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Which travel company to go with?

by VixScot Online Now Mar 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Hi there, I am planning to go to EBC in November this year. As I'm going as a single travelling female I want to go through a reputable travel agency. There are a couple in Britain which I am looking at, Safejourneys & Nepal Uncovered. Both seem to be relatively cheap compared to some of the other sites advertising, one of them almost half the cost. I am wondering if anyone has experience of either of these companys and finally why do you think there is such a huge margin between prices from different companys when they are all offering the same trek? Your feedback will be gratefully appreciated. Thanks.

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12 Answers
  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    Re: Which travel company to go with?

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 17, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Check all the companies and see if they are all offering the same, such as porters, camping or lodges included, meals, drinks, equipment such as sleeping bags, transport from Kathmandu to trekking area etc. Do they includ flight from your country, flight or bus to trekking area, insurance.
    I have done the trek twice and it was one of the highlights of all my travels, you will enjoy it, do some hard hiking before you go.
    Quite often the companies in Kathmandu offer cheaper prices once you arein nepal.

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  • SubrahmanyamK's Profile Photo

    Re: Which travel company to go with?

    by SubrahmanyamK Online Now Mar 17, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    Since u r a single lady, u need to be extra careful in India, as u r a foreigner. Try Indian Tourism sites, whether they can offer something, as it is run by Govt of India.

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  • thapaliya's Profile Photo

    Re: Which travel company to go with?

    by thapaliya Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 6:27 AM

    Hello,
    In Nepal many reputable Travel agency. For female travel also is fully safe destination either you are alone or with group. I suggest to you much better to book trekking with local responsible trekking agency in Nepal. Anyway Many Uk agency they book trip and sell again for menali trek agency that mean they make more commission. If you book direct with local i am sure you will get much less price to compare abroad agency and about the service you will get very same for you. There are not so much different because Everest Base camp is only one trail.

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  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Re: Which travel company to go with?

    by into-thin-air Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 7:12 AM

    I also suggest that you use a local company, but not one like AFA as if you have to join websites like VT to Spam for your business, it doesn’t say too much about your professionalism.

    I have used the same company to arrange my treks in Nepal for almost 20 years now – Details as well as links to independent feedback can be found on my Nepal Travelogue entitled “A Very Important Decision”

    Good Luck and happy safe trekking
    Rob

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  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Re: Which travel company to go with?

    by into-thin-air Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    Last time i looked EBC was in Nepal and NOT India

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    good advice by thapaliya

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  • Re: Which travel company to go with?

    by VixScot Online Now Mar 26, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Thank you everyone for your feedback. I have taken it onboard and am off now to have a look at Into-thin-air's travelogue.
    Anymore opinions will be gratefully recieved

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  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Re: Which travel company to go with?

    by into-thin-air Online Now Mar 27, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    I am just back from trekking Mardi Himal and had an excellent trek, again organised by Nirmal at HMA – My Guide was Ang, he had actually summated Everest and is the best guide I have ever had when trekking in Nepal – 63 years young and still very strong and So Knowledgeable and I am sure he would make the ideal guide for a solo female trekker
    Good Luck
    Rob

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  • day-at-the-beach's Profile Photo

    Re: Which travel company to go with?

    by day-at-the-beach Online Now Jun 1, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Hello,
    I just returned from Nepal and met other trekkers and their guides. I met a single woman travelling from Britain who used Ace the Himalaya agency and was very happy with them. Her guide was Santos and he spoke very good English and her porter was Ram. From what I could see, they took very good care of her. They were young, strong, very fit and dedicated to looking after her needs. We trekked with them for a short time and I was impressed with her guides knowledge of the trail and his concern for safety in the dangerous areas where rocks were falling due to Yaks moving above us on the mountain and where the trail was icy. Her only complaint was that the agency required her to swap out her backpack for a duffle that they provided for the porter to carry her things. I would not recommend Himalayan Magic Adventures, the company I used - the guide didn't speak good English, didn't know the trail and didn't seem to enjoy the trek. Also, the agent overcharged me on certain things and created some problems and enormous expenses by booking my in country flight incorrectly.
    Good luck. Be sure to spend some time when you get there - at least a day - to interview your guide before you go. Have several set up to interview and then you can choose which one would be the best fit for you. I didn't do this and relied solely on a recommendation and that was a mistake.

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  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Re: Which travel company to go with?

    by into-thin-air Online Now Jun 1, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Hi Becky
    Sorry to hear that you were less than satisfied with the services provided to you by Nirmal at HMA – Especially as in all probability it was on my recommendation that you chose him.
    As I nearly always get excellent feedback from anyone I recommend, I have emailed him for an explanation but as I am heading off myself tomorrow on a walking holiday, I probably won’t get a reply before leaving and therefore won’t be able to respond again for a while.

    Meanwhile, maybe you can post more details on what you were overcharged for and what went wrong with your domestic flight to cause you such an enormous expense,
    Also, could you tell me which guide you used, I might well know of him, but if not then I should feedback to Nirmal that a client was unhappy with him so that he can be given a chance to improve his English, or so that if he gets any more criticism that Normal can dispense with his services so as to help preserve his companies good reputation.
    Thanks and Best Regards
    Rob

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  • day-at-the-beach's Profile Photo

    Re: Which travel company to go with?

    by day-at-the-beach Online Now Jun 3, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Rob,
    Our guide was Subba. He did not speak good English, but it was enough to communicate very basic information after several tries. He just didn't understand much and we weren't able to get much information from him. That wasn't a really big deal for us because we really just wanted a Nepali with us as we were two women travelling alone. However, importantantly, he was completely unfamiliar with the NATT trails and argued with us about using them. He wanted to take the road and told us that he did not know the NATT trails or there was a landslide on that trail or some other made up story to dissuade us from using the NATT trails. After a couple of days arguing about it, he finally agreed to go with us on the NATT trails. They were wonderful and the best part of our trek. Also, Subba seemed miserable while trekking. I think he thought we were two women who didn't know what we were doing and would take the easier road and do whatever he said. He didn't seem happy at all about taking the steeper and more difficult NATT trails. Our porter Lal, on the other hand, was great. He was really strong and always very pleasant. It seemed like every other guide we met on the trail spoke very good English and at least knew of the NATT trails, so it was odd that we ended up with Subba, who wasn't good with either.
    I will write more explaining other issues we had when I have a chance. Am back to work and swamped!
    All in all, we had a wonderful experience trekking the AC - it is a fantastic trek and we are so glad we did it.
    Becky

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  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Re: Which travel company to go with?

    by into-thin-air Online Now Jun 10, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Hi again Becky
    I know both Subba and Lal very well and have to say I am surprised to hear that you were unhappy with Subba
    Lal, I first met about 18 years ago when he was Nirmal’s rafting cook –His English isn’t very good and Nirmal usually hires him out as a cook or a porter. I am always happy to see Lal on my Nepal trips as he chitters away like a small bird.
    facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=...
    Subba I first met in 2008 and I found his English Very Good, He is Nirmal’s Most Senior Licenced Trekking Guide. He is now over 60 years old, a Lama (So doesn’t drink at all) and I have had a lot of great feedback, particularly for female trekkers who have used his services – So I am really surprised to hear that you were less than happy about him.
    I will of course pass on your comments about Subba and Lal to Nirmal and post his reply on here.
    Meanwhile, I look forwards to hearing about the rest of the things that went wrong when you have the time
    Best Regards
    Rob

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