Manaslu lies in the west-central part of Nepal. It is the eighth highest mountain in the world standing at 8163m and the highest peak in its district. Manaslu means ‘mountain of the spirit’ and is also known as Kutang.
It is very popular among tourists. Manaslu was first climbed by members of Japanese expedition in 1956.
Manaslu Trek is one of the restricted trekking routes in Nepal. The Government of Nepal only allowed trekking in the region in 1991 with a permit cost.
The trekking trail goes through an ancient trading route along the Budhi Gandaki River. The trek offers an amazing view of snow peaks, glaciers, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, flora, and fauna. Autumn and Spring are the best seasons for this trek.
Manaslu Conservation Area was established with the main objective of sustainable management of natural resources and cultural heritage.
Manaslu Trek is one of the virgin trekking trails of Nepal. It is also one of the less crowded trails. However, it has been gaining more popularity each season.
Compared to other treks, the permit cost of Manaslu is higher. But, expenses related to food and accommodation are similar to other trekking routes in Nepal.
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Manaslu Trek Permit
If the trekking area is an open border or has a connection with another country, the government policy in Nepal requires an issuance of a special permit. The Manaslu trek route shares border with China (Tibet). The extraordinary sites of this trek i.e Larkya La, Tsum Valley share the border with Tibet.
Hence, Manaslu Trek Permit is necessary.
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Manaslu Trek Permit Cost
The restricted permit is necessary as Manaslu is a special zone. The government issues such permits to control the number of tourists and preserve the area. Permit costs vary according to the month and the number of days.
Considered as the best season for trekking, permit costs are higher during the month of September, October, and November. The cost is less during other months.
Generally, three permits are needed for the Manaslu Trip i.e
- Restricted Area Permit
- Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) Permit
- Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Permit
Restricted Area starts from Jagat and ends in Dharapani. For the Tsum Valley, Jagat is the start as well as the end of the restricted area. Restricted Area Permit must be organized through a registered trekking guide/ agent.
From September to November, permit costs to Manaslu are USD 70 per person for the first week and an extra US $10 per person per day thereon. If the trekkers want to visit Tsum Valley during the trek, a different permit of US $35 for the first 8 days is required.
From December to August, permit costs to Manaslu are USD 50 per person for the first week and extra USD $10 per person per day thereon. A different permit of US $ 25 is required for the trek to Tsum Valley for the first 8 days.
MCAP and ACAP permit can be taken by the trekker himself/ herself. However, It is much easier to let your guide get the permit. Regardless of the month and number of days, conservation area permits are the same.
Manaslu Conservation Area Project and Annapurna Conservation Area Project permit costs USD 20 separately.
Departments issuing Permit
Manaslu Trek permit is issued by the Trekking Department of Nepal Immigration Office in Maitighar, Kathmandu. It is open from Sunday to Friday (9 am to 5 pm) except on public holidays. It is best to check the public holidays before arrival and plan accordingly.
Manaslu Conservation Area Permit and Annapurna Conservation Area Permit is issued by Nepal Tourism Board Office (Kathmandu). It is open throughout the week from 9 to 5 pm except on public holidays.
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit is also issued by Nepal Tourism Board, Tourist Service Center, Pardi Damside (Pokhara) and ACAP Entry Permit Center, Besisahar (Lamjung). These offices are open throughout the week from 10 am to 5 pm except on public holidays.
Entry permits are not issued from the checkpoints in trekking routes but by the concerned authorities in Kathmandu. However, under special circumstances, the permits can be issued at checkpoints with additional cost.
Various documents are needed to meet the requirements of the government applying for the Manaslu Permit. These include:
- Original passport with the visa of Nepal along with the arrival stamp.
- 4 passport sized photos.
- Travel Insurance papers.
- Travel funds.
The trekkers can also apply for their permits in advance or before arrival. This depends on the local trekking company. The documents required for this are:
- Clear scanned copy of passport
- Copy of obtained Nepal Visa (required)
- Copy of flight tickets clearly showing the arrival and departure date.
- Consent letter addressed to Immigration Chief mentioning the reasons of absence in Nepal in advance for obtaining the permit.
- Consent letter of the trekking company guaranteeing required documents upon arrival.
- Entrance fee is not required for children under 10 years. However, it is not advised to take children on the trek
- Trekkers are recommended to trek in a group of two accompanied by a registered guide and a local operator. Individual trekkers are not allowed at Manaslu.
- People willing to trek alone often buy an extra permit which requires a real passport from a real person. However, an authorized person should accompany the trekker.
- TIMS card (Trekker’s Information Management System) is not necessary if the trekker has purchased the restricted area permit. However, it is required if the trekker wants to visit more place nearby like Jomsom, Mustang, Pokhara.
- Individual entry permits are required to enter Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) and Manaslu Conservation Area (MCA)
- The permit will be ready in 2 to 3 hours after all the requirements are met.
Terms and Conditions
- The entry permit is non-refundable and non-transferable. It is valid for individual trekkers only. Two people cannot enter with a single permit.
- Only selected places within the Conservation Area are allowed to enter.
- The person entering the Conservation Area must abide by the rules and regulations enacted under the National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act, 2029 B.S (1973)
- The entry permit should be carried at all times during the entire trip.
- The entry permit should be shown to the concerned person of the Conservation Area when asked.