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This five-day break offers a real back-to-nature experience on a safari through the jungle. Have a go at bathing an elephant, meet local people when you stay in home-stays, and gaze up at the epic Himalayan scenery on hill treks.
Home to the Himalayas, hillsides dotted with Buddhist prayer flags, and a vast range of tie-dyed hippy clobber. If there was an award for most peaceful place in the world, Nepal would surely be in with a chance of scooping it. Its people are friendly and open, and with 40 different races all sharing the same land, it’s got an exotic mix of cultures. You’ll find miles and miles of gnarled jungles where tigers roam, and birds like painted snipes and pale-chinned flycatchers flutter their wings. There’s only one thing left to say, ‘namaste’ – or ‘welcome’.
Journey right to the heart of the Himalayas with a stay in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. Packed with temples – most dating back to the 17th century, bustling streets and bazaars, this city kicks things off like a baptism of fire. Then it’s out into the wilderness with hill treks where you can gaze up at 180-degree Himalayan views, jungle safaris on elephant-back, and home-stays with locals in Magar and Gurung villages. And last but not least, you’ll also have the chance to help wash an elephant – so be prepared to get wet.
This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences and would make an out-of-this-world trip for a couple. There won’t be stacks of time for privacy as accommodation is a mix of home-stays and jungle lodges, so expect lots of ‘together’ time. Also, there are a couple of very early mornings – 5.30am to be exact – so don’t come on this one if you’d rather be snuggled up in bed till after 9am. And finally, it’s probably best if you’re a bit of an easy-going type as you’ll be meeting all sorts of people – and staying in local houses – so an open-mind and a laid-back attitude is best for this.
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