Kayaking and Rafting in Nepal

Rafting Kali Gandaki River Kayaking Nepal Himalayas Raft Kayak Adventure Sports

Swanning About on the Kali Gandaki

Make a magnificent journey through Nepal on rivers that start their life high up in the Himalayan glaciers.

A wide choice of locations enables us to select a trip for different levels of adventure; from easy lowland rivers set between jungle riverbanks to rocky gorges and fast rapids, from slow paddling to thrill-a-minute roller-coaster rides. Nepal has the world’s finest collection of kayaking/rafting rivers to challenge adventurers of any level so we can offer a range of trips for casual or professional kayakers/rafters.

Regarding kayaking or rafting equipment and camping gear, we will provide all the necessities such as a life jacket, helmet, paddle, kayak, raft, guide, emergency kayak with a very experienced guide, a wetsuit if necessary, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, chef, food etc. Please bring your own personal clothing like sandals, shoes, socks, shorts, tee-shirts etc. Cameras are the most important and risky item to carry on the raft and we suggest our customers use cheap cameras on these trips.

Kayaking and rafting are adventure sports for which a certain amount of courage is required. If you have the confidence they offer exhilarating, rather then scary, adventure. For a quick summation of what the classes refer to click here. We will of course try our best to look after you, but please insure yourself before the trip starts.

Generally speaking the best seasons are from mid-October to mid-December and April to May. Between June and mid-October the monsoon run-off can make some rivers too high. From mid-December into March the water can be very chilly.

For real enthusiasts Peter Knowles’ ‘White Water Nepal’ is the must read.

The Seti Khola (2 days) Class 2 (3 or 4 in the monsoon). Starting near Pokhara and ending close to the Chitwan National Park the Seti Khola is an excellent 32 km trip through the Mahabharat Range, an isolated area of the country with fantastic Himalayan scenery, lush jungle and plenty of easy rapids.

Day 1; we drive 4 hours to our put-in point at Damauli and launch onto this enchanting river. After lunch we will have time to explore, photograph, bird-watch, swim and meet the local Magar farmers. Later we encounter a small rapid near Sarangha, a colourful hill village, near which we set up camp on a spacious beach. We spend the entire day within the Seti Khola’s forested canyon.

Day 2; we set off down the Seti and encounter a Class 3 rapid shortly before the Seti Khola enters the Trisuli River. Here the hills recede and the Terai plain opens up before us with the topography changing dramatically and the twisted severe rock formations giving way to sandstone and gravel. After lunch we can visit Devghat, a unique religious community and pilgrimage centre. We float down to the small town of Narayanghat, where we end our trip before returning to Pokhara, though while down here we could take a trip to the Chitwan National Park.

This river trip is excellent for beginners/learners, intermediates and families from September to May. In June to August this trip up-grades to 3 or 4.

Price US$ 110 plus transport between Kathmandu and Pokhara and accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
The Trisuli River (2 days) Class 3 (4+ during the monsoon) The Trisuli is one of the most popular of Nepal’s rafting rivers with easy road access from Kathmandu and for first time rafters it offers plenty of excitement, though its proximity to the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway does not make this a wilderness trip.

Day 1; after a 3 hour drive from Kathmandu (or 3 from Pokhara) we put-in at Charaundi and from here we run a number of Class 2 to 3 rapids before lunching on a beach with remarkable sculptured boulders. After lunch we enter the Trisuli gorge and here, as the canyon narrows, the walls become steep and densely forested, the current accelerates and the rapids increase in size and frequency. Our last rapid passes under a suspension bridge and an enthusiastic audience will line the bridge to watch us pass.

Day 2; we continue down the Trisuli leisurely spending the whole day within its forested canyon. We lunch beside the river and have time to explore, bird-watch, photograph and meet the local Magar and Gurung farmers before driving back to Kathmandu/Pokhara.This is a good opportunity to ‘experience’ kayaking or rafting from mid-October to May. During August to early October this can up-grade to a big water 4+.

Price US$ 100 plus accommodation in Kathmandu.
The Kali Gandaki River (3 days, 2 for rafters) Class 3/4 The Kali Gandaki River is a remote 72 km long kayaking/rafting destination winding through narrow gorges, alongside tumbling waterfalls, past jungle, traditional Magar and Chetri villages, with superb opportunities to see Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machapuchare, Himalchuli and other peaks as well as a variety of wildlife and riverside temples. This trip offers longer and more intense rapids than the Trisuli.

Day 1; the put-in point is near Beni, a 3 to 4 hour drive from Pokhara. We encounter Class 3 rapids followed quickly by 2 Class 4 rapids, ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Little Brother’ and camp on a beach near the confluence with the Modi Khola.

Day 2; today we tackle many Class 3 sections and one Class 4, ‘Rafters’ Refund’. The river here is abundant with vines, wildlife and lush vegetation hanging from the cliff faces. Our campsite is below the village of Purti Ghat.

