By training and empowering local people on our treks in Nepal, we are able to provide positive employment opportunities and secure incomes. At the same time, you as a traveler benefit through the authentic experience and knowledge that a Nepali guide imparts.
From the feedback that we have received from previous trekkers, we know that our Nepal trekking guides really make a difference on your trip and so we wanted to introduce you to Sanjay Kumar Lama, who has been leading trips in the Tibetan and Nepali Himalayas since 2009. Some of you may have had the pleasure to trek with him in the past, while others may meet him on a future trekking holiday.
Can you please tell us about yourself?
I am Sanjay Kumar Lama and I am originally from Phidim, in the Panchthar district of Eastern Nepal. For the last 23 years I have been living in Kathmandu though. My mother and three sisters live in my hometown of Phidim and in my leisure time, I visit them and my friends.
I like to follow sports, music, study; I enjoy cafe life and love to travel with friends in the various parts of the country or overseas.
How did you become a trekking guide?
After completion of my graduation, I went on a small trip to Pokhara with some of my close friends which was fantastic. I became interested in exploring the beauty of nature and then I decided to become a professional trekking guide.
Later I applied for the role of trek leader with World Expeditions in Nepal. The company hired me as a co-leader for a few years and I then received first aid training by Dr. Jim Duff, KEEP and other Nepali doctors. I have now been leading groups as a trek leader since 2009 in the various sectors of Nepal and Tibet.
As a Nepali guide, what are your responsibilities on a trek?
I have the huge responsibility of looking after travellers and crew during the trip. Some aspects of this are safety, health issues, communication and coordination, assessing the weather condition, taking care of accommodation and the variation of food. Besides that, as a Nepali guide, I give explanation and information about different ethnic groups we meet and their culture, history and religion. We inform people about the landscape of the Himalaya and its flora, fauna and the mountains.
Basically, my main responsibility is to make sure everything is in the right place to run a trip smoothly and easily so that everyone can enjoy it to the fullest.
We trek with minimal impact on the ecosystem and the safety of the clients and the crew is my prime responsibility during all treks.
What do you like best about your job?
The best thing about my job is exploring the beauty of nature and to travel from one place to another, while playing sports and card games with the trekkers.
I particularly enjoy the last night of the trip when we usually have a celebration, which is the moment that makes us all happy and relaxed. I then get an opportunity to explore the diversity of different types of people. I can experience a little of their lifestyle, culture, and I enjoy when trekkers explain about their travels to different places. The whole team and all of the clients join the celebration and enjoy the party.
I enjoy talking with clients and learning about where they come from, their jobs, families and traditions from all over the world, even though I have not visited their home countries myself.
Due to the seasonality of my job I can do any extra activities in the off season, like socialization, study, and travel in Nepal or overseas.
What is your favourite place in Nepal?
The Gokyo Ri has the best viewpoint that I have seen, because of the views of the Gokyo Lakes, Ngozumba glacier and also 360° views of the snow-capped peaks along with Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu and Lhotse.
The Annapurna circuit is one of my favourite trekking routes due to the diversity in culture and ethnic groups, but also of the wide variety of flora, fauna and the landscape. The views of the Annapurna, Manaslu and Dhaulagiri ranges are one of my favourites as well.
What, in your career as a trekking guide in Nepal, is your best memory ever?
Being a trekking guide in Nepal is wonderful. It is one of the best job options in adventure sports in Nepal. A trekking guide requires essential criteria like leadership skills, responsibility, honesty, dedication, professionalism, confidence, knowledge, communication, patience, efficiency, tolerance, sensitivity as well as physical fitness and first aid knowledge.
I have both good and bad memories so far of the trips. The best memory of my career was to witness the spectacular views of the Himalayas and Tibetan plateau from the plane when I was flying to Lhasa from Kathmandu to begin the High Road to Lhasa trip in 2010.
I have done many trips under very different circumstances and I have gone through for example variable weather conditions in wilderness settings, seen a lack of fitness and, with both clients and crew, mountain sickness (AMS). Some situations can be challenging to deal with, but I have proven to manage these well.
Working as a leader in Nepal is a way of making a living and I have the opportunity to explore whilst having lots of fun because of my job. It is very interesting to work with people from all around the globe with different backgrounds. It has also allowed me to travel to Australia and New Zealand.
How can travellers best support the remote villages they trek through?
People should best contact a charity (Community Project) that can provide information on how to best help those people who are in need. World Expeditions run a number of charity travel adventure holidays in Nepal which are a big support to the remote villages that the clients trek through.
Our projects help support education of children, health, safe drinking water etc. Travellres are directly involved in renovating and building the schools or hospitals in the remote village they trek through.
What is your number 1 advice for people who are considering a trek in Nepal?
Make your trip to Nepal through a renowned company and make sure to support local tourism.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
World Expeditions is one of the best and well-known companies who operate trips across the globe. They give leaders like me an opportunity to serve you to make your adventure dreams come true. You won’t just go on a holiday, instead you support all the stake holders wherever you go on a trip. Be well prepared before doing any trip.
Be responsible travellers and enjoy the adventure of being alive.
Leaders in the Field
World Expeditions has always held the view that our operations in all parts of the world should be managed and operated by people of the host country. By training and empowering local people, we are able to provide them with positive employment opportunities and a secure income, while our travellers benefit through the authentic experience that they are able to impart. We are very proud of the calibre of our staff and guides, read much more about them if you wish.