Tamur River Rafting

Tamur River Rafting

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The spectacular Tamur combines an exhilarating river expedition with one of the best short treks in the Himalayas. 

Grade :  III+/IV Put in Point :  Dovan
Put out Point :  Chatara Distance :  120Km
Duration :  11- 12 Days Best Seasions :  Apr-May&Sep-Nov

No visit to the Himalayas would be complete without trekking and it is no accident that one of the world’s finest rivers starts with one of Nepal’s most scenic treks. This is possibly the best combination trip inNepal. Starting with a 3 day trek across the beautiful unspoilt valleys you are then straight into some of the most intense whitewater imaginable.  With an initial flight to Biratnagar our trek follows a ridge up to a 10,000ft pass above the sacred lake at Gupha Pokhari with magnificent views of Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Everest, before dropping into the lush villages of the Tamur valley. With porters carrying our equipment, staff preparing hearty meals and Sherpa guides to lead the way, this is a truly memorable approach to this classic Himalayan whitewater descent.

From Dobhan we have a breathtaking river journey of 120km through the heart of eastern Nepal. With over 100 class III and IV+ rapids, the Tamur offers a unique 6 day experience. The first rapids are powerful and continuous, allowing limited time for warm up. Hemmed in by steep canyon walls the Pariah Dog is encountered soon enough followed by House Rock, with additional excitement provided by the Kabelli Khola. The middle section allows us to breathe a little easier as the valley widens and changes in character with the addition of beautiful white beaches. Small fishermen’s villages line the confluence of every major tributary, while wild monkeys watch from the jungle as we drift past.

The last few days ‘muscle up’ again to provide the perfect end to an awesome journey. For people who want a trip that combines a spectacular short trek with intense whitewater, the Tamur is without a doubt the river to run.

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Day 01: After breakfast in Kathmandu hotel, we then head off to the airport for a 55-minute flight to Biratnagar. On a clear day the views of the Himalayas and Mt. Everest are incredible. At Biratnagar we meet up with the rafting bus and drive up through the bustling market town of Hile and onto the end of the road at Basantapur where we camp.

 Day 02:- No visit to the Himalayas would be complete without trekking and it is no accident that one of the world's finest rivers starts with one of Nepal's most scenic treks. At Basantapur our Sirdhar (head porter) will be there with a tough looking crew who will carry all the expedition gear to the river. Gear is divided up, prices haggled, and these stouthearted men and boys then pick up loads with their necks, and head on up the trail. It's quite a sight to watch a 60-kilo man in his mid thirties trudge up a steep mountain trail with a 70-kilo raft hanging off a strap which runs across his forehead. It's enough to make you want to join a health club. This part of Nepal sees very little tourism and the villages and farms you see along the trail are much the way rural Nepal has been for hundreds of years. Our 3-day trek follows a ridge up to a 10,000 ft pass above the sacred lake at Gupha Pokhari with magnificent views of Kanchenjunga, Makalu and the Everest massif, before dropping into the lush villages of the Tamur valley providing a truly memorable approach to this classic Himalayan white water descent. Days are long and the trail can be difficult in places, but with Porters carrying the gear and Sherpa guides we should all make it to the river intact. Expedition members carry a daypack with a warm set of clothes, water bottle and camera. Trekking camps are an extravagant affair with staff preparing well-deserved meals. Arriving at Dobhan where the river expedition starts it is highly recommended that you sample the local Thungba (Millet wine). Overnight at Dhovan camping.

Day 4-8: The Tamur and its tributaries drain the snows of Kachenjunga, third highest peak in the world. Constrained by steep valley walls, it becomes Nepal's sixth largest river and one of the world's remotest whitewater river expeditions. At our put in point we sort equipment and inflate the rafts. The guides tie all the equipment into the rafts, which is quite a thing to witness. Twenty years of running rivers has taught us a lot, not the least of which is how to tie a load so it stays put no matter what, which is just as well because the first 20 kilometers of the Tamur is basically one long rapid.

A raft trip down the Tamur isn't just a vacation. It’s an education. Our river guides spend the first part of the morning explaining the finer points on how to paddle through whitewater and stay in the raft as it bucks and contorts through rapids. For those who missed a point in the previous lesson there is a lesson on how to swim through whitewater, using your flotation device to keep your head up and your feet to push off rocks or pesky kayakers who happen to be surfing in the middle of a rapid. The guides will also teach you what they look out for when they run a river, the innocuous looking rise in the water that hides a hole, or the way you can use a pillow of water rebounding off a rock to push the raft where you want it. Whitewater rafts are amazingly versatile and stable crafts, and in the care of an expert raft guide it is possible to run challenging lines safely and confidently. Your guide is a professional, someone who has devoted their life to learning and running rivers. Under his or her careful indoctrination the raft crew learns how to work as a team, practicing on the numerous smaller rapids we encounter on the first two days of the river. From Dobhan we have 120 kilometers of breath-taking river journey through the heart of eastern Nepal. With over 100 class 3 and 4+ rapids, the Tamur offers a unique six days of white water with plenty of time to explore hidden side valleys and visit remote villages.

