Ultimate Guide to Gap Year Travel: Tips,...
Location:Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran
Area:652,230 sq km
Population:37,466,414 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 78% (Dari functions as the lingua franca), Pashto (official) 50%, Uzbek 10%, English 5%, Turkmen 2%, Urdu 2%, Pashayi 1%, Nuristani 1%, Arabic 1%, Balochi 1%, other <1% (2017 est.)
Religion:Muslim 99.7% (Sunni 84.7 - 89.7%, Shia 10 - 15%), other 0.3% (2009 est.)
Things to Do
1. Cultural Tour of Kabul
Explore the rich cultural heritage of Kabul, visit historical sites such as Babur's Gardens and the Kabul Museum, and immerse yourself in the vibrant local markets.
2. Hiking in the Hindu Kush Mountains
Embark on an adventurous hike in the breathtaking Hindu Kush Mountains, experience stunning vistas, and discover the diverse flora and fauna of the region.
3. Herat Bazaar Shopping
Indulge in a shopping spree at the bustling Herat Bazaar, known for its exquisite handicrafts, traditional textiles, and vibrant local products.
4. Bamiyan Cultural Heritage Tour
Visit the stunning Bamiyan Valley and explore its rich cultural heritage, including the famous Bamiyan Buddha statues and the ancient Buddhist monastic sites.
5. Kabul Food Tour
Embark on a culinary journey in Kabul, savoring traditional Afghan dishes, street food, and delicious kebabs while learning about the local food culture.
6. Exploring the Panjshir Valley
Discover the natural beauty of the Panjshir Valley, hike through picturesque landscapes, and visit charming villages that offer a glimpse into local life.
7. Gardens of Kandahar
Stroll through the stunning gardens of Kandahar, known for their beautiful flowers, serene atmosphere, and historical significance.
8. Camping in the Wakhan Corridor
Experience the ultimate wilderness adventure by camping in the remote and untouched Wakhan Corridor, surrounded by majestic mountains and pristine nature.
9. Cultural Performance in Mazar-i-Sharif
Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of Mazar-i-Sharif, attending traditional music and dance performances that showcase the rich Afghan heritage.
10. Birdwatching in Paktika
Embark on a birdwatching adventure in the scenic province of Paktika, observe a wide variety of bird species, and enjoy the tranquility of nature.
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Afghanistan has a varied climate depending on the region. The country has a continental climate with cold winters and hot summers. The low-lying areas in the south and east have a hot and arid climate, while the high-lying areas in the north and west have a cold and semi-arid climate. The northeastern region of Afghanistan has a subarctic climate, with cold winters and short, cool summers. The mountainous regions of the country have a subalpine climate, with cool summers and cold winters. The country also has a dry climate with low rainfall and high evaporation, resulting in a high rate of desertification.
There are a variety of hotels available in Afghanistan, ranging from luxury resorts to budget-friendly options. However, it's important to note that the quality of accommodations can vary greatly and may not meet the standards of those used to Western-style hotels. Also, due to ongoing security concerns, many hotels have security measures in place and may be located in areas that are considered safe.
Guesthouses are also available in Afghanistan, and they can provide a more authentic and local experience. They are often family-run and offer basic amenities. They may be a good option for travelers who are looking for budget-friendly accommodation and a more authentic experience.
Military and NGO Accommodations
Due to the ongoing security concerns in Afghanistan, many organizations and individuals rely on military or private accommodation options, such as military bases or compounds operated by NGOs. These options are generally considered to be the safest, but also the most expensive and may not be available for general public.
It's important to note that the situation in Afghanistan is constantly changing, and accommodations options and security measures may change as well. It's important to check the current information and consult with the relevant authorities before planning your trip.
Air travel is the most common way to travel to Afghanistan. The main international airport in Afghanistan is Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, which has regular flights from several major cities in the region and around the world. Other airports in Afghanistan, such as Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif, also have some international flights.
Road transportation is also available within Afghanistan, but it may not be the most reliable option due to the poor condition of many roads and the ongoing security concerns in certain areas of the country. It's important to note that it's not safe to travel on some parts of the country due to ongoing conflict and the presence of non-state armed groups.
Public transportation options such as buses and shared taxis are available in some parts of Afghanistan, but they are not as developed as in other countries and may not be reliable. It's also important to consider the security situation in the area you will be travelling, as public transportation can also be a target for attacks.
Military and private transport
Due to the security concerns, many organizations and individuals rely on military or private transportation options, such as armored vehicles and convoys, to move around the country. This mode of transportation is generally considered to be the safest, but also the most expensive.
- The currency in Afghanistan is the Afghan Afghani (AFN).
- It is recommended to carry small bills as change may be difficult to obtain.
Cash And Cards
- Cash is the primary form of payment in Afghanistan.
- Credit and debit cards are rarely accepted, especially outside of major cities.
- It is advisable to carry enough cash for your entire stay.
- ATMs are available in major cities, but they may be limited in rural areas.
- It is recommended to withdraw cash from ATMs located inside hotels or reputable banks.
- Make sure to inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid your card being blocked.
- Tipping is not a common practice in Afghanistan.
- However, it is appreciated to leave a small tip for exceptional service, such as in upscale restaurants or hotels.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Afghanistan is relatively low compared to Western countries.
- Accommodation, transportation, and food expenses are generally affordable.
- Be cautious of individuals offering currency exchange services on the street, as they may provide counterfeit money.
- Avoid sharing personal or financial information with strangers to prevent scams or identity theft.