back to Nepal


Kathmandu and the Himalayas

McCabe 40th anniversary special departure

Nepal’s cultural landscape is every bit as diverse as its physical one. Its peoples belong to a host of distinctive ethnic groups, and speak a host of languages. They live in everything from dense, ancient cities erupting with pagoda-roofed Hindu temples to villages perched on dizzying sweeps of rice-farming terraces and dusty highland settlements clustered around tiny monasteries. Religious practices range from Indian-style Hinduism to Tibetan Buddhism and from nature-worship to shamanism – the indigenous Newars, meanwhile, blend all these traditions with their own, intense tantric practices. Christianity is also the fastest growing faith in Nepal and becoming more widespread. Nepal is a fantastically friendly country and a favourite McCabe destination.

On our classic itinerary we see the sights of Kathmandu Valley, go on safari from a luxury jungle resort and stay in an idyllic Himalayan lakeside resort with breath-taking mountain views without scaling to any great altitudes. We visit Dhampus, a traditional Gurkha community twinned with Brecon in the UK and a people who have served alongside the British forces since before the Second World War. There is also the opportunity to fly near the summit of Mount Everest. Nepal may be defined by the Himalayas, but it is much more than just mountains. The heartland is defined by the pahad, or middle hills, a wide belt running east–west along the length of the country, characterized by massive slopes and steep-sided valleys, and populated by rustic villages set amid terraced fields. The valley cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara are exceptions in these giant-scale hills, where the biggest stretch of flat land for miles around may well be the school volleyball court.

The McCabe Educational Trust supports a school high in the Himalayan foothills and a visit here is always a highlight. We have been associated with the school for more than 20 years and the children give us a wonderful welcome. Also, in honour of former McCabe Director the late Rosemary Nutt, a true animal lover, we visit and support a donkey sanctuary to see its wonderful work in animal welfare.

We invite you to join us on this Himalayan adventure special departure.



  1. Journey to Kathmandu (D, DR)

    Afternoon: meet your Tour Leader at Heathrow and depart on your overnight flight to Kathmandu with a stop to change aircraft in Doha the capital of Qatar. Your Qatar Airways flight departs Heathrow at 15:05 and arrives in Kathmandu at 09:00 the following morning. Complimentary drinks and meals are served in flight.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  2. Arrival in Kathmandu (L, D)

    Morning: arrival in Kathmandu with a traditional Tibetan Khada welcome from your local guide who will be with you throughout. Transfer to your boutique hotel, the Summerhill House in Kathmandu and check-in for a three-night stay.

    Afternoon: after time to rest, enjoy an introductory walking tour of Kathmandu with its riot of sights, sounds and smells. The bustling alleyways of the old town, the medieval temples and trekking touts in the backpacker district of Thamel mean that Kathmandu can be both intoxicating and amazing.

    Evening: welcome drink with your fellow travellers followed by dinner in the hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  3. Old Kathmandu, Swoyambhunath Stupa and Boudhnath (B, L, D)

    Morning: visit Old Kathmandu with its stone paved lanes and colourful bazaars. Old Durbar Square, where the city's kings were once crowned, consists of numerous temples in various architectural styles and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. After, continue to the 2,500 year old Swoyambhunath Stupa, overlooking the city, covered in colourful prayer flags.

    Afternoon: after lunch in a local restaurant visit Boudhnath the biggest Stupa in Nepal circled by houses and monasteries where 'Rinpoches' enlightened Buddhist monks reside. Proceed further to Pashupatinath Temple on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River with views that often include the faithful taking ritual purifactory baths.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  4. Optional Everest flight, then Patan and Bhaktapur (B, L, D)

    Early morning: (optional) flight to get the best views of Mt Everest (8,850m) and other surrounding peaks. Circle Mt Ammabalm and enter the Khumbu Valley to get close to the highest peak in the world. Flight duration 50-60 minutes - cost approx $295 payable locally.

    Morning: after breakfast visit Patan city, the cradle of arts and architecture known for its intricately carved temples, narrow lanes and quaint shops. Visit the Krishna Mandir Temple and Hiranyavama Temple and then continue for lunch in Bhaktapur.

