Overview

The slightly shorter and lower of the Kanchenjunga treks, Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek, is hardly less stunning than the others. The path climbs through lush, ancient forests teeming with Spanish mosses before reaching the desolate mountain country of the Yalung Glacier, just below the south face of Kanchenjunga (8,586 meters/28,169 feet – the third largest mountain in the world. In fact, before it was discovered that Everest is the highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga was said to be the tallest.

With over 15,00 meters of altitude change, you are in for a bit of a challenge. However, the hard work pays off and you will have one of the best times of your life. Pass through remote, charming Limbu villages that see few trekkers. It is possible to walk for days without seeing another foreigner. Because of this, you will be able to develop more personal relationships and even friendships with the Rai, Limbu, and Tibetan villagers, who show you their great hospitality. If you have the interest, try some cups of Tongba, locally made hot millet wine. After the first cup is finished, you’ll get your cup filled and refilled until your heart’s content.

These ethnic groups speak their own dialect and many aspects of their culture differ from those of the Nepali people in the middle hills and Terai region. You will find this fascinating to learn about. In terms of wildlife of the trek, we might run into the Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan black bear, musk deer, and perhaps the elusive Red Panda. Oh, and the legend of the Yeti lives in these areas, so keep your eyes and ears peeled.

Immerse yourself in the mystique of the mountains. Listen to nothing but the blowing wind and the sound of your foot and the trail meeting each other. Reach Yalung Glacier and enjoy a heart-stopping view of the south face of Kanchenjunga, which takes up nearly your entire view. From here, descend slowly back to Suketar, admiring the beauty throughout. 

We have listed this trek as a ‘camping trek’ because accommodations/general facilities on this trek are limited. During the main tourism months, most teahouses are open. It is up to you whether you would rather camp or stay in a teahouse. We will discuss these logistics with you.

NOTE: If you would like to skip the night bus and fly to Biratnagar and take a shorter drive to Lalikharka, we can arrange this for an additional cost.

Trekking is possible throughout the year, but Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) provide the best weather.  During the Spring, there is a bit more colour and the rhododendrons are blooming, and in the Autumn months, the skies are generally clearer.  Depending on the time of the year that you take the trek, teahouses may not be open.  We will give you the details before you book your trek.

The Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek requires moderate fitness and acclimatization to avoid acute mountain sickness. Breeze Adventure arranges the trek with complete management. Please, feel free to contact us for more detailed information.

Trip Highlights

Astonishing views of Kanchenjunga, Kabru, Rathong and Talung.

Get to know about the Rai and Limbu communities and try some cups of Tongba

Scenic drives to Lalikharka and from Ranipul through the beautiful middle hills

Peace and quiet on the empty Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trail – allowing you to forget about all your worries off the trail

Have a chance to see the abundant wildlife on the trail, including the Red Panda and Blue Sheep

Eye-popping view of the south face of Kanchenjunga from Yalung Glacier

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 01: Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and night bus to ilam.
  • Day 02: Drive from ilam to Taplejung and Lalikharka. (2420m).
  • Day 03: Lalikharka to Khesewa (2120m), 6-7 hours.
  • Day 04: Kheseuwa to Pumpe Dada (1785m), 6-7 hours.
  • Day 05: Trek from Pumpe Dada to Yamphudin (2080m), 2-3 hours.
  • Day 06: Trek from Yamphudin to Tortong (2995m), 7-8 hours.
  • Day 07: Trek from Tortong to Tseram ( Cheram) and hike up to Lake (3870m), 6-7 hours.
  • Day 08: Trek from Tseram to Ramche and explore Yalung Glacier, (4580m), 7-8 hours.
  • Day 09: Rest day for exploration around Ramche and Kanchenjunga South Base Camp, (4730m)
  • Day 10: Retreat trek from Ramche to Tortong,(2995m).
  • Day 11: Trek from Tortong to Ranipul, (1550m) 6-7 hours.
  • Day 12: Drive from Ranipul to Taplejung (4 hours) and Taplejung to ilam (4 hours), (1150m).
  • Day 13: Drive from ilam to Kathmandu.

