FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW AND MORE.
Is it safe?
While there is an inherent element of risk in every outdoor adventure, running rivers with our professional guides should not be considered dangerous. Our professionalism is unsurpassed and our safety procedures are second to none. In the unlikely event of an emergency, our guides are thoroughly trained in First Aid and CPR.
Do I need to know how to swim?
Knowing how to swim is not necessary. Everyone wears the very best Class V life jackets at all time while on the water and you float regardless of whether or not you swim.
Do I need any rafting experience?
Prior rafting experience is not required. The majority of people who join our expeditions are first time rafters. You will receive a detailed safety talk before getting on the river, and it will cover every aspect of your river adventure. Once trained, an oar or paddle crew can work in harmony with their guide to maneuver a raft in the most challenging rapids. It's only natural for you to be apprehensive about running rivers, however our staff is specially trained to address your concerns and prepare you for an experience you will never forget.
When is the best time to go rafting (post-monsoon, winter or pre-monsoon)?
Rafting can be done anytime. India is a land of rivers and thus gives us an opportunity to take advantage and offer rafting across majority of the seasons in different and unexplored scenic terrains. Here's a rundown of what you can expect during various seasons:
Post Monsoon - September to December is action packed with the monsoon runoff at its peak. Rivers are fast, high, and exciting.
Winter - December to February you can enjoy the emerald-green water, sunny beaches, bonfires and the winter landscape on different river journeys. We provide wetsuits, splash gear and neoprene booties. (Note: the time to do river trips in NE India is November and December.)
Pre Monsoon/Summers - March to June enjoy hot days, warm water and the different challenges the river has to offer as the runoff from the high mountain adds on to the volume of the river. (Note: The time to travel and to do river trips in Spiti is July)
What if the weather is bad?
As for the weather, it's all about being prepared! Remember, "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” All trips run rain, hail or shine. Only rarely do we cancel due to high water. In the unlikely event that we cancel a trip, an alternate trip will be offered. Any person choosing not to participate because of weather will not be eligible for a refund.
How many hours per day are we on the raft?
It varies, but you are not on the raft all day. We stop at various spots along each stretch of river to enjoy the area, swim some rapids or have a riverside lunch.
Who can go on a rafting trip?
From an introductory whitewater trip to one where the rapids which get your adrenaline rushing, we offer a river trip to satisfy all types of adventurous individuals. We welcome anyone, young or old, in reasonable physical condition. Minimum age requirement vary depending on the trip. If you or a member of your group are pregnant or have special health or physical considerations, please consult a physician for recommendation and inform us prior to the trip.
How many people fit in a raft?
Our boats can comfortably accommodate up to 8 guests plus their guide. However, depending on the water levels smaller boats may be utilized to negotiate the tighter chutes and rapids typical of Class IV & V rapids. Most of these boats may accommodate 5 or 6 guests, plus a guide.
Can I reserve my own boat?
Please direct special requests to our office in advance. Reservations are based on available space in each boat. Private trips and reserved boats can be made available in special circumstances. Our staff of guides will keep parties together whenever possible and they reserve the right to make final crew assignments.
What about cameras?
We encourage you to bring cameras to record your journey. We provide waterproof bags for average sized cameras.
What are the guides' qualifications?
We pride ourselves on our professional guides, most of who have been with the Expeditions India for many seasons. We train new guides at our own intensive whitewater school, and choose only the most qualified to work for us. They are knowledgeable about the outdoors and are trained in conservation, camp cooking, and in both CPR and First Aid. Over the years, many of our adventures have resulted in long lasting friendships between our guides and clients.
Is the trip all whitewater?
No. Most rivers are "pool and drop", which means that stretches of exciting whitewater are interspersed with calm sections. Kind of like life, in that way.
Do I need to make reservations in advance?
We highly recommend you make reservations as far in advance as possible to ensure that there is space available on the trip you want when you want it. By contacting us ahead of time it will also give our staff the opportunity to discuss the different options with you to make absolutely sure that the right trip is chosen. However, we are always busy taking last minute reservations and are happy to accept walk-ins if we have space available. Please contact us by mail or call us.
I have young children, can I take them rafting?
As per the legal regulations of the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, the minimum age for whitewater rafting is 14 years old. Out of concern for your children's safety, we uphold these rules completely. We do hope that you bring them back when they're a little older so they can have their first whitewater experience with us!
How long are the trips?
All trips have set departure times and predicted return times posted in the trip descriptions. With any activity, it depends on Mother Nature, a number of variables come into play when we predict how long a trip will take. Please take this into consideration when planning activities upon your return from a rafting trip.
What do I need to wear?
Quick drying shorts/board shorts, swimsuits, river sandals or old tennis shoes are great for rafting. Try to stay away from anything cotton if possible; cotton WILL NOT keep you warm when it is wet. For those rare overcast or cool days, a polypro or thermal undergarments are a great way to stay warm. Wetsuits, splash gear and neoprene booties are required for some trips and in certain seasons/water levels, and will be provided by us. For multi-day trips, we will send you a full packing list.
What else do I need to bring?
Please bring dry clothes for the ride home, towels, sunscreen, and an adventurous attitude. All possessions are left in your locked vehicle and we can keep your keys for you at the office. Please do not bring anything that you do not want to lose or to get wet.
What does a typical day on the river look like?
Rise and Shine!
One wakes up fresh after a long relaxing sleep, to our very own “natural alarm system” - chirping birds, the crispness in the air, the early morning rays of the sun and the aroma of the chef’s special chai. Stroll across and grab a bite, soak in the sun and watch the river flow by. Relax and then get ready for the day's adventure. Pack up right after breakfast and do a clean sweep of the beach to make sure we haven't left any trash behind. Leave camp by about 9.30am with everything we need strapped onto the raft, secured in waterproof barrels and dry bags.
The fun rapids starts when the first rapid of the day splashes over the raft. Calmer sections between the rapids are chances for a few water fights, team-building exercises, stories and jokes. Take the camera out from the dry bag to click wildlife and scenery or just take a swim in the river.
Around noon, we usually stop for lunch at a sandy beach or a waterfall or stream, depending on what river we are on. Lunch consists of an array of fresh fruit, juice, dry fruits, chocolate, platters of meats, tuna, cheese, peanut butter, etc so you can put together a special sandwich. After lunch, laze around in the shade and then get back on the river to take on some more white water.
Early afternoon we reach camp, always on a secluded river beach away from any other campers. After unpacking the rafts and once everybody is changed into dry clothes it’s time to setup camp. If you've never set up a tent before, this is your chance to learn! After this there is plenty of time to relax, read a book, explore the area, play games or give the kitchen team a hand and pick up tips on the Indian cuisine if you fancy.
Sundown and Evening
It is time to enjoy some cool sundowner drinks and snacks. The bar is open! The trip leader shares what the next day has to offer. Relax and watch the sunset, enjoy the dinner, sit around the campfire discussing the day's adventures, stories, and indulge in some star-gazing.
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