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Epic trek through a pristine conservation area to the 3rd highest mountain in the world

Maximum elevation 5147m

Difficulty: Challenging

Location :- Far East  Nepal.

Start /End point :- Taplejung/Sekathum

Season: March to May and October to mid-December


 Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world standing at 8,586m, and little visited because of its distance from Kathmandu and the long trek needed to reach it. But the privileged few who do venture there are rewarded by a beautiful journey through a pristine conservation area, enjoying a landscape and culture unchanged by tourism. It is possible to visit both North and South Kanchenjunga Base camps on a full length  circuit of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, or for shorter trips just North Base camp, returning the same route. 

After a short flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur in the Eastern Terai, we take a jeep to the village of Taplejung, passing through the tea plantations of  Illam. The trek starts at the village of Taplejung, initially passing through rice plantations and sub-tropical bamboo forest, following the Tamor river gorge up the Ghunsa valley.  From Ghunsa  the valley widens, and we reach yak pasture land and larch forest, continuing to follow the Tamor river, finally reaching the high altitude settlement at Lhonak from where we make a day trip along the glacier moraine to North Base camp known as Pangpema. Our trek then returns down the valley to Ghunsa, where we cross over the high altitude Selele Pass to Tseram in the next valley for a trek up to Oktang, Kanchenjunga South Base camp. It is on this South West face of Kanchenjunga that expeditions attempt their ascent. After returning to Tseram, we take a different route back to Taplejung, through an even less visited part of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, before returning by jeep to Bhadrapur for our flight to Kathmandu. 

During the trip we stay in traditional local lodges or tea houses, owned and run by families in the villages we pass through.This includes the beautiful Dzonga Family Lodge at Ghunsa and delightful Kanchenjunga White House. Others can be a little basic, particularly at higher altitudes as some of the remote areas have few tourists, but you will enjoy the food, customs and lifesyle of the Sherpa or Limbu people of this region.

Read more about this classic trek in our blog here.

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Day 01 Fly from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur (45mins).  Drive by jeep to Illam visiting tea plantations on route (4 hrs). 
Day 02 Continue by jeep to Taplejung at 1860m (4hrs). Trek to Mitlung at 920m (8km, 3hrs).
Day 03 Trek from Mitlung to Chiruwa at 1270m (12km, 4 hrs)
Day 04 Trek from Chiruwa to Sekathum at 1660m (11km, 4 hrs) 
Day 05 Trek from Sekathum to Gyabala at 2730m (15km, 6 hrs)
Day 06 Trek from Gyabala to Ghunsa at 3600m (11km, 4 hrs) 
Day 07 Acclimatization Day. Day hike above Ghunsa (View point/Dudh Pokhari), visit Gompa and other cultural activities.

Day 08 Optional additional Acclimatization Day hike to Dudh Pokhari at 4900m and return to Ghunsa (7-8 hrs)
Day 09 Trek from Ghunsa to Kambachan 4100m (11km, 4-5 hrs)
Day 10 Acclimatization Day. Day hike to Jannu Peak viewpoint at  45500m and rtn to Kambachan (4-5 hrs)
Day 11 Optional additional acclimatization Day hike to Nuptu Lake at 4950m and return to Kambachan (7-8 hrs)
Day 12 Trek from Kambachan to Lhonak at 4800m (4-5 hrs) 
Day 13 Early morning trek to Pangpema, North Base camp (8km) and return to Lhonak (6-7 hrs) 
Day 14 Trek  from Lhonak to Kambachan (3 hrs) - option to rtn to Ghunsa same day
Day 15 Trek  from Kambachan to Ghunsa (3 hrs)

Day 16 Rest day in Ghunsa (hot shower and clothes washing). 

Day 17 Early start to trek from Ghunsa to Tseram at 3685m,  crossing Selele and Mirgin La passes at 4640m (16km, 9 hrs)

Day 18 Trek from Tseram to Ramche at 4480m (7km, 3 hrs)

Day 19 Early morning trek from Ramche to Oktang, Kanchenjunga South Base camp and return to Tseram (15km, 6-7 hrs)

Day 20 Trek Tseram to Tortong at 3200m (9km, 3-4 hrs)

Day 21 Trek Tortong to Yamphudin (14km, 7-8 hrs)

Day 22 Trek from Yamphudin to Pumphedande at 1858m (12km, 6-7 hrs)

Day 23 Trek from Pumpedande to Kande Bhanjyang (6-7 hrs)

Day 24 Trek from Kande Bhanjyang to Sekathum (6-7 hrs) and taxi to Taplejung

Day 25 Drive from Taplejung to Bhadrapur by jeep (8 hrs)

Day 26 Fly Bhadrapur to Kathmandu (45mins)

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