Trip note

Accommodation

All our packages include accommodation in the cost. This accommodation is included during the set itinerary.  While in Kathmandu, we provide a 2-3 Star hotel for you.  During the trek, our guides will pick the best lodge for you to stay in based on their experience as well as room availability. All the accommodations will be a twin-shared basis. In the mountain, Shower and toilet will be on Sharing basis. During high trekking season, you may have to share a room with a same-sex trekker from another group. 

Food

Nepal has a wide variety of food and it is easy to cater to your needs.  If you are a vegetarian/vegan, gluten or lactose free, we are able to work around that if you let us know ahead of time.  During your time in the hotel in Kathmandu, your breakfast is included.  Lunch and dinner must be covered on your own.  On the trek, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided.  For teahouse treks, we can order typical Nepali food, continental ,Italian , Tibetan and Indian at teahouses.  While camping, we will prepare the meals for you.  After our trek, we will have a celebration/pre-departure traditional Nepali meal in Thamel. 

Guide & Porters

A government-licensed guide will lead the trek.  All our guides have tremendous experience on the trails and are passionate about the trekking industry.  Our guides and porters are dedicated to making your experience of trekking in Nepal a memorable one.  If there is any worry during your trek, our guides will address it.  Your safety is our number one priority.  For groups of more than six people, there will be two guides. For teahouse treks, there will be one porter for every two trekkers.  For camping treks, we will need more porters in order to carry the food, kitchen equipment, tents, etc.    

Acclimatization/Fitness/Experience

As many of our treks lead us high into the Himalayas, it is necessary to let our bodies sufficiently get used to the altitude.  Our treks have acclimatization days built into the itinerary.  It is best to take it slow to prevent altitude sickness.  The level of fitness necessary for our treks varies depending on the trek.  On average, expect to walk an average of 5-6 hours per day while on the trial.  Generally, the treks can be done with an average level of fitness.  More important than fitness or experience is one’s personal determination and positive attitude toward finishing and enjoying the trek. 

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend having travel insurance before going on a trek.  We do our best to take care of you, but something can happen that is out of our control.  In case of medical emergency, leading to a helicopter evacuation, it is best to have insurance.  You are unable to obtain medical insurance in Nepal and must do so in your home country.  Be sure that your insurance covers accidents abroad and high in the mountains. 

Best Time to Travel

The peak seasons for traveling in Nepal are during the Spring (March to May) and the Autumn (September to November).  These times provide the best scenery and clearest skies, but of course they are a little more crowded than the off-season.  It is possible to trek during the Winter (December to February), but you will face cold temperatures.  It is also possible to trek during the monsoon season (June to August), though the views will likely be covered by clouds and there is a high chance of rainfall.

Note:

Please be assured that Breeze Adventure manage our treks to the highest standards. Your safety and satisfaction are our priority. We will support you to the best of our abilities with any issues that may arise. We will work with you to ensure you get the most from your trek and visit Nepal