Camping on the Tamur is awesome. The massive floods of the monsoon deposit huge tracks of pure white sand along the river creating ideal campsites surrounded by lush forest and terraced hillsides. We will have at least one layover day where we stay at the same river camp for two nights. You can also take advantage of the layover day to trek to a peak or nearby village, or take part in the kayak workshop the safety boaters offer. Evenings are spent around the campfire, drinking hot-spiced rum and getting to know the people on the trip. Food is communally prepared, every day a different raft crew helping with the creation of sumptuous meals. The kitchen becomes one of the main social points on the trip, and without a doubt the best place to catch up on the latest gossip

Day 9: The Lower Tamur is a steep and continuous mountain river section; a unique combination of exceptionally fun and challenging rapids without it ever getting past the point of recreation. It's sort of like being flushed down a huge open-air toilet, but the Tidy Bowl Man is your guide and there are no worries. Emerald green fields are terraced high above the river on precipitous slopes; curious villagers lining suspension bridges are amazed as we plunge through cascading waves and chutes of foam.

Day 10: The Tamur / Sun Koshi confluence is called Tribeni Ghat and has an interesting temple to visit. Before emerging onto the flatland Terai, there is another larger Hindi Temple called Baraha Chhetra. Every year on the full moon day of the, in January, thousands of Hindu pilgrims mass here to pay homage to Lord Vishnu. Legend has it that once a demon god inhabited this area and troubled the villagers, holy men and pilgrims. Hearing of this, Lord Vishnu, preserver of the universe, took the form of a pig and slayed the demon in battle. Inside the temple is a pig headed figure of Lord Vishnu, and the annual Braha festival commemorates the victory. Just a little further downstream lays India and all its semi functional chaos. The final day we raft the Sun Koshi to Chatara and then return to Kathmandu. From the takeout it is a short 2 hours drive then a 55-minute flight back to KTM and a welcome hot shower. The mountain views on a clear day are outstanding as the flight goes right along the main Himalayas.

Day 11: Final departure.

(Safari Option)
Day 12-14: Staying at the luxurious Temple Tiger Camp is a great way to finish off your trip. Set in the heart of the Royal Chitwan National Park you have some fantastic opportunities to see the prolific bird life, not to mention occasional sightings of the Royal Bengal Tiger, elephants and an amazing array of other wildlife. Naturalists are on hand with their seemingly endless supply of knowledge to answer your queries regarding all the species of animal in the park. The lodge is made entirely of local materials and blends in beautifully with the environment. There is a range of activities to enjoy from elephant safaris to jungle walks, to just plain old relaxing in the serene surroundings of the Lodge. Meals are all-inclusive and are a wonderful combination of Western and Nepali dishes. Accommodation is in spacious safari tents with twin beds and separate hot and cold showers. Since you do have to book in advance we strongly recommend that you try and think how you will feel at the end of the river journey and decide if returning to Kathmandu will really be the option that you will want! On day fourteen we transfer you to Meghauly Airport (about 2 ½ hours away) where you will meet with your return flight to Kathmandu. That afternoon we suggest that you spend some time doing some well deserved retail therapy. A group farewell dinner is always welcomed and it is a final chance to relive the previous two weeks with people that do believe you when you explain just how big that rapid was!!!

Day 15: Final departure

Trip Cost Includes

-All ground transportation; to the put in point and back from the take out point.
-All domestic airfares wherever stated in the itinerary.
-All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trip
-Accommodation on a twin sharing basis with camp fire.
-All International standard rafting equipment as necessary (such as self bailing rafts, helmets, life jackets, kayaks, plastic paddles and spray jackets etc.)
-Camping & Cooking equipment (tents, mattress & kitchen gear).
-Rafting guides, cooks, and other helping staff, their salary, insurance, meals etc.
-All necessary fees, government/local taxes, all national park and conservation area fees.

Trip Cost Excludes

-Mineral water, cold drinks and alcoholic beverages
-Emergency evacuation
-Things of personal use
-Airfare (Kathmandu-Biratnagar-Kathmandu
-Tips to Staff

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