Hunza Valley Jeep Safari
Gilgit and Baltistan are located here, some of the longest glaciers and a wide range of wild life like the famous snow leopards and mountain bears. Talk to anyone who has driven the 1284 km-long highway twists through three great mountain ranges- the Himalaya, Karakoram and Pamirs. Experiencing the sights and sounds of the Silk Road is for most Westerners the fulfillment of their own Marco Polo adventure fantasy, and the opening of the China Pakistan border at the Khunjerab Pass in 1996 made that dream an exciting reality. The pass is open to foreign tourists from May to at least the beginning (and as late as the end) of November, depending on weather conditions. Postal services and border trade continue throughout the year. Since late 1991 it has also become possible to enter China via the Moscow-Urumqi railway, which by-passes the Aral Sea. Traveling along the KKH is an experience that will not fail to captivate and enthrall you. The landscape is striking. In places, sheer, snow-capped mountains ascend from deep valleys while, elsewhere, lush alpine meadows are captured in colorful wildflowers and dazzling apple blossoms. Terraced villages are dotted around this monumental terrain, supported by traditional farming methods and lifestyles that have seen little change over the centuries. Each day provides a new and exciting scene-the reason why this experience has gained so much popular support from international travelers. Talk to anyone who has driven the 1284 km-long highway twists through three great mountain ranges- the Himalaya, Karakoram and Pamirs-and follows one of the ancient silk routes along the valleys of the Indus, Gilgit and Hunza Nagar Rivers. Shimshal is remotest valley in the entire Karakoram, located on three hours driving distance from the Karakoram Highway 53km jeep road (accessible for the first time in October 2003 by jeep). It is only accessible through a narrow, barrow gorge across the Passu Village area and Hunza River. Shimshal covers the largest territory of the Gojal of the Hunza. From its western reaches border by the Hunza River, its area extends as far as Baltistan to the East and it northern Khunjerab River, demarcates the frontier with China. This valley holds attractions for various kinds of tourists. It has many of the still unclimbed above 7000M peaks of Gilgit-Baltistan are located here, some of the longest glaciers and a wide range of wild life like the famous snow leopards and mountain bears, a large number of blue sheep population and mountain ibex and many other wild life species of the area. It has attraction for the society lovers as the only place where the culture and values of Hunza is still alive. The pastures of this valley and Pamir yaks are very famous and its unique traditional festivals. These all makes Shimshal as one of the best place to visit in HunzaValley. The people of Shimshal friendly farming and herding community as entirely comprised of Wakhi speakers and due to the valley’s remoteness and difficult accessibility, much of their traditional Wakhi culture has remained intact. Just as centuries ago, thepeople of this area lead a simple life dictated by the seasons and the nature around them. The first settlement of this remotemountainValleyis estimated to have arrived some 400-500 years ago. At that time Shimshal was under the rule of the Mir of Hunza who sent criminals and society outcasts to Shimshal for punishment. It is also known that the hired the tough Shimshalis to raid caravans arriving from China. The Shimalis themselves have their own story of their origin. Well adjusted to the high altitude life with summer pastures lying as high as 4800M. In the summer the families are going to pastures with their children and spend three or four month there while changing the pastures with yaks, sheep and goats. The people of Shimshal are very strong having good reputation of high altitude porters, mountain Pamir Yaks on the trek to Shimshal Pass guides and mountaineers in Pakistan.