Rafting involves several levels of difficulty, depending on how choppy the river is. These ‘grades’ of difficulty are arrived at according to the presence of rapids, which evolve due to sudden plunges in the river’s height, and also because of rocks – small or large – that may be lurking in the waters. Rafting is a challenging but tremendously fun activity – just remember to keep the instructor’s safety tips in mind! White-water (rapids) does invoke fear but river-running done properly – under professional guidance, with the right training, using the appropriate equipment, taking all safety precautions, and by following a set of international safety and ecological norms – can be an extremely safe, enjoyable and exciting soft-adventure sport. The sport’s popularity is probably due to the fact that almost anyone, including non- swimmers and those with no prior experience can, go rafting. All it takes is 15 minutes of instructions and you can have the time of your life – riding the waves, getting splashed and enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the river.
Nepal is home to eight out of the fourteen highest peaks in the world. From the breathtaking heights of the Himalayas a number of rivers crash down through the foothills, fed by monsoon rains and melting snow, on their way to the Great Plains of the Ganges. Our mountains, Rivers and everything in between creates a wealth of unlimited world class opportunities for great river-rafting, kayaking, climbing, mountaineering, biking, hiking and the ever popular trekking adventures in Nepal.
In terms of the origin, there are three major river groups in Nepal. Rivers that originate directly from the snow-capped mountains belong to the antecedent group. The Koshi, the Karnali and the Gandaki rivers belong to the antecedent group. Rivers originating from the Mahabharat range and cutting through Churia hills come under the second group,The Mahabharat group. These rivers include Kankai, Bagamati, Kamala and so on. The third group of rivers originate from the southern face of the Churia hills. For the purpose of commercial rafting river trips are Bhotekoshi, Sunkoshi, Tamur, Kaligandaki, Karnali, Seti khola, Trishuli, Bheri, upper sunkoshi, Marshyngdi, lower Arun , Dudha koshi, and Seti Karnali.
Nepal is a river runner’s paradise. No other country has such a choice of multi-day trips away from roads, in such magnificent mountain surroundings, with warm rivers, a semi-tropical climate, impressive geography, exotic cultures, wildlife and friendly welcoming people. While enjoying the magnificent rafting adventure, you will have a magnificent holiday en route. You will explore fairy tale land of temples, mountains, dramatic festivals, exotic cultures, colorful people, Medieval villages, superb craft shopping, great food and sights along with the fun filled rafting adventure done in most of the rivers in Nepal such as Sunkoshi and Karnali.
If you have an enthusiasm in rafting adventure, you should know about the rapids of the rivers. Rapids are graded on an international scale from I to VI progressively increasing in difficulty and danger. The size and type of waves, the hazards, remoteness, water temperature and nature of river, continuous rapids or a calm section between the rapids, the geographical terrain, a stretch of gorge or flat, open country, all go into deciding the grade of a rapid. The overall grade of a river depends on the hardest rapid on that river. Grade I rapid is the Fast flowing water with small waves, known as ripples whereas Grade II rapids are Easy. Grade III rapids are measured to be Difficult and the Grade IV rapid is Very difficult. The Grade V rapid is an Extreme one. It should be attempted by an experienced team only. It is very dangerous adventure to life and limb. Grade VI rapid is almost Impossible to negotiate and is suicidal. Basic to medium swimming skills are required for Grades I to III, while a decent experience of white-water rafting is necessary for Grades IV and VI.