Travelling & Holidays in Afghanistan

We will be resuming all the tours this year and we are planning some new ones for 2018. Afghanistan is at the cutting edge of Adventure tourism and the country can be a wild place , highly volatile in many places. It is an exciting country but all intended travellers should do the research,take advice and be cautious.

2017/2018 TOURS
COCKPIT of ASIA - Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran
14th May 2017/13th May 2018 departures ground tour cost from £3,800

24th July 2017/2018 departures ground tour cost from £3,450
(Note our shortened tour, same day, for 16 days ground cost from £2,500)

15th/23rd September 2017 ground tour cost from £3,500
(Note our Afghanistan only tour 23rd September for 15/16 days cost from £2,500)

14th October 2017/2018 departure ground tour cost from £2,800

Special note - all bookings with deposits and booking form received in 2016 for departures in 2017 attract a 7% discount on the tour ground cost.

The country is desperately poor, frankly it needs any help that we or anyone can provide. The vast sums of money promised by the International community have only just trickled in or have yet to be fulfilled or are just promises. At least we can make a direct contribution to local people with the use of their services. The main roads had become diabolical but are now being totally reconstructed, the International community having recognised the importance of the trade routes to and through Afghanistan. The Afghan people are friendly and cheerfully welcoming, although wary until we can prove that we are travellers and not something else. Ancient and recent history are scattered everywhere, from Buddhist remains to burnt out tanks.

Our tours are not so steeped in excavated ancient remains as for example is our Iraq tour and they are more scenic, peoples tours but we fit in as many religious and historical sites as we can. Herat, for example is full of Islamic remains. We, despite our Adventurous natures, have to be sensible with our itineraries, so that our tours take in as much as can be fitted in, given the time factors of 3 weeks.


This tour enters into Pakistan then crosses into Afghanistan either by the Khyber Pass or when it is closed by flight to Kabul from either Peshawar or Islamabad.

Cockpit of Asia tour schedule
Departure - 14th May 2017 and 2018 - 22/23 days
Day 1 Arrive Islamabad a.m. Overnight Islamabad
Day 2 Drive to Taxila, explore/drive to Peshawar
Day 3 Peshawar tour of city
Day 4 Peshawar environs/Jamrud Fort
Day 5 Flight to Kabul a.m. afternoon city (If Khyber Pass open then drive Kabul)
Day 6 Kabul excursions overnight city
Day 7 Kabul excursions
Day 8 Drive to Bamiyan with excursion en route to Istaliff. overnight Bamiyan
Day 9 Bamiyan excursions
Day 10 Bandir Amir /overnight Bamiyan
Day 11 Drive via Doshi, through Salang Tunnel to Poli Kumri
Day 12 Drive via Samangan Monastery and Tashgurgon gorge and Khulm to Mazar e Sheriff
Day 13 Balkh /Mazar, Mosque/ shops. overnight Mazar
Day 14 Drive Aqchah/ Sherbagon/Andkoi/ or Meymana
Day 15/16/17 Drive Meymana/Qalat Nau/ Herat (depending on the security situation we may have to return to Mazar and fly to Herat)
Day 18 Herat city walking tour /Gazegarh excursions
Day 19 Drive to Afghan/Iran border. a.m cross/overnight Torbat e Jam (Iran) or return evening flight to Kabul
Day 20 Iran further excursions arrival Mashad midday. visit Immam Reza Shrine / or full day in Kabul
Day 21 A.m flight to Tehran or depart Kabul
Day 22 Sight seeing Tehran or departure flight out of Iran
Day 23 Final depart Tehran
Not included- International Flights,insurance, visas, main meals, site entrance fees, border taxes, taxi's, airport transfers, any single supplements.

Included - Services of Hinterland Travel tour leader, ground transport, breakfast and excursions.

Please note that many things can conspire to change/enhance or even delay the schedule. Every trip will have its own special experience. Road and weather conditions vary as do security problems. But we always try to refine each trip.

Total cost from £3,800

Please note.
  1. We are avoiding Kandahar and the southern road between Ghazni and Herat due to the ongoing security risks.
  2. We are also currently evaluating changes to the above schedule although keeping the same format of Pakistan/Afghanistan/Iran.


