Nepal is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of biodiversity due to its varying altitudes and geographical position. The country covers altitudes from 60 meters above sea level to the peak of Everest at 8,848m! Because of this, Nepal has an incredibly diverse ecosystem including thick tropical jungles, teeming wildlife, great mountain ranges, forested hills and frozen valleys. Its spectacular geography offers an astonishing range of sightseeing attractions and adventure opportunities, which are found nowhere else on earth.
Nepal is home to hundreds of sacred sites and monuments dotted around medieval towns bearing influences of Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions from neighboring India and Tibet. This cultural and architectural landscape is unique to Nepal. In Kathmandu Valley alone, seven groups of monuments are on the UNESCO World Heritage List: The Durbar Squares of Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu), Patan and Bhaktapur, the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhu and Bouddha, and the Hindu temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan. Three other UNESCO World Heritage sites in Nepal are the Sagarmatha National Park, home to Mount Everest, Chitwan National Park in the Terai region, and Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha.
If you love stunning mountain views or love to climb them, then Nepal should be on the top of your bucket-list. Of the top 10 mountains in the world lying above 8000 metres, 8 are found in Nepal. This includes the world’s tallest mountain: Mount Everest. What’s more beautiful about Nepal is you don’t really have to be near the mountain ranges to enjoy the view: you can see the mountains even from the Terai. If you’re looking for extreme sport adventures, Nepal is also your destination. River rafting, paragliding, trekking, mountain climbing, kayaking, boating, bungee jumping, mountain flights – you name it; they are all available in Nepal. You can also find the world’s most extreme zipline in Pokhara, Nepal.
Volunteering in Nepal will help you to see the world from a different perspective, which enables you to develop your critical thinking and cross-cultural skills. In addition, by leaving the familiar behind to go encounter new people and places, you will gain a better understanding of yourself and the world around you. Experiencing another way of life firsthand will enhance your independence, understanding, education and self-awareness. These life-skills are all invaluable.
According to the United Nations, Nepal ranks 138th in the world in overall human development, behind such countries as India and Bangladesh, making it one of the least developed countries in Asia. Rural healthcare services are at best rudimentary, with government health posts often going understaffed and under supplied for years. Nutrition is inadequate and vaccination rates are poor. Access to education is irregular, and low literacy rates remain a barrier to economic progress.
Data drawn from the Asian Development Bank, National Living Standards Survey, Rural Poverty Portal, and UNESCO.