Nestled in the lap of the Himalaya Mountains between India and China, Nepal is indeed a true natural wonder. Although small in size, Nepal offers a wide range of diversity (both geographically and ethnically). The country is populated by vivid ethnic groups and spotted with colorful festivals. With the incomparable natural beauty, the warmth and hospitality of the Nepalese people and opportunities to serve the local communities. There are lakes amidst breathtaking settings, strong-current rivers for rafting, Wildlife Safaris, the tallest mountains to climb, trekking across vales and dales, and, above all, warm, friendly, welcoming people. Nepal’s programs are highly organized and respected, offering opportunities to serve poor children and communities in/around three bustling cities: Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan. SM invites volunteers to volunteer in Nepal. Explore this extraordinary Himalayan kingdom and serve children, communities, farming, ecotourism, research, health and many more volunteer opportunity on this meaningful journey of a lifetime. She has natural beauty, cultural diversity and very bests holiday destination around the globe.
In this respect, Nepal becomes a perfect holiday destination for tourists, trekkers, mountaineers, writers, honeymooners, lovers, retired people and people interested in research and many more volunteer opportunity. The capital and largest city is Kathmandu. The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee(NPR). $1 = NPR 115.
You may need a tourist Visa to enter the country. A prospective visitor can apply for the visa from several embassies and consulates in most countries in the world. Nepal has diplomatic missions in
Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Burma, Canada, China, Denmark, Finaland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Myanmar, The Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Phillipines, Spain , Sweeden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tibet, the United Kingdom and the United States of America that issue visas to the prospective visitors.
The following entery/exit points have been set by the government of Nepal for the foreign visitors:
- Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu by air any country
- Kodari, Sindhupalchowk (North) by bus from Tibet
- Belahia,Bhairhawa (West) by bus from India
- Karkarvitta, Jhapa (East) by bus from India
- Birgunj, Parsa (Central Nepal) by bus from India
- Jamunaha, Nepalgunj (Mid-East) by Bus from India
- Mohana, Dhangadi (Far-West) by Bus from India
- Gadda Chauki, Mahendranagar (Far-West) by Bus from India
A tourist visa is valid for up to 150 days of a year from the date of issue. For more information about visas, please contact the Nepali embassy in your country.
15 days Multiple entry – US$25
30 days visa fees Multiple entry – US$40
100 days Muntiple entry – US$100
Likewise, the government has also revised fee required to extend days of stay and visa renewal. As per the revise fee structure, Tourist Visa can be extended by paying US$ 2 or equivalent Nepalese currency per day. Likewise, Multiple Entry facility can be obtained only for the extension period by additional US$ 20 and visa fee for the extended period.Similarly, tourists can renew their visa by paying Nepalese currency equivalent to US$ 3 on the regular visa extension fee.Please use this link for more information about visas to Nepal immi.gov.np.
You might want to register with your embassy whilst in Nepal – give them SM’s details as your contact address in Nepal so that they will always be able to contact you through us.
Length of stay: We require you to work with us for a minimum of one week. The amount of time you are able to give has a direct impact on what you will be able to achieve and the amount you will get out of the placement. If you are here for longer, there will be more opportunities to explore the country by going trekking, rafting, or on a jungle safari.
Several vaccinations are required prior to coming to Nepal, some need a course of treatment before you leave. Visit your nearest traveler’s medical centre to discuss your needs. Ensure you have adequate travel insurance. The vaccinations you may need include:
- Hepatitis A & B
- Yellow fever
Please consult your doctor before traveling. More information is available from the WHO’s (World Health Organization) Travelers health information.
Nepali rupees are the local currency. There are about 115 rupees to US$1, approximately 130 rupees to 1 Euro and 150 rupees to a Pound Sterling. There are bank ATM facilities in Kathmandu and Pokhara; US traveler’s cheques can be easily changed. Credit cards, though accepted at most places, usually incur 3-4% additional tax. Generally, US$12-18 per day is sufficient for food and accommodation in a budget hotel/lodge. Nepali rupees can be obtained on arrival at Kathmandu airport.
Food and Drink
The local staple meal is dal bhat (rice with lentil soup, vegetables, and pickle). On trekking routes and in tourist areas, a variety of western dishes are also served. Drinking tap water is not recommended unless it has been treated with chlorine or iodine tablets which are readily available. Otherwise you can get the water boiled or buy bottled mineral water.
The width of Nepal is only about 200 km on average, but within this short distance the altitude of the land rises from a lowly 60 meters to all the way up to above 8,848meter high. Hence the weather depends upon the altitude of the place in Nepal. However, in general Nepal has four climatic seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
Spring starts from March to May. The temperature of this season fluctuates between 20 °C to 30 °C (68 °F to 86°F).
