1 independent reviews for Afghanistan and Tajikistan holiday

Reviews for Afghanistan and Tajikistan holiday

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review 22 Aug 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Visiting Afghanistan, even just the Wakhan Corridor, was an amazing experience which is hard to explain. Even this part of the country, which receives small amounts of tourism due to its relative safety (it is most easily defended from the Taliban at the entrance to the corridor, and this defence is genuine - 250 Taliban fighters had been killed in a recent skirmish), is completely Afghan, which is obvious in the level of development (virtually non existent) and cultural attitudes (no women visible in the towns unless covered in Burkhas). People are generally extremely friendly and welcoming especially in the countryside but the atmosphere in the small town of Ishkashim on the border was occasionally slightly hostile. However we were welcomed into local homes, invited to a wedding and treated with great kindness and friendliness by the local Waki people who live the simplest lives in a very difficult demanding environment. The cost of visiting Afghanistan is astronomical considering the quality of the facilities (which if course is all part of the experience and very interesting!). The roads and vehicles are terrible, everywhere is dusty and dirty and accommodation is very variable with multi- shared rooms with minimum access to water and sanitation and little privacy. Food was fine as we had a cook travelling with us who was wonderful, but obviously there is no choice and little variety. Tajikistan is much better in terms of facilities and cultural attitudes to women and tourists, but the roads are also rough and accommodation mainly basic, with basic food and limited (but slightly better!) hygiene.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

This is an amazing trip, and a unique experience. The trip is frequently cancelled so I felt privileged to be able to go. However it is not for the faint hearted! The Tajik part involves a lot of driving, though through amazing scenery. Overall accommodation is rough, dirty and very basic with no running water, and limited cold water for washing. Hygiene standards are poor, though the food was much better than I expected, but all water needs sterilising. Getting visas was complicated and for women, wearing long clothes and scarves all day was hot and uncomfortable.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely, the vast majority of people welcomed us with open arms and wanted their pictures taken with us. There were plenty of opportunities to buy local products and all the money we spent went directly to the local people we stayed with.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Amazing, it will be very hard to find another trip to beat this one!

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