Karnali River Rafting

  • Duration 10 Days
  • Trip Grade Moderate To Adventurous
  • Destination Nepal
  • Start/End Kathmandu
  • Group Size 2+
  • Best Time February to May and September to December


  • Enjoy the adventure on Nepal longest and wildest glacial Karnali River
  • Paddle through the Big-Bend within wonderful scenery of unique landscapes
  • An adventure of exciting drive, short interesting treks, and enjoyable float
  • Greatest experience in the world of great water sports rafting Karnali River

‘Nepal largest and longest glacial river known as the Big Bend’

Karnali River Rafting, one of the wildest and great rivers for exciting surge of adrenaline, where you encounter large bouncy waves and series of rapids. The Karnali River is also known as the ‘Big Bend’ it flows from the glacial source of holy Mt. Kailash, located on a vast plateau southwest Tibet.

Karnali River Rafting, an adventure that leads to exploration as this river is least visited by western adventurers and explorers. Due to its remote location in Far Western Nepal, where seldom few groups of rafters run the rafting once or twice in a year in good season.

Karnali River Rafting, one of Nepal’s great rivers for rafting begins after a scenic flight and exciting drives for few days to reach the starting point of rafting.

Where all camping gear and food for a week is carried on raft, might waves and exciting rapids take you downstream to Far South Western region of Nepal with exciting thrills on Karnali River.

Starts the adventure on mighty Big Bend the Karnali River, enclosed within a sub-tropical jungle and high cliff as you paddle into a gorge.

Rafting takes you through various exciting rapids and roller coaster bouncy waves, and spending overnight in tented camps on nice sandy beaches, where our crew provides you with delicious meals, from breakfast-lunch to dinner with time to explore local farm villages of great cultural interest.

As adventure progress with hard paddling to conquer over great rapids, where white-water flows runs down over drops and holes, as our captain maneuvers the boat with his expert technical knowledge to make it more interesting and enjoyable.

Karnali River Rafting provides various many rapids but the bigger and serious is called ‘Jail House and God House’, where you will get a thrill of a lifetime experience paddling through adventurous big waves and rapids, as well enjoying picturesque river scenery with some exotic bird-life.

Rafting from mid-hills entering into deep gorge and then finally adventure compete heading down south around Terai belt, on the flat country and heavily cultivated farmland at Chisapani.

Located, South Western Nepal, near a beautifully constructed bridge that separates Bardiya and Kailali zone, from here packing all rafting equipment and then board on a vehicle for long drive back to Kathmandu.


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Approx. 16 hours’ drive, (50 mins flight and 3-hour drive)

Rafting members taking an overland journey, start early morning where drive takes you along main Nepal highway following Trisuli River to Chitwan, and then route diverts further southwest to reach near at Nepalgunj. A large city with strong Indian influence, as it is located close to India border, drive continues further for some hours to reach at Surkhet.

A large town, and gateway to various mountain destinations of Nepal Far North-Western Himalaya, as well the starting point of Karnali River Rafting, at Surkhet transfer into best local lodge available.

For those taking a flight from Kathmandu, transfer to Kathmandu domestic airport where flight of 50 minutes, enjoy grand Himalayan mountain views throughout the flight. On reaching at Nepalgunj airport our staff will pick you for a drive to Surkhet and then join with other members of Karnali River Rafting.

    An interesting and exciting overland journey, starting as early as possible, with all rafting and camping equipment, including provision to last for more than a week ration.

    As drive leads on winding narrow uphill with grand views of rolling green hills following Karnali River above, to reach at a small farm village in Dhungeswor for overnight stop. Due to late afternoon arrival finding local and basic lodge for overnight, with simple meals.

      Start the adventure on a fine and well-inflated rubber raft, where the captain will brief of safety measures, and as well as the river current and hours of rafting on the first few days. On this Karnali River rafting for safe float kayak will lead the raft throughout the float.

      As paddling progress encounter mighty waves and ripples with exciting rapids till the day ends further downstream and then set up camp on a sandy beach close to mix tropical forest.

        Today adventure takes you through large and exciting rapids, the day you have all been waiting for, as the rafting begins! Although it does take a long time to get there, it is worth it. Encounter Himalayan rapids such as 'Jail House' and 'Gods House' will get your adrenaline pumping before you relax and float the rest of the way down the river for overnight camp in another nice sandy beach, away from human habitation and villages.

          Morning after breakfast, and clearing the camp leaving nothing except your foot-prints, and then get ready for another great adventure paddling through several rough white-water sections with enjoyable bouncy waves and rapids, as river gets bigger as another tributary Seti river joins, and then camp at Seti Dovan on the meeting place of two great rivers.

