare floras and faunas of Nepal’s alpine woodlands.
  • Views showing a moraine at the Nepal-Sikkim border, along with Mount Rhothang and Mount Kabru.

Useful Info

Best Time for Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek

15 Days Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek

The best time to do remote trail trekking in Nepal is during spring and autumn. Spring in the northern hemisphere occurs in March and lasts till May. Similarly, autumn begins around September and ends early December. Recent trends have shown late occurrence of autumn due to late monsoon withdrawal. So you might still get some rainfall up to September. Make sure you look into news and forecasts before planning your trip.

The spring and autumn months are best for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek due to their stable weather. The temperature is quite moderate, and the chances of rainfall are quite minimal. This makes your trek rather comfortable. You need not carry heavy luggage for winter or extra gear for the monsoon. Similarly, the mountain vistas and other vistas of the trek become clearer due to the lack of obstructing clouds. You will also find that the environment is more luscious during this time of the year. Walking through the trails of rhododendron trees will be quite a beautiful experience.

Moreover, the spring and autumn seasons also prevent road blockages and landslides. Rainfall and snowstorms usually damage pathways, increasing the risk of injuries. The comparatively dry trails of autumn and spring prevent such injuries.

Spring and autumn are also a good time to visit Nepal due to its calendar significance. The Nepali calendar begins in spring, meaning the Nepali New Year is celebrated in spring. Similarly, the autumn months bring popular festivals in Nepal, such as Dashain and Tihar. These times will bring a very enjoyable environment in Nepal. Connecting with locals during such festivities is highly recommended.

Permits Needed For Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek

Permits Needed For Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek

The Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek requires two permits. They are the restricted area permit and the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area entry Permit.

The Restricted Area Permit is imposed within 4 VDCs of the Kanchenjunga region. The cost of this permit is USD 20 per person per week for 4 weeks. If you decide to stay beyond that, it will cost USD 25 per person per week.

The Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit, on the other hand, is imposed within the protected area of the Kanchenjunga region. The cost of this permit is approximately USD 20 or NRs 2000.

Difficulty Level

Kanchenjunga Trek

The difficulty level of the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp is based on various elements of the trek. You need to consider factors of the trek like walking hours, altitude, weather temperature, etc. You must also look at the level of fitness and your preparation to determine the difficulty level. However, considering minimum preparation, the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek ranges from moderate to strenuous.

The trek requires you to walk for 2 to 6 hours a day in remote mountain foothills. You will need to do this for more than a week. The altitude ranges from 2000 to a maximum altitude of 4610 meters. This brings in risks of altitude-related sicknesses during your trip. You need to make cautionary preparations to ensure this is not a hindering factor in your trek. Make sure you communicate with your guides if you get symptoms like nausea, headache, etc. Also, carry diamox tablets and limit your caffeine intake to minimize such risks.

The weather in the remote foothills of the Himalayas is quite unstable, which is another challenge of the trip. Weather instability might cause the terrain to become very slick and increase the chances of roadblocks and landslides. This increases the chances of injuries and falls. Hence, we highly recommend you plan your trek during dry seasons like spring or autumn. Also, walk to the most remote places by getting the weather forecast first.

We also highly recommend you get in shape before doing this trek. You do not need to enroll in a specific training program or gain specific abilities. But make sure you gain stamina and get stronger. It is always better to do the trek and not exhaust your body. Ensure you prepare yourself with cardio exercise and some strength training.

Amenities Included

hire Kanchenjunga porter

Guides and Porters

Guides and porters are two of the most important parts of your trek, guides more so. Nepal does not allow remote trail trekking without a licensed guide in your company. You need to hire a government-approved guide to do the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek. Since this is a compulsion, it is included in your amenities. You need not do prior research for it, and it is covered in the package. Guides will be a good company and a great way to connect with the locals. They will also ensure your problems are looked after and make last-minute changes to the itinerary.

