Sagarmatha National Park
Sagarmatha National Park
Unique among natural heritage sites world-wide is the Sagarmatha National Park, which includes Mt. Everest (8,848 m) and other high peaks such as Lhotse Shar, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, Pumori, Kangtega, Gyachung Kang, Thamserku and Kwangde. Located North-east of Kathmandu, Sagarmatha National Park is 1,148 sq km. in area and consists of the upper catchment areas of the Dudh Koshi, Bhote Koshi and the Imja Khola rivers. Much of the park lies above 3,000m. Sagarmatha is rugged, with deep gorges, glaciers and nonnegotiable ice and rock faces. Locally known as the 'Khumbu', it is the home of the famous Sherpa people. The Sherpas make a living by farming barley and potatoes and graze their yaks in high altitude pastures. Young Sherpas have also made their name in mountaineering and the trekking industry has of late become the community's economic mainstay. In 1979 the park was declared a World Heritage Site.
Trees such as rhododendron, birch, blue pine, juniper and silver fir are found up to an altitude of 4,000 meters above which they give way to scrub and alpine plants. In late spring and summer, the hillsides around the villages of Namche Bazaar, Khumjung, Thyangboche and Thame are a riot of colors with several species of Rhododendron in bloom. Wildlife most likely to be seen in Sagarmatha are the Himalaya tahr, ghoral, musk deer, pikka (mouse hare) weasel and occasionally jackal. Other rarely seen animals are Himalayan black bear, wolf, lynx and snow leopard. Birds commonly seen are Impeyan pheasant, blood pheasant, snow cock, snow pigeon, red billed and yellow billed chough, Himalayan griffin vulture and lammergeier.
Entry Fee Per Person Per Entry
For Nepalese Nationals: Free
For SAARC Nationals: Rs. 100
For Other Foreign Nationals: Rs. 1,000
(Note Entrance fee not required for children under 10 years)
Filming Permit Fee (Documentary/Feature Films)
For Nepalese Nationals: Rs. 5,000
For SAARC Nationals: Rs. 25,000
For Other Foreign Nationals: US $ 1,000
Helicopter Landing in Protected Area: Rs. 2,000 per landing
All of Khumbu is road-less, all travel and exploration must be undertaken on foot. Quick access are by helicopter at the Syangboche and via the Lukla airstrip from where the park head-office at Namche Bazaar is a two-day walk. Alternative approache
s are from Jiri in the south-west and through Arun Valley in the south-east. Namche is 10 to 12 days trek on both these approaches. The best time to visit is in October and November and from March to May when days are warm and clear. However night temperatures can reach zero levels. A two to three-week stay in the park is ideal and the best areas to visit are Gokyo Valley, Lobuche-Kala Pattar-Base Camp, Chukung Valley and Thame valley. Travelers should come with camping, food and fuel support to enable them to move freely although room and board are available in most villages. To enjoy the visit thoroughly it is best to arrange services of guides and porters with government registered outfitters in Kathmandu.