The Responsible
Adventure Travel Company

Overview

We are now running small scale pilot Sabbatical schemes in Nepal. These follow the model developed for our Sabbaticals in Kenya and build on our successful Medical Elective programmes.

Adventure Alternative offer sabbaticals which allow skilled people to broaden their working experience into countries and regions that also greatly benefit from the transferral of skills and cultural experience. We organise all the logistics, accommodation and support that you need through our established network of contacts throughout the country. Your time can also be supplemented by periods of travel and exploration.

    More Information

    Our current Sabbatical initiative in Nepal is aimed initially at those who are able to contribute to the running and administration of our Nepal NGO, Moving Mountains Nepal. We will place you with Moving Mountains Nepal, in their head office in Kathmandu, for a minimum period of 3 months and up to a year. This requires selection and preparation, and we will need to conduct quite a comprehensive interview procedure and checking of your credentials.

    This an exciting opportunity for anyone who wants to get a real invaluable hands-on experience in the running of an active NGO in a developing country. The NGO is also supported by Adventure Alternative Nepal and Adventure Alternative UK so you will gain cross-over experience in this successful business model and in the interplay of tourism and international development. The Adventure Alternative companies run medical electives, treks and mountaineering expeditions in Nepal and you will see these programmes passing through the same offices.

    Your roles will be varied and you will also be expected to actively contribute to the ongoing development of schemes and initiatives aswell as the day to day running and administration of existing programmes. To get more information on what the NGO does in Nepal visit the Moving Mountains website.

    Staff

    Moving Mountains Nepal is managed by six Sherpa Trustees, one of whom is a paid co-ordinator whose name is Geljun Sherpa. He handles all of the operations, while the Treasurer Pasang Tendi Sherpa manages the finances. Both of them will be the staff who you will work, plus the local committees in the villages of Bumburi and Bupsa. Since the projects we run are social enterprises, there will be a great opportunity to work with local co-operatives, as well as Nepalese, in the NGO sector.

    Activities and Highlights

    Visiting the villages and taking part in the work of the local committees in the mountains, and helping to develop the long term strategy of the programmes that have turned this area completely around in the past ten years. Our work here won the AITO Community Project Award in 2011.

    Otherwise you can go on treks in the region, experience homestays in traditional Sherpa homes, get involved with running a relevants and well run charity in Nepal, and experience the lifestyle of the Nepalese.

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    Dates and Itinerary

    Time in Country

    The basic Sabbatical will last for at least 3 months. We have found that this is the minimum ammount of time needed to allow you to settle in, get used to the work and then make progress and fully contribute to furthering the initiative you are involved in. Ideally we would like the placements to last longer that this and it is likely that a stay of 6 months or more will really see you integrate with the community and organisation and really get the most out of your trip. Shorter trips can easily be over before you are really into the swing of things and the lasting benefits for you and for the community are far deminished.

    Independent Travel

    At the end of your sabbatical you will of course have the opportunity to stay in and do some independent travel. We can help you with this and ensure that where you are going and where you stay will be safe. We can provide a friendly face in most towns in the country, and our company in can act as a back-up for emergencies and for storing belongings and equipment.

    Alternatively we can provide bolt-on itineraries ourselves. We have a range of treks and mountain climbs and can coordinate your sabbatical to tie in with our other group trips. Please feel free to talk to us about this on application.

