Nepal has earned the reputation of one of the best destinations for white water rafting. Cruising down rushing rivers of crashing waves and swirling rapids can make up excitement of al lifetime. Rafting trips for some is the highlight of their stay in Nepal. The waters in Nepal offer something for everybody: Grade 5-5+ rivers with raging white water rapids for the adventurous, to grade 2-3 rivers with a few rapids for novices. Rafters also have a choice ranging from two to three-week trips to two to three days.

The options include paddling, oaring and kayaking. Paddling requires al on boat to participating with instructions from SWISSA. Luxury safari-style trips with full team are available too. In an oar boat, the guide rows alone giving participants a chance to observe the surroundings. Kayaking is another way to travel downstream. A few companies offer inflatable kayaks, or fiberglass kayaks for hire while some arrange for kayaks on their own. Swissa Rafting & Trekking Expedition Pvt. Ltd. has its own kayaks and all necessarry equipments, all the equipments are imported.

A typical day in the rivers begins early morning when participants arrive at the site. Instructions on safety and emergency situation are given to participants before the event. Life vests and helmets are worn by participants at all times during the trip. Meals are provided during the trip. Some packages also provide river equipments and camping equipments. The best time for rafting is from October through mid December and March through early May. In winter hypothermia may be hindrance to some. During monsoons moths of June through September, the white water sections are dangerous, but gentler stretches are easy to raft on. Here are some of the popular rafting trips.
Rivers for rafting
+ Kali Gandaki + Karnali + Marshyangdi
+ Trishuli + Arun + Sun Koshi
+ Bhote Koshi + Bheri + Tama Koshi
+ Seti    

Grade 4 to 5+

River Kali Gandaki winds through remote canyons and deep gorges of intense rapids among. Starting at Kusma, you will raft down to the dam of Mirmi in three days. Trips on the Kali Gandaki begin and end in Pokhara and offer an exciting alternative to the Trisuli. The run flows approximately 72 Km and its challenges are continuous.

Grade 3+

River Trisuli is one of the most popular Nepali rivers for rafting. For first time rafters it offers plenty of excitement. Due to its proximity to Kathmandu and easy road access most rafting companies offer trips on the Trisuli. It is the cheapest river trip available in Nepal. A river trip on Trisuli can be combined with trips to Chitwan or Pokhara.

Grade 4 to 5

River Bhote Koshi is a two-day run of pure adventure. The rafting site is located only three hours from Kathmandu. Twenty-six kilometers of continuous white water soaks rafters as they shoot through a veritable maze of canyons and boulders. It is the steepest river rafted in Nepal and required a lot of concentration. Starting above Barabise, you raft down to the dam at Lamosangu.

Grade 3 to 5

River Seti can be reached from Damauli roughly 160 kilometers west of Kathmandu. Rafters encounter several rapids before reaching Trisuli River. Hindu religious site Devghat marks the confluence of Kali Gandaki and Trisuli and becomes River Narayani. Rafters have a choice of either coming back to Kathmandu continuing the journey to visit the Chitwan National Park.

Grade 5

River Arun begins at Tumlingtar and ends at Chatara, Kartikeghat. The starting point can be approached either by flight or from the bus stop. Some parts of the river are smooth while some are rough and challenging. On the sixth day Arun River meets Sun Koshi. Rafters either drive back to chatara via Biratnagar or fly from Biratnagar to Kathmandu.


River Bheri’s rafting site in Nepalgunj can be reached by half hours flight or a 62 Km bus ride from Kathmandu. The first section of the remote and relatively unexplored rivers has many twists and turns. The gorge occasionally opens into Valleys and small villages. The trip can be continued with a jungle tour in the Bardiya Wildlife Reserve.

Grade 4 to 5

River Marshyangdi provides four days of uninterrupted white water rafting. It begins from the village of Ngadi from Besishahar near to Pokhara. The rapids on the river are unrelenting, and rafters are advised to consult company with lots of experience. It runs sandwiched between 52 Km of boiling foam and towering peaks of Annapurna.

Grade 4 to 5

River Sun Koshi is Nepal’s longest rafting trip. The rafting site, three hours drive from Kathmandu is more accessible than the Karnali. The run is 270 Km and requires 9 to 10 days from Dolalghat to end Chatara down to the Indo-Gangetic plains. The first couple of days are relatively easy while surprise sneaks up on you during the last days. The white water stays white until the very end.

Grade 4 to 6

River Tama Koshi starts from the Tserolpa Lake and Gaurishankar glacier. Rafting or kayaking once starts from Basti to the way to Jiri. Tama Koshi is not safe for commercial run as it is sometimes has impossible rapids. For kayakers however, this river is good. Three days of kayaking on Tama Koshi brings one to river Sun Koshi. Another four days paddling leads to Chatara on their bank of river Sapta Koshi and hindu pilgrimage site Baraha Kshetra.

Grade 4 to 5

River Karnali in the far west is the longest and largest river in Nepal. It flows through steeps, jagged canyons where the rapids are tightly packed, offering continuous challenging water at all flows. A bus ride to far western Nepal or a flight to Nepalgunj can take one to rafting site. It takes about seven days to navigate the 90 Km of canyons and waterfalls. During most of this trip, the wilderness is uninterrupted by human habituation.

River Grades
Grade 1
Flat Water (little current)
Grade 2

Bubbling current (Small rapid)

Grade 3

Technical & Exciting

Grade 4

Seriously big rapids

Grade 5

The hair – raising limit!

Grade 6

Not able to run

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