When to go to Nepal

In general, Nepal’s weather patterns are largely governed by the movement of the Asian monsoon.  However, the country ranges considerably in elevation, from near sea level to the top of Everest at 8,850m, and local conditions and climate obviously vary, depending upon where you are.  That said, Nepal lies on a similar latitude to Egypt.  Weather at lower elevations is generally warm and winter is quite mild, including Kathmandu at 1300m.

Nepal has five distinct seasons:

  • Spring (February to mid-April) brings steadily warm weather; the land is generally quite dusty and a haze often limits visibility below 4000m.  This presents no problem to those venturing high into the mountains and it is a good time of year to trek owing to the comparatively warm weather.  Rhodedendrons are in bloom in the hills during late March and early April and the Tarai’s long grasses have been cut, making spring a good time to view wildlife, despite the increasing heat.  

  • During the Pre-monsoon (mid-April to early June) it gets particularly hot at lower elevations and humidity and the prevalence of showers increases towards the end of this period.  The trekking season normally winds up at the end of May. 

  • The Monsoon itself typically lasts from mid-June to mid-September, although the timing can vary from year to year.  This can be an interesting time to visit Nepal if you are not planning to trek into the mountains, which are frequently covered in cloud and leeches infest mid-level trails; the hills turn lush and green, the air is clean and flowers are found in bloom everywhere.  However, travel schedules may need to be flexible as roads can be cut off owing to landslides and flights can be cancelled.  

  • Autumn (September to November) is cool with clear skies.  The mountains are at their most visible, the pollution and dust having been washed away by the monsoon rains, making this the most popular time for trekking.  The Terai is also not too hot at this time.  

  • Winter (December and January) is chilly at night and can be foggy and dank in the early mornings, but weather is generally stable at this time of year. Afternoons are usually clear, although there is occasional snow in the mountains, which become very cold. Tourist areas, trekking routes especially, are quiet, and it’s an excellent time to visit the Terai owing to the mild temperatures.