THE ULTIMATE TOURIST DESTINATION ..!
The "first tourist group" arrived in
Pakistan some 4000 years ago. They were the Aryans. They liked the
land so much that they never went back. In their search, came the Persians
followed by the Greeks, Bactarians, Huns, Arabs,
Darvidians, Turks, Mongols, Tibetans & many others, but
all preferred to stay here. The obvious reason was the incomparable
beauty, grandeur & tranquility of this region. Pakistan possesses all
ingredients for a Booming Tourist Destination. Its "extremely rich heritage"
is enough to quench the aesthetics from all walks of life. Unfortunately,
however, Pakistan's tourism potential is little known to the western world & its
rich & multicolored heritage is lying untapped.
INCOMPARABLE HISTORY ...!
million years ago, the common ancestors of the man & ape roamed
around ISLAMABAD - the gleaming new capital of Pakistan. The stone age
tools of the Homo Sapiens species of 50,000 B.C are found along the So'Aan
River. We happen to be the proud inheritors of the regions that remained
"centers" of the ancient civilizations of the World. Not just one out of
dozens, but "ONE" out of the "TWO" ancient civilizations on this
Earth. Yes..! the developed civilizations of the Indus, at Harrappa &
Mohenjodaro are Contemporary to the Egyptian civilizations of the Nile
& the Mesopotamian civilizations of Euphrates. The developed city
of Mehrgarh was "3000 years old" when Alexander the great invaded
this region in 326 B.C. The region that forms Pakistan has always been on
the crossroads of history. All the ancient routes and great passes happen
to be in Pakistan, which made this region a favorite play ground for the
conquerors, traders, travelers, historian, preachers & tourists.
THE UNUSUAL GEOGRAPHY ...!
Enveloped in the extremes of 04 distinct
weathers, the contrasting Geography of Pakistan is the nature's great
gift. Spread over an area of 8,68,591 Sq Kms, this magnificent land
contains galaxies of towering snow capped mountains, gigantic creeping glaciers,
lush green alpine meadows, rushing white rivers, tumbling waterfalls, quiet
lakes, blossoming fruit orchards in the "North" & fertile plateaus, rich
alluvial plains, meandering yellow rivers, glowing deserts & sandy beaches in
the "South". The "CONTINENTAL COLLISION" of the three mighty
mountain ranges of the world the Himalayas, the Karakorams & the Hindukush in
the North gave birth to the "thickest cluster" of the Highest Peaks &
Largest Glaciers on Earth. The statistics are simply baffling. "05" of
the world's "14" peaks above 8000 meters are in Pakistan. "101"
peaks are above 7000 meters & whereas peaks from 6999 to 3000 meters are
countless. "50" of the world's "100" highest peaks are in
Pakistan. "K-2" 8626 M is the second highest on Earth. Alone in Baltistan
& Hunza, there are more than "100" peaks above 18,000 ft.
Literally, most of their base camps are higher than the Summits of all the
peaks in Europe. Pakistan's glaciated region covers 12000 Sq/Kms. The
"06" longest valley glaciers of the world, are also in Pakistan & their
total length exceed 350 Km. The Biafo-Hispar glacial corridor of 116
Km is the longest on Earth. No mention of over 300 small glaciers
& their tributaries. The Hundreds of miles of rushing torrents surging out from
the snouts of these glaciers mingle to form the 3200 Km long Indus river
which quenches the entire length of the country & merges with the Arabian Sea
which banks a sandy beach of over 1000 Km. This incomparable contrast
will be completed only but with a brief mention of the 470,000 Sq Km deserts
located in Baluchistan, Sind & Southern Punjab with a rich multicolored culture
of their own.
THE MATCHLESS PEOPLE ... !
Pakistan is an eternal abode of 120
Million people of over "30 Ethnic Groups" speaking over "40 Languages
& Dialects" (excluding immigrants). They all differ from each other in every
respect. Here live the people in caves, straw abodes, mud houses & boats quite
aloof from the privileges of modern life & in the same country dwell the
people in palatial living quarters & skyscrapers well acquainted to the
space-age. Pakistan, is perhaps, the only country which exhibits an amazing
contrast of color, creeds, races, inheritance, customs, languages, dresses &
religions after every 25 miles in any direction. Whether they are the
Fierce Pathans or the Upright Baluchi; the Submissive Baltis
or the Amiable Hunzakurts; the Primitive Kafirs or the
Versatile Punjabis - all wear different cultures, but are fastened with just
one common character - the "TRADITIONAL HOSPITALITY".
