Rafting in Nepal is one of the favorites and most sought-after sport. With the rapid white rivers ranging from steep, adrenaline-charged mountain streams to big-volume wilderness expeditions, rafting in Nepal holds the reputation one of the best in the world.
Of course, trekking in the lap of a majestic range of Himalayas might be your ultimate purpose, but rafting in Nepal is no less to that. So, what are the best destination for rafting in Nepal, the best month to go for it and every possible information relating to rafting in Nepal?
Different Rivers for Rafting in Nepal
Trishuli River Rafting
Trishuli river is a popular choice amongst tourists for rafting in Nepal, as it is the best destination for rafting experience with no challenge of huge rapids, but with some really exciting rapids and excellent natural scenery amid peaceful environment.
During the monsoon season, the flow of water increases with raging water rapids and attracting experienced adventures in this particular river for rafting in Nepal.
Location: Trishuli River rafting is located at only 3 to 3.5 hours of drive from west of Kathmandu. It makes an excellent short trip for travelers who are en route to Pokhara or Chitwan National Park. You can raft the river for 1 to 3 days, 15-60 km.
Sun Koshi River Rafting
With the mention of rafting in Nepal, Sun Koshi river rafting cannot be missed. It is very famous as one of the top ten river journeys in the world. In Sun Koshi river rafting, you will see incredible high mountains, open valley, delightful forest, and charming remote settlements.
Sun Koshi river rafting in Nepal is a fairly relaxed class 3, which is perfect for the rafting in group or kayaking with no big challenges.
Location: It takes about a 3-hour drive towards the east of Kathmandu to reach Dumja where takes place Sun Koshi River Rafting. The distance is 235 km and takes around seven days to explore the trip fully.
Kali Gandaki River Rafting
This rafting experience in Nepal takes you to the remote river of Kali Gandaki, which is known for the exhilarating rafting in Nepal offering stunning natural scenery. Kali Gandaki River rafting in Nepal is best for the adventurers who are looking for short to medium length trip.
While rafting in this white river, you will pass through narrow gorges alongside tumbling waterfalls and lush jungles and traditional villages of mainly Magar and Chettri ethnic groups.
Location: For the Kali Gandaki river rafting in Nepal, you will have to reach Newbridge (Kusma), which takes only around 3 hours from Pokhara. As Pokhara is already a popular adventure-hub, you can certainly have the experience of rafting in Nepal while you are there.
Bhote Koshi River Rafting
Bhote Koshi River rafting in Nepal is considered as one of the best short white river rafting trips. The river water is very steep with continuous rapid action making Bhote Koshi river rafting full of adrenaline rush. It will be best to embark on for this rafting if you have the previous experience.
Location: Baseri is the point of rafting in Bhote Koshi river and takes around 4 hours drive to north-east Kathmandu. It is 25 km of river action and takes two days for full exploration.
Karnali River Rafting
One of the most popular river for kayaking and rafting in Nepal, Karnali river is a favorite trip for rafters. The wide variety of flora and fauna including verdant forest and remote jungles makes Karnali River rafting even more enthralling. If you are an avid adventurer and want to have the ultimate experience of rafting in Nepal, then do visit this river in monsoon, when the rapids are huge.
Going for Karnali river rafting is a beautiful journey that has a lot of beautiful scenery and great river action. Also, its proximity to Bardia National Park and the tag as the best fishing river in Nepal makes the Karnali river rafting more than appealing.
Location: Karnali river rafting involves a long journey of 22 hours bus ride to Kalyan Danda via Birendranagar from Kathmandu, or you can take one hour flight to Birandranagar and additional 2 hours of the bus journey. Then again from Kalyan Danda, you will hike from 2 – 3 hours to Kareleghat, which is the put-in point for Karnali river rafting in Nepal.
Best time for Rafting in Nepal
March to May: It is the summer season with long and hot days when water flow is low meaning the rapids are lower than they are from September to November. However, the river can rise again during May because of pre-monsoon storms and snowmelt.
June to August: After summer comes monsoon, when the river carries ten times the low-water flows and can flood with 60 to 80 times the low-water level making river more than difficult. Not all the rafting rivers operate during monsoon and only parts of Trishuli, Upper Sun Koshi and Seti river runs commercially in monsoon.
September to early October: You can experience rivers can be extremely high as monsoon as just ended. The flow is high and rapid are intense, making it very dangerous for rafting. So having a strong team and experienced rafting company is important at this time of year for rafting in Nepal.
Mid-October to November: It is one of the most popular time for rafting in Nepal or kayaking when the weather is warm and settled with exciting river rapids.
December-February: Winter is too cold to enjoy rafting in Nepal. You can go with a wetsuit as well, but the chilliness is way too extreme to enjoy the rafting in full scale.
Safety Tips while Rafting in Nepal
Be it for beginners or the experienced one, following safety tips is very important. Also, as there are no minimum safety conditions enforced by any official body in Nepal, it all comes to you, so be cautious and guard your safety. Choose a reliable and professional rafting and kayaking company of Nepal.
Let your guide give you a comprehensive safety talk and paddle training before you launch off downstream. Do not hesitate to raise questions if you find it confusing. Here are some more helpful tips for rafting in Nepal.
Licensed and professional rafting Agency
While going through the list of rafting companies in Nepal, see how long they have been in business under current ownership. Make an inquiry on what kind of training their guides to have and ensure you are working with professionals.
Wear a life jacket or personal flotation device and helmet (PFD)
It is a must follow tip while rafting in Nepal or anywhere else; however, wearing a life jacket is not enough. Make sure the jacket is worn correctly, all buckles are clipped, and it is fitted in your body. The jacket should be fitted properly so you can breathe, and at the same time, the jacket should not be able to be pulled up over your head.
Be comfortable and wear correct outerwear
While on the boat, make yourself comfortable, and if you are uneasy about the place, do make the change. And about the outerwear, go according to the weather.
For early spring, you can wear a wetsuit, splash jacket, and river shoes. While for summer, quick drying clothes like polypro might be good. Likewise, pick outerwear as per the weather which you are comfortable in.
Stay in the boat and hold the paddle correctly
Staying in a boat while rafting is common knowledge, but practically speaking, anyone can panic, and the next thing you know is you are swimming. Pay attention and watch for rocks coming from downstream and listen to your guide.
Keep your hand over the grip and when a boat collides with rock, return to your seat, and be ready to paddle. Now, about holding the paddle correctly, one hand should be at the base of the paddle on the shaft and other on the end of the shaft.
Do not panic
Especially beginners can get nervous while rafting, but one thing you can do is not to panic. Stressing out makes you more nervous and fearful, which increases the possibility of an accident.
Even if you fall out of the boat, grab the boat immediately, so you don’t float away and let your fellow rafter help you out.
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