    Afternoon: explore this fascinating town known as 'the city of devotees' the home of mediaeval art and architecture and an insight into true Nepalese life.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  5. Chitwan National Park (B, L, D)

    Morning: take the drive to Chitwan, some five hours driving passing through towns, villages and agricultural districts at the heart of Nepalese life with interesting comfort stops on route.

    Afternoon: check-in at Jungle Villa Resort in the Chitwan National Park and enjoy lunch at the Jungle Lodge with an informative welcome from the lodges own naturalist. After, take a jeep safari and spot a plethora of wildlife such as Rhinoceros, deer, boar, monkeys, sloth bear and, if fortunate, Royal Bengal Tiger and the spotted Himalayan Leopard.

    Evening: dinner at the Jungle Villa Resort.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  6. Boat ride and Tharu tribe village visit (B, L, D)

    Morning: take a boat ride through the national park with further opportunities to spot wildlife and the plethora of birdlife.

    Afternoon: visit a local village where the Tharu in Chitwan have lived there for hundreds of years and call themselves "The People of the Forest". They farm rice, corn, lentil and hunt wild boar, deer and rabbit along with river fish. Witness age old traditions and customs.

    Evening: enjoy a local folklore and stick dance performed by local tribes followed by dinner in the hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  7. The Pokhara Valley and Lake Begnas (B, L, D)

    Morning: drive the scenic mountain highway to the picturesque Pokhara Valley amidst Nepal's central Himalaya's with Annapurna I and III, Machapuchare and Manaslu dominating the skyline. On arrival in Pokhara visit the Begnas bazaar and transfer to your resort by boat to check-in for a four-night stay.

    Afternoon: late lunch in your lakeside resort with stunning views and the remainder of the afternoon to reflect and enjoy the resort facilities and admire its stunning surroundings.

    Evening: dinner at your Begnas Lake Resort.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  8. Nepal

    Himalayan hike or relax in your lakeside resort (B, L, D)

    Morning: hike along the Sundari Danda ridge up through a trail through forests of Hazelnut and Saal trees. Take a break at Pauraake Danda exploring this typical small village perched on the ridge. The surrounding view of the hillsides and twin lakes is the stunning reward for your hike! After, rise through Begnas village, with its terraced fields and mud houses, to open meadows and spectacular mountain views to the snowy expanse of the Annapurna massif.

    Afternoon: visit the Deurali Temple where villagers come to have their wishes fulfilled and then the Begnaskote, a 200 year old military lookout from when Rajahs needed to defend their kingdoms. After, walk the stone steps to the lake to cross back to your resort where the remainder of the afternoon is free.

    Evening: dinner in your lakeside resort.

    The walking today is 4-5 hours, approximately 12km with gradients, slopes, rough pathways and an elevation change of 700 metres. We would say this was an intermediate level of walking. Sturdy footwear, trainers or boots are recommended and use of walking poles may also be beneficial. Guests not taking the walk can relax in the stunning lakeside setting of your resort.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  9. Daduwa village and school project visit B, L, D)

    Morning: a true adventure in 4x4 vehicles over rocky terrain to the Daduwa School which was built and continually supported by McCabe pilgrims through the McCabe Educational Trust. The school perches at 5,500 feet literally on the top of a mountain (which is the most secure position from landslides) with wonderful panoramic views of the snow-covered Annapurna range of the Himalayas.  They don’t get many visitors as the journey from Pokhara involves fording a river and a precipitous two hour spectacular mountain climb by four-wheel drive jeep.

    Afternoon: return to the Begnas Lakeside Resort to wander the grounds, swim in the pool, book an ayurvedic massage or join together for worship and reflection.

    Evening: dinner in your lakeside resort.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  10. Pokhara and Dhampus Gurkha village (B, L, D)

    Morning: drive to Dhampus (twinned with Brecon in the UK) a traditional Gurung (Gurkha) village situated at an altitude of 1650 m above the sea level. The village offers an opportunity to explore the lifestyle of the ethnic community. The villagers practice their ancient culture and traditions. Which are still followed by their new generations. Gurungs are also known as Gurkha are a symbol of bravery. Gurkhas have been serving in India and British armed forces from before the second world war.

