This 11 day Karnali River rafting trip in Nepal is in the less explored Western part of the country with some of the biggest and best rapids in Nepal.
Set is the less explored Western Nepal. The Karnali River has some of the biggest and best rapids in Nepal. Couple this in with an amazing journey to the river through the remote and friendly villages around Surkhet, make this a great trip.
You’ll spend your days running fantastic whitewater, exploring hidden waterfalls and villages and your evenings (and layover day) relaxing on expansive sandy beaches in the midst of jungle clad hillsides. On the lower reaches we often see some spectacular birdlife and wildlife.
This Karnali River rafting trip in Nepal feels like a “real journey” and despite not being as well known as the Sun Kosi, the river delivers excellent culture, rapids and a wonderful Nepali experience. You can also choose to optionally spend 2 days in spectacular Bardia National Park, as an extension to this trip. Other trips similar to this you may be interested in, are our Sun Kosi rafting trip or our Tamur hiking and rafting adventure.
Itinerary for 11 day Karnali River rafting trip in Nepal
Day 1 - You’ll be met at the airport by your Water By Nature Trip Leader who will take you into Thamel to your hotel, where you can take the chance to catch up on sleep or go and explore this fascinating town.
Day 2 - Breakfast can be taken on the roof of your hotel with a stunning view of the Himalaya. The day is yours to explore this incredible city. Whether you decide to visit some of the fascinating temples and stupas, take in an early morning trip to the monkey temple or check out the Sadhus in Pashupatinath, do some retail therapy, or just sit on the roof of one of the many restaurants, Kathmandu will put a big smile on your face. Your trip leader will give you all a pre-departure chat and pass out some of your equipment for the 11 day Karnali River rafting trip in Nepal.
Day 3 - After breakfast we board our flight to Surkhet, in the “Wild West” of Nepal. Our bus will meet us here and take us to the start of our river trip. By late afternoon, we’ll be rigged and ready to set off for the short trip downstream to our overnight camp.
Day 4 -Today we see a gradual introduction of whitewater as we take to the river for about 4 hours. We pause for lunch at a beautiful waterfall, giving us the chance for some fabulous photo opportunities. After lunch we get to try out our teamwork on some fun rapids before we run our first major rapid of the trip, “Sweetness And Light” which leads us in to our evening campsite.
Day 5 - we have a fantastic day of whitewater to look forward to, starting with “Shake Rattle and Roll” and “Humans For Lunch”! En route, we stop at Jungleghat, a fairly major village en route to Tibet for a timely cup of “Chi”. About 10 minutes downstream from the village are the rapids “Jailhouse Rock” and “Inversion.” Shortly after, we relax for lunch, and float down to our camp at Scorpion Beach, where we enter a beautifully forested canyon with cascading waterfalls.
Day 6 -LAYOVER day! Your biggest decision today may well be whether to have a game of beach volleyball, read your favourite book, learn to kayak or whether to walk up to a local village.
Day 7 -After we have been suitably rested and refueled we head down river to take on the biggest whitewater of the journey. “Godshouse” is our first rapid for the day and GREAT fun! We continue downstream to enjoy the towering waves of “Juicer” and “Flip ’n Strip” before we stop for lunch. After our lunchtime siesta, the rapids keep on coming thick and fast, in the form of “Snapshot”, “Freight Train” and the “Red Rock Canyon” before we hit some calmer water further downstream.
Day 8 - The whitewater action of the previous few days gives rise to some calmer water and the chance to really relax and bask in the warmth of the sun, take in the ever changing scenery and try your hand at kayaking.
Day 9 - Another day where we gently float along at river speed while fishermen show off their catch and summon us to come and buy as we drift on past. They are as puzzled by our presence there as we are of their ways. Dug out canoes ferry passengers across the river and young children swim out to our raft with the prospect of “hitch hiking” further down stream. Tonight is the last evening on the river and one to treasure as you lie under the stars being lulled to sleep by the endless sound of moving water.
Day 10 - We have a floating breakfast as we watch the sun rise over the hills. Chisopani marks the end of the rafting journey. We drive back to Nepalganj for our return flight to Kathmandu. You’ll be transferred to your hotel where you can grab a shower before we go out for our post trip meal.
Day 11 - After breakfast and any last minute shopping, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight back home. Alternatively, you can extend your Karnali River rafting trip in Nepal with 2 days at Bardia National Park.