Tuesday, 3 July 2012 3:05 PM
If you are searching for a holiday destination that enables you to experience some adrenalin-pumping outdoor activities, Nepal ticks all the right boxes. Although it's most famous for its staggeringly high mountains, the country is also a great place for white water rafting.
Embark on a Nepal rafting holiday and you'll get to negotiate your way through raging rapids while taking in views of the country's stunning landscape. Although some waterways contain Grade 5+ rapids – that are only suitable for highly experienced rafters – there are plenty of gentler sections that are perfect for novices, so there should be something for everyone, regardless of your skill level.
As it's possible to go rafting all year round, though early spring and autumn are generally considered to be the best seasons, you can be confident of enjoying amazing action on the water at any time of year.
One of the most popular waterways for the activity is the Seti River. Located around 160 km west of Kathmandu, the nation's bustling capital city, the river features Grade 5 rapids as you make your way to the Dev Ghat pilgrimage site, which marks the point where the Seti and Trishuli rivers meet.
Although it contains plenty of challenges for experienced rafters, the waterway also has quieter stretches and is regarded as one of the most accessible rivers in all of Nepal, so it's also popular among beginners. After reaching the river's end, you can head to the nearby Chitwan National Park to indulge in even more water-based activities, including paddling along quiet rivers in a traditional dug-out canoe.
The reserve also contains a wealth of exotic wildlife, including bison, crocodiles and tigers. Ornithologists will be in their element, as the park is home to over 500 species of birds.
The River Trishuli, meanwhile, features a number of Grade 3+ areas and so can provide a stern challenge to experienced rafters, in addition to novices. As it's close to Kathmandu, it can be easily reached within a few hours of touching down at the airport.
Like the Seti, once you have come to the end of Trishuli you can visit the Chitwan National Park. As well as keeping an eye out for rare and endangered wildlife, you can go on jungle walks and meet indigenous Tharu villagers.
Heading to Sun Kosi, which is also known as Sun Koshi, will provide you the opportunity to experience fantastic white water rafting. In fact, it's often regarded as one of the top ten rivers in the world for the pastime and as it stretches for 270 km you ought to expect to experience some challenging, yet enthralling, conditions as you paddle. Meat Grinder, Big Dipper and High Anxiety are just some the aptly-named rapids you can expect to find here, while Jungle Corridor will see you steer through a jungle-filled rock canyon.
Although large stretches of Sun Kosi feature raging rapids, there will be plenty of opportunity to relax a little too. As you pass along the river, you can take in amazing views of the Mahabharat mountain range before pulling up on to one of the white sandy beaches to camp. Here, you can bask in the Nepalese sun and play games with your fellow holidaymakers before settling into your tent for the night.