Fequently Asked Questions

Find here a selection of frequently asked questions to take away doubts that you may have. The questions also give an idea of what to expect when trekking with us. Do not hesitate to contact us directly if you do not find the question you are looking for.

Equipment

What type of camping equipment can be provided?

We can provide tents and down sleeping bags at a small extra cost. Sleeping bag liners and airbeds are also available. The equipment is specialized for high altitude trekking. This is to say, resistant yet lightweight. Lightweight equipment is of vital importance as everything needs to be carried in a backpack the entire way.

The tents that we provide are approximately 1.3 m wide, 1.7 kg in weight and 5 L in size when packed. The down sleeping bags have a temperature limit of 0˚C. Even during summer, a warm sleeping bag is recommended for the camping sites above 3000 meters. The sleeping bags weigh around 1000 grams and are 8 liters in size when packed. The mattresses come in a 2.5 L compression bag, weigh 600 g and can be inflated by mouth.

Needless to say, you are also always free to bring your own equipment.

What more is provided?

We provide all food, cooking equipment, first aid supplies and water filters/purification tablets. This is all included in the prices advertised on the site, as well as all overnight stays in homestays and all transport.

What do I need to bring myself?

As the hiking days are long and often include difficult paths, it is recommended that you bring sturdy shoes and comfortable clothing. You are also advised to bring rain clothes and a set of warm clothes as temperatures may drop considerably at night. Also consider bringing a power bank with you to charge your electronic devices. Check out the Practical Info page for a full packing list. Only bring strictly necessary things in order to limit the weight you have to carry around.

We recommend bringing a backpack of at least 70 L. A comfortable backpack is of great importance. It is important to have enough space available in your backpack to carry part of the food and the shared cooking equipment. Try to have at least 12 L of space available for this. When renting equipment, you must reserve 5 L for the tent and 10 L for the sleeping bag and air mattress.

You do not necessarily need to bring any money during the trek, as everything is included. However, you could opt for bringing some cash (somoni) to buy things from local vendors along the way.

For what weather must I prepare?

Tajikistan has a land climate with hot summers and cold winters. The trekking season is in summer and runs from May to September when temperatures are most pleasant. In the mountains, daytime temperatures are usually around 15 to 25˚C in summer. At altitudes above 3000 meters, temperature variations throughout the day are considerable. Temperatures may even drop below zero at night. The first snow can already start to fall towards the end of the trekking season in September.

The amount of precipitation in Tajikistan varies throughout the year. During summer and early autumn, there is almost no rainfall at all. Precipitation is more frequent the rest of the year with rainfall amounts being highest in early spring. Good rainwear is a must when you go trekking outside the main trekking season in summer, especially in the mountains north of Dushanbe, including the Fann Mountains and the Zerafshan Range. The Pamir Mountains are more arid with relatively low rainfall throughout the entire year.

During the trek

What can I expect of the guiding?

You are joined by one English-speaking Tajik head guide from the start in Dushanbe until returning. The mountain guide is knowledgeable and arranges all transport and accommodation. For large groups, there are additional guides for support. Normally there is one guide for every 4-5 participants. There are no porters or cooks by default. Pack donkeys or porters can be hired on the spot at some places, if desired.

How much weight will I be carrying?

Apart from your clothing and other personal items, you are required to carry your own camping equipment (~3.5 kg). In addition, you need to carry a share of the group’s food and cooking equipment. The amount of food depends largely on the length of the trek and the amount of nights spent in homestays, where food is included.

Try your best to limit the weight of your personal belongings as much as possible. We recommend that your personal items and clothing altogether weigh no more than 7 kg. Any more weight usually means that you are bringing unnecessary things. Every gram counts on the steep trails in Tajikistan. Be selective and you will thank yourself later! Also try to take small travel packaging as much as possible – for example, do not bring a 0.5 L bottle of sunscreen while 50-100 mL is sufficient.

In general, you can expect starting off a trek carrying a backpack weighing around 16 kg. As the trek progresses, the weight gradually decreases as the food is being consumed.

