White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting in Nepal

Nepal boasts the most scenic and diverse white-water experiences on the planet. From short trips for beginners to long trips lasting days, the trip takes rafters from the Himalayan region to the (tarai) plains. There are more than a dozen rivers for rafting.

Nepal's rivers descend from the highest mountains of the world, growing bigger along the way. Rafters enjoy breaks and meals along stretches of white sandy beaches. There are also stops at waterfalls where people swim in the pool and take a shower in the natural waters flowing down. Water sports and hikes are also part of the adventure along the riverside.

Some of the popular rivers for rafting are the Trisuli, Marshyangdi, Karnali, Seti, Sunkoshi and more. Rapids vary from river to river and are graded by experts which give rafters some idea of what to expect on the trip. They have also been given imaginative names like 'Surprise', 'Upset' 'Big Dipper' etc. It's a day or several days of fun floating down the river enjoying beautiful scenery, sometimes views of distant mountains, and resting on while sandy beaches. Rafting is also used as a means to get to Chitwan National Park by reaching Narayan Ghat the put-out point where the trip ends and a road journey begins. 

Enjoy deep river gorges, to wide river basins through some of the world-famous rivers like, the Sun Koshi, Bhote Koshi, Marshyangdi, Trishuli, Arun where rapid grades range from 1 to 6 and diverse terrain meet exotic flora and aquatic life. Rivers like the Marshyangdi and Arun provide some of the most scenic views for rafters. Diverse wildlife and flora along the routes, add to the essence of these trips.

Plan a short rafting trip which lasts from a day to three days, or longer trips which offer relaxing camp stops combined with short treks along the river lines into rich evergreen forests and sparkling waterfalls.

Nepal is well-known for its amazing mountains and treks, but those-in-the-know also rate it as one of the world’s best destinations for white water rafting. The rivers are long and clean, they’re surrounded by amazing mountain, hill and jungle landscapes, the guides are friendly and highly skilled and costs are low. Here’s all you need to know about white water rafting in Nepal.

Rivers open for rafting

1. Upper Seti River - 1/2 days trip

2. Trisuli River - 1-day trip to 2 days

3. Marshyangdi River - 2 days

4. Kali Gandaki River - 3 days

5. Karnali River - 8 to 10 days

6. Sunkoshi River - 8 to 10 days

7. Tamur River - 10 days

Trisuli River

Trishuli is Nepal's most popular rafting river; easy access from Kathmandu and Pokhara, scenic valleys and impressive gorges, exhilarating rapids and easier sections as well as the right amount of time all make it the perfect trip for first-time or experienced rafters.

The put-in point for rafting on the Trisuli River is about a three to four hours’ drive from Kathmandu. It’s a nice bouncy river, but the rapids aren’t too big, making this an ideal river for beginners. The waters are usually quite warm, and from the river, pretty terraced farmland, local villages and enormously high hills can be seen. As this river also flows between Kathmandu and Pokhara (the highway runs parallel to it for some of the way) and river trip ends near the turn-off to Chitwan, it’s possible to arrange an onward transfer after the rafting fun, rather than returning to Kathmandu.

Unfortunately, the river's popularity means that it is crowded and the beaches are disturbed during the normal rafting season. However, there is some good news as well. During the monsoon months, the Trishuli changes character completely as huge runoffs makes the river swell and shear like an immense ribbon of churning ocean. When the river is running high and wild, there are hardly any rafters around.

Rafting in the Trishuli is without doubt the most exciting thing you can do in Nepal during monsoon, and quite possibly one of the best two days of big water rafting trips offered anywhere in the world.

Merely a hop, skip and a jump away from Kathmandu or Pokhara, the Trishuli quenches your desire for a Nepalese whitewater adventure. It gets even bigger in the monsoon...

Tentative Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu – Transfer to hotel.

Day 2: After breakfast – half day city tour of Kathmandu.

Day 3: After breakfast – transfer to the rafting starting point.

Day 4: After breakfast --     -- After lunch – Transfer to Bandipur. Overnight in   Bandipr.

Day 5: After breakfast – transfer to Pokhara.

