Nepal is a country that is known for its high altitude hills and great white mountain. Emerging from these mountains and swirling through these hills are some of the most beautiful rivers. The water in these rivers is cold, fast, and white, giving the enthusiasts of white river rafting great opportunity to test their rafting abilities. White water rafting in Nepal is one of the most popular adventures sports here. Rafting in Nepal has introduced decades ago, and currently, tourists from all parts of the country and the world come here to be a part of rafting.
White water rafting in Nepal is an activity that anyone can go for. From the most experienced rafting enthusiasts to the first time rafting goers, there is something in Nepal for everyone. All you need to have is the interest to try rafting in Nepal, and you’re sure to be amazed. While a lot of people are quite afraid of this adventure sport, the truth is, it is one of the safest adventure sports in the world. Even the people who don’t know how to swim can try this activity. There are so many rivers and spots in Nepal that allows you to enjoy the true thrill of white water rafting.
White Water Rafting Level
One of the aspects that determine the toughness of rafting is the class of rivers where rafting is performed. Choosing the right water rafting level, and the river accordingly, is crucial as it will all depend on your skill during the activity. If you’ve picked a river that’s too tough for you, well, the situation might get out of hand. In the same way, if the river is too simple, you might find the activity to be a quite dull and lacking adventure. These are the different classes of rivers that you can choose for exciting rafting. Your guide will definitely help you with the pick.
Class I is the easiest of all rivers. The current is quite slow and there are almost no rapids or difficult spots. This is the ideal one for you if you’re scared of going into the rivers, and yet, are looking for a pleasing experience.
Class II rivers are a little tougher to raft on than Class I. There are few rapids that are small to medium-sized and the current is faster than Class I. These rivers give you a sense of excitement; thanks to the speed and the rapids.
From the perspective of speed, Class II and Class III rivers are almost the same. However, there are more rapids, also small to medium-sized, in Class III rivers. You will love the balanced thrill offered by the rivers belonging to this class.
Class IV rivers have really strong currents and huge waves. It requires quite a bit of experience and hard work to paddle through these sections. This section includes the kind of rivers that are recommended only to the expert rafting enthusiasts.
Class V rivers have really strong rapids as a result of the big holes on the river bed. These are also prolonged for long distances. The waves in the rivers can easily flip the board. Needless to say, the section consists of the rivers that are the toughest to raft on.
Class VI includes the wildest rivers. It is considered almost impossible to raft on. Commercial rafting is not organized on rivers belonging to this section. Only the expert professionals with a zing for adventure try rafting on these rivers on their own risk.
Best Places To Go White Water Rafting
There are so many rivers in Nepal that are ideal for white water rafting. These rivers belong to different classes, which is a good thing as they offer something to everyone who comes to this country with the hope to have amazing rafting experience. Situated around these rivers are the resorts or spots that offer rafting services and guides to the enthusiasts. Depending on your interest and the level of difficulty you’d like to experience during the journey, you could pick the ideal river for you. There is flexibility when it comes to the rafting part that you’d like to pick.
1. Trishuli River Rafting
Trishuli River originates in Tibet and it is one of the tributaries of Narayani River. Narayani happens to be one of the major rivers of Nepal. Trishuli River Rafting is a popular rafting option for individuals who are spending their holidays in or around Kathmandu. White water rafting in Trishuli River has a medium level difficulty. The sport is conducted in the river round the year.
- River Class: III
- Starts: Charaudi
- Ends: Gaighat
- Duration: One day
- Distance: 60 km
2. Bhotekoshi River Rafting
Bhotekoshi River also originates in Tibet, and it flows south and merges with the Sun Koshi River. Sun Koshi is also a major river in Nepal. Bhotekoshi River Rafting is accessible for rafting enthusiasts who are spending their time in or around Kathmandu Valley. The difficulty level of rafting on the river is medium, and rafting trips are conducted here round the year.
- River Class: III – V
- Starts: Baseri
- Ends: Dolalghat
- Duration: One day
- Distance: 22 km
3. Sun Koshi River Rafting
Sun Koshi River is the one that originates in Tibet, and it is a major part of the Koshi River system. Koshi is the biggest river system in Nepal. The difficulty level of rafting in this river depends on the section of the water body. There are parts that go from intermediate to advanced. Sun Koshi River Rafting is one of the longest rafting trips in Nepal. The activity is organized here during Spring and Autumn.
- River Class: III – IV
- Starts: Dumja
- Ends: Chautara
- Duration: 10 days
- Distance: 270 km
4. Kali Gandaki River Rafting
Kali Gandaki River originates in Tibet and enters Nepal through the Mustang region. Kali Gandaki River rafting is one of the most popular river rafting options in Nepal. The trips are conducted here during Spring and Autumn, and when it comes to difficulty level, it varies as per the section of the river. There are few that are marked at medium, and others that are marked at difficult.
- River Class: IV – V
- Starts: Maldunga
- Ends: Mirmi
- Duration: 3 days
- Distance: 90 km
5. Karnali River Rafting
Karnali is the river that originates in Tibet and forms one of the biggest river water systems in Nepal. Karnali River Rafting is a difficult rafting option, and the trips are conducted during Spring and Autumn. The rafting trip is also one of the longest ones in the country, and so, recommended to only the expert rafting enthusiasts.
- River Class: IV – V
- Starts: Dhungeshwar
- Ends: Chisapani
- Duration: 10 days
- Distance: 180 km
6. Seti River Rafting
Seti River originates from around the peaks of Api and Namba in western Nepal. It is a major part of the Karnali river system. The difficulty level of Seti River rafting is quite easy, and the trips are conducted here during Spring and Autumn. The rafting option is ideal for individuals who are willing to try rafting for the first time.
