In Nepal, having a good guide is essential, especially at high altitudes. Continue reading to learn more about the advantages of hiring a local guide, as well as what to expect from these professionals and meet some of Nepal's best trekking/hiking and tour guides.
Nepal Tours with a Guide
Whether you're trekking in the deep cavernous mountains, exploring the city, taking a wildlife safari in the jungle, or rafting down a fast-flowing river, guides are in charge of your safety and enjoyment when travelling in Nepal. Many travellers, however, are unaware of how essential a guide can be in making or breaking a vacation.
Image Cr: Nepalorama Trekking
Caption: Travelling with a local guide and porter
There are numerous reasons to hire a guide rather than travel or trek in Nepal on your own, ranging from safety to social and cultural benefits. Even if you like autonomous travel, hiring a guide doesn't always imply you'll be joining a group tour (unless that's what you want); principles might enhance some aspects of your personalized vacation, such as mountain biking, trekking, or cultural immersion.
Why should you employ a local guide?
Hiring a local guide has several advantages:
Acquire Local Knowledge
Your guide has a plethora of information and experience to impart, whether it's through personal anecdotes or spot native plants and fauna.
A local guide understands the ins and outs of historic sites and trekking paths (including those that aren't well-marked), can translate talks and is essential in helping you ingratiate yourself with the locals, whether they are Sherpa, Gurung, Newar, or one of Nepal's numerous ethnic groups.
Invest in the Local Economy
You're creating a job by hiring a tour, and when local guides are appropriately compensated, they frequently give back to their communities, promoting the country's overall development.
Travel in Safety and Convenience
The peace of mind that you feel from knowing that someone is looking out for your best interests and is always one step ahead helps you enjoy your trip thoroughly.
Local guides are especially crucial for trekking in Nepal, where you'll be trekking through areas with high passes and safety dangers that necessitate expert decision-making and possibly evacuation.
Types of Nepalese Guides
Trekking guides, climbing guides, safari guides, peak birding guides, kayaking guides, rafting guides, paragliding guides/instructors, yoga-trekking guides, and mountain biking guides are all available in Nepal. There are guides with various areas of specialization and linguistic abilities among them.
Image Cr: Trains, Planes and Tuks Tuks
Caption: Trekkers with their local guide
A superb guide should have certain features regardless of the activities you'll be performing together. The perfect guide is enthusiastic about leading, caring about others, and making each traveller feel at ease and confident. They should be ecologically responsible, adaptable and willing to change your plans if necessary, well-versed in emergency procedures, and full of exciting stories and knowledge to give.
Background and Training for Guides
A government body named the National Academy for Tourism and Hotel Management requires all guides to be licensed (NATHM). They participate in practical and theoretical training sessions led by tourism and health professionals. Trekking guides, in particular, are trained in first aid, altitude sickness, and rescue techniques, among other things.
To become a hiking guide, you must have high school graduation; you must have a bachelor's degree to become a tour guide. Before applying for a guiding license, trekking guides must work as porters for two years. They must also renew their first-aid training every two years.
Certain tour operators and several of our experts have stricter standards for their guides, requiring them to attend specialized training on topics ranging from responsible travel practices to outdoor survival skills and pre-season refreshers on an annual (or even more frequent) basis.
Salary and Privileges for Nepalese Guides
Tourism authorities—precisely, two lobbies in agreement: the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal [TAAN] and the Workers Union—determine the minimum wage for guides and porters.
Tour operators follow these rules, and respectable companies frequently pay more than the bare minimum. Salary is also determined by experience, skills, and knowledge, as well as the size of the party and the location of the walk.
However, wages are still low compared to what western guides earn, even though highly qualified and experienced guides are paid more. Those fluent in a foreign language and who have received international certification in outdoor survival might make $50-$100 per day. Because there is so much competition, guides are prepared to go above and beyond and invest in their training and knowledge.
When Will You Meet Your Tour Guide?
If you're going on a trek, you'll meet your guide and a representative from the trekking agency during a briefing the day before your journey starts. Your guide will lay out the itinerary and answer any trek-specific queries. At the same time, the office representative will provide a local phone number and other helpful information such as departure times and where to rent additional gear.
Your city guide will usually meet you (and drop you off) at your hotel on the day of your tour for sightseeing. Your local agent or specialist may introduce you to your guide earlier, depending on how your tour is set up.
Image Cr: Word Press
Caption: Travelling with a Nepalese female guide
Ask your specialist once you've booked your trip if you want to know who your guide is before you arrive in Nepal. You can also make specific requests from the travel agency, such as a female trekking guide or one who speaks a particular language.