Afghanistan Tours & Holidays
Small Group Tours & Tailor-Made Holidays
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A country that hardly needs any introduction, the very mention of Afghanistan will give politicians and journalists palpitations and have travellers salivating with expectation. Arid and mountainous, for centuries it has lain at the heart of the empiric machinations of world affairs; its extraordinary landscapes playing host to the great games of international politics. Its turbulent history though masks a culture of staggering diversity and its proud and hospitable people are amongst the most ...
A country that hardly needs any introduction, the very mention of Afghanistan will give politicians and journalists palpitations and have travellers salivating with expectation. Arid and mountainous, for centuries it has lain at the heart of the empiric machinations of world affairs; its extraordinary landscapes playing host to the great games of international politics. Its turbulent history though masks a culture of staggering diversity and its proud and hospitable people are amongst the most fascinating and courteous you could ever wish to meet.
So, follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo and journey across mountains and plains that have changed little over the intervening centuries. Discover an extraordinary string of cities that lie spread across the landscape from Kabul to the Hindu Kush, visit the mountain caves of Bamiyan, the historic northern towns of Mazar-i-Sharif and Balkh and the famous Panjshir Valley.
Here the advances of 20th century have largely been left far behind and the horse and donkey still reign supreme. And then there is the remarkable Wakhan corridor, created by the British as a buffer-zone against perceived Imperial Russian expansionism. Best approached from across the border in neighbouring Tajikistan, it is politically and culturally another world…which leads us very neatly on to a whole new Central Asian adventure.
Start your journey
Travel to Afghanistan with like-minded people on one of our small group tours, featuring knowledgeable local guides and an expert tour leader.
HIGHLIGHTS OF AFGHANISTAN
Hike and walk in the Wakhan’s peaks
One of the best ways to take in and appreciate the area’s impressive nature is by foot and there will be ample opportunity for hikes and walks particularly around Kret Village in the foothills of Babaa Tangi (6,513m), perhaps the Wakhan’s most photogenic peak.
Meet isolated, local communities
Reliant on the hospitality of the locals in this largely cut off part of the world, you will undoubtedly meet many members of the communities that call it home; notable are the Wakhi people and the women who wear bright red scarves and beaded necklaces.
Travel through Afghan mountains
Using a road built by the Soviets, delve into the Afghanistan Wakhan Corridor for a truly privileged experience. Overcoming the logistical difficulties, the journey will most certainly have been worth it once surrounded by the region’s magnificent landscapes.
WHEN TO GO
The weather in Kabul is cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Dress in layers and keep the following in mind as you pack: versatility and modesty.
In the Wakhan Corridor the weather tends to be clear in the months between June and September, although rain and snow is not out of the question. The rest of the year the area is impassable.
Health and Vaccinations
There are no mandatory immunisations for travellers to Afghanistan though you should be up-to-date with Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A. Malaria is present in some parts of Afghanistan so we recommend you seek advice from your local GP or travel centre as to the correct immunisations and preventative treatments.
In Afghanistan the official unit of currency is the Afghani.
To check out the latest exchange rate for the places that you are visiting you can go to www.oanda.com.
On our tours you will frequently interact with local people, each with their own distinct customs and traditions. We therefore ask you to be considerate and to treat them with respect. Your tour-leaders and guides will always be able to advise you accordingly.
Afghanistan, as an Islamic country, is in places very traditional and conservative. So, no shorts or skimpy tops here for either of the sexes! Both men and women should dress modestly in loose fitting cotton shirts and slacks (men) or long skirts (women). Women should also wear a headscarf at all times – please bring one with you for arrival but note that locally produced ones can be purchased in country. In the churches and cathedrals women should cover their heads with a scarf or hat, while men should take their hats off.
Language & Religion
Pashto and Dari Persian are the two official languages of Afghanistan and both are Indo-European and from the Iranian languages sub family. Persian is the prestige language and the main means of inter-ethnic communication. Pashto is the native tongue of the Pashtuns, the single largest ethno-linguistic group within Afghanistan.
Religiously, Afghans are 99% Muslim with about 80% Sunni and 19% Shi’a. As of 2008 only one Jewish man lives in Afghanistan in Kabul, the sole Jewish representation after the majority emigrated at the end of the 90’s.
Afghanistan is 4.5 hours ahead of GMT. A useful website to check the time zone differences is www.worldtimezone.com.
Food and drink
Typically, the Afghans do not understand the concept of vegetarianism and their diet is based on meat, bread and rice with a small amount of vegetables together with fruit. Most rice is cooked with meat stock or bones and is therefore not suitable for a strict vegetarian. Alcohol is prohibited in Afghanistan and you should under no circumstances attempt to bring any into the country.
Travelling Solo In Afghanistan
All of our small group tours are designed to cater for solo travellers: the number of solo travellers will vary from tour to tour, but usually over half will be travelling alone. Get all of the excitement of discovering new places combined with the security of travelling with an organised group, with like minded people.