trip
NEW Trip – Kyrgyzstan & the Tian Shan MountainsJoin 19 August 2024 Departure

15 Days$4890USD

Activities
  • 8 day trek
Accommodation
  • 7 nights hotels
  • 7 nights camping
Meals
  • 13 Dinners
  • 10 Lunches
  • 14 Breakfasts
5
Moderate

Traveller Rating

 

 
 

Trip highlights


  • Escorted by Garry Weare, acclaimed Himalaya authority
  • Trek through some of the finest ancient rhododendron forests in the Himalaya when over three hundred varieties are in full bloom
  • Stay in heritage listed hotels in Darjeeling, Pelling and Kalimpong
  • Unrivalled views of the awesome flanks of Kangchenjunga – the world’s third highest peak
  • Explore the yak grazing pastures and sacred peaks that form the divide between Sikkim and Nepal
  • Stay in heritage listed hotels in Darjeeling, Pelling and Kalimpong

Why Book With Us

  • Garry has been involved with World Expeditions since its inception in the mid 1970s. His trekking experience can be traced to 1970 when he completed his first trek in Nepal. While Garry is a recognised authority on the Indian Himalaya with his intimate knowledge documented in his Lonely Planet guide Trekking in the Indian Himalaya and his acclaimed narrative A Long Walk in the Himalaya his deep and abiding insights in Nepal are reflected in his treks including our first Around Annapurna trek in 1979 to his recent forays in Dolpo and Mustang. His wealth of knowledge will ensure a memorable experience.

During the remarkable travels of Joseph Hooker through Sikkim in 1849, the British botanist catalogued many a vast array of rhododendrons. It underlined that the forests beneath Kangchenjunga one of the finest in the Himalaya for the numerous flowering species. We combine an trek through the pristine forests of Sikkim with uninterrupted views of Kangchenjunga and a host of 7000m peaks that form the borderlands with Nepal. To add to our experiences we include time to explore the renowned hill stations of Darjeeling and Kalimpong in this exhilarating journey across the east Himalaya. Ideal for those who have trekked in the Himalaya, to extend their experience in the hidden gem of Sikkim.

Trip Code: GSR

You will be meet by a World Expeditions representative and transferred to the Lalit hotel. On arrival you will have an initial briefing focusing on the transfer arrangement and the flight the following day. Your main briefing will be held on arrival in Darjeeling. NOTE: Internal fights are not included in the tour cost, we will advise the nominated group flight and will be happy to assist with booking this for you. The standard checked luggage allowance for internal flights in India is 15kg. Additional kilos can be purchased at the airport, however if you are staying in Delhi upon your return, we recommend storing your main suitcase and any excess items & hence filling your provided World Expeditions kit bag with what you will need while in Sikkim.

Meals:  Nil

Your morning flight to Bagdogra takes around 1.5 hours. On arrival we complete the 70km drive that winds up the foothills to the renowned hill station of Darjeeling. We stay at the New Elgin hotel (one of the three heritage hotels on our trip, each reflecting an old world charm and services much appreciated by our groups). That afternoon you there is time to wander The Mall and savour the cool mountain air where generations of Nepalese and Tibetan people have forged a living in this former outpost of the British Raj. That evening we will brief you on the days ahead and issue you with your kitbag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket.

Meals:  B,D

This morning we head to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute – with numerous maps, memos and photographs of Himalayan climbing exploits. The Institute is set in the grounds of the Zoological Park where endangered species including the red panda can be seen. We then head to a nearby tea plantation to appreciate Darjeeling most famous export. The afternoon is free to wander the markets and perhaps gain a distant glimpse of Kangchenjunga looming above the clouds.

Meals:  B,D

We drive for two hours to the Sikkim border. Once permits are checked we continue through the foothills to one of the former capitals of Sikkim at Yuksam where we stay at the traditional Tashigang lodge for the night.

Meals:  B,L,D

Our trail ascends through mixed oak, bamboo and conifer forest and past tumbling waterfalls while delicate orchids and ferns line the trail. Take plenty of rests on this first day as the trail winds gradually up to a forest clearing and our camp for the night.

Meals:  B,L,D

From camp we take an hour to reach the bridge just above the confluence of the Prek and the Rathong rivers. Its then a long gradual haul through magnificent forest to the solitary Lepcha settlement at Baktim and a welcome tea. It’s a further hour as the trail heads to Tsokha crossing clearing in the forest that afford incredible views that extend back to Yuksam. Notably the lowest band of rhododendron are coming into bloom we complete the final push to Tsokha. From Tsokha we gain a clear view of Pandim (6691 m) looming above the upper Rathong Valley. Until a decade ago Tsokha was the home of Tibetan people who were granted this small tract of land in 1959 after they fled from Tibet. They have now been re-settled in line with the Sikkim government’s policy of banning settlements in the Kangchenjunga National Park. (the indigenous Lepcha people are the exception)

Meals:  B,L,D

A truly memorable stage. We ascend an ancient forest with the magnificent array of rhododendrons coming into full bloom. Many hours can spent taking in the pure majesty of the forest. The cloud and mist intensify the colour of the rhododendron. Silver fir and the occasional larch thrive at these rarefied elevations while the birdsong from unseen species add a further dimension to the trek. Our attractive camp at Pethang is set in a clearing in the midst of rhododendron forest and is ideally located to assist our acclimatisation.

