SASANE Sisterhood Trekking and Travel

SASANE Sisterhood Trekking and Travel

About
SASANE translates to, “Let’s Protect Ourselves.” And this is true to the core spirit of our Sisters. All our guides are survivors of human trafficking that have been trained as trekking and tour guides. Training survivors ultimately provides the Sister’s with opportunities to build marketable skills, self-esteem and economic independence to help keep them out of the cycle of violence and become leaders in any field they choose. As of 2018, SASANE has provided job opportunities to 371 female survivors of human trafficking.
Kathmandu, Nepal

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SASANE Sisterhood Trekking and Travel
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
18 reviews
Excellent
15
Very good
2
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
1

Mariana F
14 contributions
Jul 2022
I wanted one to travel far from the "common touristic places," and SASANE was perfect for understanding it. One of the girls went with me to the Sikali Temple and Khokana Village, guiding not only the hiking but the conversation and interacting with the locals (once I didn't speak much Nepali). I have met several families, kids, rice planting, and a new and different culture for me! It was exceptional!
Written July 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sara D
12 contributions
Sep 2019 • Friends
My boyfriend and I visited the SASANE project during our travel across Nepal with G-adventure, one of the supporter. It was touching and very interesting to know more about these brave women and about this amazing project that is the only help for the rehabilitation of survivors of human trafficking. We really enjoyed to learn how to make momo with the survivors! Well done :)
Written October 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kathleen
Omaha, NE8 contributions
Feb 2021 • Solo
I had so much fun last weekend doing a hike to Nagarkot, an overnight stay, sunrise hike, tour of two UNESCO world heritage sites with Laxmi. We ended with a momo cooking class back at Sasane, where I got to meet some of the sisters, learn about the organization and hear cheerful voices of the students in their paralegal class going on in the next room.
This organization specializes in off-the-beaten path travel, connecting you to local communities, while still ensuring you get to see the famous sites Nepal is known for. Laxmi planned and arranged the itinerary, transport and food and was such a fun, caring guide. I cannot recommend this tour company enough especially for solo female travelers. I felt very safe and accompanied. I got a glimpse into real stories from real people we met in communities along the way. The passion they have for connecting communities to sustainable sources of income, while protecting and educating women and girls is incredibly moving. I will definitely do a longer trek if I can.
Written February 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MFoogle
Chittagong City, Bangladesh6 contributions
Oct 2018 • Friends
My friend and I booked the Poonhill trek. We were initially so excited because the website talks about how the organization trains survivors of human trafficking to be trekking guides, which is an incredibly worthy project. However, the execution of this project was horrendous and completely ruined our experience.

First, we didn't even get a properly trained guide. Instead, we got one of the paralegal project coordinators at the organization (Where are the women they train?) who had done the trek before. If she gave us information as we went along, that might have been okay, but really the only services she really provided were occasional "we go this way" and telling us what times and where we would be going each day. She never even asked us any get-to-know-you questions, and seemed completely disinterested in us. Instead, we had to listen in to other guides as they told their groups about what we were passing and interesting tidbits about the trek, and watch them all have a fun time together. There were times when other guides at our teahouses came up to us and whispered us questions regarding where in the world we found our "guide," because she was being so unprofessional. Unfortunately, once you're in the mountains together, you're stuck with them.

Another major thing you hire the guide for is the first aid kit and training; however, on the first day she sent her backpack (with her medical kit in it) from the beginning of the trek all the way to our final destination for the night (because she didn't want to carry it), and even asked us to carry a few things FOR her. On the last day, she tried to do the same thing again until we pointed out that it was not okay for her to do so (to which she responded with, "Oh? Do you think we'll need it?" as if we could plan if something went wrong). As it turns out, that day I DID sprain my ankle slightly, but unfortunately she didn't have the proper items in her kit with her to help support my ankle. Luckily for me, it was just a light sprain.

In addition, she was incredibly unorganized. She didn't book any lodgings in advance, and at one stop, almost every room was filled. At another stop, my friend and I just went ahead (as our "guide" usually lagged behind us) and booked our lodging for ourselves. (--which for some reason made her irritated, because she wanted us to be at some other lodge, and she told us that this lodge we chose was "dangerous" because there was a big group of locals in it, and we would be much more comfortable in the lodge she wanted for us, which has a lot of Westerners in it. It turns out, that lodge she wanted was fully booked anyways, and the hotel we chose was one of our favorites and the most fun. No danger at all, and a great mix of locals and foreigners.)

