Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek

Trekking and Walking

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  • Experience of a More than 10 Years
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USD $ 2,049 / per person

Trip Info

  • Duration

    15 Days

  • Max. Altitude

    South Base Camp (4,610 m) m

  • Difficulty

    difficult

  • Starts From

    Kathmandu

  • Trip Ends At

    Kathmandu

  • Transport

    Private & comfortable drive with domestic flight (KTM-Biratnagar-Suketar-Biratnagar-KTM)

  • Region/Type

    Kanchenjunga Treks
  • Best Season:

    • Spring (Mar, Apr)
    • Autumn (Mid-Sep - Mid November)

Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek is one of the best off-the-beaten trekking trails in Nepal but receives much lesser explorers and trekkers than the Everest and Annapurna region. The world's third-highest peak, Kanchenjunga (8,586 meters/28,169 feet), stands majestically over the Indian and Nepalese border in the northeast corner of Nepal’s Taplejung District.

The south base camp trek is shorter, lower in elevation, and less strenuous than the north base camp trek. But, the trekkers are equally awarded a similar level of typical natural and cultural uniqueness. The south base camp journey takes you through a landscape of subtropical lowlands, rhododendron and alpine forests, and stunning glaciers, as well as views of spectacular snow-capped mountain peaks. This Kanchenjunga trekking offers the most beautiful Himalayan scenery views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mount Makalu, and Jannu Himal and the towering heights of Mt. Rohtang La Pass and Kabru above a moraine on the side of Nepal and the Sikkim border.

The Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trekking trail starts from Happu Khola and ascends slowly day by day through the valleys past the virgin woods, farming lands, and peaceful communities to the base camp at Ramche at 4610 meters. A diverse range of wildlife, including the elusive snow leopard, Asian black bear, and red panda, to name a few of the most endangered creatures are protected by the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, the trail to the Yalung Glacier and the south side of the mountain. Birders will be able to view snow cock and pheasant, among other species. 

Not limited only to the natural and wildlife beauty, the trek rewards the trekkers with a typical, unique insight into the culture and lifestyle of the remote part of Eastern Nepal. It is the opportunity of learning about the local Rai, Limbu, who are a part of Kirat and Tibetan villagers that call this location home, each with its unique dialect, rituals, and traditions.

Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek offers everything a trekking enthusiast desires.

Major highlights of Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek

  • Walk on one of Nepal’s deserted trekking routes
  • Less-known trail in the eastern region of Nepal
  • Breathtaking landscapes and mountain vista 
  • Views of Mount Rhothang and Mount Kabru rising above a moraine in the Nepal-Sikkim border
  • Get insight into the culture and lifestyle of the Kirati and Sherpa people there
  • Chances of encountering many wildlife and various flora and fauna
  • Meet the flock of blue sheep

How difficult is Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek?

The difficulty of an adventurous journey is determined by elements such as distance, altitude, destination’s weather and temperature, and trekkers' fitness. In light of these considerations, the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek is rated as moderate to strenuous. 

Throughout this trek, you will be trekking in the isolated mountain region for more than a week beginning from the 2000 meters and ascending at the maximum at 4610 meters. As a result, altitude sickness is a real possibility at such a high altitude. When it comes to this illness, one should be proactive and notify the guide as soon as the symptoms like headache, nausea, tiredness, etc. appear. 

Weather fluctuations are common at high elevations. As the weather deteriorates, you will begin to notice a variety of hazards. Rock falls, slick terrains, landslides, and other natural disasters are among them. Trekking in severe weather is quite difficult. So, before you decide to go for the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek, be cautious and stay informed about the weather conditions.

Also, this journey does not necessitate any climbing abilities but requires high physical and mental fitness. But experiences are always better. So, months before departing for the journey, we suggest you engage in some aerobic workouts like running, jogging, trekking with a backpack, swimming, or going to the gym.

Best Time to do Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek 

Kanchenjunga is a challenging tea house trek. As a result, good weather is required for walking on this route. Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek is mostly done during the autumn and spring seasons, as it is for most other popular trekking trails in Nepal. 

Autumn (September – November) is by far the most enjoyable season for trekking in Kanchenjunga. Autumn boasts the clearest skies and the most consistent weather. The air quality is at its optimum in the autumn. The sky and weather are completely clear, and the days are warm and the nights are cool. The weather and temperature remain pleasant and consistent, making this the ideal time to go trekking. 

After autumn, spring (March-May) is the most popular trekking season. This is the season for outdoor enthusiasts. The trees around the Kanchenjunga hiking route are ablaze with vibrant wildflower and Rhododendron, Nepal's national flower, blossoms. Spring brings with it beautiful views of verdant hills and vibrant forests, as well as predictable weather, blue sky, and excellent visibility. 

