March 15, 2023
Nepal bans solo trekkers throughout the country. This was the news some days ago. But there's a slight change.
According to Mohan Chapagain, a chief administrative officer of the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality, solo trekkers are allowed in the Everest region but have to follow certain rules. He said that a separate "trek card" for trekkers would be issued. The card will cost Rs. 2000 per person. The trekkers visiting the Everest region do not need TIMS cards.
But, according to Mani Lamichhane, Director (Information Officer) at Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), the TIMS cards will soon be mandatory in the Everest region as well and solo trekking will be prohibited. As of now, TIMS Card is not required in Everest region. Nepal Tourism Board is planning to make it compulsory in Everest region.
Solo treks are banned throughout Nepal, with the exception of the Everest region.
Beginning April 1, individual backpackers would not be allowed to trek solo in Nepal's Himalayas without a guide. However, solo trekkers can trek independently in the country's most popular trekking region, the Everest region.
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The Annapurna Rural Municipality has agreed to follow the Nepal Tourism Board's decision to ban solo trekkers in the country.
The board decided to ban solo trekkers citing safety concerns, but there has been a public backlash against this decision on social media. The short-sighted decisions of the Nepal government are often counterproductive.
Lívia Molnár posted on Facebook: "Personally I deeply disagree with this decision, even if I understand the reasons behind. Apart from the concerns already well articulated in this news article, I believe it will be also somewhat contraproductive regarding safety of trekkers..."
It is likely that the government of Nepal and the Nepal Tourism Board will amend the restriction and propose admirable rules that are good for both trekkers and the country.