Key travel and weather information
The weather is changing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan and the first snowfall of the season has heralded winter in the country. As beautiful as it might seem, the snowfall has also caused a lot of trouble to tourists at various places, especially at the Babusar Top.
Tourists are facing problems due to inadequate information, unfamiliarity with routes, and the neglect of precautionary measures that one must ensure before leaving for the Northern Areas, the picturesque region popular with domestic and international tourists.
If you plan to tour the Northern Areas, get updated information on road conditions and weather so that you do not face any difficulty in case of heavy rain or snowfall.
The entire landscape of Pakistan is dotted with beautiful places, but in winters people from all over the country turn to the mountainous areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), especially, to experience and enjoy the snowfall.
Getting a bit of relevant information before heading out for a tour can make travel and accommodation easier and more enjoyable.
If a tour is on your plans, you should leave right away, because in the next one and a half months snowfall could increase and cause roadblocks and landslides. The severity of the weather also makes it difficult for tourists to travel and move around.
According to the KP Tourism Department, the roads across the province are open and the weather is clear at the moment.
Mansehra: All tourist locations are open and suitable for travel at this time. The weather is clear and mild, but the Babusar Top route is only open from 9am to 4pm. In addition, the roads to Abbottabad and Galyat are open and suitable for travel.
Swat: Roads leading to all tourist spots, including Kalam, Mahodand and Malam Jabba, are open and clear and there is no obstacle in getting there at present.
Kumrat: All the desired places in Lower and Upper Dir can be easily reached at this time and the weather in these areas is also clear.
At present, the average maximum daytime temperature in the province is 35 degrees Celsius while the minimum is 19 degrees Celsius. However, the temperature in the upper areas including Kalam, Malam Jabba, and Naran is less than 10 degrees Celsius at night. Tourists should keep warm clothes with them when visiting these places.
They should wear warm clothes to avoid the cold and the harmful effects of the weather.
As of October 15, at least 55% of hotels are booked in Ayubia, 65% in Dunga Gali and 70% in Nathia Gali.
Hotels in Balakot are 40% full, in Sugaran 50%, Kagan 30%, Bata Kundi 40%, and Naran 50%.
Malam Jabba has seen 40% hotel occupancy, Madin 35%, Bahrain 35%, Kalam 40%, Kumrat 25%, Dir 20% and Chitral 25%.
Before embarking on a trip, one can obtain more information from the KP Culture and Tourism Authority’s 24-hour free helpline 1422.
With this helpline, tourists coming to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa can get information about weather conditions, traffic, and emergency services. Additionally, they can also seek information on nearby important places.
Arranging accommodation before leaving for a tour is also a necessary step. For this purpose, information can be obtained from the official mobile app or the website of the KP Tourism Department.
The KP Tourism Department has set up camping pods at 10 places in the province to facilitate tourists. These tourist destinations include Thandiani, Sharan, Bishigram, Gabin Jabba, Yakh Tangi, Sheikh Badin, Mahaban, Shahida Sar, Alai and Bamburit.
Tourists should avoid traveling at night and rely on local drivers instead of driving on mountain routes.
Young men and women and children should be prohibited from going too close to rivers, streams and lakes or going into the water. The waters in these areas are colder, deeper than expected and flow much faster.
The provincial government has also issued SOPs to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The SOPs require tourists to make sure that they are healthy and physically fit to travel.
The government has instructed all tourists to carry their computerized national identity cards or CNICs, and the Covid-19 vaccination certificates at all times.
The information in the report will continue to be updated.