Personally, I wouldn’t recommend visiting Nepal in August unless it’s the only time of year you can go. August is challenging in more ways than one. You’ll get hit with monsoon season which can make it very difficult to make plans. Those who like structure and order may find themselves going crazy with cancelations and delays. Those who are a little easier going and can change plans at the drop of a hat will be better off. If you plan to visit Nepal in August, go with an open schedule and an open mind. Let go of expectations and be ready to change plans and adapt. If you can do that, it can be an enjoyable trip.
Nepal’s Weather in August
Monsoon Season / Summer / Off Season
62-82 F (17-28 C)
Average Days of Rain:
What to Expect:
August is known as the hottest month of the year in Nepal. The average daytime temperature in Kathmandu is 82F (28C), and the average amount of rain in Kathmandu is 13”. In Pokhara, the average daily temperature is around 84F (29C), but Pokhara receives around 27” of rain. In areas around the Terai (like Chitwan, Bardia, and Lumbini), temperatures can reach over 100F (38C) and receive 80” of water over the 4-month period!
Bad weather comes with some ups and downs. A good rainfall can help settle the dust that Nepal is famous for. It can also help clear the regular smog that settles in some areas. Sometimes, after a heavy rainfall you get amazing views of the mountains. On the other hand, if it stays overcast for days, you may get no views at all.
Trekking in Nepal in August
High Altitude Trekking:
I do not recommend high altitude trekking in August, and I personally would not do it myself. However, if it’s the only time you can go and you are set on doing a trek, then I advise you to have a guide since flash floods, landslides and mudslides can occur. You’ll want a knowledgeable guide with you who knows what areas to avoid. I’ve been told the best treks to do during August are Upper Mustang, Upper Dolpo, Everest Base Camp, and the Annapurna Circuit.
Low Altitude Trekking:
Even low altitude trekking is not great in August. You’ll likely be hit with a few hours of rain each day. I’ve found that this usually happens in the afternoons, so it’s best if you get an early start each morning. I’d recommend the Kathmandu Valley Trek or treks along the Kathmandu Valley rim like Shivapuri National Park or Kulekhani Reservoir.
Tourism in August
While August is (in my opinion) one of the two worst months to visit Nepal, it is not the least crowded. August usually sees at least 10-30k more visitors than the months of May, June, July, and January! While it’s not the quietest month to visit, it does fall about 40k visitors short of the most popular month of October.
Due to monsoon season, a lot of hotels and companies will offer incentives to stay with them or use their services. This means that you can get some major discounts for visiting Nepal in August. The downfall is that you may be rained out or never get a clear view of the mountains.
August is one of the worst months to see wildlife in Nepal. Animals tend to come out of hiding to drink water by the river, but during monsoon that isn’t necessary. It’s also very hard to track animals as all evidence is constantly washed away.
August presents a lot of safety issues for travelers. Landslides, mudslides, flash floods, and avalanches are all issues in August. Besides being major issues for safety, these problems also cause delays when traveling by road or air. Some areas are hard to visit due to roads being washed out or areas being completely flooded. Always check with locals before going to a new area because they usually have the most up to date info on where to avoid. Often, I’ll ask a local about an area and they’ll call a friend or relative who lives there to ask what the situation is.
Best areas to visit:
Although Kathmandu receives a lot of rain, it is one of the cooler areas in Nepal in August. Cities and villages around the Kathmandu Valley are easier to get to and typically have better roads.
Best areas to avoid:
The Terai tends to flood this time of year and usually results in at least 100 deaths. Check road conditions before taking any buses as some roads may have been washed out. The road between Pokhara and Lumbini is often in bad shape causing massive delays and detours. A good thing to remember about Nepal is that there are not a lot of major roads. If one is washed out, you may have to drive hours out of the way to get where you’re going.
Festivals in August
(dates listed are for 2021)
Aug 21st Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan is a day celebrated between brothers and sisters. In Nepal, a “brother” or “sister” is not necessarily a blood relative. It is typically someone you grew up with and are close to. Sisters give a bracelet to their brothers and their brothers vow to protect them.
Aug 23rd Gai Jatra
Gai Jatra is a festival in Kathmandu that is celebrated by the Newar community. Each family who has lost a member that year must participate. Those who have a cow will walk it down the streets in a parade. Those who don’t have a cow, dress their children up in costumes. The festival is meant to make people laugh and smile and show everyone that they are not alone in losing a loved one.
Aug 30th Shree Krishna Janmashtami
Shree Krishna Janmashtami is the birthday of Lord Krishna. People celebrate by visiting his temple and fasting until midnight. You can watch some of the festivities by visiting the Krishna Temple in Patan Durbar Square.
Aug 30th Gaura Parba
Gaura Parba is a festival that celebrates the goddess Gauri (Lord Shiva’s Wife). Hindu women in western and far-western Nepal celebrate by fasting, dancing, and singing over a three-day period.
Pros & Cons
- Possibility of Clear Views After Heavy Rain
- Less Dust
- Beautiful Green Rice Paddies and Flora
- A Lot of Rain
- Muddy Roads, Paths, and Trekking Routes
- Hot Humid Weather
- Limited/Unsafe Trekking
- Limited Wildlife Safaris
- Landslides, Mudslides, Flash Floods
Packing Essentials for Nepal in August
Since August is in monsoon season, it’s important to have good rain gear including a raincoat, waterproof bags, and a rain cover for your backpack. I’d also recommend waterproofing your shoes and bringing rain pants if you plan to hike or trek.
Check out my packing list for Nepal for everything you need year round!
More Monthly Guides for Nepal…
- January in Nepal
- February in Nepal
- March in Nepal
- April in Nepal
- May in Nepal
- June in Nepal
- July in Nepal
- August in Nepal
- September in Nepal
- October in Nepal
- November in Nepal
- December in Nepal
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This post was written by Michelle Della Giovanna and originally appeared on www.fulltimeexplorer.com