RaftingChallenging, Moderate

Sun Kosi River Expedition

Based on 5 Reviews
US$ 950 $1250

Sun Kosi is one of the 10th best whitewater rafting rivers in the world. Big Volum River with some big rapids’ warm water, beautiful scenery, cultural interaction, and camping makes this a classic multi-day river trip. A great trip for intermediate and advanced kayakers. At its best in medium to high flows.

Sun Kosi means “River of Gold” – perhaps named after the gold that is sometimes panned from the river gravels; alternatively, it refers to the orange color of the water in the monsoon when it is thick with alluvial silt. The river rises near Tibet and is joined by Bhote Kosi just downstream from Barahabise. Navigate Outdoor’s Sun Kosi river expedition starts at Dolalghat navigate some of the biggest and most challenging fun rapids, and finish our  Sun Kosi river expedition at the Chatara, closer to Dharan city. WE paddle on the Sun Kosi River for about 270km 7 days in the high water in September, 8 to 9 days in October, and Nov – December it takes a minimum of 9-10 river days because of water flow and upstream head wind.

The Sun Kosi River flows near Kathmandu to eastern Nepal Nort -west to South – East leaving a huge fertile valley where people live and cultivate grow maze, rice, wheat, and many other crops. Sun Kosi River is one of Nepal’s whitewater rafting destinations many people have been paddling through this river since the early 70s – 80s. Sun Kosi watershed is mainly generated by Nepal’s Himalayan glacier and streams from Ganesh Himal east to Kanchenjunga mountains it has the biggest fresh water and glacier and big range in Nepal. It forms the watershed for most of eastern Nepal and gathering strength from tributaries draining the highest mountains in the world it emerges onto the northern plains of India where it joins the River Ganges to the Bay of Bengal.

Sun Kosi is a large volume river where most of the major rapids are formed by monsoon debris brought in by side streams and loose rock fall so the rapids change from year to year depending on the severity of the monsoon. One of the nice things about the Sun Kosi River is that, except for a few big rapids like Harkapur –II ( that can be walked around if wanted) rest of the rapids are runnable and fun and challenging. Navigate Outdoor always proactively practices risk assessment & management we’ve our system, and our guides are always informed and transparent about the river and other subjective factors that can be unpleasant experiences for anybody. We do land scout rapids and discuss making appropriate decisions with our team & clients before we run them like; No Exit grade 3, Harkapur –II grade 4+/ 5, Jaws grade 4; Rhino Rock grade 4, and Big Dipper grade 3-4. Several rapids can flip your raft anytime anywhere some of the wire pools make your raft flip which is on the flat water section in between the jungle corridor and the waterfall beach.

During the low flows will be perfect for those who want to learn guidance and progression on Kayaking. Navigate Outdoor organizes guide school/ kayaking learning opportunities for the adventure enthusiastic every year please contact us at info@navigateoutdoor.com  for more details and dates.

Depending on your time and interest we can always run two extra days on the lower Tamor River which is a perfect little smaller-volume river with continuous class 3-4 rapids and some land scout rapids “Ashram” and take out the same place of sun Kosi river. Tamor River comes from Kanchenjunga mountain the world’s 3rd largest mountain.

  • Destination:Nepal
  • Trip Grade:Challenging, Moderate
  • Max Elevation:2m/km(10ft a mile)
  • Total Duration:8 - 12 Days
  • Best Time:April - May & Oct- Nov

The brief itinerary of High water/ big water rafting

Day 01: Our Navigate outdoor staff will be at the airport to pick up and transfer to the hotel, we will brief you about the trip logistics, and other plans at your hotel it can be at our office too or over the dinner time.

Day 02: Half day sightseeing around the Kathmandu and preparation for your expedition i.e. packing and organizing your personal items/clothing and gear for the trip.

Day 03: After breakfast our guides/river crew will come and meet you at the hotel help to load luggage and head to the River it will take 2 ½ hours, when we reached at the put-in unload vehicle, pump rafts, and prepared for rafting expedition it will take quite long time, we will have lunch, safety brief/risk management brief before start raft. Reach the campsites around 3:30 PM - 4 PM, at the camp we will be teaching you how to pitch tent, tarps, and camp set up so we will follow every day when we reached the camp.

Day 04: Tea/Coffee at 6:30 am ready on the table you can serve as you like, after breakfast we start packing up, and load rafts and start rafting not later than 10 AM, we will stop around 12 noon and enjoy our lovely lunch prep by our guides. We will stop and scout some rapids depending on water flow one or two maximum land scout and continue paddle until 3 - 3:30 PM and camp at the Tamba Kosi river confluence. Set up camp, after dinner hangs out around the campfire and share the experiences, and highlight of the day.

