Rafting in white water of Nepal

For adventure seekers, rafting is the perfect way for an extended adventure on the river to get your adrenaline pumping to a new high. River rafting is journey on the torrential river on an inflatable rubber boat. A river trip is often an adventure but not always. An amateur with a little sense of adventure can equally enjoy it. A river trip also provides opportunity for geological surveys and fishing. A trained professional river guide heads the rafting team. Normally the river outfitter provides all camping equipment and meals.

In country like Nepal, a river trip is one of the best ways to explore a typical cross section of the country’s natural as well as ethno cultural heritage. The river is regarded as from of goddess and used for the purpose of various religious rituals such as cremation under both Hinduism and Buddhism. A variety of cultural activities can be witnesses being performed along the river. The adjoining slopes of the river often harbor dense vegetations and interesting wildlife. Several varieties of fishes also abound the Nepalese rivers

Nepal has some of the best rivers for rafting. 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 day trips to trips of two or three weeks. Paddling is a fun way to enjoy the trip as well as bonding with fellow rafters.

A typical day in the river begins early morning when rafters arrive at the put-in point. The river guide begins with instructions on safety and emergencies before everyone is given life vests and helmets. This is a must for safety on the river at all times. Lunch on some white sandy beach around mid-day is fun. The best time for rafting is from October through mid-December and March to early May. In winter the water is cold and during the monsoons months from June through September, the white water sections are dangerous, but gentler stretches are easy to raft on.

Nepalese river can be grouped into three categories on the basis of their origin.

  • antecedent to Himalaya
  • After the Mahabharata
  • After the Churia range.

Antecedent River belongs to the period to the rise of the Himalaya. These rivers added their tributaries during or after the Himalayan origin along with the development of monsoon climate. After the formation of Mahabharata hills, the antecedent rivers changed their courses as Mahabharata stood as a barrier. As a result, most of the river changed their courses either to the east or west. Most of these rivers were responsible to deposit the sediments in the Churia basin.

The major river system namely the Koshi, the Karnali and the Gandaki belong to the antecedent group. Rivers originating from the Mahabharata range and cutting through Churia hills come under the second group; these include Kankai, Bagmati, Kamala etc. The third groups of rivers originate from the southern face of the Churia hills.

Short Rafting Trips
Short trips take between one and four days and do not involve any trekking. Some of these trips involve less challenging white water and are ideally suited for first timers and families.

  • Seti River: Days: 2 days Grade: 3 to 5
  • Trishuli River: Days: 1 to 3 days Grade: 3+
  • Bhote-Koshi River: Days: 2 days Grade: 4 to 5
  • Kali-Gandaki River Days: 3 days Grade: 5 to 5+
  • Trisuli: The run flows 120 km and its challenges are continuous.

Long Rafting Trips
Longer trips take you into some of Nepal’s most remote areas. They often involve short treks to reach the river. Porters carry the gear and supplies, so all you need to carry are your own personal belongings. Treks through the jungles can be an adventure with sightings of wildlife. The landscapes on these trips are inspiring.

  • Marsyangdi River: Days: 5 days Grade: 4 to 5
  • Arun River: Days: 6 days Grade: 5
  • Sun-Koshi River: Days: 8-10 days Grade: 4 to 5
  • Karnali River: Days: 11 days Grade: 4 to 5