Summer starts from June to August. These are also the pre-monsoon months with occasional evening-thunderstorms and hot temperature.
Autumn starts from September and ends by November. During this period, the climate is dry and mild with temperature fluctuating between 20 °C to 30 °C (68 °F to 86 °F).
Winter starts from December to February. The morning and evening are very cold while the afternoon is pretty sunny. The temperature during these months rises from 15 °C to 20 °C (59 °F to 68 °F).
Many volunteers like to try something in addition to volunteering during their time in Nepal. Previous activities have included trekking, rafting, visiting the jungle, bungee jumping, visiting Lumbini and much more. Most activities can be arranged by yourself or you may want to team up with other volunteers. However, if you do want to do an arranged activity, such as Trekking, Jungle Safari, bungee jumping or rafting, there are a couple of companies we would recommend. Organizations will usually offer discounts to volunteers, so make sure you take your volunteering card along to see them.
Nepal has only one international airport which is in kathmandu. So all international flights and the majority of domestic flight start or terminate here. Although a number of major airlines sell flights to Nepal, most of these do not operate direct flight themselves so most people will arrive via flight from Dubai, Baharain, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Qatar or the India. Among the airlines that fly direct to Nepal are Thai Airways, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air, Austrian Airways, Korean airlines, Korean airlines and Indian Airlines as well as a number of smaller Indian airways. Nepal Airways operate flights to a number or locations although they do not have the best reputation for reliability. Tribhuvan airport is located about 20 minutes from the center of Kathmandu and all volunteers will be met by a Inside-Nepal representative at the airport. NOTE: Most international flights require confirmation 72 hours before departure. Try and obtain the confirmation telephone number before you go to your placement, so that wherever you are 3 days before you are due to leave you can easily confirm that you still have a seat.
Volunteers occasionally arrive in Nepal overland after traveling in either India or Tibet. It’s possible to arrive in Kathmandu by bus, or sometimes a combination of bus and train from Delhi, Varanasi, Kolkata and Darjeeling among other places in India and also from Tibet. The majority of buses arrive at the city bus station in Kathmandu although arrival times can obviously vary dramatically so we will arrange arrival information with you once you have booked.
You will be met outside the airport terminal by a SM representative holding a placard with your name on it who will then take you to your guest house. Please provide us your flight information as soon as possible so that a punctual pick-up can be arranged. If you are planning to arrive by bus let us know when and what time you are arriving in Kathmandu. Just in case give us a call.
The number of hours worked by volunteers will depend upon the area of volunteer work. The Nepali work week falls from Sunday – Friday with Saturday being the only day off. Volunteers work from 3-5 hours per day with the opportunity to work more if you choose. Times for each placement vary, when working in children’s homes or at the monastery you will teach and help them in the morning before school and for a few hours after school. Hours are approximately 6:30-9am and 5:30-7:30pm. However these are just approximations, as we try and tailor your hours to the needs of the children.
Volunteers either stay at a home with local families or if working in an orphanage they often stay in the orphanage and volunteers working at monastery stay at the monastery. Nepali people are extremely hospitable and volunteers will be well looked after however the accommodation will be typically Nepali and therefore basic by Western standards. Toilets and showers are usually Nepali style and the electricity supply in many places can be unreliable. Most of our home stay families have lots of previous experience in looking after volunteers. Volunteers staying in orphanages or at the monastery are given their own room within the orphanage.
Program Fee: The program fee should be paid to us upon your arrival in placement. If you would like to transfer money in to our bank account we will email you bank details.
Our application process typically takes two or three days, but can be speeded up if there is a need for that. When we get the “application” from you, we will send confirmation email to you.
Letter of appreciation: Once you finish your placement, you will get a SM’s letter of appreciation stating the time and place you have worked.
Internet: Kathmandu has plenty of internet cafes, all of which charge the same kinds of rates. When you first arrive in Kathmandu, you’ll probably be shocked at the slowness of the internet here. Get used to it. Once you leave Kathmandu things get slower and slower and taking an hour to open your inbox will become a regular occurrence. That’s before you think about things such as electricity cuts and telephone line failures. By the time you return to Kathmandu, you’ll be amazed at the speed of the internet there and when you return home you won’t quite believe how fast you can send emails! Whilst in Kathmandu take advantage of the better internet to tell people that you may not be able to read emails or reply to emails for weeks at a time and that they shouldn’t worry. Maybe also threaten them with dire consequences should they decide to send you attachments – attachments make it almost impossible to do anything with your email.
- Sleeping bag
- Hiking boots
- Fleece jacket (during winter months)
- Sun cream
- Mosquito net/repellent
- Water purification tablets and water filter
- Photos of your family/ friends
- A few examples of your local currency
- National flag
- Colored pencils, pens, drawing books, grammar books, charity donation t-shirts
- First aid kit