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Makalu Base Camp Trek - 19 Days

Mt. Makalu (8,463m/27,767ft), the fifth highest mountain on the earth lies in the Makalu-Barun National Park. This remote terrain stretches east from the Sagarmatha National Park; between the high plateau of Tibet and the deep subtropical gorge carved by the Arun River. So, Makalu Base Camp trek is one of the remotest and adventurous treks in Nepal.

The wide range of pristine ecosystems and also diverse cultures have made Makalu trek more classical. Sherpa, Rai and Limbu people are the main settlers in this area. The spectacular views of rocky Himalayan peaks including Makalu, Chamlang (7,319m/24,013ft), Baruntse (7,129m/23,390ft) and the complete panorama of Everest and Lhotse are some highlights of Makalu Base Camp trekking.

Brief Itinerary:

01Fly Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and trek to Khandbari1,040m/3,412ftFly: 35 minutes
Trek: 3-4 hours
02Trek Khandbari to Chichila1,920m/6,300ftTrek: 5-6 hours
03Trek Chichila to Num1,490m/4,888ftTrek: 5-6 hours
04Trek Num to Seduwa1,510m/4,954ftTrek: 5-6 hours
05Trek Seduwa to Tashi Gaon2,070m/6,791ftTrek: 5-6 hours
06Trek Tashi Gaon to Khongma3,470m/11,385ftTrek: 6-7 hours
07Trek Khongma to Mumbuk3,400m/11,155ftTrek: 6-7 hours
08Trek Mumbuk to Nghe Kharka3,750m/12,303ftTrek: 6-7 hours
09Rest and acclimatisation day at Nghe Kharka3,750m/12,303ftFree time
10Trek Nghe Kharka to Shershong4,615m/15,141ftTrek: 7-8 hours
11Trek Shershong to Makalu Base Camp5,000m/16,404ftTrek: 4-5 hours
12Return trek Makalu Base Camp to Nghe Kharka3,750m/12,303ftTrek: 7-8 hours
13Return trek Nghe Kharka to Mumbuk3,400m/11,155ftTrek: 5-6 hours
14Return trek Mumbuk to Khongma3,470m/11,385ftTrek: 5-6 hours
15Return trek Khongma to Tashi Gaon2,070m/6,791ftTrek: 5-6 hours
16Return trek Tashi Gaon to Seduwa1,510m/4,954ftTrek: 4-5 hours
17Trek Seduwa to Bumlingtar1,160m/3,806ftTrek: 6-7 hours
18Trek Bumlingtar to Tumlingtar457m/1,500ftTrek: 6-7 hours
19Fly Tumlingtar to Kathmandu1,350m/4,430ftFly: 35 minutes

This unique landscape shelters some of the rare species of animals and plants of Nepal. More than 3,000 species of flowering plants, 440 species of birds and 75 species of mammals, including the endangered Clouded Leopard, Red Panda and Musk Deer have been recorded in this area. Therefore, this remarkable biodiversity draws a great consideration to be the living laboratory for scientific study.

Makalu Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Makalu Base Camp is a hard trek and popular for its unique mountain ecosystem. The steep ups and downs on the same day make the trek tough between Num and Seduwa. Likewise, the trek from Tashi Gaon to Khongma is a steep walk over the narrow ridge. Shipton la (4,800m/15,749ft) is the major high pass of the trek. The difficulty of Makalu Base Camp trek is fairly demanding. So, trekkers need to prepare themselves for a walk of 6-7 hours daily and 7-8 hours or more on some days.

Exercising regularly and jogging for some weeks prior to the trip at home is advisable. If you have some previous experience of Himalayan trekking, that would be an asset. It is also important to consult your doctor before making a decision for this trek if you have any medical problems in the history. The facilities are basic and seasonal in the region. Its remoteness, hardness and the steep ridges are enough reasons to make this a difficult trek.

Season for Makalu Base Camp Trek

Trekking in Makalu area is best to do during spring (April to May) and autumn (September to November). However, trekking in early spring and summer is also suitable in favourable weather conditions. Summer season can be more interesting to the trekkers who are keen on biological tours. Animals are more active in summer and the plants develop into greenery.

Accommodation on the Trek

Makalu Base Camp trek can run on a teahouse style these days. Due to limited facilities and amenities, trek to Makalu Base Camp needs a great patience. The teahouses generally have two basic single beds. Toilets are mostly shared and can be outside of teahouses. Teahouses offer some western meals too but it is good to try the local as they can do it better and saves time.


We provide a detailed list of equipment while booking this trek. A good all season sleeping bag and down jacket are necessary for the trek and available to hire or purchase in Kathmandu. You may leave the excess items not necessary for the trek with the hotel in Kathmandu. It is also a good idea to leave a pair of clean clothes so that you can wear them readily after the trek.

Extension of Makalu Base Camp Trek

Makalu trek becomes a more wilderness trek with an extension of the highest passes, Sherpani Col (6,100m/20,014ft) and West Col (6,135m/20,129ft), also known as Ice Col Adventure Trek.

  • Magnificent views of Mt. Makalu, Mt. Chamlang, Mt. Everest and Mt. Lhotse
  • Scenic mountain flight to/from Tumlingtar
  • Adventurous Shipton la pass
  • Great biodiversity considered to be the living laboratory

Day 1
Fly Kathmandu to Tumlingtar (457m/1,500ft) and trek to Khandbari (1,040m/3,412ft).

We take a regular flight to Tumlingtar where we meet our trekking crew and have a short briefing on the trek up to Khadbari. We will have lunch in the shade of Kabra Trees. We walk north towards Khandbari on a plateau for a while after which the trail begins climbing gradually to Khandbari. We stay overnight here. Trekking time 3-4 hours.

