River Rafting in Nepal

River Rafting in NepalNepal has earned the reputation of one of the best destinations for white water rafting. Cruising down rushing rivers of crashing waves and swirling rapids can make up excitement of a lifetime. Rafting trips for some is the highlight of their stay in Nepal. The waters in Nepal offer something for everybody: Grade 5-5+ rivers with raging white water rapids for the adventurous, to Grade 2-3 rivers with a few rapids for novices. Rafters also have a choice ranging from two to three-week trips to trips of two or three days.

The options include paddling, oaring and kayaking. Paddling requires all on boat to participate with instructions from river runner. Luxury safari-style trips with full team are available too. In an oar boat, the guide rows alone giving participants a chance to observe the surroundings. Kayaking is another way to travel downstream. A few companies offer inflatable kayaks, or fiberglass kayaks for hire while some arrange for kayaks on their own.

A typical day in the river begins early morning when participants arrive at the site. Instructions on safety and emergency situation are given to participants before the event. Life vests and helmets are worn by participants at all times during the trip. Meals are provided during the trip. Some packages also provide river equipment and camping equipment. The best time for rafting is from October through mid-December and March through early May. In winter hypothermia may be hindrance to some. During monsoons months of June through September, the white water sections are dangerous, but gentler stretches are easy to raft on. So far the government has opened sections of 10 rivers for commercial rafting.

Seti River

Days: 2 days
Grade: 3

River Seti can be reached from Damouli roughly 160 kilometers west of Kathmandu. Rafters encounter several rapids before reaching Trishuli River. Hindu religious site Devghat marks the confluence of Kali Gandaki and Trishuli and becomes River Narayani. Rafters have a choice of either coming back to Kathmandu or continuing the journey to visit the Chitwan National Park.

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Trishuli River

Days: 1 to 3 days
Grade: 3+ 

River Trisuli is one of the most popular Nepali rivers for rafting. For first-time rafters it offers plenty of excitement. Due to its proximity to Kathmandu and the easy road access most rafting companies offer trips on the Trisuli. At $20 or so per dayIt is the cheapest river trip available in Nepal. A river trip on Trishuli can be combined with trips to Chitwan or Pokhara.

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Bhote-Koshi River

Days: 2 days 
Grade: 4 to 5 

River Bhote Koshi is a two-day run of pure adventure. The rafting site is located only three hours from Kathmandu. Twenty-six kilometers of continuous white water soaks rafters as they shoot through a veritable maze of canyons and boulders. It is the steepest river rafted in Nepal and required a lot of concentration. Starting above Barabise, you raft down to the dam at Lamosangu.

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Kali-Gandaki River

Days: 3 days 
Grade: 4 to 5+ 

River Kali Gandaki winds through remote canyons and deep gorges of intense rapids among. Starting at Baglung, you could raft down to Ramdighat in five or six days. Trips on the Kali Gandaki begin and end in Pokhara and offer an exciting alternative to the Trisuli. The run flows 120 km and its challenges are continuous.

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Marshyangdi River

Days: 5 days 
Grade: 4 to 5

River Marshyangdi provides four days of uninterrupted white-water rafting. It begins from the village of Ngadi from Besishahar in Pokhara. The rapids on the river are unrelenting, and rafters are advised to consult companies with lots of experience. It runs sandwiched between 52 kilometers of boiling foam and towering peaks of Annapurna.

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Arun River

Days: 6 days 
Grade: 5 

River Arun begins at Tumlingtar and ends at Chatara, Kartikeghat. The starting point can be approached either by flight or by road. A mini-trek is required from both the airstrip or from the bus stop. Some parts of the river are smooth while some are rough and challenging. On the sixth day Arun River meets Sun Koshi. Rafters either drive back Chatara via Biratnagar or fly from Biratnagar to Kathmandu.

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Sun-Koshi River

Days: 8-10 days 
Grade: 4 to 5 

River Sun Koshi is Nepal's longest rafting trip. The rafting site, three hours drive from Kathmandu is more accessible than the Karnali. The run is 270 km and requires 9 to 10 days from Dolalghat to end Chatara down to the Indo-Gangetic plains. The first couple of days are relatively easy while surprises sneak up on you during the last days. The white water stays white until the very end.

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Karnali River

Days: 11 days 
Grade: 4 to 5

River Karnali in the far west is the longest and largest river in Nepal. It flows through steep, jagged canyons where the rapids are tightly packed, offering continuous challenging water at all flows. A bus ride to far-western Nepal or a flight to Nepalgunj can take one to rafting site. It takes about 7 days to navigate the 90 kilometers of canyons and waterfalls. During most of this trip, the wilderness is uninterrupted by human habitations.

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