Types of guides in the Manaslu region
The trekking guides found in the Manaslu region are basically of three categories based on their level of skills and time spent in the field of tourism in Nepal. These are as follows:
Licensed trekking guide in the Manaslu trekking region
The professional guides certified by the government of Nepal, also commonly referred to as tour leaders or mountain guides, who have mastered almost every local terrain of the Himalayas, are the licensed guides that you can hire to trek the Manaslu region.
Generally, they are well-trained in first aid, have fluency in the English language, and are excellent navigators born and brought up in the Himalayas who possess secrets to resolve any sort of unforeseen circumstances that can arise during the high Himalayan trek.
They are reliable and are experts in the field who have gathered several years of expertise in local Nepalese culture, language, history, geography, traditions, and customs to help every trekker bridge the cultural and linguistic barrier with the local communities they encounter en route to trek the Manaslu region.
Guide-porter in the Manaslu region trekking
The trainee guide, who might not necessarily be licensed yet but is planning to and is in the learning phase, provides you with the best service possible are the guide porter. They are primarily porters, carrying some of your luggage and backpack, and secondarily, they function as guides.
The majority of these kinds of guides have sound knowledge of English and are best for those who do not prefer traveling in large groups and are looking for more budget-friendly trekking options in Manaslu.
If you are an introvert seeking trekking in the Manaslu region and do not want to risk your life in the worst scenario, porter guides are just the right option for you. They help you with your luggage and other logistics, including the navigation to your destination in the Manaslu region.
Porter-Guide during the Manaslu region trekking
The inexpensive way to make it safely through the Manaslu Trekking region is to hire a porter cum guide, as they are the least expensive and most probably aren’t licensed, and their priority is to carry backpacks and other trekking essentials to make your journey more convenient.
Expect only a small population of porter guides to have better communication skills, as English is the second language in Nepali. They are more adept at leading trekkers to their desired trekking location in the Manaslu region and genetically possess the capability to challenge each Himalayan hurdle effortlessly.
Whom (licensed guide/guide-porter/porter-guide) to hire to trek the Manaslu region?
Whom to hire to trek in the Manaslu region can get very dilemmatic, while the vast tourism in Nepal provides a series of choices to choose from: licensed guide, guide-porter, and porter-guide.
However, at Adventure Himalayan Travels and Treks, we do not recommend hiring a guide-porter as it can hinder your overall trekking experience, along with the prohibition of the Nepali government on hiring unlicensed guides effective April 1st, 2023.
On the other hand, the professional guides also stand out for their sharpened proficiency in the sectors of the Manaslu region’s local landscapes, terrains, and routes side by side with the regional culture and social ethos.
We also take pride in our local Sherpa guides, who have been one of the major benefactors in making us leading tour and trekking organizers in Nepal, based in the center of the country’s capital city, Thamel, for more than 20 years since our establishment.
Guides and Porter policy April 1st, 2023 in Nepal to trek the Manaslu region
The date of April 1st, 2023, is when Nepal officially banned free independent trekking (FIT) due to security and safety concerns raised over the past years caused by solo trekking, leading to several missing reports and a few serious irreversible events.
According to this new policy, all foreigners trekking in Nepal must obtain TIMs and other essential permits regulated by the local administrators, which helps in keeping track of trekkers and provides necessary aid in emergencies.
Besides, the governance of Nepal also mandated the hiring of licensed guides to enter any part of the country, including the Manaslu region, with a clear intention to upgrade the trekking condition of Nepal and prevent unfortunate incidents that are inevitable while trekking the relatively new terrain of the Himalayas, which are prone to the mood swings of almighty mountain weather.
Why hire professional licensed guides to trek the Manaslu region?
Bitter because Nepal banned solo trekking? If you are here are the top five reasons why you shouldn’t be in 2024:
- Professional guides are a great assistance in fulfilling all the required logistical management, including permits, food, and accommodation, which could have been one hell of a chaotic experience for you.
