Karnali River Rafting | Karnali River : Himalayan Smile Treks

Karnali River Rafting

Karnali is the longest and largest river in Nepal. The origin of this river is the base of Mt. Kailash in Tibet. From Tibet it flows south into Nepal.

  • Trip Fact - 11 days
  • Best Rafting Season: Autumn & Spring
  • Grade (Autumn: Oct. to Dec.): III to V
  • Grade (Spring: Feb. to May.): III to IV
  • Rafting Days: 11 days
  • Put in point: Sauli
  • Put out point: Chisapani
  • River distance: 180 km
  • Location: 19 hours drive from Kathmandu/ 45 minutes flight from Kathmandu
karnali river rafting

Karnali river rafting is the longest and largest river in Nepal. The origin of this river is the base of Mt. Kailash in Tibet. From Tibet it flows south into Nepal. The Karnali is one of the finest BIG volume river trips in the world. Karnali river rafting is a classic expedition into Nepal’s remote, un-populated “wild west”.

Sauli is the starting point of our trip. From the Sauli the river drops into imposing canyons filled with powerful, big volume white water. These canyons flow into scarcely populated areas of pristine jungle teeming with abundant bird and wildlife. Rapids like “Captivity”, “Flip and Strip” and “Gods House” are separated by just enough easier water to regroup and prepare for the next big challenge.

Towards the end of the trip the river gradient begins to ease as the Karnali leaves the mountains and flows out into the Gangetic plains of the Terai. The jungle thickens as the river broadens, and the pristine Beaches become bigger and more beautiful.

Karnali River Rafting Itinerary

Day 01: Morning we take a drive to Surkhet. This is a long bus journey, so be prepared with water etc. We travel to the far west of Nepal and arrive our destination very late/early hours of the morning. You are able to have a sleep here.

Day 02: 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, then…….you hear the river !

Day 03: The River gives the team time to build and there is enough challenging rapids and water flow to allow for learning errors. We still manage to get at least one great class iv rapid in. We camp and get excited about tomorrow.

Day 04: This is the type of day that people imagine when they think of Himalayan water. It is BIG and it is 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.

Day 05: More of the same including the notorious GOD’S HOUSE rapid. Don’t forget to take in the bird life which is equally as abundant as the lush vegetation. Camp and relax.

Day 06: 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 breath taking scenery.

Day 07: 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: 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: We come to the end of our journey at about lunch time where our bus will be waiting to collect us.

Day 11: We arrive at Kathmandu on the eleventh day. Our trip is over here.

We organize a pre-departure meeting the day before to answer questions and meet the team.

Number of pax: Minimum 6
Departure date: On the request
Optional trips: Visit Bardiya National Park

Karnali River Rafting Enquiry

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