Vaccination is not mandatory for volunteers travelling to Nepal. However, we strongly recommend a visit to the doctor (ideally 4-6 weeks) before your departure to get a list of vaccines you may need. Ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying and what you will be doing. Listed below are a few vaccines we recommend for our volunteers:
– Hepatitis A & B
Few other vaccines might be necessary depending on the nature of your work:
– Japanese Encephalitis
You can get your ‘Tourist Visa’ on Arrival at the Port of Entry upon presentation of a valid passport (at least six months of validity), a passport photo and a completed visa form.
To make the process easier, you can also apply for visa from your respective country beforehand. Simply visit the Nepalese Embassy in your country and follow the procedures.
Visa Fee will be respective of the time period you are going to spend in Nepal. It follows the below mentioned rate:
USD 25 (approx. EUR 23 )
USD 40 (approx. EUR 37)
USD 100 (approx. EUR 92)
To apply for visa extension, obtain a visa extension form from the immigrations office located at Kalikasthan, Kathmandu. Fill up the form and once you are done, attach a copy of your valid passport, current visa, and a passport sized photograph. Finally, submit all these documents along with the required payment. You will be charged at the rate of USD 2 for each added day of visa extension.
Applications for visa extension are submitted in the mornings and your newly-issued visa will be issued by 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Only Nepali rupees are accepted at the time of making the payment.
*Visa renewal fees is subject to change without prior notice
For details, visit:
Department of Immigration
‘Namaste’, accompanied by folded palms, loosely translates to ‘I bow to you’ is the standard greeting in Nepal. Also used for parting, Namaste corresponds to the act of handshaking in the west.
‘Tashi Delek’ is the corresponding word in Tibetan, used mostly among the Buddhists in Nepal. It shares the same meaning as Namaste and is said while folding one’s palms together.
Conservative dressing is what Nepalese practice. Same is expected from the tourists as well– nothing too revealing or tight. You may find local youths dressing relatively revealing clothes during weekends on places like Thamel, but we recommend visitors not to dress up with too short or revealing clothes.
Right hand Etiquette
Nepalese culture regards right hand clean and left hand unclean. Therefore, food is served as well as eaten with right hand only. Using left hand to serve food is considered rude. Not only food, if you are giving away anything, for example: money, handing over the money with your right hand is considered respectful and is customary in many circumstance. This is not expected of tourists, but it conveys respect.
Feet & Shoes
Before entering any household, it is customary to remove one’s shoes. Shoes are considered unclean and are not to be taken inside homes. Also, be careful not to show or let anybody touch your feet as it is considered disrespectful.
A predominantly Hindu country, Nepalese consider cows to be a motherly figure. It is therefore a taboo for Hindus to consume beef or slaughter this national animal in Nepal. As a result, beef won’t be easily available. However, a few restaurants inside Kathmandu may serve beef that is imported especially for tourists.
Commonly used toilets in Nepal are squatting toilets, but you may also find the familiar western style toilets in major hotels and guest houses. However, you are recommended to carry your own toilet papers since Nepalese generally use water instead of toilet papers.
Food: Cook it. Peel it. Else, leave it!
Only purchase bottled water while in Nepal. Also, avoid ice cubes and unpeeled fruits/ vegetables in foods that are not cooked, for example: salads. Remember, everything you eat should either be peeled or cooked. Else, simply avoid it.
Even though Nepal is the second richest country considering its potential to produce hydroelectricity, it is failing to provide 24 hour uninterrupted power supply in all parts of the country. Remote areas in Nepal still don’t have electricity and even the cities that have electricity face load shedding. Power goes off for certain pre-scheduled hours in a day. Therefore, we suggest that you keep a flash light or any alternative source of light handy at all times.
Nepal has 220 V / 50 Hz power
Nepal lies at a latitude that is comparable to that of North Africa. The climate is therefore a lot hotter than Europe. However, owing to the elevation, temperatures can fluctuate accordingly– the higher you go, the colder it is! The capital city, Kathmandu has its minimum night temperature at 0 degrees Celsius in the winter and the daytime temperature can rise as high as 20 degrees Celsius. Normally, the temperatures are higher in summer months that span from June to August.
Nepali is spoken by about 17 million people in Nepal. In addition, it is the official language in the Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal’s Darjeeling (and thus one of the 23 official languages of India) and is spoken in parts of Bhutan and Burma as well. Like other Indo-Aryan languages, for example Hindi, Nepali is written in Devanagari script.
Travellers can get by talking in English as it is understood by the educated bunch around the cities. While it is not necessary to learn Nepali before you travel to Nepal, picking up some frequently used words will always turn out to be helpful.
Public authorities identify Nepal as a major earthquake zone and hence, remains at risk from further earthquakes, aftershocks, landslides and flooding. Also, familiarize yourself with the political situation in the country before you travel since it is now going through a transition period, strikes may happen in short notice.
In addition consult the foreign office in your respective country for travel suggestions beforehand.