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Paddling the Karnali River

Listed under Kayaking in Nepal.

  • Photo of Paddling the Karnali River
  • Photo of Paddling the Karnali River
  • Photo of Paddling the Karnali River
  • Photo of Paddling the Karnali River
Photo of Paddling the Karnali River
Photo by flickr user filippo_jean
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Karnali is one of the best rafting trips of this length in the world, it’s a big volume river rushing from the Mount Kailas in the Himalayas on the top of the world through a series of steep gorges and thick jungle past beaches to camp on and remote villages to the open plains below. Most of the 400km run is Class three to five with only a couple of stretches needing porterage. The bottom half is totally different from the top, it’s flat and surrounded by gradually opening plains. The whole trip is about 180ks and will take you about eight days, but this is a remote region so you need to carry plenty of supplies. This is one of the least visited parts of Nepal so a good spot to see some of the region’s endangered wildlife. Mapping can be a bit of an issue here with the maps you’ll find on sale in Kathmandu more for show than practical use and on a river like this it’s important to know what’s ahead. As far as I know the best maps are Stamfords Tactical Pilotage Charts or else ask one of the local rafting companies. The flow is very dependant on rainfall, so check with local companies about that as well in case the class threes are upgraded and the fives too crazy to attempt.

Written by  chris.woodgers.

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