Nepal has a reputation for being one of the best places in the world for rafting, with outstanding river journeys ranging from steep, adrenaline-charged mountain streams to classic big-volume wilderness expeditions. Warm water, a subtropical climate and huge white sandy beaches that are ideal for camping add further to the appeal.
When to Go
In general the best times for rafting and kayaking are September to early December, and March to early June.
March to May The summer season has long, hot days and lower water flows, which generally means the rapids are a grade lower than they are from September to November. The rivers rise again in May with the pre-monsoon storms and some snow-melt.
June to August Monsoon rains mean the rivers carry 10 times their low-water flows, and can flood with 60 to 80 times the low-water levels, making most rivers insanely difficult. Only parts of the Seti, Upper Sun Kosi and Trisuli are commercially run during the monsoon.
September to early October and May to June Rivers can be extremely high with monsoon run-off. Any expeditions attempted at this time require a very experienced rafting company with an intimate knowledge of the river and strong teams, as times of high flows are potentially the most dangerous times to be on a river.
Mid-October to November One of the most popular times to raft or kayak, with warm, settled weather and exciting runs.
December Many of the rivers become too cold to enjoy unless you have a wet-suit, and the days are short with the start of winter – the time to consider shorter trips.