Nepal is a river runners paradise. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or a pro, there's a river there for you. There are few countries that offer such a wide range of multi-day river trips in such a beautiful location. In a river trip you will experience heart racing rapids, snow capped mountains, isolated villages and unspoiled surroundings.
If you are a beginner, Nepal is the perfect environment to learn a whitewater sport. The country offers warm climate, warm water, and a large choice of rivers to build your confidence. If you are an intermediate to pro paddler you are seriously spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing which river to run. To help you make that decision heres a quick summery of some of the main rivers in Nepal.
Sun Kosi - River of Gold. 9 days. Grade 4-/5-. Voted by many as one of the Top 10 river in the world. This river gets its name from the Goddess Kaushiki, it is one of the longest trips Nepal has to offer running 8-10 days, depending upon the season. This is the longest river in Nepal (270km). You start this river only three hours from Kathmandu, near the Tibetan border and end up near the dusty Northern Indian plain in just a week! Most of the rapids are Class III but be prepared as the biggest waves are saved for the last few days, hopefully you'll be working like a well oiled machine by then! A highlight of this trip is the huge waterfall you encounter half way through the river (the best shower of your life!) It's a great way to discover the real Nepal as you meander through remote rice paddies and avoid all the noisy traffic.
Karnali - The Wild West. 10 days. Grade 4/5. Slightly more demanding than the Sun Kosi, this trip is ideal for anyone wanting to raft or experienced kayakers. This is Nepal's mightiest river the longest, largest and the most beautiful. It comes from the base of the Holy Mount Kailash in Tibet before dropping off into dramatic canyons raging with whitewater. Very few tourists make it over to the West of Nepal, so this is a great river to get away from the crowds and see a lesser traveled Nepal. You will need 10 days for these Class IV rapids and can be tied in with a trip to Bardia National Park. I guarantee you will enjoy the 7km gorge has been described as a 'thrill a minute roller coaster rider', basically one giant rapid!
Tamur - The Jewel in Nepal's East. 11 days. Grade 4/5. This is the most remote commercial rafting trip available. It is one of the newest rivers open to tourists and combines one of the best Himalayan treks (3 days) and an exhilarating river journey. The water comes from the mighty Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world and in its 131 navigable kilometers there are 120 rapids! The unspoiled and barely inhabited environment of this area make for an unforgettable trip. Anyone can raft this river but it is only suitable for experienced kayakers.
Kaligandaki - The Holy River. 3 days. Grade 4-/4+. Nepals holiest river, it is named after the Hindu goddess of destruction. It begins its journey high on the Tibetan Plateau in the Mustang region on the Northern side of the Himalaya, carving down into one of the deepest gorges in the world between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. A great multi day trip which will have you riding the well known rapids Big Brother and Little Brother, these Class III+ rapids will not let you down. Wildlife, lush vegetation, white sandy beaches, jaw dropping gorges, remote villages and surfing waves almost the entire trip, what more can you ask for?! A new Dam has meant that this trip is shorter than it once was, but it still makes it one of the best medium length with more complex rapids than many of the other rivers offer.
Marsyandi - The Raging River. 1-3 days. Grade 4+/5. This river is not for beginners. The
scenery on this trip is simply breathtaking, however it is unlikely you will
have time to stop and look! Rapids are steep, technical and continuous and a
serious undertaking. If you're after a more demanding river with great scenery
this is definitely the river for you but be warned, this river deserves respect
from those who choose to run it. Only experienced kayakers should run this
Trisuli 1-2 days. Grade 2+/3. Coming from the Langtang Himal, this is the most popular short rafting trip in Nepal. Easily accessible from Kathmandu or Pokhara the river winds its way through stunning gorges and exhilarating. Ladies Delight, Upset, and Butterfly are just a few of the rapids you will come across. This river can be enjoyed all year round, although it can really pack a punch during the monsoon, just make sure you dont swim otherwise you might end up in India! This trip will suit anyone from first timers to more experienced paddlers wanting to warm up before they head to a harder river. This is an ideal trip to tie in with a visit to Chitwan national Park.
Bhote Kosi - 100% Adrenaline Rush. 1-2 days. Grade III-V. Only a three hour drive from Kathmandu, this is also a good river if you only have a short time. Although be warned, there is no chance to look at the scenery on this river, it is go, go, go! Unlike the Trisuli, the Bhote Kosi has continuous whitewater. Rapids such as A Ferret in Your Pants and Frog in The Blender give you an idea of what's in store! highly recommend for those that want a bit of excitement. And hey, while youre in that area why not try Nepals Bungee Jump and throw yourself off a 160m bridge!
Seti Khola - White River. 1-3 days. Grade II/III. Seti means white in Nepali, this river is named for the constant whitewater it offers. You will travel through Magar villages from where the famous Gurkha soldiers hail. To make the most out of this river you will need 2-3 days. This river is more suitable for families or people wanting to learn kayaking in warmer waters! Although I have to say it is one of the most beautiful rivers Nepal has to offer
And it doesnt stop there, Nepal also has the Belephi (a bolder garden, 1 day'er alongside the Bhote Kosi), The Madi (2-3 days, nonstop coming from the Annapurna range), The Modi (2-3 days, great to combine with the Poon Hill trek from Pokhara), the Arun, the Thule Bheri and the list goes on!So there you have it. Nepal has some of the best whitewater in the world. To see pictures of these incredible rives please visit www.kayaknepal.com and if you would like any more information on these rivers please do not hesitate to contact us on email@example.com
Author: Chrissy Dawkins GRG's Adventure Kayaking
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