    Afternoon: drive to Pokhara for a visit of its colourful bazaars where we include a sightseeing tour and visits to the Bindabasini temple and Devis Waterfall. After, stroll along the Phewa lakeside with its rows of restaurants, bars, bookshops and fruit stalls.

    Evening: dinner in your lakeside resort.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  11. Drive to Kathmandu (B, L: D)

    Morning: travel the scenic highway to Kathmandu.

    Afternoon: check-in to the Hyatt Place Hotel for a final two-night stay. The remainder of the afternoon is to relax or wander in Kathmandu at your leisure.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  12. Local community worship - Bungamati & Khokana villages (B, L, D, DR)

    Morning: join with a local Christian congregation for a morning of worship (often on Saturday in Nepal) and time to mingle and make friends. Christianity is the fastest growing religion in Nepal and these people are very friendly and welcoming.

    Afternoon: visit to the 16th century old Newari twin villages of Bungamati and Khokana. Bungamati is the winter home of Lord Rato Machhendranath, the protector deity of Patan city. The shrine of Karya Binayak is located between the two villages. At Khokana ancient wooden oil presses can be seen at work in village homes.

    Evening:  farewell dinner in a local restaurant with traditional Nepalese entertainment.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  13. Donkey sanctuary visit, free in Kathmandu - evening flight (B, L, D, DR)

    Morning: visit to the Dukuchhap Donkey Sanctuary. Animals were close to the late Rosemary Nutt, McCabe Directors, heart and a project that McCabe will support in future in her honour. See the work they do to not only offer homes for mistreated animals but also offer care and vet services to families who love their working animals but who have little means.

    Afternoon: free in Katmandu before transferring to the airport to check-in for the return journey and bid farewell to your Nepalese guide.

    Evening: overnight flight with a stop and aircraft change in Doha with meals and drinks served on board.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  14. Return arrival in the UK (B, DR)

    Early morning arrival at London Heathrow and a fond farewell to your Tour Leader and fellow pilgrims.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  15. Mount Everest Flight

    Flights operate every morning from Kathmandu airport (weather conditions permitting) and fly at an average altitude of 23,000 feet. We will be taken within five miles from the highest peak in the world and the trip takes approximately one hour.

    The flight departs early morning so will not affect that day’s sightseeing.
    Cost: approx $295



    Daduwa School

    In 1997 we were introduced to the village of Daduwa in Nepal by the Revd Andrew McCabe. The relationship that has developed has been mutually inspiring. We have helped create a school which has thrived and expanded to accommodate 350 children.

    Read more by clicking HERE


    Dukuchhap Donkey Sanctuary

    Animals were close to the late Rosemary Nutt, McCabe Directors, heart and a project that McCabe will support in future in her honour. In Nepal, thousands of mules and donkeys play a central role in the making of bricks. Sadly, this is often literally back breaking work, and their lives can be miserable and short.  However, through our partnership with Animal Nepal, we are making a really positive difference to their welfare. Our mission and work to improve their lives every day includes:

    • Improving veterinary care, skills and disease awareness,
    • Educating and empowering equine owners about donkey welfare, harnessing and care,
    • Building the status of donkeys and mules, advocacy and awareness raising.

    We would be absolutely delighted if The Rosemary Nutt Memorial Award would like to be part of making such a positive difference to donkeys in Nepal and can provide more details.

    Read more by clicking HERE




Essential Information

Included excursions

  • Walking tour of Kathmandu
  • Old Kathmandu and Durbar Square
  • Boudhnath Stupa and Pashupatinah Temple
  • Patan with the Krishna Mandir and Hiranyavama Temples
  • Bhaktapur 'the city of devotees'
  • Chitwan National Park - Game drive
  • Chitwan National Park - boat ride
  • Scenic drive through the Pokhara Valley
  • Boat ride on Lake Begnas
  • Himalayan hike (for intermediate walkers) along the Sundari Danda Ridge
  • Daduwa village and school project visit
  • Dhampus Gurkha village visit
  • Newari twin villages of Bungamati and Khokana
  • Dukuchhap Donkey Sanctuary visit

Optional excursions

Scenic Everest flight approx $295 - bookable locally

Included extras

  • Hotel porterage
  • Local guide and drivers’ gratuities
  • All restaurant and hotel gratuities
  • Other small local gratuities
  • Personal audio guiding system

Included meals & drinks

Meals: all meals are included. Throughout your pilgrimage you will enjoy some meals in the hotels and some in local restaurants. Lunches are usually in local restaurants and dinners in the hotels. The farewell dinner in Kathmandu will be in a local restaurant. Complimentary meals are served on your flights.