- Licensed guides are one hundred percent authorized by the government of Nepal and trained for guiding in the Himalayas.
- Although English isn’t their first language, they are well-spoken and help you connect more firmly with the local communities to enhance your overall Nepali socio-cultural interaction.
- Normally, professional guides are typical locals with broad knowledge of the Manaslu and other local routes due to their familiarity with terrain and weather requirements, ensuring your smother trekking acquaintance.
- All the government-registered guides are trained to provide first aid and other mountain rescue techniques, such as mountain sickness, which makes them extremely trustworthy to entrust with your health conditions that you might not be aware of.
How do the guides in the trek to the Manaslu region help with food and accommodation?
Guides in the Manaslu region are an integral part of the trek, facilitating seamless trekking participation where their local knowledge and connections play an important role in handling accommodation logistics and assisting with food choices and menus.
Their familiarity with the tea houses or lodges along the Manaslu region trekking route contributes largely to finding the most suitable place for you to take the most deserving rest, even in the peak trekking season when tea houses and lodges are generally fully booked in advance.
Not only that, they provide a warming environment with the locals and owners of the tea houses and lodges as the communication bridge for better cultural interaction, initiating a home-away-from-home feeling in the Himalayas.
In short, in rare cases of the unavailability of accommodations during the Manaslu region trek, local guides can use their connections to provide you with the best alternatives in food and accommodation, considering comfort, cleanliness, and level of service.
How can a guide assist you in ensuring your safety during the Manaslu region trek?
Local Sherpa guides are the real heroes of the Himalayas and are major helping hands in determining the overall safety of the trekkers in Nepal, including the Manaslu region. In the per-trek preparation, they add massively to selecting the right route for you by considering altitude gain profile, acclimatization, and weather.
Once the trek to the Manaslu region traditionally begins, guides make an assurance of the correct path, provide accurate environmental guidelines to be followed in the restricted lands, and initiate immediate assistance in emergencies or accidents, as well as summon help in need.
Along with it, guides usually monitor the weather as well as the physical and mental well-being of the Manaslu region trekkers to choose the most favorable time to trek, along with the identification of symptoms of hazardous altitude sickness that you might not be aware of.
Hence, guides are the fundamental need to trek in the Manaslu region to help you ensure your safe, sound, and fulfilling trekking in Nepal while taking the whole elegant mountain environment into consideration.
Do guides help in legalizing the Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Yes, if you are trekking in Nepal for the first time and you want to be in the Manaslu region, you might not be up-to-date on the ongoing updates on legal requirements to trek this restricted land, where guides play a vital part in assisting you with the legal documentation required to make your trek more ethical.
Guides can assist you in obtaining the necessary permits, which are a must to legalize your visit in the Manaslu region, verified at various checkpoints in coordination with the officials. They truly deserve loud applause for leaving the trekkers to do nothing but make the most of their trek while they deal with all the procedures to go through to trek the Manaslu region, which you might feel burdensome to have dealt with.
Where to get guides/porters to trek the Manaslu region?
A phenomenal trekking in the Manaslu region is assured only when you have in assistance of a licensed guide and here’s where you can hire one for you:
A reputable trekking agency
Generally, a large number of trekking agencies in Kathmandu employ experienced and licensed guides who are well-versed in the local terrains, culture, and practices. You can entrust them to hire the right guide for you as per your trek type and itinerary.
Different online platforms
This 21st century is a world of social media and technology where everything and anything is available on a tap be it hiring the essential guide to trek in the Manaslu region or other than that.
There are many online platforms such as Tripadvisor, Lonely Planet’s Thron Tree Forum, and websites of several government-certified travel and trekking agencies where you find great guides. Make sure to check the recommendations and read reviews to choose the most suitable one for your trek in the Manaslu region.
Tourism offices in Kathmandu and Pokhara
There are two main offices of the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) in Nepal, targeting the major tourist cities of the country: Kathmandu and Pokhara.