Day 3; we reach the holy village of Seti Beni where the river has deposited a house-size boulder, an important shrine to the local people, and we should have a great audience to watch the spectacle as we negotiate the rapid that has formed around this holy place. We eventually drive back to Pokhara.

The seasons for this stretch are from September to November and late April to June though this river may upgrade to 4+, depending on the water flow, in September or June.

Price US$ 175 plus transport between Kathmandu and Pokhara and accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
The Bhote Koshi (2 days) Class 4 to 5 The Bhote Koshi is a near continuous Class 4 and Class 4+, sometimes 5 depending on the water levels, 26-km run of pure excitement and thrills through a veritable maze of canyons, white water, big drops, pour-overs and huge bumping boulders. The start of this beast of a liquid rush is located close to the Nepal-Tibet border and only 3 hours from Kathmandu.

Day 1; after our arrival from Kathmandu and a quick break we set off on a long series of Class 3 rapids before dropping into the first Class 4 drop, ‘Gerbil In The Plumbing’. From here there is a stretch of Class 3 white water and then we come to ‘Frog in a Blender’, a long, technical rapid followed by a long series of Class 3+/4- drops leading to a nifty little rapid named ‘Carnal Knowledge of a Deviant Nature’. The remaining 10 kms is a non-stop series of Class 3 and 4 drops terminating in short pools with the next drop just a few metres away. The river now flows through a beautiful narrow canyon with lush green vegetation and waterfalls coming in from the steep stone walls. At the end of this stretch is a rapid named ‘ExLax’. We disembark just before the village of Barabise and return to camp.

Day 2; we run the first day’s stretch again and lunch near Barabise, from here we continue across a short flat stretch before reaching a dam and then the entire gradient of the last km fulminates into 50m of incredibly steep and technical rapids known as ‘The Great Wall’, whose one redeeming feature is that there is a pool at the bottom, because right after the pool is another incredible rapid called ‘Liquid Bliss’, which leads directly into a rapid called ‘Fake Right Go Left’, which leads directly into another rapid called ‘My God, What To Do?’. The trip ends with a bang on a long series of drops known as ‘Dazed and Confused’. Without a doubt this is some of the finest white water rafting to be had anywhere in the world. Our trip ends by mid-afternoon and we return to Kathmandu.

The grades are most likely to be lower from October to May and at your peril (5+/”nasty wild during the monsoon and can’t raft”) any other time. If starting from the put-in point in the morning this boiling foam and these towering peaks of water could be ridden in one day. You could also combine this trip with a 160m swing or bungee jump at ‘The Last Resort’.

Price US$ 115 plus accommodation in Kathmandu.
The Marsyangdi River (4 days) Class 4 to 5- Set against the backdrop of the Annapurnas ‘The Raging River’ is a near continuous, set of steep, technical and continuous rapids, massive undercut boulders and strong currents, often through near vertical gorge walls and is considered by many as the best white water rafting and kayaking experience in the world. We set off from Pokhara for 3 hours to our put-in at Bhule Bhule to close to the start of the Annapurna Trek for this exhilarating pinball machine of a course, which is graded 4 to 5-, depending on the water flow, from late October to April, and 5+/”nasty wild during the monsoon and can’t raft” any other time. The journey has been interrupted for a short stretch by the recent construction of a dam, we can drive you round this section.
Price US$ 170 plus transport between Kathmandu and Pokhara and accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
The Karnali River (10 days, 7 for rafters) Class 4+ to 5 In the far west, the Karnali River is the longest and largest river in Nepal where kayaking or rafting takes place. The first 90 km run consists of spectacular landscapes, narrow gorges and challenging rapids. The remaining 90 km offer attractive scenery, wildlife and an abundance of fish, before finishing near Bardiya National Park. Unfortunately the chances of seeing the almost extinct Gangetic dolphin are low, especially outside the monsoon season.

Day 1; we bus 17 hours or fly (an extra US$ 170) to Nepalgunj then make a 4 hour bus journey and a 2 hour trek, through unspoilt scenery of charming villages and farms, to arrive at our put-in point at Dungeswar on this amazing big volume river.

Day 2; first off we do some good rapids including one great Class 4. This is not a harsh introduction.

Day 3; we enter into the ‘Jungle Corridor’, a narrow gorge with some very big rapids.

Day 4; more of the same including the notorious ‘God’s House’ rapid. Don’t forget to take in the bird life which is as abundant as the lush vegetation!

Day 5; keep paddling hard! You really are experiencing the best of the west on yet another day of great action and breath taking scenery.

Day 6; we have programmed a rest day to take time to enjoy the surroundings and relax on a great sandy beach.

Day 7; we see the rapids dying off as we come out of the gorge, pass the confluence with the Seti Khola and the river broadens. Today and the next day and a half are a chance to relax and enjoy the scenery, admiring the country and villages we pass through.

Day 8; continuing along the broad river we keep our eyes open for wildlife, including Golden Masheer, and dream of spotting Gangetic dolphin.