Porters on the other hand, are not a compulsion, yet very crucial. Trekking in the remote foothills of the Himalayas takes a lot of energy and strength. Carrying very heavy luggage during such a strenuous journey makes it more difficult. You can solve this issue by hiring a porter to carry it for you. Porters are usually trekkers who are very familiar with the trails of Kanchenjunga. They travel these routes often and can easily help you with your luggage. Usually, a porter will carry around 25kg worth of luggage a day for you.

Transportation

We will cover all the transportation fees during your stay in Nepal. The flight tickets to Nepal and out of Nepal are not in the package. But, the pickup and drop off at the airport during your arrival and farewell are managed by us. Similarly, we will manage to drive you upto the east to Illam, Taplejung, Hapu Khola, and back to Illam and Bhadrapur during your trip. You will also be taking a flight upon your return. This flight will also be included in the package.

Accomodation

You will mostly be staying in local tea houses or hotels based on your overnight stop. Remote high-altitude places only have tea houses run by locals with minimum facilities. However, they will be comfortable to spend the night and very cozy. They mostly come with a shared bedroom with two beds and a washroom. They are not fancy like city hotels but have good amenities like bedsheets, enough blankets for the cold, firewood for the cold, dining area, etc. Tea house stays are a great way to connect with the locals of the place you are traveling. They are run by locals in the area and will definitely help you more about the lifestyle and culture of the region.

The city areas, on the other hand, like Kathmandu and Illam, have better-facilitated hotels and lodges. All these basic amenities regarding accommodation are covered in our package.

Meals

The cost of your meals for the day is also included in this package. You will be fed with local Nepali cuisine during most part of your trip. They include rice, lentils, and vegetable curry. Other Nepail dishes like momo, chowmein, and thukpa might also be available. The tea houses in the remote trail might also serve you unique ethnic dishes. The basic meals of the day, like breakfast, lunch dinner, and snacks will be included in it. However, extravagant spending on food is not included in the package.

Permits

There are two necessary permits needed for the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek. These permits are quite easy to obtain. Yet we have separated a day in our itinerary to help you learn the process of it. To obtain the permit, you need to submit specific documents. After we get these documents, we will help you to obtain these permits. The cost of permits will boil down to around USD 40. The cost of this permit is also included in the package. But make sure that you have your on-arrival visa. The cost of this or its extension is not included in this package.

Outline Itinerary: 15 Days Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

Day 02: Permit preparation day

Day 03: Fly to Bhadrapur (40–45 min) and drive to Illam 2-3 hrs.

Day 04: Drive from Illam to Taplejung (5-6 hrs)

Day 05: Drive from Taplejung (1442m/4730mi) to Hapu khola (2 hrs) & Hike to Yamphudin (2080m/6822ft)

Day 06: Trek from Yamphudin to Tortong (2080m/6824ft) 7-8 hrs, Tea House Accommodation.

Day 07: Trek from Tortong to Tseram (3870m/12696ft) 6-7 hrs, Tea House Accommodation.

Day 08: Trek from Tseram to Ramjer  4-5 hrs, Tea House Accommodation.

Day 09: Hike from Ramjer to Oktang Base Camp (4610m/15124ft) & Back to Ramjer or Tseram.

Day 10: Trek from Ramjer to Tortong (2080m/6824ft) 5-6 hrs.

Day 11: Trek from Tortong to Hellok (1703m/5587ft) 7-8 hrs.

Day 12: Hike from Hellok to Ranipul (30 min) & Drive to Illam. 7-8 hrs.

Day 13: Drive from Illam to Bhadrapur 2-3 hrs & Fly to Kathmandu (40-45mins)

Day 14: Rest Day at Kathmandu.

Day 15: Final Day Departure.

Detailed Itinerary: 15 Days Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek

The Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek begins with your arrival in Kathmandu. You will leave your respective home countries and head to Nepal. The Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu will be your landing point. Our team will receive you at the airport and help you with the luggage and transportation. We will transfer you to the hotel you will be staying in Kathmandu for the day.

After arrival, you can explore the city on your own. We will brief you regarding various necessary details about the trip in the evening.

