BE INVOLVED

At socialtours, we recognise that travel can be enhanced several times in experience by a little bit of giving. While we give, we learn about ourselves, we bond with communities around the world, and become messengers of love and peace.

While we promote volunteering as a form of immersive in Nepal, it is always done with a huge dose of vetting, and we hardly take volunteers direct. Instead we work with partners in countries who do the initial vetting for us, ensuring that the participants are skilled, able, have no criminal record. Once we have this, we then set out to do a thorough matching process, engaging with the projects we work with in Nepal to ensure that the volunteers can do meaningful work, share skills, and do not replace local labour. This is what we consider to be a responsible way to conduct volunteer placements.

We are specially cautious when it comes to engaging volunteers in sensitive environments and while dealing with children. As signatories of THE CODE, we advocate and promote the prevention of trafficking and abuse of children in tourism.

We also promote philanthropic travel, which goes through the same level of deep vetting and selection of projects to support.

The best way to start this process is to talk to us.

Essential reading

The Paradox of Orphanage Volunteering
Martin Punaks | Next Generation Nepal

Volunteer Travel Code of Conduct
Raj Gyawali | socialtours

Charity Challenges

Our Charity Challenges are regular trips that fund-raise for a cause. We are already working on two very big causes - one to fundraise for building birthing facilities and the other for sexual abused minors.

Standard Charity Challenges could be a trek to Everest Base Camp raising money for each meter climbed or to Annapurna Base Camp. Of course, the ideas can be anything.

Every year, socialtours also organises a Yoga Marathon to fundraise for sexually abused minors and the Kathmandu Kora Cycling Challenge to fundraise for birthing centers.

 

Organising Your Challenge
Each Charity Tour is different, customised to meet your individual needs and also for the time of year you would like to come to Nepal and the amount of time you would like to spend. Through intensive communications with the local project partners, we work to identify specific causes that can be funded with your donation and also allow you to be directly involved, from knowing exactly how your contribution is spent to visiting the site and participating in the project work yourself. Once you return home, we will keep you informed on the progress of the project and how your donation continues to benefit the community. There is never any 'leakage' from your donation with every penny invested in the project on your Charity Tour. 

 


Sample Trip

Wild Wild West Charity Tour
A Special Charity Tour Specialising in Education in Remote Areas.

Forget images of cowboys and saloons, the 'wild' in this west gets its name from the untouched natural landscape, beautifully still waters and endless rugged mountains for which Western Nepal is renowned. Still, one of the most remote areas in Nepal, the Wild West allows anyone who ventures along its untrodden paths winding their way through breathtaking mountain ranges and river valleys, to experience a truly unique vision of Nepal. With tourists still drawn to the more popular regions such as Everest, Annapurna and Langtang, the West remains unspoiled by tourism – however it is in fact home to some of the most picturesque areas and memorable treks and trails in the country.

Despite its beauty and rich natural resources, development in the area has been slow with most development work being concentrated on Kathmandu and Eastern Nepal. Much of this is due to  the infrastructural difficulties in the region – while its natural resources can bring funds to the area, the benefits are rarely felt by the local people.

Alongside this unique opportunity to work with local communities on much needed projects, the tour takes you deep into the Wild West of Nepal, into the undisturbed wilderness of the Bardia National Park in the Teria in the foothills of the Himalayas. Here you may see the wilder inhabitants of Nepal's West  including wild elephants, rhinoceros, gharials and the Royal Bengal Tiger. The tour brings you face to face with the region's awesome beauty reflected in the azure waters of Rara Lake, the largest mountain lake in Nepal at 3025m and by far the most picturesque, for a few days of relaxing hiking.

Once off the beaten track, you will visit the project site and spend a few days see first hand how your donation is put to good use and experience the work that is necessary to actualise these essential projects by joining in yourself.


Day 1: Kathmandu
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met by a representative from SocialTours and transported to your hotel. After a rest, you will be welcomed to Nepal with a delicious traditional Nepalese dinner.

Day 2: Kathmandu
On your first morning in Nepal, you will be introduced to the country and education in Nepal and also be briefed on safety and responsible practices during the trip. In the afternoon, you will have your first experience of Nepalese culture as we wander the streets of Kathmandu, taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of the city.

