Questions to Ask

The current river rafting scene in Rishikesh is a mess. Out of the 450 businesses operating on the river, only 140 are licensed operators. Every day our team sees rafts that are not river-ready: their guides aren't wearing helmets, there are more than 8 people in a raft, or - all too common - there are no safety kayakers accompanying them. This puts everyone on the river at risk. So remember: before you head out for rafting, be sure to check for safety precautions!

While shopping for a rafting operator, we encourage you to ask the following questions before you get in a raft with them:

1) Are you licensed by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board? (Ask to see the license.)
2) Who are the guides running your trips? How many years of experience do they have? Do they have their First Aid certification? (If so, ask to see the certification and check the expiration date.) Do they have Swiftwater Rescue certifications? (If so, ask to see the certificate and make sure it’s from an outside agency.)
3) Where do your personal floatation devices (life-jackets) come from? Are they Type V (US Coast Guard approved) or locally made? Do you have working helmets available for all guests and guides?
4) Will an experienced, licensed safety-kayaker (or cataraft with qualified guide) be accompanying us? What type of kayak will the safety-kayaker be using? (S/he should use a creek-boat or river-runner as opposed to a play-boat.)
5) Will there be any children accompanying us? (Please note that it is illegal to take children younger than 14 years old on all stretches of river except float trips (grade II and below), where it may be relaxed to 10 years.)