Safari Park Karachi
Karachi Safari Park (Urdu: کراچی سفاری باغ), opened in 1970, is a public funded 'family-only' safari park covering an area of 407 acres (1.65 km2), located in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
. It has a zoo, geared with viewing facilities like chairlifts and safari tracks, as well as two natural lakes. The park also features a private funded amusement park, Go Aish
, in its vicinity. The highlight of the Safari Park is the large hill located in the very center. There are various options to get to the top. You could follow a meandering trail that leads to the top. Or you could walk up the steps that have been built at various spots along the hillside to climb to the top. Or, you can just prefer to "go natural" and climb the rugged hillside by yourself. At the top of the hill are lush green areas for walking, running around, and even playing football (yes, if you happen to bring one along). There are also food and ice cream stalls - but no restrooms.
Block-11 University Road near NED university, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi.
Karachi Safari Park was inaugurated in 1970 by Lieutenant General Atiq-ur-Rehman. It was an independent project of the then Karachi Municipal Corporation. The creation of an independent zoo, safari and aquarium department followed in 1995. Karachi Safari Park is now an independent wing of the Community Development Department of City District Government of Karachi and has been designated as a 'family park'.
A Unique Fact:
The land on which Safari Park is situated was lived in 5,000 years ago by the Phoenicians. The fact that they lived here was proved conclusively when their graves were identified by the renowned archaeologist Dr. S.M Ashfaq. The fruit of an archeological expedition organized by Mr. Azmat Ansari was the discovery of a 5,000 year old pitcher which was on display in the National Museum Karachi for some time. The find was made less than a mile from the Safari Park. The entire land on which Safari Park is situated millions of years ago was under the now extinet Tethyes Sea.
- Swan lake: A natural lake is located inside the safari park featuring a pagoda style sitting place.
- Chairlift: The 10 minutes long chairlift ride was set up at a cost of US$ 2 million and was inaugurated by the Karachi City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal on March 8, 2006.
- Go Aish: A private theme park featuring ropes course, paintball, quad biking, indoor climbing and a mini golf course.
Dawn of April 4, 2006 – Lake At Safari Park in Bad Shape:
One of the two artificial lakes at Safari park, which once had been home to many wild birds and also provided a recreation facility to the citizens, has virtually been turned into a muddy pond without any birds due to negligence of the park management.
Sources in the city government said that about 30 flamingo, eight black swans, four cranes and other birds were residing in the lake just a year ago. Many of them have either been stolen or died, while rest have been shifted to an isolated place in the park.
They said that the park management had not been providing any proper health facilities to the wild animals and birds’ residing in open closures. This, they added, had resulted in the deaths of various birds and animals.
Currently, there is only one veterinary doctor for the animals and birds but he, too, is involved in administrative affairs hardly visits the safari area, sources said.
They said that the lake had not been cleaned for the last eight months, which had resulted in spread of fungi in and around it. The shelter for the birds has also been broken, they added.
The former city government had approved a project to develop water input and disposal system but it has also been in doldrums for the last one year.
The former city nazim, Niamatullah Khan, had inaugurated the safari area about 16 months ago where a large number of citizens used to come to see wild animals living in jungle-like environment.
The safari area where over 500 animals and birds were living in open enclosures by 1996; had been closed for the citizens by the defunct Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) due to unspecified reasons.
However, the former city nazim took personal interest and launched air-conditioned bus service to attract fun-starved Karachiites to visit the park.
On the directives of the former city nazim, the work on chairlift project had also started which has recently been completed and is operational.
Meanwhile, the administration of the Safari Park, in order to provide healthy recreation and safety to visitors, has introduced “Safari Bus” and a “Safari Train”, carrying visitors through the park area from where they can see wild animals.
A modern chairlift has also been introduced recently to carry visitors across the Safari Lake and over to the top of the Safari Hill from where visitors can have a look at the city.
In order to eliminate criminal elements, involved in snatching of hand bags, cellphones and eve-teasing, strict security measures have been reinforced.
Besides, entry of suspicious couples has also been banned, especially teenagers in school and college uniforms.
“It is open to families only”, a spokesman for Safari administration said.
- Aviary: In June 2012, administrator of KMC, Muhammad Hussain Syed, told The Nation that the country's biggest aviary was being constructed speedily inside the safari park.
- Boating: In September 2012, it was announced that pedalo boating will be introduced in the lake.
- Camping site: A 300 acres of scouting land and camping area was also reported to be under development in October 2012.
- Elephant enclave: An enclave of about 65,000 square feet that would include a bathing space and resting area for the elephants was reported to be in construction.