Rafting in Nepal:
Nepal is a river runner's paradise - no other country has
such a choice of multi-day trips, away from roads, in such
magnificent mountain surroundings, with warm rivers, a semi
tropical climate, impressive geography, exotic cultures,
wildlife and friendly welcoming people!
But it's not just the rivers - as anyone who has been there
will tell you, Nepal is a magnificent holiday in its own
right - a fairy tale land of temples, mountains, dramatic
festivals, exotic culture, colorful people, medieval
villages, superb craft shopping, great food and sights - the
bonus is some of the World's best rivers!
Rafting in Nepal is usually a 'wilderness' experience in
that most rivers don't have highways alongside them - but
it's a soft, tamed, wilderness with white beaches for
camping, clean blue rivers, friendly locals and few 'nasties'
- someone described it as 'blissful escapism'!
Incredibly inexpensive, Nepal is a where rafters and
kayakers get a warm welcome as one of the best forms of
White water rafting means cruising down a rushing river in
an inflatable rubber raft or white water kayak over crashing
waves and swirling rapids for the excitement of a lifetime.
Nepal has earned a reputation as one of the best
destinations in the world for white water rafting. Nepal's
thundering waters, coming from the glaciers of the mighty
Himalaya, provide unmatched thrills for rafting and
immersing oneself in the landscape. A rafting trip is bound
to be the highlight of your stay in the country.
Rivers are graded on a scale of one to six, with one being a
swimming pool and six a one-way ticket to your maker. Four
is considered to be quite challenging without being
exceedingly dangerous to the novice rafter. Five requires
some previous river experience. Here are some of the popular
When to go :
Nepal's climate is dictated by the monsoon which arrives in
June and usually finishes in late September. The monsoon
brings torrential rains that flood the rivers so most people
wouldn't want to be kayaking or rafting at this time. Peak
season for tourists and for rafting is probably October
through November: the monsoon is over, everything is very
green, rivers are moderately high but dropping, temperatures
are warm and skies are clear with fine mountain views. The
only disadvantages with this time of year are that it is the
peak season and airline reservations are harder to get; also
you cannot be sure when the monsoon will finish: it can be a
month late and this can throw your plans into chaos if you
are planning on running a river where water levels are
critical - as they are on many of Nepal's rivers.
The winter months from late December through to early
February are cold, but skies are still clear and river
levels will be low. Lots of river running groups come out
over Christmas and have a great time, but you certainly
should expect cold water and perhaps think in terms of wet
suits and dry tops.
From late February through to early April is also a good
time for river running - river levels are reliably low, air
temperature warm, rivers warm and blue. The disadvantage is
that the air is often hazy: you cannot be assured of
stunning mountain views and there may be an occasional
shower of rain. In the past, many kayakers and rafters have
visited Nepal over the Christmas holiday, when the facts
seem to suggest that Easter might he a better time.
The rivers :
Nepal has many, many rivers but not all are navigable
Therefore hereafter follows a summary of the rivers which we
navigate and which you can find on the map of Nepal.
West Nepal, Central Nepal, East Nepal
Karnali (lower) Trisuli Arun
Bheri Kali Gandaki (upper) Sun kosi
Seti Kali Gandaki (lower) Tamur