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Nepal – one year after the earthquake

Nepal – one year after the earthquake

Today marks the anniversary of the earthquake that caused such terrible devastation to Nepal last April. As a result of the impact of the quake, thousands of lives were lost, vast swathes of homes, schools and buildings were destroyed or damaged and livelihoods were deeply affected. And yet, one year on, the indomitable local people have impressively rebuilt their lives and businesses. So, even as we pause and remember the dreadful loss of life last year, we can also celebrate the wonderful spirit and endeavour of the people of Nepal.

In fact, only five months after the earthquake struck, life was already beginning to return to normal. This was very much evident when our Operations Manager, Jim Davies, visited Nepal last autumn to assess the situation in Kathmandu and the main trekking areas. We wanted to get behind the sensationalism and negativity of the news headlines and see the reality of the situation for ourselves. Even then, rebuilding work was well under way, the trekking routes were clear and safe and teahouses and lodges were open and preparing for the new trekking season. Take a look at Jim’s video report of his Return to Nepal to see the extent of the recovery in Kathmandu and the Everest region.

So our message to anyone thinking of visiting Nepal is that it is most definitely open for business and you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the wonderful local people. But don’t just take our word for it – go and see for yourself. There really couldn’t be a better time to visit this beautiful and inspiring country.

We’re delighted to be running a full programme of walking and trekking holidays to Nepal this autumn and have already added an extra departure of our Manaslu Circuit in October in response to demand.

We also continue to raise funds to support the ongoing work of charities such as the Gurkha Welfare Trust, Shiva Charity and the Nepali Children’s Trust in helping Nepal get back on its feet. See our Responsible Tourism report for news of how we used the extremely generous donations of our clients and friends in responding to the immense challenges posed by the earthquake.

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2021 Photo Competition Winner

2021 Photo Competition Winner

We had a superb shortlist of monthly winners from which to select our travel photo of the year, but after much deliberation and debate our winner was this stunning festival image taken in Ladakh by Chris Martin. We all just loved the colour, movement and energy of the dancers, as well as the technical achievement in capturing that moment. Chris has told us how he did it...

'I was travelling with my American photo friend and we had hired a 4x4 in Leh to drive us to spend a couple of nights in Lamayuru. We were up at first light to walk up to the Monastery. We were lucky to be the only foreigners on site amongst a small group of local villagers. Suddenly out of a doorway in the courtyard came monks dressed in amazing finery. They then started to dance in total silence. The only sound was the swooshing of their garments ! It was quite eerie ! The dance went on for around ten minutes in which time I managed to acquire some interesting pictures.'

Many congratulations to Chris, his prize is £250 towards a Mountain Kingdoms holiday. We look forward to seeing what brilliant images he captures on his future travels.

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Costa Rica and the Green Planet

Costa Rica and the Green Planet

Winner of the Earthshot prize, Costa Rica plays a starring role in David Attenborough’s new, ground-breaking natural history series due to its extraordinary bio-diversity and conservation credentials. Watch Green Planet on BBC1 on Sunday evenings to see some of the country’s amazing plants and creatures including millions of fungus-feeding, leafcutter ants that form an essential role in the ecosystem of Costa Rica’s pristine rainforest.

If you’d like to discover Costa Rica for yourself there is availability on both of this year’s departures of our Gentle Walking & Wildlife Costa Rica small group holiday.

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December competition winner

December competition winner

Our final winner for 2022 is Chris Holland with this superb photo of Ama Dablam in the Everest region of Nepal. Not only has Chris captured the beauty of this magnificent mountain but the stupa in the foreground (with its slightly cheeky expression) adds real interest and character as well as a sense of symmetry and scale between the man made and natural worlds. Many congratulations to Chris who wins our last Water-to-Go bottle of the year.

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