March heralds the arrival of spring in Nepal and tourism begins to pick up as the days get warmer too. Wildflowers - in particular brilliant pink rhododendrons - burst into bloom on the hillsides and the days start to get longer. Daytime temperatures on the plains are into the high twenties and it's wedding season for locals so there's lots of cultural colour to enjoy.
The weather in March in Nepal can be a little unsettled, so you'd do well to pack a rain jacket, but the monsoon doesn't hit for a couple more months so the rain, if it comes, is light and short lived. At higher altitudes March has a reputation amongst the Sherpas for being colder than December at night. With temperatures dropping to -10°C, there's usually quite a lot of snow still lying around. Elsewhere, daytime temperatures are beginning to climb to 20°C and more. The views can be a little obscured by haze, particularly at lower elevations. The water festival of Holi is celebrated in early March. It’s certainly a colourful event: locals paint their faces with brightly coloured powders and throw coloured water at each other using buckets and water bombs!
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.