Day 05: We will follow the same routine as above: We will not stops and scout any rapids from the land but we will still scout from raft as we float in the rapids we have some really fun and big waves rapids Punch Judy grade 3-4, Pre anxiety 3, high anxiety and camp on the River Right. Long day on the water.

Day 06: We will follow the same routine as above: depending on the water level or the situation, we will scout one of the biggest rapids Harkapur –II from river right and discuss with crew and our team and make group decision either running or portaging, whatever decision we make it will be very fair and transparent make sure everybody fitting. We will stop at the Dhudh Kosi river confluence and have lunch and continue to the camp at Raighat.

Day 07: we will follow the same routine as above: we will stop twice and scout two rapids first one is Jaws grade 4 and the second one is death man eddy (the biggest eddy on the river and it collect so much debris that’s its call death man eddy) and camp just below the Raighat bridge.

Day 08: we will follow the same routine as above: Star with big rapids Rhino Rock grade 4 and Jungle corridor rapids 4 rapids continuous one after other about 10km from Rhino Rock rapids after all this rapids we stop on river left to hike up to the waterfall and have lunch same area it’s a beautiful water I have ever seen on my rafting trip ever. Paddle about 2 hours to the campsite there is also a water you can hike and enjoy the beauty.

Day 09: Layover day wake up late and enjoy the whole day chilling out at the camp, or day hike to the village.

Day 10: Now we will follow the same routine as the previous day, will be rafting and hitting some of the big friendly waves rapids reach the Tamar River confluence and camp.

Day 11: We will start little earlier than our normal schedule because we want to reach at the take out not later than 10:00 AM with 30 minutes stop at the Baraha Temple area, once we reach the take out there will be the lot happening including carrying some heavy gear, and personal care. After pack and load on the vehicle drive 5 minutes for the lunch, and drive 2 hours to the Biratnagar airport and fly to Kathmandu and transfer to the hotel, our river crew they will traveling the gear and reaching at the Kathmandu next morning.

Day 12: Our crew will be reaching Kathmandu and finishing up gear clean up, and put away for the next expedition and get ready to meet with the group around 6 PM for the Post dinner and celebration of the successes.

On the river, we will be a paddle in averages 4- 5 to hours, and serve a variety of food Nepali, Indian, Italian; and many more Lunch will serve cold but breakfast and dinner will be hot with unlimited hot drinks at the camp whole day and morning and evening.

Day 13:
Extra day in Kathmandu for your personal shopping and sightseeing Bhaktapur(optional).

Day 14: Fly to your next destination, transfer to the airport.


Note Our river crew export on the cooking and all round experiences. Complimentary alcohol: Rum punch every night on the camp and drinks disk etc.

Cost Includes

  • All meals on rafting expedition.
  • Domestic flight tickets Biratnagar - Kathmandu.
  • State-of-the-art rafting equipment, all the rafts NRS brand and branding PFDs (NRS), Helmet Pro-tech, Wetsuits or paddle jackets for each client.
  • Experienced world-class rafting and safety kayaker and first-aid trained crew.
  • Comprehensive group medical kit with some emergency med, trauma kits, river-related meds.
  • All essential camping equipment, Tents, cooking utensil, sleeping bags, sleeping mat, dry bags expedition big size 100ltr capacity sharing and one small day dry bag.
  • Rafting permits and rafting fees.
  • Clean treated drinking water (iodine/ chlorine) for both clean dishes and veg.
  • Meals Dinner, Breakfast, and Lunch with hot drinks, tea coffee, and hot chocolate.
  • 5-night hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast on twin/double occupancy standard rooms.
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu with the tour guide and private vehicle.
  • Airport picks up and drops as needed.

Cost Excludes

  • International flight tickets, visa fee, baggage fee.
  • Lunch and dinner while you are in Kathmandu.
  • Personal/health / travel/ adventure insurance.
  • Personal clothing for your trips.
  • Extra nights in Kathmandu/hotel & lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Emergency evacuation fees and charges.
  • Guide/crew tip.
  • All bottle beverages i.e. coke/soda, beer/alcohol/ mineral water etc.