This is a fantastic route, through glorious, stark mountain passes. The very centre of Afghanistan, isolated and in real terms little travelled by westerners. To travel from the Bamiyan Valley to The Minaret of Jam via Chakcharan to the medieval Islamic glories of Herat is to be transported back in time itself. We shall carry on operating this route as long as we are able to do so.

Further pictures of this Adventure tour are available at

Central and North Afghanistan
Expected Schedule 24th July 2017/24th July 2018
We begin the tour now in Kabul due to the continued closure of the Khyber Pass to foreign traffic and as you will see from the following schedule keeping our options open with a flexible schedule. Travel in Afghanistan is all about flexibility. We are still offering our Pakistan option at the end of the tour but this will require a flight to Islamabad or Peshawar from Kabul.

Day 1 Kabul arrival a.m. Overnight Kabul.
Day 2 Kabul excursions – city tour.
Day 3 Full day drive to Bamiyan. Overnight Bamiyan.
Day 4 Bamiyan Valley excursions.
Day 5 Bamiyan.
Day 6-10 Through the Centre via the lakes of Bandir a Mir, Chakcharan, Minaret of Djam, Chist, to Herat. Overnight Herat. A tough but beautiful journey. Overnight in Chai Khanas.
Day 11/12 Herat –walking tour of city, excursion to Gazegharh. Overnight Herat hotel.

Now we have our possible changes due to the possible security situation.
But this is ideally what we hope to do:
Day 13-15 Drive on tough but scenic road to Maimana via Qalat Naw, Bala Murgab.
Day 16 Overnight Maimana.
Day 17 Drive to Mazar Sherif.
Day 18 Excursion to Balkh. Overnight Mazar.
Day 19 Drive to Kabul via Samangan and Salang Tunnel. Overnight Kabul.
Day 20 In Kabul- optional half day excursion.
Day 21 Normally we would have now taken our drive through Kabul Gorge and Khyber Pass to Peshawar with our Pakistan option. But the Khyber Pass is closed to all but local traffic.

Most likely changes as per last year
Day 13 Flight Herat to Kabul. Overnight Kabul.
Day 14 Early morning flight to Mazar Sherif. Overnight Mazar.
Day 15 Excursion to Balkh. Overnight Mazar.
Day 16 Drive to Daulatabad or Maimana. Overnight one or other.
Day 17 Drive to Maimana. Overnight Maimana.
Day 18 Return to Mazar Sherif. Overnight Mazar.
Day 19 Drive via Samangan and Salang Tunnel to Kabul. Overnight Kabul.
Day 20 In Kabul. Overnight Kabul.
Day 21 Depart Kabul for an International flight or stay Kabul longer if required.

Pakistan Option (if available)
Day 21 Flight from Kabul to Islamabad and Peshawar. Overnight Peshawar.
Day 22 Peshawar –markets –Overnight Peshawar.
Day 23 Peshawar. Overnight Peshawar.
Day 24 Early morning drive to Islamabad – Departure from International airport early afternoon.
Any client taking this option can obviously travel where they wish and stay as long as they wish.
Note. The schedule is an outline only. Time will be lost in places and/or gained in others. The transport will be a selection of hired local transport of various sorts and accommodation outside of the major cities will often be Tea houses (chai khanas). The journey is rough at times, the food, at times, a little miserable. The day to day company, both local and your travelling companions, often superb. There is a feast of carpets to look over, many tribal trinkets to examine, all in all an unforgettable experience.
Total Cost from £3,200.

Not included - International flights, insurance, visas, main meals, site entrance fees, taxes, taxi's, airport transfers, any single supplements.

Included - Services of Hinterland travel tour guide, ground transport.

