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Do I need a guide for Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek?

New Zealand
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Do I need a guide for Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek?

If I want to trek to Poon Hill, the route is so clear, and lodging plentiful, so I can hire a porter, but don't need a guide to show me the trekking route.

I have two friends interested in doing the Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek for a week, up to Khopra Danda. This is an relatively new "eco" trek, with accommodation in community run lodging and homestays,

Do I need to employ a guide, or will I be fine just employing a porter? Is this a trek that can be walked independently, or must it be done through a trekking company or organized by the Himanchal Education Foundation?

Kathmandu, Nepal
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1. Re: Do I need a guide for Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek?

It's very hard question specially when it comes to a route where many people don't trek. The trek you are talking about is a virgin route experiencing only few groups every year. There are some sign boards on the way but not everywhere. When you are trekking in these kind of routes where you are not likely to meet other trekkers [you may meet sometimes but not often] it is a good idea to take someone who knows the route.

Employing a porter if fine if he knows the route. There is no necessary to take a guide if you are not interested.

You can trek without a company but if you hire a staff then it's good idea to arrange through an agency. That is because if you hire the staff from agency he will be insured, if you hire from hotel or travel agents then your staff might not have insurance policy. It's your responsibility to make sure that your staff is insured properly.

Not sure about Himanchal Foundation......I think it's not a trekking agency so better not to hire from them.

New Zealand
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2. Re: Do I need a guide for Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek?

Thanks Nplguy.

Your comments about the advantage in taking a guide on a new trail supports my thinking as well and your advice about the insurance is important.

Himanchal Education Foundation is the charitable organisation created by Mahabir Pun that focuses on sustainable development projects in the Myagdi/Dhaulagiri District, including the creation of the Dhaulagiri Community Trek. They can arrange local porters and guides from the Magar communities on the trek. Alternatively, there are other trekking companies that offer packages on the route as well - although usually at a higher price and including other arrangements in Nepal.

Edited: 23 May 2014, 10:56
Kathmandu, Nepal
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3. Re: Do I need a guide for Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek?

OK, I know who Mahabir Pun is but never heard such organization. May be booking with them is fine but just ask them about the guides and porters they are arranging. If they have insurance or not is important and ask them what if they have emergency situation. I am not making you terrify but just trying to put you in safe side.

New Zealand
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4. Re: Do I need a guide for Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek?

Mr Chitra Pun, Coordinator of the Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek has responded to me by email, assuring me that all the local guides and porters arranged by the Dhaulagiri Community Trek are insured and fully trained.

He also points out that as this is a new trek, with only small number of trekkers walking it, it is not advisable to trek it independently without a professional guide.

For reference, the official homepage for the trek, which offers a great off-the-beaten-track alternative for trekkers interested in the lower Annapurna / Poon Hill / Ghorepani trek, can be found at http://nepaltrek.wix.com/nepalcommunitytrek

On the website is an 11 day itinerary from Pokhara to Pokhara, with the highest point being the viewpoint at Khopra Danda.

Chitra Pun has also provided me with an 8 day itinerary from Pokhara to Pokhara, for a couple travelling together, that came to USD $1234 including lunch, dinner, tea, coffee, accommodation (lodges and homestay), porter and guide, trekking document / permission, and transport.

Apart from Himalayan Education Foundation, other commercial trekking companies that I have found advertising the trek include Nature-Treks (Vimal Thapa), Intrepid, Peregrine, Desire Nepal Treks, and Himalayan Lord Buddha Adventures. The majority of commercial companies are more expensive than the rates offered through the Himanchal Education Foundation.

Brussels, Belgium
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5. Re: Do I need a guide for Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek?

You are perfectly allowed to trek there independently, without a guide and without a porter. However it is not very easy to find the way outside of the main trails (even through you can ask to anyone you meet) and possibly ... probably you will lose a couple of hours sometimes. Now it may happen that the wrong trail can be more inetresting than the right one, and it will feel more as an adventure ...

6. Re: Do I need a guide for Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek?

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Brussels, Belgium
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7. Re: Do I need a guide for Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek?

I have now hiked this trek solo, and I didn't encounter much difficulty in finding the way. It is actually signposted with paint markings if you stick to the official route (but I didn't).

brisbane
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8. Re: Do I need a guide for Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek?

We just returned from trekking on the Annapurna circuit with my family and had the most wonderful and kind guide that I so want to help him and his family. If you're interested, send me a private message and I'll give you the details.

Pokhara, Nepal
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9. Re: Do I need a guide for Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek?

It was really great to here in this forum you are choose the Annapurna Dhaulagiri trek it is really right choice already you had lots of feed back and advice so I don't want tell you more it is teA house trek you can make this trek in 8 days from pokhara to pokhara if you really want to ha local guide n supporter you will he in pokhara most of them belongs from Annapurna you pls prepared a warm cloth sleeping bag well he gd time best regard dev

10. Re: Do I need a guide for Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek?

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