In Kathmandu, the NTB is located in the Bhrikutimandap Exhibition Hall, 2 km from Thamel, whereas the office of the NTB is situated at the lakeside in Pokhara. You can visit these places to obtain information on registered guides and trekking agencies and make the correct decision in choosing your trip guide to trek the Manaslu region in 2024.
Trekking permits and registration offices
Solo trekking in Nepal without a licensed guide is restricted, and you might need to hire a professional right at that moment to help you with the hassling procedure to obtain the necessary permits to trek the Manaslu region.
In such an event, trekking permits and registration offices are the perfect place to ask for a trustworthy guide recommendation to save your time and energy, as well as to help you secure some dollars.
We (Adventure Himalayan Travels and Treks) are also one of the most reputed trekking agencies in Nepal, boasting of our local Sherpa guides, who are not only licensed by the Government of Nepal but also treat the fragile Himalayan environment with the utmost care, following sustainable tourism strictly with the motto, “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints."
In the influx of tourist markets that can put thousands of thoughts about choosing the correct guide for you in 2024, let us offer a hand to you with our guide and porter services. Contact us now for expert guides and reliable porters.
What is the cost of hiring a Sherpa guide to trek the Manaslu region?
At Adventure Himalayan Travels and Treks, our Sherpa guides to trek the Manaslu region are hireable for USD 20 per day in 2024 and can be shared amongst two trekkers. Our Sherpa guide is one of a kind and possesses a high level of expertise, whether it is in the areas of experience, navigation, managing the trekking logistics, or other entertaining faculties.
Although the cost of hiring a guide is variable depending upon the trek duration, services included and excluded, qualification of the guide, size of the group, trekking season, and agency you have chosen for your trek, USD 20 per guide to trek the Manaslur region is our standard price.
This cost covers the salary of the guide, expenses for their accommodation, insurance, and other essential gear and equipment for the trek.
Learn more about hiring a personal Sherpa guidewith the Adventure Himalayan Travels and Treks.
Can you trek the Manaslu region without a guide?
Were you planning to trek the Manaslu region without a guide and solo in 2024/2025? As a free-willed trekker, it is understandable how much you do not want anything to come between you and nature. However, nothing is above your safety.
The Manaslu trekking routes are relatively new and are one of the remote trails that have not been exposed to many of the trekkers in the world, posing hidden beauty and rewards simultaneously with equal challenges.
Therefore, it is not advisable to go on the Manaslu region trek alone without a guide. Even if you have planned to trek independently, it isn’t possible at all because the Manaslu region is a highly prohibited area.
To enter this land designated as the restricted area of Nepal, one must be permitted by the cards regulated by the nation and local communities, along with the licensed guide in a company, mandatorily from April 1, 2023.
Therefore, you cannot and should not trek the Manaslu region without a licensed guide, as the Manaslu trekking region of Nepal guarantees a more isolated and segregated trekking experience in the Himalayas in comparison to other highly touristic areas of Nepal, such as the Everest, Annapurna, and Langtang, regardless.
Things to consider before hiring guides to trek the Manaslu region
As you have reached this far in this blog, it is expected that you have understood the importance of professional guides to trek the Manaslu region in 2024, which significantly impacts your overall trekking involvement and safety.
Before you hire them, we want you to make sure you consider the following: a non-licensed guide or porter cannot add as much value as a professional can, and it is not legal to hire them as well. So,
- Ensure the experience and certification of guides, as professional guides are usually trained and have a good track record.
- Check if the guide holds a valid license issued by the government of Nepal, and additionally, make sure they can acquire or have obtained the necessary permits for the Manaslu Conservation Area and other required permits for the relevant areas.
- Before you directly hire them, seek references and read reviews from fellow travelers and previous trekkers who have taken the guide services.
- Communication is key to the most satisfying and successful trek in the Manaslu region, so do not forget to ensure the guides' fluency in the language of your comfort zone.
- As a responsible traveler, you have to confirm the insurance coverage of your guide that covers medical and other emergencies.
