Nepal is one of the best place in the world for rafting and kayaking. Surrounded by its
mountain scenery and rivers shaped by them challenges for white-water paddles. A series of
the world's most outstanding river journeys is found here, ranging from steep, adrift
mountain streams to classic and big-volume wilderness expeditions. All these combination
of spectacular rivers, culture, heritage and scenery makes Nepal an obvious river runner's
Rivers here are graded from class 1 to 6 with class 1 as an easy-moving water with few
obstacles, and class 6 being considered nearly impossible to negotiate and a hazard to
life. Anyone who is in reasonable physical shape and not afraid of water can safely go
rafting on rivers with grading from 1 to 3. From 4 to 6, people should be active,
confident and preferably have some rafting experience.
When to Go
The best time for rafting are September to early December, and March to early June.
September to October and May to June can be extremely high monsoon run-off. At this time
only experienced rafting company with an intimate knowledge of the river operates the
excursion. From the mid -October onwards the weather is settled and this is one of the
most popular times to raft. In December many rivers become too cold to enjoy, a time to
consider a shorter trips. From June to August the monsoon rains arrive and the river flows
becomes 10 times the low-water flows.
Types of Rafting Trips
There are many different type of river rafting. Nepal will be the first white-water
experience for many people. It is very important to select the type of trips that suits
your interest and ability. Before planning on any of your trips, make sure that you go and
visit your rafting company and get all the necessary information on it. Any raft with an
oar frame the guide normally sits in the middle and rows, while the other passengers enjoy
the scenery. With a paddle raft the guide normally sits at the back calling instructions
and steering, while the crew provides the power. A good team work is very important while
rafting. Rafting trips are generally quite luxurious trips where you rowed down the river
and staff do everything for you (pitch camp, cook and so on). The quality of rafting
equipment is another variable, and can make a huge difference to the safety of
There should be a minimum of two rafts per trip. If anybody does fall out of a raft, the
second one can help with the rescue. In high water three raft is safer than two and also
many rafters prefer one or two professional kayak's to run the most difficult rapids on
Always remember to check how many people have booked and paid for a trip, and the
maximum number that will be taken. If you are the only person booked, you are not going to
have enough people to run a safe trip.
Organizing Rafting and Kayaking
If you are going for an organized rafting trip, all the necessary permits and equipment
will be arranged by your rafting company. You only need a light cotton clothing. You may
also need to bring sun hat, swim-suit, sun screen and light shoes or sandals. For
overnight trips a sleeping bag is necessary and can easily be hired.
There are about 80 to 90 companies in Kathmandu claiming to be rafting operators. Most
of them are only good for a days raft (mostly formed by a group of guides breaking away),
however there are also some well established and reputed companies as well. Trips range in
price from $ 15 to $ 70 a day, and generally you get what you pay for. At $ 15 you don't
get much, it's better to pay a it more and have a good and safe trip rather than to save $
100 and have a lousy, dangerous trip.
Rafting Chapter courtesy of Ultimate Descents.
|Some Well Established and Reputed Rafting companies
Name of the Company
|Himalayan River Exploration
|Raging River Runner