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Tajikistan Trekking Expedition TOP030_2

  • Summary
  • Itinerary
  • Dates & Rates
  • Operator
  • Enquiry Form

Tajikistan Trekking Expedition

Join this small group Tajikistan trekking expedition into the Pamir Mountains. This spectacular range is probably the least well known and visited of the Greater Rangers in Asia. It’s in the Pamir Mountains that you’ll find the 77km long Fedchenko Glacier, the world’s largest glacier after the Polar regions, and three breathtaking mountains taller than 7000m.

This expedition goes through the heart of the mountains and you’ll stay with Pamiri natives and camp near centuries old caravanserais. The capstone is trekking a mountain pass that’s taller than Mont Blanc.

Highlights:

  • Camp next to crystal clear alpine lakes
  • Scale a pass that’s taller than any summit in the Alps
  • Lovely home stays with the welcoming Pamiri people
  • Drive up Bam-y-Dunya, “The Roof of the World”

This 16 day adventure begins in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, where you’ll scale the first 3000m+ pass on a four-wheel drive on your way to the Panj river valley. Catch glimpses of life in Afghan villages as you head deeper into the mountains. The trailhead starts near Bulunkul, which is officially the coldest inhabited village in all of Central Asia. Spend your first night on the trail gazing on the lovely mountain lake Yashilkul from your tent.

You’ll be hiking up to seven hours a day and cross some incredibly high passes so you do need some relative fitness for the expedition. With altitude up to 4840m, even easy tasks become difficult in such thin air. When you reach your highest point at Shtik Lazar pass you’ll have a splendid view of Tajik Pamirs.

The team is lead by an experienced international trekking guide as well as an English speaking local guide. Both guides have your safety as their primary concern. The expedition is routed through currently stable areas and your guides will be monitoring advice from the foreign office in order to make sure that the way ahead is safe and clear.

We love this provider for the authentic experiences they provide and the love they have for the countries they operate in. As they say, “We speak the languages and know the history because it is our history and we want to share it with the rest of the world.” They work hard to positively impact the economy and believe that only good can come when different cultures meet with open hearts and minds.

Enquire today to learn more.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival Dushanbe

Thursday 1 September 2016

Arrival in Dushanbe and spend the day in Tajikistan’s capital

Day 2 – Dushanbe – Kalaikhum

Friday 2 September 2016

After flying into the capital of Tajikistan Dushanbe we will be heading straight to one of the most spectacular mountain roads in the world: the Pamir Highway. Our four-wheel drive vehicles will scale the first pass over 3000 metres and descend to the valley of the mighty Panj river.

Driving: 9 hours

Altitude: 1600m

Day 3 – Kalaikhum – Khorog

Saturday 3 September 2016

Today we will follow the Panj river, also known as the Oxus in ancient times. The other side of the river is Afghanistan. During the drive you can see daily life in the mud-brick Afghan villages. At times the Pamir Highway squeezes through dazzling gorges and crosses rickety suspension bridges. We will stay in the capital of the Pamirs, Khorog.

Driving: 6 hours

Altitude: 2150m

Day 4 – Khorogh – Shakhdara Valley

Sunday 4 September 2016

Our drivers will take us up what the Pamiri people call Bam-y-Dunya, or the Roof of the World. As a part of our acclimatisation schedule for the trekking we will ascend 1300 vertical metres and stay in a Pamiri home stay at an altitude of 3470m. The skyline is filled with peaks over 6000m, of which the distinct Pik Karl Marx (6723m) is the tallest.

Driving: 3 hours

Altitude: 3470m

Day 5 Shakhdara Valley – Bulunkul

Monday 5 September 2016

On our way to the trailhead of the trek from Bulunkul we return to the Pamir Highway, that now crosses one of the highest sections. We will drive through an icy, high altitude landscape with jagged peaks as far as the eyes can see. The highlight of the day is the crossing of the 4271m Koitezek Pass. After a bone rattling day we will arrive in Bulunkul, officially the coldest inhabited place in Central Asia where the temperature once plummeted to a whopping -63 °C.

Driving: 5 hours

Altitude 3750m

Day 6 – Bulunkul – Sumantash

Tuesday 6 September 2016

After four days on the “road” it’s time to stretch the legs and hit the trail. The first day is literally a warm up. A short 12km walk will lead us to our first camp next to the remains of an ancient caravanserai, and close to the Mahjura hot spring. The view from your tent is the beautiful mountain lake of Yashilkul.

Trekking: 3-4 hours

Altitude: 3750m

Day 7 – Sumantash – North West shore Yashilkul

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Today we head in westerly direction along the north shore of Yashilkul. We will pass pre-historic stone circles near the mouth of the Marjanay river. After 18km walk we will pitch our tents at the North West end of Yashilkul.

Trekking: 5-6 hours

Altitude: 3750m

Day 8 – North West shore Yashilkul – Langar Valley

Thursday 8 September 2016

We will leave the shores of Yashilkul and enter the classic Pamir valley of Langar. A Pamir is a broad, U-shaped valley carved out by a glacier or icefield. These type of valleys are ideal grazing grounds also known as aylaqs. The shepherds go up to theaylaqs in summer time with their often massive herds of fat-tailed sheep and goats. We will set up camp halfway the valley.

Trekking: 6 hours

Altitude: 3890m

Days 9 – Langar Valley – Chapdarkul

Friday 9 September 2016

The 14km climb to the shores of the dramatic lake of Chapdarkul takes us above the 4000m mark. The thin air at this altitude make even the easiest tasks an effort.

