Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 14, 2009

Birding in Pakistan

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 11:17 am

Birding in Pakistan

Migratory water birds move through the valleys of Pakistan from September to April.

Around Islamabad – Federal Capital Territory
Try in the city itself, which has lots of trees. In fact Islamabad has a bird list of ~400. “Hiking around Islamabad” details all the walks around the city.
In Islamabad, stay at the Star Hotel, Hotel Sitara.
In Rawalpindi stay at Al-Azam Hotel or Al-Falah Hotel.
In Peshawar – Rose Hotel, Park Inn, Sinbad Hotel, Shan Hotel.

Margalla Hills
North of Islamabad city, with good walking trails, receives many visiting birds from higher altitudes.

Rawal Lake
To the east of Islamabad, has a wide range of migratory and resident water birds.

A hill resort 3 hours north of Islamabad. You can reach it by bus from Abottabad or Rawalpindi. Hotels can be expensive.
Try around Murree or Ayubia NP.
In Murree try the walks to the Jhikagali Road and Kashmir Point. Stay at Chamber or the Chinnar Hotel.

Northern Areas

This is in the Shigar Valley near Skardu in Baltistan. Stay at the NAPWD resthouse. You can get there via a rough 32km track from Skardu on a bus.
In Skardu stay at the Baltistan Tourist Cottage.

Satpara Valley
Along the dirt road 9 kms from Skardu up the mountain nearly 4000 meters. Stay at Lakeview Motel Sadpara.

Deosai National Park
This area is covered in snow for most of the year. 50km southwest from Skardu.

Astor Valley
Leading from the Sheosar Pass. At Gudai, 15km up Chilim Gah, is an NAPWD resthouse, bookable in Gilgit. Tarashing has a couple of cheap hotels. To get here from Gilgit, take the bus to Jaglot and the minibus to Astor.
In Gilgit, stay at the Madina Hotel or MOuntain Refuge.

Karakoram Highway
The pass is closed in winter. On the way stop in at the Hunza Valley. At Baltit stay at the Old Hunza Inn or the Mulberry Inn.

Ghizar and Laspur Valleys
On the road from Gilgit to Chitral.


Chitral Gol National Park
In chitral stay at Hotel Savana or Al-Farooq Hotel. Chitral Gol NP is 30kms NW from Chitral. Book resthouses for Merin Kasavir and Gokhshal in Chitral.

Bumboret Valley
Try the cemetery at Krakal and the area between Batrik and Brun. Stay at Jinnah Kalash guest house or Kalash House.

Azad Kashmir

Muzafarrabad is 4-5 hours from Islamabad. You may be able to book resthouses here.
Neelam Valley – Pateka, Machiara, Salkalla, Gurais. Located 240kms from Muzaffarabad. There are buses to Kel.
Jhelum Valley. 59kms from Muzaffarabad. In Jhelum stay at the Paradise Hotel or Faran Inn.


In Lahore stay at Regale Inn. In Bahawalpur stay at the New Bahawalpur Hotel.
Try locations like the Murree Hill Range, the lakes Uchchali, Khabbaki, kallar kahar, Namal and Lal Sohanra.
Cholistan and Thal Deserts – Lal Suharvara National Park, 40km from Bahawalpur.
Salt Range, Potohar Plateau, Dera Ghazi Khan, Nammal Lake, Pirawala Forest Plantation, Lal Soharna National Park, Taunsa Barrage.

Cholistan Desert
To go into the desert you need to get a permit from DCO. There are camel tours beyond Derawar Fort.

Lal Suhanra National Park
35km east of Bahawalpur via bus to Lal Suhanra village. The park is 3km further. Stay at the TDCP Motel or the government resthouses.

Panjnab Head
This is where 5 rivers come together with extensive reed beds. 12kms from Uch Sharif, catch a bus from Bahawalpur.


Try places like Juniper Forest, Zhoab, and the Makran Coast.
The Hazarganji Chiltan National Park is 20km southwest from Quetta. There is a government resthouse 5kms inside the park. Get permission before you go.
You can get to Iran via Zahedan, Taftan, and Mirjaveh in Iran.
In Quetta stay at the Azad Muslim Hotel or Hotel Marina.
At Ziarat stay at Shalimar or CTC Tourist rest house. There are many hiking tracks around the town.

Hanna Lake & Urak Valley
Hanna Lake is 10km east of Quetta via bus. Go 11km further to Urak Tangi.


Haleji, Hadeiro and Kinjhar Lakes – 70kms from Karachi. Home to water birds. Ask at the STDC offices prior to going there for accommodation.
Manchnar Lake is a bird reserve near Sehwan Sharif. To stay at the rest house, reserve in Karachi.
Mai-Kolachi by-pass in Karachi has flamingos. In Karachi stay at Chandni Hotel or Al-Bilal Hotel.

To fly around inside Pakistan, try Air Blue, PIA or Shaheen Air. Iran Air has a direct flight from Karachi to Tehran.

Sources for Birding Pakistan

Birdquest Report
Birdwatchers Club of Pakistan
Bird Watching in Pakistan
Islamabad Bird Report

“Birds of Islamabad” by Mikko Pyhala 2001.(Unfortunately out of print).

Where to Watch Birds in Asia by Nigel Wheatley.

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