Rafting in Nepal

Karnali River Rafting

Karnali River Rafting
  • Rafting days

    10 days
  • Departure

    Fixed / On request
  • Entrance by

    19 hours bus ride from Kathmandu to Surkhet
  • Put-in point

    Sauli
  • Put-out point

    Chisapani
  • River distance

    180 Km
  • Group Size

    Min 6

Overview

One of the finest big volume rafting and kayaking trips in Nepal - spectacular, remote, jungle - clad canyons, Big white and abundant wildlife. The Karnali is Nepal's longest and largest river and with its tributaries it drains most of the far west of Nepal - the 'wild west' as many people call it, rising in the vicinity of Tibet's holy Mount Kailash and glacier of Kanziroba Himal other small peaks, as well as Rara lake rapid encountered on this river is 1 to 5 class. This bottom section of the river definitely lives up to that name - the area that it flows through is wild and relatively unpopulated with some of the most pristine jungle scenery in Nepal abundant wildlife.

From the frontier town of Surkhet there is an unique and lovely two - day trek through lowland Sal forest to the village of Saul in the seldom seen area of far West Nepal. From Sauli it's 180 km to the nest road access at Chisopani, on the northern border of the Royal Bardia National Park. The river section takes about seven days, giving plenty of time to explore some of the side canyons and waterfalls, which comes in to the river valley. For 180 kilometers we won't see a single sign of the modern world. It's one of the last places in Nepal that you can see old growth forest and have a real chance of seeing Nepal's wildlife.

The rapids are also pretty wild, with the river building to its climax in these lower canyons shortly after the sharp bend in the river 'the elbow' by the Lohore Khola, the valley narrows into a series of canyons, the river speeds up, and there are big rapids, one leading into another, almost continuously down to the Seti river from the 'Elbow' down to the Seti the gradient is 3m/km (15ft a mile), but after here, the radient eases, as the river winds through some magnificent un - spoilt scenery, eventually emerging onto the plains and flowing through the Royal Bardia National Park to join the Ganges. Finally leaving you lose to Bardia National Park, where you can combine your rafting adventure with a safari trip and maybe spot some of the park’s one - horned rhinos and elusive tigers or you can either drive back or fly back to Kathmandu.

Go on this trip if you want a true expedition style adventure and a totally classic river journey.


Departures

SPRING - AUTUMN

Sep - Dec III to V
Feb to May III to IV

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive in Surkhet
We travel to the far west and arrive in Surkhet very late/early hours of the next morning. Overnight in tented camp or teahouse lodge.
Day 02: To the put-in point at Sauli
After breakfast, we will take a truck as far as the road goes until about lunch time [this all depends on availability be flexible]. After lunch we walk all afternoon to the put-in point at Sauli. A great walk which highlights just how “out there” you really are. You pass local villages and spectacular scenery, and then you hit the river.
Day 03: Get ready for wild ride
After having heavy breakfast at 8:00 am we get ready for wild ride. This section of the River is terribly wild. Continues rapid makes rafter forget to breathe. Lunch will be served en-route and camping at 03:00 pm in First Inquiry.
Day 04: Enjoy the ride all day and camp
This is the type of day that people imagine when they think of Himalayan water. It is big and continuous. We enter into the Jungle Corridor. This is a narrowing jungle clad gorge and it is all ours. The team building is put into full practice and when your guide shouts “all forward ” he really means it. Enjoy the ride all day and camp in this sensational setting at God-house.
Day 05: Camp at the Seti Dovan and relax
More of the same including the notorious GOD’S house rapid. Camp at the Seti Dovan and relax.
Day 06: Camping at Jamuna village
It isn’t over yet! Keep paddling hard! You really are experiencing the best of the west on yet another day of great action and breathtaking scenery and camping at Jamuna village.
Day 07: Rest Day
This is a holiday after all so we have programmed a rest day so you can take time to enjoy your surroundings and relax on a great sandy beach.
Day 08 - 09: Pass the confluence with the Seti River
We see the rapids dying off as we come out of the gorge. We pass the confluence with the Seti River where the river broadens. Today and the next day and a half are a chance to enjoy your journey admiring the country and villages you pass. You will have seen the safety kayakers in action and will no doubt be inspired, so ask the guides for some supervised instruction, or take over the raft and learn about the river. You see there is more to a rafting expedition than just rafting.
Day 10: Final Day
This is the final day of river. We end this trip in the early afternoon at Chisopani Bridge & lunch is served there. You will catch night bus at about 1530hrs to get back to Kathmandu or you can enjoy in Bardia National Park, which is famous for bird watching.

