Shimshal Valley Yak Safari

Shimshal-valley-yalk-safariThe yak is regarded as one of the world’s most remarkable domestic animals. It lives in conditions of extreme harshness and deprivation while providing a livelihood for people. Chinese historians have argued that without the yak’s capacity to live in such a hostile environment, human civilization might not have established and flourished in remote areas.

Yak (Bos grunniens) is native to high mountains of Asia mostly in Tibet, Xingjiang autonomous region of China, Shimshal valley in the Karakoram ranges of Pakistan, Tajikistan, and India and in Wakhan corridor, Afghanistan. Yaks were first domesticated in Tibet in 1000 BC and have always been the most useful domestic animal at high elevations, above 3,200 metre to 5,500m.

shimshal-yak-safariYak can climb as high as 6,500 metre and can also be successfully raised at very low elevations. Yak is a very efficient food-converting animal, and does well on a variety of pastures with no supplemental feed required. The yak grazes on grasses, herbs, and lichens. In winter it eats poor coarse grass, withered leaves and twigs, and quenches the thirst with snow and ice. Yak is a sure-footed climber.

It has a great lung capacity. Even its blood cells are designed for high elevations — half the size of those of cattle, and three times more in number — increasing the blood capacity to carry oxygen. The dense coat enables yak to successfully survive temperatures as low as -40 degree Celsius. Yak’s respiratory rate increases with heat and low altitudes and decreases at high cooler climates. No doubt, yaks are very useful animals in term of using for transport, meat, milk productions.

Yaks in Pakistan

In Pakistan yaks are found in Shimshal, Passu, Wakhan, Nagir and Baltistan in the Karakoram and Himalayan regions of Pakistan. But its major concentration is in Shimshal valley in the Khunjerab National Park on the northeast of Gilgit bordering China. Shimshal is located in the Karakoram Range. The elevations range from Shimshal village (3,108 metres) to the highest summit Destughil Sar (7,885 metres). Approximately 80 per cent of the Shimshal region falls into this high mountain zone.

The local people engaged with the tourism industry have introduced the “Yak Safari” in the valley and now every year hundreds of tourists rash up to there to experience the unique traveling adventure.


Day 01: Arrival to Islamabad international airport, you will be greeted by our representative at airport and transfer you to hotel along with your luggage.

Day 02: Fly to Gilgit or drive on Karakorum Highway to Chilas 12-14 hrs, overnight at hotel.

Day 03: Drive to Karimabad Hunza, overnight at hotel.

Day 04: Day free at Karimabad for local visits, overnight at hotel.

Day 05: Continue to Passu, drive to newly formed lake and cross by the boat then overnight in stay Gulmit.

Day 06: Drive to Shimshal depending over the start of kuch.

Day 07: You will be on yak to Wuch Furzeen 6-8 hrs, overnight in the tent.

Day 08: Wuch Furzen to Shuizherav 6-8 hrs, overnight in the tent .

Day 09: Trek to Shimshal Pass 3-4 hrs trek, overnight in the tent.

Day 10: Day free for local exploration.

Day 11: Down to Arbab Pureen, overnight in the tent.

Day 12: Safari to the Village.

Day 13: Continue to Gulmit, overnight at hotel.

Day 14: Drive to Gilgit.

Day 15: Fly to Islamabad or drive to Besham/hotel.

Day 16: Day free at Islamabad to visit Taxila or Rothas Fort or continue from Besham to Islamabad/hotel.

Day 17: Departure from Islamabad (drop to the airport).

End of services.