Cedar Trees from Chitral Gol National Park, Pakistan - June 2006
Chitral Gol National Park is situated in the beautiful valley of Chitral. Chitral Gol is a narrow valley, its gorge running for some 18km before broadening out into a basin surrounded by high peaks. Numerous tributaries drain into the Chitral Gol, which flows southwards into the Kunar River. Visitor facilities include two former hunting lodges, originally built by the Mehtars, the former rulers of Chitral. The most accessible guest-house “Char-Bini” is about a 90 minute drive by a 4-wheel drive from Chitral town. It’s a beautiful uphill journey to an undisturbed location. The park is extremely good for trekking.
This park is famous for its Markhor goats, estimated 100-125 in 1970, and 225 in 1975. A more recent estimate indicates a population size of 650. Other ungulates, such as Himalayan Ibex and Ladakh Urial (Shapu), occur in very small numbers. The status of Snow Leopard does not appear to be resident, visiting the park occasionally. Wolves are seen less frequently following restrictions on grazing by livestock. Black Bears are now considered to be extinct. There are Foxes, Otter’s and Yellow-Throated Martens too.
Birds in the park are Lammergier, Himalayan Griffon Vultures, Golden Eagles, Himalayan Snowcock, Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Rock Partidges and Raven’s. However, you are only guaranteed seeing Kestrels here.