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    Cost

    Nepal Sabbatical cost: £1,250.00

    Includes
    • Airport transfers
    • Transport between placement locations (accompanied by Adventure Alternative staff)
    • Accommodation and costs (electricity, gas, etc) in Adventure Alternative Guest Houses
    • Weekly allowance for food and local transport
    • The cost of your placement at the host organisation and any required supervision
    • UK administration and organisation
    • Nepali staff and administration costs
    Excludes
    • International airfare to Kathmandu
    • Nepal Visa - can be purchased on arrival ($50/£30)
    • Vaccinations/malarial tablets
    • Travel Insurance
    • Personal expenses for weekend visits, independent travel, souvenirs, etc
    Cost of Add-Ons and Some Optional Extras
    • Additional Weeks: £150.00
      Additional time beyond the minimum 3 month period is charged at the stated rate per week
    • Everest Base Camp Trek: £945.00
      Due to our background as an expedition company and our connections through our charity which has done a great deal of work in the Himalayan villages we also offer you the chance to join one of our trek teams heading to the Base Camp of Mount Everest! This is one of the Worlds greatest hikes to one of the most incredible places on our planet which takes you to base camp tucked up underneath the sheer slopes of Everest. The trek takes just over two weeks, which includes rest days! Eventually you will reach the tiny settlement of Gorak Shep perched on the edge of the massive Khumbu Glacier with Mt Everest at the other end and the base where mountaineers begin their climb to the summit. This trek is fully supported and you will have a porter to carry your bag. Accommodation on the way is in comfortable lodges or under the stars. The food is great, the scenery breathtaking and the people are some of the most wonderful that you’ll ever meet! Getting to base camp is not possible all year round due to the monsoon and the winter when flights and severe weather close down the higher passes. If you are planning an elective around March, April, May or Sept, October, November then you can join up with one of the teams heading up. The trek can be before you start your elective or after and promises to be one of the most amazing and breathtaking things you have ever done. Fitness is generally peoples concern however the trek is surprisingly relaxing with generally four hours walking each day. If this is of interest you should check out the Everest Base Camp page on the website and don’t worry when you look at the price as this is greatly reduced for people on an elective. For latest prices please refer to the website or phone the office.
    • Moving Mountains Village Trek: £550.00
      This is a wonderful 7 day trek which can also be taken as an extension to the Everest Base Camp trek which starts when you approach Lukla on the way back from Everest. Two days further and off the beaten trail is two villages which our charity had been developing over the last decade. You are welcome to come and see what we've been doing and get involved. This is beautiful trip, like stepping back in time and will introduce to the traditional ways and cultures of the local people.
    • Chitwan Jungle Adventure: £399.00
      This is a very popular trip for those who would like a bit more excitement. We depart Kathmandu by coach and after a couple of hours driving we meet up with your white water rafting crew who will take you on an adventurous trip down river for many miles until you reach the Chitwan Jungle. We then spend the next four days based in a lovely jungle resort. This quaint home from home is our base for river trips in traditional dug out canoes, jungle walks and the highlight; an elephant back safari, which at the end involves jumping in the river with your elephant to give him or her a wash! After all of the jungle fun and activities we then return to Kathmandu by a short flight.
    • Everest Flight: £160.00
      This is a flight around Mt Everest offering spectacular views of the mountain. This flight leaves daily in the morning and can be undertaken by those who plan to depart Kathmandu for home, on an evening flight following the trek or as an addition to the next two options. The one hour flight takes off from Kathmandu Airport and flies east in a fully pressurised aircraft, where one can see magnificent mountains from a height of around 25,000 feet. A must take tour of the majestic Himalayas. It’s an hour of breathtaking scenic beauty of the Mighty Mountains. It is a sparkling clear journey across the world’s highest peaks, Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga – 3rd highest, Lhoste, Makalu, Cho Oyu, to name just a few including the Tibetan plateau. You enjoy a seemingly endless chain of snow capped peaks as you fly above the clouds, over glaciers and lakes, rivers and gorges from your private individual window. The clear, non tinted windows offer a great opportunity to experience and photograph the aerial views of the Kathmandu valley, the high peaks and the landscapes of Nepal.
    • Spa Hotel: £60.00
      Located just outside of Kathmandu is the lovely Spa Resort, Park Village. We can arrange transfers and accommodation at the resort for you. People can then select and 'pay as you go' for the various pamperings and treatments. They also offer classes in yoga and have lovely trail walks in the surrounding hills. This option is all about rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.
    Insurance

    You will need to organise your own insurance for your elective. It is now quite easy to get cover from credit cards, brokers or even Tesco’s! You can also look at the insurance options available online through the AA website.

    Profit Share

    Your time in Nepal allows us to properly support a number of businesses and charitable projects through investment in staff, upkeep, development, training or simply hiring or utilising existing skills or supplies. By coming out with Adventure Alternative we also make a charitable donation to every institution where you work. Adventure Alternative also uses profits to run the charity Moving Mountains so that it does not have administrative overheads.

    Local Benefits

    The local benefits felt due to you spending time with us in Nepal are huge. You benefit the community by spending your allowance in the local shops, on entertainment, weekend visits or day trips. You also allow us to employ many great people, many of whom where once sponsored by our charity but now employed by the company. Then if you stand back and look at the big picture, one which is and has been a long term plan of Moving Mountains - the continual development of the charity and the locations where the charity works. Your role continues this work and the time you spend there forms part of this ongoing process and all along this journey you are not only giving to the local community but also developing yourself.

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    Fitness

    Training

    No specific training is required before a Sabbatical however we would highly recommend that you read up on Nepal before you travel, in particular the areas that you are planning to travel to. Prior knowledge on the history, cultures, tribes and local customs will only enhance your trip.

    You should also read up on how your given trade or profession is practised and administered in Nepal as opposed to your home nation. There may be significant procedural and legal differences that you need to be aware of. Obviously this will vary greatly according to your given profession. We can provide contacts in Nepal to allow you to discuss any implications of issues such as these.

    The majority of Nepalis in urban centres speak some English but you will find it useful learning a few key Nepali words and phrases.  Nepalis will love that you have made an effort to learn their language.

    Role Model

    Without doubt you will witness the strong links between Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains and the clinics and hospitals that you are placed in.  As such you will be an ambassador to both Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains and there will be many people looking to you as a role model.

    Moving Mountains, with the help and support of Adventure Alternative, has successfully assisted many people and projects around the world. To be able to do this in countries where corruption is a common human trait is no easy task. It takes careful assessment, implementation and management over many years. It also takes years to understand the principles of aid and charity within such communities.  Any charitable donations should be made through the appropriate channels and advice should always be sought from our staff.