Cost and Dates

Trip Start Date Trip End Date Price Availability Book
7th September, 2024 15th September, 2024 US$1150 Available Book Now
18th September, 2024 26th September, 2024 US$1150 Available Book Now
2nd October, 2024 10th October, 2024 US$1150 Available Book Now
16th October, 2024 24th October, 2024 US$1150 Available Book Now
    Landing in Nepal’s only International airport Kathmandu walk two minutes to immigration get ready for your online  visa application, having Passport, Passport size picture, change US Dollar saves your time in visa processing in the immigration. A long flight journey arriving in Nepal, keeping low expectations some delay in the baggage handling and a long line make your journey a little bit curious  want to get out of the crowd, and have a good rest in the hotel. While you walking outside of immigration, baggage claim don’t forget to buy (Nepal Telecom & Ncell) prepaid Sim card  takes a few minutes to sign approve, it makes your tour & travel vacation easier and stress free. Kathmandu valley is very small mountain valley surrounded by mountains, have interesting history, culture, diverse human culture in small area. Prepaid taxi makes your life easier no need to deal with taxi driver at the arrival, provide your information where you staying how many people are sharing transport they’ll easily accommodate your interest.       Booking Luxurious Hotel, Budge Hotels, and guesthouses you can book online or ask your agency they will book and simply add in your tour budget. Popular tourist destination is Thamel, you can get all the above accommodation options, world’s test, and fun evening walk, check local handicraft shops, small local restaurant and Nepalese cuisine. Kathmandu is worth to spend 2-3 days historic sites tour vacation would gives you glimpse of Nepalese culture, tradition and diversify of people. Bhaktapur is smallest district in Nepal with many beautiful historic places in the planet, Bhaktapur Durbar Square area, Changu Narayan, Nagarkot mountain view point short hike to Changu Narayan Temple. Staying overnight at Bhaktapur Durbar Square area great way to see night life of local people peace and Boddhanath Temple, Soyambhunath temple, Baantapur Durbar Square, Patna Durbar Square, and Pashupatinath temple all of them are UNESCO heritage sites, you can easily spent day or two even more time to check and take piture and learn Nepali culture and tradition with local guide at the sites. You can easily arrange tour guide from your hotel, and travel agency, worth to have a licensed tour leader with agency cost around $35 - $50 per day.       After your few days tour vacation, day hiking in Kathmandu valley your journey makes a lot easier to travel other part of Nepal. Your budget and time available there are many different adventure activities can do around Kathmandu, hiking Shivpuri National Forest a minute away from your hotel, climber can easily spent a few days climb limestone natural, bolted rock climbing, and indoor climbing in Thamel Kathmandu. For rafter, water adventure lover you can easily do day whitewater rafting two hours away from Kathmandu and enjoy the Himalayan Rivers and local outfit. There are many options in the close by extreme adventure, luxurious overnight stay in the resort, cultural tour and journey in Kathmandu. Nepal’s is most popular destination for trekking, mountain climbing along with whitewater expedition, cultural city tour and world heritage sightseeing. Have a great tour vacation and adventure journey in Nepal. Chura Mani Aryal www.navigateoutdoor.com

Sam & Jenn Nicholson Montana USA

Mani; Clearly you are chosen & Choose across the globe to make a lasting impact on our children. Your strength, calmness, guidance/wisdom, and patience are so evident. We will forever be grateful for the effort + Impact that you have made on our son. Thank you from our bottom of our hearts for this. It’s unbelievable. Peace & love to you forever. Sam & Jenn Nicholson Montana USA 2018.

Journeying a river: Jai Karnali, January 2020

How did river Ganga come to be?

Mythology says that there was a noble King who requested that Ganga descend from heaven to bless humanity and quench the thirst of the land and its people.
Pleased to shower the world with blessings, Ganga rushed down with such gusto that people feared that all that came in the way would be washed away. The God Shiva came to the rescue and stopped the momentum of the water with his long thick long hair. Because of this, Ganga flowed smoothly and satiated the thirst of all beings and showered blessings on the land with each drop of precious water.
Ecologists interpret this myth as a metaphor- Shiva’s thick long hair is synonymous with dense jungles that help check the floods and stop the land from washing away as the river accelerates down the slopes from the melting glaciers.

Rafting down the river Karnali in Western Nepal last month, it felt as if the myth was true! In our group of 11 people were some seasoned sailors, kayakers, river guides, and rafting experts, but a few like me had never been on a raft. I am also not a strong swimmer; so, it was an act of faith and surrender to the river and expertise of our leader Mani, and river rafting expert Manu to go on the trip.
We put the rafts in the river after about 4 hours drive up the town of Surkhet at an altitude of about 800 m. The rafts and the equipment, including the tents and rations, were supplied with the generous support of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) in the States.