Useful Information

Tea House Trekking

On the more popular treks in Nepal, particularly in the Everest, Langtang and the entire Annapurna regions, enterprising villagers have built teahouse lodges, similar to European style alpine lodges offering simple but comfortable accommodation and food. We offer a selection of single/twin sharing rooms in the best available lodges run to a high level of service. We also supply a four season sleeping bag and cotton liner free of charge on our teahouse treks. Hire of other key items if needed can be arranged in advance. During the trek you’ll have 3 meals a day, with a mixture of European and Asian style dishes and large portions. Soft drinks, sweets, mineral water and alcohol are not included.

Fully Provisioned Camping Style Trekking

This type of trek is staffed by a full Sherpa crew including a Sirdar (head man), cook and assistants. Porters, yaks, horses or mules carry your main baggage. It is the Sherpa crew’s job to perform all the camp work, from setting up to providing freshly made meals,to leaving the site clean on departure. We provide twin share dome or a frame sleeping tents, a kitchen tent, mess tent and toilet tent. We also provide tables, chairs or stools,lanterns/candles, thin sleeping mattresses and all crockery and cutlery as well as a fully equipped kitchen set up. The Sherpa crew will cook, wash up, and provide hot water for washing and tea and coffee at night and for your wake up call. Food is a mixture of Asian and Western dishes, with lots of choice, freshly prepared. As with teahouse trekking you can expect 3 main meals each day. Soft drinks, sweets, mineral water and alcohol are not included. A few of our teahouse treks involve crossing high passes and necessitate camping for a couple of nights. We provide full camping services for these nights including providing four season sleeping bags.

Small Group Travel

Most of our trips, treks and tours are organized on a small group basis, usually with a maximum of 16 persons in a group. On family holidays the maximum number is 20 to allow a number of families to join a group. By keeping numbers small we are able to offer a friendly, personal and high quality service.

Tailor Made Private Charter Adventures

We offer a very competitive complete tailor made service and are happy to design private charter programs for individuals and for groups as well as to tailor any of our packages to more closely meet your requirements. We have a wealth of experience in helping many clients in designing and planning individual adventures, ranging from romantic breaks to personal challenges, fundraising programs,student programs to extreme adventure expeditions, from low budget to no expense spared. We don’t charge a fortune to tailor make a trip for you and we have plenty of ideas, suggestions and experience we’re happy to share. We’ll work closely with you to design your adventure. Our advertised brochure prices will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay but we’ll provide individual quotes based upon your itinerary, requirements,budget and number of people traveling. Let us take care of the research and arrangements for your flights, accommodation,guides,transport,permits,peak fees,equipment requirements,food and all ground handling service for treks, expeditions or tours, using our local knowledge, expertise and contacts. And you can get on with enjoying yourself.

Group and Club Organizers

If you are organizing a trip for a group or a club we will offer one free* additional place for every 10 bookings made. You can use this for your own travel, use it to reduce the overall cost of the trip for everyone or perhaps offer it as a fantastic prize for your group members or for a charity. Contact us for more details and for conditions (*permit fees, national park entry fees, airfares and departure taxes not included).

Grading System

In Nepal, the trails often zigzag with plenty of ascents and descents and it is better to think in terms of hours spent walking rather than miles covered. A typical day’s walking is from five to seven hours with a number of ascents and descents. This includes a one hour lunch stop, a comfortable pace of walking and time to enjoy your surroundings. We use four grades for our treks, intended to give you a general sense of what to expect and to help you choose which adventure will suit you best. Factors such as weather conditions, altitude, fitness level, experience, interests and how you feel on a particular day all contribute to how easy or strenuous you find a trip. If you’re unsure of whether a trek is suitable for you just contact us before making your booking.

Equipment Checklist

A pair of light hiking boots
A pair of sandals
2 pairs of woolen socks and 2 pair of hiking socks
1 medium poly pro shirt
1 pile jacket
1 down jacket
1 woolen hat
A pair of sunglasses
A pair of glove shells with liner or ski gloves (opt.)
A pair of woolen gloves
One Trekking pack 3000 cubic inches capacity
One Sunscreen lotion SPF 10 to 30 and One Sunscreen stick SPF 10 to 30
Two Reading books (Optional)
One Walkman (Opt) and Music tapes (Opt) iPods Digi Camera and its Charger
A one liter water bottle
A pair of trekking poles
One flash light with 4 sets of batteries one -5 to -20 sleeping bag
Two T-shirts and one long sleeve T/city shirt
Two Trekking baggy pants

Toiletry Items

Towel, pre-moistened novelettes, wash cloth, lip balm, and any additional personal items such as toothbrush, comb, etc.

Miscellaneous Items

Photo equipment with plenty of films and spare batteries, reading/writing materials, postcards of hometown and/or photos of home and family to share with Nepalese people, safety pins, sewing kit, zip lock bags for small items.

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