            After a nice and pleasant overnight stop at Seti Dovan and following the same routine packing up the camp, and then start rafting having hearty breakfast as raft takes you downstream heading through delightful ride over waves and rapids and then end the day close to the farm village Jamuna.

              Well deserving rest day after conquering mighty big waves and world-class rapids on Karnali River. Today, at leisure well our crews check the boat of any damage going over drops and holes. Herewith ample time to catch with your dairy and explore Jamuna village and its farm life. The villagers will be glad and excited to see foreign visitors, as this area is seldom ventured by westerners.

                Enjoying leisure rest day and exploring local interesting villages’ culture and impressive farm life of Far West Nepalese, adventure continues heading downstream, as the river gets wider after joining with several tributaries streams and rivers.

                Paddle through gentle and pleasant rapids and camp on soft sandy shore close to small rural farm villages, having interesting days on rafting downstream to much warmer area of Karnali zone.

                  Today, last day on Karnali River, where rafting run and paddle reach you at the end on take-out point at Chisapani, as you float downstream encountering many villages on the side of a river, as the Karnali gets wider on reach reaching the flat-land of Nepal Terai.

                  Rafting finally completes at a small town called Chisapani, famous for fishing as our day concludes near the wonderful bridge at Chisapani, that separates the two-zone Bardiya and Kailali of Far West Nepal.

                  On completing our rafting adventure unload the gear for one last time and jump on the waiting bus/plane back to Kathmandu. Interested member with much time in Nepal and as you are in the area. You can spend a few chill-out days at Bardiya National Park renown for jungle safari, on the lookout for wild elephants, tigers, and freshwater dolphins before returning to Kathmandu. If you are flying, you will arrive back in the evening in Kathmandu.

                    Flying to the nearest city is the best option, rather than taking an 8 to 9 hours long drive on Nepal East and West highway, morning transfer to Kathmandu domestic airport for a half-hour flight to reach at Biratnagar an industrial city, located close to India border of Nepal Far Eastern Terai. The flat land of the country, during flight, enjoy super panorama of Himalayan mountain range with Mt. Everest in view.

                    On reaching at Biratnagar airport, transfer in local vehicle for 3-4 hours journey,
                    a nice way to see the Nepalese way of life and culture, as the drive heads north towards cooler hills past a large town Dharan to reach Hille a mountain village.

                    Drive continues for an hour to reach a small town at Basantpur for an overnight stop in a local lodge, located on a hill ridge on route Mt. Kanchenjunga world 3rd highest mountain.

                      Began our first-day walk, on a nice path through many spread-out farm areas and
                      villages, and the on winding uphill climb to reach a cooler ridge facing super views of surrounding landscapes of rolling hills, deep valleys with distant peaks of Kanchenjunga mountain range.

                      As trek progress entering into cool pine and rhododendron forest to reach a small farm village at Chauki Bhanjyang, and set our tented camp with dinner served by our camping crews and cooks.

                        Enjoy pleasant morning within beautiful forest surrounding facing views of snow-clad peaks as walk continue heading towards much higher area to reach Gupha Pokhari near Jaljala and Milke Danda hills.

                        On walks feel the nice pleasant fragrance from Daphne flower plants (Dendrobium paparius), also called Lokta in Nepal, where Nepalese rice paper is made from, which is in great demand at present.

                        Villager’s collects branch of Lokta plants to process into a thin and fine organic paper, as the walk continues with climb to reach on top of a hill rewards with beautiful views of Khumbukarna Himal range with Mt. Makalu and Mt. Kanchenjunga in the east.

                        Overnight camp is pitched on a nice level within a clearing In the midst of forest surrounding an interesting place for botanists and naturalists where one can find various herbal medicinal and flowering plants.

                          After a wonderful overnight camp amidst a beautiful forest of rhododendron surroundings at Gupha Pokhari, (means a cave with a pond).

                          From here walk leads downhill into dense woods of tall rhododendron tree lines facing views of Snow Mountains.

                          As walk progress heading into thick vegetation covered with Daphne plants and then reach a small settlement at Gurja Gaon for an overnight stop, facing grand views of Makalu and Kanchenjunga massive mountain range with rolling green hills in the harmony of pristine wilderness.

                            Our last day of trek to reach Dovan to start our actual adventure rafting on Tamur River, which flows from the mighty glaciers of Mt. Kanchenjunga and adjoining range of peaks.

                            Walk downhill to reach at Tamur River valley at Dovan, located on route to main Taplejung town, the gateway to Kanchenjunga North and South base camps where Tamur River flows join by several tributaries streams and rivers.

