Orchids of Nepal

Our tour begins and ends in Kathmandu the capital and most populous city of Nepal. It is located in the Kathmandu valley, elevation 1400 m (4600 ft). It is the center of Nepals history, art, culture and economy. The city is home to several world heritage sites: the Durbar Square, Swayambhu Mahachaitya, Bouddha and Pashupatinath. In addition to staying at resort hotels, we will also be staying with villagers at a homestay in Bhadaure, and a “Glamping” stay in Gorka.

Our tour has been organized by Dr.  Bijaya Pant, a leading orchid researcher and conservation leader in Nepal. Our local guide will be Mahendra Thapa, a botany student working with Dr. Pant.  The Annapurna Research Center, an orchid conservation center in Nepal, will facilitate the program. We will visit several conservation projects where we will observe efforts to grow and reintroduce orchids back into habitat. The trip will require some short hikes, and for the hike to Bhaniyang, we will hire local porters to bring our bags. We may arrange to leave heavy bags at a hotel for a few days while we complete this part of the trip. The list of orchid species that bloom in this part of Nepal are listed under the details tab.

Dates & Prices

Dates:  April 15-28, 2024. Participants should plan to arrive on or before April 15 in Kathmandu, Tribhuvan International Airport. Nepal. Departures from Kathmandu, April 28. Note, there are daily flights from Delhi India to Kathmandu.

Prices: $5800 pp, double occupancy. Single: $6400. Note, the price includes a $1000 pp donation to the Orchid Conservation Alliance. Depending on the actual costs of the tour, this donation is approximate. Final donation amounts will be sent to participants as part of the year end tax donation receipt sent to members and tour participants in early January of 2025.

Deposit: Feb 1, 2024 (deposits are refundable up to this point OR afterward if we can find a replacement). Note, as hotel reservations will be made of this date, we do need to know how many are coming on the trip. Minimum number of participants 6, maximum 10, plus the tour guide and OCA rep.

Full payment due: Mar 1  2024

Costs include: Hotel accommodations, ground transportation, entry fees, guides, internal airfares (two flights), entrance to parks, museums etc.

Costs do not include: international flights, alcoholic beverages, tips

Degree of difficulty: Moderate. Some short hikes and one longer hike with an overnight stay in camp style accommodations. Some uneven ground, Participants should be able to walk at least 3-4 miles, although most of the days will be less strenuous. Elevations will range from 1500-2500 meters.

15 april

 (Day 1)

01/03   Mon

Arrival in Kathmandu

Welcoming dinner at the hotel on the evening of April 15, and use this time to give the group an update on our plans.

Hotel Himalaya




16 april

 (Day 2)

01/04   Tue

(Short hike, World Heritage sites, ARCs, Dinner at Budhanilkantha)

8:00 AM – Departure from hotel for Forest walk

8:45 AM – Reach to Suryabinayak

9: 00 AM – Start hiking with orchid exploration

12: 00 PM – Return back to forest base

12: 30 PM – Move to Bhaktapur Durbar Square

1: 00 PM – Lunch at rooftop with view

2: 00 PM – Explore around world heritage sites

3: 30 PM – Move to Annapurna Research center (ARCs)

4:30 PM – Reach to ARCs, explore tissue culture orchid, exchange ideas and interaction

6: 00 PM – Move to Budhanilkantha, explore acclimatized orchid

7: 00 PM – BBQ and dinner

9: 00 PM – Back to Hotel

Hotel Himalaya


17 april

 (Day 3)

01/05   Wed

(Visit World Heritage sites, afternoon visit Chandragiri hill through cablecar)

9:00 AM – Check out and Departure from hotel

9:30 AM – Explore Patan Durbar Square, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Living Goddess Kumari house

12:30 PM – Move towards Chandragiri hills

1:30 PM – Taking lunch at cable car station (1500 m) and reach to hilltop (2500 m) in 10 minutes with panoramic views, majestic Himalayan range

2: 00 PM – Explore wild orchids around it

6: 00 PM -Move to resort




Chandragiri Hill Resort


18 april

 (Day 4)

01/06   Thu

Move from Chandragiri hills to Gorkha

10:30 AM – Check out and Departure from resort

1:00 PM – Lunch at Mugling

4:00 PM – Reach to Gorkha and relax




19 april

 (Day 5)

01/07  Fri

View Wild orchid and reintroduction of tissue culture raised orchid and plantation activities

7:00 AM – Taking Breakfast

8:00 AM – Reintroduction of orchid, plantation and observe previously reintroduced orchid

