Rafting in Nepal
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 destination.
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 the river.
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.