The Sun Kosi is the longest trip in Nepal in terms of river days. The Karnali is physically longer
and bigger but less days are spent exploring it. So if you want an adventure lasting many days this is
the river for you.
Every so often it is fed by several rivers entering from the north that drain
Himalayan peaks including the mighty mount Everest. The character of the river changes with amazing wide
valley sections and large sandy islands becoming narrow jungle gorges and corridors.
only one large village on the river, the hardest rapid - Hakapur is named after it.
section is known as the Bhote Kosi, an adrenaline charged section of river described separately in this
guide. The commercial trips start at Dolalghat which is close to the confluence of the Bhote kosi and
Expect the trip to take 10 days, this may include a lay-over day. Post monsoon
it can be rafted in 8 days, 6 in a kayak.
Breakdown of the journey
Travel to the river
The Sun kosi has the great advantage
of having a Put-in close to Kathmandu. You could expect the bus to take about three hours which is ideal
to unpack, have lunch and depart at the start of the afternoon.
On the river
starts with easy rapids and builds up to a climax at about the halfway point. From there it remains at
a good level through the jungle corridor where it flattens considerably before a finale at Big dipper
In the first day you are likely to encounter big and bouncy wave trains at class 2-3 and
you may reach Meat-grinder (4-) close to the confluence of the Tamba Kosi. From here class 3+ to 4- is
the order of the day, with some rapids like High Anxiety (4-) which are just massive surf waves during
early October descents.
The Hardest rapid Hakapur (5-) is just before the halfway point and often
a lay-over day follows at Little Devisthan beach. Below here the Dudh kosi enters and the river narrows
into the jungle corridor - Imaginative names of rapids within (Rhino rock, No Quiche, Dummy to the wall,
Roller coaster, El Wasto!, Arthur Daley?)
All the above in the class 4 region.
continues then with several more rapids at a lower grade. The Arun and Tamur rivers join just before
the Sun Kosi breaks out of the valley it has been held in for 270Km into a vast wide plain taking it
eventually into the bay of Bengal.
My own memories of the river are special......a great combination of scenery on a large volume river
that undoubtedly has to be rated as one of the top ten river journey's of the world.
In a kayak
it can be done more quickly but the thought of a self-sufficient trip of that length would make me think
twice - most raft operators offer good deals to kayakers (especially early season) and I would recommend
using raft support or tagging along to a scheduled raft departure.
Ten days is a long time on
a river - the only other advice is to bear in mind that you are confined to the area of an 8 man raft
for 8 - 10 days with people who you may not have had chance to get to know beforehand. Lay-over days
are a great way of breaking up that time - check if the operator you use includes that option.
the journey to the river may be short but the journey back ain't......unless you fly you're looking at
a 16 to 20 hour bus journey from hell (all part of the adventure ! ? )
Day by Day breakdown.......
Day 1 Leave Kathmandu, bus to the river, unpack and lunch, begin river trip early afternoon,
steady afternoon with nothing too difficult. Day 2 Past 'Meat grinder', and the Tamba Kosi
Confluence. Day 3 'Punch and Judy', Likhu khola confluence and maybe as far as 'High Anxiety'. Day 4 Past 'High Anxiety', to Hakapur village & rapid. Big day. Day 5 Layover
day? Little Devisthan beach. Day 6 Dudh Kosi confluence, 'Jaws', camp above jungle corridor. Day 7 Probably the best, numerous big class 4's in the jungle corridor, 'Rhino rock', 'El
Wasto' and others. Day 8 Out of the corridor, odd class 3 / 4, 'Big Dipper', could
arrive Chatra p.m. Day 9 Arrive Chatra, pack, bus to Kathmandu. Day 10 Arrive
Depending on the level of the water the trip can take as little as 8 days and as many
as 10. It is possible to fly back or another plan would be to trek up the Tamur and run that, (add another
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