What is a
river journey all about?
River running is virtually as old as
civilization itself, but rafting and kayaking as
recreational activities are relatively new. A
river journey in an exotic foreign country is
one of the most enjoyable and effective ways to
experience rural areas, observe different ways
of life, cultures and natural environments a
conventional traveler may not. These pleasures
are complemented by an even greater thrill;
running through powerful fast flowing rapids.
We rise at dawn with the sun, and after a hearty
breakfast and loading the rafts, we start
rafting. You paddle hard through the rapids and
cruise in between. The day's rafting is
punctuated with a leisurely lunch break around
midday, as well as stops to scout the more
challenging rapids, explore temples and each day
depends on our choice of spectacular campsites.
Typically we are on the water for 4-6 hours.
Camping on isolated sweeping white sandy beaches
and sleeping in tents under the stars and open
sky is an ideal introduction to the great
Teamwork is crucial to the success of any true
adventure. The guidance and instruction of our
staff enables you to play an active role in
paddling your raft successfully through
exhilarating whitewater and you are totally
involved in the adventure. Most trips include a
layover day when people can wander to nearby
villages, explore, learn to kayak, play
volleyball, or just relax on a sunny beach with
a book, a chance to do as much or as little as
you wish. The pace of the trips is very relaxed;
we have plenty of time for rest, exploration and
We put a lot of time and effort into preparing
superb, hygienically prepared, wholesome and
abundant food, as rafting promotes a healthy
appetite. We encourage everyone to learn the art
of camp cooking and most people enjoy the
opportunity to be involved. We always offer a
vegetarian option and can cater to special
State Of the Art:
Self-bailing rafts, new lifejackets, helmets,
dry bags for gear, mountaineering tents, and
camera barrels make dealing with an expedition
the experience it should be. On most trips we
have a variety of craft including paddle rafts,
oar rafts, kayaks and if requested additional
inflatable craft. People on the trip have the
option of experiencing an even more intimate
relationship with river in these agile,
amazingly stable fun craft.
Paddle rafts are our boat of choice: the guide
controls the raft with a series of commands to
the crew who paddle in unison to steer the
craft. The exhilaration and teamwork are truly
rewarding. Of course, on most rivers we also
have oar rafts for anyone who doesn't want to
paddle, but prefers instead to relax as a
passenger. The guide rows the boats with a set
of oars and the physical demands on passengers
When to go?
Best times of the year for river running in
Nepal are September through early December, and
March through May. In September, early October
and May the rivers are running high with the
monsoon runoff. From the middle of October, the
weather is settled, and this is one of the most
popular times for rafting and kayaking in Nepal
due to warm water and long hot days, perfect for
the river. The spring season has lower flows to
begin with, which generally means the rapids are
more technical and not quite as pushy - a good
time for trying some of the steeper runs. From
June till August the monsoon rains arrive and
the rivers hold 10 times their low flows, and
can flood with 60 - 80 times these flows. We are
always keen to get out in the Monsoon as the
rivers are huge and if any group is looking for
something outrageous we can provide you with a
definitely unforgettable experience.
We choose our departures to coincide with
optimum river levels and climate, as we like
warm water and sunshine. Almost all the rivers
we run are free flowing, and river levels can
fluctuate dramatically over the season. High
water provides the exhilaration of greater
speed, bigger waves, and challenging rafting.
Lower flows require tight teamwork and more
precise maneuvering. The river grades mentioned
with each river are based on the flows we
normally run, but feel free to contact us and we
can give a pretty good estimate of flows on any
river in relation to the actual time you plan to
be on the water. Actual water levels during your
trip may be higher and the river more demanding,
it all depends on the River Gods.
What is the weather like?
One of the most fascinating things about Nepal
is that in the space of a hundred miles you can
go from the coldest and most bitter conditions
on earth to the sweltering heat of the North
Indian Plain. In general it's best to plan for
subtropical to temperate conditions on the
rivers. Temperatures in the daytime range from
25-32 degrees Celsius, with evenings being 8 to
10 degrees cooler. Expect typical northern
hemisphere seasons, with the monsoon thrown in.
Most people are surprised to find that Nepal is
actually the same latitude as Florida or Egypt
and the extremes in temperature and climate are
all do to altitude variations.
What river do you recommend?
