Afghanistan FAQ & Security Thread
Replies: 179 - Last Post: Dec 1, 2013 9:49 AM Last Post By: expat101
Aug 27, 2011 1:33 AM
Aug 31, 2011 8:20 PM
Just curious if anyone has more recent security info on Badakhshan (not the Wakhan but Faizabad and the southern part of the province) and about the situation in the Panjshir (I haven't heard anything mentioned about it for a long time which could be a good or bad thing).
Also, does anyone know the feasibility of traveling over the Anjoman pass from Badakhshan to the Panjshir (with own 4x4 transport). I know the panjshiris keep their valley under tight control and was wondering if it would be possible to enter the valley from the horrible road to the north.
Essentially, the potential plan would be Khorog-Faizabad-Sar e sang-Panjshir-return to Badakhshan-Ishkashim. My main concerns are banditry in southern Badakhshan and being allowed in by the Panjshiris. Would one need a panshiri guide or to pay to take a panjshiri guard with you?
Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Sep 5, 2011 7:39 AM
92The bodies of two Germans who went missing nearly three weeks ago while hiking in the Hindu Kush mountains were found in sacks under a boulder in eastern Afghanistan Monday. The governor of eastern Parwan province said the men were found under a large boulder about 2 1/2 miles (four kilometers) from the south end of the Salang Pass, where they began their hike on Aug. 19. The region where the Germans went missing is not a Taliban area, and last month Afghan police speculated the two men could have gotten lost in the high mountains or may have been the victims of a crime. The agency they were working for has not been named.
Sep 7, 2011 5:35 AM
93flights to faizabad, as far as i know, is easiest to be booked in Afghanistan, f.x. in Kabul. Go to Ariana or Kam air office, and plan in some days. I had really problem with Kam air in Kabul, as i made a online reservation for a flight from dushanbe to kabul. when i wanted to fly, this flight didnt exist anymore...thats why i made the bad option, plan b, overland into afghanistan via unsafe road via kunduz/baghlan. so book directly in afghanistan,is best.
Panishir valley i was my last days in Afghanistan, at the tomb of Massud and back to Kabul. Had no problem. The way you describe from Faizabad i have no information and not done by myself.
Sep 24, 2011 12:17 PM
94Today another German tourist and his local companion were killed in Ghor province on the central route on the way towards Bamiyan, probably by bandits.
This sadly confirms that the central route is still problematic in-between Herat and Chaghcharan and Chaghcharan and Bamiyan.
Oct 4, 2011 12:33 AM
Oct 9, 2011 2:57 AM
Oct 10, 2011 3:07 AM
Dec 3, 2011 4:42 PM
98I did a tour in May 2011 through Bable Travel. Kabul-Charikar-Panjshir Valley-Jabal al Saraj-Bamiyan-Band e-Amir-Kabul-Salang Pass-Mazar-Balkh-fly to Kabul-fly to Herat-fly to Kabul. 17 days. Awesome guided tour. Stayed in Bagram the night bin Laden was killed. No safety issues but I suggest an early morning trip from Kabul to Bamiyan. Leave Kabul at 7am as it can be unsafe near the Shibar Pass in the afternoon. There has been some recent clashes between Pashtuns and Hazaras on this 'safe road' in the last 6 months. We meet up with the Kiwi ISAF guys in Bamiyan. Only 8 in Bamiyan. Pulling out soon. Plenty of Taliban villages or villages that are sympathetic in the area. The Kabul-
Mazar road travels via Doshi, a village that has plenty of Taliban sympathizers. Balkh is getting more and more dangerous also. We didn't feel welcomed there. Herat and Mazar are generally safe but there's been major attacks in these two cities over the last 9 months. You most certainly wouldn't want to try and attempt Afghanistan on your own. Highly recommend a tour for many reasons. Id love to return next year but I'm concerned that it will be too unsafe in 2012. Insha'Allah everything will be OK.
Dec 12, 2011 2:32 AM
99WOW very informative post,
I have no information about Afghanistan travel but i agree with (JakJones)
Dec 26, 2011 2:31 PM
100The family of a Toronto man who was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan last year is trying to bring him home by reaching out to his captors themselves. Brian Rutherford, whose brother Colin was taken hostage during a vacation to Afghanistan in November 2010, told CBC News his family hopes to get in touch with his captors to find a solution. They have set up two phone lines, one for Canada and one in Afghanistan, and an email address for this purpose.
Dec 31, 2011 7:21 AM
101Babel35, i know about the tours of Babeltravel, also operates in Switzerland. Doing an organized tour in Afghanistan is the worst you can do, the bestt is, no pre-booking, no hotel-reservations, no guide-reservations...because everything you need to arrange before and book before makes it more dangerous and involves more people.. was in Afghanistan in July to August 2011 during Ramadan, it is possible to do alone, but you have to blend in!!! and keep away the stupid big cameras that let you stand out as a westerner! Wear local clothes! Best to all travellers, Mike
Jan 19, 2012 2:40 PM
102I wondered if anyone has any updated information on the security situation in Kabul since things seem to have got riskier recently. I've been asked to do a short business trip there next month - only to Kabul, 5 days, with the UN so presumably their security protection, but I will be alone (I'm a woman).
It's been a while since I've been anywhere near a conflict zone. Not sure why, but I'm more nervous than I was a few years ago. Any advice gratefully received.
Jan 25, 2012 8:50 AM
103You are right to be more nervous. Don't presume UN security protection, make it explicit and find out where you are going to stay. UNICA guesthouse in Shar-i-naw has shut down. So will you stay on the UNOCA compound, in a guesthouse in town, or in a hotel? Which hotel? How are you getting around? in a UN car? Will you be moving around? If you will work and stay on the UNOCA compound, then OK, you will likely be safe. If you are going to be moving around, ask a lot of questions.
I used to live in Kabul (I'm a woman) and I would want to know a lot of things before I went back even for five days. I like Afghanistan a lot, but I would be very careful.
Feb 4, 2012 8:56 AM
104I agree with Caryatid, you should ask a LOT of questions about your security arrangements and living situation in Afghanistan. Sometimes organizations don't give contractors and short-term consultants the same level of consideration or protection when it comes to their security or housing. If you are being recruited directly by a Kabul staff member, ask what security and housing that particular person receives, and try to use that as your baseline. Many UN security staff are extremely professional and safety-conscious, others have struck me as being criminally negligent, so be on the lookout for people who try to cut corners, change things without any explanation, or seem to be telling you whatever you want to hear. If they do, make sure you keep your supervisor in the loop, and get a few extra opinions from co-workers who seem reasonable before you just assume everything will be okay.
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