The term is derived from the Afrikaans word: "trek" (noun), and "trekken" (verb), (literally meaning to "pull, travel" which in turn is derived from the Dutch word "trecken" meaning to pull, haul, migrate).
It became a word in the English language in the mid 19th century, after the "Groot Trek" (from 1835 onwards) of more than 10,000 Boers, who, discontent with the British colonial authorities, left the Cape Colony and migrated north and north-east to set up their own republics in what is today South Africa.
The word 'trekking' was taken up and used by British mountaineering expeditions in Asia and soon spread to Nepal. Trekking today means to go on a long journey on foot, carrying what one needs, at one's own pace.
Trekking in Nepal will take you through a country that has captured the imagination of mountaineers and explorers for over 100 years. You will encounter people in remote mountain villages whose lifestyle has not changed in generations, yet they will convey confidence and pride to foreigners which are underwritten by the fact that they are in one of few countries in the world that have never been ruled by any foreign power. Trekkers have an opportunity to observe great variety in Nepal. The terrain changes from the tropical jungle in the south to the high glacial peaks in the north in just 150km and contains many ethnic groups and cultures. While trekking in Nepal's Himalayas you will be accompanied by picturesque villages, beautiful terraced landscape, and its majestic snowcapped mountains.
You may well be following in the footsteps of great Himalayan explorers like Hillary and Tenzing, yet trekking in Nepal is not usually either a strenuous climb or a wilderness experience. Most of the trails run between 500 and 3000 meters and pass through cultivated landscapes, well-populated with settlements, that give you a glimpse of the Nepalese people, their traditional hospitality, and fascinating culture. Hence trekking in Nepal is quite an exceptional kind of mountain holiday, unlike any to be found in other parts of the world.
Trekking is a wonderful way to experience the people and the places of Nepal, incomparable with any wilderness or backpacking experience you may already have done. The "roads" of Nepal are its footpaths, leading us slowly to the high villages, the only visitors allowed are those who are willing to make the effort to walk. Trekking takes some time and energy, but the reward is total immersion in some spectacular beauty and unique cultural interaction.
Trekking is one of Nepal's most popular activities. Nepal has three types of terrain: the mountainous, the hilly and the Terai (flat) regions offer some of the most spectacular trekking in the world. Across Nepal, you can find breathtaking natural beauty, pretty villages, attractive houses, and revered temples, subtropical lowlands, vast meadows and forests, fast-flowing rivers, deep canyons, and the stark beauty of cold and barren regions at the feet of the highest mountain peaks in the world.
Treks vary from high altitude routes to simple ones within the Kathmandu Valley. A trek can be of any length and difficulty you care to choose, lasting from a couple of days to months.