Set is the less explored Western Nepal. the Karnali River has some of the biggest and best rapids in Nepal. Couple this in with an amazing journey to the river through the remote and friendly villages around Surkhet, make this a great trip. You'll spend your days running fantastic whitewater, exploring hidden waterfalls and villages and your evenings (and layover day) relaxing on expansive sandy beaches in the midst of jungle clad hillsides. On the lower reaches we often see some spectacular birdlife and wildlife. The Karnali feels like a "real journey" and despite not being as well known as the Sun Kosi, the river delivers excellent culture, rapids and a wonderful Nepali experience. Other trips similar to this you may be interested in, are our Sun Kosi rafting trip or our Tamur hiking and rafting adventure.

3 nights
7 nights
What You Will Be Up To!
  • Day 1


    You'll be met at the airport by your Water By Nature Trip Leader 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.

    Included: No meals

    Day 2


    Breakfast can be taken on the roof of your hotel with a stunning view of the Himalaya. 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. Your trip leader will give you all a pre-departure chat and pass out some of your equipment for the trip.

    Included: Breakfast

    Day 3


    After breakfast we board our flight to Nepalgang, in the "Wild West" of Nepal. Our bus will meet us here and take us 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.

    Included: All meals

    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.

    Included: All meals

  • 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. 

    Included: All meals

    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.

    Included: All meals

    Day 7


    After we have been suitably rested and refueled we head down river to take on the biggest whitewater of the journey.  “Godshouse” 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 lunchtime 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. 

    Included: All meals

    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.

    Included: All meals

    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.

    Included: All meals

  • Day 10


    We have a floating breakfast as we watch the sun rise over the hills.  Chisopani marks the end of the rafting journey. We drive back to Nepalganj for our return flight to Kathmandu. You'll be transferred to your hotel where you can grab a shower before we go out for our post trip meal.

    Included: Breakfast and lunch

    Day 11


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

    Included: Breakfast

Request Itinerary

Our detailed adventure dossiers goes into a full daily itinerary for your chosen destination. They will also give you travel advice, visa and currency information, who might be guiding your trip, plus information on ways to extend your holiday.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Dates & Prices

Flights to Kathmandu, Nepal

In order to give you increased flexibility for your holiday please call our UK or US office's for advice on who to book your flights with. Alternatively, why not use your frequent flyer miles for your adventure. Many airlines offer flights to Kathmandu, such as Qatar Airways in the UK or search for your best flight options. Alternatively we have teamed up with GYT who can provide you with a competitive flight quote by filling out this form on the Water By Nature website. Please ensure you DO NOT book your flights until your trip is CONFIRMED.
We have price and departure information about the following trips in Nepal (river prices only - flights not included). The dossier includes more information regarding the extension to Bardia National Park which is located near the take out point of this trip. This can be booked during the online checkout.

In order to secure your place pay your deposit  of £500 per person (USD$700 for U.S. customers). See our Terms & Conditions for full payment terms.

Please note that prices shown in GBP & USD are payable. UK residents should pay in GBP and USA residents should pay in USD.

Rafting - Karnali River

Sunday 14 April 2019 - Wednesday 24 April 2019
11 days
GBP £ 2395
Euro € 2750
USD $ 3395
Sunday 28 April 2019 - Wednesday 8 May 2019
11 days
GBP £ 2395
Euro € 2750
USD $ 3395
Sunday 6 October 2019 - Wednesday 16 October 2019
11 days
GBP £ 2395
Euro € 2750
USD $ 3395

What You Should Bring

We find most of our clients have in their posession already what is needed for a river rafting journey. We have broken down here the items into what you'll need on the river and in camp. We also suggest you take a quick look at the video on How To Pack A Dry Bag. An equipment list of what you will require for your adventure will be sent to you prior to your departure along with a Water By Nature Travel Bag.

River wear:

  • A pair of Chacos / Keens or similar sandals. (Sandals with a closed toe are ideal)
  • 2 pairs of river shorts (longer leg length) shorts can be purchased from our online Water Shop.
  • 2 Swimming costume or bikini for ladies.
  • Long sleeved thermal top and bottoms to wear under your personal floatation device Capilene, Polypropylene or Merino wool is best. (not cotton)
  • A rash vest (not cotton) as an alternative to the thermal layer.
  • A baseball cap for under the helmet to keep sun off – can be purchased from our online Water Shop.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Chums for fastening your sunglasses to your head – can be purchased on line or from your river crew.
  • 1 Litre Nalgene / Sigg or similar water bottle.
  • Carabiner for fastening water bottle to your boat.
  • Waterproof camera such as GoPro for the ‘action’ shots
  • Waterproof sunscreen and lip balm SPF30 minimum.

 Around Camp:

  • 2 Lightweight long trousers, zip off legs are ideal.
  • 2 Lightweight tops - long sleeved shirts or t shirts.
  • T-shirt and shorts.
  • Fleece jumper / sweatshirt.
  • Light weight down jacket.
  • Rain jacket.
  • Sarong. (Great for covering up when visiting temples)
  • Wide brimmed sun hat.
  • Underwear.
  • A 4-season sleeping bag. (Can be hired in advance)
  • Travel Pillow.
  • Flip flops or shoes for wearing around camp.
  • Thermal top and bottoms. (Good to sleep in)

You do not need to bring tents + sleeping mats.

We provide personal floatation jackets, spray jackets and helmets.

 Personal items:

  • Glasses or Contact lenses. Disposable lenses are ideal.
  • Toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap and shampoo.
  • Forget the cosmetics and hair dryer! But we do suggest moisturizer.
  • Hand wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitiser.
  • Small pack towel.
  • Headlamp or head torch with spare batteries.
  • Any medication you may be taking and your anti malarial tablets if required.
  • Personal first aid kit.


  • Your favourite book/kindle or a journal for recording your river memories.
  • Sketchpad.
  • Binoculars.
  • Photographic or video equipment. We recommend a cleaning kit as sand gets everywhere.
  • Spare memory card.
  • Solar or portable charger.
  • Zip lock bags to keep valuables dry and sand free.
  • Rehydration tablets (Phizz, Nuun and O.R.S are easily available)
  • The only money that you need to bring is for meals in town, souvenirs, DVD, personal items, gratuities and the beer kitty for the raft trip if you drink.

You will need to bring 2 passport photos for your entry into Nepal if you don’t already have a visa.

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