Adventure

An adventurer's delight, Nepal offers a plethora of outdoor activities, from paragliding near the mountains to waiting for the Royal Bengal tiger in Chitwan's wild. Adventure tourism in Nepal dates back to the early attempts to ascend world’s highest peak Mt. Everest fifty years ago. The 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest was celebrated recently amidst great fanfare and extravaganza. Renowned mountain summiteers Sir Edmund Hillary, Ms. Junko Tabei, Mr. Reinhold Messner, Mr. Appa Sherpa, Mr. Jamling Norgay Sherpa took part in the celebrations.

Trekking and mountain climbing are still the most popular sport among visitors. Rafting on white water mountain streams across the typical cross section of Nepal's geography is equally popular. Jungle safari in the Terai is preferred by visitors interested to see Nepal's rare varieties of animals and birds. Nepal also offers bungy jumping above the wild waters of River Bhote Koshi. Canyoning to explore the rugged and out-of -reach landscapes is another option at the site. Aerial activities include taking off in micro-light aircrafts or hot-air balloons for a good view of the mountains. Mountain flights offer the closest possible spectacle of Mt. Everest and other peaks. The close encounter with the tallest mountains of the earth often draws awe-stricken silence from onlookers.
 

  • MOUNTAINEERING
    With eight of the highest peaks in the world, Nepal has been the focus of some of the most outstanding achievements in the world of mountaineering. For many decades the dauntless icy peaks have posed as challenge to those who dare. There are some 326 peaks in Nepal open for mountaineering today. His Majesty's Government of Nepal opened around 175 peaks in the last two years to mark the Mount Everest Golden Jubilee Celebrations.

    Climbing permit to scale the Nepal Himalayas is issued in all seasons by the Mountaineering Section of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. Certain official documents are required to seek permission for climbing peaks. Around 121 peaks do not require liaison officer for expedition. Fees or royalties depend upon the altitude of the peak starting at US $ 1,000 for peaks below 6,501 meters and rising by US $ 500 for every 500 meters. Climbing gears and equipments can be bought or rented in Kathmandu. Many mountaineering and trekking agencies also offer packages that take care of needs like gear, food, transportation, guide and porter services. They also arrange insurance. Visitors should choose an agency that has good track record.
     

  • TREKKING
    Nepal offers excellent trekking options to visitors from the easy walking excursions to the strenuous climb of the snowy peaks. The most rewarding way to experience Nepal's natural embellishment and cultural assortment is to walk through the length, breadth and the altitudes of the country. Trekking in Nepal is a big part of the ultimate Himalayan adventure and a majority of tourists have trekking as a part of their itinerary. One can also trek on ponies in some remote places, which is equally enthralling for visitors. Pony treks follow nearly the same routes and are offered mostly in western region of Pokhara, Dolpo and Lo Manthang (Mustang).
     

    • Everest Region
      A large number of mountaineers and trekkers are drawn to the Everest region that leads through the Sagarmatha National Park. To be seen on the way are astounding views of some parts of the Himalaya. The path also leads to Dudh Koshi valley and forests of blooming rhododendron, blue pine and fir. Highlights of this trek include Namche Bazaar, the Tengboche Monastery and Kala Patthar en route the Everest Base Camp. This area is abundant with high-alpine wildlife, that include the Himalayan tar, musk deer, pikka or mouse hare and rare birds like snow crow, snow pigeon and pheasant. Access to the Everest region is either by air from Kathmandu to Lukla, or by bus to Jiri. Private rides, which would reduce traveling time can be arranged at some extra expenditure.
       

    • Annapurna Region
      The Annapurna trekking region consists of peaks Annapurna I, II, III, IV, and those of Annapurna South peaks. The trek's major highlights are the ancient mid-western salt route settlement of Manang, Thorong-La pass between Nepal and Tibet, Muktinath Temple and the deepest gorge of world Kali Gandaki. Mustang, or Lo Manthang, the desert plateau located in the upper valley of the River Kali Gandaki, and to the north of the main Himalayan range also falls in this region. Tourist access to Mustang is controlled to help retain its exclusiveness. The highlight of the trek includes the visit to the Mustang Palace, the visit to Lo Manthang and pony rides to the Nepal-Tibet border. Annapurna region is reached via Pokhara, which is 200 kilometers from Kathmandu. It is five or six hours by road and 30 minutes by air from Kathmandu. One can ride a bus or hire a cab from Pokhara to reach the trek head. Food and accommodation is easily available in the popular tourist city of Pokhara.

