Pakistan Thalle La Trek holiday, Karakoram mountains

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Pakistan Thalle La Trek holiday, Karakoram mountains

Environment

We will be camping on the Thalle La trek. Camping is a low environmental impact way of seeing a country. You use less water and electricity then a hotel, as well as having an outstanding natural experience.

Travelling with us to Pakistan, you will be contributing our foundation, which has supported the Kalash during environmental crisis. In 2013 and 2015 the Kalash Valleys in northern Pakistan saw huge floods that washed away homes, village buildings and the local primary school. In the village of Balanguru – one of three villages in the Kalash Valleys – five luckless houses, close to the river’s edge were destroyed along with the bridge that connected the village to the road. Thousands of tons on mud spewed into other buildings – including the temple of the family, Justak Khan.

Concerned that the situation was getting worse with the annual floodwater eating away at the riverbank, Saifullah Jan, the chief spokesperson for the Kalash and friend of our tour company owner for over 20 years, approached us to see if we could help. He felt if something wasn’t done soon the village of Balanguru could be swept away. We started a Kalash Wall Fund and dedicated our annual ‘Evening of Adventure’ at the Royal Geographical Society in March 2017 to the cause. With guest speakers, including the legendary writer, actor and traveller Michael Palin, who visited the Kalash during his Himalayan series, we raised over £7000 on the night. With further generous donations after the event we met out £9000 target and the construction work on a new flood defence wall could begin.

With the funds raised and the wall built all in a matter of seven months, it was a fantastic result! The Kalash are a vulnerable people that live in a vulnerable world. Over the years they have done so much for us, welcoming our tour company and our travellers into their community and homes. It seems only right we could continue to do something positive for them and help protect a community and its environment brick by brick.

Community

On day 3 you will have the opportunity to visit projects in Khaplu. Bara wool spinning centre is a centre which teaches and promotes the culture of wool spinning in Pakistan. The Khaplu Women's Vocational Training Centre aims to educate women and promote women’s rights in Pakistan, a country in which boys are often prioritized for education over women.


By visiting local shepherds on our Thalle La trek, we are able to put much needed funds directly into the local communities, as well as cross cultural barriers. In addition all foods are produced locally so several members of the village benefit financially, which improves several familys’ standard of living. The great thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that everyone gains – the locals financially and us from the fuss they make of us!

More than 2 years on from the devastating floods that hit the Kalash Valleys, in northern Pakistan, the children of Balanguru Village are still without a primary school building. Flooding destroyed much of the already fragile infrastructure in July 2013, including homes, communal buildings, water channels and crops. The small primary school building was washed down the valley, leaving students without their classrooms. Since then the children have been taking classes outdoors (and in tents) with no formal school setting. While the Pakistani government has agreed to provide a new building, parents and Kalash leaders are understandably concerned about re-building the school on the same exposed plot of land for fear of future flooding.

Our tour company Foundation set up a Kalash Land Appeal to raise the £5000 needed to purchase an alternative piece of land and accommodate the primary school students in a much safer environment. With the generous support of our clients who have visited the people of the Kalash and various fundraising events we hope to raise the funds this year. The total raised to date is now over £3500 and with your help we can hit our goal.

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