Most experienced river travelers, who have rafted or kayaked down the Karnali- Nepal's mightiest river, agree that it is one of the best trips offered anywhere. Karnali lies in the western part of the nation in what is called the "Wild West" of Nepal, an area only recently opened for tourism.
Rising in the vicinity of Tibet's holy Mount Kailash, 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 level to swell drastically and create the extremes of white water rafting.
In high water, the Karnali is a serious undertaking with fairly straightforward, yet huge rapids. Even at lower levels, it is still not a walk in the park as the rapids become more constricted and the gradient steeper. One highlight of this classic river journey is a 7 km long gorge "Thrill-a-minute roller-coaster ride" with rapids at every bend. Truly though, any season suits the Karnali.
The expedition begins with a bus journey into the remote and almost untouched region of western Nepal and crossing through part of the Bardia National Park. If the idea of a 2 days bus ride doesn't appeal to you, there is the option of flying to Nepalgunj and catching a 5 hour bus to meet the rest of the group in the frontier town of Surkhet. From here, we drive further, for about 4 hours, to get to Kalyani Danda, the last stop. The river section lasts 7 days, including one layover day. At the end of the trip, you can choose to take a detour to Bardia National Park for an unforgettable and true experience of Nepal.
THE WESTERN BEND:KARNALI
The Karnali, Nepal's mightiest river, descends through the Himalayas in a series of magnificent gorges. Seasonal snow melts and storms can cause the river level to swell drastically, creating the extremes of whitewater rafting. Expect exceptionally big volume rafting through jungles inhabited by nomads traditionally known as the Routes, deserted beaches and small villages.