OFF THE BEATEN TRACKS

Become a pioneer for
a new way of traveling

We are convinced that traveling for a better world is possible and that through responsible travel experiences one can gain experiences for a lifetime. Based on this, we have developed our first Fair Trails® Experiences in Nepal, in which we discover unknown spots far off the beaten track with all our senses and contribute to the preservation of local nature and culture. The Snow Leopard Trail takes us to the spectacular Himalyan regions of Nar Phu and Manang. This world-forgotten stretch of land, wedged between the eight-thousand-meter peaks of Annapurna and Manaslu, is now considered one of the last intact habitats of the mystical Snow Leopard. Accompanied by the world’s leading Snow Leopard experts, we will dive deep into the world of this so mysterious grace of nature and become active participants in the species conservation project of the renowned Snow Leopard Conservancy. We then turn to the Local Life Trail, which takes us into the lives of Nepal’s diverse ethnic groups, which are spread across the Himalayan state like a multifaceted mosaic. We travel along a historic salt route over the rugged Mahbharat Mountains into the mysterious south of the country. Past the remote villages of the semi-nomadic Chepang to the fishing people of the Tharu in the jungles of the lowlands. The spectacular finale is a visit to the oldest national park of the country, where we walk in the footsteps of the largest wild cat in Nepal – the Bengal Tiger.

01 — THE PROMISE

Write with us
on the script.

01

Preparing for the joint Elephant Walk at Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge on the edge of Chitwan National Park. © Trail Angels – Günter Mussnig

On our Explorer Tour 2022, we would like to walk sections of our two Fair Trails® Experiences “Snow Leopard Trail” and “Local Life Trail” together with our Local Experts for the first time. The goal is to experience our new kind of travel products from the point of view of travelers and to document the personal experience in an individual way. In this way, as trail pioneers, we would like to give these unique experiences a dress rehearsal and thus also develop them further together. Each encounter with nature and culture is a special moment. For the Explorer Tour 2021, we have selected highlights of the routes we have created and carefully arranged them so that the trip ends up being a true lifetime experience.

In the living room of the Snow Leopard: On the way to the Kang La Pass in front of the backdrop of the Annapurna Himal © Trail Angels – Günter Mussnig

A proud snow leopard mother with two cubs. Captured by our Snow Leopard expert Tashi R. Ghale. This moment changed his life. He has since dedicated it to this magnificent creature and its conservation. © Tashi R. Ghale

Enjoying the evening sun and yet always alert: the imposing blue sheep. Because where the prey is, the Snow Leopard is usually not far away. © Tashi R. Ghale

Trekking through the Mahabharad Mountains (midland of Nepal) on the Local Life Trail © Trail Angels – Günter Mussnig

Fair travel is a give and take © Trail Angels – Günter Mussnig

Encounter with the rare Rhinos in Chitwan National Park (c) Tiger Tops

02 — THE JOURNEY

A discovery tour
in the land of the miraculous.

02

Spiritual places made by nature and man along the way © Raimund Napetschnig

The Snow Leopard Trail

The Snow Leopard Trail follows the tracks of the Snow Leopard through one of its preferred habitats in a remote mountainous region in northwestern Nepal. Its starting point at the famous Annapurna Circuit is reached by off-road vehicle in a breathtakingly spectacular drive. This takes you out of the subtropical hills of Nepal through the imposing and deeply incised Marsyangdi Gorge right into the glacier world of the Annapurna Himal. For the Explorer Tour, we will then trek for 3 days in the barren high mountain landscape of the Manang region, heading for Snow Leopard hotspots. 

OUR FAIR TRAILS® EXPERTS ON THE SNOW LEOPARD TRAIL

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau
Our Fair Trails experts on the Snow Leopard Trail: Tashi R. Ghale (left) and Rinzin Lama (right) from the Third Pole Conservancy will accompany us on this section of the Explorer Tour. © Trail Angels – Günter Mussnig

Tashi R. Ghale is an internationally recognized nature photographer and wildlife biologist. There will probably be no one in the entire Himalayas who has observed the snow leopard in the wild more often than he has. Tashi is also a protagonist in award-winning documentaries from National Geographic and Disney. So he takes us to very special observation sites of the Snow Leopard, like particularly often frequented marking sites at territorial borders. Or to the camera traps of the monitoring project, where the new image material is immediately read out.

The Local Life Trail

The second part of this Explorer Tour is dedicated to exploring the Local Life Trail. By off-road vehicle, we descend from the glacier world of Annapurna to the rugged Mahabharat Mountains covered with monsoon forest. Our destination is the village of Uparghandaghi, from where breathtaking views of the lowlands of the Gangetic plain and the eight-thousand-meter Manaslu can be enjoyed. Around this special place still many Chepang, a group of indigenous people of Nepal, live. They have preserved much of their formerly semi-nomadic way of life here and live primarily from the produce of the jungle. We will accompany the Chepang for one day. How they hunt bats and press oil and soap from the fruits of the Chiuri tree. Then we will descend along the ancient salt trails into the Terai, Nepal’s subtropical plain. The next destination of our Explorer Tour is Meghauli. A village on the edge of the jungle, where we immerse ourselves in the life of the Tharu people. The Tharu have always adapted to the way of life in the jungle and as a very special highlight we will join representatives of the people in their craft, fishing in the jungle river. The grand finale of this extraordinary journey will be a visit to the famous Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge on the edge of Chitwan National Park. Tiger Tops are THE pioneers of responsible nature tourism in Asia. Here we will safely entrust ourselves to the great Tiger Tops team and together we will embark on the trail of the ruler of the jungle, the Royal Bengal Tiger. The jungle walk, guarded by the specially trained Tiger Tops elephants, is an unforgettable experience.

