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Rafting

Bhote Kosi River Rafting

   
WhiteWater Rafting

The experience of whitewater rafting in Nepal is not only about the adrenalin fix you are sure to receive, but about sharing a unique river culture, good times with new friends from around the world, riverside camping, fresh air, exploring yourself and embracing what Mother Nature has provided us in a totally unique environment on the other side of the planet. You can go rafting in many countries in world – but where else will you see prayer flags blowing in the wind, witness cremation rituals on the river bank, be serenaded by local villagers’ traditional song & dance, spot monkeys and king-fishers in the trees, catch the evenings meal with a handmade fishing net, or learn to make survival ropes out of wild bamboo as you float through some of the most remote places in the Himalaya.

We grew up here...on the banks of these rivers...we are proud of our extraordinary country...and we invite you to join us and see what adventure, life & nature is all about...

What to Bring

When thinking about what to bring on the river, consider that you will be camping in the remote wilderness with limited access to outside world. There are no showers, no beds or fancy hotels and certainly no TV. It is a good idea to be prepared for all types of weather as you just never know what Mother Nature is going to give us. When thinking about clothing, consider quickdry adventure type fabrics. We will provide all of the essential camping equipment including shelters, tents & simple mattresses as well as the drybags and pelican boxes for storage. If you have your own sleeping bag and/or good therma-rest then bring it with you, otherwise we will provide for you. Below is a suggested packing list.
  1.     ½ pants /shorts
  2.     sport sandals
  3.     polypropylene / quick dry long shirt
  4.     t-shirts
  5.     track pants / long pants
  6.     warm fleece **even in warm months - makes a great pillow**
  7.     waterproof windbreaker style jacket
  8.     shoes & socks
  9.     warm hat (in cold months Oct-Feb)
  10.     towel
  11.     toiletries **we provide toilet paper and antibacterial soap**
  12.     sun glasses (with strap)
  13.     waterproof sunscreen
  14.     personal first aid kit **we bring a standard emergency first aid kit - please bring your own personal medications etc**
  15.     flashlight / head lamp
  16.     water bottle (with strap or carabiner)
  17.     sleeping bag **if you don't have your own sleeping bag - we will provide for you**
  18.     camera (waterproof camera best)
  19.     a little cash for treats and tips

What's Included
  1. Professional English speaking local guides, highly trained & safety certified to international standards in Wilderness First Aid and WRT
  2. professional safety kayakers
  3. State of the art rafting equipment including rafts, paddles, helmets, life jackets, dry tops, wetsuits, dry bags, pelican boxes, throw bags, repair kits etc.
  4. Top of the line camping equipment including toilet tents, shelters, personal tents, tarpaulins, mattresses, sleeping bags etc.
  5. Fresh, delicious & hygienically prepared food while on the river, including tea, coffee & hot chocolate as well as drinking water
  6. Round trip local bus transportation (sometimes private 4WD, micro-van or big bus & sometimes tourist bus)
  7. Industry standard first aid kits

What's NOT Included
  1. unrelated transportation, visas, travel documents, departure taxes etc...
  2. items of a personal nature (toiletries, clothing, camera etc)
  3. alcohol and junk food
  4. plastic bottled mineral water **we prefer to treat local stream water and help preserve our environment**
  5. insurance **we provide insurance for our crew - but participants must be properly insured through an emergency travel plan**
  6. tips for guides

Understanding the River

Season: The best time to find quality whitewater in Nepal is Sep-Dec and Mar-May; however, you CAN paddle all year long! During these prime months, water levels are most reliable and there are plenty of travellers around to fill boats and guarantee departures. If you are an avid paddler looking for big volume, then the monsoon months (Jun-Aug) may be perfect for you. And if you are in Nepal during the winter months, the Lower Seti River is surprisingly warm and we are happy to provide wetsuits to keep you comfortable on even the coldest of rivers like the raging Marshyangdi which maintains great water levels even through the driest season.

River Grading: Water volume and technical hazards determine a rapids grade. Class I-II are small and simple waves. Class III/III+ are exciting, but not too difficult or technical. Class IV/IV+ provide a great adrenalin rush with the chance of falling out or flipping the raft. Class V is extreme, challenging, potentially scary and usually requires a great deal of scouting and is the highest level we run in Nepal with only our absolute best guides in charge. Please understand that Mother Nature makes the rules in all outdoor pursuits, and often rivers, trails, roads change making rapid levels constantly fluctuate from season to season.

What to Expect - Sample day on the River

Regardless of the category of river you have chosen, from a relaxing float to pant-wettingly scary, our multi-day river trips follow a similar routine.  Before each departure we will have a pre-departure meeting at our operations center in Pokhara.  Here you will meet your guide and fellow participants and have a chance to get to know each other and ask any last minute questions.  Our guides will double check special meal requirements, medical issues and discuss specific trip logistics.