Day 6: After breakfast – full day city tour of Pokhara.

Day 7: Early wakeup – transfer to Kathmandu.

Day 8: Individual Activities

Day 9: Prepare for final departure.

 

Cost Per Person: US $ 1800/-

Cost Includes: 4 nights/5 days accommodations in Kathmandu on bed & breakfast plan on single sharing basis, 2 nights / 3 days accommodations in Pokhara on bed & breakfast plan,half day tour of World Heritage Site -- Kathmandu Durbar Square, city tour guide, entrance fees at heritage sites, 1 full day city tour in Pokhara, city tour guide in Pokhara, all the transportations, all the meals during the rafting period, safety kayakers, rafting gears and equipment.

Cost Excludes:Personal Insurance, Emergency Evacuation, Beverages, Visa Fees, Tips for the guides.

Seti River

From Pokhara, rafting the Upper Seti is the best single-day option. At 90 minutes, trips on the Seti are a little shorter than the options from Kathmandu, but it’s much more accessible, at only a 30-minute drive away. It’s also chock-full of class three and four rapids and comes with glorious views of the Annapurna. Short and sweet.

Lower Seti Itinerary-

Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu – Transfer to hotel.     

Day 2: After breakfast – Briefing about the tours and white-water rafting. After the briefing half day tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambbunath Stupa.

Day 3:  After breakfast -- drive to the river starting point Damauli by tourist bus from Kathmandu, it takes 6 hrs. roughly. Have lunch at the put in, and start rafting for 4 hrs. roughly, camp on the sandy beach.

Day 4:Start rafting after your morning tea/coffee and breakfast. 4 hrs. on the water roughly. Lunch at takeout point (Gaighat) and drive to Pokhara.

Day 5: After breakfast – Walk down to the lakeside and boat ride to the starting point of the Peace Pagoda. One hr. hike to Peace Pagoda. After breakfast – hike down to the lakeside and then back to the city.

Day 6: After breakfast – Full Day Pokhara City Tour.

Day 7: Early Wakeup – Transfer to Kathmandu by tourist bus. Breakfast on the way back to Kathmandu. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 8:  Rest Day or individual activities.

Day 9: Prepare for final departure.

Cost Per Person: US $ 1600/-

Cost Includes: 4 nights/5 days accommodations in Kathmandu on bed & breakfast plan on single sharing basis, 3nights / 4 days accommodations in Pokhara on bed & breakfast plan,half day tour of World Heritage Sites (Swayambhunath Stupa & Kathmandu Durbar Square), city tour guide, entrance fees at heritage sites, 2 full day tours in Pokhara, boat ride in Fewa Lake,city tour guide in Pokhara, all the transportations, all the meals during the rafting period, safety kayakers, rafting gears and equipment.

Cost Excludes:Personal Insurance, Emergency Evacuation, Beverages, Visa Fees, Tips for the guides.

For further queries do let us know. We are happy to assist you.

Upper Seti Rafting

Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu – Transfer to hotel.     

Day 2: After breakfast – Briefing about the tours and white-water rafting. After the briefing half day tour of Patan Durbar Square. Lunch at Patan.

Day 3:  After breakfast – transfer to Pokhara by tourist bus from Kathmandu, it takes 6 hrs. roughly. Have lunch on the way to Pokhara.

Day 4: After breakfast -- Drive from Pokhara lakeside takes 30mins to get to the starting point (Bamboo Bridge), 1 ½ hrs. of nonstop rafting in Seti river -- lunch and 20mins drive back to Pokhara lakeside via dam side.

Day 5: After breakfast – Full Day Pokhara City tour.

Day 6: Early wakeup – Transfer to Kathmandu. Breakfast on the way to Kathmandu.

Day 7:  Rest day or individual activities.

Day 8: Prepare for final departure.

Cost Per Person: US $ 1500/-

Cost Includes: 4 nights/5 days accommodations in Kathmandu on bed & breakfast plan on single sharing basis, 3nights / 4 days accommodations in Pokhara on bed & breakfast plan,half day tour of World Heritage Sites (Swayambhunath Stupa & Kathmandu Durbar Square), city tour guide, entrance fees at heritage sites, 1 full day tour in Pokhara with city tour guide, all the transportations, all the meals during the rafting period, safety kayakers, rafting gears and equipment.

