sunkoshi rafting

Sun Kosi,
May 04, 2024
& October 12, 2024

Rafting the Sun Kosi, Nepal May/Sept 2024

Sun Kosi means River of Gold in the local language. Its origins start near Mount Shisha Pangma in Tibet before it runs eastward, slicing through Nepal and draining some of the water from the highest mountains on earth onto the plains of India. Described by many as one of the top 10 river trips in the world, for intermediate kayakers this is a brilliant river, at it’s best in medium to high flows.

The Sun Kosi River (especially post-monsoon in October, November) has some of the largest rapids Nepal has to offer. The white-knuckle ride, with rapids named Harkapur, Rhino Rock and Meat Grinder, is broken up with stretches of flat and huge white sandy beaches.

From the put in point at Dolalghat to the take out at Chatra, this large water volume river impresses any rafting or kayak enthusiast with relaxing canyons, refreshing waterfalls, interesting temples and beautiful beaches camps. It’s a must run river for all who want to get a good introduction to high volume rafting and kayaking in the mighty Himalayas..

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Meet and greet at the airport and transfer to hotel. Take a deep breath before embarking on the sights and sounds of bustling Kathmandu. Meet the others in the evening for a meal and a briefing on the adventure that lies ahead.

Day 2 : Have the day to explore the amazing city of Kathmandu with all its smells and senses.
Take a taxi or rickshaw to visit some of the incredible temples and squares taking in some of the culture that makes this capital city one of the most vibrant you ever visited. At 6pm we will have a pre-departure briefing then head off for a meal together.

Day 3 : We have an early breakfast before we board our private bus to head northwards out of the Kathmandu Valley to our put in point just below the small town of Dolalghat .Here we unload all of the gear, pack it into dry bags and barrels, and suit up ourselves. After lunch and a safety briefing we start our river journey down the Sunkosi, stopping around 3 pm to have our first of many riverside camps.

Days 4 – 9 : We start ticking off some of the 270kms of this river, with every day having something different in stall. The days are filled with all sorts of fun, be it huge rapid we have to scout and run or just washing under a waterfall fall.At night we camp on huge white sandy beaches and with a bit of luck sit around great drift wood fires and tell the yarns of what happened through the day. We make some friendships that could last a lifetime over sipping warm rum punch or a beer or what ever you desire.Most of the rapids on the Sun Kosi are formed by monsoon debris brought in by side streams and loose rockfall. These rapids change from year to year, depending on the severity of the monsoon rains. One night we camp above a big rapid named Harkapur 2. It is filled with massive boulders that constrict the water causing huge holes and pour over ledges. We can scout and see Harkapur 2 while setting up camp for the evening. The nights discussion on how big it is will already sets the mood for the next day! A few kilometers downstream we meet the famous Dudh Kosi river. The Dudh Kosi is a lot cooler than the Sun Kosi and generally the water is a more emerald colour, changing the shade of the river altogether. As the days progress we get into the jungle corridor and hit rapids like Jaws, the Big Dipper and Rhino Rock, before we float out to the confluence of the Tamur. It is where we have our last riverside camp and chance to reflect on what we have just done.

Day 10 : It’s the day were we strap on the gear loosely and float towards Chatra, our take out point. On the way we stop at one of Nepal’s oldest Hindu temples. We explore the surrounding temple grounds and maybe get some meet a holy man or chat with some beautiful coloured sari clothed women.Then we load up again and float through one more wave train and then the mountains and the hills just disappear as we enter the flats of Nepal Terai. After stripping down the rafts and loading the bus we venture into the town of Chatra to visit our favourite Dahl Bhat shop, tuck into a great meal and a few cold beers and drinks before we either head to the airport for our 40 min flight back to Kathmandu or take the bus overland arriving mid morning the next day.

Day 11 :  After we washed the sand out of our hair we can do some last minute shopping in Thamel, a great place to pick up outdoor gear, unique presents and/or something special for you own house like a thangka (Buddhist painting), rugs etc. We meet again to have dinner at one of the many great places to eat and thank the Nepali guides who have looked after us and made the trip memorable, before heading out for some late night drinks at one of the many bars.Day 12 Transfer to airport and head back home or to your next destination.

Day 10- 11 : (Optional extension)On the way back you might want to choose to stop off at Chitwan National park to ride an elephant, spot rhinos, crocs, amazing birdlife and if you are lucky a tiger!!Watching the sunset over the river with a cool beverage in hand is a good way to relax for a couple of days before heading home. There are different ranges of accommodation so please ask for prices.River facts (if you want to add river facts you need to make that for all rivers to keep the site consistent)

Difficulty: 4 – (4+)

From: Dolalghat to Chahara

Distance: 270Km

River Days: 8

Grade: 10 ft per mile

Best Season: Sept. – Oct.

Min. Group: 6 persons

Dates and Prices

May 5th 2024
$1200 bus back
Flight back option $150 extra

Price includes: Two nights accommodation in Kathmandu, airport transfers, all meals on the trip, use of dry bags, tent, helmet, paddle and life jacket.,

Price excludes: flights to and from Kathmandu, visas, all meals and drinks in Kathmandu, all drinks on the river except water, tea and coffee, all personal gear including sleeping bags, mats and kayaks (can be rented), insurance, sightseeing and other activities.

What to bring?

  • A pair of river shorts or swimming costume.
  • A pair of Chacos or similar sandals. Trainers are also okay.
  • Long sleeved shirt to wear under your life jacket.
  • A baseball cap for under the helmet to keep sun off.
  • Wide brimmed sunhat.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Chums for fastening your sunglasses to your head.
  • Nalgene or similar water bottle.
  • Carabiner for fastening water bottle to your boat.
  • Thermal Top Medium weight – Heavyweight Capilene or polypropylene is the best.
  • Waterproof sunscreen and lip balm SPF15 minimum
  • Lightweight long trousers.
  • Lightweight long Sleeved shirt.
  • Fleece jacket.
  • Down jacket
  • Ladies should bring a long skirt or sarong to cover your legs whilst in the company of locals.
  • Underwear.
  • Glasses or Contact lenses. Disposable lenses are ideal.
  • Toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap and shampoo.
  • Forget the cosmetics and hair dryer! But we do suggest moisturizer.
  • Hand wipes
  • A 3-season sleeping bag and thermarest sleeping mat
  • Travel Pillow.
  • Small pack towel.
  • Headlamp or head torch and spare batteries.
  • Shoes or boots for the trek.
  • Insect Repellent.
  • Any medication you may be taking.

Optional Items

  • Your favourite book or a journal for recording your river memories.
  • Sketchpad.
  • Photographic or video equipment. We recommend bringing your own waterproof casing and a cleaning kit as sand gets everywhere. Bring a spare memory card or plenty of film. Also bring spare batteries for your camera.
  • Waterproof disposable for the “action” on the raft shots.
  • Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman.
  • An iPod or other music preferences. We have speakers.

Personal Spending

  • The only money that you need to bring is for meals in town, souvenirs, DVD, personal items and the beer kitty for the raft trip if you drink. Please remember that many of the countries we visit do offer Credit Card and ATM facilities and for a small charge you can withdraw cash either from your account or Credit Card for convenience.
  • If you wish to pass on a gratuity to your guide we leave this entirely up to you.
  • Basically, we advise you to keep things as light as possible, without skimping on the essentials.

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