FAQ

I have never been rafting before – is it safe?

No problem! Our professional guides will teach you everything you need to know. Before each activity, we provide a full safety briefing and demonstration, making sure everyone on board knows exactly how to follow the guide’s instructions and how to actively participate as a team.  We will also teach you how to be rescued by our safety kayakers in case you fall out of the raft. Our guides are the best in the industry and they will take very good care of you!

Of course, every adventure activity carries an element of risk which is what makes it exciting. With our intensive international training, state of the art equipment and comprehensive emergency preparedness, we have reduced the risks as much as possible and feel extremely confident in operating fun, exciting and safe adventures

Please check out our Safety page for more information about our risk management and emergency preparedness.

Where do the trips depart from?

Our main operations center is in Lakeside, Pokhara – the adventure capital of Nepal.  All of our trips depart from this main office which is easily found at Lakeside Center on the main Baidam Road.

Some of our trips are possible to join from Kathmandu, such as our Trisuli River Rafting.  If you wish to join a trip from Kathmandu, then we provide tourist bus transportation to the put-in point where our crew will be waiting for you.  If you wish to return to any destination other than Pokhara, then we provide local bus transportation.  

Specific departure times and return times are detailed on each of our trip pages but can sometimes change.  Final confirmation of departure time and place is reconfirmed the day before each trip at our pre-departure meetings.

Can I start my trip in Kathmandu and finish in Pokhara?

Yes!  The Trisuli River is the perfect option to “get off the bus” and raft or kayak from Kathmandu to Pokhara.  However, as we are located in Pokhara, please understand that our crew and private transportation start & finish in Pokhara.  If you chose to start the trip in Kathmandu, we will provide a tourist bus to the start point of the trip where our crew will be waiting for you.  There are also options to upgrade to private transportation at an extra cost.

Can I start my trip in Pokhara and finish in Kathmandu?

Yes!  We offer a few trips which finish half way between Pokhara and Kathmandu including the Trisuli & Lower Seti Rafting as well as Canyoning.  This is a nice opportunity to “get off the bus” and raft, kayak or canyon from Pokhara to Kathmandu.  However, as we are located in Pokhara, please understand that our crew and private transportation start & finish in Pokhara.  If you choose to finish the trip in Kathmandu, then we will provide a complimentary local bus.  This means that our guides will simply waive down a local bus of the highway, assist you with your luggage, help you get a seat and pay the fare.  The bus will drop at a bus station near the ring road of Kathmandu.  There are also options to upgrade to private transportation at an extra cost.

I can’t swim. Is that a problem?

No problem! We provide professional CE / ISO certified PFDs (personal floatation device) and we will teach you the proper procedures for a “whitewater swim” in case you do fall out of the raft. In the event that you do fall out of the raft, you will not be floating for too long, as our safety kayakers are quick to rescue and get you back safety in the raft or on to shore.

We have a variety of trips with full range of excitement levels. Some rivers as certain times of the year do require swimming ability and strong physical fitness, while other trips are gentle enough to bring small children along for the fun.  

Please make sure you are honest and clear about your swimming ability and comfort in water with our customer service team and they can help you select the right trip for your adventure level.

What do the river classes mean?

Water volume and technical hazards determine a rapids grade. 

  • Class I-II are small and simple waves. 
  • Class III/III+ are exciting, but not too difficult or technical.
  • Class IV/IV+ provide a great adrenalin rush with the chance of falling out or flipping the raft. 
  • Class V is extreme, challenging, potentially scary and usually requires a great deal of scouting and is the highest level we run in Nepal with only our absolute best guides in charge. 

Please understand that Mother Nature makes the rules in all outdoor pursuits, and often rivers, trails, roads change making rapid levels constantly fluctuate from season to season.

What kind of food do you provide?

We are very proud of our crew’s culinary ability! We offer both Western & Nepali dishes with both vegetarian and non vegetarian options. Meals are always provided as buffet, so you can help yourself to what you like and avoid what you don’t.  Treated stream drinking water is always provided.

Breakfast includes tea, coffee & hot chocolate ready early as well as muslie & cornflakes with powder milk and sometimes yogurt. Then we have full cooked breakfast with a variety of options ranging from eggs, toast, breakfast potatoes & veg, pancakes, porridge, fruit etc. 

Lunch includes a combination of bread, cheese, salami, tuna, sardines, baked beans, variety of salads, fresh fruit and biscuits etc. 

Once we arrive at camp we have tea, coffee & hot water prepared as quickly as possible, followed by snacks such as popcorn, papadum or prawn crackers and sometimes soup. 

Dinner includes a combination of pasta with variety ofsauce, french fried potatoes, curries, steamed or stir fried vegetables.  On longer trips we rotate in local Nepalese daal bhat and even the odd BBQ.  

