Afghanistan small group holiday
Description of Afghanistan small group holiday
This 12 day small group holiday takes you into the realm of the adventurer where the mountains of central Asia rise above arid Afghanistan plains. Afghanistan has long been one of the world's least understood nations with political, religious and social upheaval causing many to give the country a wide berth. However, if you're not the kind of traveller to let fear of the unknown stand in your way then this small group tour is a wonderful way to explore Afghanistan safely and in the eye-opening company of a local guide.
Starting in the capital city of Kabul, you can take internal flights to Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif - the safest way to travel as well as the easiest way to cover ground in this huge country. Other key locations include the Hindu Kush Mountains, Bamyan Valley and the blue lakes of Band-e Amir National Park. From learning about traditional pottery, silk weaving and traditional farming, to walking in the natural beautiful Panjshir Valley, this small group holiday is your opportunity to unearth the real Afghanistan, and discover first-hand the truth behind the headlines.
Tourism in Afghanistan is practically unheard of and as such there's not much in the way of tourist-focused infrastructure with some long and arduous days that might be adapted at a moment's notice due to safety and security notices. However, therein lies the charm of venturing into previously uncharted tourist territory. Note: we constant review the security situation in Afghanistan and will only run a tour if safe to do so.
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PlanetOur “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to this trip to Afghanistan. We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the fragile eco-structure of the land is not damaged or spoilt in any way. Our guides are trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on appropriate/responsible behaviour whilst in wilderness areas. This will be particularly important when visiting natural wonders that are yet to be affected by tourism, to help prolong the beauty of these incredible sites.
We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable and filtered water bottles. Our partnership with Water-To-Go provides a discount on filtered water bottles to our clients. We do not provide water from plastic bottles to our clients in country but always ensure there is regular access to drinking water on our tours.
By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit.
PeopleIn Afghanistan we pride ourselves on working directly with as many local hotels, drivers, guides and cooks as possible, thereby putting money directly into the local community.
We also employ jeep drivers on a revolving basis and different ones in each area to ensure that the money we bring in is distributed evenly. With the small local guesthouses and home stays we use, the money goes and stays in these pagan valleys rather than being siphoned out to rich, down-country hoteliers.
We employ local guides, which again places funds directly in the pockets of local families. With our travels we also help support a number of educational trusts.
We are proud to support the Adopt-A-Minefield project, an NGO that saves and improves lives by raising funds to clear landmines and help landmine survivors. With more than 830 square kilometres of land left to clear in Afghanistan, we feel that this organisation makes a huge difference to the quality of life for people in this area. For further details please visit www.landmines.org.uk
In order to facilitate an enduring support structure for the communities we visit, and to show a commitment to these values, in January 2009 we set up a charitable foundation through which we can channel funds to both existing NGOs and our own development projects. In addition to organising ethically sensitive tours, having our own charitable foundation allows us to raise money – through the cost of our tours, charity trips and fund raising events – which can then be used to fund various projects in education, sanitation, reforestations and a number of other important issues facing developing communities. Wherever possible we are happy for our clients to visit these projects to see for themselves where and how this money is being spent. This is a very exciting development for us and something we hope in time will become a major part of our organisation.
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