                            Journey leads past many smaller farm villages to reach a low warm agricultural village at Dovan, located close to Tamur River and our overnight camp, as well as preparation for the great Rafting expedition.

                              Morning after breakfast and clearing the camp, get ready for awesome adventure rafting Tamur River downstream. Our expert guide will instruct on the paddling technique as well as the water current, eddies, and rapids. After gathering information on safety measures.

                              Get into the inflatable boat, sitting on each side of the raft as per group size while the captain seated on the back. After dressed with rafting gear life-jackets, helmets and wet suits (optional).

                              The white-water action starts from Dovan as paddle progress encountering huge class IV rapids, with enjoyable bouncy waves then having picnic lunch on the bank of a river, afternoon paddle downstream on turquoise-colored River to reach our overnight camp on a sandy beach, in a place called Kabeli Dovan.

                              Located on a junction of Kabeli and Tamur River, hence the name Dovan where two rivers join.

                                Morning follows the same routine of packing and getting ready for an exciting adventure, as today could be a long day of rafting and coming across huge rapids, waves with holes, and drops.

                                As you float reaching a place called Rai-Ghat (Rai are the main native of eastern mid-hills), paddle through eddies and churning stopper waves, that demands good teamwork and hard paddle to conquer the obstacles through holes, and drop and rapids.

                                Finally, the day completes as your reach the confluence of Koya River where our overnight camp is set, near a rural small farm village and next to dense sub-tropical jungle.

                                  Start our rafting adventure heading towards low warm sub-tropical climate area as you paddle through a number of smaller rapids, avoiding rocky drops and holes as raft enters a huge rapid, stopping for lunch in-between and carry on rafting downstream through Mardheku gorge, in between steep cliffs and then the river gets wider as the day ends to camp on a nice lovely sandy beach.

                                    As our rafting expedition continues paddling on still waters with a couple of hours float to encounter some smaller enjoyable rapids with series of standing waves with some nasty holes.

                                    Afternoon having lunch an easy pleasant scenic float witnessing cremations and other activities of the locals like logging out bamboos, ferrying of people across on dugout canoes on reaching at Tribeni-Ghat for overnight camp, the meeting point of Tamur and great Sun Koshi Rivers.

                                      Our last day of rafting adventure as you paddle on wide calm River to reach at "Sapta Kosi" meaning where the great seven river joins. Raft through ripples and smaller waves with pleasant scenic float, with time to observe the landscapes scenery and some bird-life and then reach at Chatara, a town situated on flat-land Terai.

                                      Here at Chatra our marvelous Tamur River rafting concludes and then unload the gear from the raft and load them on the bus to Kathmandu or reach Biratnagar for a flight to Kathmandu.

                                        Spending the last overnight stop in the industrial city at Biratnagar, located close to India border of Bihar state, from here morning or afternoon flight brings you back to Kathmandu after a great exciting adventure and experience on Sun-Kosi River Rafting Expeditions.

                                        Options of overland journey taking near 7 hours to reach one of the best ways to observe Nepalese rural farm villages and towns an interesting and exciting drives
                                        to reach at Kathmandu.

                                          Karnali River Rafting of ten days, provided with standard Itinerary where days can be shorter or longer as per water volume on the river as per the season-wise, some designated ‘put in and ending point’ can differ, due to the current of a river according to different season and other condition, etc…….

                                          We will follow the itinerary if it needs to be changed in case of weather, and difficulties going over rapids, might require more days especially in late autumn and winter times, where our leader and lead head guides decide holding full authority for Trekking Planner.

                                          Essential Info

                                          If you have an Indian passport, the cost of trekking to Everest Base Camp is INR 100,000. When breaking down the cost, Indian citizens pay slightly less than citizens of other nations because India is a member of the SAARC (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri-Lanka), which lowers the cost of a permit. Additionally, Indian citizens pay less for airline tickets than citizens of other nations, which further lowers the cost of the trip. 

                                          People travelling from SAARC countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri-Lanka). have low-cost permits, the cost of trekking to Everest Base Camp can be 20 to 50 dollars less for holders of these kinds of Trekkers and travelers coming to Nepal.

                                          Climate ans Weather:
                                          Himalayan climate can be unpredictable sometimes even in good best seasons, where April and May to the first week of June will be the best time during spring times, when days are longer with enough sunlight hours.

                                          Morning and night time as well in shade can be cold, other months from September and October great times for rafting, most days are clear for views of mountains and beautiful landscape scenery.

                                          Although much colder months of autumn season with extreme cold during morning and night time, where sunlight much shorter.

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