Subansiri River, NE India

Subansiri River, NE India

Another great river is being dammed.  2014 may be the last chance to float this remote whitewater classic before its waters are forever stilled.

“The rafting team was absolutely fantastic—truly first rate. They definitely rival in their trip arrangements,   leadership, and professionalism (and in some ways exceed) the very best I have experienced from Mountain Travel-Sobek over the years.  .  . .  And the rafting was terrific—lots of fun wave trains through a beautiful canyon on a lovely river. . . . We visited interesting little villages with bamboo huts and interesting Hindu shrines. We found tiger and leopard tracks through our camps!  And we saw huge Asian elephants at work in logging operations. All fascinating.” – Heidi Hurd, 2012 trip member

The Subansiri , or “Gold River”, is the biggest tributary of the Upper Brahmaputra.  It descends through verdant rainforests in the tribal state of Arunachal Pradesh, draining the waters beyond the Great Himalayan Range from Tsona Dzong up to the Great Bend of the Tsangpo in Tibet.  It slices through the Eastern Himalayas to flow into India at Asaphila then on through the rugged isolated hinterlands of Arunachal.  It joins the mighty Brahmaputra at the mystic confluence of Majuli – the largest inhabited river island in the world.

The river has no road following it on either side of the Himalayas for almost 150 kms.  Very difficult terrain with vertical rock faces and only sparse habitation along the river has kept and continues to keep the upper reaches of this challenging river isolated.   This is a demanding, high volume, fast-flowing, and adrenal-pumping river set in a scenic breathtaking environment.  Lower down, friendly hill people with their unique traditions and customs developed over a millennium await with trepidation the inevitable changes rapidly encroaching upon them.

The Subansiri was first run by Indian Army teams in 1994, and has been run commercially only five times by our Indian partners in 2006 and from 2009-2012.   






Day 1    Delhi

Transfers will be provided for anyone arriving on this day.  You’ll be met by our agent on arrival and brought to our hotel.  If you are arriving earlier, and are booking extra hotel nights or a tour (for example to the Taj Mahal, Rajasthan, Varanasi or just around Delhi) through us, we will also include the airport transfer.

If you are arriving early and choose to make your own travel arrangements, you can take advantage of Delhi’s extremely reliable and convenient system of Prepaid Taxis, either the very inexpensive (less than $10) ordinary taxis or the air conditioned radio taxis.  Look for the booths labeled Prepaid Taxis or Radio Taxis when you exit from customs, give them the address of your destination, pay the fee and go outside to board your taxi.  No hassles or bargaining needed.

No activities are planned for the day except an orientation meeting at 6 pm in the lobby of the hotel and a welcome dinner after the meeting.  If you arrive on your own, we suggest you check out some of the monuments that we do not plan to visit on our city tour, like Humayun’s Tomb, the National Museum, or Qutab Minar, the world’s tallest brick tower set amongst Hindu temples.  Visits to the monuments can be arranged through us or at your hotel.

Godwin Deluxe Hotel or comparable, D


Note—It takes two to three days (depending on your airline schedule) to travel to Delhi. The date and time of arrival in Delhi varies greatly from carrier to carrier. Most flights arrive in Delhi either very late in the evening (between 10:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m.) or early in the morning (between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m.). We are holding reservations at the hotel in Delhi for the group starting the afternoon of Day 1. If you arrive early in the morning of Day 1, you will need hotel accommodation from previous night in order to check in immediately.  This night would be at your own expense, but we can make reservations for you at the same hotel.

Day 2   Dibrugarh

Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Diburgarh, on the Brahmaputra.  This flight is included in the trip cost.  Relax and explore this mellow, pleasant town this afternoon.  You’ll be able to purchase lunch on the flight.

Hotel Rajawas or comparable, B&D

Day 3   Basar


After breakfast we’ll head to the river to take a local river boat across the wide Brahmaputra.  We can sunbathe, admire the views, and look for dolphins on our way to Boghiheel Ghat.  From there it is a windy but scenic six hour drive up to the town of Basar, where we will spend the night in a modest hotel.


Basar hotel, all meals

Day 4  Drive to So Nala

Another 8 hrs of driving through hills, rainforest and fascinating villages will take us to our put-in, where we camp for the night.

Camping, all meals


Days 5-8    Rafting

The first day we’ll put in at So Nala and raft to Koda, about 5 hours on the water.  This is a Class 4+ section with possible lining of some rapids.  The following day we make a short run to Taliha, with the afternoon free to kick back or explore.  The next two days are full days with plenty of exciting rapids and fabulous scenery.  On the last night we pull into the Wilderness Camp.

Camping, all meals

Days 9-10  More rafting

Run down to Tree Log Beach, about three hours away.  We’ll camp early to enjoy this lovely spot, then continue on the next day to Tiger Beach, a place you will simply love.

Camping, all meals

Day 11  Layover Day

Read, relax, soak in the final bit of the Subansiri. It’s always good to have a day to dry out and catch up on our reading and games.

Camping, all meals

Day 12  Dibrugarh

We run 90 minutes to the dam site, where we help with the take out then drive 3 1/2 hours back to Boghiheel Ghat and our ferry boat back to Dibrugarh and civilization. Transfer to the hotel.

Hotel Rajawas or comparable, all meals

Day 13  Delhi

Fly from Dibrugarh to Delhi in the afternoon. The flight is included in the trip cost.  Lunch is on your own.  We provide a transfer to our hotel.  The group will get together for a farewell dinner this evening.  If you want to book a flight home tonight, we’ll get you back to the airport, or you can stay in the hotel room we provide.

Godwin Deluxe Hotel or comparable, B&D

Day 14  Flying home

For those who chose to stay the night, we’ll provide a transfer to the airport.






Included in the land cost for your trip are

  • airfare from Delhi to Dibrugarh round-trip
  • Wantok leadership on the trip and planning assistance before it
  • accommodations in hotels or inns in cities and villages
  • all arrangements in the field, including camp meals, cook staffs, group gear and rafting equipment including wetsuits
  • meals as noted
  • airport transfers on group arrival and departure days
  • sightseeing and activities as noted in the itinerary
  • ground transportation
  • restricted area permits and fees

Excluded from the basic trip cost are

  • international airfare
  • insurance (see Insurance section below)
  • optional tipping off-river and to leader, guides and river staff
  • airport transfers if arriving earlier or later than trip dates
  • excess baggage charges
  • airport taxes
  • any meals noted as “on your own”
  • personal items like drinks, laundry, souvenirs, etc.
  • increases in airfare or fuel costs
  • extra costs beyond our control


Mail:  1678 16th St, Ste B, Oakland CA 94607