Kanchenjunga Conservation Area is named after Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m) – the second highest mountain in Nepal and the third highest in the world. Kanchenjunga was designated as a conservation area in March 1998. It covers an area of 2035 sq. km. in Taplejung district, lies in the northeast corner of Nepal.
Taplejung district is also renowned for high peaks (eleven peaks higher than 7,000 m) and glaciers. The conservation area with unique mountain ecosystems is envisioned as a tri-national peace park with Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China to the north and Sikkim, India, in the east. Sikkim already has Kangchenjunga National Park adjoining KCA whereas the extension of Qomolungma Nature Reserve in TAR, to cover the land bordering KCA, is in progress.
In April 1997, Government of Nepal declared Kanchenjunga region as a Gift to the Earth as part of WWF’s Living Planet Campaign 2000.
The Kangchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) in the eastern Himalaya comprises some of the most stunning scenery in all of Nepal. Not only does this region host the third highest peak in the world(Mt. Kangchenjunga), but it is also a global hotspot for plant biodiversity.
Botanist has identified twenty-three species of rhododendrons growing in the area. In this eastern Himalayan setting, glacial streams cut through high ridges creating remote and steep valleys where traditional farming practices are a way of life.
Tucked within these hidden valleys, one can encounter rich forests that support more than 250 species of birds and endangered wildlife. A few days of walking will lead you to high-elevation pastures where yaks graze languidly and colorful alpine flowers bloom. Throughout the KCA, you will encounter a medley of ethnicities that continue to practice traditional subsistence lifestyles, their cultural and religious practices adding to the area’s rich cultural heritage.
Subtropical Evergreen Forest: 800-1,200m Evergreen tree species characterized by Schima wallichii, Engelhardtia spicata and Castanopsis India. However, much of the original forests have been converted to agriculture land. Lower Temperate Forest: 1,200-2,500m. Also known as Lower Temperate Mixed Broadleaf Forest. Home to broadleaf deciduous trees represented by Quercus, Castanopsis, Rhododendron Arboretum and some members of the laurel family.
Trees shed their leaves in the spring as a result of drought stress. Upper Temperate Forest: 2,500-3,500m. Also called Upper Temperate Mixed Forest or Temperate Cloud Forest. Floristic influences from both lower and higher zones. Here, deciduous oaks, maples, laurels, and branches intersperse with evergreen firs, magnolias, junipers, and rhododendrons. Most trees are deciduous. Trees are covered in mosses and epiphytic plants due to high moister content in this zone.
Daphne bholua( locally known as lokta) is harvested from these forests. Sub-alpine Zone: 3, 500-3,900m. Mostly evergreen conifers interspersed with few cold-hardy deciduous species. South-facing slopes are usually tree-less or contain pure stands of stunted rhododendrons. North-facing slopes have juniper, fir, willow, birch, and rhododendrons. In Ghunsa valley, look out for extensive stands of the spectacular Himalayan larches(Larix griffithiana) that turn the hillsides a golden-yellow in the fall.
Alpine Zone: 3,900-4,600m. Woody vegetation in the zone of moist alpine scrub consists of stunted junipers, roses, and rhododendron, gentian and saxifrage abound. Hardy alpine grasses include Carex, Juncus, and Poa. Look out for herds of blue sheep foraging on hillsides above treeline. Perhaps, you may see signs of snow leopard that preys on these sheep.
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu, transfer to the hotel and welcome dinner in the evening.
Day 02/04: Stay in Kathmandu for paper work and some other necessary preparation.
Day 05: Fly to Bhadrapur early morning & Drive to Phidim. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 06: Trek to Tharpu/Panchami. Overnight at Camp.
Day 07: Trek to Doban. Overnight at Camp.
Day 08: Trek to Khewang. Overnight at Camp.
Day 09: Trek to Yamphudin Bhote Gaun. Overnight this sheep. Camp.
Day 10: Trek to Torontang forest camp. Overnight at Camp.
Day 11: Trek to Tseram. Overnight at Camp.
Day 12: Trek to Ramje. Overnight at Camp.
Day 13: Rest /acclimatization day at Ramje. Overnight at Camp.
Day 14: Trek too (Moraine) glacier camp. Overnight at Camp.
Day 15: Trek too. Kuna Camp Overnight in camp.
Day 16: Trek to Kanchenjunga BC. Overnight in camp Day 17-20: Leisure at BC for acclimatization, blessing ceremony & climbing preparation.
Day 21/55: Mt. Kanchenjunga climbing period.
Day 56: Return trek to Ramje. Overnight at Camp.
Day 57: Trek down to Toronto forest camp. Overnight at Camp.
Day 58: Trek to Yamphudin Bhote Gaun. Overnight at Camp.
Day 59: Trek to Khewang. Overnight at Camp.
Day 60: Trek to Panchami. Overnight at Camp.
Day 61: Trek to Tharpu. Overnight at Camp.
Day 62: Drive from Tharpu to Bhadrapur.
Day 63: Fly back to Kathmandu Transfer to a hotel.
Day 64/65: Leisure in Kathmandu.
Day 66: Departure to your next destination.