From Tajikistan to Kyrgyzstan
First fixed tour from July 6th to July 22nd 2012
Second fixed tour from July 27th to August 12th, 2012
The tour will start in Dushanbe the capital of Tajikistan
Meeting point Dushanbe Airport. The tourists will arraive to Dushanbe by themselves
Duration: 16 days
Tour season: May-October
Group size: 1-15pax
Advantages of the route
· This tour is specially developed for acquaintance with the basic sights located in the Pamirs and Tajikistan.
· Beautiful scenery with river Oxus making the boundary line between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
· Photogenic places with shrines, signs and decoration.
· Through this region passed one of the arteries of the Great Silk Road – the route through the Pamir knot.
· Seeing beautiful mountain scenery
Day 1: Arrival in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan with about 800,000 inhabitants and the most modern city of the country. Transfer to hotel. Evening walks across Dushanbe. B/L/D.
Day 2: Dushanbe. Visit to Gurminj Museum of traditional musical instruments and Museum of Antiquities, a wonderful of Buddhist art from the lost cities of Kushan empire, the Greco-Bactrian school of art from various sites along the Oxus and elsewhere, with great Buddha in Nirvana (After destroying of Bamian Buddha in Afghanistan this is the biggest in Central Asia). Excursion to Hissar Fortress, the Kohna Madrassah museum and nearby Seminary. Dinner at a local restaurant in Hissar. Overnight in Hotel in Dushanbe. B/L/D.
Day 3: Departure to the Pamirs via Tawildara and Khaburabad pass (3252m) or via Kulyab region. When we pass over Khaburabad to Kalaikhum the scenery and the people change again. The people here are Pamiris with their own languages. There are seven different languages used in Tajik Pamirs. Kalaikhum is located on the Panj River, a major tributary of the famous Amu Darya (Oxus) River. Accommodation in a private guesthouse. B/L/D.
Day 4: Kalaikhum to Bartang. We will drive along the Panj river upstream passing the Vanj Valley. During this entire trip, we will see Afghanistan from right side across the river, where the big difference of lifestyle of Afghan and Tajik Pamirs is visible. We will see the effort of the Afghanis to have their first highway that is built with no machinery. Then we arrive to the meeting point of the Bartang and Panj Rivers where our rout will turn left from the main road and follow the Bartang River upstream. Bartang is dotted with small villages and plots of land are carved out of the mountainsides by local farmers. Considered one of the most beautiful spots in the western Pamirs, the valley is famous for its superb hiking, hospitable villages and local musicians. We will stay a night in Siponj village, historically used as a shelter from neighboring Afghan slave traders. Acclimatization before the trek to Gisev. Homestay. B/L/D.
Day 5: Moving to Gisev. Gisev village is one of the ecological villages in the Pamirs that still has neither vehicle road not electrical cabling. Some houses use solar energy or small generators. The entire valley has only about 15 houses. This valley has many small beautiful lakes, different varieties of birds and herbs and few groves and is very popular for tourists. We will cross the Bartang river through wooden bridge but optionally we can cross it by a cable cart that is used by locals. Further we begin the trek to Gisev village (10 km). Homestay. B/L/D.
Day 6: A full day here allows for a thorough exploration of the area. Renowned for its beautiful and clear lakes, the area is incredibly scenic and is a good place to sample the traditional Pamiri way of life. We will have short walks up to some of the higher lakes. Bartang folklore music. Homestay. B/L/D.
Day 7: We will descent to the main road and drive to Khorog. The road will follow near Panj River. Khorog is the administrative centre of the Pamir region, dramatically set deep in the valley at the confluence of the Panj and Ghunt rivers and boxed in by the mountain peaks. Accommodation in hotel. B/L/D.
Day 8: Visit, to the Ethnographical Museum, Botanical Garden (one of the highest in the world) and the construction site of one of Central Asia University’s campuses (unique university of its kind that is specifically developed for the mountain regions by the Aga Khan IV the leader of Ismaili Shia Muslims of the World, and its campuses are spread in tree countries, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan). Accommodation in hotel. B/L/D.
Day 9: Khorog - Ishkashim: Not far from Khorog (45 km) there is the famous Mineral Hot Spring-Garm Chashma and Ruby Mines of Khu i Lal (where Badakhshani rubies were mined as early as 14th century). The road to Ishkashim is smooth journey. Ishkashim is a small town at the mouth of the Wakhan corridor, where the 19th century Great Game ended. Continuing up northwards we will see amazing views of the Pamirs to the left and the Hindu Kush to the right; a number of peaks in view are above 6,000m. If we are lucky and we arrive to Ishkashim on Saturday, we will be able to visit the Crosse border Tajik-Afghan market on the Afghan side. There is no need to obtain Afghan visa for this visit. Guesthouse. B/L/D.
