- Days: 12 days
- Period: June 2014
- Weather: Weather was warm but not extremely hot and we had hardly any rain. All the high passes were already free from snow. As we had hardly any rain we had no problem with landslides.
Internet: Was available in two of the places we stayed (Dushanbe and Khorog). Internet cafe's are also there but we have not used them.
ATM's: There were ATM's for Visa in all the bigger places (also Khorog). Dushanbe we could also get Dollars from the ATM
Creditcards: Maybe in the very expensive hotels, but not accepted elswhere. You can however use them at most ATM's. We got cash from the ATM's and paid with Somoni and in some places we stayed (Dushanbe and Khorog) with US Dollars.
Safety: We had no issues with safety. Even in the Wakhan valley on the Afghan border we bushcamped without problems. But situation can change very quickly. The Pamir Highway runs through a sensitive area and just before we travelled the Pamir there was a shooting in Khorog and the police station was set to fire. Due to this during our time permits for the Pamir were not issued anymore. Only the people who already had a permit were allowed to get in. Despite this situation we did not noticed any tension and all the people were very friendly. Just be sure you are well informed by locals or other travellers and just to be safe get your permit in advance together with your visa if possible.
Prices (June 2014)
Value Money: €1 = 6,8 Somoni ($1 = 5 Somoni)
Fuel: diesel was between 5,30 to 6 Somoni per liter (€ 0,78 - € 0,88 per liter)
Camping: Bushcamping is very easy and there are many nice places to find. We also stayed on some parkings a couple of times as it was more convenient to us at that time. For this we paid between 10 and 20 Somoni per night. The overland sport in Dushanbe and the luxury lodge however were more expensive (4 USD per person). In Dushanbe this price was including shower and but in Khorog we had to pay an extra 50 Somoni for the shower per day (which was extremely expensive).
Prices: The prices were as in the neighbouring countries. Fruits which are not in season may be expensive.
valid = double entry, 1 month from date of validity
The visa was obtained at the embassy in Brussels (this is also the embassy for the Dutch). Visa was issued quite far in advance (they do not stick to a specific time). We applied for the visa by mail and it was also returned to us by mail. This will take about 2 weeks in total. Next to the standard documents like passport and photo your application must be accompanied a visa request letter. Together with the visa you can also make a request for the GBAO Permit at the same time. Our Permit was issued together with the visa. On the website of the embassy you can find all the details. Based on the information of the website we applied for a 45 days double entry visa, this was however not give. They gave us 1 month double entry. Bacuse we got less days embassy changes the entry en exit dates themselves. When you want to be sure you get the exact dates you want, no ask for a periode longer than one month. Visa application must be accompanied by a proof of payment. See example of visa request letter
We heard that in Ankara and Tashkent they only issue the visa and not the GBAO permit. When you want to apply here you better double check.
- Price visa €65,- per person, €20,- per person GBAO permit, €15,- per application for mail. Double entry is the same price as a single entry.
- TIP = If possible get your visa and Pamir Permit far in advance because as situation on the Pamir can change quite fast officials from many embassies and OVIR may stop issueing the Permit all of a sudden. On our journey this was the case and only the people who already had the Permit were allowed to enter the region, but new permits were not issued anymore.
Entry:Coming from Uzbekistan we entered at Tursunzande. The officials here were very friendly and easy going. In total we paid $ 54 in 3 different offices (there will be very friendly people guiding you to the right officials). We paid $ 45 at the customs, $ 5 for some kind of tax (was not very clear) and another $ 4 for something which was totally unclear. The whole procedure was done is about half an hours and nobody took a look inside the car. Keep all the documents you get as they will ask you for it when you leave.
Exit: We left Tajikistan on the Kyzyl-Art pass on the border with Kyrgyzstan. The border is high on the pass. The documents are checked twice here, but procedure is quite fast. The car was hardly checked. They did however asked for the documents we received when we entered.
- Insurance: At the border there was no possibility to buy an insurance. We have driven without an isurance the whole time. This did not cause any problem with authorities.
Roads (per june 2014)
From Denov (border) - to Dushanbe: In the beginning the road is new but soon there is no road left anymore due to construction of a new road. Whole stretch took 3 hours in total.
- Dushanbe to Kulob: New road, tarmac
- Kulob to Kisht: Muddy piste as the road is under construction. Piste hardly driveable when wet.
