Much Better Adventures

Adventures / Rapid Rafting

Rafting Expedition on the Sun Kosi River in Nepal

Raft one of National Geographic's top ten river journeys, from the mountains to the jungle

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Trip Ref #9007

Adventures / Rapid Rafting

Rafting Expedition on the Sun Kosi River in Nepal

Raft one of National Geographic's top ten river journeys, from the mountains to the jungle

DURATION
8 nights
LOCATION
Nepal
ANNUAL LEAVE
1 week off work
SEASON
Apr-May, Sep-Nov
GROUP SIZE
Up to 15 people
MEETING POINT
Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu
ACCOMMODATION
Wild camping
DIFFICULTY
Challenging

No rafting experience needed, just a moderate level of fitness and the stamina to enjoy a day of paddling and hiking.

Take a thrilling, 270km journey from the lush hills near the Tibetan border, through the jungle, to the confluence of the Ganges

Visit remote Hindu temples and white sandy beaches and see beautiful scenery and amazing wildlife on this classic rafting expedition

Be part of an expedition that supports the local community and has helped to rebuild homes following the devastating 2015 earthquake

Included

Guides

Local, qualified, English-speaking guides

Accommodation

7 nights riverside camping

Meals

Munch on tasty food throughout

Transfers

To and from Kathmandu

Porterage

Porters to help carry your kit

Equipment

All your rafting and camping equipment

Permits

All river permits

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

The Area

Logistics

Starts

Thamel District, Kathmandu

09:00 on Day 1

Ends

Kathmandu

Approx 10:00 on Day 9

Transfers

Your host will collect you from the Thamel district in Kathmandu on Day 1. On Day 8, you will drive overnight to reach Kathmandu on the morning of Day 9. Alternatively, you can take an optional flight on the last morning for an additional fee. Please see Optional Extras for prices.

If you are arriving the day before the start time, your host recommends the International Guest House as they also include a free airport transfer.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu from major airports across the UK and Europe.

What about all the carbon?

We mitigate 4x the carbon generated by all our customer flights annually through our partnership with Cool Earth.

Day 1

Wild camping · Solo Tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Wild camping · Solo Tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Wild camping · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Wild camping · Solo Tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5-8

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Your raft guides are magicians with a gas stove and an open fires, so you'll be pleasantly surprised by the quality (and quantity) of the food. Expect cooked breakfasts, salads, pastas, Dal Bhat (the local speciality), steaks, lasagna, curries and more!

What is the accommodation like?

Sun Kosi river

You'll wild camp on white sand beaches on the riverside. Your host will provide you with camping equipment, including toilet tents, shelters, mattresses, sleeping bags, tarps and personal tents, but if you'd rather bring your own gear, feel free! There's no electricity or wifi along the route, so solar charges are recommended to keep your camera batteries going. You can, however, get mobile signal for the majority of the trip.

Day 1

Butterfly Beach

Rafting

7hrs

Leave Kathmandu and drive to Dolaghat, where you'll get straight into the water, beginning with some Grade 2 rapids, followed by a visit a local Hindu temple. Set up camp on the white sand of Butterfly Beach and spend the rest of the afternoon fishing, reading, playing football, doing yoga, or just relaxing. End the day with a meal cooked by your guides as you watch the stars come out overhead.

Day 2

No Exit and the Meatgrinder

Rafting

7hrs

Time to tackle some bigger rapids, specifically No Exit (Grade 3) and Meatgrinder (Grade 4). You’ll also have the opportunity to try a few cliff jumps, explore some bat caves and look for tiger footprints. After making camp, your guide can give any kayaking beginners some basic lessons in case you want to try your hand at it over the coming days, then spend the rest of the evening relaxing and enjoying a world far from any light pollution.

Day 3

The Anxiety Series

Rafting

7hrs

Begin the day with the brilliantly named Anxiety series of rapids – Pre, Post and High, located just below the confluence of the Likhu Khola. Play in the warm water, enjoy the passing scenery and take to the kayaks, before setting up camp on the shoreline. You might even get the chance to play football with the locals. Take an evening walk in the jungle and then relax around the campfire as the sun goes down.

Day 4

The big one/two

Photography

7hrs

Come face-to-face with the famous Hakapur rapid, the biggest on the whole journey. Depending on the season and water level, this rapid may or may not be runnable. If it is, be prepared to get wet and make sure you get your breath back in time for Hakapur II, which is often more exciting than the first. Camp at the confluence of the Sun Kosi and Dudh Kodi, which runs down from Everest, and meet a holy man who has lived in a cave here for the past five years and share some of his incredible stories.

Day 5-8

Dramatic rapids, spectacular scenery

Rafting

7hrs

Over three exciting days you’ll tackle 10km of non stop rapids, including Jaws I, II and III, Rhino Rock and the Jungle Corridor, ending with the aptly named and thoroughly notorious Rollercoaster - don't worry, it's completely safe and completely exhilarating. You'll also reach one the highlights of the entire trip - a wild and impressive waterfall under which you can take a well-deserved shower. Next up is the Big Dipper and Black Hole, the last big rapids on the river and a fitting finale to the Sun Kosi. See the landscape change as the jungle disappears making way for the flat Indian Plains and if you dare jump from a 30ft bridge into the river below. Just after the confluence of the Arun and Tamur rivers, you’ll stop at a serene Hindu temple and then paddle on to Chatra, where you’ll have a last dinner with your team before jumping on the bus or plane back to Kathmandu.

Day 9

Kathmandu

If you took the bus, you should arrive back in Kathmandu early this morning, ready for onward travel or some more time in this incredible country. If you took the plane you will have arrived the previous evening.

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.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.

What's included?

  • 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.

What do I need to bring?

  • Swimsuit
  • Sun cream
  • Shorts or cropped trousers and a T-shirt that you don't mind getting wet
  • Clothes for travelling in
  • Sunglasses with sports strap
  • Capped hat
  • Teva style sandals or trainers
  • Warm fleece
  • Socks
  • Camera
  • Small amount of money for snacks and treats
  • Water bottle
  • Towel
  • Sleeping bag and mattress (if you do not have these please ask and we can provide them for you for free)
  • Warm clothes for the evening.
  • Warm hat, gloves and scarf for the winter months
  • Pyjamas
  • Small wash kit - biodegradable products are preferred
  • 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)

The rapids on the Sun Kosi river are between Class II and Class V. This may seem daunting if you are a beginner, but your guide will get you through safely and make sure that you take the best route for your ability.

No previous rafting experience is needed, just a moderate level of fitness and the stamina to enjoy a morning of paddling followed by some hiking.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Summer and autumn are the high water seasons and during this time the whitewater rafting is much more exciting and challenging. In June to August the weather is hot and humid, whereas by September to November, it becomes milder. During the dry season (December to May), the rapids pack less punch, so this is not only the best time to learn whitewater kayaking, but you can also make the most of the lower water with rafting games, tubing and cliff jumps.

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'd suggest the following 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 sources throughout this trip. Your guide uses a filtration system to purify this water with chlorine. Plastic bottles are to be avoided so please bring your own water bottle.

Any excess luggage can be safely left at your host's base at the start of the trip. Alternatively, most hotels in Nepal are happy to store luggage for you.

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

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.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

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

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.

All of our group adventures are specifically designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want them to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly likeminded.

“I cannot recommend this highly enough! The people on the trip were amazing. Easily the best trip I’ve ever been on!” Charlotte, 2019, Trustpilot.

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Transferrable Deposits

Cancel up to 60 days before departure and we'll transfer your deposit into credit for a future booking.

Free Date Changes

Free date changes up to 60 days before departure.

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