Monday, 25 September 2017 02:47 am

Karnali River Rafting

The Karnali is Nepal’s longest and largest river and with its tributaries, it drains most of the Far west of Nepal – the ‘wild west’. The area that it flows through is wild and relatively unpopulated with some of the most pristine jungle scenery in Nepal, and abundant wildlife.

The rapids are also pretty wild, with the river building to its climax in these lower canyons. The valley narrows into a series of canyons, the river speeds up’ and there are big rapid, one leading into another, almost continuously down to the Seti river. The river winds through some magnificent un-spoilt scenery, eventually emerging onto the plains flowing through the Royal Baridia National Park to join the Ganges.

The Karnali is more constrained by its canyon walls giving bigger more continuous and serious rapids. This constrained nature of the river means that any increase in volume has a more pronounced effect on the difficulty of the rapid and this makes it a river that is best run at low and medium flows – in higher water the Karnali is a serious commitment.

Sample Itinerary

Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Surkhet. Overnight at hotel in Surkhet.

Day 02: After breakfast, drive from Surkhet until where the road ends. After lunch, hike all afternoon to the put-in point, Sauli via local villages and splendid scenery. Start rafting. Overnight at camp.

Day 03: After breakfast, raft through some continuous rapids. Lunch en-route and camp by the river.

Day 04: After breakfast, begin rafting. Today we enter the jungle where the river narrows and forms more like a gorge. Lunch en-route and camp by the river.

Day 05: Rafting today will be similar to previous days. Lunch and camp at the Seti Dovan.

Day 06: Today is yet another day of great action and breath taking scenery. Lunch and camping at Jamuna village.

Day 07 & 08: The rapids slowly start dying off as we come out of the gorge and come to where the river merges with the Seti River and broadens. You can enjoy the rest of your rafting journey admiring the country and villages you pass. Lunch and camp.

Day 09: Early afternoon, we end our river trip and lunch at Chisopani Bridge. You can either drive back to Kathmandu. (Optional: You can spend few days in Bardia National Park).

Day 10: Free till departure. Transfer to airport to connect onward flight.

No. of Days

Best Season


Water Flow

Departure Date


Sep - Dec



on request

Jan - May



on request

Jun - Aug



on request

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