Most trips depart around 7am.  With our own private bus and 4WD jeep we are lucky to travel in comfort to our put-in points.  Travel time depends on the river you have chosen, but most of the best short multi-day trips are located within 3 hours drive of Pokhara. Once we arrive at our put-in, we will ask for your assistance to unload the gear and start pumping up the rafts, loading up dry bags.  Most trips in Nepal are fully self-supported, which means we have to bring everything down the river with us because there are no roads near by – this is true adventure.  So, after all of our camping supplies, food and personal gear is loaded securely on the support rafts, we are ready to go.  Personal gear such as clothing & sleeping bags etc. will be packed into 100% waterproof dry bags while cameras, sunscreen, medications, cigarettes, extra eye contact lenses and other essentials needed through the day will be stored in 100% waterproof pelican boxes which are almost indestructible.

Depending on the time of day, we will either have lunch before setting off or sometimes lunch will be prepared a couple of hours down river.  Our trip leader will double check everyone’s personal safety equipment to make sure lifejackets and helmets are secure and then we will provide a comprehensive safety briefing, teaching you everything you need to know to help paddle the raft and keep safe during our whitewater adventure.   Our safety kayakers will show you how to easily be rescued with their assistance and then it is time to “paddle forward” and head downriver.   

We usually raft for a maximum of 2 ½ -3 hours at a time before stopping for lunch or arriving at camp with a maximum of 6 hours rafting in one day.  Most rivers have exciting rapids followed by relaxing flat sections to recompose ourselves, enjoy the scenery and relax.  Once we arrive at camp, we will ask for your assistance again unloading the rafts and setting up camp. Although we don’t expect you to work too hard on your holiday, an adventure into the wilderness requires a certain degree of team work and your crew will appreciate a little assistance.

Most rivers in Nepal offer amazing white sandy beaches to set up camp.  We typically sleep in open air shelters which are 100% waterproof and reminiscent of an outdoor back-packers dormitory.  If you prefer some privacy we are more than happy to provide individual two man tents.  We do the best we can in the environment we are in to be sensitive to Mother Nature and keep our camps and rivers clean and expect that our participants follow the same practices.  Toilet tents will be constructed as far away from the river as possible, organics will be composted or fed to the fish and all garbage is carried out with us.

Hot water will be prepared for tea, coffee & hot-chocolate within an hour of arriving at camp with some sort of snack like popcorn.  While you relax on the beach, write in your journal, try out some local fishing techniques, play volleyball with the new friends from around the world, or take a walk and explore the surrounding wilderness or nearby villages, our crew will prepare a hygienic and delicious meal combined with Western, Nepali, vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

When possible we will enjoy a campfire, but first we make sure local the community and environment can spare the wood, as for us a fire is for enjoyment and for a local village it is used for survival.  Whether we have campfire or not, we will enjoy the evening together, new friends & crew alike, sharing stories of past adventures and learning about each other & our unique cultures from around the world until we fall asleep to the sound of the lapping river underneath the starry skies.

Responsible Adventure

We believe that “responsible travel” means more than just recycling and picking up garbage at camp.  On an outdoor adventure in Nepal, we must be accountable in many ways and have respect, not only for our environment, but for our local people and local economy.  This is not just marketing speak – this is a sincere dedication to walk the walk and not just talk the talk...

Our efforts to show respect for Mother Nature...
  1. Reduce and remove all unnecessary packaging prior to packing supplies to bring on the river
  2. Carry out all garbage and non-compostables
  3. Construct toilet tents as far away from river sources as possible, bury waste appropriately and burn toilet paper
  4. Small campfires are only provided when enough drift wood available to manage local villages' needs
  5. Treat local stream water and discourage the use of plastic mineral water bottles

We ask you to please think about what efforts you can make to reduce your waste and impact on the environment before joining us on the river.

Our efforts to show respect for our Nepali People...
  1. As much as logistically possible, purchase fresh organic produce, meat & eggs from local communities surrounding the rivers we
  2. Hire, intensively train and encourage 100% Nepali guides
  3. Provide fair wages and encourage other companies within our industry to do the same
  4. Provide comprehensive insurance coverage for our guides and crew
  5. Offer equal employment opportunity for male and female race
  6. Hire local assistance such as porters, security guards, transportation services etc.
  7. Show respect, integrity and a strong work ethic and be a positive role model for all we interact with

We ask you to try to understand our local Nepali People and show some respect...
  1. Please dress modestly – especially when in the presence of local villagers
  2. Please - no public displays of affection please
  3. Please ask before taking pictures of local people
  4. Please embrace Nepal & our cultural differences (both good & bad)

Our efforts to give something back to our local community...
  1. Offer complimentary “non-profit” trips to local NGOs such as “Bird Conservation Nepal” to do important research on endangered species
  2. Offer complimentary kayak lessons, leadership training and team building programs to local social organization who are doing incredible work for Nepal’s underprivileged children such as “Hope for Himalayan Kids”
  3. Donate a portion of every single sale to the Nepali National Team in order to give Nepal a fair chance to represented at international venues
  4. Donate an equal portion of every single sale as well as complimentary training and use of equipment to the Himalayan River Girls Club, a local social program to help inspire and encourage more young Nepali women to get involved in eco-tourism

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