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
A superb BBC film by Kate Humble, who - with appropriate humility - describes the life of Wakhi shepherds; see
A beautiful brochure published by the Aga Khan Foundation, a little outdated but with a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:
The following website by Nicole Smoot
contains all the information you will need for travel (and trekking) there - see
Nicole also has a page dealing specifically with the Tajik Wakhan, here.
N.B. See however a June 2016 report on Taliban presence in Afghan Badakhshan -
More practical travel advice by the authors of the AKF brochure (see above):
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).
IMPORTANT NOTICE ON SAFETY
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
The sponsors of the present website decline all responsibility for accidents.
All text and
photographs (c) Robert Middleton 2002
Web master Romanyuk