Manaslu a popular on the demand trekking destination in Nepal is a newly off-the-beaten trail for those who prefer to be in the Manaslu region to explore its exotic nature and culture. Due to its wilderness and being far away from modern means, fewer trekkers choose the Manaslu region, but its beauty and enchanting combination of diverse vegetation and culture are one of never miss opportunities.
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Nepal Government has declared some of the areas of the Manaslu region as a restricted zone (between Jagat and Dharapani which comes under Chumnubri Rural Municipality of wards no: 1,2,3 and 4). This is so to control the unnecessary flow of trekkers, which also includes solo trekkers but one can trek with the special Permit of the Manaslu region when there are less than two trekkers.
Trekkers to enter the Manaslu region are required to obtain three different permits (while entering into the restricted area only) and an additional extra permit for Tsum Valley Trek, if you want to merge Manaslu Circuit Trek and Tsum Valley Trek into one and/or TIMS Permit if further, you want to merge Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Special Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu (Manaslu RAP Permit Fee)
There are 15 different areas in Nepal that are regarded as a restricted zone by the government of Nepal. These areas are to the north bordering with Tibet. While trekking into the Manaslu region, the restricted zone begins from Jagat until Bhimtang. Before we exit to Dharapani, we pass by a village called Tilche.
Dharapani is the beginning point of the ACAP area. So, trekkers also need to have an ACAP Permit to cross the village to descend through Dharapani.
The price for Manaslu Restricted Permit Fees depends upon the number of days a trekker prefers to spend in between Jagat and Dharapani.
→December to August: USD 75 per person for the first seven days and an additional charge of USD 10 per day per person from the eight days onwards according to the trekker's time in between Jagat and Dharapani.
→September to November: USD 100 per person for the first seven days and an additional charge of USD 15 per day per person from the eight days onwards according to the time in between Jagat and Dharapani.
Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP Permit Fee)
Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit covers a wider range of area which include whole restricted areas of the Manaslu region as well. This permit is applicable for trekkers entering the Manaslu region starting from Philim.
The Manaslu Conservation Area Permit fee is USD 30 per person and is the same throughout the year and there are no additional extra charges, so trekkers can spend any number of days with the same MCAP permit.
Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP Permit Fee)
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit is the third permit trekkers need to have while trekking into the Manaslu region. This is so because while entering into Manaslu Conservation Area trekkers also have to step into Annapurna Conservation Area, this makes it mandatory to have an ACAP permit.
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit is required from Dharapani until you exit to ACAP in Beshi Sahar or can be used if you are planning to extend your trek all the way through Thorong La Pass into Jomson or Ghorepani or Nayapul.
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit costs USD 30 per person and is the same throughout the year and no additional charge is applied for an extra number of days.
Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS Permit Fee)
Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) is a permit that can be obtained from the TAAN (Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal) office in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
It is not mandatory to have a TIMS permit while heading towards the Manaslu region with three permits which include Manaslu Restricted Area Permit(MRAP), Manaslu Conservation Area Project(MCAP), and Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Permit, unless you are planning to trek all the way to Annapurna Circuit descending through Thorong-La Pass.
TIMS permit costs USD 20 for independent trekkers and USD 10 for trekkers through an authorized agency in Nepal.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Frequently Asked Questions:
How long will it take to complete Manaslu Circuit Trek?
The time for Manaslu Circuit Trek depends upon trekkers' fitness level along with the starting point and ending point. If you start your trek from Kathmandu making it a starting point and also the same as an ending point, Manaslu Circuit Trek will be for 10 days.
But this can be further extended towards Annapurna Circuit Trek adding some more extra days.
Is it mandatory to have an agency to obtain a restricted area permit for Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Yes, to obtain a restricted area permit of the Manaslu region, it is mandatory to have a permit from an authorized trekking agency of Nepal. And this permit will only be obtained through the agency when at least two trekkers join the trip.
Do I need a guide for Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Yes, Manaslu Circuit Trek falls under the restricted area of Nepal and it is mandatory to have an authorized agency to apply for a permit and also it is mandatory to trek with government authorized local guide which your agency will help you to provide.
Can a solo trekker trek to Manaslu Circuit Trek?
No, solo trekkers are not allowed to trek into Manaslu Circuit Trek, as this falls under a restricted area of high altitude bordering with Tibet. Further, trekkers need a special permit and a registered guide for the Manaslu Circuit Trek.
How difficult is Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Manaslu Circuit Trek is a moderate hike into the Himalayas of Nepal, taking us to the highest altitude of 5123 meters. This will be an off-the-beaten trail with fewer trekkers due to its restriction but with the majestic view never to miss.