THE WEARERS OF THE BLACK ROBES ...!
Pakistan's population, as you know is derived
from a variety of races bearing distinct languages, culture, & dresses. Out of
many interesting & lively cultures we have in Pakistan, I would like to
highlight the colorful culture of Kalash. The Kalash valleys are
inhabited by a primitive people known as Kafir Kalash, which means the wearers
of the black robes. Their origin is cloaked in controversy. Since the sign of
the Macedonian period are still to be found among these people. They are
said to be the decedents of the Greek soldiers who entered this valley in 327
B.C. The Kalash people live in centuries old houses multi storied on steep
mountain slopes along the river beds. The cluster of these small houses look
like bee-hives. The odd rituals, primitive customs and peculiar habits of
friendly and peaceful Kalash bewitch and enthrall the tourists from all over
the world. Kalash women still wear black woolen homespun garments, red beaded
necklaces by the dozens and exceptional headpiece that flows down their
backs embroided with cowrie shells, beads and trinkets. Unlike the Pakistani
Muslim women, the Kalash women do not observe "veil" (purdah) and posses
frank manners. The Kalash are gay people and are given to lively music
and dances. Their instruments are flutes and drums. They worship wooden
idols and have strange habits. The woman carry their make up & hair dressing at
the river and are not allowed to bring combs and cosmetics to their homes as
they bring evils. Another peculiar habit is the separation of women
during their menstruation periods. The ceremonies accompanying death
are the most queer of all. Every death is celebrated with dance & music by the
elders & mourned upon by the young who are not yet fully aware of the Kalash
philosophy which says "the dead are passed on to a better world" The body is
then placed in a wooden coffin with its personal belongings and jewelry
etc and left above the ground to decay.
WHY PAKISTAN GUIDES ?
With an experienced team of city & mountain
guides, cooks & drivers, Pakistan Guides is a licensed agency specialized in
operating sightseeing, archaeological, cultural, educational and special
interest tours; high treks, mountaineering expeditions, scientific expeditions,
mountain & desert jeep safaris, bicycle tours, photo safaris, camel safaris,
train safaris, rafting & kayaking expeditions, trophy hunting, snow skiing,
exploratory trips, honey moon, international tours & custom designed adventures
to the most exotic regions of Pakistan and many popular tourist destinations of
the world. With
the spirit of innovation, personalized services, the invaluable experience of
our "Professionals" & the strong support of our sister companies, we make each
venture of yours ... an unforgettable experience ..!
HOW DO WE RUN OUR TRIPS ... ?
All our trips are managed by a team of our
professionally trained guides, cooks & sardars. Porters or pack animals
carry all food, camping & kitchen gear including your personal baggage. All you
need to carry in your day pack are your jacket, water bottle, camera & other
small items you may need on trail. All members walk on their own pace
with the "lead" & "sweep" porters providing support throughout. Food on all
trips is plentiful, healthy, wholesome & varied prepared by experienced
cooks trained in kitchen & table hygiene. Quality tents & foam mattresses we
provide are extra spacious & comfortable. Each day's program is designed
to allow all members enough time for sightseeing, photography & exploration.
FOOD, WATER & HYGIENE ... ?
The day begins with a
cup of tea or coffee in your tent at around 5AM, followed by a full breakfast…,
which includes cereal, milk, eggs, bread, paratha (chapati), jam, honey, corn
flakes … etc. Walking begins at around 6-7 AM. We stop for lunch around noon.
Lunch usually includes crackers, cheese, nuts, fruit, juice, fish, salad, bread,
tea and coffee … etc, however, if the remaining trek is shorter and time
permits, our cooks always try to supplement your cold lunch with at least one or
two main courses of hot lunch. We normally arrive at our campsite between 2:00
p.m. and 3: pm (unless the walk is too long). You are served with tea on your
arrival. The staff always arrive before you at the campsite to pitch your tents.
Dinner is served around 7 p.m. and includes soup, followed by two to three main
courses of stews, rice, lentils, vegetables, chicken or mutton and chapattis.
