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Karnali River Rafting

Rapids name:
Freight Train, Touching the Void, Snapshot, Flip 'n' Strip, Juicer, inversion, Jailhouse Rock, Humans for Lunch, Shake, Rattle and roll, Sweetness and Light

One of finest big volume rafting and kayaking trips in Nepal- spectacular, remote, jungle-clad canyons, BIG white water and abundant wildlife.

The River

He Karnali is Nepal's longest and largest river and with its tributaries, it drains most of the Far West of Nepal - the 'Wild West' as many people call it. This bottom section of the river definitely lives up to that name - the area that it flows through is wild and relatively unpopulated some of the most pristine jungle scenery in Nepal, an abundant wildlife.

The rapids are also pretty wild, with the river building to its climax in these lower canyons. Shortly after the sharp bend in the river 'the elbow' by the Lohore khola the valley narrows into a series of canyons, the river speeds up and there are big rapids, one leading into another, almost continuously down to the Seti River. From the 'Elbow' down to the Seti the gradient is 3m/km (15ft a mile), but after here, the gradient eases, as the river winds through some magnificent unspoiled scenery, eventually emerging onto the plains and flowing through the Royal Bardia national Park to join the Ganges.

In terms of volume, the rivers are comparable to the sun Kosi, but 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 that is best run at low and medium flows- in higher water the Karnali is a serious commitment. Highest extreme instantaneous discharge measured at Chisapani was as incredible 21,700 cumeces (760,000 cfs).

The high flows and gradient of this lower river has made it a prime contender for Hydro Electric Power Schemes. The proposed large dam at Chisapani will hopefully never be built but a diversion tunnel is planned through the elbow with a powerhouse upstream of jungle Ghat and work on this project is likely to commence during the life of this book

Fact Box  
Difficulty in Nov:
Sauli (Alt. 560m)
Chisapani (Alt. 195m)
180 km (113 miles)
7 days
From Pokhara
2 days
Av. Gradient:
4m/km (20ft a mile)
Volume in Nov: 300 cms (10,500 cfs)
Best Season: Nov-Dec, Mar-Apr
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01 Drive to Bhutwal by private bus, camp at Bhutwal.
Day 02 Drive to Surkhet and overnight camping.
Day 03 Trek from Surkhet to Dhanigad, overnight camping.
Day 04 Trek from Dhanigad to Kareleghat, camp at the river bank.
Day 05 Rafting from Kareleghat and overnight camping.
Day 06 Rafting day and camping on the beach.
Day 07 Rafting day, camping on the beach near the confluence of the Seti River.
Day 08 Rafting day, camping on the beach after passing Bijura Village.
Day 09 Rafting to Chisapani, end of the trip, drive back to Kathmandu by private bus.
Day 10 Arrival in Kathmandu
Group Size
2 - 3 
4 - 5
6 - 7
8 - 9
10 - 11
12 + Above 
Price in US$ 
800 750 700 700 650 600 550

What's Included:

  • All meals during the rafting period
  • Rafting permit transportation going by tourist or local bus depending upon the mode of transportation available at put-in and pull-out point rafting, kitchen and camping equipment experienced Captain
  • Cook and other staffs groupleader will be free over ten pax

What's Included:

  • Mineral water,Cold drinks and Alcohols during whole trip.
  • Emergency evacuation things of personal use member insurance

 Peak Climbing
 Jungle Safari
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More About Rafting
What is Rafting
Styles of Rafting trip
Kayaking in Nepal
What to bring
River Grade
Tirsuli River Rafting
Seti River Rafting
Kali Gandaki River Rafting
Marsyangdi River Rafting
Bhote Kosi River Rafting
Tama kosi River Rafting
Dudh Kosi River Rafting
Arun River Rafting
Sun Kosi River Rafting
Tamor River Rafting
Karnali River Rafting
Medical Kit
Additional Information
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Peak Climbing
River Rafting
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