Rafting by necessity is a participation activity. You will be instructed as you go along by your experienced guides, and team coordination and fast hands could mean the difference between time in the water and the safety of the raft. For those new to this adrenaline sport, time at the beginning of each trip will be devoted to training in the techniques needed to negotiate your fears and the rapids. You will ride exhilarating whitewater followed by periods of calm, which give you time to admire the spectacular scenery away from busy roads and cities.
It is a popular myth that whitewater rafting is only for the young and super fit. Yes it is true that should you wish to run the big rivers you need to be fit, and maybe a little brave too. However, there are plenty of other rivers on which to raft that require little knowledge and are fun for everyone to try. You must be a competent swimmer and unafraid of the water and to this end we are unable to accept bookings from non-swimmers. So, whether you are male or female, young or old, if you are prepared to honestly assess your physical abilities and accept the challenge then rafting is right for you.
Our guides and safety paddlers are all very experienced and professional personnel who excel in their field. We try to use local personnel wherever possible, as these people have a far greater understanding of the local customs and environment, and the river itself. Ask yourself, who better to show you a country and its rivers than someone who lives and works on them all the time? This is also in keeping with our policy of insuring that our trips put as much back into the local community as possible.
As the essence of rafting is participation you must be reasonably fit and active. You do not, however, need to be a super hero. You must be a competent swimmer and be happy with the fact that you will quite likely have to swim in the river a couple of times if you come out of the raft. By using our grading system, which is carefully explained at the end of this page, you can choose the level of rafting experience best suited to your physical abilities.
You are required to have adequate insurance before beginning any of our rafting trips and, due to the remoteness of some areas you must be covered for emergency evacuation. In the eventuality of an accident or injury on the raft, our guides will assist in the aid of that person. Our guides are qualified in AR, CPR and First Aid, and carry a comprehensive Medical Kit. We pay particular attention to hygiene on all our tours, this way we manage to avoid the most basic, debilitating illnesses.
There are no hard and fast rules about age limits while rafting. However, our general requirements are that you be over 16 years old, and are a competent swimmer. Some easier rivers may have a lower age limit (minimum 12) - full details are given on each tour page on our website, and in the detailed tour factsheet.
Remember, that some of these rafting trips operate in quite remote areas; therefore you must be prepared to embrace the culture of the country you are visiting. For more detailed information regarding the specific profile of a rafting trip, please refer to our advice in the 'Grading' Section at the bottom of the page, or contact us.
When on the water all accommodation is camping based. We provide all the necessary equipment including two-person tents, sleeping bags, mats and toilet tents. There is no facility for showers, however there are plenty of opportunities for a swim in the river, even when you may not have intended to!
Equipment provided by our local rafting agents includes HI-SIDE self bailing rafts, America's Cup life jackets, PRO-TEC helmets, Carlisle paddles, safety throw bags and safety kayakers (where necessary). All camping equipment including two-person tents, sleeping bags, mats, and toilet tents.
Our maximum group size for any rafting trip is 12 to 18 people, plus the required numbers of guides and safety paddlers. Larger groups have a far more detrimental impact on the local environment than we believe to be necessary, and on some of our rafting
trips, the maximum number may be less.
If you have your own group that you would like us to make the arrangements for, please let us know and we will design a tour, itinerary and price specifically for you.
Every rafting tour that we operate has its own detailed factsheet, which is can be downloaded and printed out from our website (also available by email or post on request). Each factsheet will give a day-to-day itinerary of the route and detailed background information relating to that particular tour. You are strongly urged to read the factsheet before making a decision.
All whitewater is graded using an international system and can range from pleasant to terrifying. If you remain uncertain please contact us.
Class I – no rapids, flat water
Class II - mild rapids, suitable for children and anyone seeking an enjoyable experience
Class III – larger rapids, requiring a little more skill but with little real danger
Class IV – powerful rapids, needing more advanced techniques
Class V – heart-stopping rapids, for the brave only
Understand more about how we grade our treks in Nepal, Bhutan & Tibet.
Comprehensive guide to whitewater rafting in Nepal & Bhutan.
"Saligram was excellent!! Made the holiday very easy for us - perfect."
Mark Raeburn (Annapurna Circuit)
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