Kayakers, beware! Nepal’s rivers can bring you joy from either a casual rafting/kayaking experience with the occasional rough water area or a full-blown raging river, where the challenge begins to satisfy the adrenaline-seeking junkie! Nepal is known as the essential whitewater playground.
Although a river can be rough with difficult challenges, it’s important to remember why you chose to kayak on this particular river so that you enjoy every second of your adventure. Are you ready to take those double-bladed paddles and get started? You must understand the river flow as you negotiate the rapids. The rapids on the river will present with obstacles such as rocks, even boulders, as you make your way through the rapids. This is why you decided to travel to Nepal, correct? Nepal is the perfect location for challenges or a peaceful calm day on the water. Nepal offers a wide range of choices for your enjoyment.
Learn to Kayak?
Do you have a desire to learn how to kayak? If you enjoy extreme adventure sports, you may already have some of the skills needed for the sport of Kayaking. Nepal is the perfect vacation destination with its wide range of rivers and challenging rapids for beginning kayakers to professionals with experience handling white water rivers. If experienced, and you are looking for your next rewarding challenge, Nepal will fulfill your desires to include an adrenaline rush to satisfy the most experienced junkie! However, if you are one who wants to learn the arts of kayaking, Nepal offers many ways for a beginner. Plus, it’s a natural playground of river choices to fit everyone’s needs or desires. Here are a few suggestions of who to contact for lessons and the rivers used for learning:
- GRG Adventure Kayaking
- Nepal River Runner
- Paddle Nepal Pvt Ltd | Bookmundi
- Kayak Clinic in Kathmandu
- Himalayan Hidden Treasure
- Sarangkot Sunrise Tour
- Annapurna Base Camp-Trek from Pokhara
- Equator Expeditions and Ultimate Rivers
- Equator Expeditions and Ultimate Rivers
- Ultimate Descents Nepal
- Rapid Runner Expeditions
- Royal Beach Camp
- Drift Nepal
Rivers for Kayaking Lessons?
- Trishuli River
- Lower Seti
- Upper Sun Kosi
- Lower Bhote Koshi
These rivers seem to be the top choices for the beginning Kayakers, with one exception. There is a swimming pool at Kataudi, on the Trisuli River, which is also used to teach the Eskimo Roll. It is what you will need to know to help you to right yourself when you capsize. But there are other swimming pools at Marshyangdi, Karnali, Seti, Sunkoshi Rivers, and more.
The Lower Seti River is said to be the ideal location for beginners learning to kayak. The course along this river begins at the Phewa Lake in Pokhara and finishes near the Chitwan National Park.
As you learn the sport of Kayaking, you can also enjoy the comrade of new people from around the world, learning the sport and sharing camping and the culture from other countries, and the thrill of Kayaking. What an excellent experience for all!
Your lessons usually include everything you will need, such as an English speaking guide, the necessary kayaking equipment, wetsuit and helmet, lifejackets to fit, transportation, and first aid kits. Your meals, water and camping equipment are included as a rule as well. So why not pack your bags, travel to Nepal, and enjoy the arts of kayaking with a professional as your guide?
When booking with group instructors, they usually have rafters that carry your supplies, so all you need to do is enjoy your rafting experience. The classes typically run, four days, at least 4 to 6 hours daily, and allows you to learn the basics of kayaking, safety, and river dynamics.
Day 1 is dedicated to self-rescue and even rolls, aimed at teaching you how to right yourself when you capsize; Day 2 teaches you to ferry gliding, learning to cross the river, and learning how to eddy in and eddy out, which means entering and leaving currents, plus practicing your paddle strokes; and Day 3, is your magical day to have fun running the small rapids of the river (Class 2) but also so you can use this time to learn reading the rapids. You should expect one professional instructor for every three people so if you feel you may need more training, there are also camps for seven-day training. One location known as the Royal Beach Camp is the only camp I know of with a fixed camp and for swimming pool instructions located at Kataudi on the Trisuli River, 85km from Kathmandu. Some camps that run seven days but combine kayaking, rafting and canyoning trips, and family-friendly expeditions.
