A combination of majestic beauty and accessibility has ensured that the Annapurna region is the most widely visited anywhere in the Himalayas, with approximately three times more trekkers choosing to trek here than in the Everest/Khumbu area.Most treks begin at the scenic resort town of Pokhara, on the shore of Lake Fewa - which is itself an attractive holiday destination. The trails follow the ancient salt trading route up the Kali Gandaki Valley Gorge and the wealth of well-established trading inns, that have now been converted into trekking lodges, The comfortable accommodations as well as good road and air links with Kathmandu, have been instrumental in the great popularity of trekking here.
The Annapurna Conservation area - a multiple-use concept for the management of flora and fauna - is the most geographically and culturally diverse protected area anywhere in the world. With no fewer than seven ethnic groups living and working in the region, nowhere else in Nepal can one meet and experience such a wide variety of human culture.Equally diverse is the plant and animal life. The extremes in elevation have created a remarkably wide array of flora, from sub-tropical lowland forests of oak, bamboo and rhododendron in the south, to the high alpine meadows and windswept desert plateaus bordering Tibet in the north.
The varied wildlife includes the snow leopard and the Himalayan black bear at higher altitudes, while the grey langur monkey and a variety of cats and rodents flourish at lower levels. More than 440 species of bird have also been recorded.The area is dominated by both the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himal, which sweep from the low hills at 700 m to pierce the sky at 8000 m - and all within a distance of only 50 km.The trekkers’ starting point of Pokhara is ideal for the purpose - with arguable the most impressive mountain backdrop anywhere in the world. The town is a great base both to prepare for your trek and to relax after successfully completing it. Access to the mountains is relatively easy and within a few hours of beginning your journey you are experiencing tremendous high mountain views close-up!