Detail Itinerary

  • Day 01: Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and night bus to ilam.
    Have breakfast and start sightseeing around Kathmandu in a private vehicle. We will see several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We will learn about each site’s historical, religious, and cultural significance. In the evening, we take an overnight bus to Illam. Overnight on the bus.
    • On the way to ilam
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • In the Bus
    • 300m
  • Day 02: Drive from ilam to Taplejung and Lalikharka. (2420m).
    We’ve got another long drive today. Catch up on any rest that you might have missed the night before. It’s best to be well-rested before we begin the trek. If you slept well the night before, just soak in the gorgeous views on the drive. We pass villages and their surrounding agricultural fields. It’s a picturesque scene. Overnight in a guest house.
    • Lalikharka
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 2420m
  • Day 03: Lalikharka to Khesewa (2120m), 6-7 hours.
    After a tasty morning meal, we descend through millet and rice fields until we reach a suspension bridge over the Phawa Khola (1430 meters). We continue to a small Gurung settlement called Sinchebu Bhanjyang (2240 meters) and maybe stop for a snack or tea here. It’s a special moment here actually, as we catch our first glimpses of Kanchenjunga and Kyabru. Take some deep breathes and admire these wonderful mountains. Continue over the pass and descend to Khesewa. Overnight in teahouse.
    • Khesewa
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Local teahouse
    • 2120m
  • Day 04: Kheseuwa to Pumpe Dada (1785m), 6-7 hours.
    We begin our day after a nice breakfast. We pack up and head to the trail, hiking through mixed forests on a relatively flat path, towards the Kabeli Khola. A series of small waterfalls puts a smile on our faces. We head north, stopping for lunch at Yangpang with awesome views of Mt. Jannu. We end the day with a steep uphill climb for about 20 minutes up to Pumpe Dada. Overnight in a teahouse.
    • Pumpe Dada
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Local teahouse
    • 1785m
  • Day 05: Trek from Pumpe Dada to Yamphudin (2080m), 2-3 hours.
    Today’s trek will be mostly uphill on an easy trail that mostly follows alongside the Kabeli Khola. Throughout the hike, we admire the beautiful ridge beyond the stream. We follow a few switchbacks up the valley and then descend under rocky cliffs, on rubble from past landslides. After walking for some time, we cross a small suspension bridge and pass through small settlements before reaching Yamphudin. It’s quite an easy day today, as we have a long day ahead of us. Overnight in a teahouse
    • Yamphudin
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 2080m
  • Day 06: Trek from Yamphudin to Tortong (2995m), 7-8 hours.
    Above Yamphudin, facilities are few and far between. We’ve planned well, though, and have plenty of provisions. From Amje Khola, it’s a relentless climb, though the trail is well-maintained. At Chitre, we may see some grazing yaks, a very sweet sight. Continuing, we pass a teeming forest, with draping Spanish moss, which looks like it is out of a movie. There is a little here, and we stop for our quick lunch. Then we continue hiking through the mysterious forest until we break into an opening, cross a suspension bridge, and head on a gentle uphill to Tortong. Overnight in a teahouse.
    • Tortong
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 2995m
  • Day 07: Trek from Tortong to Tseram ( Cheram) and hike up to Lake (3870m), 6-7 hours.
    We begin our gradual climb to Tseram for 3-4 hours after breakfast from Tortong. Our trail is right at the side of the Simbuwa Khola. We enjoy walking within the beautiful Lalung valley and have Tuplung peak accompanying us for the most part of today’s journey. We pass through thick rhododendron forest and enjoy the magnificence of the Yalung Glacier. After reaching at Cheram village we have our lunch and hike up to a lake for 1-2 hours. The little lake and the view of the mountains, Yalung glacier are an amazing part of the day. If the weather is clear, we can have an awesome sunset view on the Himalaya. Then we head down to Tseram. Overnight in a teahouse.
    • Tseram
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 3870m
  • Day 08: Trek from Tseram to Ramche and explore Yalung Glacier, (4580m), 7-8 hours.
    We begin our short trek after breakfast. From Tseram, we ascend for a little while before reaching the start of the Yalung Glacier. It is a beautiful walk on a path through the valley. Savor the views of several Himalayan peaks as we pass through the small settlement of Lapsang before reaching Ramche. Ramche is the last teahouse on Kanchenjunga South Base Camp trek. It is located on the wide ground. If there is a big group of people we have to spend our night in a tent by enjoying the stars and Himalaya at night. Overnight in a teahouse/ Tented camp.