- Ensure the provision of essential trekking gear and equipment to your guide to tackle any complications during the trek.
- Put an inquiry about the guide’s training in first aid, acute mountain sickness, and other common emergency incidents in the higher Himalayas.
(Note: In addition to the professional guide to trek the Manaslu region, you will need various permits to legalize your visit to the Manaslu region.)
What are the compulsory permits to trek the Manaslu region along with a guide?
Together with the guide, permits are another essential requirement to trek the Manaslu region in Nepal. Generally, the TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management Systems) card is an absolute permit to trek any countryside in Nepal, which functions slightly differently when dealing with restricted areas.
The Manaslu region also falls under the specifically controlled region and has different terms and special permits other than the TIMs card, which are specified below:
Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP)
Like the usual conservation area of Nepal, to trek in the Manaslu Conservation Area (MCAP), you must get your hands on its relative permit, the Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP).
This distinctive permit is issued by the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu and Pokhara through licensed trekking and travel agencies or professional guides, which will cost you USD 30 per entry per person throughout the year without being affected by the season of trekking.
Manaslu Restricted Area Permit (MRAP)
As mentioned several times in this blog, the Manaslu trekking region of Nepal is one of the major restricted zones due to its proximity to the Tibetan border, which mandates the issuance of a special permit known as the Manaslu Restricted Area Permit (MRAP).
This permit is essential until you cross Sama Gaon in the Manaslu region from Jagat, whose cost experiences seasonal variation in the number of days, which is usually USD 100 for the first week and USD 15 extra for each additional day spent in the region in the peak trekking months from September to November.
While from December to August, considered the off-tour season, the restricted area permit charges you only USD 75 for the initial seven days and USD 10 for each added day.
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP)
If your trekking in the Manaslu region involves crossing the village of Sama, you will need another entry permit to continue your trek called the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) from Sama to Dharapani.
The cost of this permit is similar to that of the Manaslu Conservation Area, payable in Nepalese rupees only, which is approximately USD 30 without any limited days, which are managed by the trekking agency, operators, organizers, or licensed guide of your preference.
All these permits and regulations in the Manaslu region and other major trekking destinations in Nepal aim to uplift the local communities, support conservation, and promote sustainable tourism. Therefore, we kindly request all trekkers from around the world to contribute as much as they can to practice tourism without harming the fragile Himalayan surroundings.
(Important Notice: The cost of permits and guides can change over time in Nepal and is often payable in Nepalese rupees only)
Which is the best itinerary to trek the Manaslu region with your personal Sherpa Guide?
There are altogether five major routes to trek in the Manaslu region. At Adventure Himalayan Travels and Treks, we have carefully crafted the best itinerary to go trekking in 2024, considering various factors such as acclimatization, permits, the fitness of the trekkers, your time constraints, and other logistics like food, accommodation, and trekking season, including the best Sherpa guide or porter for you.
Therefore, we recommend the following glossy itinerary to trek the Manaslu region with your personal Sherpa guide, who will take care of your every need during the trek:
Can you hire a female guide to trek the Manaslu region?
Yes, if you are a female trekker looking forward to trekking in the Manaslu region of Nepal and have a special request to hire a female guide. You can hire one for you, whether you wish to do a group trek or go solo with a guide.
Can the trekking guides in the Manaslu region arrange the necessary permits?
Simply yes. A trained and licensed guide to trekking the Manaslu region possesses all intellectual property related to the trek, including permits, and can obtain them for you if pre-informed.
How much can a porter carry in the Manaslu region trekking?
Although the porters in the Manaslu region trek are capable of carrying 20–25 kg, the weight of the backpack and luggage is limited to 15 kg. So, make sure to pack only the daily essentials and keep your backpack light.
Can you hire guides only to trek the Manaslu region?
Yes, it is absolutely possible to hire guides only to trek the Manaslu region if you aren’t in favor of taking a pre-decided itinerary and services from any travel and trek organizers, as trekking the Manaslu region without a guide is not the choice at all.