Drinks: welcome and farewell drinks. Complimentary drinks are served on your flights. All other drinks are at own expense.

Your journey

The flights are via Doha with Qatar Airlines from London Heathrow. Regional flights to Heathrow from some UK airports and flight seat upgrades, for that extra comfort and ease through the airport, can be arranged at a supplement. A higher deposit will be required, please enquire at time of booking.  An overnight stop at Heathrow may be required which we can assist you with. 

Outbound journey

Flight  QR4/QR652 departs Heathrow:  15:05

With a two hour 45 minute transfer time in Doha

Flight arrives Kathmandu: 10:05 (next day)

Inbound journey

Flight QR647/QR911 departs Kathmandu: 22:45

With a two hour transfer time in Doha

Flight arrives Heathrow: 06:25 (next day)

Flight times are subject to change



Three nights

A friendly family-run welcome in the Nepalese capital. Located off the Catholic church "Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary", the Summerhill House Boutique Hotel is set near Central Zoo. This guest house is also a 25-minute walk from the tiered Krisnhna Mandir Hindu Temple in Kathmandu. Summerhill House Hotel is a 5-minute stroll from the restaurant Sam's Cafe. 

Your room: complimentary Wifi, desk, fan, and homemade furnishings and textiles.

Your bathroom: shower cubicle, hairdryer, slippers and complimentary toiletries.



Two nights

Jungle Villa Resort is surrounded by lush greenery and located on the edge of the Rapti river, providing all residents’ splendid nature views and wildlife sighting from the property. At the northern edge of the Chitwan National Park, the resort provides comfortable amenities enriching your jungle experience. Blending into nature, the resort has wildlife views from the deck and rooms. You can capture a glimpse of herds of deer, the one-horned rhinos, the royal Bengal tiger, birds, and other amphibians & aquatic animals at sunrise or sunset by the Rapti river.

Hotel facilities: outdoor swimming pool, gym, massage rooms with ayurveda therapies, terrace restaurant and bar overlooking the river and wildlife.

Your room: private balcony or terrace, air conditioning/heating, desk, flat screen TV with international channels, complimentary WiFi, fridge and safety deposit box.

Your bathroom: shower over bathtub or shower, hairdryer slippers and complimentary toiletries.



Four nights

The unique location guarantees that you are at a safe distance from the daily bustle. Surrounded by tropical jungle on three sides and the beautiful lake on the fourth. So although, only 11kms from Pokhara City, it  feels like an otherworldly paradise! You reach the resort by driving to Sundari Danda and walking down for 10 minutes through the forest or the preferred mode of transport – a relaxing boat ride from Begnas Bazar boat station.

Hotel facilities: outdoor swimming pool, gym, massage rooms with ayurveda therapies. The in-house bars, Saili – Maili and Kudo serve the choicest foreign liquors, wines and beers. Jimire, the in-house restaurant offers guests a variety of local, Tibetian, Indian, Chinese and Continental Cuisines.

Your room: terrace, air conditioning/heating, fan, comfortable seating area and desk, flat screen TV with international channels, complimentary WiFi, tea & coffee making facilities, fridge and safety deposit box.

Your bathroom: shower cubicle, hairdryer, bathrobe, slippers and complimentary toiletries.



Two nights

Kathmandu Durbar Square is 2.4 km from Hyatt Place Kathmandu, while Swayambhu is 2.5 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tribhuvan International Airport, 7 km from the accommodation.

Hotel facilities: outdoor swimming pool, gym, restaurant, bar, in-house market and poolside bar.

Your room: air conditioning/heating, comfortable seating area and desk, flat screen TV with international channels, complimentary WiFi, tea & coffee making facilities, fridge and safety deposit box.

Your bathroom: bath tub or shower cubicle, hairdryer, bathrobe, slippers and complimentary toiletries

Practical information

Entry requirements

Entrance to Nepal is by means of a 'visa on arrival' and the procedure is very quick and simple and included in the cost of the pilgrimage. On arrival you will complete an arrival card (often distributed on flights before landing), and proceed to the immigration desk with your completed form and payment receipt which your Tour Leader will give you on landing.

