Afghanistan has been going through different conflicts non-stop since 1979, when tribal people rebelled against the Communist party, starting a war between the Soviet Union and the Mujahideen.
The Soviets were defeated but then, Mujahideen warlords began to fight each other over power.
Disappointed that Islamic law had not been installed after the Soviets were kicked out, a former Mujahid named Mullah Omar founded a movement named Taliban and, by 1996, they controlled 90% of Afghanistan’s territory, including Kabul, ruling until 2001.
Then, the American Invasion came, withdrawing nearly 20 years later, when the Taliban took over again.
Afghanistan, however, is more than conflict; this former Silk Road country is a melting point of cultures and civilizations, visible in the extreme ethnic diversity and jaw-dropping shrines, besides being home to some of the kindest people on earth.
need to know for traveling in Afghanistan
Population: 38.3 million (37th)
Languages: Pashto, Dari
Area: 652,867km² (40th largest country)
The Taliban recognize visas issued from the following embassies and consulates:
Dubai, Islamabad, and Peshawar.
You can get your visa within a day.
KamAir is the airline that flies into Kabul, with flights from both Dubai and Islamabad.
You can also get in from the Khyber Pass in Pakistan, as well as Iran and Uzbekistan.
Most insurance companies do not cover travel in Afghanistan but IATI Insurance does:
5% discount if booking here:
Best time to visit
In Winter, most of Afghanistan is covered in snow but could be a good time to visit the south, including Kandahar and also Herat.
Spring and autumn are the best times to travel anywhere.
Summer is the best for trekking in Bamyan and the Wakhan Corridor.
Tours for Afghanistan
Against the Compass runs tours into Afghanistan. The next one is scheduled on:
Nov 30th to Dec 9th (2023)
Is Afghanistan safe during Taliban rule?
Before the Taliban took over in 2021, the country was in a civil war and the risk of being kidnapped was extremely high.
Now that the Taliban are ruling, this war is over but is it safe to visit Afghanistan?
Afghanistan today is unsafe for only 2 groups of people: local women and Hazara.
On the other hand, foreign visitors will be safe, as long as they behave and are respectful towards the Afghan culture.
Top experiences in Afghanistan
As sophisticated as Iran and as wild as Pakistan.
The Blue Mosque
Perhaps, the most jaw-dropping sight in all of Central Asia.
The mountains of Bamyan
Some of the most mesmerizing Silk Road landscapes.
The heartland of the Pashtun is where the Taliban movement was founded.
tips for Afghanistan
There aren’t many hotels used to accommodate foreign visitors but you can always find a few in Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar, Bamyan, and Herat.
Traveling around Afghanistan independently is allowed but you must be prepared to deal with the many Taliban checkpoints, who will certainly make you waste a lot of time.
Most likely, you’ll be traveling in a private car but independent travelers should know that public transportation is cheap and that you can go to most towns and cities.