There is increasing interest today in the Afghan Wakhan and many travellers either combine travel in the Pamirs with a visit to the Afghan Wakhan or access it directly via Ishkashim on the Tajik side. In recognition of this trend, the new edition of the Odyssey guidebook Tajikistan and the High Pamirs includes a section on the Afghan Wakhan with an excellent map by Markus Hauser showing historical monuments and guesthouses on both sides of the Panj. If you have the book, you will find the section on pages 606-611 - if you don't have the book, please buy it.

Below are the most useful links I have found on getting to and around the Afghan Wakhan:

A recent (May 2014) report by James D. Poborsa, with striking portraits of the Wakhi people there (and, perhaps inevitably in a blog, of the author); see here.

A superb BBC film by Kate Humble, who - with appropriate humility - describes the life of Wakhi shepherds; see here.

A beautiful brochure published by the Aga Khan Foundation, a little outdated but with a good map of the little Pamir:  

Trekking information by Julien Dufour, who has probably the most informative website on the Wakhan:  

Very practical travel advice:  

More practical travel advice by the authors of the AKF brochure (see above):  

Superb photos:  


Swiss newspaper report in German by the founders of the charitable association "Pamir Bridges"  

"I am proud that I am Wakhi, I was Shepherd, I am Shepherd
I am the language of absolute faith, I was Shepherd, I am Shepherd"
Nazir Ahmad Bulbul (Article in the Express Tribune of Pakistan)  

Plan for a group tour by mountain bike in the Wakhan in July 2013  

Article in National Geographic February 2013  

Article in DestinAsian December 2012  

Steve Swenson's Blog - August 2013  

National Geographic post by Avery Stonich (for Dylan Taylor) - November 2013 - note the comment about the incorrect visa (visiting the Afghan Wakhan from Tajik territory requires a double-entry Tajik visa for the return).  


The Pamirs - and especially the Wakhan - are very much "virgin territory" for tourism. Make certain that you know the conditions of the tracks, rivers and bridges that you envisage taking and check meteorological conditions. Take a good driver and a reliable vehicle - if your route includes uninhabited territory, it is advisable to travel with at least two vehicles. For example:

a) in summer in the Great Pamir there are large areas of treacherous terrain where a mud-slide has been covered with a baked clay surface that looks stable but is not;

b) many mountain sides are covered in scree (broken rock fragments) that is unstable and very slippery.

c) flooding/flash floods can destroy roads and make driving dangerous

d) unseasonal snow can block the Pamir Highway and other roads

See photos below and the note on safety on the trekking page.


pamirs great pamir jeep stuck mud


pamirs scree jawshangoz yaks


pamirs pamir highway jeep stuck snow


pamirs pamir highway jeep stuck snow


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All text and photographs (c) Robert Middleton 2002

Web master Romanyuk Mikhail