This expedition was conceptualized and planned by Ravi, NOLS India Programmed Director, and Mani ( #navigateoutdoor Nepal) NOLS senior Instructor and who co-led the expedition. The two kayakers, Ganesh and Nanu Kayaks and were in the tumultuous waters of Karnali watching and guiding our rafts at each and every rapid that came along. They were plenty of challenges to varying degrees!

For the next seven days we were out on the river, and camping at some of the most beautiful banks. We witnessed a vast expanse of pristine natural habitats along the way both on land and in the waters. We parked the rafts often to take a walk over to beautiful villages and bought fresh vegetables, fish, milk and yogurt, etc. from the villagers. We savored some delicious meals in cottage eateries that you can find along the traditional walking routes of the shepherds, traders, and village folk, that connect the plains with the high Himal region in the kingdom of Nepal and beyond on the Tibetan plateau. The river crisscrossed some of the most wonderfully crafted hanging bridges on these routes as well.

We saw how the simple and rich life of fishing communities sustainably harvest the bounty of fish from the river. They fish in their dug up canoes made from tree trunks. The fish from Karnali is famous across the region and fetches amongst the highest price in Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu. High value and low volume seem to be the guiding factor – it can be 2-4 days walk to sell and transport the fish, so, the fish is dried or smoked creating a very special, niche type of produce from the villages along Karnali.
Agriculture and livestock rearing is still flourishing in the villages. It was amazing to see some of the most appropriately designed dehusking, pounding, and winnowing equipment still in use – that has perhaps not changed in the last thousand years.

It is indeed a living culture that uses and maintains the landscape, in harmony with nature, using indigenous knowledge to enhance biodiversity and what we call ecosystem services. Our faith in the concept of the Gross National Happiness index was further strengthened. The common Human Development indices merely emphasize infrastructure and access to institutions such as hospitals and schools- but there is so much to be taken into account for true sustainability. While the intent is not to romanticize the old, biocultural heritage, the wisdom of the old seems to be working harmoniously and should well complement human development in a more meaningful way.
Some of the big questions being discussed in conferences and seminars across the world could be answered in a much more eco-friendly and happy way by experiencing the life and values of the community here and of other indigenous peoples across the world.

The modern idea of development as highly individualistic has become increasingly crippled with outdated notions of competition, rather than collaboration, also creating massive disparities in income and consumption of natural resources.
We could learn from the communities here, and take lessons from the past into the future: the dignity of physical work, interdependence, and interconnectedness are three principles that need to be central to human endeavor- there is no sustainability without equity and dignity.

Gradually, we descended down with the flow of the river, as it slowly calmed down in the Terai region. It’s a rich habitat for tigers, rhinoceroses, elephants, and another charismatic megafauna. The very sight of these deep jungles invokes awe. We got off the banks of the mighty Karnali at the little town of Chiso Pani.

We deflated the rafts, packed the gear, washed, and rushed to one of the many restaurants in this little town. Some of us relished the delicious fish from Karnali to their heart's content! For others like me, the restaurant served fabulous fresh greens with dal-bhat; as they say in Nepal “Dal Bhat power, 24 hours!”

May the river Karnali have a long life and continue to bless humanity as the King had anticipated in the ancient times. May present-day leaders start to wake up to the wisdom in conservation and sustainable utilization of the river, rather than damning it and threatening the sheer existence of these communities. May we all learn from the life of the people here; all the wonderful ways to weave a close-knit community and flourish together with nature.

Thanks for the whole team Chura Mani Aryal, Manohar, Nanu and Ganesh river experts, and beautiful Karnali River, and people from the river corridor.

Ajay Rastogi

Majkhali India

Ajay Rastogi,Majhkhali India

"I want to thank you and your guides and employees again for the wonderful memories I have of the Manaslu trek and the lovely side trip into the Tsum Valley. The scenery and experiences were great and I especially loved the variety of forests, the wildlife, and of course the incomparable mountain scenery. I want to add a special thank you to you for the special care you gave me when my foot and leg became very swollen. Your help and knowledge allowed me to complete the trek with minimal discomfort. I still experience the problem to a minor degree but still, look forward to further adventurous travel when the situation allows in the future. Conversations with you about Nepalese history were also an enjoyable and informative aspect of the trek".