I am vegetarian – can you prepare special food for me?

Yes – we are happy to offer vegetarian options which are prepared completely separate to any meat dishes. All of our meals are served buffet style, so you can help yourself to whatever you like and avoid what you don’t. Please advise us of this request when booking.

I am gluten free – can you prepare special food for me?

We will try our best to provide gluten free options.  All of our meals are served buffet style, so you can help yourself to whatever you like and avoid what you don’t. Please advise us of this request when booking.  We do recommend brining some extra snacks for yourself to make sure you are satisfied.

Are the rivers clean to swim in, or will I get sick?

Well…this is Nepal, so the rivers are certainly not clean enough to drink from, but you do not need to worry about getting sick from simply swimming in them. 

What kind of footwear do I need?

For our rafting & kayaking trips, a sport sandal which stays on your foot is the best option. Some common brands are Teva or Chaco which are available here in Nepal. 

We provide specialized booties for our Canyoning adventures.

What happens with my luggage?

We will provide you with a stuff sack to pack what you wish to bring on the river with you. Once we arrive at the put-in point, we will put all stuff sacks in our 99% water proof NRS dry bags. Any valuable items, or things you wish to have access to through the day, such as cameras, medicine, extra eye contact lenses & sunscreen etc, will be packed in 99.9% waterproof and almost indestructible pelican boxes.

Your extra luggage can be left at our Pokhara Operations Center. Valuables such as laptops & passports ect. can be put in our safe, while back packs and general luggage will be stored in a common store room.

If you are travelling on to another destination after your trip, you can leave your extra luggage with us at our Pokhara Operations Center, and we will have it delivered to the take-out point on your last day.

How fit do I have to be?

A basic level of physical fitness is required on all of our trips. Some rivers, such as the Marshyangdi and Tamur require more physical participation than others.  Please inform us of any disabilities or medical conditions at time of booking, so we can make sure you are choosing an appropriate trip.

Will we have a campfire?

We will try our best to offer campfires on overnight trips, but we cannot guarantee.  In order to respect the environment and our local villages, we must assess the camp situation on each trip.  Sometimes drift wood may be collected, while other times it is not possible. 

Why is Paddle Nepal more expensive than other companies?

Simply put – you get what you pay for!  We operate high quality trips with extremely professional guides and top of the line international equipment.  We don’t cut corners and we take your safety and your fun seriously.  

Maybe the question should be why are other companies “cheaper”?

How do I pay?

We will send you a link to pay a 25% deposit in USD by credit card.  If you are already in Nepal, then you may pay the deposit in USD or local rupees based on the day’s government bank exchange rate at either our Kathmandu or Pokhara offices.  Final payment is requested locally.  Final or full payment can sometimes be arranged online or with credit card subject to a 5% surcharge.  

What’s included?

As each trip is different, please find our inclusions / exclusions detailed on each trip page of our website.

What do I need to bring?

As each trip is different, please find our suggested packing list on each trip page of our website.  

Please note that when on any outdoor adventure, it is smart to bring quick dry, natural and breathable clothing and to pack in layers to be prepared for change in weather.  

Do I need to book in advance?

It is not essential to book in advance; however, it helps us to ensure that trips confirm by having participants book ahead.  All trips have minimum participation requirements. The earlier people sign up, the easier it is for us to recruit more participants.

In order to book in advance we simply require the following information… We 

  • Full Name
  • Nationality
  • Date of Birth

We also require a 25% deposit which can be paid via PayPal in order to complete the reservation.

What if I book, but then not enough people sign up?

In the unlikely event that we do not reach our minimum participation requirement and cannot run a trip, we will provide an immediate full refund or offer an alternative trip – the choice is yours.

However, in the event that we achieve the minimum participation level and the trip is confirmed, any participation cancellation will result in our standard cancellation penalties and no refund will apply.

What if I want to cancel?

The 25% deposit is not refundable.  We highly recommend having trip cancellation / interruption insurance to protect you from unexpected situations.  Please take a close look at our terms & conditions for our full cancellation penalties.  

Does Paddle Nepal provide insurance?

No – there is no 3rd party insurance system available in Nepal for our whitewater industry, so we cannot protect participants with insurance.

We require all participants have adequate emergency medical and evacuation insurance for the activity and adventure level participating in.

Paddle Nepal is proud to provide full insurance coverage for our river crew.

Do I need to tip my guide?

You certainly do not NEED to tip your guide; however, if you feel they did a great job, a small personal tip is a lovely gesture and shows our crew that their hard work is appreciated. Additionally, if you feel that our crew did a good job and you enjoyed your trip, feel free to post a review on Trip Advisor and mention your favorite guides’ name. Our crew love to see their names highlighted up there!

I am a very heavy person – can I still join a trip?

Our PFDs can manage up to 95kg according to ISO standards.

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