Please note your passport must be valid for six months after the return of your holiday.

For the latest and most up to date travel advice including entry requirements:

Health & wellbeing

Although at the time of writing there are no compulsory vaccinations required for travel to Nepal. It is recommended that your Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Hepatitis A immunisations are up to date. We will send up to date information on entry requirements and with your final paperwork approximately 14 days before departure.

Adequate insurance cover will be required for all hospital emergencies and doctors’ visits.


In Kathmandu and Pokhara the temperature in October will be from 16 degrees at night to 25 during the day with a low rainfall precipitation. Going up in altitude, both temperature and rainfall vary with altitude. In theory, they also vary with slope exposure, however, since most of the mountains of Nepal are situated on the southern side, the temperature is relatively mild even at high altitudes. Some particularly sheltered inland valleys receive an even lower amount of rainfall, and have a desert or semi-desert landscape, such as the kingdom of Mustang, which is located in an arid valley north of the massifs of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.


Daytime dress is casual and as comfortable as possible. Cool cotton clothing is best and a cardigan or fleece for early mornings and late evenings and inside some air-conditioned buildings. For evening meals, we recommend smarter casual dress. Some hotels will require that gentleman wear trousers and closed shoes for dinner and that ladies dress modestly with knees and shoulders covered.

On a few days, some historic sites and places of worship require that shoulders are covered, skirts extend below the knee and shoes are closed shoes and not sandals or flip flops. Some visits will require you to remove your shoes, therefore shoes that are easy to slip on and off are advisable. Our Local Guide will inform you the day before such visits are made so that you have the correct attire.


There is a certain amount of walking (and stairs) involved on a daily basis on this holiday so please make sure you pack comfy footwear for this so that you are prepared. Your Local Guide will keep you updated on a daily basis with what to expect the following day. If you are finding it difficult to keep up then please make sure you tell your Local Guide who can help you to find places to rest and relax and then you can re-join the group at a later stage. No particularly high altitudes are involved.

Where possible we have added touches such as tuk tuk rides, boat rides, elevators to some temples and up hills to avoid stairs and excessive walking. This will still involve getting on bard these modes of transport and some deep steps are required as they may also be in some temples, pagodas, historical sights and embarking and disembarking from other forms of transport.

Some streets in towns and cities that you will visit will have uneven surfaces or rough ground. We suggest you take a pair of comfortable shoes with good grips or trainers. For some guided walking tours, you must be prepared to be on your feet for up to 90 minutes without the need to sit, walk a mile and be able to climb to to three flights of stairs as a minimum. In some areas, there will be a number of steps to climb (some uneven) and not always a handrail.

Travel insurance

Ensuring that your holidays are appropriately protected is one of our main priorities. That’s why we have specifically chosen Holiday Extras as our *preferred travel insurance provider to ensure that you are protected before and whilst you are travelling. Holiday Extras offer McCabe Travel guests favourable rates for single trip, multi-trip and annual policies.

For more information or to obtain a quote click below for their website

Or call them on 0800 083 3551 to speak to a friendly advisor.

Please quote AG628 upon calling to receive the best rates

The McCabe Educational Trust

The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on some of our pilgrimages. As ‘the haves’ encounter the ‘have nots’ the Trust has become a practical tool for one to help the other.

McCabe Pilgrimages invite all travellers to become partners in this work. A £20 voluntary donation to the Trust’s work is added to every pilgrim’s invoice and all money raised in this way is given in full to the projects the Trust supports. This scheme is voluntary and confidential with nobody put under any pressure to participate.

Full financial security

All money paid to McCabe is fully secure. Holidays including flights are covered by our ATOL license from the Civil Aviation Authority, and holidays without flights are protected by our membership of the ABTOT bonding scheme. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, for instance through lack of numbers or for political considerations, McCabe will promptly refund all monies paid.

AITO Quality Statement

McCabe Pilgrimages is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. McCabe abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter.

You can read McCabe reviews on the AITO website here

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Upcoming Pilgrimages

We have no tours scheduled to this destination at present.

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