|In a country like Nepal, a river trip is one of the best
ways to explore a typical cross section of the country's natural as well as
ethno-cultural heritage. The river is regarded as a form of goddess and used
for the purpose of various religious rituals such as cremation under both
Hinduism and Buddhism. A variety of cultural activities can be witnessed
being performed along the river. The adjoining slopes of the river often
harbor dense vegetation and interesting
Several varieties of fishes also abound the Nepalese rivers.
A foreigner must obtain a permit before going on a river trip. A fee of Rs.
80 (equivalent payable on cash in any convertible foreign currency) must be
deposited at the Nepal Rastra Bank, Thapathali, Kathmandu. A copy of
documents must be submitted to the Ministry of Tourism,
Section, located at Tripureshwor behind the Dashrath Stadium. This process
could be completed in a day, except on Friday and other half-working days.
Normally, your agent does this work for you.
trekking agents and river outfitters who operate river trips in Nepal. These
outfitters could be approached in two ways: one way is through your local agent
and the other is to make a direct contact with any of the outfitters after your
If you have a package tour which does not include a river trip, you can still
book one after your arrival in Nepal. If you are doing so, please make sure that
the river outfitter you are going to deal with is a registered one. The
registered river outfitters are recommended because they possess legal
The river outfitter normally provides you with an inclusive trip which
includes river permit fee, all meals during the trip, all river equipment (such
as inflatable rubber raft, life-vest, water proof camera container, water-proof
day bag), both way transportation, all camping equipment such as tent, sleeping
bag, mattresses, and so on.
Day on the River
Normally the first day of a river trip begins early morning around 7 a.m.
You are driven to the put-in point of the river. Depending upon the distance
between Kathmandu and the put-in point, the drive can take from a couple of
hours to over 4 hours. This is the situation if you choose between the Trishuli
and the Sunkoshi. A river trip on any other river requires a longer drive or a
flight plus drive and even a trek in some cases.
If you start at 7 a.m. and the driver drops you at the put-in point exactly
after three hours, rafting is likely to begin around 11 a.m. After you reach the
put-in point, a safety talk takes place along with the inflating of the rubber
rafts and organizing other river equipment by river crew.
The life-vest must be worn all the time while on the river, irrespective of
whether you are hitting a major rapid or running a flat water section. A
protective helmet is suggested if you are running a high class rapid.
Frequently the river outfitter provides the option between an oar and a
paddle boat. Kayaking is another option. Normally the kayakers bring their own
kayaks. There are outfitters who provide with a kayak, however. If your option
is the paddle boat, then you are instructed to properly use the paddle either
during the safety talk or before sailing off. If you are of participative
nature, then your choice would be paddling. Paddling is more challenging and
thrilling. The paddle boat requires well coordinated team effort between the
paddlers and river guide who stays at the back and plays his paddle in the role
of the steering wheel of a car. The responsibility of the participants is to
follow his instruction in a proper manner. The thrilling moment for a peddler is
while hitting a rapid.
It is usual that you get wet whether you hit a rapid or not within half an
hour after sailing starts. In an oar boat, the river guide alone rows lightly
and slowly on the flat water and penetratedly and boldly while hitting a rapid.
The oar boat gives you an opportunity to observe the surroundings.
As for meals, the river outfitter normally provides all meals during the trip
days except for the breakfast of the first day.
Clothing and Personal Items
For a Day Trip - During Autumn (Mid-September through November) and Spring
» Shorts or light cotton pants
» Tennis shoes/sneakers
» Swim suit
» Sun hat
» Sun goggles with string
» Suntan lotion
» Sun hat
Complete change of clothes includes shoes for the return drive to
For two days or more, in addition to the above, you are advised to carry
extra T shirts, shorts, an extra pair of dry shoes, trousers and a light wool
For a Day Trip - During Winter (December through February)
» Warm shirts/sweat shirts or T shirts
» Wind proof jacket and pants
» Tennis shoes/sneakers
Complete change of clothes, includes shoes for the return drive to
For a trip involving two days or more, you are advised to carry warm shirts,
T shirts, heavy woolen sweater, extra pair of dry shoes and trousers in addition
to the above items.
You can also carry reading materials, specific medication if required,
camera, binoculars, film, pocket knife and flashlight.
Help Clean the Rivers and Beaches
Growth in the number of rafters over the years has put some strain on the
environment of the rivers and beaches. A little thought and action is required
to conserve the river environment. The river outfitters and the rafters can play
a role in the conservation by burning down such items as toilet paper, left over
food etc. Undisposable items such as tin cans, bottles, could be handed out to
the local villagers who could use them for their domestic purpose. While digging
a toilet pit, make sure that it is deep enough. Please do not throw any thing
about the river. If you care the river, it will be with you forever nice and