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Photo courtesy of Peter & Marie Laursen

Photo courtesy of Peter & Marie Laursen



Discover the Himalayan Wonderland of

November 4-18, 2019

Dear Travelers:

Nepal is one of Asia’s most enchanting lands. Set on the rugged flanks of the Himalayas, Nepal offers an unsurpassed wealth of ecological and cultural diversity.

Two generations ago, Nepal was a kingdom isolated by dense monsoon forests from the control of India’s British Raj. Today the Nepalis are a proud but hospitable people who have held tenaciously to customs and architectural traditions that have vanished elsewhere on the Asian Continent.

Nepal Map

Highlights of this expedition include the cultural diversity of Kathmandu Valley, the tranquil landscapes of Pokhara, the birthplace of Buddha in Lumbini, and the wildlife of Chitwan National Park.

Our journey starts in the Kathmandu Valley, spiritual heartland of Nepal. Isolated in a mountain basin at 4,100 feet, Kathmandu was long the center of trade between India and Tibet. Good farming attracted settlers, and, over centuries, distinct communities within the valley evolved customs and traditions unlike anywhere else in Asia. There are more than 60 distinct local languages. We will visit cultural highlights in the Kathmandu Valley, as well as Nagarkot for stunning views of the valley.

Our next destination, the town of Pokhara, lies along a freshwater lake called Phewa Tal. Around Pokhara, the Himalayan foothills recede so that high, icy summits like Machapuchare (the Fishtail Mountain) and the Annapurna range seem to rise directly from the lowlands. There are few other places in the world where it’s possible to see 20,000 feet of vertical relief out in front of you!

We will then wind downward to the lowlands of Nepal’s terai region and Chitwan National Park where we will stop in Lumbini and visit the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

Our next stop is Chitwan National Park, a pocket of grassland and riverine forest on the terai, the broad alluvial plain that extends southward from the foot of the Himalaya. Chitwan—“heart of the jungle”—is habitat for endangered mammals, including elephant, Bengal tiger and one‑horned rhinoceros.

Activities in Chitwan include a jeep safari and a misty-morning elephant ride through the forest and grasslands, both good ways to view wildlife in a place which includes tigers, rhinoceros and sloth bears.

We will also have a chance to see garial crocodile along the banks of the river. Those with binoculars and a little patience can see babblers, barbets and bulbuls, yellow-naped woodpeckers, paradise flycatchers, shelducks, storks, and numerous other memorable bird species. On return to Kathmandu an optional Everest flightseeing
trip will cap our adventure!

Nepal offers an unsurpassed combination of hospitality, cultural diversity, mountain landscapes and subtropical wildlife. We hope that you will be able to join us!

Best regards,

Margaret M. Betchart
President, Betchart Expeditions Inc.
for AAAS, Sigma Xi, ACS & The Planetary Society

$3,995 + air.

Brochure (PDF)

Photos courtesy of Peter & Marie Laursen



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