Daily Walking: 5-7 hours
Max Altitude: 5000M / 16,400ft
Duration: 21 Days
Trekking: 10-11 Days
The Wakhan Corridor is a finger of land pointing eastwards from Afghanistan towards China, sandwiched by Tajikistan to the north and Pakistan to the south. The mighty ranges of the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Pamir converge at the eastern end of the corridor, called the Pamir knot.
In the Afghan Pamir steep valleys open up to form wide high altitude valleys, the Big and Little Pamir, where nomads take advantage of lush grazing. The Pamirs refers to the large Central Asian mountain range that runs through Tajikistan into China and Afghanistan. They are characterised by large U-shaped high altitude mountain valleys that provide abundant grazing grass during summer, but are covered by snow for six months of the year.
This is a classic, unforgettable Trek. You will spend 10 nights, 11 days trekking in the Little Pamir, taking in the awesome scenery, crossing glacial rivers and climbing endless valleys. You will have the opportunity to ride horses or a yak at points if you tire. You will cross a 4800m pass en-route to Lake Chaqmaqtin. Along the route you will be accompanied by the constant alarm call of golden marmots as well as have the chance to see bearded vulture (lammergeyer), snow cock, chukar partridge and many other ground nesting birds. At Bozoi Gumbaz you will change horses, from Wakhi to Kyrgyz and complete the final leg to the lake in their company.This is a demanding trek. Expect to see some incredible scenery and cross a number of high passes. As such, expect long hard days and basic conditions.
Arrive in Tajikistan
Arrive Dushanbe. Meet agent. Transfer to hotel. Breakfast. Free time before lunch. Lunch in downtown. Sightseeing tour of Dushanbe. Dinner. Overnight in hotel.
Dushanbe - Kala I Khum
Breakfast. Long day drive to Kala I Khum (285 km) - a small village on the bank of Pyanj. It’s probably the worst section along pamir Highway so we drive really slowly at times. In Kala I Khum we stop for overnight in a small and basic place before continue further in the Pamirs. Lunch on the way. Dinner in the guest house. O/N in guest house.
KalaKhum - Khorog
Breakfast. In the cool of the morning we drive to Khorog (240 km) - the capital of Tajik Badakhashan province. Lunch in Rushan at family run truck stop. Continue to Khorog. Accommodation in Parinen Inn - a nice place run by Pamiri family. Dinner in town. O/N in Parinen Inn
Breakfast. In the morning we visit Afghanistan embassy to settle our Afghan visas. While they precede it, we visit highest in the world botanical garden and the local lively market. PM receive visas and continue 112 km to Ishkashim. Here we stay in a basic place before crossing into Afghanistan
Ishkashim (Tajikistan) - Ishkashim (Afghanistan) Qazideh
Depart Tajikistan at 9:00 in the morning, we cross into Afghanistan via a bridge over the Panj River. Even after having cleared immigration & customs there will be still be some further red tape to clear, so patience will be needed. Guesthouse (B, L, D)
Ishkashim - Khandud/Qala-e-Panja (3288m)
A rough road built by the Soviets takes us into the Wakhan Corridor. With the valley barely 20km wide in places this road is not for the fainthearted and there may be some river crossings to negotiate. The scenery however, is truly magnificent and in addition, we will undoubtedly meet many of the local Wakhi people. The women are especially noticeable with their bright red scarves and beaded necklaces
Qala Panja - Sarhad-e-Broghail
Our drive today takes us literally to the end of the road. At Sarhad the valley narrows, the mountains close in, and from here, any further progress must be made on foot, horse or yak! From tomorrow we follow the Wakhan River upstream towards China and Pakistan. On this stage of the trip we will take animals to carry all our luggage and food, following a route that will take us finally into an area populated by Kyrgyz nomads. Guesthouse (B, L, D)
Trek over Daliz Pass to Shawr
With an ascent of 1000m, today is a pretty tough first day as we cross the Daliz pass (4277m) before descending to our first camp at Shawr. Approx 7 hrs walking. Camp (B, L, D)
Trek to Zankuk
Continuing eastwards, we follow the river to the small settlement of Borak at an altitude of (3453m) and then on to Zankuk. Approx 7 hrs walking. Camp (B, L, D)
Trek to Warum Gash
A gentle ascent takes us to Langar and on to Warrum Gash, from where we will temporarily leave the river. Approx 6 hrs walking. Camp (B, L, D)
Around Kachin - Bozai Gombaz
Today will be gentler day as we enjoy the beautiful scenery in this part of the Wakhan. We will visit the traditional burial grounds of the Kyrgyz at Bozai Gombaz and also see the disused remains of a Russian military base. In addition, we pass the most remote school of Greg Mortenson's Central Asian Institute. Approx 8 hrs walking. Camp (B, L, D)
Trek to Lake Chaqmaqtin
Our final push eastwards takes us to the remote Lake Chaqmaqtin (4015m), the summer home of many Kyrgyz families. Approx 3 hrs walking. Today will allow us some well-deserved rest-time. Those brave enough can take a swim in the lake while others may wish to wander freely beneath the mountains and try to exchange pleasantries with some of the Kyrgyz nomads who make this area their summer home. Camp/Yurt (B, L, D)
Trek to Ghurmeetuk
Today we will head back to Wakhan corridor by starting a longer day to Ghurmeetuk. As other parts of the Afghan Pamirs this Summer Yurt of Wahki people has its beautiful scenary. 8 hrs walking. Camp (B, L, D)
Trek to Cheraghdan
After a slight descent, we leave the high valleys along the Wakhan River and walk through Mirza Murad. Approx 6 hrs walking. Camp (B, L, D)
Trek to Zankuk
Continuing back, we follow the river on to Zankuk. Approx 7 hrs walking. Camp (B, L, D)
Trek to Shawr
Today we will get back to shawr, this time as we will be heading down the walk will be easier. 7 hrs Walking. (B, L, D)
Trek over Daliz
Pass back to Sarhad Today will be our final day of trekking and tomorrow we will be driving and give rest to the legs. Approx 7 hrs walking. Guest House (B, L, D)
Drive to Qazideh
Today we will get back to Qazideh. This is the second village in the Wakhan Corridor, with the valley heading to Noshaq (The highest peak of Afghanistan). Guest House (B, L, D)
Drive to Ishkashim - Cross to Tajikistan - Khorog
Our final full day in Afghanistan sees us return to the border town of Ishkashim. There should be time for some final shopping opportunities and a chance to say farewell to our Afghan guides. Cross into Tajikistan. Meet vehicle. Drive to Khorog. Accommodation in Parinen Inn.
Khorog - KalaKhum
Breakfast. Drive to Kala I Khum. Overnight in guest house
KalaKhum - Dushanbe
Early breakfast. Drive to Dushanbe. Lunch in Shurabod. In Dushanbe accommodation in hotel. Dinner in downtown. Overnight in hotel
Dushanbe - Airport
Breakfast. Transfer to airport for your onward travel.