Trek the wonderful Naar-Phu area and effortlessly help with conservation!
Naar-Phu is wonderful trekking, and we revel in exploring the region, taking in the incredible gompas, the two stunningly set villages and also explore some high alpine valleys hoping to spot elusive wildlife. With our sound acclimatization plan and camping in remote spots, this is also a particularly photography-friendly trek.
Although the trek will be a great no compromise trekking experience, it is with a purpose; is the Naar-Phu region suitable to become Nepal's first and probably main "snow leopard safari" destination? There are plenty of blue sheep and some snow leopard in the region however that is only one of the fundamentals. As importantly, the community must be 100 percent in support of the concept, and this is what we aim to discover, and more.
With the info we collect in this first foray, we will know whether this ambitious project should go ahead here. The more than I (Jamie) have researched, the more I understand how an innovative, comprehensive and holistic strategy is needed. There must be a big advantage, lasting real economic benefit for the locals. Then if they are better off conserving their region for tourism it is a win-win situation.
Conservation is a tricky balance, one where idealism quickly runs up against hard nosed economic reality, and political realities too. In short, while implementing policies is the job of dedicated experts, settling on the fundamental direction is perhaps the most consequential phase where innovative ideas can be explored but balanced by the real realities - and what is most needed is checking them on the ground.
You help this meaningful trek because with each booking this enables us to take along one researcher, with all their expenses paid instead of a trip profit. The trek is finely costed and won't make any money, and any difference will be borne by Project Himalaya as part of our dedication to the cause. No trek money goes to western staff wages or even flights over (we work for free and buy our own).
The additional rewards on this trek will be sharing the trails and meals with knowedgeable and dedicated researchers, a satisfying cultural and knowledge exchange. Additionally, we'll hire local guides to introduce the village and their close by grazing areas. What wildlife can we spot? Vultures and other large alpine birds, and I especially hope we can find signs and more of the predators: snow leopard, lynx, wolf and fox.
Why waste acclimatization? After the Phu and Naar section, we exit via the high Kang La with its ultimate Annapurna panorama, and leaving the camping crew with the researchers, we continue in the good Annapurna Circuit teahouses, all the better to cope with the random spring weather. After a clean up and fatten up in Braga, we take the side route to Tilicho, where Jamie had his first snow leopard encounter and then cross the Thorong La, where with a final neat Lupra village end, we finish in Jomsom.
This second part of this trek is not entirely frivolous either, as Tilicho, especially, is a prime snow leopard area and warrants understanding, and comparing although less formally.
Short on time? Instead skip the Annapurna Circuit and take the quick way out with the researchers for a 21 day camping adventure.
Join us for a rewarding and trek.