How difficult is trekking in Tajikistan?

Easy trekking in Tajikistan does not really exist. Even the lower-graded treks pose a serious challenge to many. For that reason, it is important to have a good fitness level. If you are not a frequent hiker, we recommend training beforehand to build up your physical shape. Check our grading system see what physical challenges you can expect while trekking.

What food and drinks are provided?

Every day, breakfast and dinner are provided as well as additional snacks during the day for an energy boost. When camping, we have to be self-sufficient and prepare our own meals on an outdoor gas stove. You can expect mostly rice and pasta dishes. The food can be adapted to your dietary needs/intolerances or preferences. Food in homestays is more sophisticated and you can enjoy authentic Tajik dishes.

Drinking enough water is important when trekking. We take water from mountain streams to refill bottles and use water filters or purification tablets to make it safe to drink. The water filters and purification tablets are provided.

Vendors or small shops are available during some of the treks to buy extras.

What are the accommodation options?

Tourist infrastructure in Tajikistan is limited – nights are spent either in tents or in homestay accommodations, which are run by local people. Wherever homestay accommodation is not available, the night needs to be spent in tents and equipment must be carried along during the entire trekking, in addition to the food for dinner and breakfast. Homestay accommodations mostly come with meals included. For this reason, the amount of food – and thus weight – to be carried is higher when you choose to go camping a lot.

Homestays are available in most of the villages in the Tajik mountains. Staying in homestays makes for more comfortable nights and also brings you in closer touch with the local culture. In addition, it allows you to enjoy the local dishes prepared the traditional way.

The experience of staying in tents in the middle of nature is unique in its kind, despite of the extra challenges that it poses. Especially at altitudes above 3000 meters, spending the night outside in a tent can be icy cold. Staying in tents is always an option. Wild camping is allowed everywhere, also in the more densely populated parts of the mountains. Opting for overnight in tents also reduces costs.

Is there a mobile network coverage in the mountains?

You’ll be out in the wild and mostly out of reach of mobile and internet networks. Make sure your relatives know about your plans before leaving.

Logistics

At what time and where do treks depart?

Treks usually depart from Dushanbe in the morning. Return at the end of the trek is mostly in the afternoon. Nevertheless, we are flexible to adapt to your schedule. You can let us know your desired place for pick-up and drop-off anywhere in Dushanbe. Check the itinerary on the relevant trek page for precise details as these may differ per trek. Alternative pick-up or drop-off locations are sometimes possible, but need to be agreed upon before booking.

For what days should I book my flights?

If your flight arrives in the early morning, you can book on the start day of the trek and be picked up at the airport. It might be preferable though to arrive a day or two earlier to fully recover from the flight. This also gives you time to explore Dushanbe on your own.

Return in Dushanbe at the end of the trek is usually in the late afternoon. For the return flight, we recommend building in a margin of at least one day to account for possible delays due to unforeseen circumstances on the way back or during the trek.

What transport is taken to and from the trekking area?

Private cars are used for transport to the start of the trek and back to Dushanbe. Organized long-distance public transport to the mountainous areas unfortunately does not exist in Tajikistan.

Can I store luggage that I do not need in Dushanbe?

Needless to say, you do not want to carry stuff with you that you don’t need. Think about flight bags, leisure clothes and souvenirs. All of this can be left and stored in a safe place in Dushanbe and picked up again after finishing the trek.

Booking

How do I book a trek?

Treks can be booked via the booking form that can be accessed through the respective trek pages. If none of the treks on the website meet your wishes, you can also fill out the custom trek form to request information and suggestions for a tailor-made trip. Alternatively, you can always contact us directly via e-mail or the contact form to plan a trek.

How does the payment work?

To secure a booking, a deposit payment of 15% of the total amount should be fulfilled. There is the possibility to pay securely online by credit card. Otherwise, you can also opt for paying via a direct bank transfer.

The remaining amount can be payed at any moment before the start of the trek. This payment can be fulfilled online by credit card, via a direct bank transfer or alternatively in cash after arriving in Tajikistan.