    • Dolpo Region
      Dolpo in West Nepal is located inside the Shey-Phoksundo National Park toward the north of Dhaulagiri range and the Tibetan Plateau. The national park is a preserved ecosystem of plants and wildlife that includes the rare blue sheep, gray wolf and snow leopard. The view of the Kanjiroba peak, Phoksundo Lake and the Dhauligiri massif are the rewards of trekking to the Dolpo region. The easiest way to Dolpo region is by air from Nepalgunj to Juphal, which is a four-hour walk from district headquarters of Dunai. It is also possible to trek to Dunai from Dhorpatan that can be reached from Tansen or Pokhara.
       

    • Langtang Region
      Langtang trek route goes through traditional, ethnic villages and untouched forests on the way to the peaks of Langtang-Lirung. The highlights of this tour include a visit to the Langtang valley, Kyangin Gompa and the Lirung Glacier. One can also climb the Lang Sisa Peak and visit Lake Gosaikunda, which is nearby. One can catch a bus to Trishuli Bajaar from Kathmandu and from there again drive down to Rasuwa headquarters Dhunche and then to Syabrubesi from where the trek begins.
       

  • BIKING
    Nepal's extraordinary contours and numerous tracks and trails make it an ideal place for mountain biking. It is a challenge for cyclists to climb up and down rough mountain roads giving them a chance to traverse the magnificent scenery. Good mountain bikes can easily be rented in Kathmandu and in other tourist cities. The 70-kilometer road from Balaju in West Kathmandu that traverses through hill resort Kakani and then Trisuli Bajaar before descending to Kathmandu from Shivapuri is a popular option for cyclists. Another option is the two-day bike tour to Dhulikhel criscrossing ancient townships of Bhaktapur, Namobuddha and Panauti that lie on the way. The most adventurous, however, is the 75-kilometer ride to hill resort Daman from Kathmandu via Tribhuvan Highway. Pokhara also provides ample possibilities for bike lovers.
     

  • RAFTING
    Nepal has earned the reputation of one of the best destinations for white water rafting. Cruising down rushing rivers of crashing waves and swirling rapids can make up excitement of a lifetime. Rafting trips for some is the highlight of their stay in Nepal. The waters in Nepal offer something for everybody: Grade 5-5+ rivers with raging white water rapids for the adventurous, to Grade 2-3 rivers with a few rapids for novices. Rafters also have a choice ranging from two to three-week trips to trips of two or three days. The options include paddling, oaring and kayaking. Paddling requires all on boat to participate with instructions from river runner. Luxury safari-style trips with full team are available too. In an oar boat, the guide rows alone giving participants a chance to observe the surroundings. Kayaking is another way to travel downstream. A few companies offer inflatable kayaks, or fiberglass kayaks for hire while some arrange for kayaks on their own.

    A typical day in the river begins early morning when participants arrive at the site. Instructions on safety and emergency situation are given to participants before the event. Life vests and helmets are worn by participants at all times during the trip. Meals are provided during the trip. Some packages also provide river equipment and camping equipment. The best time for rafting is from October through mid-December and March through early May. In winter hypothermia may be hindrance to some. During monsoons months of June through September, the white water sections are dangerous, but gentler stretches are easy to raft on. So far the government has opened sections of 10 rivers for commercial rafting.
     

    • River Arun
      River Arun (Grade 5) begins at Tumlingtar and ends at Chatara, Kartikeghat. The starting point can be approached either by flight or by road. A mini-trek is required from both the airstrip or from the bus stop. Some parts of the river are smooth while some are rough and challenging. On the sixth day Arun River meets Sun Koshi. Rafters either drive back Chatara via Biratnagar or fly from Biratnagar to Kathmandu.

    • River Sun Koshi
      River Sun Koshi (Grade 4 to 5) is Nepal's longest rafting trip. The rafting site, three hours drive from Kathmandu is more accessible than the Karnali. The run is 270 km and requires 9 to 10 days from Dolalghat to end Chatara down to the Indo-Gangetic plains. The first couple of days are relatively easy while surprises sneak up on you during the last days. The white water stays white until the very end.

    • River Bhot Koshi
      River Bhote Koshi (Grade 4 to 5) is a two-day run of pure adventure. The rafting site is located only three hours from Kathmandu. Twenty-six kilometers of continuous white water soaks rafters as they shoot through a veritable maze of canyons and boulders. It is the steepest river rafted in Nepal and required a lot of concentration. Starting above Barabise, you raft down to the dam at Lamosangu.

