Raft the Zanskar River in Ladakh
Day 1 - Arrival
Note: as this is a high-security flight, be prepared to be checked more thoroughly than average. As well, keep a pen and your passports handy as your visitor’s registration will be needed on arrival. At an altitude of 11,500 ft, climbing a few stairs or struggling with a tight sleeping bag could leave you short of breath in Leh. Many people may need up to 24 hours to acclimatize. Headaches and breathlessness usually can be controlled with rest and very light exercise, if any.
You will then meet your guides at the basic, but charming hotel Mogol, nestled in the quiet part of Chanspa, a ten-minute walk to the town square. You will be briefed about the trip and encouraged to hydrate and rest all day. A nice walk into the market can be a delightful way to spend your evening.
Day 2 - Leh
Day 3 - Drive from Leh to Kargil
Day 4 - Drive from Kargil to Rangdum
Day 5 - Drive from Rangdum to Remala
Rafting Expedition Begins at Remala
Day 7 - Karsha - Honyo/Pidmo
Day 8 - Nyerak
Day 9 - Nyerak
Day 10 - Nyerak to Lamaguru
Day 11 - Lamaguru - Nimu - Leh
Day 12 - Departure
Read The Outdoor Journal’s article on this trip here:
By Himraj Soin
Out of all the great canyons and rivers, a world classic- the last lost horizon, the land of White Copper, the Grand Canyon of Asia- the River Zanskar!
|TRIP DATES||6 – 17 August 2018||18 – 29 August 2018|
|ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE LOCATION||Leh, India|
|INCLUDED||All travel by road and rail
All arrangements for camping while on the trip
Accommodation on twin share basis in tents, guest houses and hotels
| Professional guide
All rafting, kayaking, and safety equipment
|NOT INCLUDED||Bottled water & alcoholic beverages in Srinagar/Leh/Kargil hotels
Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, etc.
|Airport transfers in Delhi
Accommodation and meals in Delhi
Restaurant meals outside Srinagar/ Leh/ Kargil hotels
Checklist for Essential Personal Items
- Warm sleeping bag (to minus 5 degrees C at least)
- Woollens/thermal underwear
- Wind/rain proof jacket
- Hiking/trekking shoes & spare sandals
- Woollen socks / Gloves
- Water Bottle
- Flash Light and spare batteries – important
- Sun Shade/Hat with Brim/woollen hat/gloves
- Sunscreen/Sun block above SPF 70
- Vaseline/Lip Salve
- Insect Repellent
- Personal Toiletries – towels/soap etc.
- Rucksack/duffel bag to carry your baggage
- Karimat / Thermarest (optional)
- Small daypack to carry camera, packed lunch, water bottle and wind/rain jacket on a walk.
- Long trousers / long shirts / T-shirts etc.
- Good pair of shorts, one quick dry to be worn over wetsuit
- Swim suit for ladies
- Alcohol / cigarettes – not available on trip
We provide wetsuits, wet boots, wet gloves and all rafting gear. You live in 4 season tents to withstand weather extremes, if any on the trip. Other items of personal nature need to be added by you especially personal medication, if any. Temperatures are going to vary between 25-30 degrees Celsius to 5-10 degrees at night. Long pants and long shirts are handy because of the strong sun and lots of sun tan lotion.
Temperatures : temperatures on the trip will vary from a maximum of 24 degrees to minimum 10 degrees celsius. Its best to be prepared for lower temperatures due to wind chill or the weather turning bad. The days are hot and the nights refreshingly cool.
What to carry : Keep it light – although what you carry with you is a very personal decision. Some of our guests love to travel as light as possible while others are only happy when they have countless bits of equipment for every possible occurrence, most of which will never be used. The list we sent out covers all essentials that you must carry.
A day pack is great to carry things that you will need throughout the day, such as your camera, water bottle, packed lunch, waterproofs, a fleece or a jumper.
Good footwear is very important – most trails in Ladakh are pretty rough and steep so a good pair of shoes is important. Sandals work well on the raft (even though you have wetsuit booties as an option) and also for visiting monasteries (where footwear needs to be taken on and off, frequently). Socks, both for walking and a pair of warm ones for keeping feet warm inside the tent at night, is a good bet.