Meals:  B,L,D

Another magnificent stage. We ascend the forest trail as it gradually winds up to Deorali (3690m) and our first glimpse of the high peaks including Kangchenjunga. Rhododendrons are coming into bloom while for a fortunate few the daphne pheasant may be sighted in the undergrowth. The trail ascends (steep in places) before the gradient eases out to reach the vast meadow at Dzongri.

Meals:  B,L,D

An early morning ascent to a nearby vantage point (client take between 35 minutes to an hour) to gain spectacular views of the unmistakable peaks of Kangchenjunga (8586 m) the third highest mountain in the world. Mountain views extend from Pandim to Talung 7349m)and the impressive 7000m Kabru peaks. Further options to trek to an isolated glacial lake high above our camp afford a further perspective of awesome Himalayan backdrop. On the second day a foray to the Dzongri La (4360m) (return trek approx. 4 to 5 hours return) affords stunning views of Kothang (6147m) as well as the Kabru peaks that enclose the glacial valley. Close to the pass look out for herds of bharal (blue sheep), stalked by the elusive snow leopard while golden eagles soar on the thermals.

Meals:  B,L,D

Shortly after leaving Dzongri we ascend a ridge to gain our final views of Kangchenjunga and the adjoining peaks before descending through pristine forest to our camp at Tsokha.

Meals:  B,L,D

An early start is imperative to complete the stage to Yuksam by early afternoon. From Baktim we gain panoramic views that extend down the Prek valley before a steady descent to the bridge over the Rathong river. we then focus on completing an exhalating stage back down to Yuksam. On arrival we bide goodbye to our crew and mule attendants before completing the drive to Pelling (2150m). After camping for a week our rooms at our heritage hotel above the bustling town of Pelling take some beating.

Meals:  B,L,D

In the morning we are greeted with unforgettable views of Kangchenjunga and the nearby peaks before we visit the nearby Pemayantse monastery that has been recently rebuilt to accommodate its ancient Buddhist traditions. From Pelling we drive across the foothills to the Sikkim border where our permits are once again checked before we complete our drive to the historic town of Kalingpong.

Meals:  B,L,D

Located close to the Tibetan border the vibrant town offered a sanctuary for many Tibetan people fled from India in 1959. Many of the Tibetan people have made Kalimpong their home with their vibrant culture reflected in the Zang Dhok monastery (and in particular in the monastic museum). The Tibetan culture is also evident in the markets with no end of outlets selling momo’s and other Tibetan cuisine. We also include a visit to the Lepcha museum run by an enthusiastic member of the community keen to promote the traditional lifestyle of Sikkim’s indigenous people. There is also free time to wander the markets and complete last minute shopping before returning home.

Meals:  B,D

On our final day we descend to the sultry Indian plains and the city of Bagdogra. Our return flight takes around 1.5 hours. Trip concludes late afternoon, on arrival in Delhi, there is no included accommodation on this night, we can assist in booking extra arrangements for you. NOTE: Internal fights are not included in the tour cost, we will advise the nominated group flight and happy to assist with booking this for you. You can also fly on to Kolkata if that suits your travel plans better.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • Good quality accommodation Delhi/Darjeeling/Pelling/Kalimpong
  • 14 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 13 dinners
  • Airport arrival transfer if arriving Day 1 (transfers if arriving early can be booked for an additional cost)
  • Expert bilingual guide and group medical kit
  • Use of a World Expeditions trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag, down or fibre fill jacket and insulated mat (valued at over US$500)
  • Souvenir World Expeditions kit bag
  • All group camping equipment
  • All park fees and entry permits
  • Mules to carry personal equipment
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as listed

  • International flights
  • Internal flights Delhi to Bagdogra (NOTE: We will advise the group flight & can book this for you, please allow approx. USD300, flight prices will increase so early booking is recommended)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Bottled water, aerated & alcoholic drinks
  • Excess luggage charges - the included flights have a 15kg per person checked baggage allowance. Additional kilos can be purchased at the airport, however we recommend storing your main suitcase or any excess items in Delhi, to collect upon your return
  • Visa
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc
  • Tips
  • Additional transfers or accommodation in Delhi - optional and can be booked at an additional cost

About Your Leader

Garry has been involved with World Expeditions since its inception in the 1970’s. Garry is a recognised authority on the Indian Himalaya with his intimate knowledge documented in his definitive Lonely Planet guide Trekking in the Indian Himalaya that he wrote for over 25 years. Garry has also written his high acclaimed Long Walk in the Himalaya and more recently Kashmir: a Journey through history. Garry is a founding director of the Australian Himalayan Foundation, Australian secretary of the Himalayan Club and holds a life times’ achievement award for his commitment to the Indian Himalaya. His deep and abiding passion for Sikkim and his his wealth of knowledge of the region will ensure a memorable experience.


Departure dates


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Priceper person from

$4890USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Tent only Single supplement - GSRUSD$100
  • Single supplement - GSRUSD$920
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Sikkim Rhododendron Trek with Garry Weare trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


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Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

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