Trekking in Kanchenjunga during the peak seasons is a wonderful experience walking through the deserted routes because of less popularity.

Itinerary in Details

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

🕑 20 minutes drive to hotel

Max Altitude: 1350 m

You will arrive at Kathmandu Airport after a spectacular flight over the Himalayas, where you will meet the Himalayan hikers' representative. You will then be transported to the hotel and assisted with the check-in procedures.

We will meet for a pre-discussion session about the Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek if you arrive early. You will have free time in the evening to explore the streets of Thamel and soak in the atmosphere.

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel/Resort

Day 2: Kathmandu Sightseeing & trip preparation

🕑 6-7 hrs

Max Altitude: 1350 m

After breakfast, we take a private vehicle around Kathmandu to explore the sites. Nepal’s seven out of ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located only in Kathmandu Valley and we will cover a few of them today. Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, and Patan Durbar Square are amongst them. We'll get to learn about the historical, religious, and cultural significance of each location.

In the evening, you can do last-minute shopping if you have to purchase the items for the journey to the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. Stroll around the corners of the area, eat at one of the restaurants, and relax in your hotel room.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel/Resort

Day 3: Fly KTM – Bhadrapur & drive to Taplejung

🕑 8-9 hrs

Max Altitude: 2000 m

We will fly from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur as early in the morning as feasible. Then, an 8-9 hour drive from Bhadrapur to Taplejung awaits you. Taplejung is the epicenter of Nepal's black cardamom growing region. We also pass by a beautiful tea garden in Kanyan and Fikkal. At 2,000 meters, the atmosphere of Taplejung is pleasant, and the lodge accommodations are adequate.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Lodge

Day 4: Drive Taplejung – Happu Khola & trek to Kebang

Max Altitude: 1915 m

Today we have another long drive ahead of us. After breakfast, we will drive from Taplejung to Happu Khola. Along the ride, you will notice that the climate is chilling down and that the terrain is changing from hills to mountains. As you go through terraced fields and forested areas, you may expect more views of the high mountains to arrive at any moment. We move through settlements and the agricultural areas that surround them. After lunch, start our walk from Happu Khola, cross Kabeli Khola and ascend to Kebang village.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Teahouse

Day 5: Trek Kebang – Yamphudin

Max Altitude: 2080 m

After breakfast at the teahouse in Kebang, we leave the village and start climbing towards the Ekchana Vanjyang. After a short break there, we walk downhill towards the bridge. On the way, you'll get some vistas of the snowcapped peaks. After crossing the bridge, we will make our ascent towards a beautiful village of Sherpa people named Yamphudin also known as Sherpa Gaun locally. A police checkpoint is located nearby where our permits will be checked. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Teahouse

Day 6: Trek Yamphudin – Torengthen

Max Altitude: 2995 m

This morning begins with a tough ascent to a col at 3,292 meters, where we will cross the Deurali Danda ridge. The road winds uphill through rhododendron thickets to a clearing at Chittre, first steeply. When you get to the col, it's wide and has a little pool. On the way down to the Simbua Khola, there are views to the northwest of Jannu's summit, and Kangchenjunga appears at numerous spots. The first stretch of the descent from the crest has been impacted by a landslide and should be approached with caution; the plunge is significant!

Finally, the track re-enters the forest for a nice and steady descent to the Simbu Khola's banks. A one-hour hike down the bank leads to a little bridge that offers access to the north bank and the Torengthen meadow.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Teahouse

Day 7: Trek Torengthen – Tseram

Max Altitude: 3870 m

The trail is easier today than it was the day before. We will arrive at a Buddhist shrine ornamented with rock cairns, prayer flags, and Trisuls after a short trek through the pine and rhododendron forest. The trail then follows the riverbank as it widens and becomes a pleasant stroll. Then we continue to Tseram passing through a big flat meadow. Tseram is a nice grassy location on a little terrace with a single house that doubles as a rustic teahouse about 50 meters above the river's north bank.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Teahouse

Day 8: Trek Tseram – Ramzher

Max Altitude: 4580 m

The trail leads through a lovely woodland of pines and rhododendrons with a tiny clear stream, then climbs and crosses a massive loose culvert before returning to the Yak Kharka. We rise for a short distance from Tseram before reaching the Yalung Glacier's beginning. As we ascend past the Yalung Glacier's snout and into a series of ablation valleys, the panorama is breathtaking. The Yalung Glacier's terminal moraine eventually appears, framed by the peaks of Talung (7,349m) Kabru (7,338m), and Rathong (6,678m) with a frozen lake, and crystal clear streams. The last teahouse on the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek is in Ramzher/Ramche/Ramchour.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Teahouse

