Kayaking Nepal – Lessons
Over the last five years we have seen a surge in kayaking on all rivers across Nepal. Not to say whitewater kayaking is anything new here – it’s not. In fact, navigating Nepal’s whitewater is something that has been done here for centuries. So, today the paddlers are in a new Pyranha or Jackson kayak rather than a dug out canoe, but still our rivers keep dishing up new lines each year thanks to our monsoons.
What we see more now, is not only more paddlers who want to grab a few friends and explore on their own, but specifically people who come to learn to paddle on our world class whitewater. Kayaking clinics have sprung up all over Nepal. You have plenty of options to choose from depending on how fast your want to learn.
Where and how to learn kayaking on Nepal rivers:
Phewa Tal (Lake) Pokhara
If you go with a Pokhara based company, you will likely start in the Phewa Tal, Pokhara’s magestic lake surrounded by a Himalayan panorama. This is a great option for those who are not sure they will even like this sport, or for those who really want to focus on learning to roll. The lake is flat water, so this day is basic-basic.
Trisuli/Seti River Clinics
Many kayaking outfitters choose to set up camp on the river banks of either of our best learning rivers. They are the Trisuli and Seti. Trisuli River kayaking and rafting is the most popular. Many clinics are 4 days and include camping on the beach and paddling some class II-III rapids each day. The rivers offer more than enough challenge for a new kayaker. Shop around and try to find a company you like. There are many good ones, but not all are created equal. Do NOT go with a company who takes a large group of beginners at one time. The reality is they may be under staffed and the instructor to learner ration higher than one might want when having to look after beginning kayakers. Small groups of 2 – 4 is best.
Of course, since we are Hardcore Nepal, we decided that for those who want to waste no time, and head straight for the rapids after lunch we would give your a BOOTCAMP! So, Hardcore Nepal’s Kayak Bootcamp is a fast-paced 3 day affair, that offers all the 4 day clinics offer, just faster. The guide will make you roll, so just embrace it.
For those of you who could teach kayaking to the likes of any of us, there are plenty of great places to paddle. Karnali, Bhote Koshi, and Kali Gandaki are favorites. All you need is one or two Nepali guides, some camping gear and your boat. Many of the local kayaking outfitters will help you set this up and show you where to buy maps. It is advised to take a guide always in Nepal no matter how experienced you are. But guides are not expensive (by Western standards) and well worth every rupee for the local knowledge, culture, and language skills they bring to your trip.