- Kisht to Kalaikhum: First 100km brand new tarmac, after that a very small, bumpy and rocky off road piste starts, passing many landslide areas.
- Kalaikhum to Khorog: This part is off road and very bad. Landslide danger lures everywhere and the piste is small with many holes and stones.
- Detour from mainroad to Garm Chashma: Offroad piste but not too bad.
- Khorog to Ishkashim: Mostly old very damaged tarmac. This road is bumpy.
- Ishkashim to Langar: Unpaved. Mostly gravel with heavy corrugation
- Langar to Alichur: Bumpy offroad piste, sometimes small and right after Langer passing steep cliffs. Second half after the pass this piste is rocky with sometimes big stones. On the stretch also large parts with heavy corrugation.
- Alichur to border with Kyrgyzstan M41: This part which is officially the Pamir Highway is all tarmac except for a small part on the north side of the highest pass (this is gravel with corrugation). Also the last few kilometers to the Kyzyl Art pass which forms the border with Kyrgyzstan is also offroad.
Highlights or not
Pamir Highway: For us the main highlight was the Pamir Highway and driving this 2nd highest road in the world was one of the best trips in the whole of Central Asia. The places where we stayed or the things we saw were all connected with travelling the Pamir Highway.
In the Wakhan valley there are not many places to fuel up. Better do this in Khorog. Here is also a good market with lots of food and ATM's for visa.
Grid: Lat/Lon hddd°mm.mmm"
|TJ-ATM - N38°34.421 E68°47.693
ATM for Visa, you can withdraw Sumoni and USD
TJ-CAMP01 - N38°36.962 E68°46.697
Adventurer's inn Dushanbe. Known overlanders place. Camping on the parking. Price 6 USD per person. Only space for a few cars. Toilet, shower and wifi
TJ-CAMP02 - N37°53.373 E70°10.112
Bushcamp in village on the way to Khorog. Friendly people. No facilties
TJ-CAMP03 - N38°27.419 E70°46.195
Bushcamp next to the road in Kalaikhum. No facilities
TJ-CAMP04 - N37°31.542 E71°30.341
Camping on parking of Serena inn in Khorog. Very luxury inn. Nice terraces near the river overlooking Afghanistan. They do laundry but very expensive. Food good but also expensive. Camping 20 c per person and shower 50 c. Wifi in the lobby.
TJ-CAMP05 - N37°12.183 E71°32.209
Camping on parking of Somon inn in Garm Chashm. Toilet, guarded parking, no shower. Near the hot water wells
TJ-CAMP06 - N36°47.979 E71°59.947
Bushcamp on vollyball field near Darshar. Lost of fun with the locals. No facilities
TJ-CAMP07 - N37°03.636 E72°41.134
Camping on parking of Guesthouse in Langar. Nice overlanders place. 8 Somoni for camping, toilet and breakfast. No shower
TJ-CAMP08 - N37°45.002 E73°15.165
Camping on parking of hotel in Alichur. Because of a storm we parked the car in the barn and slept there. Parking was free. No shower only toilet and simple restaurant.
TJ-CAMP09 - N38°10.434 E73°58.112
Camping on parking of Ibrahim guesthouse in Murghab. Camping 2 USD per person, toilet and great hot shower. Heated with dung bricks. Also small restaurant. Nice place friendly people.
TJ-EXCHANG - N38°34.431 E68°47.579
TJ-FORT - N36°40.906 E71°45.623
Fortress in Wakhan Valley
TJ-FUEL01 - N38°38.178 E68°45.920
Diesel in Dushanbe
TJ-FUEL02 - N37°29.417 E71°31.834
Diesel in Khorog
TJ-GARAGE - N38°33.229 E68°46.378
Toyota maintenance and spare parts, no dealer but good service
TJ-JUNCT1 - N36°57.094 E72°15.049
Junction to Yamhun Fort bibi
TJ-OVIR - N38°34.276 E68°47.833
OVIR in Dushanbe
TJ-PIKNIK - N39°01.239 E73°33.490
Picknick at Lake Karakul
TJ-SHOWER1 - N38°22.613 E70°41.630
Natural shower, waterfall
TJ-SHOWER2 - N37°00.467 E72°26.426
Natural shower near Vrang, waterfall
TJ-STUPA - N37°00.289 E72°22.569
Stupa in Vrang