January 01 2012
Days after Gaddafi’s regime finally fell apart once and for all, Qatar Airways (www.qatarairways.com) announced flights from Doha to Benghazi. While it might be a tad too soon for Libya to start taking on Italy for the family vacation, don’t write off Qatar Airways’ pioneering spirit.
The airline has long been loyal to Kathmandu, where a number of operators are claiming a surge in tourism after the bad old years of murderous royals and Maoists. But rather than jump on the fashion wagon with operators who see in Nepal new (and cheaper) opportunities for trekking than neighbouring Bhutan, one might be better off sticking with the pros who have been at it for a while – among them, Mountain Kingdoms (www.mountainkingdoms.com). The company has two new standout treks for 2012: the 20-day Everest Base Camp in Style trip (£2,995 per person) and a more ambitious 24-day reconnaissance trek in the far north-west Nepalese Himalaya departing on April 14 (£3,345 per person).
Here on the border of Tibet stand two great mountains, Saipal and Api, the latter first explored by the Victorian eccentric Henry Savage Landor in 1899. Few British people have been here, making this walk among the Botia people pretty unique – with the trek itself led by the grandson of the original Everest summiteer, sherpa Tenzing Norgay.
Pictured: on the Everest Base Camp in Style trek from Mountain Kingdoms.