Manaslu trek is one of the remote treks in Nepal that takes you through traditional villages, dense forest, narrow pathways, gorges, crossing several glacial rivers, streams, and gives you the best opportunity to cross the Larkya La Pass. You cannot get the special permit to do this trek alone; you must be accompanied by a licenced porter guide or a guide, and must be travelling in a group of two members; which means, Manaslu trek without guide isn't possible. It is one of the restricted areas declared by the Government of Nepal. Similarly, you also need a special permit to make through Tsum valley, Manaslu base camp, and Larkya La Pass. You can get the permit via an authorized trekking guide.
Before getting the permit for Manaslu trek, you have to hire an authorized individual from a local trekking agency working in Nepal, such individual can be either a porter guide or a professional guide. Excluding the guide or the porter guide you are going to do this trek, you have to be trekking in a group of two members. And, you have to file for the special permit to do this trek via a trekking agency. Only when you meet these requirements of the governments you can get a special permit. For the application of the permit, you have to show your original passport stamped with arrival mark, have travel insurance that covers you up to 6000 meters, 4 passports sized photographs, and permit fees. And if your Manaslu trek itinerary includes Tsum valley too, you have to apply for this permit separately.
You are required to have the Restricted Area Permit (RAP), Manaslu Conservation Area Permit (MCAP), and Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP). When you already have the RAP, you do not have to take TIMS card, which would have been mandatory in another kind of trekking route. You might be charged US$70 for the first week during September to November and US$10 per day per person after this; and, if you are travelling during December to August, you shall be charged US$50 for the first week and US$7 per extra day per person. The cost of ACAP and MCAP for Manaslu circuit trekking is NPR 2,000 each.
Once the trekking agency buys a permit for you, it comes under the tax radar of the government. If they give you the permit without a guide, they will be surcharged with a penalty, and you shall be under high risk, as there are some dangerous places prone to avalanche, where few incidents did happen in the past years. Thus, Manaslu circuit trekking route compulsorily requires you to obtain all the required permits via a travel agency, and must be travelling with a guide; no solo travelling in the Manaslu region. You might be wondering that why you have to obtain the ACAP when you are trekking in the Manaslu region. It is to be noted that you shall be trekking in the Annapurna region for two days, for which, you are required to have the ACAP.
Normally, a Manaslu circuit trek includes trekking in the Tsum valley. You have to get special permits for trekking in the Tsum valley. You might be charged US$35 for the first 8 days during September to November, and US$25 for the first 8 days during the months of December to August. You can get the permit within an hour and a half, however, if the system goes down and the officers are required to work manually, it might take a couple of hours. You cannot obtain the permits in advance, as the government has to verify your details. But in some exceptional cases, you can get the permits in advance, provided you submit scanned copies of your passport (the main page), visa number (if you already have obtained it from your own country), and the e-copy of your flight ticket to Nepal.
Also, note that permits can't be issued to a single trekker alone. However, you can pay for two permits, if you can manage an extra passport. After getting the permit, you must trek with a registered guide. This practice is also known as "ghost" permits. First, you need to fill up the online application permit form. Then you need to fill up another online application form for ACAP and MCAP. You have to address the application to the Director-General, Department of Immigration and send it. Then, you have to print the itinerary with dates of trekking. Then, you have to write the serial number of the American Dollar and the denomination. You shall find the Department of Immigration at Anamnagar, Kathmandu. Along with the letterhead of the agent, you have to submit the currency at the Global IME Bank (situated at the Immigration Department) and receive the deposit slip. After the verification by the officers, the application shall go to the Director General of Immigration for final verification. Then, the officer shall print the permits and paste stickers individually, and sign and stamp. This brings the authorized permits in your hand. Otherwise, the trekking agency shall submit the online application for to the Nepal Tourism Board and obtain the permits for you. Then, it shall place your photograph, and take to the department for final sign and approval.
Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek is a leading trekking agency in Nepal that has been taking trekkers from across the world to several trekking destinations in Nepal. Manaslu trek without a guide isn't possible, however, we can arrange this trek with our guide. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us.