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Lisa Owen

nepal rapids

When you think of Nepal, I bet you don’t think of whitewater rafting! Nope, neither did I, but turns out the Trishuli River – located between the Nepali capital of Kathmandu and the trekking gateway of Pokhara - is a first-rate rafting destination.

Together with nine others on an organised tour, I spent two days riding the rapids of the Trishuli River and getting a glimpse of the Nepali countryside. My Nepal rafting adventure started from Kathmandu. We wound down bumpy and narrow mountain roads through the Kathmandu Valley to the starting point, which was located about halfway to Pokhara.


We donned our wetsuits,  helmets and lifejackets, listened to a safety briefing, and then boarded blue inflatable rafts in groups of six for our first day of rafting down the river. The first day was an easy introduction to whitewater rafting, with only small rapids. Their names included Ladies Delight and Rock Garden. However, the highlight on this day was definitely the scenery. Our rafting guides told us about the area and village life in between instructions to paddle.

white water rafting

We passed little villages on green hillsides, sailed under picturesque suspension bridges, and waved hello to locals gathered along the riverside. Before dusk we arrived into our camp for the night – a permanent campground with a selection of traditional tents and glamping tents. The campground also had hot showers and flush toilets – very welcoming after being splashed by the cool river water all afternoon.

camp grounds

After a day of rafting, we were famished but not for long, with a delicious buffet dinner served to fill our bellies. Then we retreated to the campfire for a relaxing night keeping our hands warm, chatting with new found friends, and downing bottles of Everest beer and warm cups of tea. All that was missing was the marshmallows!

Our tour group was paired up to sleep in the two-person tents which sat right near the river bank. We woke to the sound of the river and some of us wandered down to do some rockhopping along the riverside while the sun rose. 

rafting in nepal

After a big breakfast we were back on the river for a second day of rafting. This was where it got more exciting with bigger and longer rapids with names like Monsoon and Upset. There were squeals from my all girl raft as we rode the rapids and the cold river water splashed over us. 


We came undone just once from a rapid by the name of Electricity. We got about halfway through the rapid, when one of waves overbalanced us and then the people on the right hand side slipped sideways and took the rest of us with them. Luckily we didn’t hit any rocks on our capsize, but I was under water for a few scary seconds before floating along the river until I was picked up by one of the other boats. That’s one way to go for a swim!

After we passed the rapids, some of us jumped in the cool water to cruise down the river before arriving at our lunch location of Kurintar, located on the sandy banks of the river. Then it was off to Pokhara for some exploring and shopping before the next adventure – 25 miles of trekking over the next four days. 

rapids in nepal

Things You Should Know:

  • There are many companies in Kathmandu offering whitewater rafting trips of varying grades. My adventure was part of a tour with Gecko Adventures but you can easily organise your trip when you arrive in Kathmandu.
  • Check that your rafting outfit will provide you with a wetsuit, helmet and lifejacket.
  • There’s a number of permanent campgrounds along the riverbanks to spend the night. Some provide hot showers but you’ll need to bring a sleeping bag.
  • The road between Kathmandu and Pokhara is seriously bumpy and winding. If you’re prone to car sickness, make sure you have some motion sickness tablets on hand. The public bus journey between the two takes about 7-8 hours depending on traffic and stops halfway for a lunch stop.


Lisa Owen is a pint-sized Australian following her dreams to travel to as many places as she can, and loves to share her photography, travel hacks, hiking adventures, and food discoveries along the way. At last count, she has travelled to more than 60 countries in between working in public relations and discovering hidden gems in Australia's great outdoors. Instagram: @thelittleadventurer Facebook: The Little Adventurer Australia

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the Policy Documents available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.