kaligandaki river,javan

For me, initially springing to mind when I think of
white water is automatically New Zealand or Canada, two countries
generating hype for having some of the most ferocious and spectacular
rivers in the world. It never crossed my mind that Nepal could offer
amazing adrenaline pumping white water to warrant being rated along
with some of the worlds finest.

Of course when you picture
sublimely crisp alpine rivers kissed by the Himalaya, roaring into
narrow gullies, along white sandy banks, through pristine jungle and
quaint farm estates. It must be very hard not to want to take a peak

I was new to the sport of white water rafting when I
first ventured to Nepal, and when my travel companion persuaded me into
tackling a river she had ventured on twice and was completely in love
with I was simply terrified. I didn't know what to expect, and then
there it was, my introduction to rafting and the mighty Kaligandaki
River. At best a 3 to 4 grade, the river has some intense fast
sections, holes to trap any raft and some fantastic rapids. It's great
for Kayakers, beginner rafters with an adventurous spirit, and those
experienced rafters that just want to have some fun.

white water Rafting,Smulan77

Camping at
night, with the sound of the river roaring along, camp fire alight,
cosy tents and good company has got to be one of the best things to do
on holiday.

Nepal not only has this fantastic river, but offers a
multitude of rivers ranging from freakishly advanced to perfectly calm,
for scenic enthusiasts that just want to cruise along and take photos
with the occasional easy riding splish splash rapid. Some of the rivers
Nepal boasts are as above the divine Kaligandaki, the wild Bhote Koshi
and the gentle Trisuli, along with three very exciting and scenically
spectacular river expeditions on The Karnali, Tamur and Sunkoshi.

An absolute feast for any white water enthusiast, from first timer to advanced adrenaline junkie looking for the next rush.

are two ways you can go about rafting in Nepal. If your one of those
'do it when I get there' types, it is easy enough to organise it once
you get in to Kathmandu or Pokhara, the streets are lined with rafting
and kayaking tour companies all looking for your business. Word of
caution though, you really need to do your research before venturing in
with blind faith, some companies aren't too proactive with the moto
safety first and tend to scrimp on equipment where possible. I
remember my friend sinking rather than floating one time, after she
fell out in a fairly intense little rapid, she later said her life
jacket was like a led weight, rather than buoyant.

I now opt for
a certified tour company that offers rafting trips as add on activities
to their initial tours, have concentrated rafting tours, as well as
include them in package tours with trekking and mountain biking (link
below). At least I'm guaranteed they use approved equipment, and are
insured, they have emergency evacuation procedures, qualified local
guides, and are really well organised. It's peace of mind and makes for
an incredible and enjoyable experience.


The best times to go are
between March to June, when the rivers are fed by the pre monsoon rains
and September to October, when the rivers are fed by snow melt. Towards
late October the rivers are lower, the holes are deeper, but the rapids
tend to be in shorter bursts and give you time to recoup before the
next onslaught. The weather gets cooler the further you get into
October, so you will need to bring warmer clothes for the night time
camping. Earlier in the year the Monsoon fed rivers can be a pretty
intense time to raft, most rivers are swollen and running particularly
fast, with not much break between rapids. December through to February
tends to be quite cold, and getting wet is not very enjoyable, remember
where this water comes from, it's freezing! So in saying that, the
river guides tend to become dormant throughout these months.

rafting companies in Nepal supply dry bags for clothes and sleeping
bags, as well as iPods and other technological gadgets. I still
recommend bringing your own dry bag for extra care. Companies like Sea
to Summit do some great light weight ones in all sizes, and will easily
tuck into the heavy duty dry bags the rafting companies supply.

now an avid fan of rafting Nepal, and I hope I have inspired you to get
out there and give it a go; it really is an incredible rafting
adventure and a must do.