Karnali River Rafting |9 Days

Trip Highlights

  1. Thrilling white-water rafting through challenging rapids.
  2. Untouched wilderness of western Nepal.
  3. Encounters with remote villages and indigenous communities.
  4. Expert and certified rafting guides for safety.
  5. Starlit camping by the riverside.
  6. Opportunities to spot diverse wildlife.
  7. Breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountains.
  8. Relaxation in tranquil riverbank settings.
  9. Cultural interactions with local communities.
  10. Conquering the Karnali River challenge.

Trip Overview

The Karnali River is Nepal’s mightiest river. The Karnali river rafting is the finest multi-day river trip in Nepal for those wanting a more unique experience of Nepal, the stunning scenery of Western Nepal, great river action, and all the benefits of a long river trip in Nepal.
The Lowland trek combined with the most beautiful canyons found in Nepal makes Karnali rafting/kayaking one of the most memorable river trips available in this country. After monsoon, the rapids of Karnali River are demanding a huge, though relatively straightforward. In low water, the demands on the rafter are more technical, though equally exciting.
The Karnali’s headwaters come off of Mount Kailas in Tibet, the center of the universe for both Buddhist and Hindu religions, and then slice through the Himalayas in a series of magnificent isolated gorges and forests. This is Nepal‘s longest river and the largest one too, flowing uninhibited through the least populated region of the country.

After rafting you can manage time to see Bardiya National Park, Tiger Top, Dolphin in Nepal, and many more scenarios.

Karnali River rafting is an extraordinary aquatic odyssey that unfolds in the remote and pristine wilderness of western Nepal. This mighty river, known as the “Wild West” of Nepal, originates from Tibet and journeys southward through lush forests, rugged canyons, and diverse ecosystems. This thrilling whitewater adventure provides a rare opportunity to explore an untouched and unspoiled landscape while navigating challenging rapids, making it an unforgettable experience for adventurers seeking both adrenaline and natural beauty.

One of the most enticing aspects of Karnali River rafting is the untamed nature of the journey. As you embark on this multi-day expedition, you’ll encounter an array of challenging rapids, ranging from Class III to Class V, each offering a unique thrill. Rapids like “God’s House” and “Juicer” test your mettle and teamwork while providing an exhilarating ride. In between the heart-pounding rapids, the river’s surroundings are a sanctuary of tranquility, where you can spot exotic birds, deer, and, if you’re incredibly lucky, even the elusive snow leopard.

Karnali River rafting is not just about the thrill of the rapids; it’s also a cultural journey. Along the riverbanks, you’ll have the chance to interact with indigenous communities and visit remote villages, gaining insight into their traditional lifestyles and rich cultural heritage. Nights are spent camping under a starlit sky at riverside campsites, creating unforgettable memories of camaraderie by the campfire and the soothing sounds of the river. In summary, Karnali River rafting is a testament to the raw, unspoiled beauty of Nepal’s western wilderness and a thrilling adventure that combines heart-pounding rapids, pristine landscapes, and cultural encounters into one extraordinary journey.

Outline Itinerary



Detail Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

Your Karnali River rafting adventure begins as you arrive in the vibrant capital city of Kathmandu. Our representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. You’ll have the rest of the day to relax, recover from your journey, and explore the bustling streets of Thamel, a popular tourist district known for its shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.

Day 2: Kathmandu Sightseeing

Today is dedicated to exploring the cultural heritage of Kathmandu. After breakfast, you’ll embark on a guided tour of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley. Visit historic places such as Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple), Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square, each offering unique insights into Nepal’s rich history and architecture.

Day 3: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

After breakfast, you’ll catch a domestic flight to Nepalgunj, a bustling city in the western Terai region of Nepal. This is the gateway to your Karnali River rafting expedition. Upon arrival, you’ll check in to your hotel and have some free time to rest or explore the local surroundings.

Day 4: Nepalgunj to Surkhet and Drive to Sauli

In the morning, you’ll take a scenic flight from Nepalgunj to Surkhet. From Surkhet, a picturesque drive through rural landscapes and small villages will bring you to the riverside town of Sauli, where your rafting adventure begins. Here, you’ll meet your rafting crew and receive a safety briefing. You’ll camp by the riverbanks, enjoying the serene ambiance of the Karnali.

