The karnali river is the most amazing river in Nepal. Anyone you meet who has had the experience of exploring the Karnali will tell you that it is one of the most incredible journeys of their life. The River, in volume is the largest and longest in Nepal and the upper sections are rarely explored. Along the lower section the river takes a sharp turn from south to north, often called the Western Bend. At this point the river can be accessed and an incredible adventure through deep gorges and remote regions begins.
The upper Karnali, better known as the Humla Karnali rises in Tibet from the holy peak, Mount Kailas some very experienced expedition groups run upper sections. These normally start with a charter flight to Simikot and then sixteen to twenty days to the take out at Chisopani.The Lower Karnali river can be run in five to seven days and still proves a major river journey that has got to fall in the category of being one of the best in the world.
Depending on the level of the river, day four could still be in the jungle corridor. Once the gorge is exited the Seti river enters from the right, (this is the western Nepal Seti, not to be confused with the river close to Pokhara) and the river grade drops to class 2. Another day or two brings you to the Bheri river, entering from the left which has a good camping beach if you want to reach the take-out at lunchtime the following day.
At the take-out, Chisopani, is an impressive bridge spanning the river and plenty of shops selling food, soft drinks and cold beer. The return bus journey to Kathmandu is about twenty hours. Alternative returns would be via the Bardia national park which is located nearby, or bus to Nepalganj (2 hours) and fly to Kathmandu from there.