Before you decide what river you'll do, you need
to decide what it is you want out of the river
trip to begin with. There are trips available
from two to 12 days on different rivers, all
offering dramatically different experiences. If
you are looking for something short we offer the
Bhote Kosi, Trisuli, Seti and the Kayak clinics.
All are very different trips with different
Longer trips such as the Karnali, Sun Kosi and
Tamur have the advantages of offering some real
heart-thumping white water with the incredible
journeying aspect of a long river trip.
There are other rivers in Nepal. Ask yourself
how daring are you? Do you want to rough it? Do
you want to trek? How much time do you have?
What can you afford. Whatever the combination,
we are bound to have a trip to suit you. Just
browse our web site and you will see, and feel
free to e-mail us and our staff will be happy to
help you put together an ultimate experience.
What equipment will I need for the river?
The best idea would be to keep it light. Most
anything you can dream of can be found in
Kathmandu. Once you know what trip you will be
on, we will send you all the information you
need on what to bring and more importantly what
not to bring. Bringing only what you need will
leave plenty of space for retail therapy.
What will I need kayaking?
Kayakers should bring their own personal
paddling gear, basically everything except the
kayak. Contact us directly for information on
what kayaks will be available. We recommend
paddling a kayak with more volume if you are not
experienced in big volume water in the post
monsoon season. Being keen kayakers get in touch
and we'll give you the lowdown on whatever you
need to know.
How safe are the trips?
We take safety very, very seriously. It is our
first and never-forgotten priority, and it
shows. We employ some of the best rafting guides
in the world. These men and women are whitewater
professionals, trained in CPR, emergency
wilderness first aid and swift-water rescue.
They are highly experienced, and levelheaded in
the most demanding and stressful situations.
Many have rafted all over the world, and some
have been involved in pioneering first descents
of rivers in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
They have devoted their lives to the navigation
and understanding of whitewater rivers. They
even know how to safely use a Nepali can-opener,
which is no mean feat in itself.
All our expeditions have professional safety
kayakers accompanying the expedition who can get
to a person in trouble faster than anyone else.
Far from just another kayaker, these are people
who will run anything blind, with a rescued
person hanging off the back of their boat, and
all the while smiling like they just discovered
teeth. Our dedication to safety shows in our
equipment as well. All of our equipment is state
of the art. We use specially designed Avon Mark
XI self-bailing rafts, the best flotation
devices, helmets, and paddles available. We
carry an extensive medical and rescue kit on all
expeditions, and are absolutely fanatical about
hygiene in camp. In fact, one of the most
dangerous things you can do on a rafting
expedition is getting caught coming back from
the loo without washing your hand.
We rely on the experience, capability and
expertise of our guides, state-of-the-art river
gear, as well as pre-planned and thoroughly
thought-out rescue plans to keep things together
in the unlikely event that something should go
astray. It is imperative, however, that the
prospective clients realize that they are
entering an environment where the rules and
realities of life are much different from the
West. It's a big part of what makes Nepal
magical, and in our opinion, more than offset by
the brilliance of being able to journey through
one of the world's last true frontiers.
Do I need to know how to swim?
The high-buoyancy lifejackets and helmets you
wear will keep you afloat like a buoy at sea.
However it would be good to know how to doggie
paddle and it is definitely worth considering
the time of year and flows. If you are very
apprehensive then consider easier flows.
Do I need to be very fit?
The strength of a weekend warrior will more than
suffice for what is needed muscle wise. But keep
in mind that there will be moments going through
a class IV rapid that you will wish you did more
than 12 once curls as your workout routine.
Should I see a doctor before coming to Nepal?
The most important and simple thing you can do
to prevent serious illness in Nepal is to arrive
properly immunized. You should be immunized
against Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Meningitis
and Polio. Some of these immunizations take some
weeks or months to do correctly, so don't leave
it to the last minute. Check with your local
health department for more detailed information.
Make sure that your tetanus shots are current,
and a thorough dental checkup is strongly
recommended. Malaria has not been completely
eradicated in Nepal, though it is present only
on the Terai so it is a good idea to take
malaria prophylactics, but without a doubt the
most effective deterrent against malaria is to
protect against mosquito bites with long,
tightly-woven clothing and mosquito repellent.
If you have any relevant medical conditions
please make sure they are listed on your booking
form. Also make them known to your guide and the
trip leader when you meet them in Kathmandu. On
all journeys we carry a very comprehensive first
aid kit, which is the product of 20 years
running rivers here, but if you want to bring
your own personal basic first aid kit by all