Cost Excludes:Personal Insurance, Emergency Evacuation, Beverages.

Do let us know if you require any further clarification. We are happy to assist you. we look forward to having a good working relationship with you.

Kali Gandaki River

The Kali Gandaki River is accessible from Pokhara. This river flows down through the Kali Gandaki Gorge, which is the deepest gorge in the world, at 5,571 meters at one point. Imagine the views bobbing through that! Kali Gandaki trips generally last three days, so they are another good option for a shorter trip.

Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu – Transfer to hotel.     

Day 2: After breakfast – Briefing about the tours and white-water rafting. After the briefing half day tour of Patan Durbar Square. Lunch at Patan.

Day 3: Early wakeup – transfer to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara.

Day 4-5: From Pokhara, we take a chartered bus out of town and up through the foothills of the Annapurna Mountain. The view from the bus is fantastic. The road winds and twists through the mountains as we work our way to the town of Baglung, the nearest point of civilization from where we begin our river journey. The private bus ride takes about 3-4 hours. Once at the river, the guides inflate the rafts, prepare lunch and give a safety talk. The guides then tie all the equipment into the rafts, which is quite a site to witness. More than a decade of running rivers has taught us a lot, not the least of which is how to tie a load so it stays put no matter what. After lunch, we push off into the current leaving the road behind for the next 3 days.

A raft trip down the Kali Gandhi isn`t just a vacation, it is an education. Our river guides spend the first part of the afternoon explaining the finer points of how to paddle through whitewater and stay in the raft as it bucks and contorts through the rapids. For those who missed a point in the previous briefing, there is a lesson on how to swim through whitewater using the flotation device and paddle to keep your head up and your feet to push off the rocks. The guides will also teach you what they are looking for when they run the river-the innocuous looking rise in the water that hides a hole or the way you can use the pillow of water rebounding off a rock to push the raft where you want it. Whitewater rafts are amazingly versatile and stable crafts and in the care of an expert raft guide, it is possible to run exhilarating lines safely and confidently. Your guide is a professional person who has devoted his/her life to learning and running Whitewater Rivers. Under his/ her careful indoctrination, the raft crew learns how to work as a team, practicing on the small rapids that are encountered on the first kilometer of the river. Team work is what makes it possible to run any river safely and this extends beyond your raft. All the raft and safety kayakers work as a team, communicating with and supporting each other – it`s impressive to watch. You are never in a rapid alone. By the time we get to the harder rapids with names like: Wake & Bake and Cobra, the crew will be working together with exquisite timing and precision. Just after running Little Brother and Big Brother, the Modi Khola tumbles down from the Annapurna Base Camp into the Kali Gandaki. At the right level, any expert kayaker can consider paddling this tributary and meet up with the group at the first night’s camp.

Below the Modi, the river swings south through an area where tourists are almost unknown and our journey begins in earnest. Your education doesn`t stop with rafting either. Being Kali`s river (Hindu goddess of Destruction), the Kali Gandaki is one of the holiest rivers in Nepal. All along the river are sacred cremation beaches where the Nepalese bring the dead bodies for burning, performing rituals and prayers as they send the deceased into the next life.

The Kali Gandaki offers some of the finest scenery in Nepal and on a clear day, the Annapurna Mountain hangs over the river valley. Peaks with names like Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare dwarf our expedition as we descend into one of the deepest river gorges on Earth. From the moment we put-in, it is 3 days before another road crosses the river. It’s all up to us from here on out.

Nowhere else is it possible to find such diversity on a 3 days raft trip. The rapids are fun and demanding but they are only a small part of the rafting experience. Wildlife, wonderful sandy beaches, sacred temples devoted to Kali, picturesque villages and outrageous waterfalls all combine to make the Kali Gandaki a fantastic river journey.

Day 6: The last day gives us the biggest rapids of the whole trip and thus, finishes with a bang. In addition to being the biggest, the rapids are also the cleanest and we can use the skills we`ve developed over the last two days to run tighter, more challenging lines. Who knows, we might even get to swim. Transfer to Pokhara.

