Rapidrunner Expeditions – The Best Rafting in Nepal, based in Pokhara


Best Rafting in Nepal

1. What do I need to bring?

You will need to bring your personal clothing and items for the overnight camp(s). Your luggage should be left in your room or in your accommodation’s luggage storage room.  Small valuable items (money, cards, passport, electronics, etc.) can be left in the locker at our shop on Lakeside.

2. Do I have to be able to swim?

There are no situations on our trips when you are required to swim in the river. However river sports present some risk and you may fall into the water accidentally during the trip. On all our trips you will be wearing a buoyancy aid (floatation jacket) which will hold your head above the water in the event that you fall out of the raft, ducky or kayak. However, some confidence in water is required as you will still need to be able to help the guide and move towards the raft or safety kayaker.

Our trips on the Lower Seti are suitable for less confident swimmers as this is a lower grade river with less opportunity to fall out of the raft.

3. What shoes should I wear?

Sports sandals such as Chaco, Teva, Source or Reef are ideal for rafting. Your sandals should be able to be firmly attached to your feet so that they do not slip or come off when swimming in water. We do not recommend that you go barefoot as river rocks, both on the banks and in the river flow can be very abrasive. Sandals will protect the soles of your feet. Cheap imitation sports sandals are freely available to buy in both Kathmandu and Pokhara.

4. I see you raft in the winter as well, will I be cold?

The temperature of the water varies according to the river, the time of year and the water level. You will be provided with a buoyancy aid and if necessary a spray-jacket/ dry top or wet-suit. These should keep you adequately warm and the ‘paddling action’ certainly keeps the blood flowing too!

5. Can I bring my camera?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your camera on the trips. All our trips will have a large communal dry box that you can place your camera in while on the river. We also have small size dry boxes and bags available for hire, if your would like to keep your camera with you in the raft. However, it should be remembered that river trips are a risky activity and we cannot guarantee your camera’s safety against damage especially when out of our dry boxes.

There will be a professional film of your trip available for purchase on DVD upon completion of your trip.

6. Can I wear sunglasses/ prescription glasses or contact lenses?

Yes you can, however we do recommend a sports strap or tie for glasses. Once again, remember we can’t guarantee the safety of your glasses, so if you can, bring cheap easily replaceable ones.

7. How many people in a raft?

The rafts are large enough to carry six people (plus cargo on expedition trips) and your rafting guide. If you’re traveling with friends or in a group, we can generally organise it so that you are together in the same raft.

8. When is the best Season to raft in Nepal?

Rafting is possible throughout the year in Nepal. Seasonal variations in temperature and rainfall affect the water levels in the rivers and determine which rivers are best run at any one time. Optimum seasons for running each river are indicated on the river trips page. General weather patterns are:

AUTUMN  (Late September – Late November)

Expect stable high pressure giving mainly clear skies, sunshine , warm to hot days and cool nights. Water levels are high after the monsoon so the rivers are fast lowing, sediment laden and warm.

Winter (Early December – mid February)

Expect stable high pressure giving mainly clear skies, sunshine, warm days and cold nights. Water levels are moderate but temperatures are lower. Dry tops and or wet-suits will be required on some rivers.

Spring  (Late February – Mid May)

Expect variable weather with clear mornings and overcast afternoons. Days and nights will be warm. Thunderstorms are frequent in the late afternoons. Water levels are at their lowest, but will rise through the season. Water temperatures are cool and splash tops and or wet-suits are required on most rivers.

Monsoon (Late May – Mid September)

Expect low pressure bringing frequent showers and storms. Days and nights are hot and humid (although each rain shower freshens the air) Water levels are high, rising throughout the season and rivers are fast flowing, sediment laden and warm.

9. How far is the rafting from Pokhara / Kathmandu?

The details of travel to each river can be found on the River Trips page. The closest rafting to Pokhara is the Upper Seti, only a 1/2 hour drive from Lakeside. The closest rafting to Kathmandu is the Trisuli River, 3 hours drive away.

10. What is the minimum/ maximum age?

The minimum age for rafting is 5 years, however, children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. We recommend that children under 12 only go on the lower grade rivers unless they have past experience of rafting.  There is no maximum age for rafting as long as you are active and able to swim.

