Rafting in the River Seti Karnali

Rafting in the River Seti Karnali

Seti Karnali is called a beautiful and remote river. It has its source in far west Nepal among the Himalaya and flows south and south-east to finally flow into the lower Karnali. it flows though a remote valley far removed from kathmandu but it has road access and two airstrips at Dipayal and Chaiinpur. The river flows though jungle wilderness and plenty of wildlife.

The upper stretches of this river near Talkot is very steep but has a reasonable gradient from Deura downstream. Flowing through some steep gorges and forests, this river is known for excellent beaches for camping and exciting wildlife sightings. Even the mountains are visible in the distance making for a splendid experience. Some have called it the most beautiful river. Class III+ rapids are encountered on this river that can quite easily be tackled. Rafters have compared the Seti Karnali to the Bheri river but it's definitely mote remote and more sightings of wildlife which makes it special.

The Seti Karnali changes character as it goes along its route becoming big and bouncy resembling big water as it approaches the confluence with the Karnali. The river is a day's drive from Nepalgunj which can be reached by air in an hour. But there are other alternatives like flying into Dipayal or Chainpur. Rafting can begin at Deura, which is reached by trekking over a hill from Gopghat encountering beautiful scenery and views of the  peaks Api and Saipal which are the  source  of this enchanting river. Below the road bridge at Dipayal the big class 4+ rapid called ''les Assomoirs''  gives rafters a thrill. There after the river is Class III+ rapids. Along the way are some secluded beaches known as "Panther Beach'' and "Tiger Beach''. Some rafters have actually seen pugmarks of a tigress on the beach. Once the sauli village is crossed there are rapids at every bend. From here on the river journey is the same as the Karnali river trip. The valley's sides are steep often rising 500m up and they are forested. Along this stretch there are some fine beaches for camping. The river gradually gets bigger and then goes into a gorge after which it is Class III+ until the next class IV+ rapid. The river then  goes through various phases: tame   1 + with views of lOOm waterfalls that are amazing; there on the valley widens and the river is class 3+ with plenty  of fine beaches for camping.

The best time to go is from October to December or February to May.