- River Class: III – IV
- Starts: Bamboo Bridge
- Ends: Seti Dam
- Duration: Few hours
- Distance: 7 km
7. Tamur River Rafting
Tamur River begins from around Mt. Kanchenjunga in the eastern part of Nepal. The river later joins the Sun Koshi River. It is also one of the longest rafting journeys in Nepal and the trips are conducted during Spring and Autumn. The difficulty level of Tamur river rafting is marked at tough, and so, this option is recommended to the experts.
- River Class: IV
- Starts: Basantapur
- Ends: Chautara
- Duration: 11 days
- Distance: 120 km
Cost Of White Water Rafting
The cost of white water rafting depends on a lot of aspects. There are two possible modes that you can go to. The first one is a day trip. On this tour, the services that you’re offered are transportation to and from the rafting spot, the main rafting activity, and preferably a meal. This is a kind of trip that lasts a maximum of 8 hours. The second one is an overnight trip. On this tour, the rest of the services are the same, apart from additional meals and accommodation service. Overnight trips can last as long as you want. On average, day trips can cost up to $70 per person. However, the overnight trips cost vary depending on the number of days you stay.
There is a limitation when it comes to day trips, i.e. you will be picked only from a town or city that is close to the rafting journey. So, you’ll only be able to raft to the rivers that are close to your place of residence. In the case of overnight trips, there are no such limitations. You can visit the resort as per your convenience and stay there as long as you want. Therefore, you can choose any river where rafting is allowed or any spot that offers rafting services.
Whitewater Rafting Season
Now, there are two ideal white water rafting seasons. These times of the year are considered ideal for white water rafting. The first time is between the months of March and May, and the second time is between the months of September and November. During these seasons, the weather is perfect, neither too hot nor too cold. Also, the skies are clear allowing you to enjoy the most amazing views of the hills and the mountains. During these times of the year, there is enough water in the rivers allowing you to have exciting and thrilling rafting experience.
A lot of people tend to go for rafting during other months as well, and speaking of the truth, it is a possibility. However, there is a rule of thumb that is followed. Rafting activities aren’t organized at the time when it’s raining and the rivers are flooded. Also, it is not conducted during extreme cold, and hot. During summers, the rivers dry up and narrow down there’s not enough current to offer you that thrill. During winters, the water is cold as ice, and no one wants to be drenched during this time. If you want to really enjoy rafting, make sure to visit during the right season.
White Water Rafting Safety Tips
One of the most important things to do before and during the white water rafting journey is getting to know about all the white water rafting safety tips. By following the rafting safety tips, you won’t just have the most amazing experience during the sport, but also, you’ll be safe throughout the journey. The most reliable source of white water rafting safety tips is the professional guides who have been rafting for quite some time. They will accompany you throughout the time during the rafting process. Keep your ears open and mind focused on these rafting safety tips.
- Make sure to get your rafting equipment, including the wears, from a reliable outlet. Only the shops that have been selling rafting related items for years will give you good quality wears and equipment.
- You should always make sure to wear a life jacket or some kind of floatation device at the time of rafting. The jacket should neither be too tight nor should it be too loose. This is especially crucial if you’re not quite experienced with water bodies.
- Always put the protective gear on at the time of rafting. A protective gear, for instance, a helmet, will keep your body safe should you happen to fall off the boat, or be in any other situation.
- No matter what you’ve put on as protective gear or clothes, you should always feel comfortable. If you don’t feel that way, chances are that you’ll not be able to move freely or enjoy the overall experience.
- While holding the paddle, make sure to have a firm grip. There is a certain way to hold the paddle. Your guide will explain it to you at the beginning of the trip. Try to hold it in the same way throughout the time. Don’t let your paddle go.
- A lot of times, the rafting enthusiasts feel the urge to jump off the boat and enjoy swimming in the river water. You can do that but only at specific places if your guide allows it. Don’t get off the boat at any given time; it can be quite risky.
- If you happen to be in any kind of danger, for instance, if you slip off the boat, it is important that you maintain your cool and not panic. Only then you can reverse your situation, and stay safe. Follow the instructions given by the guide.
- There are certain commands that the members of the boat, including the guide, follow during the rafting process. Make sure that you remember them well, and execute them rightly. Not following the commands can ruin the coordination among the members.
It is very important that you consider all the safety issues before going for white water rafting in Nepal. It is by following all the safety tips given by your guide that you can get the best out of white water rafting and at the same time remain safe. There haven’t been any deaths in this sport, however, people have been hurt. A lot of times, it’s because of not being serious, or ignoring the guidelines. There are all kinds of rivers in Nepal, from Class I to Class VI. It is crucial that you take a practical decision by choosing the river that is ideal as per your skills.
White water rafting in Nepal is an activity that would never disappoint you. Whether you’re looking for a Class V river to challenge your rafting abilities, or are looking to try the activity for the first time, it’s a guarantee that you would love the experience. Make sure to visit Nepal during the ideal rafting season. This will further improve your experience. There is no better feeling than enjoying the views of the green hills, while you raft on the speedy white waters. To be able to enjoy true thrill and adventure here pick any of these white water rafting spots in Nepal.
Great Nepal Treks is one of the most reliable and affordable travel and tour operators in Nepal. They specialize in trekking and expedition, however, they also offer travel options consisting of activities such as helicopter tours, food tours, cultural tours, jungle safari, adventure sports such as white water rafting, and so on. Their itineraries cover interesting tourist destinations from countries like Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan Tour. If you’re looking to visit any of these countries during your upcoming vacation and try out these activities, make sure to contact Great Nepal Treks. With them as your travel partner, you will have the most amazing time during your vacation.