Ultimately it will be at the discretion of the trip leader and guides as to who is appropriate to participate in the rafting trip.

11. Is there a minimum / maximum weight limit?

The minimum weight allowed is 30 kg (limited by our buoyancy aids – if you own or hire your own buoyancy aid we can make exceptions). There is no maximum weight limit, however the person must be able to fit our gear and safety equipment. We do have a number of extra large buoyancy aids, but we ask that you are physically fit and able to swim/stay calm in water.

12. What is the possibility of falling out the boat?

That often depends on the river levels but there is always a chance that participant’s may fall out of the raft.  You will be instructed by your guide how to brace yourself in the raft to minimize the chance of falling out, but if you do our guides are trained to deal with this and every river trip has a safety kayaker (1 per paddle raft). There is a full safety briefing before you commence your rafting trip explaining what to do if you fall out of the raft.

13. Will I get wet?

Yes! Even if you do not fall into the river you will get wet from splashes as the raft hits the river waves and descends rapids. White water rafting is a great activity for rainy days as you are going to be wet anyway!

14. Do I need to book this trip in advance?

Yes, we need to finalise numbers at 6 pm the night before departure. The earlier you book you trip the better, as during peak seasons, spaces can be limited.

15. What is the maximum number of people on a trip?

This can vary depending on season but we prefer to keep our groups small (below 18 people) as this is more environmentally friendly and allows people to get to know each other throughout the trip.  With prior notice it is possible for us to organise private trips for larger groups carrying up to 100 people on any one trip.

16. What is your cancellation policy?

We require 72 hours notice for cancellation to get a full refund, after that a portion of the cost is retained. For full details, please see our Terms & Conditions.

17. Can I go if I have a medical condition?

Some medical conditions may prohibit you from white water rafting but most will not. It is very important however, that if you do have a medical condition that you let staff know prior to rafting. If you require medication for your condition (e.g. asthma inhalers), you will need to bring it with you incase it is needed.

18. Can I raft if I am pregnant?

No. Company policy is that we don’t allow anyone who is pregnant on the river. There is a risk that a pregnant woman could sustain a blow to the abdomen either through falling out the raft, from a paddle from another client or someone falling against them.

19. What happens if it is raining or bad weather?

White water rafting will still go ahead if it is raining or bad weather, you are going to get wet anyway and the river is normally at its’ best then. We will not refund if you decide to cancel at short notice due to rain or bad weather.

20. Do I need to tip my guides?

Tipping your guides is totally at your discretion, but is a suitable way to show your appreciation if you feel that your guides have excelled at their jobs and made your trip enjoyable.  If you would like to give a tip please hand it to the trip leader who will divide it amongst the guide staff. If you would like to show appreciation to our trainee guides, please make a donation to the Rapidrunner Chance box in our shop.

21. Is there a guide in the raft with us?

Yes, every boat is captained by a fully qualified and certified rafting guide. On some occasions a trainee guide will also be in the raft to gain experience and learn from the qualified guide.

22. Are there toilets at the camps?

We dig pit toilets at each river camp and provide a shelter and toilet paper. As we leave each camp, the toilet pit is back-filled and any paper waste is burnt.

23. Do we sleep in tents or shelters?

We provide you with either 2-3 person dome tents or with 6 person raft shelters depending on your preference. We generally find that most people prefer the experience of sleeping under a raft shelter as this is unique to overnight rafting trips. Our guides call raft shelters the ‘million star hotel’ as you literally sleep under the canopy of the starry night.

24. What sort of food do you provide on expeditions?

We cook all our food from scratch using local organic ingredients wherever possible. All our guides and river staff are trained in campsite cookery and hygiene and they produce a fantastic selection of both Western and Nepalese dishes. All salad, vegetables and fruit are soaked in iodine water before use. Please ask in our shop to see a sample food menu for one of our expeditions.

25. Can you cook food for special diets?

Yes, we can cook freshly prepared food for any diet, but please let us know when you book your trip so that we can do the appropriate shopping. Please ask in our shop to see a sample food menu for one of our expeditions.