12:00 PM – Lunch

2:00 PM – Visit some historical places

6:00 PM – BBQ and dinner




20 april  (Day 6)

01/08  Sat

Move to Pokhara in vehicles after taking breakfast,

9: 00 AM – Departure from Gorkha

1: 00 PM – Reach Pokhara

2:00 AM – Taking lunch

5:00 PM – Visit lakeside

8:00 PM –Dinner

Fishtail lodge, Pokhara


21 April 

(Day 6)

01/09  Sun

Short hike, Visit lake,  cave, Davi’s fall

8:00 AM – Taking Breakfast

9:00 AM – Move to World Peace pagoda

10:00 AM – Move to Davi’s Falls and Gupteshwor Mahadev cave  from Pagoda

12:00 PM – Lunch

2:00 PM – City tour

7: 30 PM – Dinner

Fishtail lodge, Pokhara

22 April

 (Day 7)

01/10  Mon

Move to Bhadaure in vehicles and short 2- 3 hours hike and stay at Bhanjyang

8:00 AM – Check out and Departure from hotel after taking breakfast

10:00 AM – Reach Bhadaure

10:30 AM – Biodiversity information center

11:30 AM – Start hiking in scenic beauty of forest with beautiful orchid

4 : 00 PM- Reach Bhanjyang and rest

Panchase Bhanjyang



23 april  

(Day 8)

01/11  Tue

Panchase (Hot spot of Orchid) Jungle hike early morning and reach to panchase peak in 2 hrs, view beautiful wild orchid and return back to Bhadaure homestay 3-4 hrs

6:30 AM – Breakfast

8:00 AM – Start hiking in Panchase forest

10: 00 AM – Reach Panchase peak, rest and move back

3: 00 PM – Reach  Bhadaure homestay and rest

Panchase home stay, Bhadaure


24 april  

(Day 9)

01/12  Wed

Move to Pokhara and flight to Bhairawa

8:00 AM – Move to Pokhara from Bhadaure

10:00 PM – Reach to Pokhara

11: 45 AM – Flight to Bhairawa

1:30  PM – Lunch

3:00 PM – Move to Lumbini the Birth place of Gautam Buddha and explore previously reintroduced orchids

Siddhartha vilasa, Bhairawa


25 april  

(Day 10)

01/13  Thu

Move to Palpa after taking breakfast

9: 00 AM – Departure from hotel to Palpa

11:30 AM – Reach to Palpa and explore community orchid reserve

1: 00 PM -Lunch

2:00 PM –Back to Bhairawa

4:00 PM – Reach  Bhairawa

5:40 PM – Flight to Kathmandu and take rest

8:00 PM – Dinner

Hotel Himalaya



26 april   

(Day 11)

01/14  Fri

Natural History Museum, Swoyambhu Mahachaitya, Visit Pashupatinath temple

9:00 AM – Departure from Hotel

10:00 AM – Natural History Museum

1:00 PM – Lunch

2:00 PM – Swayambhunath temple

4:00 PM – Pashupatinath temple (Observe Aarati)

6:00 PM- Back to hotel

Hotel Himalaya


27 April  

(Day 12)

01/15 Sat

Shopping, Visit Thamel

Hotel Himalaya



28 April  

(Day 13)


Mr. Mahendra Thapa

Mr. Mahendra Thapa

Mr. Mahendra Thapa

In my final year students of master’s journey in botany, I find myself immersed in the captivating world of plants. Having explored the pristine landscapes of Panchase three times, I’ve witnessed the unspoiled beauty of nature in its purest form. My passion extends beyond mere admiration, as I actively contribute to the preservation and conservation of orchids. Engaged in the delicate science of tissue culture, I work towards safeguarding these floral treasures, combining my botanical expertise with a commitment to ecological sustainability. Beyond the laboratory, my wanderlust drives me to explore new areas, capturing the essence of each adventure through the lens of my camera. With a keen eye for photography and a heart devoted to orchids, I strive to foster a deep connection with these delicate wonders—whether in the wild or in the controlled environment of conservation efforts.

OCA Representative

Mary Gerritsen, Ph.D.

Mary Gerritsen, Ph.D.

The OCA representative on the Nepal trip will be Mary Gerritsen, Ph.D., President of the Orchid Conservation Alliance. Mary has been leading orchid tours for the OCA for nearly 10 years, and has traveled extensively to see orchids in habitat.