THE FAIR TRAILS® EXPERTS

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

Prashant Khanal (left) is our competent and thoughtful Fair Trails Expert for this Local Life Trail. Here in the picture with the Fair Trails Expert Peter and Mingma Sherpa. © Trail Angels – Günter Mussnig

Prashant Khanal is a blogger, researcher and entrepreneur. His passion is to explore indigenous Nepali ingredients and foods, find out more about the diverse food culture and traditional recipes, and try to spread the word to inspire as many people as possible. He currently runs a food blog called The Gundruk and is one of the partners of the equally celebrated and charming restaurant called Raithaane (which translates to “local”). Raithaane is located in Patan, the most pristine of the three royal cities in Kathmandu’s valley. Prashant Khanal travels all over the country to research, collect and, most importantly, understand new ingredients and recipes.

He could therefore not be better suited as a Fair Trails expert, especially for Local Life Trails. He has the passion and technical expertise, is well-traveled, and possesses a broad knowledge of how local foods can evolve and transform around the world. In combination with his excellent command of English, his considerate and pleasant nature, plus his desire to promote Nepalese cuisine around the world, he becomes the perfect Fair Trails expert.

THE ITINERARY

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau
Fair Trails expert Tashi R. Ghale in front of one of the camera traps at the Snow Leopard Trail ©Trail Angels/Essl

1. Day   |  27.03.2022  |  Arrival in Kathmandu; overnight stay: Kathmandu
2. Day   |  28.03.2022  |  Equipment check; briefing; Kathmandu food trail; overnight stay: Kathmandu
3. Day   |  29.03.2022  |  Transfer to Uppadanghadi; Local Life Day; overnight stay: Uppadanghadi
4. Day   |  30.03.2022  |  Transfer to Meghauli, Tharu Village, River Dining; overnight stay: Meghauli
5. Day   |  31.03.2022  |  Fishing with the Tharu; overnight stay: Meghauli
6. Day   |  01.04.2022  |  Transfer to Tiger Tops, Elephant Camp, Jeep Safari; overnight stay: Tiger Tops
7. Day   |  02.04.2022  |  Elefant Foot Safari, Transfer to Besisahar; overnight stay: Besisahar
8. Day   |  03.04.2022  |  Transfer to Timang; short acclimatization tour; overnight stay: Timang
9. Day   |  04.04.2022  |  Transfer to Manang, acclimatization tour to Gasherbrum icefall; overnight stay: Manang
10. Day  |  05.04.2022  |  Trekking on the Snow Leopard Trail; overnight stay: Manang
11. Day  |  06.04.2022  |  Trekking on the Snow Leopard Trail to Ledar; overnight stay: Ledar
12. Day  |  07.04.2022  |  Trekking to Thorung High Camp; overnight stay: Thorung High Camp
13. Day  |  08.04.2022  |  Trekking over the Thorung La; transfer to Tatopani; overnight stay: Tatopani
14. Day  |  09.04.2022  |  Transfer to Pokhara, relaxing afternoon at the lake; overnight stay: Pokhara
15. Day  |  10.04.2022  |  Flight to Kathmandu; sightseeing tour through Kathmandu; overnight stay: Kathmandu
16. Day  |  11.04.2022  |  Rest day at Kathmandu; overnight stay: Kathmandu
17. Day  |  12.04.2022  |  Return flight from Kathmandu

03 — THE OFFER

Join us
on an adventure.

03

On the way to the highest points of the Snow Leopard Trail © Raimund Napetschnig 

Become a Fair Trail pioneer on our first joint tour

For our first Explorer Tour we are looking for 3 female and 3 male travellers with a pioneering spirit to join us on a journey that is anything but ordinary. For 17 days we will get to know a still unknown side of Nepal and dive intensively into the local life, from the Himalayas to the Ganges lowlands. We will be guided and accompanied by local experts who, through their years of experience, will give us a deep insight into the characteristics of daily life in this remote region of the world. We will be accompanied by the different ethnic groups of Nepal as well as the endangered wildlife, from the Snow Leopard to the Royal Bengal Tiger. Ultimately, it is about those who spend their lives here.

 

Dates: Spring 2022

Explorer Tour Local Life / Snow Leopard Trail – Price: 2.318,- €
of which € 100,- will be donated to the project “Fox-Lights” of the Snow Leopard Conservancy

We are offering this new Fair Trails travel experience in November 2022 exclusively as an Explorer Tour for 3 ladies and 3 gentlemen at a pioneer price (self-cost) and would like to create the final travel experience together with groundbreakers. Therefore, we are not looking for participants, but actual collaborators who will help us with their open eye and creative mind to develop the final travel product and thus make a new way of traveling accessible to people all over the world. In doing so, you are to accompany the journey either photographically or in writing, as you experience it. Your view of the journey will help us to make the final travel product even better.

How to be part of it

Send us your motivation letter in the contact form and convince us why you, out of all others, are the right pioneer for this unique experience. Deadline is May 30, 2021 and all participants will be contacted. The final participants will receive further details about the trip.

You’ re the right explorer?

 Old Himalayan wisdom: If you walk faster than an ox, you are an ox © Trail Angels – Josef Essl

The trail will leave you speechless © Trail Angels – Josef Essl

From the far north to the subtropical south © Trail Angels – Günter Mussnig

Always close to local life © Trail Angels – Günter Mussnig

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