Day 7: Rest Day in Pokhara.

Day 8: City tour of Pokkhara.

Day 9: Transfer to Kathmandu.

Day 10: Rest day in Kathmandu or individual activities.

Day 11: Prepare for final departure.

Cot Per Person: US $ 2065/-

Includes:

All transportations, 4 nights / 5 days accommodation in Kathmandu on BB plan (bed & breakfast basis), 3 nights / 4 days accommodation in Pokhara on bed & breakfast basis, 2 days rafting in Kali Gandaki River on full board(all meals, all rafting gears and accommodation on a twin sharing basis), 1 half day city tour of Patan with tour guide and all entrance fees, 1 full day city tour of Pokhara with tour guide and entrance fees,

Excludes:

Sleeping bags/ mattresses, alcoholic beverages, personal expenses and insurance, emergency evacuation, specific medication.

River Rafting in Kali Gandaki River

THE RAGING RIVER - MARSYANGDI

Marshyangdi is referred to as the “raging river” in the local dialect and this aptly describes one of the best whitewater runs in the world. The ride takes us through Gurung villages. Children play exactly as we pass, snow-capped Himalayan giants surround as and the champagne river churns and bubbles below. Few rivers rival this for exhilarating whitewater and sustained sections of the steep technical rafting taste the teamwork.

Continuous, challenging and action-packed, Marshyangdi offers two days of intense whitewater Rafting adventure which shares some of the most exciting rapids in the world with views of some of the most beautiful mountain in the Himalaya, it is no surprise that this is one of our most popular trips. If you are looking for the most exciting short whitewater adventure in Nepal and want to escape the crowds- then this is the best river.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu – Transfer to hotel.

Day 2: After breakfast – half day sightseeing of Bouddhanath & Pashupati temple (both World Heritage Sites).

Day 3: Depart from Kathmandu, takes approximately 5 hrs. to get to the river starting point called Paudi, rafting and camp at riverside.

Day 4: After breakfast further drive 1:30 minutes to upper stretch called Khudi, lunch at river beach and transfer to Bandipur. Overnight in Bandipur.

Day 5: After Lunch – transfer to Kathmandu.

Day 6: Rest Day in Kathmandu.

Day 7: Prepare for final destination.

Cost Per Person: US $ 1300/-

Includes:

All Transportations, 4 nights / 5 days accommodations on BB Plan in Kathmandu hotel, 1 night / 2 days rafting in Marsyangdi River, meals, tent and mat, rafting gear and equipment, internationally certified guides, safety kayakers, 1 night / 2 days stay in Bandipur on BB Plan (bed & breakfast basis).

Excludes:

Alcoholic beverage, sleeping bag and tipping,travel insurance (insurance must cover medical, accidental, natural disaster emergency evacuation).

Sun Kosi River

The Sun Kosi, or ‘river of gold’, is a couple of hours’ drive from Kathmandu and ends close to the Indian border, in south-eastern Nepal. The eight-day trip is a classic and a favourite among rafters and kayakers alike. The beaches and river sparkle with the golden sand, the camping beaches are clean and remote, the high hill scenery gives way to the flat plains of the Terai and there are plenty of mid- and big-sized rapids for plenty of fun.

This is the longest river trip offered in Nepal, traversing 270 kms through the beautiful Mahabharat Range on its meandering way from the put-in point at Dolalghat to the take-out point at Chatara, far down on the Gangetic Plain. It is quite an experience to begin a river trip just 3 hours out of Kathmandu, barely 60 kms from the Tibet border, and end the trip looking down the hot, dusty gun barrel of the North Indian plain just a week later.

The Sun Koshi starts off fairly relaxed with class II and small class III rapids to warm up during the first couple of days. Savvy guides will take this opportunity to get the teams to work with exquisite precision as on the third day, the rapids become more powerful and frequent with high water trips. One can be astonished at just how big a wave in the river can get. While the lower sections of large volume rivers are usually rather flat, the Sun Koshi reserves some of its biggest and best rapids for the last days. At the right flow, it is an incredible combination of powerful whitewater, stunning scenery, villages and truly quiet and introspective evenings along what many people consider to be one of the world's ten classic river journeys.

