Karnali River (Upper)

River Facts

Difficulty in Nov: 4 (5)
From: Sauli (Alt. 560m)
To: Chisapani (Alt. 195m)
Distance: 180 km (113 miles)
River Days: 7
From Kathmandu: 2 Days
Av. Gradient: 4 m/km (20 ft a mile)
Volume in Nov.: 300 cms (10,500 cfs)
Best Season: Nov-Dec, Mar-Apr


One of finest big volume rafting and kayaking trips in Nepal – spectacular is drains jungle-clad canyons, BIG white wate and abundant wildlife.

The River

The Karnali is Nepal’s longest and largest river and with its tributaries, it drains most of the Far West of Nepal – the ‘Wild West’ as many people call it. This bottom section of  the river definitely lives up to that name – the area that it flows through is wild and relatively unpopulated with some of the most pristine jungle scenery in Nepal, and abundant wildlife.
The rapids are also pretty wild, with the river building to its climax in these lower  canyons.  Shortly after the sharp bend in the river speeds up, and there are big rapids, one leading into another, almost continuously down to the Seti River. From the ‘Elbow” down it the Seti the gradient is 3m/km (15 ft a mile), but after here, the gradient eases, as the river winds through some magnificent unspoilt scenery, eventually emerging onto the plains and flowing through the Bardia National Park to joing the Ganges.

River Map

Please click on map to have larger view.

Karnali River (Upper) Map