Central Afghanistan
We have been requested to provide a shortened tour of Central Afghanistan to operate in conjunction with our longer 22 day tour which also includes North Afghanistan

Expected Schedule 24th July 2017/24th July 2018
Day 1 Arrival Kabul. Overnight Kabul Hotel.
Day 2 Kabul excursion – city tour. Overnight Kabul hotel.
Day 3 Days drive to Bamiyan. Overnight Bamiyan hotel.
Day 4 Bamiyan Valley Excursions. Overnight Bamiyan hotel.
Day 5 Bamiyan. Overnight Bamiyan hotel.
Day 6-10  Through the Centre via the Lakes of Bandir a Mir, Chakcharan, Minaret of Djam, Chist, to Herat. A tough but beautiful journey in the heart of Afghanistan. Overnight in Chai Khanas.
Day 11-13  Herat , a walking tour of the city and an excursion to Sufi Gazegarh. Overnight Herat hotel.
Day 14 Flight to Kabul. Overnight Kabul Hotel.
Day 15/16  Kabul excursions/rest day. Overnight Kabul. Departure out of Afghanistan as required.
Total Tour Cost from £2,500.

Not included - International flights, insurance, visas, main meals, site entrance fees, taxes, taxi's, airport transfers, any single supplements.

Included - Services of Hinterland travel tour guide, ground transport.


Sogdiana, The Oxus and Badakshan
(Uzbekistan and the Lapis Lazuli mines of Afghanistan)
We are repeating our very successful trip of this region . Although we are treading a well known track from Tashkent through to Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, nothing diminishes its appeal. Further we cross the Oxus river at Termez and travel to Mazar e Sherif and Balkh in Afghanistan. Then we explore a small part of Badakshan Province down to the Lapis mines. Cross a high mountain pass and on through the Panshir valley where the shade of General Masoud still lingers and finally to Kabul.

Uzbekistan and the Lapis Mines of Afghanistan
15th September 2017
23rd September 2017
Note. Afghanistan section only from 23rd September 2017
Uzbekistan (Sogdiana)
Dept London (evening)
Day 1 Arrive Tashkent a.m, explore city.
Day 2 Fly Urgench for Khiva
Day 3 Drive to Bukhara
Day 4 Full day in Bukhara
Day 5 Drive to Samarkand via Gijduvan
Day 6 Samarkand and Shakrisabaz
Day 7 Drive to Termez
Day 8 Full day in Termez
Afghanistan (Note Afghanistan only tour begins from 21st September)
Day 9 a.m cross the Oxus River and travel to Mazar e Sharif
Day 10 Full day in Mazar with Balkh excursion.
Day 11 Drive to Khulm to Kunduz.
Day 12 Excursion to AL Khanum, ancient Greek city site.
Day 13/14/15/16/17/18 To Faizabad, Jurm, the Lapis mines and down through the Panjshir valley to Charikhar.
Day 19 To Kabul.
Day 20 Kabul
Day 21 Depart by air to London or other routings.
Pakistan extension when available.
Tour extension - Day 21  By road to Jalalabad/or flight from Kabul to Peshawar.
Tour extension - Day 22  By road through Khyber Pass (when open)/or full day Peshwar.
Tour extension - Day 23  Full day Peshawar.
Tour extension - Day 24  Drive to Islambad or Lahore for International flights.
The above schedule sounds so prosaic but it is redolent with history from early Greeks, and Persians, Alexander and Roxane to fiery Turcomans and great figures as Mahmoud of Ghazni, Tamerlane, Babur and through to the present day of Afghan civil war personalities such as Generals Masoud and Dostum and The Taliban.

The mountains are rugged, the Lapis, when polished, very beautiful and the going underfoot tough.

Ground cost from £3,500
(note that you can travel Uzbekistan only for £1,200 and the 15 day Afghanistan only section for £2,300)
The Pakistan Extension - 4 days from £600 (any flights required are extra)

Cost include - all ground transport, including group airport transfers excursions as detailed in itinerary, accommodation and breakfast (for the Uzbekistan section dinner is also included) for Afghanistan with more basic accommodation and facilities only, accommodation and breakfast. Services of Tour leader.

Not included - International flights, insurance, visas individual airport transfers. Note single room supplement in Uzbekistan allow US$ 185.

(due to fighting in the Afghanistan Kunduz region we cancelled the 2015 tour)


THE FIRST AFGHAN WAR and the Retreat of 1842 with the British Army from Kabul to Jalalabad.