INCLUDES

All meals, transportation to the put-in point and back from the take-out point, all rafting equipment’s and accommodation on a twin sharing basis. All meals, transportation to the put-in point and back from the take-out point, all rafting equipment’s and accommodation on a twin sharing basis.

EXCLUDES

Sleeping bags/ mattresses, alcoholic beverages, personal expenses and insurance.

White Water Rafting in Trisuli River

Tamur River

Two of Nepal’s best activities – trekking and rafting – come together on the Tamur River trip. On this 12-day expedition, the first three days are spent trekking in the mountains, reaching altitudes of over 3,000 meters and having the kayaks and rafts carried by porters! The rapids on this river are quite challenging, so they are best suited for people with some white-water experience.

The first commercial run of the Tamur was in 1990 and there have been very few descents since then. In November of 1991 we ran an expedition down this river and proved to ourselves that all we had heard about it being an "exceptional trip" was right. The trip combines one of the best short Himalayan treks with a challenging and exhilarating river journey. Tamur drains the snows of the mighty Kanchanjunga massif, the third highest peak in the world and flows through a truly beautiful and unspoiled gorge. The superb sandy beaches, few villages and limited agriculture along the river provide Tamur with the most pristine rafting environment in Nepal.

Although the Tamur is still relatively un-travelled, it probably has created more whitewater interest than any other commercial rafting rivers in Nepal. With three days of trekking through the foothills of the Himalayas followed by 120 km of exceptional whitewater thrill, Tamur is a highly recommended, active and exhilarating wilderness journey.

ITINERARY

Day 1 - 2: We begin our expedition with an overnight bus journey to Dharan Bazaar, where we rest for a while to consume a hearty breakfast, before we continue to drive another 3 to 4 hrs. to reach Basantapur. Our route takes us through the bustling market town of Hile where the surrounding villagers come to trade their wares. From Hile the drive to Basantapur has spectacular views from Everest to Kangchenjunga. At Basantapur we arrange for our team porters to carry all our equipment to the put-in. In this interesting hill top town we rest for the night, before beginning our trek the next morning.

Day 3 - 4: The next 2 days are spent trekking through small villages, magnificent rhododendron forests and beautiful meadows. This is said to be one of the most scenic treks in Nepal. From our trail along the ridge-top we have commanding views of the spectacular Himalayan ranges of Makalu, Jannu and Kanchenjunga as we make our way to the holy lake, Gupha Pokhari, at around 10000 ft. After Gupha Pokhari the trail begins to descend through rice terraces until we reach our put in at Dobhan. We camp at Dobhan overnight at the confluence of the Sewa Khola and the Tamur River. Our porters, who have amazed us in the last few days with their strength and agility, carrying among other things huge 80 kilo rafts on their backs, return to Basantapur leaving us to prepare ourselves for exhilarating days ahead on the river.

Day 5 - 10: In the morning of the 6th day, after having a delicious breakfast prepared by our multi-talented river guides, we inflate the rafts, load on the gear, have a safety talk and practice and finally head off down this magnificent river. The Tamur probably has more whitewater interest than any other commercial rafting river in Nepal and is frequently stated as one of the best white-water trips in the world. The first 16 km of the river from Dobhan allows no respite – just continuous class 3, 4+ and 5 whitewater and it doesn’t take long before everyone is paddling as a tight team. It is very satisfying rafting that requires a degree of precision as we make our way through steep and technical rapids. The Kaveli River is the first major tributary coming in on the left adding about a quarter of the volume and there are some difficult rapids below here. With so few descents of the Tamur, many of the major rapids are still waiting to be named. Just after the Hinwan Khola confluence, the river widens out and for the first time we witness small villages and cattle grazing along the river`s sides. The local people who live in the small villages of this middle section of the river, belong to a fascinating array of tribes and castes. Most of them have never seen westerners before and therefore are both very curious of our presence and equally welcoming. The beaches for camping are excellent and with relatively few villages and little agriculture, this has to be one of the most pristine rafting environments in Nepal. There is plenty of wildlife to be seen with troops of monkeys living in the more remote jungle gorges and exceptional bird life all the way down the river. The last few days of rafting where the river turns back to the west are incredible. This section is the real test of our teamwork as impressive steep canyon walls enclose the river and the rapids are powerful and continuous. There are 40 odd rapids in the last 4 hours before the Tamur exits these canyons and cascades into the mighty Sunkosi. The combined rivers, now called the Saptakosi (seven rivers) surge onwards with huge volume to the Ganges and the Indian plain. We take out at Chatara near Dharan bazaar about 10 km downstream.