Day 9; unfortunately we reach our take-out point at Chisapani about lunch time. Our bus will be waiting to collect us. Those who have booked to go to Bardiya National Park (highly recommended!) will be collected from here as well. What a journey !!!

Day 10; we bus 13 hours to Kathmandu/Pokhara or fly (an extra US$ 170) to Kathmandu from Nepalgunj on the morning of the tenth day.

This is a remote and pristine destination uninterrupted by human habitation and is graded 4+ to 5 from October to May. Any other time this is “nasty wild during the monsoon and can’t raft”.

Price US$ 650 plus accommodation in Kathmandu and flight if flying.
The Sun Koshi (8-10 days, 7 for rafters) Class 3 to 4+ The put-in point for this spectacular high volume river is just a 3 hour drive from Kathmandu and thus more easily accessible than the Karnali. The first couple of days of this 270 km run through the Mahabharat Range are relatively relaxed, don’t be fooled though, because as the seven major tributaries pour into the Sun Koshi it becomes an incredible stretch of exhilarating white water, finally turning into almost non-stop Class 4 rapids before a quiet last day. This trip offers landscape varying from terraced farmland to steep gorges, subtropical jungles and, on the last day, the hills dramatically give way to the Terai stretching endlessly before us. Each night we camp on large sandy riverbanks and watching the moon rise with the sound of the river and the noise of wild animals in the background is an unforgettable experience.

Day 1; the first day is easy paddling, if you count the Class 4+ rapid ‘Rotten Cave’ as easy. We will choose our beach campsite, where dinner is served under the splendour of a star-filled sky.

Day 2; today we will encounter a big Class 4+ rapid, ‘Meat Grinder’, a straightforward run through the centre avoiding the holes to the left and to the right. A few metres below here the Tamba Kosi conjoins the Sun Kosi, a beautiful Shiva temple overlooks the two rivers and there is a lovely beach. We camp here.

Day 3; a few kms below the confluence of the Likhu Khola is a short Class 3+ rapid, ‘Pre-Anxiety’, soon followed by a long Class 4 rapid, ‘High Anxiety’, which has a large hole on the left halfway down and a series of holes at the bottom. We float a while and then camp.

Day 4; this day starts with several Class 3+ rapids, then prepare for a big and interesting one, ‘Harkapur’, the hardest rapid on the river and which should be carefully scouted. We camp soon after.

Day 5; some kms below ‘Harkapur’ the Dudh Kosi River conjoins the Sun Kosi and below here the river widens into an arid area of gravel. We then meet some small rapids before hitting another aptly named one, ‘Jaws’. We camp.

Day 6; a rest day to muck around on/by the river, explore the local area and prepare for Day 7.

Day 7; today is a hard day as we encounter Class 4+ rapids, heading straight into a good exciting one, ‘Rhino Rock’, which is followed by ‘Jungle Corridor’, 1 km of continuous white water. Waterfalls cascade on both sides of the river, one making a great spot for a shower. We camp.

Day 8; We continue as before.

Day 9; the last stretch of river brings us to the last class 4+, ‘Big Dipper’, a series of huge standing waves. A few kms later the Arun and Tamur rivers join the Sun Kosi to form the Sapta Kosi. We float along on the powerful current as the hills dramatically give way to the totally flat Terai and go past an important pilgrimage site, the Vishnu Temple at Barahachhetra where Vishnu destroyed the evil demon Hiranyakashipu, and where we can pay a visit. Soon after, around 2pm, we must end this classic and memorable river journey.

Day 10; we bus (15 hours) or fly from Biratnagar (an extra US$ 135) back to Kathmandu though the opportunity should be taken to visit the nearby Chitwan National Park (recommended). We hope you’ve had a good trip and look forward to seeing you again.

From September to November this is 3+, possibly up to 4+, depending on the water flow. During December to April it’s 3 to 4. May to early September it’s “nasty wild during the monsoon and can’t raft”.

Price US$ 600 plus accommodation in Kathmandu.
Rafting Seti River Kayaking Nepal Himalayas Raft Kayak Adventure Sports

Absolute Beginners

Kayaking Bhote Khosi Kosi River Rafting Nepal Himalayas Raft Kayak Adventure Sports

Absolute Beginners – Not Here

Rafting Bhote Khosi Kosi River Kayaking Nepal Himalayas Raft Kayak Adventure Sports

Awash in the Bhote Khosi

Rafting Kali Gandaki River Kayaking Nepal Himalayas Raft Kayak Adventure Sports

R’n’R Kali Gandaki Style

Kayaking Karnali River Rafting Nepal Himalayas Raft Kayak Adventure Sports

The Karnali

Kayaking Sun Kosi Koshi River Rafting Nepal Himalayas Raft Kayak Adventure Sports

Between White Waters, Sun Koshi

Gangetic Dolphin Rafting Karnali River Kayaking Nepal Himalayas Raft Kayak Adventure Sports

Gangetic Dolphin