Day 10: Ishkashim to Langar. On the way we will visit the Kah-Kaha in Namadgut one of the oldest fortress on the Silk Road, museum a local scholar, theologian, poet and traveler Sufi Muborak-Kadami Vakhani, who died in 1910. There is a stone pillar with a hole near his house, which he used to calculate a solar calendar. His house is decorated with inscriptions and decorations made by the scholar. On the way we will visit Buddhist Stupa in Vrang, sacred hot springs of Bibi Fatima Zahra, ruins of Yamchun fortress (IV-III B.C.) that once guarded Pamir branch of the Great Silk Road. Home stay. B/L/D.
Day 11: Langar. Langar is situated on the crossroad of the Wakhan Corridor with Pamir and Wakhan rivers where the Great Game took place (reached by Capt John Wood in 1838). Visit to sacred place Shoh Kambari Oftob in the middle of village and hiking to the famous Vakhan Collection of (3200m) petroglyphs. There are about 6,000 petroglyphs showing different scenes of the life of Ancient people of Pamirs. Homestay. B/L/D.
Day 12: Langar -Yashil Kul Lake: After breakfast we will leave the spectacular views of Afghanistan, with the ice-capped summit of the Wakhan Range, and the Pamir River and will cross Khargushi pass. We will arrive to Bulun Kul and Yashil Kul Lakes, where we will stay in a small hamlet of Bulunkul. The people living here are Pamiris, Tajiks and Kyrgyz nomads living in a harsh but hospitable environment. Here we will deepen our understanding of how people have adapted to a life in such remote mountainous areas. We will walk around the ruins of a caravanserai and solar calendar on the north side of Lake Yashil Kul. Homestay. B/L/D.
Day 13: Yashil Kul-Murgab. On the way we will visit an old color paintings in grot Shakhty and if the weather is clear enough, we will head up to the Shorbulak Observatory, from where we can see the Muztag Ata and Kongur Peaks, which are part of the Khun Lun Range (located in China). Murgab is a quiet town with an only bazaar of the High Pamir region where Kyrgyz’s and Tajiks live. We will pay a visit to handicraft shop in “Yak House”. Homestay. B/L/D.
Day 14: Murgab – Median Valley: Explore the stunning Median Valley, one of the main grazing areas near Murgab, as well as the Elli Su hot springs. There will be plenty of opportunity to go on some easy treks in the afternoon and spend time in the reviving hot springs. Yurt stay in Median. B/L/D.
Day 15: Median Valley – Karakul: The views of mountains and glaciers along the way today are simply breath-taking as the road takes us to the Ak Baital Pass (The White Horse Pass 4655m). This is the highest pass in the former USSR. During the journey, we will take a detour to the Shorkul and Rankul Lakes. This is indeed the “The Roof of the World” and the hidden site in this expanse of arid landscape is the stunning Karakul Lake, created millions of years ago by a meteorite and noted as one of the most geologically fascinating places on earth. We will have an opportunity for a short walk along the lake. The surrounding area offers some spectacular views, which are especially dramatic with the sun setting over the nearby snow-capped mountains. Home stay. B/L/D.
Day 16: Karakul – Osh: Drive via Kizil Art and Taldyk Passes to Osh in Kyrgyzstan. There is a check-post on the Kizil-Art pass. Nine kilometers after passing the Tajik Checkpoint, we will get to Kyrgyz border crossing point, which is at the bottom of the pass. By the evening we will arrive to Osh. Accommodation in a hotel. B/L/D.
Day 17. Transfer to airport. Departure Home. B.
Items to bring with you
- Rain gear
- Dawn jacket
- Water bottle
- Sun hat Gloves
- Sun glasses
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Water purification
- Personal medical kit
- Solar panel
- Sun cream with high protection and lipstick
Temperatures: please note that there can be large variations in temperatures. In daytime it can be very hot and a thin layer of clothing will be comfortable but long sleeves protect you from the sun rays. At night it can be cold so a layered approach is best. Predicting temperatures is very hard but they could range between +5°C and + 25°C. Rainfall in the Pamirs at this time of year is not expected but dust storms are. Please take a waterproof layer just in case.