Type of Rafting
Long multi-Day trips
The Sun Kosi is the cheapest and most popular of these trips because the start is close to Kathmandu and you can drive to both start and finish points. Described as one of the 'ten best rafting trips in the World', it makes an excellent choice for most people and especially for those doing their first river trip in Nepal.
The Karnali is our pick as the best overall trip. The rapids are more challenging than the Sun Kosi, add to it's remote setting, superb canyons and pristine wilderness; finish with a couple of days at the Royal Bardia Wildlife Reserve and you have a rafting trip that is probably 'Best of its kind' anywhere in the World.
The Tamur could be described as a mini-Karnali, with a spectacular trek in to the start and lots of white water interest - at the right water level probably more challenging than the above rivers.
Medium length trips
If you still want an exciting multi-day white water raft trip, but your time is more limited, then the obvious choices are the Trisuli and upper Kali Gandaki. The cheapest trip is likely to be on the Trisuli but this is spoilt by the main highway that runs alongside most of it. The upper Kali Gandaki is a much finer river in our opinion and the Arun is an alternative but unfashionable option. For the experienced rafter, this is surpassed by the magnificent whitewater and scenery of the Marsyandi..
If you prefer easier water, then the most accessible option is the lower Kali Gandaki: this offers good scenery, jungle, wildlife and unspoilt beaches.
The Trisuli is the obvious and popular choice for either white water or more easy rafting. However we think that if you have 2 days and are looking for an easy trip then top choice must be the Seti River, away from roads, and with beautiful scenery. If you only have a day then the upper Sun Kosi is relatively unspoilt and yet close to Kathmandu. For the experienced crew, the Bhote Kosi offers two days of challenge and continuous adrenaline buzz.
Nepal is now the premier destination in the world for multi-day raft trips. Here's some of the reasons and some sample paragraphs and headings from the main rafting chapter in White Water Nepal.
Best Time of Year (when Go)
As we explain elsewhere, the time of year always makes a big difference to the difficulty of water. After the monsoon in August, water volumes are huge and all rivers much more difficult or too dangerous. From October 1st week to Late November the weather is settled and this is high season for rafting. Winter months are cold, so this is a better time for shorter trips. The summer season from March to May has lower flows but warmer temperatures.
Who enjoys Rafting?
Women in particular in our experience - for many different reasons, so don't ask us - ask them! A rafting trip can be a wonderful family holiday and an excellent experience for older children, older people enjoy the river experience, the natural surroundings and the relaxed pace of camp life. If you or friends are disabled, then rafting and kayaking offers the freedom of getting out into the real Nepal.
|Best long, white water trips, 'World classics'||Karnali, Tamur, and Sun Koshi|
|Best rivers for wildlife and fishing||Bheri, Karnali|
|Best 3-6 day white water trips||Marshyangdi, Kali Gandaki, Arun|
|Best 4-12 day easy water trips||Kali Gandaki, Bheri|
|Best 1-3 day white water trips||Trisuli, Bhote Koshi, lower Tamur|
|Best 1-3 day easy water trips||Sun Koshi, Seti|
|Best combined trekking & rafting trips||Tamur and Marshyangdi|
|Best budget trips||Sun Koshi, Kali Gandaki, Trisuli|
|Best Family trips||Sun Koshi, Seti. Trisuli|