Day 3: Nepalgunj.
In the morning, you will visit our project partner's offices in Kathmandu where you will be briefed on their organisation, their work and how their work benefits local communities to help you understand just how your contribution directly impacts the project. Then, after an hour flight, we will arrive in Nepalgunj, our base in the West. We will stay at Hotel Kitchen Hut, which, despite its uncharacteristic name, is a wonderful hotel with air-conditioned rooms, free wifi, great food and a perfect place to begin your tour!

NOTE: This part of Nepal is called the Wild Wild West, not because of cowboys and gunslingers, but mostly because of the unpredictability that surrounds travel in the region. Ideally the rest of your Tour will follow the itinerary as below but like any seasoned traveller, we must be prepared for any eventuality! Be prepared for plans to change due to access problems, weather changes etc. But we all know change can be good.

Day 4: Rara Lake.
Rising early, we'll drive to Surkhet (2.5 hours) and take a 30-40 minute flight to the mountain airstrip of Talcha at 2850m in Mugu District giving you your first taste of the wild. After a moment appreciating the breathtaking backdrop , we'll begin the slow steep ascent up the mountain for about half an hour before the trail opens into a gentler ascent for another half hour. All will be rewarded when we reach the top when we arrive at the rim of the crater that holds Nepal's largest lake, Rara Lake, which stands at 3025m. Following the perimeter of the lake, we will walk for an hour to reach our accommodation for the evening, a campsite or lodge by the lake.

Day 5 -6 Rara Lake and beyond.
Using the beautiful Rara Lake as our base, you will get chance to explore the many villages in the surrounding area with small hikes to Murma, Gamgadhi or Jarrang. Here you will be able to experience Nepalese village life and also find out what the partners are doing in these areas.

Day 7 – 9: Project Work.
After a week acclimatising to Nepalese life and culture, we will spend a few days taking part in the project work in the village where your donation will be used. This will obviously vary for each tour depending on where your project site is situated. It could be in the Terai with the Dalit Welfare Organisation in which case we will fly back to the Terai on day 7 and drive to the village, alternatively if it is with KIRDARC, we will continue into the mountains to the village and return to the Terai (Surkhet or Nepalgunj) on day 10.

Day 10 -12: Bardia National Park
From here, we will leave village life behind and venture deep into the pristine forests of the Bardia National Park. Here we hike into the jungle by foot and also on elephants in the hopes of catching a sight of the Big Three of Nepal – the one horned rhino, wild elephants and, of course, the famous Royal Bengal Tiger. The real call of the Wild!

Day 13: Kathmandu.
Leaving the wild behind, we fly back to Kathmandu.

Day 14: Kathmandu.
Back in the city, we will spend the day responsible shopping, letting you buy gifts and souvenirs to take home that will also benefit the local economy. There will also be the opportunity for optional activities. In the evening, there will be a traditional farewell dinner.

Day 15: Departure.

Worthy Causes

Kathmandu Kora Cycling Challenge

Every year, on the third Saturday in July, riders from Nepal and all over the world (ok, that sounds glamorous, but riders from different nationalities do participate) gather in Kathmandu (last year we were close to 800 riders) to ride a personal challenge of 50 km | 75 km and 100 km around Kathmandu Valley. This is now popular as the KATHMANDU KORA, this year on its fourth edition.

http://www.kathmandukora.net

 

Yoga Marathon

The Yoga Marathon started in Norway in October 2013 with three special sessions organised by Ethical Travel Portal to raise funds for Antardristi. ANTARDRISTI has been working with sexually abused minors for the last 10 years. They operate two safe houses for survivors in Pokhara and Hetauda. 

Facebook Event page

 

Got questions?

Send us your ideas. We will custom design a trip and a quote just for you, for FREE! We will never sell your details or send spam! Period.

 

 

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Tridevi Marg,Thamel, Kathmandu | Tel: +977 1 4412 508, +977 9801 1234 01 (available 24/7) | e-mail: info@socialtours.com

(open: 10:00 - 17:00 Mon - Fri) At TriDevi Marg, opposite of the Himalayan Bank, you will see a small lane on the left of the SALEWA Store. We're at the end of the lane.