Clothes: A good base layer which could be a thermal top (polypropylene), with a T-shirt on top will keep you warm and dry. Mid layers provide insulation so anything that is warm will do e.g. a medium thickness woolen jumper or a mid-weight fleece top, along with another lightweight fleece top will suffice. If you really feel the cold, substitute the thinner layer with a down jacket. The outer layer is the final layer between you and the elements and must be capable of keeping out the wind, rain and snow. Any good waterproof, windproof jacket would do the job. Leg wear in the form of thermal long johns are invaluable. Cotton trousers or long skirts (long skirts for ladies also double as a `port-a-loo’) worn over this layer can keep you very comfortable. A good sun hat is very essential. Sunglasses which offer 100% UV protection are necessary to combat strong daylight.
Shelter: You will camp out from Rangdum onwards, expect the first night to be windy and chilly, so wear everything that you have brought on the trip to stay warm, on this night. Things get warmer here onwards. Your tents are 3-person tents used by two persons per tent. They have a patio that you can use to stow your bags / dry bags within for ease of access.
Important: This is a full fledged expedition, and you are expected to set up and pack your tents. We are happy to help, but it will take time as central areas, kitchen, setting up facilities will take priority so you are better off doing this daily routine yourselves. It takes no more than ten minutes.
Your team of guides and staff run the show on this trip. They are very experienced, and know the river and the terrain very well, and are responsible for getting teams into shape to hike, camp and raft. They do it very well. Everything from getting hot meals on the table to setting up toilets, to ensuring you remain hydrated with safe to drink water, is done by them. They will instruct you to get your dry bags to the rafts by a certain time, pack your tents after breakfast etc. but that’s really all you are expected to do, take care of your shelter and your belongings. Expect 6-8 guests per raft, plus a staff raft, a safety / gear cataraft plus safety kayaker/s. Add 3-4 kitchen staff, and you have a real motley crew!
A good quality sleeping bag ensures a good nights sleep after a long day outdoors. Do not compromise on your sleeping bag – err on the side of carrying a warmer bag, than carrying a light one which may give you many sleepless nights.
Carry any personal medication that you may need, or let us know should you be suffering from any particular ailment.
How to carry: Its best to carry your belongings in a large, tough duffel bag or a big rucksack. A bum / waist bag is handy to have your camera, film rolls, flashlights (handy when visiting monasteries) and a guidebook, when you are sightseeing. Pack similar things such as clothes, washing things, camping equipment etc. in separate stuff sacks or polythene bags so they are easier to pull out and add to the waterproofing in your bag.
Travel to any part of Ladakh deserves a little more respect than many other high altitude destinations because the whole region lies over 2600 meters (8500 ft). People in good health should not get alarmed by this but if you have a medical condition such as high blood pressure, heart or lung disease, you must take the advise of a doctor who has experience with the effects of altitude. We do not take heart or lung patients, or pregnant mothers on this expedition. Any kind of exercise which gets you fitter before this trip is advisable, as it will enable you to enjoy the region more, even though all hikes are optional and the rafting not of a very strenuous nature.
Headache, Nausea & Dizziness, Loss of appetite, Fatigue, Shortness of breath, Disturbed sleep, General feeling of malaise are fairly common symptoms on arrival by air into Leh. These can also be tackled by complete rest on Day 1, sleeping well and drinking lots of fluids (atleast 4-6 litres of the non-alcoholic kind!) and not smoking too much. On all our Ladakh trips till date, nearly all have acclimatised very well and we have had only one instance of a person being in hospital on the first night, on oxygen after which she seemed to have extra bundle of energy throughout the trip.
Our expedition trips are designed for energetic and flexible people who have the spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Previous experience in the outdoors and camping helps, though is not a must. These trips are participatory in nature, and everyone is expected to pitch in, set up and break down their own tent, clean their own dishes and help with loading and unloading the rafts.
Why choose Aquaterra Adventures?
Voted one of the 'Best Adventure Companies on Earth' by National Geographic
Awarded 'Favourite Boutique Tour Operator' by Outlook
ATOAI Hall of Fame Award 2014
Voted 'Best Adventure Resort in India'
This is a multi-day trip with fixed departure dates. Some trips have different itineraries or lengths, so please check that you've chosen exactly what you want, and the correct trip start date. If you have any questions at all, please use the chat feature and we'll answer as quickly as possible.