Updated Nepal Trekking Regulations, Solo Trekking Banned For Foreigners In Nepal From April 1 2023

  • Updated on Mar 10, 2023
  • Rugged Trails Nepal

Starting April 1, 2023, the Nepal Tourism Board will prohibit foreigners from trekking alone. With the exception of the well-traveled Everest trekking routes, tourists must now hire a qualified guide or porter before starting a trip through the remote areas of Nepal. With Rugged Trails, Nepal, learn how this choice affects hikers and tourism.

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The Nepal government (Nepal Tourism Board) declared on March 5, 2023, that foreigners would no longer be permitted to trek alone beginning on April 1. This declaration has stirred discussions among trekkers, trip providers, and the general public. While some contend that this change will increase the security and safety of visitors, others think it will hurt the travel and tourism sector.

One of the most popular activities for visitors to Nepal is trekking. Thousands of trekkers visit Nepal each year to explore the Himalayan mountains and take in the country's distinctive culture. Trekking in Nepal, however, can be risky, particularly for individuals who are unfamiliar with the terrain and weather. Many instances of trekkers becoming lost, hurt, or even killed while traveling alone have occurred over the years.

These safety concerns led the Nepal government (Nepal Tourism Board) to decide to outlaw foreigners trekking alone. Trekkers will now need to go in groups treks or hire a certified guide or porter to join them on the journey, according to the authorities. This regulation shall apply to all trekking routes in Nepal, including the well-known Langtang Valley, Annapurna Circuit, and Everest Base Camp.

The ban's proponents contend that it will lessen the number of mishaps and incidents involving solo hikers. They note out that having a guide or porter with them can aid in navigating challenging terrain, help with crises, and offer first aid in case of injuries. Additionally, they contend that the prohibition will boost the local economy by giving local porters and guides greater employment options.

Can you trek in Nepal without a guide?

Now starting from April 1 2023 all foreigners must join the local tour operator or hire a guide to Trek in Nepal. 

However, opponents of the restriction contend that it will deter independent and solo trekkers from visiting Nepal. They contend that some trekkers choose to go it alone since it gives them the freedom to explore at their own speed and develop closer bonds with the natural world. Additionally, they contend that the cost of hiring a guide or porter for sure tourists may prevent them from hiking in Nepal.

It has also been questioned whether the government will be able to implement the prohibition on foreigners trekking alone in Nepal. Opponents claim that the restriction could encourage corruption and exploitation since certain guides and porters might abuse the new law to exploit or overcharge their clients. Concerns have also been raised regarding how the prohibition may affect Nepal's significant source of foreign exchange, the tourist sector.