Today, we will spend the day preparing to obtain our trekking permits. You will need your passport that is not due to expire for more than 3 months. Along with that, two passport-size photos are also required. You must get the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area permit from Kathmandu’s Bhrikutimandap Tourism Service Center.

You also need to acquire the Kanchenjunga Restricted Area Permit. This permit can be obtained only via authorized trekking agencies. We will submit an online application on your behalf after your arrival in Kathmandu. The permit will be ready to collect on day two from the Trekking Department of Nepal Immigration’s Maitighar office in Kathmandu. After completing our work, we will head back to our hotel and prepare to leave for tomorrow.

On the third day of the trip, we will leave Kathmandu and kick off the trip. The day’s plan is split into two activities. The first one will be to take a flight to Bhadrapur. The next one will be to drive to Illam from Bhadrapur. We will take the earliest flight possible to Bhadrapur to ensure we reach Illam by the afternoon. The flight of around 40 to 45 minutes from Tribhuwan Airport will land you at the Bhadrapur airport.

Then, we will head to Illam via a road drive. Illam is a popular Nepali town known for growing tea leaves. Vibrant tea leaves farm can be seen en route as you drive through the beautiful winding roads of the east. We will arrive in Illam after around two to three hours of driving and check into a local hotel for the night.

Today will be another day of road drive towards the eastern foothills of Nepal. We will head to Taplejung today. Taplejung is a popular Nepali town known for being a hub for growing black cardamom. The road to Taplejung is quite convenient and beautiful as well. We will bid farewell to the beautiful tea gardens of Illam and near our trekking journey to the base camp of Kanchenjunga.

Once again, we will have a very hectic day with a lot of activities in front of us. Today’s itinerary is split into two parts. First will be a swift drive to Hapu Khola and then a hike to Yamphudin. We will first leave Taplejung early in the morning to reach Hapu Khola and kick off the trek. The drive will be a short two-hour drive, but you will notice a slight change in climate. You will approach a rather colder area of the Himalayan foothills rather than hills.

Vistas of mountains start becoming more visible, and we reach Hapu Khola in around 2 hours. After that, we will begin our trek and head to Kebang village by crossing the Kabeli Khola. Then, we take the road uphill to Ekchana Vanjyang. The road takes a swift downhill walk to a bridge where you will get vistas of beautiful snow-covered mountains.

After crossing this bridge, you will walk uphill to the Sherpa hamlet called Yamphudin. This is also called Sherpa gaun or Sherpa village by the locals. This will be the place for overnight stops for us and also the point for permit checks. We will check into a local lodge or tea house for the day.

Today, we will continue our trek by making a very challenging uphill walk to a col at 3292 meters. This means we have to head to the crossings of the Deurali Danda ridge. The path takes us to a winding road uphill. You will notice rhododendrons gathered in the region, and it clears up as you head to Chittre. Reaching the col, you will notice it lies wife and has a small pool.

Now, we will head down to Simbua Khola, walking the trails that show you the northwest of Jannu mountain. You will also spot Kanchenjunga in various places. A part of the trail during the descent might be uneven due to a landslide. So, walk with caution. After that, we will enter a forest and make the descent to the Simbu Khola’s bank. An hour-long downhill walk from the bank takes you to a bridge to reach the north bank. You will reach Tortong after crossing it.

The next destination on our list is Tseram. Walk today. It is quite easy as the trail is not very complicated. We will leave Tortong and head to a Buddhist shrine that is decorated with prayer flags, rock cairns, and Trisuls. During this walk, you will pass through a pine and rhododendron forest.

After that, the trail takes you to a riverbank. that leads to a wider trail. Then, we will continue our walk toward a huge meadow to Tseram. The location is a grassland on a small terrace with just one house. The house also is one of the old tea houses of the region, which is around 50 meters away from the north of the riverbank.

We will leave Tsream to reach Ramjer today. The walk begins through a beautiful forest of pines and rhododendrons. You will also notice a small steam en route and walk uphill, crossing a huge culvert. A short uphill walk from where we started will lead us to the starting point of the Yalung Glacier. The walk continues past the face of Yalung glacier and crosses a number of valleys, watching beautiful landscapes.