Day 11-12: Our bus will meet us at Chatara and after packing all our equipment we will go into the town for a Nepali feast and a short rest on dry land before returning to Kathmandu in our private bus. However, if you are allergic to long bus journeys, there is the option of a flight back.

INCLUDES

All meals, transportation to the put-in point and back from the take-out point, all rafting equipment and accommodation on a twin sharing basis.

EXCLUDES

Sleeping bags/ mattresses, alcoholic beverages, personal expenses and insurance, emergency evacuation, specific medication, phone calls, internet, pocket money, domestic flights etc..

Karnali River

The Karnali River runs through Western Nepal, an extremely remote and under-developed part of the country. Ten-day river expeditions are one of the few ways to see the region and pass along clear blue waters, jungles, amazing rock formations and end near Bardia National Park.

Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu – Transfer to hotel.

Day 2: After breakfast – half day sightseeing of Bouddhanath&Pashupati temple (both World Heritage Sites).Pre departure meeting in the evening

Day 3: After breakfast – transfer to Domestic Airport -- Fly to Neplagunj. Transfer to Kohalpur.Overnight at Kolhapur.

Day 4: Depart at 8 am after breakfast to Daaba around proposed dam site. Drive approx. 8 hrs., overnight at river bank.

Day 5-9: After breakfast start rafting at 11 am on the Karnali River.

Day 9: End expedition by mid-day and transfer to Nepalgunj. Overnight in Nepalgunj or Bardia National Park.

Day 10: Full Day Jungle Tour.

Day 11: After breakfast – transfer to Nepalgunj and then fly to Kathmandu.

Day 12: Rest Day or individual activities.

Day 13: Prepare for final destination.

Cost Per Person: US $ 3600/-

Includes:

All Transportations, 4 nights / 5 days accommodations on BB Plan in Kathmandu, 10 days rafting in Karnali River on full board, half day sightseeing of Bouddhanath Stupa & Pashupatinath Temple, entrance fees, tour guide, 2 nights / 3 days Jungle Tour of Bardia National Park on full board.

Excludes:

Alcoholic beverage, sleeping bag and tipping,travel insurance (insurance must cover medical, accidental, natural disaster emergency evacuation).

White Water Rafting in Karnali River

Rafting + kayaking

Where white water rafts can go, so can kayaks. Although visitors can learn to kayak in Nepal and go on kayak-only trips, it’s also possible to combine the two activities. This is a particularly good idea for beginner or intermediate kayakers who want to improve their skills, but who may not be confident kayaking all day, every day on a longer trip. It’s also a good idea for groups of friends or couples travelling together, who may have different skills and interests.

Best time to go

The peak tourism seasons in Nepal are spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November). At these times, the weather is at its best, being hot but not uncomfortably so, and there’s usually minimal or no rain.

Water levels are an important factor for white water rafting. In the spring, water levels can be quite low, as at this time, it has been the longest since the heavy rains of monsoon. On some rivers (such as the Bhote Kosi) the flow can be a bit low, meaning it’s common to get stuck on the rocks! This isn’t usually a major problem but can be an inconvenience and slow down the fun. The wind on some rivers (such as the Karnali) can be an annoyance in this season, too.

In autumn, after the monsoon, water levels are at their highest. This can make for some exciting rapids – sometimes a bit too exciting earlier in the season (around September)! By late November, the nights are getting quite cold for camping on beaches, but in other respects, this is the best time to go.

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