Much Better Adventures

Adventures / Rapid Rafting

Sun Kosi Nepal Rafting Expedition

Raft one of National Geographic's top 10 river journeys, from mountains to jungle. 9 days.


Trip Ref #9007

Adventures / Rapid Rafting

Sun Kosi Nepal Rafting Expedition

Raft one of National Geographic's top 10 river journeys, from mountains to jungle. 9 days.

8 nights
Tribhuvan International Airport

Rafting the Sun Kosi river is to undertake a thrilling 270km journey from the lush hills near the Tibetan border, down through jungle, visiting remote Hindu temples, and finally reaching the confluence of the Ganges and the flat plains near the Indian border. Expect warm waters, big bouncing rapids, white sandy beaches, amazing wildlife and beautiful scenery in this classic rafting expedition. With qualified and experienced guides to see you through, anyone can join on this trip. What's more, you can even arrange to have our Yoga master and trained masseuse join you for the journey. Whats included?

  • 7 days of rafting along the Sun Kosi river
  • 7 nights riverside camping
  • Local, qualified, English-speaking guide
  • All rafting and camping equipment
  • All meals (including breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Transport to/from Kathmandu (excluding flights)
  • Yoga Master (optional)
  • Porters
  • River Permits
  • Official trip photos

An optional flight back to Kathmandu is available to avoid the overnight bus journey.

Perfect for: Class III+/-V rapids - suitable for thrill seekers and water enthusiasts of any ability.

Adventures for Good: Your hosts are a group of adventure guides dedicated to supporting their local community. For the last 3 years they have been committed to helping rebuild the homes of staff and their families following the devastating earthquake, along with supporting Street Children in Pokhara. 2019 will see them launch an exciting new project of providing medical outreach to highly remote communities all along the famous Sun Kosi River - combining rafting adventure with medical professionals on dedicated rafting expeditions. The idea was conceived after these communities approached the rafting guides seeking help and supplies. See all of our 'Adventures for Good' here.





Local transport

Meals as described

Day 1: Kathmandu - Butterfly Beach

Your bus will leave Kathmandu early in the morning and take you to Dolaghat, a three-hour drive from the bustling city.

From here, you'll get straight into the rafting. It's a fairly easy start with just a few Grade 2 rapids, followed by a break to visit a local Hindu temple. Your guide will show you around before reaching the camp on Butterfly Beach.

Here, you will set up camp and can spend the rest of the afternoon fishing, reading, playing football, doing yoga or simply relaxing on the beach. Enjoy a meal cooked by your guides while you watch the stars overhead on the beautiful white sandy beach.

Approximately 7 hours rafting

Day 2:

As you've warmed up to the rapids, your second day will be slightly more exciting with two big class rapids; "No Exit" (Grade 3) and "Meatgrinder" (Grade 4). You will also have the opportunity to try a few cliff jumps, explore some bat caves and track for tiger footprints.

In the evening, your guide can give any kayaking beginners some basic lessons in rolling, crossing the river and other necessary skills to let you paddle down in the days that follow, should you want to.

Approximately 7 hours rafting

Day 3:

Today, your guide will help you negotiate the "Anxiety" series of rapids, including, pre, post and "High Anxiety", located just below the confluence of the Likhu Khola.

You'll have plenty of time to play in the warm waters, while you enjoy the scenery and even try your hand at kayaking properly.

Once you have set up camp, you will also have the chance to play football with the locals, before an evening walk through the jungles. Finish the night with a sing song around the camp fire before the sun goes down.

Approximately 7 hours rafting

Day 4:

On day four, you will come face-to-face with the famous "Hakapur" rapid, the biggest on this journey.

Depending on the season and water levels, this rapid may or may not be runnable. If it is, be prepared to get wet... Just make sure you get your breath back its time for Hakapur II, which can sometimes be even more exciting than the first.

You will camp at the confluence of the Sun Kosi and Dudh Kodi tonight, which is the river running from Everest. Here you will meet a Holy man who has lived in a cave here for the past five years and here some of his incredible stories.

Approximately 7 hours rafting

Day 5-8:

In the coming few days you will meet "Jaws" I, II & III', "Rhino Rock" and “Jungle Corridor” along the next 10km of non-stop rapids. The last of which is "Rollercoaster", a notorious rapid which flips your raft - don't worry, it's completely safe and completely exhilarating.

You will also reach one the highlights of this trip; an impressive waterfall. Stop here for a well-deserved shower.

The "Big Dipper" and "Black Hole" are the last big rapids on the river and a fitting finale to the Sun Kosi. You will notice the difference in scenery as the jungle and mountains disappear, making way for the flat Indian Plains. For those that dare, you will also have the opportunity to jump from a 30ft bridge into the river below.

Just after the confluence of the Arun and Tamur rivers, you will be able to stop at a Holy Hindu temple. Once you've had enough time looking at the amazing sights, it is just a quick 20-minute flat paddle to Chatra, where you will jump on the bus/plane back to Kathmandu tomorrow.

You will have a final meal in a local hotel with your team before the long journey home. Either, you can catch a flight back to Kathmandu tonight, or take the 15-hour bus back which will have you back by the morning.

Approximately 7 hours rafting

Day 9:

If you took the bus, you should arrive back in Kathmandu early on the 9th morning.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

You will be camping on white sand beaches on the riverside each night. Your host will provide all camping equipment including toilet tents, shelters, mattresses, sleeping bags, tarps and personal tents. These will all be included for no additional charge, but if you would rather bring your own gear, feel free!

