After a week spent relaxing in beautiful Pokhara I felt the urge to do something energetic - mostly because Pokhara seemed to be constantly filled with intrepid hikers, either on their way to or from the famous Annapurna trek. While eating cinnamon buns, reading and occasionally hiring a bicycle to cycle the surrounding area was a perfectly lovely way to spend my time, I did feel a little lazy compared to the adrenaline junkies constantly crossing my path. As soon as one such trekker mentioned leeches in trees on their trek, I decided rafting was the option for me.
There are many companies in Pokhara offering rafting trips - take the time to do some research, taking into consideration safety considerations such as life jackets and the experience of your guide. The trip I took was a two day - one night trip, with overnight camping. As it was the last trip of the season (due to rising river levels because of seasonal flood / monsoon), the white water was a little more extreme than usual, but good fun. I was on my way to Sauraha to visit Chitwan National Park, and rafting provided a good alternative to the bus - and given Nepal's bus safety record, an arguably safer one! The scenery is spectacular.
Bearing in mind the extremely mountainous nature of the country and the amount of meltwater coming off the Himalayas, it is hardly surprising that there is some very good whitewater rafting available.
On our visit, we only had time to do a day trip, which was on the Trishuli river.
Personally I found it a bit tame, having rafted elsewhere, but there are undoubtedly opportunities for some great rafting in the country. The Trishuli at that time of year would be a good introduction for someone who has not rafted before and is, perhaps, a little hesitant. When we were trekking I saw some rivers I would have loved to have rafted.
Should I ever return to Nepal, as I hope I will, I would love to have a go at the Kali Gandaki, which looks very exciting.
River rafting trips in Nepal are numerous and range in time length and difficulty (rapid class). I didn't have 14 days to do the entire Sum Kosi River or anything, but I did spend a day on the Trisuli, that goes down to the Indian border by Chitwan National Park. Rafting is a lot of fun in Nepal and can make an excellent trip or just day trip. Always check the tides and see how clean the rivers are before you go though.
Nepal has rightly earned a reputation of being one of the best places in the world for white water rafting.
Why's it so special? A warm climate, warm water, and white sandy beaches... combined with an area of rich cultural heritage, and of course, the huge adrenalin rush!
During my time in Nepal, I rafted the Trisuli and Marsyangdi rivers. The Trisuli is the most popular and most rafted river in Nepal, although this popularity seems to be declining. It is fairly tame, although there are some rapids graded at 4+ (on a scale from 1 - 6).
The Marsyangdi is far more challenging (see picture), and is continually 4+, certainly not for beginners. But, if you have the confidence, and you raft with a reputable company, the river is rated as a world classic. Unfortunately, a Hydro Electric Power scheme means that the river will shortly be dammed, so go while you can!
And how would you get to the river unless you did a white water rafing trip!
Great camping opportunities in this paradise and a chance to meet and bond with fellow travelers. If I were to do this trip all over, I would do the rafting first as you're bound to meet people going on a trek.