Costs for Kayaking
This sport is a little more difficult to provide your with an exact cost due to the many variables. However, there is one location, the Ultimate Descents Nepal, who states their charge is approximately $260 for a four day excursion on the Seti River. Others have said to attend a clinic for beginners, the cost is approximately $200, depending again on what you need. Most every business offering a kayaking tour for the experienced or novice, will provide the transportation to and from the kayaking site, meeting at a central location. The minimum charges as of October 2020, is $125. per person and up from there depending on your requirements.
Restrictions for Kayaking in Nepal
- This sport is not wheelchair accessible
- Travelers with back problems are not recommended to kayak
- Pregnant travelers, it is also recommended you do not participate for your safety and that of an unborn child.
- Participants should be in good physical fitness condition
Best time for vacation/kayaking in Nepal?
The weather has already begun being hot during October, causing the water levels to start dropping. By November, the water in most rivers and rapids are already quite manageable, and it’s the perfect time for kayaking, especially for beginners. After December, the weather is cooler, and the water you can expect is with lower flowing rivers. So, recapping, the best timelines are: In most locations that offer lessons do so from late October, November March and April. Months December through February are available but not really recommended due to the cold and shorter days. You will have choices of rapids that vary and are graded by experts so you know what to expect. Some rapids are even ones of curiosity due to their unusual names such as, ‘Surprise’, ‘Upset’, and ‘Big Dipper.’ I am not sure about names like these as to what to expect. If taking the definition of these names, it would seem they are self-explanatory!
I could keep on with information but half the fun of planning your excursions is the element of surprise! Pick up brochures from your travel agents for more excitement planning this unique experience. If you want to reach out, try using a reputable local Nepal travel agency for more of a local flare in planning a trip of a lifetime.
Tips for the Adrenaline Junkie!
- If you are looking for action, there is an 11 day trip but for only the most experienced kayakers. The Tamur River is challenging but only for the most experienced. This tour combines a classic river with a world-class trek through the far east of Nepal. This is not for the weak at heart but for the kayaker with top skills are needed by experienced Grade IV kayaker paddlers. Rapids numbering 120 all within 81.4 Miles(131 KM )
- The real challenges begin on non-commercial expeditions would be the one for the adrenaline junkie. The Dude Kosi, which is the river running from Mt. Everest.
- The Thule Bheri River by GRG Adventure-Nepal. This river is for the Adrenaline Junkie who has expert training in Grade IV Rapids. DO NOT ATTEMPT this river without the proper experience!
- The Huma Karnali River is remotely located in the pristine jungle of Far west Nepal. Known as the ‘wild west’ with the area it flows through is both relatively unpopulated and scenery you likely have never seen before with canyons and unspoiled scenery.
- These river Kayaking trips are expensive due to needing a helicopter to get you to the remote areas they are located in. These rivers are for non-commercial expeditions.
- Nepal Kayaking with tours can be especially entertaining due to the local’s knowledge of areas not always known by the tourist or stateside travel agencies.
- Adventure Extreme Sports Activity including Kayaking, Rafting, Mountain Climbing and more, can be tailored to your skills and the challenges you feel up to paddling.
The Sun Kosi is another river that can be found for a day expedition providing you with huge water waves and scenery unmatched. The commercial trips offer the opportunity of 8 to 10-day kayak trips with escort boats to carry all of your supplies. Nepal travel agency, GRG Adventure Kayaking can offer extreme sports activities from the ownership of locals. There are many agencies you can work with within Nepal who has shared photographs with me and I thank them for their support. You will find their names under the photographs.
A Bonus with Kayaking?
Yes, indeed, there are many bonuses. Did you know that while you are having the time of your life enjoying new experiences, you are also engaged in a healthy activity?
Safety should be your number one priority. Be aware of your surroundings and the elements for the danger that could affect your life. What lives in the waters could be a threat for you to choose kayaking as your wild extreme adventure sport! Are there crocodiles or poisonous snakes in the river? Get acquainted before you go, so you are prepared and protected.
The very definition is that you move the water, using the double-bladed paddle, but only after you understand the river flow, how to negotiate rapids, and the river’s obstacles while getting to know and feel the river’s unity with nature. Nepal is the perfect vacation destination for kayaking, with its challenges and range of rivers to select as your next hooray.