I would like to thank Navigate Outdoor for organizing such a joyful and safe trip to the Tsum and Manaslu region. I'd like to thank Mani and his entire team to make our trip such memorable and extra care to all of us on the trekking. I really enjoyed having my own personal time exploring the side valley taking pictures and interact with local people on the trail. Mani is an experienced leader who allows space while trekking. He helped, and always available for other trekkers they need medical attention. I saw him support others and interact with them in a really professional way. I appreciated and enjoyed the 24 days trekking in the Tsum valley and Manaslu round trekking.

Nick Green Australia 2018

Nick Green,Australia


I appreciate your attitude "Anyway life comes first and business comes second and other things." I can see you are really living that motto when you tell us of the wonderful time you are having with your family.

Dane, and I really enjoyed the trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary. While I have been trekking in the Himalayas a number of times it was nice to do a trek with my son. Dane was very impressed to see the high mountains. Thanks for organizing Annapurna Base Camp trekking for me and my son Dane. Mani, I really appreciated sharing your previous experiences and telling stories about your own life and adventure career. We'll do another trip in the future. We'll share our experiences with our friends and recommended Navigate Outdoor. I can't express the joyful moment I had on the Annapurna Base camp trip you with, and felt 100% safe, thanks for taking care of us in the trekking.

Malcolm and Dane Dwyer Australia 2019

Mal & Dane,Australia

Karnali River Experience.

They say that the journey is better than the destination. That all the experiences along the way are like an accumulation of rocks along a riverbed. This story is another stone in a river.

I have known Mani Aryal for several years, meeting him in the United States, in the state of Utah. Mani and I were both on a work contract to take a group of students down Desolation & Gray Canyon on the Green River. After spending three weeks with Mani I knew that I made a paddling adventure buddy and that he would be a person that I actively stay in contact with. The years have a way of floating by with adventure and intentions. Every time I spoke to Mani he persistently invited me to Kathmandu to see his home and to float the rivers. Three years after saying “no”, I finally could say “maybe”.

Kathmandu is large in legend and small in structure. The shuttle ride from the airport is an example of whitewater: dodging potholes, must-make moves, and pure adrenaline. It’s best not to watch.

There are two options to get to the river when signing up for a Karnali River Expedition trip: 1) take the plane or 2) ride with the guides and gear on public transport. I was on a tight budget, so option #2 was the only way to go. Putting together a multiday river trip is always difficult, especially when you start combining buses, shuttles, and rendezvous. The first leg of the journey was via public transportation to Koholpur. The guides and I, hanging out at the main bus depot, loading all of the gear we would need for the next 12 days was a new experience indeed.

You see a lot of different people and livestock on the long-distance buses. Chickens and goats are not uncommon. If a woman is standing with a baby, it’s a norm to hand a baby to you, a seated passenger, to hold the child in order to give her a break.

The second half of the shuttle was a private bus to the put-in, the small village of Dungeshor that is located straight down a canyon. The route our bus driver picked was shorter to save fuel but longer because of road conditions. Our bus rocked, creaked and moaned down the road for 8 hours only to cover 85km. “Singletrack” may be a better description than “road” as there were only inches to spare between rock walls and open air.

 Sideswiping other buses, scouting rock gardens, and pushing our transport were common occurrences that quickly become norms. We reached Dungeshor after 10 pm to hastily inhale some food and beer from a generous restaurant owner who opened his doors after hours. Afterward, we set up our tents on the riverbank to welcome a solid, unwavering piece of ground to usher in some sleep.

The next morning, the guides were in their prime, having already started getting breakfast ready for everyone. Mani was no exception, greeting me with a great, white smile and a coffee to help orient my mind back to my body. The biggest surprise was all of the children hanging about camp. We were all warned not to leave our gear unattended. Later that day, I realized a carabineer walked off to hang out with the children. The guides seemed to include me that much more by laughing and sharing stories of gear gone lost.

Throughout the six days, Mani and his guides were exceptional hosts. It seemed as if they never stopped moving. Always quick to put a coffee in your hand, help you set up your campsite, or to offer a meal. Every morning they would barter with local fishermen to add an extra flair to the menu. On the water, I felt safe and involved in risk management. All ideas were heard until a plan formed to be implemented with everyone on board. The standard followed by Mani was professional.

Six months after this trip, the strongest memories I have are of traveling to and from the river. Once I had oars in my hand and a blue sky above me I knew who I was and how I got there.

The total trip duration from Kathmandu to Kathmandu was 10 days included the bus journey.

 Dan Colorado USA.

Thank you, Mani. I look forward to our next adventure.

Daniel Ives

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