14-day jeep safari, 3 nights camping, and 10 nights at hotels.
We use soft-top 4×4 jeeps to explore the remote valleys of the two highest mountain ranges of the world: Karakoram & Himalayas. As our jeeps take us deep into valleys, we even leave the jeeps to walk through the mountains to feel their grandeur. We start from the Naran valley the most beautiful valley of Lower Himalayas. Visit the green plateaus of Shogran and lake Saiful Maluk in Naran, famous as the lake of fairies. Cross over the historic Babusar Pass and enter the Karakoram at Chilas. Continue towards Skardu to feel the real Karakoram. Spend some days around Skardu and visit its lakes Shangri-La and Satpara and old villages with Tibetan living style. Drive to Hunza, an important and historic place from ancient times. Excursion to upper Hunza, visit Khunjerab Pass – the border between Pakistan & China and the highest metal road border crossing in the world. Drive back to Islamabad to finish our wonderful trip.
(June – October)
Day To Mode Time Height Stay
1 Depart for Pakistan flight
2 Arrive Islamabad bus full day 570 hotel
3 – Shogran bus 5/6 2400 hotel
4 – Naran bus/jeep 5/6 2800 hotel
5 – Babusar – Chilas /Astor jeep 6/7 1200 hotel
6 – Skardu jeep 7/8 2287 hotel
7 – Shigar – Khaplu jeep 5/6 2350 Camp 01
8 – Hushe jeep 2/3 3000 Camp 02
9 – Kachura Lake jeep 6/7 2300 Camp 03
10 – Gilgit jeep 7/8 1600 hotel
11 – Karimabad jeep 4/5 2250 hotel
12 Karimabad jeep full day 2250 hotel
13 – Besham / Narran jeep 5/6 1200 hotel
14 – Islamabad jeep 11/12 570 hotel
15 Depart for home flight
Welcome reception on arrival at the federal capital of Pakistan and transfer to hotel. Afternoon sightseeing tour of the twin cities of Islamabad & Pindi. Enter Faisal Mosque – the landmark of Islamabad. Visit Daman-e-Koh on top of the hill for a panoramic view of Islamabad, and drive on Constitution Avenue to look at the President House, Parliament, Supreme Court & other state buildings. Also, visit Pindi’s colorful Raja Bazaar for bargain shopping. Overnight at the hotel.
Drive to Kaghan Valley. 34 km from Islamabad is Taxila, the archaeological site of the former capital of Gandhara Buddhist civilization dating from 500 BC to 500 AD. We visit the splendid site museum, a former monastery, and the city of Sirkup. Later we head north into the Himalayan foothills and pass through Abbottabad, a garrison town, and at Balakot enter the Kaghan Valley. The 92-mile-long Kaghan valley is one of the loveliest Green-Himalayan areas in Pakistan. (180 km, 7/8 hours)
As we travel through Kaghan, we pass hamlets with stone and wood homes surrounded by rice fields. We follow the Kunhar River and may encounter the caravan of handsome Gujjar nomads with their loaded horses until we reach the village of Naran (2,427 m), backed by the river. We visit Saiful-Maluk Lake, where the peak of Malka Parbat (5390 m) is mirrored in the deep blue waters. This lake was named after Prince Saiful-Maluk who fell in love with a fairy whom he saw bathing in the lake! Camp overnight. (70 km, 5/6 hours)
Pass to Chilas/ Astor Rama Alke
We follow the Kunhar River and head north, like the Gujjars, and see their temporary summer settlements as we proceed to Basel (3,266 m), a highland pasture with a cluster of stone houses that blend into the rocky hillside. At lake Lulusar, just beyond Basel, jeep tracks lead to the Babusar Pass (4150 m) with the source of the Kunhar River and also the boundary of Kaghan valley with northern areas. The ride across the pass offers extensive views of flowers like a pink bistro, blue delphiniums, edelweiss, and other flowers reaching white summits. We descend to the town of Chilas /Rama Lake on the bank of mighty Indus River, meals and overnight at hotel. (6/7 hours)
From Chilas we follow Karakoram Highway reputed as the eighth wonder of the world. We follow the Indus River towards the north and arrive at the place where the three highest mountain ranges of the world meet – Karakoram, Himalayas & Hindukush. Indus and Gilgit River also meet here at this unique place. We turn east from here for Skardu. This exciting mountain road that cuts through the deep & narrow gorge of the Indus River, offers many challenging views. The landscape is mostly very dry and wild, villages and settlements along the way are fewer and perched high on the steep mountain slopes. Just before Skardu, the valley suddenly opens up and becomes wide. The roaring & charging river becomes peaceful and calm. Arrive and explore the capital of Baltistan, Skardu town. Formerly Buddhist, Skardu, was called’ Tibet Khurd (little Tibet) and was an important stop on the old route to Tibet and the district of Ladakh. Here the Indus River joins the Shigar River to become an enormous oval basin at 2,300 meters enclosed in purple, red, gray, and ochre mountains. Stroll down the narrow bazaar, climb up the cliff to visit the historic “Kharpocho” fort. Overnight camp at Satpara Lake, a deep blue shimmer just fifteen minutes drive from Skardu.