Day 9: Trek Ramzher – Oktang (South Base Camp) – Ramzher

Max Altitude: 4610 m

From Ramzher, we can continue to South Base Camp for views of Kangchenjunga's south face. The glacier swings north beyond Ramche, and this corner can be reached in approximately an hour through easy terrain. The entire south and west faces of Kangchenjunga, which had previously been hidden during the latest stages of the walk-in, are now visible around the bend. After another hour, a tiny track leads onto the Yalung Glacier's lateral moraine and to a chorten with unobstructed views of Kangchenjunga's main summit, (8,586m), Yalung Kang (8,505m), and Khambachen Peak (7,903m) near the valley's head.

After spending quite a time there, we retrace our steps back to our Ramche campground. You can also choose to trek downhill to Cheram.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Teahouse

Day 10: Trek back Ramzher – Torengthen

Max Altitude: 2995 m

Today, we retrace our trail back to Tseram and then to Torengthen. Before calling it a day, take in as much of the surrounding beauty as possible.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Teahouse

Day 11: Trek Torengthen – Ranipul

Max Altitude: 1550 m

Today is our last hiking day on our Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek, walking into the incredibly calm forest. We follow the ancient trade route between Tibet and India from Ranipul. The shortcut track has been developed for the convenience of trekkers to descend straight to Ranipul, skipping the long way descending to Yamphudin, thanks to local initiative and government help. Ranipul is a small settlement located alongside the Tamor River.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Teahouse

Day 12: Drive Ranipul – Taplejung

Max Altitude: 2000 m

We eat a delicious celebratory breakfast in the teahouse at Ranipul and take a lovely drive over rolling terraced hills and charming villages till we arrive in Taplejung, where we have lunch. After lunch, you can opt to drive further to Illam. If not, we can rest at Taplejung for the remainder of the day and explore the surroundings in the evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Lodge

Day 13: Drive to Taplejung – Bhadrapur/Jhapa

Max Altitude: 500 m

From Taplejung, we today drive back to Bhadrapur or only till Jhapa.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Lodge

Day 14: Fly to Kathmandu

🕑 40 minutes

Max Altitude: 1350 m

We take our breakfast and you will be driven to the Bhadrapur Airport for the flight back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival there, you will be escorted to your respective hotel. You can spend the rest of the day relaxing, shopping, or visiting a spa. In the evening, we will eat our dinner at the typical Nepali restaurant where we can also enjoy the cultural program and share our experiences of this adventure. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel/Resort

Day 15: Final Departure

🕑 20 minutes to airport

Max Altitude: 1350 m

It's the last day of your Nepal journey. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight, a representative from Himalayan Trekkers will transport you to the airport and bid farewell. We can also conduct the additional trip if you plan to stay in Nepal for more days.

Meals: Breakfast

Includes

  • All airport transfers (pick-ups & drop-offs)
  • All sightseeing mentioned in the itinerary in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • All domestic transfers 
  • 3 star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Biratnagar as per the itinerary
  • Meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) as per the itinerary
  • All required Permits & TIMS Card
  • English speaking experienced guide
  • Porters fees
  • First Aid Kid Box
  • Bottled Water
  • Welcome/Farewell dinner
  • All required government taxes & official expenses

Excludes

  • International airfares and airport tax
  • Nepal Visa fees USD 25 Cash on arrival
  • Trekking Equipment
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, liquor, room service, and others
  • Beverage expenses
  • Tips to Guide, Porter, and Driver
  • Your Travel Insurance
  • Any cost occurs from any unfavorable condition such as landslide, bad weather, flight cancellation, etc.
  • Any other expenses not mentioned in the includes section

Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek is designed as a teahouse trek. But, camping is also an option. Our standard accommodation in the cities like Kathmandu is a 3-star category hotel on a BB basis. All the lodging in Kathmandu and throughout the trek will be on a twin-sharing or double-sharing basis. Upon request, one can get the room upgraded to a single supplement at an additional cost in Kathmandu and if available in the trekking routes.

Meals 

Your hotel in Kathmandu will provide breakfast in the BB package. You can buy your lunches and dinners at one of the restaurants in Thamel. However, throughout your trekking journey, your accommodation, teahouses will provide all the meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The majority of your meals will be Nepalese Dal Bhat (Rice and Lentil) with fresh veggies grown locally, which will keep you energized throughout the hike.

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