Having a history of about fifty six years and with the involvement of over 60 companies and 200 river guides, Nepalese river rating sector has very few female river guides. The interview below of Sita Thapa, a pioneer female river guide in Nepal, is about a diverse issue related to rafting in Nepal. Hailing from scenic city of Pokhara, Ms. Thapa in this interview talks about rafting and kayaking, her experiences as a female guide and reaction from clients in this regard, technical aspects of rafting and other aspects such as camping during the rafting expedition, responsible rafting, safety and security during rafting, role of guides during rafting and efforts for encouraging more female participation in the area of river rafting. In an interview by Mr. Raju Silwal, Chief News Editor, NTV News (aired for the first time on 2nd April, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. and re-telecasted on NTV National Transmission), Ms. Thapa shares her inspiration, the story behind the starting of her career as a female river guide and many more.
Wandering through the rough terrains and jungles, flora and fauna, exciting range of climate zones, glittering snow-capped mountains, serene beauty and landscape with the ever smiling and resilient guides and fellow trekkers is what describes the trekking experience in Nepal in general. The age group and gender become mere words in the company of warm hospitality of Nepalese guides. This essentially means that trekking with female guide or with a male guide seldom makes a difference. Nonetheless, for females, either independent traveler or a group, the experience is different when it comes to trekking with female guide in most part of the world and the Himalaya trekking is no exception.
The dominance and participation by male in the field of outdoor travel, backpacking and other adventurous sports is being shared successfully by their female counterpart lately. This has given rise to the independent female travelers and trekkers, mountaineers and tourists. Consequently, the need of the professional female guides has also come to the notice of the tourism fraternity. Nepalese tourism fraternity also came under this influence and eventually the all-girls trekking and tourism company was formed with the name of Himalayan Adventure Girls in Nepal.
The entry of professional female guides in Nepalese tourism and trekking industry meant a significant paradigm shift in social values and a crack in the rigid social structure of Nepalese society. This has become a live example of women empowerment in the society. When you be a companion and client of female trekking guides in Nepal, the vibe of positivity, determination and the triumph of overcoming the social and cultural barriers can easily be felt.
Why to trek with female trekking guides in Nepal?
Although Nepal is safe for single female travelers and male guides are mostly respectful to tourists either male or female, there are several practical and other reasons to go for a professional female trekking guide in Nepal, especially for females. One realistic reason is the ease and comfort with which a fellow female trekker can share her personal difficulties and problems with another female, the benefit to the traveler increases. If its a male guide, he might not understand her personal problem to the level the female guide does.
Given that going with male guides is still safe, you can be more assured on your safety while trekking with a female guide if you still doubt to rely on male on your trek.
Furthermore, getting a wider perspective through the female guides in Nepal will get you the feel of occhiolism. The struggle female guides in Nepal has to go through, the success stories of some of the professional female guides in Nepal will make a female traveler realize the difference that exists in this nation from her own society.
Female guides for Independent Female Travelers
Researches show that solo travelling by female is a rising trend around the world. The trance and tranquility, the feeling of being self-dependent in exploring the places far from the known surrounding boosts the confidence and sense of self in a person. Keeping this in mind there are surplus of websites and professionals to serve the independent female travelers. Due to this reason, the number of female guides in Nepal is increasing slowly and steadily.
Female guides in Nepal are sure to provide a boost to such independent female travelers with their stories of struggle and success and the painstaking journey to the field of adventure tourism. Such female guides provide a much necessary companion to these travelers and an opportunity to explore the ups and downs of others much relatable to the self of such independent female travelers.
Anu Shrestha of Himalayan Adventure Girls (HAG) is one of the success stories of a female guide in Nepal. Overcoming all the hurdles to be the first high school graduate from her village, she eventually won the World Paddle Award, 2015 for her extraordinary courage and determination in creating a place in Nepalese adventure tourism sector. Sita Thapa, another founding member of HAG and a professional kayak, trekking and rafting guide, shares similar success story. So is the case of Radha Tamang and award-holder Kalpana Magar, the other champion female guides in HAG. Peeping into the life of these extraordinary female guides and realizing the ‘women-power’ is only possible in the companion of such professional female guides in Nepal.
Professional Female guide for family travel
The need of professional female guides in Nepal has been felt in other aspects than those mentioned earlier. The notable area of need is the female guide for the family travel in Nepal. The level of care and comfort that can be created by the female guide for a ‘family on the move’ is of greater warmth than that of a fellow male guide. Serving the younger and the older members of family with apt approach of attention and freedom is done better by the female guides in Nepal who are family minded in nature. This increases the importance of a professional female guide in Nepal.
The family out for a relaxed and refreshing travel in Nepal demands the company of a guide who can take care of the smaller details and problems that tend to arise during the tour. The accompany of a female guide very well serves the purpose.
In a Nutshell…
The experience of trekking in Nepal is an amazing one with beautiful landscapes, exciting terrain and the variety of flora and fauna along the route of trekking. For a female traveler who seeks adventure and intends to explore the Nepalese lifestyle and culture through such adventure the companionship of a female guide in Nepal is an added advantage that every female traveler would like to get. Be it family tour or a research oriented vacation the female guide best serves the purpose for the female travelers and trekkers.