10 days
Group Size

Karnali River Rafting, Nepal

The KARNALI has more tributaries feeding it than any other river in Nepal thus making it the largest river for commercial rafting. It is situated in the most remote western region in Nepal. Often called the “Wild West”. Few foreigners every venture here and it has little development. This is more than just a rafting trip, it is an expedition. It takes careful logistical planning to tackle it safely and in a fun way. This river is rated Grade 4 to 5 but it starts off with some 3s to warm up before hitting the big ones. The Karnali has huge volume of water restricted by canyon walls. The water gushes down these canyons in a series of wild rapids. It is so intense that it can only be tackled at low and medium water. If you want to run it at high water then you are on your own!
If you dare, the rewards are big!  The banks of the river are lined with coniferous forest and along the lower reaches pristine Rudyard Kipling style jungle that has all but disappeared from most regions of the Himalayas.  River runners have reported sightings of much wildlife including the elusive and mysterious Raute people, a seldom seen nomadic tribe of whom little is known about and less has been written.  Some of the top kayakers in the business were quoted as saying “unanimously this is one of the finest rafting rivers in the world!”

Is It For Me? With no warm up days you are straight into the action with this one. If you are short of time but still want a wilderness experience then this river is perfect for you.


Day 1

We will pick you up at the airport by our Drift Nepal Expedition’s staff 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

Will have a Breakfast in the morning and have Pre departure meeting. 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.

Day 3

After breakfast we will be driving to Dungeswar 17 hours of Bus Journey or [ 1 hour of flight to Nepalgunj and 5 hours of drive to Dungeswar to the put in] in the “Wild West” of Nepal. We will pick you up at the airport and drive you through the fascinating town of Surkhet to the start of our short hike into the river. 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

After breakfast, 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.
 “God house” 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 lunch time 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 will be finishing our trip in chisapani and have our lunch,  pack up our all the gear and our belongings.  Chisopani marks the end of the rafting journey or you may wish to take a few extra days here to explore Bardia national park with it’s spectacular wildlife before returning to Kathmandu.  Rest of the group will drive back to 13 hours of drive to Kathmandu or Fly back from Nepaljung to Kathmandu.

Day 11

After breakfast and any last minute shopping, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight back home.

Package Includes:

Travel fare

Professional guide

Wholeday food

Package Excludes:

Extra Snacks


Karnali river rafting