When it comes to the beautiful landscape and natural wonderlands we often think of Northern Areas but there are some very beautiful areas equally mesmerizing in other provinces of Pakistan as well, though they are less explored yet they are no less in scenery and beauty. One of which we are going to talk about is Kithar National Park in Sindh Pakistan that is a sight of exotic beauty coupled with a safe sanctuary for wildlife.
Kirthar National Park is a vast rugged national park in the southwest of Sindh that also embraces the historic Ranikot fort. It has stretched endlessly over dry arid land with an enchanting landscape, rugged lines of hilly terrain, parallel rock hills, and twisted, stony valleys making it the largest national park of Pakistan and is home to a wide range of mammals, birds and reptile species. Along with the natural scenery, the presence of their rare species here offers a very thrilling experience. Also, Kirthar Park offers a unique and incredible landscape rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage. The Ranikot fort here is very significant and famous that attracts a mass number of tourists from the lengths and widths of Pakistan and abroad.
Before the independence of Pakistan in 1947, this part of the Kirthar mountain range was used for hunting. Later in 1972, it was declared a wildlife sanctuary, and in 1974, it finally gained its National Park status, and was also the first Pakistan Park to be included in the United Nations' list of national parks around the world, in 1975. It is classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as a Category II area.
Kithar National Park location is in Kirthar Mountain Range with an area of over 3,087 km² (about 1200 mi²), and has two wildlife sanctuaries — Hub Dam Wildlife Sanctuary and Mahal Kohistan Wildlife Sanctuary — and to the Surjan, Sumbak, Eri and Hothiano game reserves.
Kirthar National Park animals is home to a variety of wildlife and the extensive mountainous terrain is a safe refuge to these rare species. The snow leopard is one of the rare wildlife here that despite its rarity has certainly found fertile ground here. It also houses the striped hyena and desert wolf that are also on the decline. But after it being recognized as a conservation area by the International Union measures to preserve these rare wildlife animals have been taken on priority. Also, it offers a habitat for Indian foxes, jungle cats and jackals.
Moreover, substantial populations of urials (a type of wild sheep), Sindh ibex (also known as Turkman wild goats) and chinkara gazell can also be found in this National Park. Indian grey mongooses, hedgehogs and porcupine are among the other endangered species that are quite in numbers here. In 1984, a captive breeding program for blackbuck was initiated, with the intent to reintroduce them here and fifteen of these antelopes were brought to one of the visitors' centers from the United States for this purpose. That has brought further variety to this wildlife sanctuary.
Travel to Kirthar National Park tour package requires preferentially a 4x4 or a private vehicle. There are two common entrances to the park i.e. Karchat and Khar. Firstly, Karchar, that is the main visitor centre with an entrance via an arterial road branching off near Nooriabad from the motorway M-9, commonly known as the Super Highway that links Karachi and Hyderabad. This route takes you through some small villages to Karchat, is passable only by 4x4 because it is mostly an unpaved by-way that is in places challenging to access due to the difficult terrain, and neither is the signage properly marked.
Secondly, for Khar, take the Kirthar Park Rd, linked in the middle with the Karachi Northern Bypass (motorway M-10) radiates north from Karachi. Kirthar Park Rd leads to Khar and can be easily accessed even without a 4x4 but again the roads are pretty rough and tough. If you don't have your own 4x4, you can go by a guided tour in a hired vehicle. Moreover, inside the park there is no facility of any transport so better you manage prior.
Within the park there are few lodgings and facilities with some basic amenities. The wildlife guesthouses at Karchat and Kar run by the Sindh wildlife. Yet if you want to pitch your own tent, you are allowed to but you will have to carry one with you.
In a nutshell, Kirthat National Park is a place where nature dwells all around with some man-made masterpieces in the vicinity. If you want to enjoy pure nature, witness some rare wildlife and explore some history, then this is the perfect place that you should visit.