Amounts are collected in EUR. Prices shown in USD are estimates based on the current exchange rate. The exchange rate may have changed at the time of payment.

Are there hidden surcharges?

Beside the prices advertised on the website, you will not need to pay any unexpected extras before, during or after the trek. You do not even necessarily have to bring any money during the trek. Only if you want to make use of a donkey to carry equipment, you have to pay extra for these costs.

We can keep prices low because you directly deal with us when booking through the website. There is no intermediary taking a commission.

Are there any age limits?

We do not impose any a priori age limits. Anyone can join, as long as you consider yourself fit enough. We do emphasize that young children and elderly people are generally not suited for this kind of extreme trekking trips. Check our grading system to get an idea of what physical challenges to expect.

What is the best time for trekking in Tajikistan?

The main trekking season in Tajikistan runs from May to September. Trekking in most of Tajikistan is not possible all year round due to the great altitude of most hiking routes. Outside the main season, the conditions can be icy cold with trails being covered by lots of snow. At the greatest altitudes in the Pamir Mountains (> 4000 meters), snow may complicate trekking even all the way until the end of June. A positive side is that there are no rain seasons that you need to take into account like in many other trekking destinations around the world.

Tajikistan

How do I get a visa for Tajikistan?

A tourist visa can be arranged fully online for passport holders of most countries for a fee of $30 on www.evisa.tj. An additional permit is required when visiting the Pamir Mountains in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO). This permit can be selected during the online application procedure for an extra $20.

For more details, visit our dedicated page on the visa requirements.

How are the flight connections to Tajikistan?

The international airport of Dushanbe is relatively small with limited flight connections. Direct flight connections are operated from Istanbul, Dubai and various cities in Russia.

Is Tajikistan safe?

Tajikistan is overall a safe country to visit. Even at nighttime, it is safe to walk on the street. It is highly rare that tourists are targeted for robbery. The border zone in the south can be considered somewhat dangerous due to the proximity of Afghanistan and clandestine drug trafficking. Border zones with Uzbekistan in the northwest pose some danger with respect to landmines. In any case, all treks stay far away from any potentially dangerous border zone. Terrorism risks are not higher compared to European countries. Tajikistan was shaken by a terrorist attack in 2018, killing four cycling tourists south of Dushanbe. This tragedy was a rather stand-alone incident though, and the terrorism risk can be considered low. Minor risks related to traveling in basically any country also exist in Tajikistan (pickpocketing etc.).

Find out more about Tajikistan here.

What is the difference between the Pamir and Fann Mountains?

One of the main differences is the altitude. In the Fann Mountains, you are trekking most of the time at altitudes between 2000 and 3500 meters. In the Pamir Mountains, you find yourself mostly at altitudes of 3000 to 4500 meters. As a result, the Fann Mountains have more vegetation, while the Pamir Mountains have a rougher character. Furthermore, the Pamir Mountains are less densely populated with less villages and homestay accommodations along the trails. The remoteness of the Pamir Mountains also makes for longer traveling from Dushanbe. A full day to one and a half day is required to reach the start of treks (passing through great landscapes along the way). The Fann Mountains are within much closer reach – only a few hours of driving are needed to get to the start of the treks.

You can read more on the general information pages of the Pamir Mountains and the Fann Mountains.

What climate does Tajikistan have?

Tajikistan has a continental and relatively arid climate. The capital Dushanbe at 800 meters altitude has very hot and dry summers, while temperatures drop below the freezing point in the winter. Temperatures are considerably lower at greater altitudes in the mountains. You can expect day-time temperatures around 20-25˚C in the summer months. Rainfall is low throughout the year across the country. Altogether, the trekking conditions are ideal throughout the summer. 

What wildlife can be encountered in Tajikistan?

Among the wildlife that can be encountered in Tajikistan are snow leopards, brown bears, wolves and grazers like Marco Polo sheep (endemic to the Pamirs) and markhor, which are a goat species with large screw horns. Spotting a snow leopard is rare as the population is limited to only a few hundred living in the Pamir Mountains.

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