The Upper Kali Gandaki is Nepal’s second most popular rafting river and provides an exciting three-day itinerary out of Pokhara. Serious whitewater (Class 4-)starts at Beni, and runs down to the usual put-in point near Baglung and on all the way to the take-out at the confluence with the Andi Khola – where a dam puts a stop to the action. This section of water is away from roads and civilization, set in a stunning valley that offers excellent upriver views of the Annapurnas. However, it’s a popular stretch of river, and camping beaches are limited in number, well used, and may be squalid. There have been quite a few accidents on this river, so choose your operator carefully.
The Kali Gandaki is probably at its best for rafting at low and medium flows: mid-October to mid-December and March to April. It’s a good idea to think about adding this raft trip onto the end of a trek in the Annapurna region. Consider flying to Jomosom, trekking or taking buses and jeeps down the Kali Gandaki to Baglung, and then continuing down the river on a rafting trip – a journey from the highest mountains on earth to the jungle lowlands. You could even carry on from the take-out south on rough roads to Rani Ghat and Tansen.