Visit Nepal in January and you'll need to pack warm clothing for the evenings and mornings as temperatures regular drop towards zero, even in Kathmandu. But that doesn't mean it's a bad time to visit, particularly if you're interested in the country's epic cultural treasures and rare wildlife rather than trekking. With less tourist visitors you’ll also find the country’s sites much quieter at this time of year.
January is the coldest month of the year in Nepal. However, away from the mountains, day time weather is typically dry and sunny with pleasant temperatures in the mid-20s that are ideal for wandering around Kathmandu’s ancient temples or exploring bustling markets. The wildlife hotspot of Chitwan National Park, famed for its one-horned rhino, also experiences clement weather at this time of year. Late January is a particularly good time to see wildlife in Chitwan as villagers start to cut back the tall phanta grasses found on the plains, which improves visibility no end.
Trekking isn't totally off the agenda either. Snowfall can be expected at higher altitudes which puts high level trails out of action, but the skies are often cloud free by day and the views impressively clear. It is seriously cold, with temperatures of -7°C at night, so you do need the right gear to keep warm. Many lodges provide hot water bottles and open fires to keep the cold at bay.
Taking an alternative approach to a classic Nepal combination, this journey contrasts the heady and hectic streets of Kathmandu with the open savannah of Chitwan National Park. Slow down to search for tigers and rhinos amid the wilderness, before strapping up your boots for a light trek between two atmospheric lodges in the Himalayan foothills around Pokhara.