We will eventually reach the end of the Yalung glacier’s moraine and get beautiful vistas of peaks like Talung, Kabru, and Rathing. Vistas of a frozen lake and crystal-clear streams will also be available here. We will reach the last accommodation point on this remote trail at Ramjer after 4 to 5 hours of trek.

We will reach the main destinations of our trek at the Kanchenjunga South base camp today. We leave Ramjer early in the morning. The trail leads to a glacier that lies in the north face of Ramjer. You will reach this glacier after around an hour’s worth of walking from Ramjer.

After reaching the glacier, you will be blessed with the west and south faces of Kanchenjunga. These parts of the peak were not very visible during the trek so far. But now they will look mesmerizing on the horizon. About an hour from there, a small road leads us to the lateral moraine of the Yalung glacier. Then, we reach a chorten that shows unobstructed vistas of the main summit of Kanchenjunga. This will be the destination of our day, the Oktang base camp or the Kanchenjunga base camp.

We will spend quite a time exploring this beautiful region before heading back for the night. The trek for the overnight stop will be back to Ramjer or, if possible, even to Tseram.

We will have finished reaching the main destination of the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek. Now, our work is to retrace back to Kathmandu. Today we will retrace our steps back to Tortong today.

We will head to Hellok for the day. There is another way to retrace our steps via Yamphudin. However, thanks to the local government’s initiative, we have a shortcut. The day’s hike begins from Tortong through a calm forest. Today’s trek comprises a very lengthy staircase hike. It will take around 7 to 8 hours till we reach Hellok.

Today is the final day to hike on our trip to Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek. We will continue our walk from Hellok to reach Ranipul. The road to Ranipul is an ancient trade route squished between Tibet and India. The newly formed track allows to connect Tortong to Ranipul directly. On today’s part of the trek, we will mostly descend to Ranipul from Hellok. It is a small hamlet that lies on the banks of the Tamor River.

After we arrive at Ranipul, we will get in our vehicle and drive to Illam. Our overnight stop for the day will be here.

We will again continue retracing our way back to Kathmandu. Today, we will drive past various tea gardens, leaving Illam behind and going to Bhadrapur. After around 2 to 3 hours of drive, we will reach the airport at Bhadrapur. We will then board a domestic flight back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival at Kathmandu, we will transfer you to your respective hotels.

After we have completed our Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek, you will get a free day in Kathmandu. You can utilize this day to take a well-needed rest after your journey. You could also spend this time exploring the city as you wish.

After a wonderful trek, its time to bid farewell to Nepal. You will leave for your next destination or to your home country today. Our team will manage transportation to drop you off at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. This marks the official end of the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek.

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Costs Includes and Excludes

Cost Includes

  • Pick up from the airport and drive to the hotel.
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast ( 3-star level hotel.)
  • A professional Sherpa Guide with Government License.
  • Sherpa porter who will carry your baggage(2 people 1 sherpa porter max 20kg)
  • All Accommodation during Trekking (guest House/lodge)
  • Food during Trekking (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner )
  • Kanchenjunga National Park Permit
  • Food, salary Transport, clothing for Guide and Porter
  • First aid kit from The Great Adventure Treks and Expedition.
  • Insurance for Guide and Porter
  • Rescue Help in case of emergency (paid by your travel insurance)
  • Airport to hotel by car
  • Government tax and service charge
  • Airport departure to your sweet home
  • All programs as per Itinerary.

Cost Excludes

  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Any kinds of Drinks (soft and Hard Drinks)
  • Visa, international flight ticket
  • Personal Nature expenses
  • Tips for Staffs
  • Trekking Equipment
  • Rescue and Evacuation cost
  • Kathmandu Monuments fees
  • shower during the trek
  • Bar bills
  • If you use high level accommodation.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Kanchenjunga South Base Camp (Oktang Base Camp) Trek
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