This is very new trek for us and subject to various problems on the ground but none surpassing those that the British Army and the vastly outnumbering Camp Followers had in January 1842 as they abandoned Kabul. The weather was ferocious, sleet, snow, ice and intense cold and the attacks from the Afghan tribesmen constant and unrelentingly pitiless.

We begin in Kabul, enjoy the city and to prepare and acclimatise ourselves before we depart into the Countryside to meet our pack ponies, pony men and guides.

Due to the ongoing political and security problems in the area and the continual closure of the Khyber Pass we have postponed the trek until 14th October 2017.

14th October 2017/14th October 2018
Dept London (evening)
Day 1 Arrive Kabul.
Day 2 Kabul.
Day 3 Drive to City outskirts and collect our Afghan team.
Day 4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11 Walking days from Begrami to Gandamak.
Day 11/12 Gandamak to Jalalabad possibly by minibus.
Day 13/14 Return to Kabul by road. Excursion to Panjshir Valley. Depart Kabul.
Alternative Day 13 Cross into Pakistan by the Khyber Pass, overnight Peshawar.
Alternative Day 14 Peshawar.
Alternative Day 15 Drive to Islamabad for departure by air.
Total cost from £2,800.

Not included - International flights, insurance, visas, main meals, any border crossing costs, taxes, taxis, single supplements, airport transfers, extra horse baggage ponies/porters for extra baggage.

Included - Services of Hinterland Travel Tour Leader, horseman leader, land transport.

Note - this is an exploratory trek and we cannot guarantee conditions. The route is approx 116 miles in length and walking conditions are undulating with some long steep climbs out of valleys often in dust conditions. Clients are expected to be walking fit and to accept the conditions. Baggage will need to be of the soft variety so that it can be packed on horses and if neccessary by yourself


Please read before completing our tour booking form.

At the present time Afghanistan is still recovering from a series of wars and internal conflicts that have lasted for almost 30 years. During the last few years the country has had a Government supported by the UN and Western powers, although now a series of elections are beginning to bring a more stable Government presence. The security situation in Afghanistan has changed with the Government now in charge of their own security, police and military with US and NATO forces as back up. Although increasing, there are still few tourists or Travellers to be seen. The vast majority of non-Afghans are NGOs, UN personnel and various contingents of military forces from around the world.

The British Foreign Office strongly advises that in their view Afghanistan is not safe for travellers and that British citizens should not travel to, and in, that country.

Mainly for this reason Afghanistan , at the moment, is basically uninsurable by most non specialist insurance companies at reasonable premiums Hinterland Travel understand this and accept clients with this problem. But we do advise insuring your flights and when possible take sensible insurance if and when offered.

Final decisions will be taken by Geoff Hann (Managing Director) in conjunction with any of our Tour leaders.

Hinterland Travel (Anglo Overseas Leisure Ltd) and its Managing Director, Geoff Hann firmly believe that we have a duty of care toward our clients, but also this has to reasonable given the circumstances. We ask our clients to consider their response to our brochure and the advice given, and if there are matters which are not clear, or if clarification is required, then please consult Geoff Hann before booking with us. Once our booking form has been completed and a deposit received then we consider that our clients have accepted and assessed the possible risks and dangers of our trips as advertised and their own personal responsibilities. The deposit of £350 per person is required at time of booking, and is then only refundable if Hinterland Travel are compelled to cancel. The full balance of monies due is payable 8 weeks prior to departure.

Afghanistan Books
Farrukh Husein is a London based seller of Afghanistan first edition travel literature and travel guides such as the classic 'Historical Guide to Afghanistan' by N H Dupree. Farrukh has a range of interesting books including signed first editions of Eric Newby's 'Short walk in the Hindu Kush' and Freya Stark's 'Minaret of Djam'. Farrukh also stocks antiquarian books on Afghanistan and out of print books. Farrukhs specialist stock imcludes rare books on Afghan history published in Kabul from the 1930s-1980. For book enquiries and the latest book catalogue please email or you can buy directly from Amazon.