A Tailor-Made Tajikistan Trip
Note: this is an example of a tailor-made Tajikistan trip. It can, of course, be modified according to your style of travel.
Ready for a hefty dose of adventure?
Come and explore Dushanbe, the Pamirs and the Fann Mountains. Feel the history of ancient Sogdia and Bactria. Trace the tracks made by Alexander, Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta and many more.
This tailor-made Tajikistan trip will take you to soaring mountain ranges, historic Silk Road fortresses and turquoise lakes. But the highlight of this itinerary isn’t the stunning scenery – it’s the people who call this land home: from the mountain-dwelling Pamiris to those at the forefront of Dushanbe’s opera scene.
After spending some time in the country’s fast-developing capital, Dushanbe, you’ll discover Tajikistan’s little-explored hinterlands: from its northern shoulder – where you’ll visit secret Soviet spas – to its deep south, where the border with Afghanistan is inscribed with the remains of ancient civilizations. From here, you’ll head west into the mighty Pamirs, where you’ll stay in warm, characterful homestays and experience the pulse of everyday Pamiri life.
The Yagnob Valley
This Tajikistan tour will take you to the Yagnob valley, in the heart of the country’s Fann Mountains. Here, where stone houses cluster beneath walls of rock, you’ll meet the Yagnobi people, the last surviving remnants of the once powerful Sogdian race.
Legend has it that when a Sogdian boy was born, honey was placed in his mouth and glue on his palms. That way, he would speak sweet words and gold would stick to his hands. Whether it’s true or not, it’s a fitting fable for a people who accumulated great riches during the golden age of the Silk Road.
Embrace a Silk Road Adventure
Compared to some of its better known neighbours, Tajikistan remains a little-visited country. The roads can be bumpy, the food can be basic and the tourism infrastructure outside the capital can be somewhat haphazard. All of this, we think, make Tajikistan a fabulous place for adventure. If you love the thrill of new places, heart-bursting scenery and humbling hospitality, there are few countries that gladden the soul quite like this. This is a trip about people, culture and a place you’ll never forget.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Dushanbe International Airport|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please ensure you arrive in good time for all flights|
- All accommodation. These will range from simple family-run homestays and guesthouses to 5* hotels in Dushanbe.
- Meals – as agreed with you in advance
- Local airport transfers
- A charming, professional local guide
- Local transport
- A Water 2 Go water filtration bottle, in order to reduce plastic waste
- International Flights to/from Dushanbe
- Guide gratuities
- Extra daily costs for snacks, alcohol or souvenirs
- Your personal travel insurance
- Visas and other permits as required (Tajik E-visa and GBAO permit only)
Flexible dates: May to September
On this Classic Tajikistan tour, you won’t just be speeding through the country by 4WD. You’ll be drinking tea with locals, enjoying feasts in mountain homestays and getting under the skin of everyday Tajik life. In our opinion it’s these experiences, not the thread-count of your bed linen, that make journeys memorable.
With images courtesy of Charles Pitcaithly and John Andrews.
Where will we be staying?
On this expedition, you’ll be in a comfortable 5* hotel in Dushanbe, and then we’ll be staying with local families or guesthouses. We love this way of travel and you’ll come away with a real sense of the people and culture of Tajikistan.
What will the weather be like?
Warm – in the 20’s or 30’s Centigrade during daytimes and cooler in the evenings. You’ll need a warm jacket at higher altitudes. Weather does of course depend on the season, and you can expect variation with altidude as you climb from 800 m to 4700 m and descend once again.
What kit do I need to bring?
We will provide you with an information pack after signing up to this trip, and this will detail any particular equipment we think either necessary or useful.
How much are flights?
This totally depends on factors outside our control, but from experience the best flights are with either Turkish Airlines via Istanbul or Fly Dubai via Dubai. Pricing from London to Dushanbe return is around the £650 mark in economy, or around £1800 in business class.
We can book your flights for you on our ATOL license, so just let us know if you’d like us to take the booking hassles from you
What will the food be like?
Simple but good. The food in the mountains will be prepared by the local families we are staying with and will normally include plenty of bread, meat and dairy products. We will arrange for some extra food ‘treats’ to come with you, including energy bars for days out on the roads and trails. Recent travellers have described the food here as the best in Central Asia.
Will I have to share a room?
This depends on the size of your group and how you like to travel. If you are a group of four or more, it’s possible you will have a to share a room in some of the mountain homestays.
Will I be affected by altitude?
Altitude can affect different people in different ways. It can also affect the same person in different ways from trip to trip. We will be spending a number of days above 2500 metres, and up on to 4700 metres at the highest point. If you feel that you might suffer from altitude sickness, or have history of it, you should consider discussing this with your doctor prior to booking and travel. Diamox and other similar prescription drugs are available to ease symptoms, but the key way to address any onset of altitude sickness is to descend. Luckily, from anywhere particularly high, descent is possible rapidly thanks to our vehicle. Our route is also planned to gain altitude in the smallest increments possible to aid acclimatization. Simple precautions and awareness go a long way.
Do you perform proper risk management on your expeditions?
Yes. We are members of TRIP – the Travel Risk and Incident Prevention Group – and perform detailed country risk assessments prior to departure, in line with the ISO 31000 international standard for risk assessment. We also maintain close contact with the relevant Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for countries we plan to visit, in addition to making use of the Australian Smart Traveller assessment tool, and the US State Department’s OSAC service. Beyond this, we have a full set of risk management and disaster contingency plans for each expedition and are expedition first aid trained by Crux Medical. For final back up we also use the services of Remote Medical Support that allows us to have a UK expedition doctor on the end of a telephone line wherever we may be. And we always carry a satellite phone on group trips if there is any danger of being out of signal in the places we travel through. We really don’t mess around when it comes to safety.
Is this really for me?
Although this is an extremely enlivening way to spend sixteen days of your life, it may also be physically tiring and you’ll be at altitude for some of the time.
This is a destination with a nascent tourism infrastructure, so whilst we do help smooth the ‘edges’, this is not going to be like a villa holiday in Mustique.
If you like your holidays to include foie gras, butlers and miles of quilted loo roll then please look elsewhere.
If however, you want a real, unique and delightful experience that you’ll remember forever, then you are in luck! Tajikistan is fabulous and we can’t wait to share our enthusiasm for it with you.