Like almost everything in Nepal, our story is a colorful one, and begins nearly 20 years ago with our founder and President, Anish Neupane. Anish began his journey as a teacher at a local school, specializing in computer literacy. After acting as an impromptu host to a few travelers visiting the school in Bhaktapur, Anish saw an opportunity, and decided to make the leap into voluntourism.
Seeing the impact a traveler could make in Nepal’s non-profit realm, Anish founded VolNepal, connecting visitors with local communities to maximize the local living experience, while providing some of the aid that Nepal desperately needs. Success came quickly to Anish and to VolNepal, as the model of allowing travelers to share their individual expertise in whatever way they could, coupled with a “live like a local” experience, resulted in a rapidly growing enterprise.
Established in 2005, VolNepal currently operates a wide number of initiatives, including teaching, construction, women’s support and outreach, and microfinance education – to name a few.
Our vision multiplied, with a large percentage of travelers returning to VolNepal a few times over.
But perhaps the most smashing success to date came when we discovered a business model that would allow VolNepal to operate under a “100% Guarantee” – the ability to deliver ALL of the funds donated to reach their intended destinations and projects, every time.
This sensible and philanthropic business model came in the form of a tourism company… and GAP Year Nepal was born. By creating a dynamic, adventurous and friendly tour provider, we are able to divert a portion of our profits to cover VolNepal’s overhead costs, while establishing the perfect partnership for visitors to Nepal who want to experience a volunteer component to their journey.
GAP Year Nepal, now in its 7thyear, combines mainstream packaged tours with community-based programs to help travelers find their way – spiritually and physically – through the kaleidoscope of culture and scenery that is Nepal. We pride ourselves on helping travelers tap into the learning opportunities and adventure of the remote areas of our country, to create unforgettable experiences.
Which brings us to 2018, and the birth of Himalayan Circuit. After the roaring success of GAP Year Nepal amongst younger travelers, we wanted to create a parallel experience, and one geared more towards adults and mature travelers. With dozens of itineraries available, at any pace and level of comfort you desire, join Himalayan Circuit as we showcase Nepal’s immense beauty and rich community life.
In particular, we want to mention our newest project – “Kot Danda Agro Resort”. In our passion to empower local communities, we began the Kot Danda project in a beautiful suburb on the edge of bustling Kathmandu. Badly in need of the economic boost tourism often provides, we have partnered with this small village to promote development of produce (among other products), with the goal of creating fresh income generation opportunities.
As our portfolio of brands continues to develop, led by Himalayan Circuit, we are excited and proud to grow alongside our customers, with whom we share our unique and precious vision of community-centric travel in stunning Nepal.
From the whole team at Himalayan Circuit