Iraqi Kurdistan

Iraqi Kurdistan is a world away from how the rest of Iraq is portrayed in the news. It is a stable and peaceful state of soaring mountains and lush valleys, where westerners are typically received with a liberators’ welcome. Iraqi Kurdistan refers to the 3 Kurdish northern Iraqi Provinces, Duhok, Erbil, and Sulaymaniya, which are autonomous of the central Iraqi government and ruled by the Kurdistan Regional Government. The region has enjoyed de facto autonomy since 1991, when a no-fly zone was established to protect the long oppressed Kurds from Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime. Having been spared the war of 2003, Kurdistan-Iraq is a very different place from central and southern Iraq.

You may be surprised to learn that the BBC’s Top Gear team filmed their Christmas special here and that the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office have no travel advisories in place for the region.

The region’s slogan ‘The Other Iraq’ could not be more apt as Kurdistan is quickly becoming a ‘gateway to Iraq’ with substantial economic and foreign development. In fact it may as well be a separate country, with its own prime minister, parliament, language and culture; even the people do not consider themselves Iraqi. Visitors to Kurdistan will find a welcoming land where a variety of religions and beliefs (Muslims, Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kakayis, Zoroastrians, Yarsanis, Hawaris, Ahli haqs) live peacefully side-by-side. While Kurdistan’s cities continue to develop, the real draw is Kurdistan’s striking scenery (such as the soaring mountains near Amadiya and deep canyons at Gali Ali Beg and Hamilton Road) and the chance to meet locals, who are open and friendly and usually eager to talk about the challenges & sorrows of recent years.

SPECIAL NOTE (18-08-2014)
IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT THE WHOLE OF IRAQ AT PRESENT IS IN TURMOIL AND WHILE IRAQI KURDISTAN SO FAR SEEMS TO BE LARGELY UNAFFECTED BY THE VIOLENCE OF THE CONFLICT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE AT THIS STAGE TO KNOW HOW THINGS WILL LOOK IN 2015. BEING BOTH OPTIMISTIC AND REALISTIC WE ARE CURRENTLY TAKING BOOKINGS FOR TRIPS TO IRAQI KURDISTAN IN 2015 BUT WILL BE REVIEWING THE VIABILITY AND SAFETY OF ALL TOURS APPROX 2 MONTHS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS WHATSOEVER.

Iraqi Kurdistan - Is it Safe for Travel?


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Ali Lea
Quotation Mark

I don't believe it! Yet again WF totally exceeds expectations....

Ali Lea


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Join thousands for a traditional Kurdish picnic on Friday at Ahmadawa Valley.

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Read "A Thousand Sighs, A Thousand Revolts" by Christiane Bird - a great introduction to understanding the plight of the Kurds.

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Join thousands for a traditional Kurdish picnic on Friday at Ahmadawa Valley.

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