Hailing from the snow melt of holy Mount Kailash, Karnali, the ‘Mightiest’ river in Nepal carves its way through magnificent gorges and pristine jungles like a pulsating, thrill a second roller coaster ride. Arguably one of the country’s best river journeys, this trip not only offers classic class three to adrenaline pounding class five rapids with plenty of hard paddling but the cultural and biodiversity along the way will also truly open your eyes to stunning west Nepal.
This may be a challenging river, but the rapids start out gentle and progress to, well just huge. The river gives time for the novice rafter to warm up and learn a bit, making it ideal for first-timers as well as seasoned paddlers. Basically, if you are looking for a magical, less paddled, wild river adventure, then the Karnali is for you. If you’re a Kayaker, you should be an experienced paddle to take on this mighty river.
Trip Length: 10 Days
River Days: 8 (180km)
River Class: 4 – 5
At its Best: Oct to Dec, Mar to May
Traverse the Terai on a 16 hour, epic bus journey. Breeze through the river side town of Kohalpur. There is the option to also fly to Nepalganj and meet the rest of the team in Kohalpur which is half an hour from the airport. If you fly in the trip is only eight days. After spending the night in a hotel in Kohalpur it’s a six to seven hours drive to Dungeswar where we will start our rafting. From here we have an hour or so of rafting before making camp on the river bank for the evening.
The river eases into the swing of things with some small rapids and gentle paddling. Nights are spent on pristine white beaches mingling with starry eyed villagers who are fascinated by the ‘people in plastic boats’. The river scenery is superb and there are many waterfalls along the river as it ‘hots’ up and rapids become larger and more frequent. Towards the end of the trip we reach a seven kilometer stretch of river, the rapid named ‘Gods House’ kicks of some of the most challenging rapids of the journey. The river narrows its path and we paddle through world class rapids such as – ‘Juicer’, ‘Flip & Strip’, ‘Totali Ghat’ and ‘Freight Train’ before the day is out! On day nine we take out of the river and depart by bus for the overnight trip to Kathmandu, or you can again drive to the airport at Nepalganj and fly directly back to Kathmandu.
The trip ends upon arrival in Kathmandu around mid-morning.