Plan to arrive in  Kathmandu (Tribhuvan International Airport) on or before April 15.Suggested route to get there: flight to Delhi, India. Transfer to Kathmandu. Flights from Delhi to Kathmandu take about 1.5 hr). Exchange some money at the airport. Currency is the Nepalese rupee. As of October 16, 2024, the exchange rate was $1 US= 133 rupees. We will arrange transportation to the hotel once your flight information is available.

Note: Customers may want to arrive a day or two early to adjust to the time, jet lag etc. You can contact the hotel in Kathmandu where you can make your own arrangements for the extra days.

This will be the first trip of Orchid Conservation Alliance to the Nepal. Nepal is a landlocked country situated in the lap of the Himalayas. Although it is a small country there is a large diversity of both flora and fauna. The lowest point in Nepal is 70 meters a.s.l. to highest point 8848.48 meters a.s.l. There are 10 UNESCO world Heritage sites and we will visit 6 of them. Nepal is considered a sovereign nation. We will visit the Kingdom of King who unified the Nepal.

The Panchase Forest, where we explore more orchids connects the districts of Kaski, Parbat, and Syangja, is situated in Central Nepal’s midhills and ranges in height from 900 to 2500 meters above sea level. It is the one of the main hot spots of Orchids where 142 species of orchids are found. There is the existence of various topographical terraces with a variety of habitats, such as forest, rangeland, shrub land, wetland and agricultural.

We will spend first 3 days in Kathmandu visiting world heritage sites, a city tour, and a research center then transfer to Chandragiri hills through cablecar where we will explore wild orchids around it. Day 4 we will move to Gorkha and next day we will explore reintroduced orchid and do plantation. On day 6 we will move to Pokhara from Gorkha by HiAce (ground transportation). In Pokhara we will visit the lake,a large cave and in Panchase we will explore orchid habitats. On the  9th day we will move from Panchase to Pokhara by HiAce and from Pokhara to Bhairawa, Lumbini via a domestic flight. In Lumbini we will see reintroduceds orchid from tissue culture and plantation activities. In 10th day we will move to Palpa in the early morning where we will see orchid conservation by a local community. In evening flight to Kathmandu. In 11th Day we will explore Natural History Museum and the UNESCO world heritage sites Pashupatinath temple and Swoyambhu Mahachaitya. In 12th day Shopping visit thamel bajar.

Weather: During April in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Panchase weather is almost same around 25 to 30 degrees in day time. While in Bhairawa there might be slightly hot almost 32 to 35 degrees C during day time.

Transportation: There will be three modes of transportation during the trip. Road ways by luxurious tourist bus or traveller, Rope way via cable car and by air using a domestic airline.

During the trip there will be involvement of orchid enthusiast and conservationist  Prof. Dr. Bijaya Pant who is the founder of Annapurna Research Center also, PuspaRaj Joshi Phd. Scholar will also join during Kathmandu valley trip and other researcher from Annapurna Research center.

List of possible orchid species that we may see (known to bloom in April):

Aerides odorata

Ascocentrum ampullaceum

Bulbophyllum polyrrhizum 

Bulbophyllum odoratissimum

Bulbophyllum leopardinum

Bulbophyllum scabratum

Bulbophyllum striatum 

Bulbophyllum wallichi

Calanthe plantaginea

Chrysoglossum ornatum

Coelogyne cristata

Coelogyne fimbriata 

Coelogyne flaccida

Coelogyne nitida

Coelogyne prolifera

Coelogyne stricta 

Cymbidium aloifolium

Cymbidium bicolor 

Cymbidium mannii 

Dendrobium amoenum

Dendrobium chrysanthum

Dendrobium crepidatum

Dendrobium densiflorum

Dendrobium heterocarpum

Dendrobium polyanthum

Epipogium roseum

Eria alba

Eria bractescens

Eulophia graminea

Gastrochilus calceolaris

Gastrochilus nepalensis

Goodyera procera

Liparis nervosa

Luisia tristis

Mycaranthes floribunda

Nervilia macroglossa

Oberonia nepalensis 

Oberonia pachyrachis

Oberonia recurva

Panisea demissa

Pleione humilis

Phalaenopsis taenialis

Pinalia amica

Pinalia excavata

Spiranthes spiralis 

Spiranthes flexuosa 

Stichorkis viridiflora

Thelasis pygmaea

Stichorkis viridiflora

Vanda pumila

Vandopsis undulata 

Zeuxine longilabris

Zeuxine affinis 

Zeuxine strateumatica

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