Are there sufficient lodges and tea houses in Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Manaslu Circuit Trek is an off-the-beaten trail mainly inhabited by Tibetan origin. There are limited trekkers in the Manaslu region, due to its restrictedness to control trekkers there are a limited number of lodges and tea-houses mainly operated by a local family but are sufficient enough for the trekkers to spend over-night with all lavish meals.
How expensive is Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Although the region of Manaslu is a restricted zone the price for lodges and foods are similar to the other trekking areas of Nepal. In total it cost USD 800-1000 per person to accomplish Manaslu Circuit Trek
This price may vary according to the number of days and also the starting point and ending point along with services required while trekking.
What is the distance to be covered in Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Roughly the distance for Manaslu Circuit Trek is 180 km/110 miles. This distance will vary according to you your itinerary and also the starting and ending point of the entire trek.
Is it safe for a woman to trek Manaslu Circuit?
Trekking in Nepal is a safe destination and Manaslu is far safer for any trekkers irrespective of their gender. As Manaslu Circuit Trek falls under a restricted zone where solo trekkers will not be allowed to enter from the checkpoint and also it is mandatory for trekkers to have an authorized trekking guide.
All these make Manaslu Circuit Trek a very safe destination for women, men, senior citizens, and also children.
How fit do I need to be for Manaslu Circuit Trek?
Fitness level is one of the key components for any trek or hike and when it comes to the Himalayas trek that matters a lot. Now, the question is how fit do we need to be for the Manaslu Circuit trek, this can be answered in a simple way.
Regular indoor exercise or swimming, cycling, hiking prior to the trek will help you to increase your stamina. Trekking into the Himalayas is arranged in such a way that you need to hike around 5-6 hours per day with a frequent break for lunch, tea, etc.
And if you want to complete in a short period then the hours of day hike might increase. So, you have to make sure you are fit enough to hike uphill and downhill with trekking shoes for 5-6 hours per day.
Can we obtain Manaslu Restricted Area Permit prior to our arrival in Nepal?
Yes, this is possible. Trekkers can obtain their Manaslu restricted area permit prior to their arrival in Nepal. This can be done by your local agency in Nepal but for this, you need to have a valid visa to Nepal. This can be obtained from the embassy or diplomatic mission of your respective country.
When you are done with the visa, send the color copy of your passport's first page and also the visa granted page to your agency in Nepal through electronic medium. With your copy, they can obtain your permit.
And in case if you are not able to apply visa to Nepal from your country, you need to make sure you have one extra full day in Nepal for the Manaslu restricted permit.
When can we get Manaslu restricted permit?
Getting Manaslu restricted area permit is easy to process but will take around 2-3 hours. Make sure in Nepal Saturday is the weekend and all the government office remains open from 10 Am to 4 Pm from Sunday to Thursday and on Friday it opens from 10 AM to 2 Pm.
The office will also remain closed on the National holidays. So, keep an eye on all this while planning to obtain the permission of the restricted area.
How long does it take to issue Manaslu Restricted Area Permit?
To obtain Manaslu Restricted Area Permit it will take around 2-3 hours maximum. This is so because of the online application process and all the required documents of the trekkers and the agency, which also have to be uploaded online.
Where can I obtain Manaslu Restricted Area Permit?
For Manaslu restricted area permit you need an authorized agency of Nepal, who on behalf of trekkers can provide details of their agency to the immigration department for obtaining a Manaslu permit.
Where can I obtain Manaslu Area Conservation Project (MCAP) permit and Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)permit?
Manaslu Area Conservation Project Permit and Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board Office at Bhrikutimandap.
Do I still need TIMS card Permit for Manaslu Circuit Trek?
TIMS card is not mandatory for Manaslu Circuit Trek when you have three other permits which include Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MACP) permit, Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit, and Manaslu Restricted Area Permit(RAP). But if you are planning to continue for Annapurna Circuit Trek from Dharapani after descending from Manaslu Circuit trek then you will need a TIMS card but the same ACAP permit can be used for Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Do I need a separate permit for Tsum Valley Trek?
Yes, although Tsum Valley also falls under the Manaslu region of Nepal trekkers also need a separate permit for Tsum Valley Trek. Fees for Tsum Valley vary according to season and are divided into two. For the month from December to August USD 30 per person for the first seven days and an additional charge of USD 7 will be charged from the eight days for each day.
For the month from September to November USD 40 per person for the first seven days and an additional charge of USD 7 will be charged from the eight days for each day.