Day 5-9: Karnali River Rafting

These five days will be dedicated to your thrilling rafting expedition down the Karnali River. You’ll navigate through exhilarating rapids, experience the adrenaline rush, and take in the pristine wilderness of western Nepal. Along the way, you’ll encounter remote villages, lush forests, and abundant wildlife. Camp each night under the starlit sky, relishing delicious meals prepared by your river guides. Your experienced rafting crew will ensure your safety and make this journey an unforgettable one.

Day 10: Rafting Conclusion, Transfer to Kathmandu

Your Karnali River rafting adventure concludes today. After breakfast, you’ll reach the endpoint of your rafting journey. From here, you’ll be driven back to Nepalgunj for your flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you’ll be transferred to your hotel for a well-deserved rest. This evening, you can enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate the successful completion of your exhilarating river rafting expedition.

Equipment List

Rafting Essentials:

  1. Helmet: A certified whitewater helmet to protect your head during rapids.
  2. Life Jacket (PFD – Personal Flotation Device): A well-fitted PFD to keep you afloat and provide buoyancy.
  3. Wetsuit or Drysuit: Depending on the season and water temperature, you may need a wetsuit or drysuit to stay warm in the water.
  4. Neoprene Booties: Protect your feet and keep them warm in the river.

Rafting Gear:

  1. Paddle: A rafting paddle for maneuvering the boat and navigating through rapids.
  2. Throw Bag: A throw bag with a rope for rescue purposes.
  3. River Knife: A small, sharp knife for emergency use.


  1. Swimwear: Wear a swimsuit or swim trunks under your rafting gear.
  2. Quick-Drying Clothes: Lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing for layering under your wetsuit or drysuit.
  3. Fleece or Synthetic Insulation: A fleece jacket or synthetic insulation layer to keep warm during breaks.
  4. Sun Protection: Wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses with retention strap, and sunscreen to protect against the sun’s rays.
  5. River Gloves: Neoprene gloves for grip and protection from cold water.


  1. River Sandals or Water Shoes: Sturdy, closed-toe sandals or water shoes with good traction and secure straps.

Camping Gear:

  1. Tent: Lightweight and waterproof camping tent.
  2. Sleeping Bag: A warm, waterproof sleeping bag suitable for camping in varying conditions.
  3. Sleeping Pad: An insulating sleeping pad for added comfort and warmth.
  4. Dry Bags: Waterproof dry bags for packing your clothing and personal items to keep them dry during the trip.

Personal Items:

  1. Water Bottle: A reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.
  2. Toiletries: Basic toiletries, including biodegradable soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a small towel.
  3. Headlamp or Flashlight: With extra batteries for camping.

Safety and First Aid:

  1. First Aid Kit: A comprehensive first aid kit, including bandages, antiseptic wipes, blister treatment, and any personal medications.
  2. Whistle: A safety whistle for emergency communication.
  3. Multi-Tool or Knife: A versatile tool for various purposes.

Optional Gear:

  1. Camera: Waterproof camera or GoPro with a secure strap to capture your adventure.
  2. Waterproof Dry Sack: Additional dry sacks for extra protection of important items.
  3. Insect Repellent: Depending on the season and location, insect repellent may be necessary.

Cost Included

  • Airport Pick up and drop off
  • All domestic land and air transportation
  • All Accommodation
  • 3 main course meals a day while trekking
  • Guide and porters
  • Necessary permits and TIMS
  • Himalaya Sunrise Treks & Expeditions t-shirt and trekking map
  • A comprehensive medical kit



Cost not Include

  • Flights To/From Nepal
  • Tourist Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals while not on the trek
  • Expenses of personal nature
  • Tips for the guide, porters and driver
  • Any services not mentioned in the itineraries.
  • Any extra costs due to unforeseen circumstances

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  • Trip Duration: 9 Days
  • Trip Grading: Fairly challenging
  • Best Time: Sep. - Nov. & Feb. - May
  • Group Size: 1+
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