The monsoon season generally occurs from June to September but can be unpredictable.
Expect travel disruptions and be prepared to change your plans.
Road travel can be dangerous, especially in the low-lying Terai (plains), where the risk of flooding is higher.
Landslides are common in mountainous areas, including the Kathmandu valley.
Airports may close. Air travel disruptions are common.
Monitor Nepal weather information for up-to-date information on conditions. Contact your travel provider about possible disruptions to your travel plans.
Travel from Nepal to India
Nepal’s land borders are open to foreign nationals. For information on the entry requirements for India please refer to the Smartraveller India specific travel advice.
Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of India for up-to-date information.
Travel from Nepal to Tibet
Generally, only travellers in organised tour groups get visas and permits for the Tibetan region of China.
If you're planning to travel to Tibet:
If you're in Nepal, contact the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Kathmandu.
To drive in Nepal, you need both:
- a valid Australian driver's licence
- an International Driving Permit (IDP)
Get your IDP before you leave Australia.
Your travel and vehicle insurance could be void if you drive without an IDP.
If you stay for longer than six months, you need a Nepali driver's licence.
The minimum driving age is 18 years.
You're more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident in Nepal than in Australia.
Driving can be dangerous due to:
- crowded and poorly maintained roads
- poor driving standards
- aggressive drivers who ignore traffic laws.
Road travel is dangerous at night, especially in rural areas.
Landslides and flooding can damage or block rural roads. This is common during the monsoon season from June to September. Towns or areas are often cut off for days at a time.
Landslides and other disruptions can occur on the Mugling-Narayanghat highway, a section of the road between Kathmandu and Chitwan National Park, and the Prithvi Highway, the road between Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Road travel can be disrupted due to:
- demonstrations and strikes
- roadworks and infrastructure projects.
Significant delays on major roads within cities and towns, as well as on highways, are common.
Open drains and uncovered manholes are a risk to pedestrians and cyclists.
Locals often assume foreigners are at fault in car accidents, regardless of the situation. They may demand money. Crowds of onlookers can gather quickly after an accident and may turn hostile.
Car accidents resulting in injuries often lead to confrontations and road closures. Violence against drivers also happens.
If you plan to drive in Nepal:
- learn local traffic laws and practices
- monitor the media for road closures
- always keep your car windows up and doors locked
- avoid travel between cities after dark.
If you're involved in a traffic accident and are worried about your safety:
- stay in your locked vehicle
- phone 103 for the Traffic Police
- wait for the police.
Check if your travel insurance policy covers you when using a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet. Helmets bought in Nepal may not meet Australian safety standards.
Only use registered taxis and authorised limousines. Arrange them through your hotel or resort.
Taxi drivers often refuse to use meters and overcharge travellers. Negotiate a fare with the driver before the trip.
Fuel shortages can make it hard to get local taxis and other forms of transport.
Travel on public buses and vans is dangerous. These vehicles are overcrowded and poorly maintained.
There are frequent accidents with multiple deaths involving intercity buses.
Accidents involving private hire cars and jeeps travelling between cities regularly occur and can cause injuries or death. If you are concerned, ask your driver to slow down and drive safely.
Women are often harassed, including sexually, on public buses.
Check with your airline or tour operator for updates on your flight.
In normal circumstances, cancellations and delays are common, especially during:
- tourist seasons when the airport is crowded
- bad weather (especially throughout the monsoon season).
Check weather conditions before travelling. Bad weather conditions in mountainous and hill regions could further increase the risk to your safety and cause lengthy delays. Airfields such as Lukla's, in the Solukhumbu (Everest) region, are among the most remote and difficult to land on. These airfields are challenging for even the most technically proficient pilots and well-maintained aircraft.
All carriers from Nepal have been refused permission to operate air services to the EU due to safety concerns.
There have been several air accidents in Nepal over the last 10 years, including:
- 15 January 2023, a Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara with 72 people on board crashed shortly before landing. All 68 passengers and four crew were killed.
- 29 May 2022, a Tara Air flight from Pokhara to Jomsom with 22 people on board crashed shortly after take-off in bad weather. All 16 passengers and six crew were killed.
- 12 March 2018, a US Bangla Airlines flight from Bangladesh with 71 passengers on board crashed on landing at Kathmandu International Airport. Fifty-one passengers were killed.
- 26 February 2016, an Air Kasthamandap flight with 11 passengers on board crashed while flying between Nepalgunj and Jumla. Two crew members were killed.
- 24 February 2016, a Tara Air flight with 20 passengers on board crashed while flying between Pokhara and Jomsom. Twenty-three passengers were killed.
Check Nepal's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.