    • River Marshyangdi
      River Marshyangdi (Grade 4 to 5) provides four days of uninterrupted white-water rafting. It begins from the village of Ngadi from Besishahar in Pokhara. The rapids on the river are unrelenting, and rafters are advised to consult companies with lots of experience. It runs sandwiched between 52 kilometers of boiling foam and towering peaks of Annapurna.

    • River Trisuli
      River Trisuli (Grade 3+) is one of the most popular Nepali rivers for rafting. For first-time rafters it offers plenty of excitement. Due to its proximity to Kathmandu and the easy road access most rafting companies offer trips on the Trisuli. At $20 or so per dayIt is the cheapest river trip available in Nepal. A river trip on Trishuli can be combined with trips to Chitwan or Pokhara.

    • River Bheri
      River Bheri's rafting site in Nepalgunj can be reached by half-hour flight or a 627-kilometer bus ride from Kathmandu. The first section of the remote and relatively unexplored river has many twists and turns. The gorge occasionally opens into valleys and small villages. The trip can be continued with a jungle tour in the Bardiya Wildlife Reserve.

    • River Tama Koshi
      River Tama Koshi (Grade 4 to 6) starts from the Tserolpa Lake and Gaurishanker Glacier. Rafting or kayaking point starts from Busti on the way to Jiri. Tama Koshi is not safe for commercial run as it sometimes has impossible rapids. For kayakers however, this river is good. Three days of kayaking on Tama Koshi brings one to River Sun Koshi. Another 4 days paddling leads to Chatara on the banks of River Saptakoshi and Hindu pilgrimage site Baraha Chhetra.

    • River Gandaki
      River Kali Gandaki (Grade 5 to 5+) winds through remote canyons and deep gorges of intense rapids among. Starting at Baglung, you could raft down to Ramdighat in five or six days. Trips on the Kali Gandaki begin and end in Pokhara and offer an exciting alternative to the Trisuli. The run flows 120 km and its challenges are continuous.

    • River Seti
      River Seti (Grade 3-5) can be reached from Damouli roughly 160 kilometers west of Kathmandu. Rafters encounter several rapids before reaching Trishuli River. Hindu religious site Devghat marks the confluence of Kali Gandaki and Trishuli and becomes River Narayani. Rafters have a choice of either coming back to Kathmandu or continuing the journey to visit the Chitwan National Park.

    • River Karnali
      River Karnali (Grade 4 to 5) in the far west is the longest and largest river in Nepal. It flows through steep, jagged canyons where the rapids are tightly packed, offering continuous challenging water at all flows. A bus ride to far-western Nepal or a flight to Nepalgunj can take one to rafting site. It takes about 7 days to navigate the 90 kilometers of canyons and waterfalls. During most of this trip, the wilderness is uninterrupted by human habitations.
       

  • BOATING AND FISHING
    Boating is a common form of transport in the lowlands and Terai in Nepal. Leisure boating can be done in various locations. Pokhara with many lakes is the most famous for boating activities. The city with famous lakes Phewa, Begnas and Rupa, provides enough space for numerous boating experiences. Traditional canoe-style boating can be done in rivers Naranghat and Rapti rivers in Chitwan. With the numerous rivers and lakes, Nepal is an ideal location for pleasure fishing and angling. Fishing is also the livelihood for some communities in the hills and the Terai regions of Nepal. Some of the popular rivers for fishing and angling are Betrawati, Indrawati, Karnali and Koshi. While fishing, one should look out for other aquatic species too, especially the fresh water dolphins in the Koshi, Rapti and Narayani river systems.
     

  • SKIING
    Nepal has some of the steepest mountain slopes in the world. Though not available on a commercial scale, skiing is one of the exciting forms of adventure possible in Nepal. Skiing can be done on the slopes of West Nepal, Langtang area and some parts of the Khumbu area. Rental equipments are hard to find and must be provided on ones own.
     

  • BALLOONING AND PARAGLIDING
    Boating is a common form of transport in the lowlands and Terai in Nepal. Leisure boating can be done in various locations. Pokhara with many lakes is the most famous for boating activities. The city with famous lakes Phewa, Begnas and Rupa, provides enough space for numerous boating experiences. Traditional canoe-style boating can be done in rivers Naranghat and Rapti rivers in Chitwan.

    With the numerous rivers and lakes, Nepal is an ideal location for pleasure fishing and angling. Fishing is also the livelihood for some communities in the hills and the Terai regions of Nepal. Some of the popular rivers for fishing and angling are Betrawati, Indrawati, Karnali and Koshi. While fishing, one should look out for other aquatic species too, especially the fresh water dolphins in the Koshi, Rapti and Narayani river systems.

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Information provided by Nepal Tourism Board.

 

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