Karnali River Rafting Nepal: Finest Rafting for Multi-day River Trip

Karnali River Rafting Nepal: Finest Rafting for Multi-day River Trip

Karnali River Rafting Nepal is the finest Rafting for Multi-day River Trip in Nepal. Karnali River Rafting is an adventure whitewater rafting kayaking trips for wilderness in Nepal. Rafting, kayaking, canyoning whitewater tours, trips in Nepal.

Karnali is one of the most popular and experienced rivers in Nepal among river rafter and kayakers. Karnali River is Nepal’s mightiest, longest and largest river. It is arguably the finest multi-day river trip in Nepal and the classic Himalayan River expedition. Karnali River is also one of the best rivers in Nepal for fishing activities.

Karnali rafting and kayaking trip is one of the most favourable and memorable river trips among the rafter and kayakers available in this country. There are a wide variety of fauna and flora including dense forests, jungle and also remote villages into river trip and most beautiful canyons found on the river.

Karnali is in northern part of western region of the country. Karnali region is locally known as ‘Wild West’ in Nepal. It is opened recently few years ago for tourism. The Karnali River’s headwaters come off Mt. Kailas in Tibet, a sacred river in Tibet – the center of the universe for both Buddhist and Hindu.

It carves the Himalayan landscape into a series of magnificent gorges and canyons as it descends slowly into the forests of western untouched and remote world of Himalayan foothill.

Karnali River Rafting trip provides you not only a remote and relaxing whitewater rafting adventure but also a fascinating cultural experience.

The  person who have rafted once in Karnali river says and agrees that it is one of the best trips offered anywhere in the world. If you are looking for a truly authentic and remote self support river expedition with extreme white water excitement, combined with a long, peaceful and relaxing float into pristine wilderness – then Karnali River is the right choice for you.

Karnali River rafting trip is an ideal trip for those rafters who want a more unique experience, stunning scenery, great river action and all the benefits of a long river trip in Nepal. There is also a advantage along with rafting trip visiting the famous Bardia National Park because rafting trip finishes at Bardia National Park – a more remote jungle and rich in wildlife such as tigers, rhino, crocodiles, deer, sloth bear, monkeys, birdlife, mahseer fish and more.

You won’t see a single sign of the modern world during your 180 kilometers River trip. You’ll only see the natural beauty and local cultures. It’s one of the last places in Nepal that you can see old growth forest and have a real chance of seeing Nepal’s wildlife like Monkeys, Langur, Rhesus, deer, bear, leopards, martins, crocodiles and garials; even tigers.

Rafting in The Karnali River Nepal
Rafting in The Karnali River Nepal

Midway through the journey you’ll see people have an opportunity to explore this beautiful country, wallow in a mud bank, play in the region’s plentiful waterfalls, or just hang out and learn something about their fellow rafters.

Seasonal snow melts and storms can cause the river level to swell drastically and create the extremes of white water rafting. In high water, the Karnali River is a serious undertaking with fairly straightforward, yet huge rapids. Even at lower levels, it is still not a walk in the park as the rapids become more constricted and the gradient steeper.

One highlight of this classic river journey is a 7 km long gorge ‘Thrill-a-minute roller-coaster ride’ with rapids at every bend. Truly though, any season suits the Karnali.

It is one of the finest big volume rafting and kayaking trips in Nepal-spectacular, remote, jungle-clad canyons, big white and abundant wildlife. Best season for rafting in Karnali River is September to May.

 Some facts about Karnali River Rafting Nepal

 Departs Pokhara or Kathmandu
Put-In Dungeswar (17 hours drive from Pokhara or Kathmandu – option to fly Kathmandu & Nepalganj)
 Take-Out Chisapani (13 hours drive back to Pokhara or Kathmandu – option to fly Nepalganj to Kathmandu)
 Duration 8 to 11 days
 Class IV/V (an intense thrill a minute roller coaster ride rewarded by remote pristine wilderness)
 Season Oct – Dec / Mar – May
River Distance: 180 km
Difficulty: class 1-5
Water Volume 550  to 1350 cumecs (depends on the season)
Best period:
Begin October till end December / half February till end May.

Itinerary of Karnali River Rafting Nepal

Day 01: drive to Surkhet from Kathmandu. It may take 1 and half day by local bus. Otherwise you may fly Surkhet from Kathmandu for about 1 hour.

Day 02: You’ll be in Surkhet very late/early hours of the next morning. You are able to have a sleep here.

Day 03: After breakfast, you will take a truck as far as the road goes until about lunch time. This all depends on availability be flexible. After lunch you should walk all afternoon to the put-in point at Sauli. A great walk which high lights just how “out there” you really are. You pass local villages and spectacular scenery, and then you hit the river.

Day 04: After having heavy breakfast at 8:00 a.m. you get ready for wild ride. This section of the River is terribly wild. Continues rapid makes rafter forget to breathe. Lunch will be served en-route and camping at 03:00 p.m. in First Inquiry.

Day 05: This is the type of day that people imagine when they think of Himalayan water. It is big and continuous. You enter into the Jungle Corridor. This is a narrowing jungle clad gorge and it is all ours. The team building is put into full practice and when your guide shouts “all forward ” he really means it. Enjoy the ride all day and camp in this sensational setting at God-house.

Day 06: More of the same including the notorious GOD’S house rapid. Camp at the Seti Dovan and relax.

Day 07: It isn’t over yet! Keep paddling hard! You really are experiencing the best of the west on yet another day of great action and breathe taking scenery and camping at Jamuna village

Day 08: This is a holiday after all so we have programmed a rest day so you can take time to enjoy your surroundings and relax on a great sandy beach.

Day 09-10: You see the rapids dying off as we come out of the gorge. You pass the confluence with the Seti River where the river broadens. Today, the next day and a half is a chance to enjoy your journey admiring the country and villages you pass.

You will have seen the safety kayakers in action and will no doubt be inspired, so ask the guides for some supervised instruction, or take over the raft and learn about the river. You see there is more to a rafting expedition than just rafting.


Day11: This is the final day of river. You end this trip in the early afternoon at Chisopani Bridge & lunch is served there. You will catch night bus to get back to Kathmandu or you can enjoy in Bardia National Park, which is famous for bird watching.

Karnali River Rafting Nepal: Finest Rafting for Multi-day River Trip

You are recommended to see also:

  1. Rafting in Nepal – Tamakoshi River Rafting
  2. Rafting in Nepal – Seti River Rafting
  3. Rafting in Nepal – Marsyangdi River Rafting
  4. Rafting in Nepal – Trishuli River Rafting
  5. Rafting in Nepal – Kali Gandaki River Rafting
  6. Rafting in Nepal – Bhote Koshi River Rafting
  7. Rafting in Nepal – Sun Koshi River Rafting
  8. Rafting in Nepal – Arun River Rafting
  9. Rafting in Nepal – Bheri River Rafting
  10. Rafting in Nepal – Tamur River Rafting


Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of the media house, designer of some websites and writer & editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.

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