Rafting in Nepal

For adventure seekers rafting is the perfect way to experience adventure on the river and get your adrenaline pumping to a new high. Nepal has some of the best rivers for rafting and rafting trips can be the highlight of your 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 to three weeks. River rafting is a great way to have fun while you bond with your fellow rafters.

Note that it is not necessary to be able to swim, but swimmers are probably more relaxed, comfortable, and safer in this alien watery environment.

  • The rivers of Nepal take you away from the busy trekking routes and penetrate the heart of rural, road-less, unspoiled Nepal.
  • Rafting offers an attractive alternative to trekking, something to note if you don’t enjoy walking. It also complements trekking, in that you see the country from a different viewpoint like locality, custom and culture with the traditional way of life style.
  • Rafting ‘leaves no footprints’, has minimal ecological effect, and if you wish, the exhilaration of running white water.
  • There can be few better ways of viewing wildlife, then from a boat.

Rafting has this image of crashing through horrendous rapids and monstrous waves, and yes at the time of high flow, in the monsoon, this may be justified but at most flows there are many class 3 and class 4 rivers of moderate difficulty and also many rivers of class 2 where you can float along admiring the scenery and running a few very small rapids. Rafting in Nepal is a superb experience in its own right- the thrill of running white water rapids is the cream on the cake for those who enjoy it!

Many people are naturally a little bit fearful if they haven’t been on white water before, but after the first rapid ‘hit’ – as long as people are physically fit and not scared of water they can safely go on water of class 2 to 3. Remember that we grade a river on the hardest section – most rivers have days of easier water and long stretches in between the rapid in which to relax. For more difficult and exciting class 4 rivers people should be active, confident in water and preferably have some previous rafting experience.

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

1. Antecedent to himalaya
2. After The Mahabharat
3. After the Churia range

Antecedent rivers belong to the period prior to the rise of the Himalaya, these rivers added their tributaries during or after the Himalayan origin alongwith the development of mosoon climate. After the formation of Mahabharat hills, the antecedent rivers changed their courses as Mahabharat stood as a barrier. As a result, most of the these rivers were responsible to deposit the sediments in the Churis basin.

The major river system namely the Koshi, the Karnali and the Gandaki belong to the antecedent group. Rivers originating from the Mahabharat range and cutting through Churia hills come under the second group, these include Kankai, Bagamati, Kamala etc. the third group of riverd orginate from the southern face of the Churia hills. For the purpose of commercial rafting, the following rivers are in use.

1.SaptaKoshi River System (East Nepal)
2. Narayani or Saptagandaki River System (Central Nepal)
3. Karnali River System (West Nepal)

Sixteen rivers in the three river system are open for tourists for Rafting. The rivers are;

The Trishuli River
(Trishuli-Narayanghat Section)

The Kali Gandaki River
(Kusma-tiger Tops Section)

The Bheri River
(Birendranagar-Chisapani Section)

The Seti River
(Damouli-Tiger tops Section)

The Sunkoshi River
(Baseri-Chatara section)

The Tama Koshi River
(Busti-chatara Section)

The Arun River
(Tumlingtar-Chatara Section)

The Budhi Gandaki River
(Arughat- Trishuli Section)

The Bhote Koshi River
(Kodari- lartza Bridge Section)

The Marshyangdi River
(nadi-Bimalnagar Section)