Adventure Tourism in Nepal’s Sagarmatha National Park
Sagarmatha National Park, the area surrounding Mount Everest that provides adventure tourism Nepal is famous for, is northeast of Kathmandu. Extending over eleven hundred square miles, it s the perfect example of Himalayan ecology. Establishment of this park in July 1976 was a great boost to adventure tourism, Nepal. In 1979 the park was declared a World Heritage Site.
The rugged area with dramatic mountains of the high Himalayas, ranging from Monju at 2,845m to Mt Everest or Sagarmatha, glaciers and deep valleys includes the upper catchment areas of the Dudh Kosi and Bhote Kosi Rivers. The area is known locally as Khumbu and is the home of the Sherpas with their unique culture. Sherpas are famous for their mountaineering skills and accompany almost all trekking and mountaineering expeditions which are a prominent part of adventure tourism Nepal.
Much of the park lies above 3,000m, covered with pine and hemlock forests. Above 3500m nature lovers will find silver fir, birch, juniper and rhododendron trees that add vibrant colors to the park in spring and monsoon. One can spot the Himalayan tahr and Musk deer. Others include the Himalayan Black Bear, Common Langur, Jackal, Weasels, Marten, and the Himalayan Mouse Hare (Pika) in the park. If you are very lucky you may glimpse the rare snow leopard and the lesser panda. Over 118 species of birds including the Impeyan pheasant (Danphe), Blood pheasant, Red-billed chough, and Yellow-billed chough are seen in Sagaramatha.
One can reach the park by flying to Lukla and walking for two days from there. One can also have the thrill of landing at the world’s highest airstrip by taking a flight to Syangboche. The Park Visitor Center is located at Mendalphu, the park headquarters. You can enjoy a visit to the natural history and cultural heritage museum at Namche Bazar. Another must –see is the famous gomba at Tengboche that offers spectacular views of Mt. Everest and other peaks. In May one can watch the Mani Rimdu festival here and at the Thame Gomba, another important religious center. In June the Dumje festival is performed at the Khumjung Gomba and at the monasteries of Namche and Pangboche, truly unique experiences.