Mount Api lies at an elevation of 7,132 meters/23,399 feet above sea level. It is the highest mountain of Yoka Pahar section of Gurans Himal, which is the part of Himalayas in extreme corner of northwest in Nepal near the border of Tibet. It is also the highest mountain of Far-western region of Nepal. This mountain is protected by Api Nampa Conservation Area which also conserves the natural beauty and eco-system of the region giving trekkers an opportunity to witness something more than mountains.
Api Base camp trek offers an exclusive adventure in off the beaten trail through a stark contrast of many terrains, ridges, and wildness beyond the modern experience. And of course, the awe-inspiring view of snow-capped mountains is something beyond the words. The stunning panoramic view of Thado Dhuna Tuppa (5, 368 meters), Kapchuli (6,850 meters), Rajama (6,537 meters), Mount Nandadevi (7,817 meters) and several other small and big mountains is one prime attraction of this trek.
Api Base Camp trek is a challenging, and it involves full day hike in remote and extreme route and steep trails to overcome the passes. So, it is recommended to trekkers to be in good fitness and health and some exercise prior 2-4 weeks of trek will be more excellent. Also, trekking in high altitude region makes our body vulnerable to altitude sickness. It will be wise to trek keeping a certain pace and acclimatize. Also, as Api Base Camp has less frequency of tourist, camping is required as relying on the availability of hotels might disappoint you later.
What to expect in Api Base Camp trek?
Quaint villages and Authentic culture
Api Base Camp is relatively less visited trek because of its remoteness. The trek consists of remote and challenging trails, so tourist favors this trek a little less. But, it has proved to be beneficial as the villages en route and their culture, tradition, and lifestyle is still intact far from the influence of modern life. There are both Hindu as well as Buddhists residing in this region, and they exhibit the authentic culture and lifestyle. While trekking to Api Base Camp, it will be an opportunity to know about the real culture frame of Far-Western Nepal.
Flora and Fauna
Api Base Camp trek will take to the protected area of Api-Nampa Conservation Area which ranges from 518 meters to 7,132 meters. It is named after two mountain of Far-western Nepal; Api and Nampa which protects the unique biodiversity and cultural heritage of the area. So, trekking in this conservation area you might witness some wildlife and vegetation. Red panda, Himalayan black bear, snow leopard, Himalayan musk deer, Himalayan tahr and Himalayan black bear, are some of the wildlife of Api Nampa Conservation area.
Wild Rivers and gorges
Api Base Camp trek passes through the wild river of Seti river. Seti originates from the snowfields and glaciers around the twin peak of Api and Nampa in the south facing slopes of the main Himalayas. The river is also one of the main tributaries of Karnali river. Seti river has cut a spectacular gorge across the Mahabharat range and appears to be lost amongst caves and tunnels for a short distance which is incredible as well astounding. Seti river is also one of the famous rivers for rafting in Nepal.
Green Pasture land and delightful forests
While trekking in Api Base Camp trek, you will pass through alluring and pristine sub-tropical forest and high alpine pasture areas. The green view of pasture lands and wildlife grazing and moving playfully will certainly win your heart.
Captivating view of mountains
Trekking in Nepal means witnessing the glorious peaks of Himalayas. Undoubtedly, Api Base Camp will offer some of the spectacular views of snow-capped including Api, Rajamba, Kapchuli, Nandadevi, which lies in Utter Pradesh of India and many other peaks.
Way to Api Base Camp trek
Api Base Camp trek starts after a domestic flight to Dhangadi from Kathmandu which takes more than an hour to reach. Dhangadi is a beautiful city of western Nepal where you can visit aircraft museum, Jokhar Taal and visit Mohana Birdwatch. Staying for a night in Dhangadi, the next morning you will drive to a place called Gokuleshwar which takes about eight hours. After a long and exhausting bus ride, stay at Gokuleshwar.
From this point on starts your actual trek. Leaving Gokuleshwar behind, you will trek to Karkale (900 meters) which takes around three hours of walk. As hotels and lodges are scarce in this region, you will stay overnight in a tented camp. From Karkle comes Chiureni (1,100 meters) which takes about seven hours of walk. While trekking to Chiureni, you will pass through lush forest, quaint villages and some challenging trail. Staying overnight at Chiureni in a tented camp, take a rest and have a good night sleep. After Chiureni comes Makarighat which lies in the height of 1,800 meters and it takes around seven hours of ascending uphill.
From Makarighat comes Seti located at 2,800 meters. Trekking to Seti you will walk along the roaring and beautiful river of Seti and pass through gorges as well. You can opt to stay for a day in Seti and explore of its beauty before moving to higher altitude region. Getting forward from Seti comes Lawati at 3,300 meters altitude. It will best if you hike keeping a slower speed from on. After an overnight at Lawati in camp, next day you will trek towards Simar (3,800 meters) which takes around six hours. As you move further, the trail becomes more challenging, but it equally offers the stunning mountains views and mesmerizing landscapes of the hill which are enough to fuel you with energy to move on.
From Simar, you will trek towards Dhawaliwadar at 3,800 meters. It will take you around five hours of walking to reach Dhawaliwadar. The next day will be the ultimate one as you will reach Api Base Camp. Waking up the next day, be ready to attain the main destination of the trek. From Dhawaliwadar, it will take about two hours to reach the base camp of Mount Api. After reaching the base camp point, you will certainly think all the efforts were a total worth. The view of an enchanting snow-capped mountain will remain in your memory lane for forever. Apart from the Mount Api itself, you will witness other peaks as well.
Now, you after base camp, you will descend towards SahebBagar in 2,800 meters which takes around six hours of walk. Staying for a night at SahebBagar, you will move towards Makarighat (1,800 meters) the next day. After Makarighat comes Bitule (1,200 meters) in about six hours of walk. The next day you will arrive at Gokuleshwar and take a ride to Dhangadi. Now from Dhangadi fly back to the Kathmandu.
Api Base Camp trek is best for adventure, and this trek is different from usual trekking destination because tallest mountains region of Everest and Annapurna dominate trekking in Nepal, but this trek takes you to lesser known yet equally fascinating trails. Also, you will be known to the remote village and valley of far western Nepal which is as impressive as the Himalayan culture of Sherpas.