Bandhs / strikes
Basically, “bandhs” (forced strikes of any kind) called at short notice in Nepal at any time, including in the Kathmandu Valley, and blockades / roadblocks must be expected; sometimes these are also enforced by force. The latter also applies to so-called transport strikes these protest actions seriously disrupt or paralyze public life and lead to violent confrontations with danger to life and limb.
If the security situation permits, the Nepal Tourism Board tries to operate shuttle buses to the airport according to youremailverifier. The tourist police at the respective whereabouts provide more information.
It is recommended to avoid any demonstrations or large crowds.
During the strikes, overland travel is not possible or only possible under difficult conditions. As a rule, air traffic is not affected by the bandhs, but the entry and exit to the airports may be. It should be noted that during curfews and strikes, there are sometimes no ambulances, hospital staff cannot be reached and the embassy cannot provide help in emergencies.
Travel over land
As a result of the severe earthquake on April 25, 2015 and severe aftershocks, infrastructure damage and impassable roads continue to exist across the country.
The severely affected districts (Gorkha, Kavrepalanchok, Dhading, Nuwakot, Rasuwa with the Langtang trekking area, Sindupalchok, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Okhaldunga, Makwanpur and Sindhuli) are still difficult to access due to landslides or debris avalanches. Particular caution is therefore required when traveling to these areas.
Before traveling to Nepal, travelers are advised to check with their tour operator or local tour guide about the feasibility of the trip and to follow the latest local media coverage while in Nepal.
Due to the fact that communication is not always trouble-free, considerable difficulties can arise in emergencies because assistance cannot be organized in good time. It should be noted that, depending on the weather and the time of day, rescue flights cannot always be carried out on time and rescue helicopters cannot fly to all heights and all parts of the country.
The Terai, the southern border region with India, has often been the scene of clashes between various political groups and the security forces in recent years. In the Terai and other areas, including Kathmandu, vehicles belonging to diplomats and international organizations have also been the target of attacks in the past. Occasionally foreigners were threatened.
At the border crossings to India there may be delays in crossing the border due to the unstable political situation on both the Nepalese and Indian sides.
Due to the political instability and the unreliability of the legal system, there is an increasing propensity for violence and crime across the country. Pickpockets were more common in tourist regions, and in more remote areas by motorcyclists passing by.
In recent years, several foreign tourists have reported rapes in Thamel, the tourist district of Kathmandu, as well as in the districts of Sanepa and Jawalakhel in Kathmandu’s southern neighboring city of Patan. Women are therefore advised to be particularly careful and always accompanied by someone when it gets dark.
Criminal organizations and other groups blackmail national and international organizations, business people and individuals in many parts of the country and sometimes use force to enforce their claims. Trekking tourists are also occasionally the target of such “attempt to extort donations”. A local guide can have a de-escalating effect in such cases.
When dealing with state security forces, it should be noted that there is sometimes a different legal understanding in Nepal. A gentle demeanor is therefore advisable.
Overall, the Himalayan region is considered to be extremely prone to earthquakes. In the event of a severe earthquake, it must be assumed that medical facilities and general emergency equipment are overloaded. It is therefore recommended that you familiarize yourself with the rules of conduct in the event of an earthquake before arriving.
During the monsoon season, which lasts from June to the beginning of October, travel hindrances occur again and again in the whole of Nepal due to sudden floods (especially in the border area with India) and landslides, which can also affect the main travel routes.
Notes for trekking tours
It is highly recommended not to trek alone. The health risks are very high in the higher areas. There have also been attacks in the past against trekkers traveling alone.
It is also recommended that you only follow known routes, stay in groups, use only reputable agencies and guides, and obtain current information on the security situation before visiting remote areas. In addition, travelers should register at the German Embassy in Kathmandu, stating the trekking route and insurance details or possibly membership in a rescue airline. Registration can be made a maximum of 10 days before your planned trip under external link, opens in new windowhttp: / /elefand.diplo.de.
When trekking, travelers should not underestimate the risks of altitude sickness and descend at the first signs (nausea, headache or shortness of breath). In the advanced stages of the disease, any help usually comes too late. It should also be remembered that helicopter rescue flights cannot always be carried out immediately due to the weather and the time of day. The Federal Foreign Office refers to the leaflet on altitude sickness.
All trekkers must have a valid TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) certificate issued by the TIMS offices of the Nepal Tourism Board (NTP) and the Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN) for trekkers traveling with an agency as well as for individual trekkers. The fee must be paid in Nepalese rupees. Travel agencies that do not belong to these associations must obtain the certificates from NTB or TAAN. Occasionally the certificates are filled out by helpful intermediaries. Since every tourist is responsible for the content of his permit, it is important to ensure that it is filled in correctly. Further information is available from NTB, Tel. 00-977-1-422 57 09, E-mail: [email protected] The trekking fees are subject to ongoing adjustments.
There were repeated blackmailing of trekkers who were traveling with freely hired porters without proof of insurance for the porters. Involving a reliable travel agency and having the appropriate proof of payment with you will prevent legal difficulties.
Voluntary service / voluntourism stays
A certain degree of caution is advised when undertaking voluntary services (so-called voluntourism) with supposedly non-profit organizations. This applies in particular to activities in children’s homes or if the volunteer is to be billed for a larger amount of money for his services. It has happened more and more often that local or international non-governmental organizations simulate poverty-related projects for their own enrichment.
It is recommended that you check with the organization’s headquarters about the terms of employment, type of work and insurance coverage before departure. A work permit must be issued by the Nepalese authorities to start volunteering in Nepal. Carrying out these activities on a tourist visa is illegal and punishable.
Crisis preparedness list
All travelers have the opportunity to register in the electronic registration system of the Federal Foreign Office (external link, opens in new window http://elefand.diplo.de). If necessary, safety instructions are sent about this. Information on possible contacts in Germany as well as information on membership in a rescue airline and travel health insurance should also be stored there. In particular, travelers who are not part of a package tour group are advised to make use of this option. Package travelers may be informed about the security situation in the country of travel through the tour operator.