    The Promise to Moving Mountains

    Moving Mountains started as a small charity in 1991 when Gavin Bate was teaching in the slums of Kenya. Some of the children he taught are now adults and working for the charity and the company. Along the way Gavin has put into action a set of beliefs in how a charity should best be run. This is nothing to do with helping an African child, but a way of running a community which can break free of poverty and not become reliant on others for handouts. It defines the way money is spent, how it is distributed, and how it fits in with the wider needs. It doesn’t focus on the child, but on how the child is brought up in the family and the community. It’s taken nearly twenty years of experience to get to the point where Moving Mountains is now a big charity which has such a successful ‘business model’ that the local people themselves love it.

    We want you to be a part of it, but we ask that you respect our system. We have rules, which include not giving ‘things’ to children and not making private arrangements for personal sponsorships or gifts or money. We have seen this happen before, and it has never worked. The Nepalis respect a system that doesn’t just hand it out, but gives them a chance to become owners of something successful and long-term, like any self-respecting person. It’s easy to fall into the trap of responding to an emotional response and just handing over money, but that isn’t aid and it doesn’t actually help. What helps is clever expenditure of money, a strategy to spend it properly, and the realisation that money is hard to come by in any society.

    Your trip is enough to make a difference. It’s part of something successful and inspiring, and it’s part of a vision that somebody had a long time ago. Your promise to us is to let that vision continue.

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    Gear

    Kit List
    • Sunhat
    • Mobile phone - an old model which is unlocked
    • Sun glasses - not the most expensive model you can find, but a reasonable pair which has good UV protection
    • Sleeping liner - keeps your bag clean and you can sleep in it if the night is too warm. Make one out of an old bedsheet!
    • Sleeping bag - a synthetic 3-4 season bag is fine
    • Water proof jacket, but also take an umbrella for showers
    • Rucksack or duffle about 65-90 litres will be fine
    • Wash kit and Travel towel
    • Good shoes and flip flops, you could also take walking boots
    • Camera - plus charger unit. A digital camera is fine, but throwaway cameras are great for the kids
    • Any contact lens solutions
    • Head torch - LED are best
    • Daysack
    • Money belt - to conceal your money with crocodile type clip to secure it.
    • Medical pack / first aid kit
    • Sun cream - with a high UVA protection.
    • Malaria tablets (depending on location)
    • Water bottle - perhaps with a built-in filter
    • Water purification tablets
    • Insect repellent
    • Small padlocks with security code
    • A good guide book
    • A Nepali phrasebook
    • Notebook, stationery, pens
    • Any equipment specific to your profession or trade
    Additional Kit Info

    Females will have to dress conservatively in public and especially in schools and the childrens homes. You will draw unnecessary attention to yourself and maybe cause offence if revealing clothing is worn.

    Keep your money somewhere safe like in a bumbag. Do not bring large wads of notes with you. If you take sterling cash with you make sure they are Bank of England notes, not regional notes eg Northern Irish notes or Scottish notes.

    Also don't forget:

    Your passport - valid for at least six months beyond the return date.
    Insurance - comprehensive travel and medical insurance cover.
    Immunisation booklet - with details of all the jabs you've had.
    Passport photos - take about six of these to be used as identification
    List of emergency telephone numbers - to cancel/call insurers, credit/debit cards
    Tickets and itinerary - remember to leave copies of these with friends or family
    Money - a mixture of some cash, travellers' cheques and credit cards.
    List of useful contact numbers - such as British Embassy/Consulate, insurance company and credit card 24 hour emergency telephone number.

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    Why Us

    • We are driven by good intentions and not just good practise; our trips work with professional bodies that work full time in the field of international development.
    • We do not contract out our trips, we employ full time staff, offering job security and good benefits.
    • We are passionate about responsible tourism and our company has promoted sustainable development since 1995, and it is still growing!
    • We work with Moving Mountains which is tightly linked with the company, and provides relevant long term programmes and projects that benefit the host communities.
    • Financial security guaranteed as we are AITO bonded.
    • We are members of Interhealth which gives you access to pre-trip health information and on-site assistance by phone in the event of an emergency.
    • Our staff only work for Adventure Alternative.
    • We use low cost sustainable technologies and a business model which incentivises a local NGO.
    • We have independent research to evaluate and assess the projects we run.
    • We deliver value and an informed choice to our clients, through a highly comprehensive communications network that you can access, and we can provide that evidence to stand behind everything we say.
    • We have credibility because our projects are not all self-regulated, but assessed in a collaborative process that involves many stakeholders such as the community leaders, the NGO staff and the regulatory bodies in Nepal.
    • We have progressive ideas about the structural determinants of poverty and the implementation of 'clever aid' to create sustainable benefits.
    • We don't take people's jobs, we use these trips to invest in people.
    • We fulfil the criteria of Fair Trade Volunteering.
    • Our projects and programmes determine the trip, not the other way around.
    • We believe in what we do, and we have the experience to carry it out.

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