Seeing Pakistan from a Fresh Perspective

Published twice a year in the United Kingdom, a new travel magazine delves into the country’s unsung appeal.

Attabad Lake in Pakistan’s Hunza Valley. (Photo: iStock)

It may not be the first place that springs to mind when pondering a holiday, yet for Anam Hussain, a Birmingham-based journalist who was born in Lahore but raised in England, her ancestral homeland is a vastly underrated destination. “Despite its striking natural beauty and rich cultural traditions, Pakistan suffers unfairly from a negative image abroad,” she says. “Admittedly, there are still some areas that are off-limits to visitors, but that is hardly the whole picture. I have been visiting regularly and my experiences have been really quite extraordinary.” To share her passion for the country while challenging the stereotypes attached to it, Hussain has launched Capra Falconeri Traveller, a wanderlust-inducing magazine dedicated to all things Pakistan. The biannual publication takes its title from the scientific name for the country’s national animal, a species of screw-horned mountain goat known in Urdu as markhor. Like the markhor, which has been rescued from the brink of extinction by community-based conservation efforts, “Pakistan, too, is re-emerging,” Hussain explains.

Capra Falconeri Traveller’s inaugural cover features a hanging rock perched high above the Indus River in Skardu. (Photo courtesy of Capra Falconeri Traveller)

Themed around adventure, the magazine’s inaugural edition explores an enticing array of lesser-visited locales and locally run enterprises. There’s Hunza On Foot, a trekking company that brings intrepid guests into the Karakoram Mountains of northern Pakistan to engage with indigenous communities and sleep in updated shepherd’s huts. Other stories introduce readers to Glamp Katpana, which operates solar-powered tented camps in the high-altitude desert of Katpana and the alpine plains of Deosai National Park; and the Luxus Hunza resort, whose chalet-style cabins overlook the glacial blue waters of Attabad Lake. And if that’s not compelling enough, consider scuba diving in the waters off Karachi, doing yoga amid the fresh mountain air of Gilgit, or joining Karakoram Bikers for a motorcycle ride to the 4,693-meter Khunjerab Pass.

“Pakistan has so much to offer — and not just for adventure seekers,” Hussain says. “There’s millennia-worth of history, Mughal-era architectural masterpieces, fantastic food, and the warm hospitality of its people. I’m already overflowing with ideas for our second issue.”

cftpakistanmag.co.uk

 

 

This article originally appeared in the September/November 2021 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Turning the Page on Pakistan”).

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