A Pamir Highway Jeep Tour
Note: this is an example of a tailor-made Pamir Highway Jeep Tour that we put together for our clients. This itinerary can be altered – or overhauled – according to your spirit of adventure.
The Pamir Highway. It’s our idea of paradise. This glorious route takes you along high passes, mountain landscapes and meteor lakes.
Its rough wilderness is made for four wheels. In a Toyota Landcruiser, you will uncover the otherwise inaccessible treasures of the Pamir Highway, from 2000-year-old Buddhist Stupas to thermal springs.
A Tailor-Made Silk Road Adventure
Each morning, you’ll wake up to views mountian peaks at local homestays. Staying in this kind of accomodation is the best way to experience Tajik and Kyrgyz hospitality.
Timur, Alexander the Great and Marco Polo have all set foot in this remote region. Local guides will bring the Pamir Highway with stories of their adventures.
This itinerary starts and ends in Dushanbe. Before heading into the Pamirs, you will take on the climbs of Darvaz. This region’s rushing rivers and rising mountains will be a great taste of what’s to come.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Dushanbe International Airport|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please ensure you arrive in good time for the expedition to begin, as noted in the itinerary and subsequent information pack we will send to you after booking.|
- Car with driver
- All accommodation
- All meals
- Airport transfers
- Local English-speaking guide
- Entry into local historical/cultural sites
- Filtered water
- Water-to-Go Filter bottle
- International flights to/from Dushanbe
- Extra snacks
- Visas and other permits as required (Tajik visa, GBAO permit x2)
Bespoke Wakhan Corridor Travel
Nestled between the Pamir and the Karakorum mountain ranges, the Wakhan Corridor offers a sharp dose of adventure. Along its path, you’ll drink tea with Wakhi tribespeople and gaze at glittering stars.
Prepare to hunker down against mountain hailstorms and take on intense heat; the weather in this mountain region can be unpredictable.
On this Pamir Highway Jeep tour, there will be a maximum of six people in two cars. We want you to enjoy some comfort rather than feel like squished sardines.
Where will we be staying?
On this expedition, we’ll be staying in good hotels in Dushanbe, Khorog and Osh, guest houses or basic hotels in other towns, and more often in homestays with local people and their families. The homestay concept is widely accepted throughout Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan – particularly the former – so these nights are often highly enjoyable glimpses into local customs and lifestyles. We also stay in yurts in a couple of locations on this trip.
We feel that true luxury is getting to know a place and its people, not necessarily measured by the thread count of the bed linen or the number of hotel restaurants.
How is this different to other itineraries in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan I’ve seen?
We’ve been doing this route for some time and we do it differently from others. Our groups are small and our focus is on travelling slowly and immersively. This means our daily mileages are low as there is just too much to see to be tearing through at breakneck pace everywhere. Other tours cover our mileage in far less time, and we wish them well – it just isn’t our desire to rush through. Remember, our ethos is to take the time to stop, breathe and take it all in.
What will the weather be like?
A very difficult question to answer when traversing the fourth highest mountain range on earth. But, you can expect some hot days lower in the valleys and off the high plateaus – temperatures could be in 20-30C range or higher. At altitude, we have experienced every season in the course of a single day – warm sunshine followed by winds and rain, hail or snow on the passes and perhaps down to 0 degrees for a short period of time. In general, the rule of thumb is to expect warm days and cooler nights when we are out of the lowland areas.
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 is a moving feast! It depends on where you are travelling from and how you want to get there. From London, the cheapest flights to Dushanbe might be via Moscow. We often use Turkish Airlines via Istanbul for this route because they are good, cost-effective connections. Costs are usually around the £600 mark, return. Again, we’ll send you an information pack containing all the information you need when you book your place.
We can book your flights for you via our ATOL License – let us know if you’d like us to take care of the hassle of booking flights.
What will the food be like?
Varied; the Pamir area is not particularly agriculturally inclined, mostly due to the precipitous nature of the topography, and often poor soils. But many of our homestay hosts pride themselves on making good meals for their guests, so we will be well looked-after. If you are a vegetarian, food can be a little dull (lots of bread, potatoes and eggs with salads) but perfectly acceptable. For meat-eaters, pilaf is the main dish. Usually rice and meat in one dish and often very tasty. Freshly made non (bread) is available almost everywhere and can be delicious. We try to ensure we have some treat foods in the back-up vehicle for picnics. In general we think food is a core part of any cultural experience and there are a good number of local dishes to try on our route.
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 quite a number of days above 3000 metres, and up on the Alichur and Murghab plateaus, often above 4000 metres. We also cross some high passes, with the Ak Baital being 4700m (over 15,000 ft). 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 vehicles. Our route is also planned to gain altitude in the smallest increments possible to aid acclimatisation. Simple precautions and awareness go a long way.
Will I have to share a room?
Yes, at times. There may be hotels and guest houses where we will have separate rooms and wherever possible we will arrange this, but there will also be times where we are staying at homestays or in yurts when there is no option but to share rooms. This is all part of the adventure, and a reason we love to travel here. It makes sense for light sleepers to bring good earplugs and eyemasks, in case of snorers or the host family waking early.
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 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 two weeks of your life, it’s also potentially dangerous.
Travelling by 4×4 is an inherently risky activity and to compound this, you will be travelling in a developing part of the world.
Not only could you be hurt, maimed or even killed but in the event of an accident it could take hours for the emergency services to reach you.
It will also be physically tiring due to altitude.
We aren’t trying to put you off here – we adore travel in Tajikistan, but we’d rather you didn’t expect to be wearing Prada sling-backs in your en-suite jacuzzi.
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 proper, unique and delightful experience that you’ll remember forever, then you are in luck as this adventure will deliver.