There is always a desert (custard, pudding, kheer, halwa or sheer khorma) at the
end of dinners which is served with coffee or black or green tea. Meals are
served in rotation with a blend of local and international cuisines to maintain
variety. Fresh vegetables are served for as long as it is possible on the trek.
Please inform us about any dietary concerns that you may have. We will be more
than glad to fulfill your request. All our cooks and support staff are
thoroughly trained in kitchen and table hygiene & observe strict hygienic code.
You may give your personal water bottles to our kitchen staff every night &
they’ll fill them up with boiling water … which will not only warm you up in
your sleeping bag for a sound sleep but also provide you with safe boiled
drinking water for the following day’s walk.
A : EASY
Easy trekking/riding/driving at altitudes between
2000 M to 3000 meters but involving a lot of up & down-hill
walking on well beaten mountain trails for 03 to 05 hours a day.
Requires basic physical fitness with no technical knowledge or experience.
Ability to tolerate extremes of temperatures for all trip grades is a must.
B : MODERATE
Moderate trekking to altitudes averaging 2500
M to 3500 M with plenty of up & down hill walking on mountain trails for
04 to 06 hours a day & possibly including brief side trips or pass
crossing up to approx 4500 M. Requires good physical fitness with no
technical knowledge or experience.
C : STRENUOUS
Strenuous trekking to altitudes of 3000 M
to 4000 M involving a hard walk on steep mountain trails for 05 to
07 hrs a day but possibly including side trips, optional climbs or pass
crossings over 5500 M. Requires very good health with basic use of ice
axe, crampons & rope.
D : Alpine
Rigorous trekking or alpine climbing to altitudes
from 4000 to 5999 M for 06 to 08 hours a day
including sustained treks or climbs at altitudes exceeding 4500 M.
Includes excursions, pass crossings or summit climbing upto 5999 M.
Climbing knowledge with good experience & prime fitness is mandatory.
HEALTH & QUALIFICATION
Any one who is in good health & enjoys the
outdoors can join our trips. For "C" & "D" grades we may demand a
health certificate & a climbing certificate for "D" grades. We only
recommend self reliance, patience & sense of humor to enjoy your trips with us.
Pakistan's treks are classified into 03
zones : open, regular & closed. All regular treks require a permit, escort of a
licensed guide & mandatory briefings before & after the trips at the office of
the Ministry of Tourism Islamabad. The open treks do not need such formalities.
No treks are permitted in the closed zones.
TRIP DOSSIERS & BRIEFINGS
Upon receipt of reservation, (21 days
prior) we shall immediately mail you our trip dossiers, suggested clothing &
personal equipment you need on our trips & other relevant information. A
thorough briefing is given to each group before departing on trip
Before coming to Pakistan all members must
bring insurance directly from their agents covering accidents, health, ground &
helicopter rescues, loss or damage to baggage. Helicopter rescue bond (100 %
refundable if unused) is mandatory for all "C" & "D" grade trips.
NORTHERN AREA FLIGHTS
Since all Northern Area Flights are subject to
clear weather and clearance of back log, Pakistan
Guides do not guarantee
confirmation of seats on any such flight.
PASSPORTS, VISAS & TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
Every member must posses valid passport, visa &
travel documents. Pakistan
Guides will not be responsible for any
delays or cancellations caused due to any such discrepancy.
ITEMS INCLUDED AS PER ITINERARY
Tourist Class Hotel Accommodations, Full Board
Meals, Non A.C Transport (Van/Jeep/Car); Wages, Food, insurance & Equipment for
Guide, Cook & Porters; Pack & Ride Animals, Tents, Mattresses, Camp Food,
Kitchen Equipment, Dinning Equipment, Mess Tent, Camping Fees, Road Taxes, Entry
Fees, Parking Fees & Octrois. Transportation & Porterage of a Maximum 15 Kg per
person on Treks & 50 Kgs per person on Climbing Expeditions.
ITEMS NOT INCLUDED
Air Tickets, Airport Transfers, Climbing Gear,
Bicycles, Boats, Rucksacks, Sleeping Bags, Personal Clothing & Equipment;
Transportation or Porterage of Excess Baggage, Ground or Helicopter Rescue
Charges, Medications, Member's Insurance, Room Services, Beverages, Telephone
Calls, Items of Personal Nature & any other item or service not agreed by us
herein this contract.