    • Ramche
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Local Teahouse/ Tented Camp
    • 4580m
  • Day 09: Rest day for exploration around Ramche and Kanchenjunga South Base Camp, (4730m)
    After walking all the way up to here! why don’t we have an extra day to explore in this untouched and peaceful nature! Yes, we have a full excursion day around Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. We take a packed lunch and set off very early for an up-close encounter with the majestic Kanchenjunga. We follow the valley around its sweeping curve, to the vast southern wall of the mountain. Along this ridge exist the three main summits of Kanchenjunga at 8420 meters, 8586 meters, and 8474 meters. These three summits jut out into the clouds, providing an amazing scene. Keep going towards Oktang, descend onto the glacier and traverse it to a point below Talu, where we get a panoramic view of more pristine mountains. Especially impressive is the eastern part of Khumbakarna Glacier flowing from the east face of Jannu. We then return to our camp at Ramche.
    • Ramche
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Local Teahouse/ Tented Camp
    • 4730m
  • Day 10: Retreat trek from Ramche to Tortong,(2995m).
    Head back down on the same trail to Tseram, where we stayed just nights before. It’s a bit long but an easy day so let your feet walk as your eyes enjoy the scenery. Overnight in a teahouse.
    • Tortong
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 2995m
  • Day 11: Trek from Tortong to Ranipul, (1550m) 6-7 hours.
    From here we follow the ancient trade market route from India to Tibet! The old Indian generation used to use this route for their business When there was no road connection between Tibet, Nepal, and India. But this trail was not used for a long time after the road development in Nepal, Tibet, and India. Then now, the support of the local people and the government has developed the ancient trail to Ranipul which makes easier and shorter for all the trekkers. We can save several days and skip the long downhill walk to Yamphudin by taking this route to Ranipul. The trail goes a bit up in the beginning and then we walk mostly on the downhill to Ranipul. We have our lunch on the way and head to Ranipul for 4 hours. Walking into the very quiet forest would an amazing moment on our last trekking day on our Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek. Ranipul is a little village nearby the Tamor River. Overnight in a local teahouse.
    • Ranipul
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 1550m
  • Day 12: Drive from Ranipul to Taplejung (4 hours) and Taplejung to ilam (4 hours), (1150m).
    We wake up and have a tasty celebratory breakfast in the teahouse. The hiking part of the trek is over – it’s bittersweet. We have a scenic drive through rolling terraced hills and quaint villages until we reach Taplejung, where we stop for lunch. After our quick lunch, we continue our drive to Ilam. Ilam is a beautiful town on the hill with beautiful tea garden. Overnight in a hotel.
    • ilam
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Teahouse
    • 1150m
  • Day 13: Drive from ilam to Kathmandu.
    Though we feel tired, from the weeks and weeks of trekking, we have a special kind of energy from accomplishing such an impressive journey. It has been an unforgettable trip and we are happy to have you along! A long day’s drive brings us back to Kathmandu, where we have a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in a hotel.
    • Kathmandu
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • 2/3 Star Hotel
    • 1400m

Cost Details

Cost Includes

  • Transportation to and from Tribhuvan Airport.
  • Three nights in a 2-3 star hotel in Kathmandu, breakfast included.
  • All transportation for the trek.
  • Kanchenjunga Trekking Permit
  • Local guest house/teahouse accommodation in mountain (and in Birtamod).
  • Government-authorized, experienced guide and porters
  • Insurance, food, accommodation, and wage for guides and porters
  • Hygienic meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the trek.
  • All equipment (sleeping bag, warm layers, etc.)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Maps
  • Service charge and government taxes
  • Post-trek celebration dinner in Kathmandu

Cost Excludes:

  • International airfare
  • Meals in Kathmandu (besides breakfast)
  • Your personal expenses, shopping, etc.
  • Shower and electronic charging fees at guest houses during the trek
  • Alcoholic drinks, chocolates, tea and coffee
  • Tips for guide and porter
  • Extra accommodation and meals outside of itinerary
  • Costs from unexpected occurrences (i.e. cancellations, weather problems, damages of property, illness, etc.)