Trekking: 5 hours

Altitude: 4530m

Day 10 – Chapdarkul – Zarojkul

Saturday 10 September 2016

We will trek around Chapdarkul and make a small descent, being surrounded by tumbling glaciers. There are a number of small pools (the brave can go for a dip) and the stream leads to the Andaravj river valley. A stunning turquoise lake awaits you at the bottom of the descent. From here you will climb again to arguably the most beautiful mountain lake in the Pamirs: Zarojkul. Fringed by snow capped mountain giants, this deep blue lake will be our home for the next couple of days.

Trekking: 6 hours

Altitude: 4510m

Day 11 – Zarojkul

Sunday 11 September 2016

Today is a resting day. This gives us time to relax or to explore the area around Zarojkul.

Altitude: 4510m

Day 12 – Zarojkul – Top Bardara Valley

Monday 12 September 2016

In this section the team will reach the highest point of the trek, the 4840m high Shtik Lazar Pass. Although it’s just over 300 vertical meters of climbing to the top of the pass, it will be a tough day. From the top you can see one of the biggest mountains in the Tajik Pamirs, Peak Revolution (6940m). The 1100m descent takes us to our camping spot at 3720m.

Trekking: 6 hours

Altitude: 3720m

Day 13 – Top Bardara Valley – Bardara Village

Tuesday 13 September 2016

The final day is a long one. For 20km we will follow the crystal clear Bardara river before we arrive in one of the remotest settlements in the Pamirs, Bardara. Here we will sleep inside underneath a Pamiri roof again.

Trekking: 7 hours

Altitude: 2830m

Day 14 – Bardara Village

Wednesday 14 September 2016

A rest day. This day it will be all about eating, sleeping and exploring village life in the Pamirs at a very slow pace.

Altitude: 2830m

Day 15 – Bardara Village – Kalaikhum

Thursday 15 September 2016

Our drivers will pick us up and drive us through the wonderful Bartang Valley, back to the Panj river where we make a right turn towards Kalaikhum.

Day 16 – Kalaikhum – Dushanbe

Friday 16 September 2016

This is the last full day drive back to Dushanbe. We will leave early which will enable us to explore the capital of Dushanbe a little bit.

Day 17 – Dushanbe – End

Saturday 17 September 2016

You will be dropped at the airport in the early hours of Saturday morning.

You will be accompanied by an international (trekking) guide for the entire length of this trip.

More Details

Visas:
You will require a Tajikistan visa for this trip as well as a GBAO permit for the Badakhshan region where we will be travelling in. We will provide visa support and advice on how best to obtain this visa.

Food:
In Tajikistan meals are sometimes included with the accommodation, and these are included in the price. This also applies to the tasty meals produced by our high altitude chef while we are trekking in the mountains. The food in Khorog and Dushanbe is not included in the price as we want people to have the freedom to choose their preferred restaurant.

Accommodation:
We do not and cannot offer a uniform accommodation standard on our itineraries. Even if we wanted to, the reality is that standards in Dushanbe cannot be compared to a home stay in an isolated valley in the Pamirs. We consider comfort, location, design, character, historical interest and whether the money we spend will go into the pockets of the local community when we make our choices of where to stay.

The accommodation will be based on 2 people sharing a room when that is available. When we are in the Pamirs we will be staying in tents and in local home stays that sometimes only offer central communal areas to sleep in.

Transport:
When we choose our vehicles and drivers we take into consideration the road conditions, the length of journey and the competence of the man behind the wheel. We will only be travelling by four-wheel drive vehicles because the majority of the road is essentially a dirt track (despite that “Pamir Highway” suggests smooth tarmac). Your comfort, enjoyment and safety of the journey is the first priority.

Guides:
On this trip you will be accompanied by an experienced international trekking guide plus an English speaking local guide from the trip operator. This allows for greater flexibility and means that there will always be someone on hand to help or assist you even if the other team leader is busy making arrangements.

Security:
Tajikistan including the Autonomous Region of Badakhshan is currently a stable area. However, we monitor the situation closely and we listen very carefully to advice from the foreign office and from our friends in the areas we visit. Our client’s safety is our primary concern. We must state that the tour leader has the final word with regards to changes in the itinerary for safety reasons. Whilst the route we have chosen passes through areas which we consider to be stable things can change and we may have to alter the route or cancel sections of the trip at short notice.

   

Dates & Rates

Dates: 1st – 17th September 2016

Price: 1,800 GBP

WHAT IS INCLUDED

  • All accommodation, including tents during the trek
  • All meals except in Khorog and Dushanbe
  • Transport
  • Experienced international trekking guide
  • Local trekking crew
  • Pack animals

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

  • Any necessary visas and permits
  • Insurance
  • Flights to Tajikistan
  • Entrance fees
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Operator

Specialists in trips to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, former Soviet Central Asia and the Caucasus, this operator aims to add positive benefit to the areas visited by ensuring that whenever possible, the money goose directly to the people of the region. In their words “”small scale tourism might not change the world but every path starts with a single step’.

The founders met as intrepid travel guides in the mountains of Afghanistan and bonded over a shared passion to enable other people to experience the beauty of of Pakistan and Afghanistan, lands that are often described as dangerous and inhospitable.

Working with small groups of maximum 12 people and using specialist local guides throughout, their aim is to provide authentic and original experiences for all guests. This small number allows for greater security, flexibility and access to local people and places. Each set itinerary trip is individually designed to coincide with local events or to visit the area at the best time of year.

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