The gentle, irrigated slopes with terraces of wheat, maize, and barley, and the orchards of apricot, mulberry, peach, plum, pear, apples, and nuts – all add to the charm of Shigar valley surrounded by snow-topped mountains. The town displays impressive carved wooden houses and mosques. After lunch in town, we drive to the adjoining Khaplu valley. Khaplu, the largest kingdom in old Baltistan, stretches in a wide fan from the base of a semicircular wall of mountain, dropping some 300 meters to the river level. Paths and irrigation channels connect the scattered houses set amid terraced fields and the friendly villager’s welcome visitors. We shall visit the historic wood-carved mosque, dominating the valley from the top end of an alluvial fan. Camp overnight at 2,600 meters.
Board soft-top 4×4 jeeps for an exciting ride to the trek head for K2 base camp. En route short stay in Machu village for a view of Mashabrum Peak (7821 meters). Arrive Hushe, a small green village with many beautiful camping sites. It is the starting and ending point of many trekking and mountaineering parties coming or going to Concordia. Overnight camp at 3200 m.
Drive back to Skardu. Short stay in Skardu town and continue drive for another 30km for heart shape lower Kachura Lake. Visit Shangri-La resorts around lower Kachura Lake one of the most beautiful resorts in northern Pakistan. Proceed further four kilometers to upper Kachura Lake. Overnight camping at upper Kachura Lake.
Enjoy your last breakfast at the safari camp, and say Khuda Hafiz to your camping staff who had been pitching tents for you and preparing meals for you during the safari. Drive on Skardu road through the deep gorge of Indus River to Gilgit. Visit rock-carved Kargah Buddha from 7th century AD. In ancient times the Kargah valley used to be the traveling route of the Buddhist monks, to go to Taxila. Stroll down the colorful Bazaars of Gilgit. (180 km, 5/6 hours drive).
We continue to the beautiful, breathtaking Hunza Valley through a scenic route. On our way, we see the old Silk Route, perched precariously above the riverbank, used by the Buddhist monks, traders, and locals. As we drive north along the Hunza River, the view is suddenly overtaken by the towering summit of Rakaposhi (7,788m). We stop a while at the view viewpoint to have a grand view of the mountain. Enter the Hunza valley and arrive at the capital Karimabad. Overnight at Hotel. (100 km, 2/3 hours drive)
Day free in Karimabad for short walks to Altit and Baltit Forts, and for other explorations in Hunza Valley. The people of Hunza are famous for their long lives. You can also see some beautiful peaks of the Karakoram ranging from Karimabad; Rakaposhi, Diran, Ultra, Golden peak, and the Nagar valley on the left bank of the Hunza River. In Hunza, each family grows enough wheat, maize, apricots, and walnuts for its own use. The people are mostly self-sufficient, making their own clothes, shoes, wooden and stone bowls, and growing all their own food. They are very friendly and cheerful. In the afternoon you could walk up to Ultra glacier, follow the irrigation channel through the village or stroll through the single lane bazaar for better views of soaring peaks around you. Overnight at Hotel.
Drive along the bank of Hunza River on Karakoram Highway, enjoying fascinating views of Karakoram Peaks from a different perspective. We might stop at Gilgit town for lunch. Arrive Besham/ Narran on the bank of the Indus River, overnight at the hotel. (260 km, 6/7 hours drive.)
Full-day drive on Karakoram Highway to Islamabad. We start early in the morning, to cover the 12 hours long drive. Short stay in Besham for lunch, by evening we shall reach Islamabad. Transfer to hotel. (500km, 12/13 hours drive)
Morning transfer to the airport for departure flight to the homeward destination.