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Makalu Region

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Makalu region
Makalu region, Makalu – Barun National Park

Overview

Makalu region is geographically located in the eastern part of Nepal. Here is the information in detail below:

Official Name: Makalu – Barun National Park

Type: National Park

Established Year: 1992

Area (km2): 1500

Area of Buffer Zone (km2): 830

Before being established as the National Park in 1992, it was a Conservation area. The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation administers and manages the park after its declaration as a national park.

The Nepal Government, supported by The Mountain Institute’s endeavour, is a creative protection model incorporating covered area management and community development. A new park management system facilitates local people to evolve energetically involved in protecting the forests and natural resources upon which their lives rely and preserving their rich cultural heritage. In addition, traditional resource management approaches, such as community-controlled grazing and forest guardianship, are being supported, and low technologies are introduced where applicable.

Some Features

The protected area of the National Park and Buffer zone covers tropical jungle along the Arun River to snowy peaks of 8000 metres, about 1500 and 830 sq km. As a result, the skyline is a vista of rugged Himalayan peaks, including Mt. Makalu (8,463 metres), the 5th highest mountain. This region’s other rugged Himalayan peaks are Mt. Chamlang (7,319m), Mt. Baruntse (7,129m) and Mera Peak (6,654m).

Makalu Base Camp Trek
Local couple at Langmale

Climate

Makalu-Barun National Park lies in the eastern Himalayan climatic zone, where the monsoon starts early in June and remains until late September. The weather is normally described as monsoon type, where more than 70% of the rainfall occurs between June and September. Pre-monsoon rain is expected during April and May, an important factor in biomes production. Unfortunately, no reliable records of climatic data represent the entire area. Significant deviations in temperature and rainfall can be expected due to extreme contrasts in altitude, slope and factor.

Flora and Fauna

Makalu region is realized for its enormous variety of plants, animals and people. For example, the area contains 25 species of rhododendron, 47 types of orchids, and 56 rare plants. Similarly, this national park has some wildlife animals such as Snow Leopards, Red Panda, Musk Deer, and Wild Boar.

Park facilities

The national park’s headquarters or office is at Murmidana, Seduwa. A kerosene depot at Makalu Tourism Association and private lodges in Tashingaou sell to the trekking groups. They also provide local porters to trekking groups. These days, there are basic tea houses along the route to the Base Camp. Thus, always recommend camping equipment with the support of a guide, cook and porters.

Makalu Base Camp Trek
Photo: Wolfgang Hartmann, Trekkers in Makalu Base Camp

How to Makalu Barun National Park

There are some daily flights to Tumlingtar. Alternatively, you can fly to Biratnagar from Kathmandu and catch a bus to Dharan. It’s a 5/6 hours drive to Hile and a 3-day trek to Tumlingtar. Also, there are other alternative routes to Makalu Barun National from Lukla or Phaplu.

Safety on the trail

Most rocky trails may be slippery after rain or overnight freezes. Winter snows may remain on the high pass trails until April or May, especially while hiking to Shershong Pass. In addition, there is some particular hazardous area on the trek route between Mumbuk and Yangle Kharka. The area is quite unstable and dangerous due to rocks falling. So, you must always take precautions while going through this trail ahead.

Equally important is that mountain sickness can be another serious risk if you go high without proper acclimatization.

Camping and regulation

There are a set of camping sites on the trek route. This campsite designation aims to regulate the impact on vegetation, aesthetics, landscape damage, waste management, etc. The National Park Management Team has designated 7 camping sites at Khongma 3500 metres, Dobato 3500 metres, Yangle 3570 metres, Neghe 3700 metres, Langmale 4100 metres, and Shershong 4600 metres) for trekkers.

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