Lake Saif ul Malook is amongst the most mesmerizing and attractive natural beauties in Pakistan. The lake’s pleasant atmosphere as well as its associated tale has been a source of attraction for large number of tourists every year. The lake, that forms the shape of an Oval, spreads over one mile area and features crystal clear water. Snow-covered peaks can be seen in the backdrop which certainly makes the view awe-inspiring. Lake Saif ul Malook carries rich eco-diversity with different marine species finding their home here. Water of the lake is quite clear which is primarily because of the fact that several glaciers around the basin are the source of water for this lake.
The Lake is arguably said to be the best and most beautiful lake of Kaghan Valley which serves as water source to the River Kunhar. Nevertheless, with all its beautiful views and Kaghan’s highest peak, Saif ul Malook really makes up one of the best tourist spots in the country and is a place worth visiting.
Geography Lake Saif ul Malook
Lake Saif ul Malook is situated towards the North of Kaghan Valley close to Naran. It lies towards North East side of the Mansehra District, KPK. Its elevation from sea level is 3224 m or 10578 ft. which makes it above tree line as well as one of highest lakes found in the country. Kaghan’s highest peak Malika Parbat also lies near this lake and add to its interest for the tourists. It is only 8 km from Naran town and is also accessible throughout summer season.
Best Time To Visit Lake Saif ul Malook
In winters, there is heavy snowfall in this region which makes the lake remain covered with heavy snow throughout the season. Also, the road remains closed because of snow fall and you can’t get there. However, summer is the best time to visit this place, especially from the month of May till end of July. During these months, most of snow has melted and the lake is at its best of natural beauty and mesmerizing views.
Lake Saif ul Malook Trekking Guidance
Getting to this beautiful lake is not as difficult as it is to many other lakes in the region. There are jeeps available to be hired from Naran and once you are there you just have to get a jeep after bargaining a bit with the local drivers – they can be expected to lower the price with some bargaining – and head to the lake via the road from the town of Naran which spans over 14 kilometers. There are pine trees that surround this road and give most pleasant views. There is a Mountain Range on one side and a deep valley on the other through which the river is flowing. After almost one and half hours drive you can see the lake and then you have to trek down to the lake from there which takes nothing more than 10 minutes.
If you are looking to make your trip more adventurous, you can also trek to the Lake from Naran. It will take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. However, you should only take this option if you are fit enough and have the stamina to endure such a long trek. If you are just planning to visit the Lake Saif ul Malook and don’t plan to go further to visit other lakes then your trip should not be of more than two days. Here is what you should do on each day.
On the first day the visitors should arrive in Narran early and after having the breakfast at some local hotel, they have to head to the lake either on a jeep or through the trekking trail. Leaving Naran early in the day is important, especially, when you decide to do some trekking rather than going on a jeep. Once you arrive at the lake, you should setup your camp and enjoy your time by the running waters. Camping there on full moon nights makes you feel as if you’re in some fairyland. There are some good camping sites and you’re recommended to camp here. Eatables can be availed from some shops close to the lake but it is better to have your food in store.
On second day of your trip, you should trek to the base camp at Malika Parbat. Here you can enjoy the scenic views and it’s up to you to camp here and stay overnight or just explore the beauty and head back to Naran.
Equipment And Kit for Trekking
If you are planning to go to the lake through a jeep then you just need to have some seasonal clothing with you and enough foodstuffs for your overnight stay. Make sure to carry enough water bottles with you to spend a night there without running out of water. Have your accessories and tents ready for a good night’s stay.
However, if you are planning to trek to the lake then you should carry your trekking gear with you having your trekking sticks, comfortable pair of shoes and some emergency supplies. Don’t forget the sleeping bags if you are Planning to Camp at the Lake.
Precautions And Survival Tips
If you want to trek to the lake then you must take necessary precautions to avoid any unlikely incidents. When traveling to the lake you should:
- Follow the trail that has been designated for the trekkers to avoid any mishaps
- Keep all the fellow trekkers together
- Have enough supplies to spend a night there
Lake Saif ul Malook Natural Reserves
When it comes to the natural beauty, this is one of the most picturesque points in Pakistan. There are many animals and plants that you can explore here. Especially, Saif ul Malook Lake is popular for having big brown-colored Trout fish whose weight can be around 7 kg. In the surrounding areas, you can come across Asiatic black bear, snow leopards, Eurasian lynx, snow partridge and Indian leopards. In winter season, Himalayan Ibex and Kashmir Markhor can be seen at high ridges as well. Asiatic Jackals, Wolfs and rabbits are also present in the surrounding areas of the Lake Saif ul Malook.
There are also different species of the blue-green algae that you can find here. Besides, you can discover more or less twenty six species of the vascular plant in this area. Among these, Asteraceae happens to be the one that is found most commonly. Some of the other species that you can find very easily here include Ranunculaceae, Cruciferae, Compositae, Apiaceae, Gramineae, Scrophulariaceae, Polygonaceae and Leguminosae.
All in all, this area is rich in flora and fauna and many natural reserves can be explored here.