Pakistan is a land abundant in wildlife and natural beauty; all thanks to the ever-changing landscape, from flowing rivers to some of the highest peaks in the world… Hunting as a sport has long been a tradition for generations of Pakistani’s, and few people know this better than Yusaf Hameed Paracha, Partner and Operator of Kohistan Safaris.
After years of participating-in and organizing hunts, Paracha came to realize that there is a huge vacuum that exists when it comes to the method of conducting hunts and sustaining wildlife. It was after this realization that he embarked on his journey to establish a one-of-a-kind game farm that today goes by Kohistan Safaris. “We aim to build a client base of avid outdoors-men local and overseas, providing them with the opportunity to hunt and fish in Pakistan, while simultaneously taking the pressure off hunting and fishing local wild animal species.”
The privately owned and operated game farm and hunting reserve, provides an opportunity for enthusiasts to engage in outdoor activities in a sustainable and Eco-friendly manner. Apart from hunting and fishing, Kohistan Safaris offers a number of other outdoor activities including trekking, shooting, archery, outdoor survival training, camping and bird watching.
“We manage our own game animals and birds (with our associate APF), presenting them to our clients in challenging natural surroundings. We focus on the indigenous game animals of the subcontinent, as well as introduce species such as the red leg partridge and the ring-necked pheasant. Our aim is to provide a one-stop-shop for outdoors-men and eliminate the hassles of planning an outdoor trip in Pakistan.”
Kohistan Safaris firmly believes in the importance of an outdoor education and teaching the importance of conservation to children. To reinforce this, they are introducing activities catered to children like family camping trips at their estate Lodge. According to Mr. Paracha, “the concept of outdoor education does not exist in Pakistan. It has been handed down from father-to-son for generations, and a lot of people have been lost in the middle. We provide an opportunity for people to connect with nature on their own terms and in a sustainable way. The hunting culture in Pakistan is heavily dependent on ‘special favors’ to remove the red tape associated with the idea of hunting. We eliminate such requirements by legalizing the sport in accordance with wildlife laws and by providing best in class service.”
Though similar models exist all over the world, this is the first time such an initiative has been taken in Pakistan. Mr. Paracha points out that most Pakistani’s take nature for granted and are unfortunately of the impression that nature is theirs to be plundered. We overlook the fact that whatever we take from nature has to be reciprocated in some way to keep the balance. Because of this, it’s even more challenging to plan, nurture, grow and sustain wildlife in Pakistan. But Kohistan Safaris are up for the challenge.
When asked how a set-up such as this one could impact Pakistan’s tourism industry Mr. Paracha replied, “In a perfect world, there would be a huge surge of big game hunters and wing shooters lining up at our doorstep. We provide a chance to hunt Pakistani game in Pakistan; no other country can do that. Sadly, though the current state of affairs in the country does not allow for that yet. Overseas clients are extremely weary to come to Pakistan. But hopefully as the law and order situation improves, we are confident in seeing it having a significant impact on the tourism industry.”