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One has to bring all their eating and drinking items by themselves. Though the park attendants can arrange it, but this could be with some difficulty. Therefore the best option is to bring all your drinking items and eatables, non-perishable/uncooked types, if you intend to stay here for couple of days.
Park will provide you with a cook and crockery.
For cooks and corckery, arrange your stay with the Sindh Wildlife Department in Karachi.
Favorite Dish: We did not have a stove, but brought our own snacks. To warm our Pizza's, we placed them on aluminum foil and than on top of our car engines/hoods (only works if you start your meal on arrival). Hot Pizza anyone.
Written Oct 16, 2007
To reach its first center Khar, situated approx. 95 km from Karachi, one requires their own transport. Although we took our sedans, preference should be given to 4x4 if one wants to explore. Our journey was simply exploratory and we were not aware about the road conditions.
1/ From Karachi take superhighway till you reach Northern Bypass exit, heading north (restaurant Al-Habib marks the spot) – approx. 20km from city center.
2/ Take the northern bypass (pay Rs. 10 toll) going towards Baluchistan, now you will heading west. After traveling approx. 30 km you will reach a sign board for Hamdard University at your right. Left road is going towards Mangopir, and road straight towards Hub town and than to Baluchistan.
3/ Go towards Hamdard University this road will take you straight to Hub Dam, approx. another 25 km. Till here the road is double track.
4/ Once you reach Hub Dam, one road is climbing the Dam, and there is another going right (marked by a fading Kirthar National Park sign). The road now is single track (and surprisingly) newly built. Khar is approx 19 km from this mark. One important note: After traveling approx. 5 km, there is a fork on the track going right, take the left track. Right track takes you back to Karachi (another route but road condition is quite bad).
On 3 occasions, you will have to cross a dried out river stream. Trucks and other vehicles have flattened the track, and once can easily take ones car across it. The road ends where Kirthar National Park starts.
Khar Center is right from the road, and this road has been completely washed out due to rain. One requires a 4x4. I did manage to take my Honda City, but it was torture for the car. The last steep climb is full of gravel, God knows how I managed to take my car up. Others were more sensible and left their cars below and walked.
Do not do off-roading in your Sedan in the surrounding areas as you are liable to get stuck in the sand. I got stuck 3 times, and than gave up and returned.
Written Oct 16, 2007
The journey is REALLY off the beaten path. The region is sparsely populated. Therefore there could be a security concern. Best is to go with a large group, several vehicles driving in convoys, and get your booking done through Sindh Wildlife. They will inform all concern on the way to be prepared for visitors.
There are no hospitals or local health care facilities available. One may not be able to find any medicine either. Take a first aid kit and all the medicines that you may require.
There are no reliable hotels or stores on the way. Take all the drinking water and eatables with you. Ration according to number of people and number of days you will spend.
Preference should be given to 4x4. There are number of locations where there are no roads, and it is just a beaten washed out track. Normal cars will not be able to traverse such situations. As there are no proper maps or markers on the road, an experienced driver should be hired.
Kirthar National Park (KNP) is best suitable to visit in the cooler months - October to March. From April to September the temperature may shoot above 40 C, and during monsoons various tracks may be blocked due to flash floods and rain fed streams.
Get all your information about this area from Sindh Wildlife and who may know before departing. Inform all your relatives or friends that you will be going to this area and for how many days.
I am not trying discourage you from visiting the KNP, but you must understand that majority of Pakistan is off the beaten path, with very few amenities for tourists. One has to discover these areas themselves as unfortunately (but I say fortunately) the Government has not developed the park for mass tourism.
Written Oct 16, 2007