It offers the longest trip in Nepal in terms of river days. It has many tributaries entering from the north that drain Himalayan peaks including the mighty Mount Everest. The character of the river changes with amazing wide valley sections and large sandy islands becoming narrow jungle gorges and corridors. There is only one large village on the river, the hardest rapid – Hakapur is named after it. The upper section is known as the Bhote Kosi, an adrenaline charged section of river described separately in this guide. The commercial trips start at Dolalghat, which is close to the confluence of the Bhote kosi, and the Indrawati. You can expect the trip to take 10 days; this may include a layover day.
Nick named as the ‘Raging River’, it starts to the north of the Annapurna range initially travelling southeast and then south below Chame. Under the shadow of the mighty Manaslu the river put-in, close to Ngadi, is an amazing place with incredible views on this, the early section of the 21-day Annapurna circuit trek.
Experience of exploring the Karnali will tell you that it is one of the most incredible journeys of life. The River, in volume is the largest and longest in Nepal and the upper sections are rarely explored. Along the lower section the river takes a sharp turn from south to north, often called the Western Bend. At this point the river can be accessed and an incredible adventure through deep gorges and remote regions begins.The upper Karnali, better known as the Humla Karnali raises in Tibet from the holy peak, Mount Kailash some very experienced expedition groups can run upper sections. These normally start with a charter flight to Simikot and then sixteen to twenty days to the take out at Chisopani. The Lower Karnali can be run in five to seven days and still proves a major river journey that has got to fall in the category of being one of the best in the world.
The Bhote Kosi – the name implies that this river has its origin in Bhot or Tibet. Bhote Koshi River located on the way to Lhasa 3 hours drive from Kathmandu. It has upper sections of grade 4 and 5. Continuous white water rafting for 26 km, which cascades down through a fantastic maze of canyons and boulders. Its is possible to combine a rafting trip on Bhote Koshi with tours of Tibet, Everest and Lang tang trek.
The Kali – Gandaki is the most accessible river from the trekking base of Pokhara. The dam built close to the confluence of the Andhi Khola has shortened the five-day trip. The maximum time spent on river is now 3 days. The last two days were less interesting but certain sad losses result, a visit to Ridi village, Ranighat (an old abandoned palace that’s like something from an Indiana Jone’s movie set) and ‘Walk in the Dark’, a great class 4 that was a good finale to the trip. This river rises in Mustang, the bit of Nepal that sticks out into Tibet to the North. Before it reaches the put-in it passes between the mighty Dhaulagiri in the west and the Annapurna massif in the east. This gorge is more than 4 miles deep. Lower down at the put-in the river goes south and a great adventure begins.
Day by day itinerary
Day 01 : Drive from Pokhara to put-in point, lunch and onto river, 2-3 hours of class 4 to camp just below Modi Khola.
Day 02 :Day of class 3 / 4 to just above Seti Beni village.
Day 03 :Seti Beni rapid & village, more class 3 / 4, take-out at confluence of Andhi Khola (dam) and bus to Pokhara arriving late afternoon.