To make matters worse, she was horribly non-transparent about pricing and where the money was going. We were sent an initial quote for the price per person for the trip as a package tour; however, when we looked into it, we found that for what we were being offered, it was way too much. Now, we were fine with being charged some extra to support the NGO, but it was to an extent that made us seriously question what the money was going towards. When we sat down with her to ask the breakdown of the costs, she couldn't actually answer (in part, obviously, because she hadn't booked anything). Instead, she pulled up a random person's blog post breaking down the estimated costs from their experiences, and even added in a few strange and mysterious costs, such as the "guide's license".

Because of this, and since she didn't ask us to pay upfront, we decided to pay as we go, which isn't uncommon for trekking in Nepal. You pay whatever fees yourself, with your guide helping you and hopefully using their connections to reduce their food and accommodation fees (or at least choosing the basic options). Our "guide" even told us (before we made it clear that we would not give her large amounts of money upfront--which was also a smart decision because when we did, she happened to mysteriously lose 10,000 rupee on the first day) that she had special connections and as a local could get a cheaper price. To her horror, we were able to find out the real prices for everything (by simply asking the people working there--they're happy to show you the information and will not cheat you), which revealed that she did not in fact score any discounts. In addition, she acted like she was on vacation with us--ordering whatever she wanted from the food and drink menu, and at times buying (and forcing us to pay) more than what we consumed ourselves, and staying in equivalent accommodations to ourselves.

On top of this, when we asked her how much she wanted for her salary, she gave the higher end quote for pay as you go guides, which was absolutely ridiculous for the little that she was doing. It was basically like we pulled a local from Kathmandu, and said, "Hey, come with us on the trek. We'll pay for everything, and give you a lot of money for your time, including the two days where you bus from KTM to Pokhara!" She also frequently changed the amounts for what she was requesting for her and the porter's salary (more on that right below).

What's even more, we decided to hire a porter. It turns out that the porter is her brother, which in itself is fine--we know that he will be treated well, at least. They told us he was actually a professional porter, however, he had a hurt ankle and had been out of work for a while, which caused a lot of problems along the way--including sending him (who was carrying our big water bottles, hats, etc. what we assumed we could get out from our bags when we needed them) up from our starting point to our final destination for the night on a jeep without letting us know--which could have been dangerous. In addition, suddenly we have to pay 2 extra days for him as well (to bus to and from KTM), as well as the very high end price for his services (and his food [also sometimes even more expensive than ours], his Red Bull he decided to drink at night, and everything else). It would have been way better to just hire a porter ourselves out of Pokhara.

Instead of enhancing the experience, our trek with Sasane was full of stress and tension. If you're going to charge a high amount for your services (with all the high-quality competition), make sure you're professional, do as you say, and you can actually show us where everything is going, as well as have relationships with local businesses along the trekking route, and have everything planned in advance. It was so regrettable because it's a great idea, but was in reality an absolutely horrible experience. I just hope to God that their other programs do better than this one.

Unless they enact extreme renovations to their operations, I would strongly discourage anyone from choosing this option for their trek. If you do decide to risk it, until they really shape up, ask more questions than you would (and should) ever think necessary right from the start and haggle, haggle, haggle.
Written October 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

cindysluo
Philadelphia, PA1 contribution
Jul 2019 • Solo
I had an opportunity to volunteer with SASANE as an English teacher to girls in their Paralegal Training Team. I spent two months in Kathmandu and had a truly unforgettable and immersive experience. I lived in one of their guesthouses for volunteers and had a chance to interact with the SASANE girls, all of whom are so helpful and respectful. I taught English on Sundays to Fridays, and on Saturdays, a SASANE girl, who is also trained and certified as a trekking guide, would accompany me to local sites to explore.