There will be no electricity or wifi along the route, so solar charges are recommended to keep your camera batteries charged. You can, however, get mobile signal for the majority of the trip.

Your raft guides are magicians with gas stoves and open fires, so you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality and quantity of food. You can expect cooked breakfasts, salads, pastas, Dal Bhat (the local speciality), steaks, lasagna, curries and more!

The Sun Kosi River was ranked one of the top 10 rivers in the world for white-water rafting, and for good reason. Beginning near Tibetan border, the Sun Kosi offers rafters a journey through the Himalayans and into the Ganges on the plains below. You will meet Class II to Class V rapids as you travel through the gorges and forested canyons. The final stretch of the river enters the tropical jungle where you might even see the monkeys watching you from the trees.

If you fancy doing a spot of yoga in the mornings when you wake up on the river banks, let us know in advance and we'll arrange for our Yogi master, Mahendra, to go on your trip. He is also a trained masseuse and can give you a massage in the afternoons - ideal after a days paddle.

Start point?
Your rafting adventure starts in Thamel, Kathmandu at 9:00 am on fixed departures. From here, you will be driven to Dolalghat.

Finish point?
Your adventure finishes in Chatra. From here, you guide can drive you on to Kathmandu, or you can take an optional flight back,

Getting there and away?
Fly into Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu. Book whichever flight suits you best.

From Kathmandu, you’ll need to make your way to Thamel.

Your host will contact before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

Start Point

Thamel, Kathmandu - 09:00 Your rafting adventure starts in Thamel, Kathmandu at 09:00.
Fly into Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu and book any hotel of your choice. Your host recommends the International Guest House as they also include free airport transfers.

Your host will contact before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

Finish Point

Your adventure finishes in Chatra on Day 8. From here, you guide can drive you back to Kathmandu overnight (15 hours), or you can take an optional flight in the morning.

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights
  • Transport to meeting point in Thamel, Kathmandu
  • Visas, insurance, travel documents
  • Personal insurance.
  • Additional snacks.
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for guides (optional)

You should be prepared to pack some snacks to sustain you whilst you are on the trip, but your guide will prepare and provide all meals for you, including breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You can usually expect 2 rafts on most of our trips. (6-8 people on each). If you are joining a kayak clinic, groups are normally around 4 people. However if you are looking to visit us with a large group, we can offer the option of booking you a private trip.

The rapids on the Sun Kosi river are between Class II to Class V rapids. Whilst this may seem daunting if you are a beginner, your guide will safely guide you through making sure that you take the best route based on your ability.

No previous rafting experience is needed, but you do need to possess a moderate level of fitness to enjoy a morning of paddling followed by several hours of hiking.

The rafting trips have a large variety of food. For breakfast, you can expect eggs, pancakes, potatoes, toast, muesli, porridge, omelettes, and fruit for breakfast. For lunch, you can choose from foods such as pasta, salads, tuna, baked beans, cheeses, salami, biscuits, crisps, bread, fried rice and fruit. In the evenings, dinner can include garlic bread, french fries, Dal Bhat, chicken curry, mashed potato, Buffalo steak, chilli, Bolognese, custard, rice pudding, fruit salad, popcorn and prawn crackers.

There are also have lighter bites such as biscuits and bananas held in dry bags on the rafts for river time snacks.

Absolutely, just let us know at booking.

The summer and autumn are the high water seasons and during this time, the whitewater rafting is much more exciting and challenging. The June to August weather is hot and humid whereas by September to November, the weather will become milder.

During the dry season (December to May), the rapids pack a lot less punch than at high water times. This is not only the best time to learn to whitewater kayak, but you can make the most of the lower water with more rafting games, tubing and cliff jumps.

Your host will provide all the necessary equipment for rafting and kayaking including PFD’s, helmets, dry tops, throw bags, dry bags, pelican boxes, wetsuits, paddles - all at international standards and regularly checked

Your guide suggests that you bring:

  • Swimsuit
  • Sun cream
  • Shorts or cropped trousers and T-shirt you don't mind getting wet
  • Clothes for travelling in
  • Sun glasses with sports strap
  • Capped hat
  • Teva style sandals or trainers
  • Warm fleece
  • Socks
  • Camera
  • Small amount of money for snacks and treats if you wish
  • Water bottle
  • Towel
  • Sleeping bag and mattress (if you do not have, please ask and we can provide for you for free)
  • Dry clothes for the evening(s). Make sure you bring warm clothes with you as the night times can get cold, especially in the winter months.
  • Warm hat, gloves and scarf for the winter months
  • Pyjamas
  • Small wash kit - biodegradable products are preferred if you have them
  • Torch
  • Book, deck of cards or small travel games
  • Personal medication (please let us know of any pre-existing medical conditions before participating in any whitewater trip)

Sure can! A lot of people do, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

We've teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

Senior guide: £50 per group Junior guide: £30 per group

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

You will be provided with clean, safe drinking water from fresh water sources throughout this trip. Your guides will use a filtration system and purify this water with chlorine. Plastic bottles are to be avoided so please bring your own water bottle with you.

Yes, any excess luggage you have with you can be safely left at your hosts base at the start of this trip. Alternatively, most hotels in Nepal are happy to safely store luggage for you.

Afraid not, this group adventure is adult only so not suitable for children.

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

For current advice about travelling in Nepal, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

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