Day 2
Trek Khandbari to Chichila (1,920m/6,300ft).

After breakfast we walk through many picturesque small villages, most of the walk is uphill and is through bamboo groves and a rhododendron forest. Our camp is at Chichila which is a small settlement of Gurung tribe. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 3
Trek Chichila to Num (1,490m/4,888ft).

Today we start walking with views of snow capped peaks in the distance with fantastic views of Makalu and the surrounding peaks. We then take a straight path with little ups and downs, through a forest. We stop for lunch after about 2 hours. We then start descending to reach Num. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 4
Trek Num to Seduwa (1,510m/4,954ft).

Today the trail descends steeply from Num through the cornfield at Lumbang. The country is particularly rocky with tiny terraces planted with corn and barley. We have a tough, steep climb to Seduwa. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 5
Trek Seduwa to Tashi Gaon (2,070m/6,791ft).

The trail crosses meadows and several streams and then climbs to the Sherpa village of Tashi Gaon the last permanent settlement in the Makalu valley. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 6
Trek Tashi Gaon to Khongma (3,470m/11,385ft).

Today’s trek is very hard as the trail is steeper. We walk through the sparse forests along the ridge over a hillock and take a short descent to Khongma. Trekking time 6-7 hours.

Day 7
Trek Khongma to Mumbuk (3,400m/11,155ft).

We again start today with a steep climb then through less steep rhododendron forests to the top of the ridge where we will have superb views of Chamlang (7,319m/24,013ft). We then continue through a forest of firs and rhododendrons to Mumbuk. We cross Shipton la pass (4,800m/15,749ft) and Keke la pass (4,127m/13,540ft) today. Trekking time 6-7 hours.

Day 8
Trek Mumbuk to Nghe Kharka (3,750m/12,303ft).

Today the trail descends a steep gully with a stream for about 500 meters. The trail is ill defined and rocky with sloppy mud in places as it leads up the glacier valley. Nghe Kharka is located on a large open grassy plain where we can have the great mountain views. Trekking time 6-7 hours.

Day 9
Rest and acclimatisation day at Nghe Kharka.

Nghe Kharka is a pilgrimage site for local people. We stay for two nights at Nghe Kharka for acclimatisation.

Day 10
Trek Nghe Kharka to Shershong (4,615m/15,141ft).

Today the trail turns westwards and leaves the rhododendron forests for alpine tundra. There are excellent views of Pyramid Peak (7,168m/23,518ft). We gain sharp elevation today. Trekking time 7-8 hours.

Day 11
Trek Shershong to Makalu Base Camp (5,000m/16,404ft).

Today is a gradual climb to a minor pass, about 100 meters. From here you will have magnificent south face views of Makalu also you will be able to see the complete panorama of Everest and Lhotse. Trekking time 4-5 hours.

Day 12
Return trek Makalu Base Camp to Nghe Kharka.

We retrace our steps back down the Barun Valley after exploring Makalu Base Camp. Trekking time 7-8 hours.

Day 13
Return trek Nghe Kharka to Mumbuk.

Today we continue descending back. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 14
Return trek Mumbuk to Khongma.

We trek across Shipton la pass (4,800m/15,749ft) and Keke la pass (4,127m/13,540ft) and descend to Khongma. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 15
Return trek Khongma to Tashi Gaon.

Today’s trek is quite long as we retrace our steps to Tashi Gaon. Trekking time 5-6 hours.

Day 16
Return trek Tashi Gaon to Seduwa.

We walk through farming settlements to the village of Rai which is spread out. We then continue through forests and past several streams. Trekking time 4-5 hours.

Day 17
Trek Seduwa to Bumlingtar (1,160m/3,806ft).

Today’s trek takes us through the Sal and broad-leaved forests, cultivated fields and follows some spectacular high and exposed narrow tracks as it climbs over rocks. We camp at the Chhetri village of Bumlingtar. Trekking time 6-7 hours.

Day 18
Trek Bumlingtar to Tumlingtar (457m/1,500ft).

Today we follow the east bank of the Arun River and the route through Chyawabesi before reaching Tumlingtar. Trekking time 6-7 hours.

Day 19
Fly Tumlingtar to Kathmandu.

We take a breathtaking flight from Tumlingtar to Kathmandu.

Option available for extending your trip with Jungle Safari adventure, white water rafting or a trip of your choice.

Cost Includes:

  • Makalu-Barun National Park permit and TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System)
  • Three meals (B/L/D) a day on trekking from teahouse/lodge and at our own kitchen
  • Accommodations at teahouse/lodge/tents in the mountains
  • Group leader, Cook and kitchen crew for camping period
  • Necessary porters
  • Staff insurance, salary, food, accommodation and their transportation
  • Regular flights for Kathmandu-Tumlingtar-Kathmandu and ground transfers to/from airport
  • A farewell Nepali dinner with live culture program

Cost Excludes:

  • Bar and beverages bills, bottled water
  • Nature of personal expenses
  • Personal cloths and equipment such as sleeping bag, jacket, boots etc.
  • Insurance for accidental, medical and evacuation
  • Tips to the staff
  • International Airfare and Taxes

  • Kathmandu City Cultural Tour
  • Mt. Everest Flight
  • Jungle Safari in Chitwan or Bardia National Park
  • Bird Watching in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
  • White Water Rafting in Nepal
  • Bungy Jumping / Canyoning / Paragliding / Ultralight Flight
  • Shopping Tours

You can send your inquiry via the form below.