During my two months in Kathmandu, I've visited Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Swayambhunath Temple, Thamel, Garden of Dreams, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Namobuddha, Kopan Monastery, and Chandragiri Hills--all accompanied by at least one of the SASANE girls. On most trips, it was usually Lakxmi or Usha who made sure everything went smoothly. They helped bargain/haggle with taxi drivers when necessary, made sure we got on the right bus when we decided to take the bus, and found safe places for us to eat lunch. They answered any questions I had when I arrived at the site and informed me about Nepali culture, history, local customs, etc.

The girls made me feel extremely welcomed and supported from the moment I arrived in Kathmandu. Although the busy traffic and unpaved roads made me feel very nervous at first, I still remember my first week, when some of the girls voluntarily offered to hold my hand when crossing the streets. I got comfortable with the new work and living environment by the second week because the girls and SASANE staff were so attentive, knowledgeable, and kind.

While living in the guesthouse, some of the girls stayed there to cook our meals. They were super accommodating to my vegetarian diet, made sure there was enough drinking water each week, and cooked a variety of different Nepali dishes for us to try. We had a night where lots of the SASANE girls came over to the guesthouse and taught us how to make momos, or Nepalese dumplings. It took over three hours and at some point, the electricity went out, but we still had such a blast learning how to make them. It was such a labor of love, and we all bonded through that experience.

From teaching English to exploring around Kathmandu to learning more about the incredible work that SASANE is doing to empower survivors of human trafficking, I made such amazing memories that I won't easily forget. Thank you, SASANE!
Written August 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
You are so very welcome and thank you so much for the time you spent to help the SASANE girls improve their English skills to further assist them in their trekking and tour work. Our volunteers are so very important to SASANE. We miss you both, come back again soon!
Written August 27, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

noellea872
1 contribution
Apr 2019 • Family
The Sasane women are the real deal - our trek was amazing and our guides and porters were upbeat, encouraging and supportive in every way. They will remain a part of my heart forever! They created a sense of family with their sense of humor and joy and we all felt humbled by their courageous work in protecting and empowering women, decreasing human trafficking, and in uplifting Nepali communities through education and jobs. The homestead hosts all cooked delicious(!) fresh food and were warm and welcoming.
Written August 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your review, you will always be a part of the SASANE family!
Written August 8, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

William B
5 contributions
Mar 2018 • Friends
I would strongly encourage you to visit the Sasane Sisterhood. They are an NGO dedicated to helping victims of human trafficking. They fund their organization with lunches that are a presentation on their work, instruction on how to make momos (Nepalese steamed dumpling), and a delicious Nepalese vegetarian lunch. You get to eat your own momos. The staff are very warm and delightful to interact with. Have a great interaction with local people and support a worthy cause.
Written March 11, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rebecca M
22 contributions
Oct 2017 • Friends
Was nice to know we were supporting a good cause. We were taken to all the main sites and then had a demonstration on momo’s and lunch. Was the best food we had while we were in Kathmandu. Wasn’t a luxury car or the cheapest tour but worth it for the cause.
Written October 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Triin
3 contributions
Aug 2017 • Solo
Had an incredible experience visiting and learning about the work this organization does and how a bigger purpose and supporting the right cause is so important when travelling.

SASANE is an amazing non-profit organization with long-term sustainable projects supporting and empowering women human trafficking survivors. Their recently founded travel and trekking company is also led by women survivors themselves, who have completed training and become certified trekking guides. They also do treks to remote mountain villages (routes which are still undiscovered by tourists), all with the purpose of supporting those local communities, providing them alternative incomes and therefore preventing human trafficking.

The women survivors themselves are incredibly sincere and friendly - especially great also for anyone (e.g. solo female travellers) looking for female trekking guides!
(otherwise not that easy to find in Nepal)

Travellers can also participate in their momo-making demonstration, have authentic Nepali lunch and just learn more about the organization's work. All activities are led by women themselves. Amazing and unique opportunity to help tackle larger social issues while travelling in Nepal - definitely suggesting you to contact them when in Nepal!
Written August 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mirjam44
Zurich, Switzerland35 contributions
Jul 2022
It was a wonderful experience. The Momo Cooking class was great. It was really interesting to learn about the Sasane Sisterhood project and how they empower women.
Written July 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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SASANE Sisterhood Trekking and Travel (Kathmandu) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go