Grade: IV/V. This River is for young people only (Below 50 Years)

The Karnali River with its graceful class III to awe-inspiring class V rapids, offers a classic expedition with its finest big volume of whitewater combined with short trekking, fishing and wildlife exploration or jungle safari activities toned with its remote and unexploited features.

The Karnali carves the Himalayan landscape into a series of magnificent gorges and canyons as it descends slowly into the forests of western Nepal. Seasonal snow melts and storms can cause the river levels to swell drastically and create the extremes of whitewater rafting.

It is one of the best trips offered anywhere. We don't see a single sign of modern world for next six days we hit the river. Life seems so isolated and demanding, yet so rewarding with the wonderful experience on the Wild West.

Karnali is one of the last places in Nepal where we could see old growth forest swarmed with Nepal's wildlife. Many expeditions have encountered the sights of Langur and Rhesus Monkeys, leopards, bear, martins, deer, crocodiles and gharials and sometimes the surreal sights of the elusive Royal Bengal tigers. Karnali apart from being one of the best whitewater rivers supports the life of West Nepal with its major water source and also ropes in the finest fish habitat in Nepal, with giant catfish and Golden Masheer prowling the depths.

The Karnali River during high water with its huge rapids is a serious undertaking and even at lower levels is still a thrilling ride with the rapids becoming more constricted and the gradient even steeper. One highlight of this classic river journey is a 7 km roller-coaster ride through the gorge where you encounter rapids at every bend. However, rafting on the Karnali suits from 15 of October until end of May.

Day 01 Kathmandu - Surkhet: We fly from Kathmandu to Nepalganj and drive for approximately three and half hour to Surkhet where we camp for the first night. Our camp is right next to a beautiful refreshing spring where you can bathe and watch local people carry out their daily chores.

Day 02 Surkhet - Tallo Dhungeshwor: After hearty breakfast we start driving further west on a dirt road for another seven hours to Tallo Dhungeshwor. Here is the River Put In Point and a nice beach to camp for the night.

Day 03 Start raft trip: After a comprehensive safety talk and also a dry drill on paddling instructions (for the paddlers) we start our expedition on the Karnali River. The river starts with an easy but entertaining level, rapids getting more exciting in the afternoon. Cotton Pony, Sweetness and Light will be the first rapids you will get to run.

Day 04 Red Canyon Gorge: Jail House Rock, Inversion and some other major rapids are encountered today. Along the way we explore a water falls and in the late afternoon pass through a deep gorge. Deer are commonly seen drinking water at the riverbank.

Day 05 Totale Ghat: Extreme white water rafting at its best. The whole day is spent running many large and exciting rapids with skill and the team work that you have developed over the last few days.

Day 06 Khar Khola: Time to sit back with less rapids on the river. Before lunch we meet the confluence of the Seti River, a great place for those who are crazy about fishing. Village life abounds on the river banks; they have little contact with westerners.

Day 07 Tamcha: If there are kayakers along on your trip this is a great time for the adventurers and to have a spell sitting inside a kayak. The vegetation has now turned into jungle. In the morning you wake up to an orchestra of bird calls.

Day 08 Karnali Camp: Chisapani and Drive to Karnali Camp. Approaching the Bardia National Park, the early riser can spot crocodiles here. Arrive at Chisapani around lunch time. We meet our own private transport once again. Drive to Karnali Camp.


Rapids: Snail's nose, Monkey rapid, Malekhu rapid, Teendevi, Twin RocksLadies Delight, Highway, Monsoon, Upset, Surprise, Bijuli, S-Bend and Pinball Rapid, Double Decker, Tea Pot and Coffee Pot.

The Trishuli River, named after the 'Trident' or 'Trishul' of Lord Shiva, a powerful God in the Hindu pantheon, is Nepal's most popular river for whitewater rafting for its easy access from Kathmandu as well as Pokhara.

The scenic valleys, astounding gorges, exhilarating rapids including easier and relaxing sections all make Trishuli a perfect rafting river for both first-timers and experienced rafters. Depending on the guest's interest and time available, one can raft for a varied duration normally from a day to four days enjoying Nepal's diversity in demography, landscapes and cultural heritage along with the fascinating flora and fauna of the country.

Monsoon season

A typical two-day Trishuli Experience

Day 01 Charaudi to Kuringhat: After an early breakfast, we leave Kathmandu at 7.30 a.m. for our exciting Trishuli trip. We drive for 2 ½ hours to reach Charaudi, our put-in-point (starting point for rafting) where we are greeted by locals with beaming smiles. They are happy to see foreign faces once again geared up for rafting. After the rafts have been assembled by the crew, we head towards the river for safety briefing when paddling procedures and safety equipment are explained in detail.

During this day, we go through a number of rapids rated 1+ to 3+. Yes, the experience of tackling a rapid would be like accomplishing an absolute mission followed by our paddles raised in the air with everybody cheering "Bingo". All rapids are rated or graded using an international rating scale. The grade of a rapid depends upon its difficulty level with 1 being the easiest and 6 being too difficult for rafting. All rapids have interesting names and our informed guides can relate the story behind each one.

After paddling for about two hours, we head for lunch to a beach unique for its strange sculptured boulders. Paddling through the splashing rapids inevitably tires our muscles and what could be more delightful than having a scrumptious meal al fresco, enjoying the sights and sounds of the river. Shortly after lunch, we enter the Trishuli gorge. As the canyon narrows, the walls become steeper, and the river accelerates giving rise to bigger rapids which arrive in greater frequency. It is time to hang on tight!

Our last rapid Jhoolunge Pul (Pul means bridge in Nepali) is named after an old suspension bridge. Here we also often encounter an enthusiastic group of onlookers who line the bridge, waiting excitedly to see us pass below. The geological formations are extremely interesting along the Trishuli River. When we halt, those interested may help the crew with camp chores. Once the tents have been pitched, a savoury dinner is prepared over gas stoves. Kunringhat is a popular destination among the Nepalese as it is the gateway to the holy Manakamana temple. It is believed that with the Goddess' blessings, devotees will have their wishes fulfilled. It is wonderful camping out on the riverside with the bright stars so clear in the dark night sky while all the while enjoying the rumbling sound of the river. Our night does not end with dinner. Indeed, many adventure stories are told by the camp.

Day 02 Kuringhat - Mugling: Our morning starts early but our second day has a leisurely pace. After breakfast, we continue down from Kuringhat for yet another fun-filled day. This day definitely presents us with thrilling rapids, but it's our last day on the river. We are also rewarded with delightful scenic views along the way. The green and golden paddy fields, surrounding hills, riverside country life and the terraced hillsides attract our attention, which adds to the immense pleasure of our river trip.

We raft for about 1 ½ hours till we reach the confluence of Trishuli and the raging Marsyangdi. The Marsyangdi river comes from west Nepal and is one of the most popular rivers for white water rafting. Marshyangdi is quite technical compared to Trishuli and is popular amongst keen rafting experts. We raft a stretch of approximately 5 Km. However, as mentioned above, no matter how long you are on the river, it never seems enough when you reach the end of the run. We wind up our rafting trip on the Trishuli at T-pot where we are met by the vehicle that will drive us on to Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge in Chitwan OR back to Kathmandu (approximately 4 hours).