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Hazarganji-Chiltan National Park/Pakistan

Introducing Hazarganji-Chiltan National Park

This 15, 555-hectare national park in the mountains, about 20km southwest of Quetta, is a showcase of the sort of ecosystems that were once far more widespread in Balochistan. Amid juniper, pistachio, almond and ash trees, a huge variety of bird life is present, from tiny warblers to vultures and eagles. Harder to spot is the impressive array of large mammal species. The most notable is the Chiltan markhor, a wild goat that now only persists in the park boundaries. Wolves, leopards and striped hyenas are also present, along with smaller species like porcupine.

The park is a protected area watched over by rangers who may be able to show you around. It’s particularly attractive in the spring when wildflowers abound. Permission to visit must be obtained from the Divisional Forestry Office (081-9211648; Sabzal Rd, Quetta), where you can also book accommodation at the park’s resthouse (only for day use). There isn’t any public transport to or from the park so you’ll need to hire a car. The entrance is only a couple of kilometres from the main Quetta–Mastung road. The PTDC office in Quetta can provide more details.