We are a group of highly trained licensed guides with 10-15 years of experience as guides and porters. We work without an agency to ensure direct communication with our guests so that we can customize your experience to your satisfaction. Because there are no agency fees, we are able to provide our services at economical prices while ensuring that all our staff members are compensated fairly. We take great pride in our work, and within our cooperative we use our joined resources to ensure that all of us are always up-to-date with our licenses and safety training.
Independent Trekking works without an agency. This means that guide and client interact directly, resulting in custom-made itineraries that suit every budget and interest.
Nepal offers an infinite variety of choices for your trekking adventure far beyond the fixed itineraries that most agencies offer. Your guide will consider your personal interests, whether they are focused on mountain scenery, rafting, nature exploration, cultural experiences, or all of the above.
Definitely not. Your guide will work with you throughout the planning process and will consider your budget carefully. He will offer choices ranging from small to large groups, from low-budget accommodations to all-inclusive camping trips that offer any imaginable creature comfort.
Because there is no agency overhead, your budget will be only used for your travel expenses, and it guarantees that guide and porters will be paid fairly. The stiff competition between agencies often makes this difficult.
On the contrary. If you are coming to Nepal for the first time, your guide will have arranged for accommodations in Kathmandu according to your preferences, pick you up at the airport, escort you to your hotel, and even show you the sights in this remarkable ancient city and its surroundings. He can show you good places to eat, to shop, or where to enjoy the local culture outside the tourist bustle. And since he is not bound by agency preferences, he can help you avoid the "tourist markup" at every step of the way.
Agencies often prefer to stick to prescribed itineraries, assembling their staff at the last minute, and consequently the guide has only rudimentary knowledge of the visitor's preferences. This approach eliminates a great number of creative approaches, and frustrates travelers and guides equally.
Throughout the journey an independent guide can make his own decisions regarding ad-hoc itinerary changes or emergencies. Some agencies send out their guides with a bare-bones cash allowance, which can result in an unfortunate budget crisis. An independent guide has more freedom to allocate his resources to ensure that such problems never arise.
His extensive experience enables him to choose top-quality staff for your journey, should your group itinerary require it. He will provide porters, kitchen and security staff for camping expeditions, and climbing sherpas for higher peak adventures.
And of course he will ensure that all staff is paid fairly and provided with proper equipment, clothing, and insurance. About Porters
Your guide is well informed, through training and experience, about all kinds of health problems that may befall a traveler, and you should feel free to discuss any kind of trouble with him, whether it is simply gastro-intestinal or altitude related. He will be able to steer you towards safe food and water and will insist on a responsible and slow approach towards the higher areas. Should an emergency situation arise, he is well connected and can arrange for immediate evacuation, by horse or helicopter, depending on the severity of the case. Because he is free to assess the gravity of the situation, he will not have to rely on orders from his superiors in the distant capital.
Many changes took place in 2006. Now the Maoists have declared an official truce and have an active role in the government. However, as the people of Nepal are facing difficult decisions regarding the political future of their country, occasional skirmishes break out in the capital. Tourists are rarely affected by this, and trekking areas are generally safe.
The cooperative was founded in 2006 by Jagat Lama, who has had a lifetime of experience walking the mountains in Nepal. About Jagat
During his many years of agency work he often faced the frustration of not being able to serve his clients in the best possible way because of miscommunication and constraints by the agencies. At the same time he saw how trekking and expedition staff got squeezed financially and physically through the intense competition among agencies and each other. Many members of the lower mountain casts were forever stuck in porters' roles, unable to raise through the ranks and become guides, regardless of their abilities.
The cooperative provides those opportunites to its members who share their profits and expenses, provide training and license fees, as well as language courses for each other and work out their travel schedules as a group.
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